Tidbits - March 2, 2017



  When did it happen?
  I used to be a person who could stay up until 1:00 a.m. every day, and still get a good night’s sleep.
  This started in my youth when I was allowed to stay up late on Friday and Saturday night. My first guilty pleasure was watching Jack Parr when he hosted “The Tonight Show.”
  I watched  Johnny Carson through all his years on “Tonight.” Originally, it stayed on for an hour and a half every night. I never missed watching when I was in college. Even after I started working for a living I still watched, despite having to commute to Columbia to work for three years.
  It didn’t bother me to stay up late.
  When Johnny cut his show’s length to one hour, I did not complain, but I’d toss and turn for those extra 30 minutes I used to watch the program.
  I guess bedtime gets earlier the older you get. 
  A few years ago,   I could make it through the 10  p.m. programs and the news, and catch the first part of Jay Leno.
  Now, I have hit the wall.
  If a program comes on at 10 p.m., forget it. I’ve had to abandon programs like NCIS New Orleans and The Blacklist, because the networks had the nerve to move them from 9 p.m. till 10.
  It got discouraging to never see the end the programs. After all, the end is the end.
  Instead of watching the main networks, I watch something on the satellite, because even if I fall asleep, these programs get replayed over and over and over. I’m bound to find the end, one day.
  The worst thing about this falling asleep between 10 and 11, is I awaken around 6 a.m. every single morning of my life, Saturday, Sunday, vacation, holidays, doesn’t matter. And, there is no going back to sleep.
  Sadly, I no longer nap like I used to either. Back in the good old days, I regularly took two hour naps on my days off. Today, I’m lucky to nap 20 minutes. That really makes me mad.


  Another pitfall of falling asleep so early, is I awaken during the night.
  Since I fall asleep watching TV, the television is on when I wake up and I often watch the program that is on at the time until its end, and I still wake up at 6 a.m.
  I know you can set your TVs to cut themselves off, but that is too much trouble. I’ve got enough things to program.
  In the old days, television stations would actually go off the air shortly after midnight. Nothing was on the screen but a test pattern. Young people have no idea what that is.
  When TVs first came out, people were so fascinated they’d go to a friend’s house just to watch the test pattern!
  I think I’ve written before my Uncle Ed and Aunt Dot were the first people in our community to get a television, but the only station that was broadcasting at the time was Channel 3 in Charlotte.
  They didn’t get to see a lot of clear TV until the stations in Columbia and Augusta opened.


  The Oscars were on Sunday night, but I didn’t  listen.
  I watched on the second TV in my bedroom with the volume muted. I saw who won, but I didn’t have to listen to what they said, which is a blessing. As I’ve said many times, I can’t stand seeing awards shows turn into political gabfests.
  Another reason I didn’t listen is I am a “Walking Dead” fan and it came on at nine, and is followed by “Talking Dead.” I fell asleep watching both of those programs.
  Since the Oscars went on past midnight, I woke up a few times to see some winners, but I missed the best picture award.
  Before I turned out the lights I checked my phone and saw the notification “La La Land wins best picture Oscar.” No surprise.
  Then just above that I saw, “Moonlight wins best picture Oscar.”
  What? Was I dreaming?
  I scrolled up and saw, “Moonlight wins after La La Land mistakenly announced as winner.”
  How could that happen?
  I fell asleep without knowing. Later I woke up to see on my soundless TV, “Bonnie and Clyde,” Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, announcing the best picture winner.
  I was afraid those two legends had messed up, which would have been sad.
  As we all know by now, it was not Faye and Warren’s fault. They were handed the wrong envelope.
  Sunday morning, I saw a little trivia item that said the envelopes that contain the winners’ names are made by hand and cost $200 each! For that price, they should get the winners right!


  Earl Berry shared this one with me:
  The new preacher tended to be long winded.
  On his third Sunday at the church, the preacher looked up and saw one of the parishioners get up out of the pew and start walking toward the door at 12:15 p.m.
  “Where are you going, Brother Jones?’ the preacher asked.
  “I’m going to get a haircut,” Brother Jones said.
  “You should have done that before you came the church,” the preacher said.
    “I didn’t need a haircut when I came to church,” Brother Jones said.


   In the last month, the Standard-Sentinel has lost three of our Tuesday afternoon regulars, people who are the first to buy papers when I get back from Lexington.
  It started with George Nichols.
  Then the week before last,, we lost Frances Cromer.
  As I mentioned in my column last week, I got to know B.J. Wertz and Talton Rinehart through our association with youth baseball.
  The same holds true for Frances. Her late husband Junior coached their nephew Tony Berry’s team, and we developed a friendly, laugh filled rivalry. The friendship extended long past baseball.
  Frances always made me smile.
  Until she got sick, she’d park her Chrysler 300, the same Cool Vanilla color as mine, behind the old Sentinel office to buy ten papers that she would distribute to her friends. We’d have a conversation every week.
  Deanna Hopkins as the third of our Tuesday group to leave us.
  She followed the tradition of her late husband, Bo, who would get his paper on Tuesday.
  Bo, a Saluda legend, kept us entertained with his stories, and he had thousands of them.
  After Bo died, Deanna would drive her well known, gold Ranger to the Sentinel office to get her newspaper.
  Like Bo, she had a good sense of humor.
  I’m thankful for the Tuesday people who have brightened my life and made me smile.