Tidbits - September 15, 2022


  Having to write this before football games take place is quite a challenge.
  Last week I wrote about Saluda High’s football team being ranked first in 2A, and how Coach Stewart Young called the distinction “rat poison.”
  Well, for the first half against Ninety Six, that “rat poison” description sounded pretty spot on. The Tigers, who had averaged 38 first half points in their first two games, only led the Wildcats 15-8.
  The mark of a good team is how they adjust at halftime. The Tigers adjusted by outscoring Ninety Six 17-0 in the third quarter to put the game away.
  The “rat poison” was weak.
  After two breathers in the first two games, Saluda needed to be challenged and the Wildcats did just that. The Tigers starters needed to play a full game, as well, after sitting out the second halves in the first two games.
  There is a bond between Ninety Six and Saluda. The schools are only 17 miles apart, and there are some students from Saluda County who go to Ninety Six High.
  My brother Jamie, a Saluda High assistant principal, began his high school teaching and coaching career at Ninety Six.
  The current Wildcat head coach Matthew Owings, is the son of Dr. Andy Owings, Saluda High Class of 1970, and the grandson of Connie Owings of Saluda.
  Wildcat Athletic Director B.J. Wertz is a Saluda High graduate and his son, Austin, is a member of the team.
  On the Wildcat staff are brothers Nick and Corbie Long, Saluda natives and graduates of King Academy.
  There are also food connections. Gayle Crouch Ostrowski, a Saluda native who now lives in Ninety Six, contacted me on Facebook messenger, and recommended we eat at Derick’s Cafe in Ninety Six, so we tried it.
  The first people we saw were the Ritas and Witts from Saluda eating at a table.
  Then we saw Glenn Price who had a grin on his face.
  Glenn was wearing his purple Saluda shirt when he ordered a cheeseburger basket, which includes the burger, fries and slaw.
  Glenn was stunned when the got his order,  a slider-sized burger, about four fries and a spoonful of slaw. They called it “The Saluda Special.”
  You can’t beat high school rivalry ribbing!   
  Randy Rita told the staff at Derick’s he was glad they didn’t know his crew, too, was from Saluda.
  Glenn got his original order a few minutes later, and believe me, you will be hard pressed to eat it all. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger basket. I made it through the two-handed burger, but I left a lot of fries and half my slaw.
  Oh, on the wall at Derick’s is a Saluda girl’s basketball letter sweater. No one working Friday, could remember who donated it,but we’re going to find out.
  The actual Derick sat beside Rickey and Stephanie McCary at the game. He had to close the restaurant early because they ran out of meat!
  The week before Derick’s we ate at the Blue Canoe in Ridge Spring, and it, too, had excellent burgers. Before the Emerald game we will eat at the Dixie Drive-in, so we’ll have great burgers three weeks in a row.
  Of course, at home we have the excellent Booster Bur-gers!
  Last week, I wrote I had to watch the Carolina-Georgia State game because I didn’t have a way to record a streaming game. I did mention that I could turn it off.
  Well, guess what? I turned it off in the first half. I got sick of seeing an offensive  line that still can’t block and stupid penalties.
  I get scoring notifications on my phone, so I knew what was going  on.
  When the Gamecocks got up 28-14, I got a text from my sister Elizabeth saying that I could start watching.
  I told her it was still too close. I never turned it back on, but I have watched the replay, which is a lot better on my nerves.
  During and after the game, Carolina fans were complaining about the offensive line,  just as Clemson fans were complaining about QB DJ. Dabo was not very popular during the game. Oh, I was able to watch Clemson-Georgia Tech with no problems.
  I think it’s great that fans can complain about 35-14 and 41-10 wins.
  Carolina’s offensive line problem is a lot more serious that Clemson’s quarterback situation.
  The Tiger freshman QB Klubnik will eventually take over the starting slot during the season, just as Derrick Watson did. Remember him?
  I don’t think Carolina has an extra five, five star linemen waiting around to step in. They do have a lot of four-star linemen recruited for next season.
  Heralded Gamecock quarterback Spencer Rattler had to run for his life the entire game and the rushing attack was nonexistent.
  I heard former Carolina quarterback Perry Orth on the radio and what he said made sense.
  Orth said Georgia State threw defensive schemes at Carolina teams don’t normally use in the first game of the year. Former Gamecock Coach Sean Elliott was throwing it all  in a big game against his former team.
  I like Sean Elliott. If only hadn’t lost to The Citadel, when he took over after Spurrier quit mid-season, he might have gotten a good look as the permanent head coach.
  We’ll see how good Georgia State is when they host defenseless North Carolina Saturday.
  Carolina goes to Arkansas Saturday, and I expect the Gamecocks to play better. As the old saying goes, “teams make their biggest improvements of the year between their first game and their second.”
  The Gamecocks will have to improve,  because next up after the Razorback is Georgia.
  I thought the Bulldogs could not possibly be as good this year, after having 15 players off the national championship drafted.
  They really, really looked good against Oregon. Was it because the Bulldogs are that great, or was it because the PAC-12 stinks? We’ll see.

  I was so sorry to learn of the sudden passing of my old friend Billie Corley.
  Billie was a year older, but we were on the same little league and pony league teams.
  Funny how things stick out in your memory.  Billie had a black baseball glove that was so well oiled it flapped like a bird’s wing.
  I tried to oil my glove to match Billie’s, but I never could make it flap!.
  Billie’s family came into play in another big event of my life. As a teenager, I bought a television for my bedroom from his dad Burma’s popular weekend auction.
  I paid $25 with my own money, and proudly bought the heavy, metal box TV, stand included, home.
  I was so proud. Daddy ran an antenna wire to the bedroom, and my addiction to television  began then.
  Billie worked for Saluda County for many years, and did an excellent job as Saluda County’s Road and Bridge Superintendent.
  He will be missed.
  Since April, four mothers of my Class of 1969 classmates have died.
  Norma Smith Barfield died April 12, my mother died May 19, Lois Berry died August 26, and Margaret Griffith died September 6.
  Mrs. Norma, Mrs. Margaret and my mother started being grade mothers together when Cynthia, Lynn and I started first grade in Mrs. Annie Mae Riser’s class.
  She and my mother were the same age. In 1948 Saluda High  senior students were given the choice to graduate after 11 years, or come back for the first ever 12th grade the next year.
  Mrs. Margaret, who was the daughter of Saluda County Superintendent of Education E.M. Mitchell, decided to graduate and go off to college. My mother came back.
  Our family has been close to the Griffiths through their four children each near the same age, and the fact Judge Jack and Daddy were related on the Grigsby side of the family.
  Mrs. Margaret was a great lady, with a wonderful personality. I loved being around her.
  Margaret Griffith and Billie Corley will be greatly missed.