Tidbits - April 27, 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



OUTRAGEOUS

  I’ve had a lot of fun posting on Facebook the last two Tuesdays pictures of outrageous sports coats and suits I’ve seen at Belk’s and Kohl’s in Columbia, while I was wasting time as the paper was getting printed.
  Monday, Lisa Frady-Davis shared to my Facebook page the picture of 10 boys from St. Joseph’s Academy in Madison, Wisconsin, each wearing a different one of Kohl’s colorful suits to their prom.
  Ah, to be young again!
  Of course, as I’ve mentioned many times before, when I was a teenager at prom time, boys had a choice of any color dinner jacket we wanted from Henry’s Cleaners, as long as they were white or blue.
  I think I got white my junior year, and splurged for blue when I was a senior.
  The proms used to belong to the girls when it came to fashion, but the boys have now caught up.
  Judging from the Kohl’s offerings, the boys may be clashing!

ACTING

  As an amateur actor, I appreciate outstanding performances by professionals.
  Rarely have I ever been blown way by acting in movies, television on plays, but I will tell you the performances by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lang in “Bette and Joan” are among the best I’ve ever seen.
  I enjoy old Hollywood and have heard about the feud between legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford all my life. I decided to watch the recent series on FX.
  Sarandon and Lang are part of Hollywood that gets involved in politics. I don’t care for actors trying to influence politics. Despite what you think of their politics, however, their performances are remarkable.
  Ironically, both will probably be nominated for Emmys, but only one can win, and one of them should.
  This mirrors the feud between Davis and Crawford, when Davis was nominated for an Oscar for “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” and castmate Crawford wasn’t.
  To get even, Crawford volunteered to accept the Oscar for Ann Bancroft should she won.
  Bancroft upset Davis and Crawford got the last laugh.
  When Crawford died, Davis was asked if she had any comments.
  “My mother said you should never say anything about anyone unless it is good,” Davis said. “Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”

  BOBBY ABNEY

  I  was saddened to learn of the passing to Bobby Abney.
  I often saw Bobby walking around town, and enjoyed talking to him when we’d run into each other.
  Young people may know that Bobby as a fine athlete when he was at Saluda High School.
  He was a good football player, and a member of the 1977 state championship basketball team.
  He will be missed.

  SANDRA KAYE

  Sandra Kaye Beam Fulmer
  Practically everyone in my family called her “Sandra.” Her husband, Wayne, however, called her “Kaye,” and there were many who called her “Sandra Kaye.”
  It reminded me of that comedian from the 70s or 80s .... “Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. Now, you can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me R.J., or you can call me R.J.J, but you doesn’t have to call me Johnson.”
  At her funeral Sunday, our former pastor Jerry Pickens recalled when he first got to Emory, some people would tell him all the things Sandra did for the church.. Then others told him what Sandra Kaye did. He said he thought they were talking about two different people!
  There are many stories about what Sandra Kaye did for other people. Many remembered how she would pat their hand to comfort them when they were sitting in the dentist chair at Dr. Wyman Shealy’s office.
  Sandra, my aunt Anne Thompson and Wyman formed the “Three Musketeers.” The worked together for 30-years and they truly loved each other.
  Dr. Shealy’s annual big dove hunt would culminate with a meal of doves, grits, milk gravy and biscuits at Aunt Anne and Uncle John’s house. Wayne and Sandra were there, as were most of the neighborhood Shealy clan.
  Sandra would go with Wyman’s wife Jeanette and Jeanette’s sisters, Verda Potts and Amelia Herlong, to Spoletto in Charleston, where they would get rooms at a bed and breakfast and take in all the culture.
  If you think Saluda is solely a  little redneck town, I’ll have you know there was a group of ladies around here who had tea parties, and I’m not talking bout iced tea in tumblers.
  This tea was served hot in china cups and saucers Queen Elizabeth would approve. Sandra Kaye even had a tiny suitcase to carry her kettle, cups and saucers.
  She was on our two Saluda to New York City trips and her highlights included having “high tea” at The Plaza Hotel and the Russian Tea Room.
  Our trip in 1996 included tickets to four Broadway shows, which were within walking distance of our hotel, the St. Moritz. Our other tickets were to an off-Broadway production of “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” in Greenwich Village.
  Sandra came up with the idea to hire a limousine through the hotel to transport us to and from the play in the Village. We all chipped in.
  “Tony and Tina’s” was so much fun. It was an interactive play that began in an actual church for the wedding and concluded across the road for the reception. We were served baked ziti and salad, and the actors stayed in character while the playgoers were invited to dance. The actors then got into arguments and other dramas as the members of the wedding party.
  When the play was over, we walked out of the building expecting to see our waiting limousine. It was not there.
  We waited and waited. This was in the days when cell phones were new on the scene and few people had them. Sandra Kaye got on a pay phone and called the hotel and she was told there had been a mix up and the limousine was not available to pick us up.
  Was she fuming?!!!
  Oh, I forgot to tell you. This trip took place a week after New York City was hit by the “Blizzard of the Century,” and the  city was still covered with snow. And, it was really cold.
  We were on our own. Some walked down the street to take in a show.
  The ones in my group learned how to flag down a taxi, and we took an expensive ride back to our hotel at Central Park.
  The next day the vaunted St. Moritz Hotel found out you don’t mess around with high tea drinking Sandra Kaye Fulmer. We got ALL our money back and a sincere apology.
  Sandra was so generous. I saw people at the funeral wearing pins Sandra had given them.
  She got it honest. Her mother Mae was that way, too.
  When my sister Elizabeth was in high school she dated Mae’s son Tim Kerby, and accompanied Tim’s family on a trip out west.
  When they got back Mae gave me a decanter in the shape of Mark Twain she had bought at the McCormick distillery. She bought Jamie one too, and gave something else to our sister Dibbie.
  I was so in shock. She didn’t have to buy us anything, much less a collector item I still treasure.
  Not long after Mae died, Sandra and Wayne drove in my yard and gave me a box of decanters Mae had collected through the years.
  Sandra said she knew I would enjoy them.
  That’s how she and Wayne are.
  They love giving to others, and expect nothing in return.
  They devoted so much to our church, Emory.
  It was Sandra Kaye who helped start our UMW’s “Spring Fling,” a tea party, believe it or not, with Christian overtones, that has become one of church’s most popular events.
  She will not be there this year in person, but she will be there on spirit. The ladies will dress in their finery, just as she always did.
  You rarely saw Sandra when she was not “dressed up.”
  She planned her own funeral, giving explicit instructions that the pastors were to wear robes, read the scriptures she had picked out, and to keep the service short.
  Jerry said he and our current pastor Paul Cheezem knew they had better follow instructions!
  Sandra, Kay and Sandra Kaye touched so many lives.
  I am so glad she was a part of my life and I will surely miss her.
  She taught me about graciousness and class, generosity and laughter, kindness and devotion.
  I hope I have learned.