Tidbits - October 27, 2022


  Other than the week before, I have to go back to 2019 to find a Saluda High football loss that upset me as much as last week’s loss to Silver Bluff.
  As I wrote in my  October 20 column, I had a feeling the Tigers were going to lose to Strom Thurmond, but the loss to the Bulldogs took me by surprise.
  Even though Saluda led 15-13 going into the fourth quarter, Silver Bluff dominated the game on both sides of the ball. Of course, that domination doesn’t include the three touchdowns the Tigers had called back.
  It’s gotten to the point that before Saluda fans cheer for a touchdown, they browse the field looking for something yellow. The Tigers have had 11 scores called back this season. Counting made PATs, that’s 77 points.
  The players, coaches and fans know had the touchdowns counted, Saluda would still be undefeated and ranked number one, but they did count and the Tigers are 6-2 and ranked number eight, which is not bad.
  The 2019 game I mentioned in the opening paragraph was the 28-24 loss to Batesburg-Leesville in the last regular season game of the year. B&L scored with just 27.7 seconds to go in the game.
  Like Silver Bluff, the Panthers dominated Saluda in the fourth quarter.
  It wasn’t just a loss to an arch-rival, it dropped the Tigers out of the Top Ten, and into third place in the league standings.
  It was devastating, except the loss seemed to wake Saluda up, and despite having to play  Blacksburg, Buford, Southside Christian and Abbeville on the road, the Tigers made it to the championship game and routed Barnwell for the title.
  The loss last Friday to Silver Bluff dropped the Tigers to third in the league, and that’s where they’ll stay  if they win out.
  If I read the brackets correctly, the Tigers will host a first round game if they finish third.
  As a person who has covered Saluda football since 1977, I can tell you there were many years when there was absolutely no talk of play-offs. How about a stretch from 1973 to 1997 with NO play-off appearances? It was brutal.
  Let’s appreciate Coach Stewart Young’s modern Tigers!

  I heard some question on social media what would happen to hurricane evacuations in Florida if everyone drove electric cars.
  Well, in no uncertain terms, it would be a disaster.
  If you evacuate Miami, your batteries are going to die in about 200 miles. If the power is out by then, you’ll have I-95 filled with parked cars, with no way of recharging them. What a mess!
  Flooded electric cars were exploding, with the mixture of lithium batteries and saltwater, .in some areas of Florida,
  Now, Florida is the exception. The state is only 160 miles wide, so no place is over 80 miles from the ocean. That’s why hurricanes do so much damage in the Sunshine State.
  If you own an electric car on the South Carolina coast, you can make it to Columbia, for instance, and hopefully find a place to stay and plug in your car!
  I did see a funny meme of an electric car getting recharged  by a gasoline powered generator. Ain’t that ironic?!

  The awfully sad year continues.
  This week, I lost two cousins and one cousin-in-law.
  My first cousin Judy Shealy Leopard died of cancer. She lived in Pageland and most of her cousins back here did not know she was sick. Her brothers Russell and Eddie made the decision to keep the fact from their 102-year-old mother, Christine. They finally told Aunt Teenie and Judy died the next day, much quicker than her family expected.
  Judy married the Saluda High band director, James Leopard. At the tender age of 11, I was told by my mother I was “obligated” to take band lessons, since James was now a cousin.
  I borrowed a trumpet from Judy’s first cousin on the Crouch side of her family, Sandy, and in one semester of sixth grade, I learned to play “Jingle Bells” for the Christmas concert. It’s only three notes, so I was not a musical genius. I decided band wasn’t for me after Judy and James moved to Pageland, where they continued to live, and I was no longer obligated.
  In 1958 Judy accompanied our family on our vacation to Myrtle Beach State Park, as the babysitter. The park was over run by snakes that year, copperheads. To this day, I can still see Judy holding Jamie’s hand and jerking him out of the way when a snake crossed their path.
  Judy regularly made the long drive from Pageland to visit her mother once or twice a month, and always came by to get her mother’s newspaper. We’d joke with each other, and I always called her JuJu, what I called her when I was a little boy.
  Dana Padgett was only 52 when he died in Swansea. Dana’s grandfather Walter Padgett was my grandmother Eugenia Shealy’s half brother.
  Ironically, Uncle Walt worked for Judy’s dad, when Uncle Julius ran a small grocery store, the current Rescue I building, on the Denny Highway.
  I haven’t seen Dana in years, but was able to keep up with him on Facebook. He had that sly sense of humor of his grandfather, and posted some funny things. You could tell in recent weeks, however, he was not feeling well.
  Caroline Herlong was married to our cousin, the late Ben Herlong. She was a precious lady, a former teacher, who was always smiling. If her paper didn’t come in the mail, she’d call me, and I’d drive to Hazel Street to make a personal delivery.
  Daddy and Ben were close. I’ve told the story of them both getting injured in World War II, getting sent home to an Army hospital in Georgia and coincidently getting put in beds next to each other! Both on crutches, they also went with Uncle Walt to the Saluda-LBC football game, and both got beat up, when the usual LBC-Saluda fight broke out. Uncle Walt was a giant of a man, and was wearing the new hat. Daddy said Uncle Walt got hit so hard, his hat flew into the air and never came down. A classic Shake story....
  I sure will miss seeing Judy, reading Dana’s posts, and delivering Mrs. Caroline’s paper.