Tidbits - December 3, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

ONE YEAR AGO
  It’s hard to believe, but Friday will mark the one year anniversary of Saluda High’s football team winning the Class 2A State Championship.
  As it turned out, this was more than a normal title win, because of the awful, awful year this is has been, when traditions were tossed.
  When the drudgery of the pandemic  begins to get to me, all I have to do is  look at the purple state championship ring my sister Dibbie gave me for my birthday, and I feel better.
  That win by of bunch of teenagers, white, black and Latino, and their coaches filled this community with such pride, it will last well past this year.
  The Tigers know what it’s like to win it all, and the team will be a contender for the title again real soon.
  Friday, Saluda’s old nemesis Abbeville will be back in the title game, after a year’s absence, thanks to the Tigers.
  The Panthers will be playing Marion, located in a town I drive through every year to go to the beach. About 35 miles after I drive through Marion, I drive by North Myrtle Beach High School, who will play A.C. Flora, a former Saluda opponent, in the 4A title game.
 Another old Saluda regular season and play-off foe, Southside Christian, has dropped down to 1A and will play Lake View for the title. Saluda defeated Lake View for the Lowerstate Championship in 1963. That game was played in Camden.
  Camden will meet Daniel for the 3A championship. The only thing I know about Daniel is the school is too close to Clemson.
  In the 5A game Dutch Fork will meet T.L. Hanna for the title. I got nothing on Dutch Fork, except Saluda and Irmo used to be in the same  conference, and some grandparents of Dutch Fork players probably went to Irmo. I saw T.L.Hanna play Greenwood on Thanksgiving Day in about 1967. That was back in the day with the biggest classification in the state did not have play-offs for the title. The champion was awarded on a points system.


THE BEST?
  Carolina coach Frank Martin said his 2020 team was the most talented since the Final Four squad.
  Then the Gamecocks promptly lose to Liberty in their first game. Carolina was supposed to play a Northwestern team that won only eight game last week, but the Wildcats had to pull out becasue of COVID,, and were replaced by a Liberty team that finished 30-4 in 2019.
  Liberty University has not been around that long, and it galls me to think that school has a better football and men’s basketball program than the University of South Carolina,  which has been around for 219 years.
  I felt better about the Carolina loss, however, when another Virginia team, Richmond, beat No. 10 Kentucky in Lexington.
  It’s too early to be upset by losses.


BEARDS AND PHONES
  Working at home, I go several days without shaving. The other day, I decided not to shave at all.
  I have never had a beard or a mustache, so I said, “What the heck? I wear  mask in public anyway.”
  This is probably a temporary thing, but I’m going to let it grow to a full beard. It is currently scruffy.
  On Thanksgiving, I put a picture of myself with the several days growth of beard, and my 89-year-old mother commented, “Shave!”
  I knew she’d say that.
  Along with new beard, I upgraded my cell phone. My old one was running out of space, so I got a more modern one with double the storage.
  The phone was supposed to arrive Friday, but the delivery man came while I was in town. I got home to find a note on the door that said the delivery couldn’t  be made,  because I had to sign for it. So, I was expected to get my phone on Monday.
  Saturday afternoon, I was in the front yard wondering if the ground was too wet to put up the reindeer, when I happened to noticed a cardboard box at the door of the two-story part of the house. It was my phone. Apparently, I only have to sign on Friday.
  Like any new phone, there’s a lot of learning. My new iPhone doesn’t have a “home” button and it uses facial recognition, rather than a fingerprint like my old phone.
  I found out at church Sunday, facial is not so hot in these times. When I went to take a picture of the banners Betty Porter had given memory of her husband Ronald, my phone wouldn’t open  because I was wearing my mask.
  Later in the service, when I wanted to follow along with the scripture on my phone’s Bible app, I, again, had to remove my mask.
  The phone allows you to scan two faces in case a phone is shared. I wonder if one of my faces could be masked?!
  And to think I was six years old before rotary, party line phones came to my section of Saluda County. That was also the same year we got our first television. Now, I can watch television on my phone .... if I remove my mask, of course.


ANOTHER
  Saluda County’s sad year of losing prominent citizens continued with the death of Dr. Wyman Shealy.
  Wyman was in his 80s when he retired as a Saluda dentist, serving this community close to 50 years.
  He was a teacher  and coach at Beaufort High School, when he met a young new teacher named Jeanette Matthews. A boy from Newberry fell in love with a girl from Saluda in Beaufort.
  Wyman felt the calling to be a dentist, and after finishing school, his career brought him to Jeanette’s hometown, where her grandfather, T.B. Mathews was a longtime dentist.
  In his spare time, Wyman was a farmer, hunter, fisherman and golfer. With my Aunt Anne Thompson working for him, a big event in our family was the annual supper after the opening day of the dove season.
  The men would hunt, then the birds would be cleaned and fried, and the women would prepare the fixings.
  I hate to admit it, but I don’t like doves. I’ve always called them “liver birds, but I got my fill with Aunt Anne’s grits, milk gravy and biscuits. The best part was the fellowship shared for many years.
  Wyman and Jeanette bore the tragedy of seeing their only child Candi die of cancer when she was in her 40s. Jeanette died a few years ago, and now the family is united.
  Wyman Shealy was loved by the citizens of this community, and he loved us back. He will be greatly missed.
  At my Emory Church we said good-bye to two members last week.
  Laurie Ann Edwards Vaughn grew up in Emory Church, and after her husband Robert retired from the military, they moved back to Saluda. At Emory, Laurie Ann was membership secretary, and was in charge of changing the vestments. Robert recently retired as Sunday School Superintendent. Until Laurie Ann’s cancer diagnosis, they rarely missed a service.
  Frank Swanson was a colorful character, with his cowboys hats, big belt buckles, and tales he could spin. I always enjoyed talking to him.
  Our church will surely miss Laurie Ann and Frank.