Tidbits - March 4, 2021

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

TIRED  
  It’s been awhile since I’ve had one of my patented misadventures. I really had a “good” one this time.
  I had a flat tire on my car about a month  ago. Fortunately, I noticed the flat immediately when I turned onto the highway, and I was able to drive the car back home. The tire, however, was torn up.
  You’ll recall how cold and wet it was last month, so I didn’t  have a chance to change the tire.
  Last weekend I decided to change it, but the lug nuts wouldn’t budge. I mean I stood on the lug wrench, but my 200 lbs. had no affect.
  I got Jamie to bring his compressor and pneumatic wrench over Sunday afternoon, and we got the tire off and put on the little spare.
  Since I haven’t driven the car in a few weeks, I decided to drive it to the church and  back. As I turned around in the parking lot, and headed home, I heard that all too familiar “my tire is flat” sound. The spare we had just put on was flat as a flitter.. I pulled into the road at the back of our cemetery.
  Heed my warning, car owners. That tire has been sitting in the trunk for 15-years, which is plenty of time for 60 psi to leak out. Check your spare.
  I called Jamie, and he hauled his compressor from his house, but the spare had broken away from the rim, and we couldn’t pump it up. Jamie had tightened the lug nuts too tight, and we couldn’t remove them manually, and he did not bring his pneumatic wrench. So, I left the car parked overnight.
  So, I got a new tire Monday morning, and that afternoon Jamie loaded his compressor with the wrench, and we took off the flat spare, and put on the new tire.
  The spare was still broken away from the rim, but I told Jamie “to heck with it, I’ll play with it later.”
  The next day I was carrying the spare the pretty long distance from the car to the shop, it got heavy, I dropped it, and the bouncing reattached the tire to the rim.
  I  remember years ago, when I was in Lexington to pick up the papers, and saw a car parked on the side of the road with a flat spare.
  I put on social media, “There is no sadder sight that a car parked on the side of the road with a flat donut.”
  Little did I know then, I would one day find out how sad it really was.


1953
  The Year 1953 was an eventful year for my family.
  My aunt, Kay Killingsworth Parris, was a senior at Saluda High School and was captain of the girls’  basketball team. The team was the  best in the school’s history. Of course the history would have probably been more illustrious if the school had a gym  before 1951.
  Yes, the Cracker Box had only been in existence two years when the 1953 Lady Tigers made it all the way to the state championship game. I hadn’t turned two, so I don’t know if I was there. I know Saluda lost to Marion, but I have no recollection.
  Kay graduated from Saluda High, and enrolled in Winthrop in the fall, where she majored in physical education.
  In October, my grandfather, Ralph Killingsworth, died suddenly. He was only 50. In December, my brother Jamie was born.
  Today, Jamie is an assistant principal at Saluda High School. All his life, he has never seen a Saluda High girls basketball play for the state championship, but that is going to end on March 4.
  Saluda has had some excellent girls’ teams through the years, but Jeanette Ergle Wilder is the first coach to take the Tigers to the championship game. It’s more special, because she is an alumni.
  My Aunt Kay became a girls basketball coach, and ten years after playing in the state championship game for Saluda, she coached Fairforest High School in Spartanburg to the state title game. Like in 1953, her team lost, but she made it to the ultimate game. She would go on to become the first girls’ basketball coach at Dorman High School.
  I wonder if Jeanette and Kay are the only SHS alumni to coach teams to the state championship game?
  The 2021 Tigers are representing all the teams in the past, good and bad, and all the former players will be cheering hard.
  The school has girls’ championship blood, but it doesn’t run purple, it runs green. Saluda High has many descendents of the players on the seven Hollywood High girls team that won state titles. SHS student Hunter Hopkins is the grandson of Hollywood’s Hall of Fame Coach Mac Quattlebaum.
  By the time some of you get this paper, the game will already be over, and we all will proud of the Lady Tigers, win or lose.
  I’ve been covering Saluda High sports since I was in high school. I written about an 0-11 football team, a 1-19 boys basketball team, and a 2-18 girls basketball team.
  I never thought I’d see the day when I’d video not one, but two, Upperstate Champion teams get police escorts down Main Street, but I’ve done it.
  In less than two years, I videoed the Tiger football team after their win over Abbeville, and filmed the girls team after their win over Blacksburg.
  What a thrill those were! It made 50 years coverage of Saluda High sports well worth it.

THOUGHT PROVOKING
    I saw a very thought provoking meme the other day.
  It read, “At some point in your childhood, you and your friends went outside to play together for the last time and nobody knew it.”
  Wow, think about it.


SENTIMENTAL
  I put this on Facebook Sunday, February 28:
  “It’s been a sentimental morning. When Carolyn Merchant played “We Shall Not Be Moved” for the prelude in church this morning, I could hear my Daddy Shake singing bass. Today would have been his 95th birthday. Then, our Pastor Ken Freeman later sang “In the Garden,” my grandmother Elizabeth “Dibbie” Killingsworth’s favorite hymn. Her daughter and my mother’s late sister Kay was the captain of the last Saluda High girls basketball team to play for the state championship in 1953. “In the Garden” was also the song Bela Herlong asked me to sing at the funeral of both her mother and father. When I got home from church, I saw Dr. Wendell Estep preaching on the First Baptist telecast, and immediately thought it must be a rerun, since Dr. Estep retired over year ago. It wasn’t a repeat. He got the congregation so fired up toward the end of his sermon they broke out in applause. Dr. Estep is one of my favorite preachers, and it was good to hear him again. Yes, it was a sentimental morning...