Tidbits - October 5 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


THE USUAL

  Well, the annual Larry Gentry Memorial Tournament was held Sunday, and my team did not win.
  We have won twice for being bad golfers, when our high handicaps were deducted from our score, but we are so bad now, we can’t even win that way anymore.
  The tournament slipped up on me, and I found my team of my brother Jamie, my nephew Morgan and me lacking a fourth member due to several different circumstances, including team regular Chris Jones’ recnet back surgery.
  I got Jamie to see if he could round up a fourth at Saluda High, and Principal Sarah Longshore heard this and said her dad was a good golfer and might play.
  At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, we found out David Coleman would play.
  Sarah said her Dad was a good golfer.
  We’ve heard this before. We’ve had pre-described “good” golfers be “off” when they played with us for some reason.
  Well, David WAS an actual good golfer. It was nice to have someone on our team who could actually hit the ball on the green in regulation.
  There were three holes he didn’t reach in regulation, and we bogeyed all three of them. Two of them were par threes. The third was on No. 10, one of the easiest holes on the course.
  None of us hit our drives onto the fairway. It was our next to the last hole. Had we had any mulligans left, we would have used them.
  Unfortunately, we used seven mulligans, count’em, seven, to sink an eight foot birdie put on No. 1. I’ve never seen so many lipouts in a row.
  On No. 10, I hit a drive straight up and yelled “field goal!” David said it had more of the distance of an extra point.
  Had I been inclined to run when I hit the shot, I could have caught the  ball before it hit the ground. That’s  how high up it went.
  We had six birdies to go with our three bogeys. Jamie, Morgan and David all made what I call miracle putts. I made a few putts and a few decent shots,but no miracles.
  We accomplished our goal of not finishing last.
  We really enjoyed paying in the tournament, as usual. Morgan was the second recipient of the Larry Gentry Memorial Scholarship in 1999. Now, he works at Gentry’s!
  David was a great guy. He’s a retired Orangeburg County school district superintendent, and he fit right in with our hilarity.
  I hope we did not jinx his game for the rest of his life!

HOW MUCH???

  I was talking with Wayne Fulmer and Thomas Shealy at church Sunday, and Thomas said, “Did you buy any of that popcorn?”
  He was referring to popcorn sold by Cub Scouts outside Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church Saturday, while Troop 31 was having a steak dinner sale inside.
  As I walked up to get my plates, I saw the popcorn tent, and a Cub Scout said, “You want to buy some popcorn?”
  “I’ll stop by on my way out,” I said.
  “We’ll be waiting,” he said.
  Oh, and he was!
  I found out these were salesmen, who could sell air conditioners to Eskimos, disguised as Cub Scouts.
  I stopped at the tent and inquired about the prices.
  Amanda Addy, the adult in charge, said, “The big bag is $25.”
  “Twenty-five dollars!,” I said astonishingly.
  I didn’t pay that much for popcorn when I went to see “Captain Underpants” at the beach this summer.
  “Well, how much is this bag in front of me?”
  I was told the caramel corn was $10, so I went with that,  because I really like caramel corn, and I didn’t have $25!
  I found out Thomas bought a $15 bag and Wayne bought a $25 tin.
  I talked to Jacob Schumpert Monday morning and found out he too had been popcorned by the Cubs.
  He pointed out an important fact. The bag was full.
  That is true. My bag of popcorn was full to the brim, not like a bag of chips that is 50 percent air.
  So, it was not a bad deal when think about it, especially when you throw in the fact the gourmet popcorn was very good.
  At the bottom corner of the bag is the statement, “Over 73% goes to local scouting.”
  So, the steaks and the popcorn were not only delicious, but well worth the price!
  And if those little salesmen disguised as Cub Scouts were as successful with the rest of the steak buyers as they were with the four of us mentioned, they did real well.

THE WORST

  As my “not watch the Carolina game” movie Saturday, I chose “Plan 9 From Outer Space,”  universally panned as the worst movie ever made.
  This was made by  Ed Wood in the 50’s, and was the last movie of legendary  Bela Lugosi, and I do mean last. Bela, known for his portrayal of Dracula, died while the movie was in production.
  So, Ed just used an actor who covered his face with a cape to finish the movie.
  There was terrible acting in the movie, right up there with Zach Lavine in the Sonic commercial... “You live here with the sandwiches?’
  But, there were also some outstanding character actors in the movie who appeared in hundred of movies.
  Yes, the flying saucers looked like hub caps, but the worst technical glitch came when Bela, as a member of the walking dead, while he was still actually alive, chased a woman out of her house. Bela walked out of her house in the daylight, while the woman he was chasing ran through the graveyard in the darkness of night.
  Looks like the director would have noticed such things, but I guess with Bela actually dead, he couldn’t reshoot the scene!
  The movie only lasted an hour and 15 minutes, so I had to watch a few more things before the Carolina game was over.
 I fell asleep, and when I found out the Gamecocks had lost, I rewound my tape and didn’t watch a down of the Texas A&M game. Why watch a team lose?
  I know Gamecock fans are complaining the team lost another game they could have won, but you can’t be too disappointed this young team came close to beating a much more talented team in A&M. Kentucky wasn’t more talented, however.
  Saluda’s game against winless Eau Claire was a little scary at first. The first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie. Last year, Saluda led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.
  The Tigers came to life in the second quarter and coasted to the win.
  Eliminate the band and the cheerleaders, then Eau Claire had about 20 fans in stands. A third of those were actually Gray Collegiate coaches. The Tigers play Gray next week.
  I guess, being from Saluda, I can’t image parents and other family members not supporting their relatives on the field. Saluda players are blessed by the support they receive, home and way, from the fans.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

  I always fall asleep with my TVs on.
  One is always on ID, or some other cable channel, and the other is on a network station.
  When I awakened Monday and morning and saw the banner at the bottom of the screen “20 dead in Las Vegas shooting,” I didn’t know if I was watching fact or fiction.
  I wish it had been fiction.
  Many of the mass shootings in the past were done by people with mental problems, people claiming religious affiliation, or people spewing hatred. Many of those people were already on some kind of radar.
  But the guy in Vegas was a retired accountant, with no history of violence.
  Better policies and regulations may have stopped some of these shootings, but how can you predict what a retired accountant is going to do?
  I’m sure a motive will be revealed soon.
  Just when you think you’ve seen it all -  a federal building being blown up with fertilizer, shootings in schools, nightclubs, and churches, someone goes 32-floors up in a Las Vegas hotel and opens fire on outdoor concert goers below.
  That action was not a coincidence. It took some planning.
  Many of us have been to Las Vegas, and Saluda people go there all the time.
  When I heard about the shooting, I wondered if anyone from Saluda was in the city. Monday afternoon I found out Jana Tuttle was just outside the entrance to the concert when the shooting began. Thank God, she was not hurt.
  This action is going to change staying in hotels, just as prior actions changed airline travel.
  Your luggage will be checked, more personnel will be hired to guard stairwells and other entrances.
  Liberties for all are lost because of the actions of a few.
  I join you all in praying for the families of the victims, for all those injured, for all the emergency workers, and for the City of Las Vegas, who joined other great vacation destinations like Orlando and Charleston who endured violent, senseless tragedies.
  Yes, the government can outlaw ownership of assault weapons, but that will stop criminals from getting the weapons about like prohibition stopped the consumption of alcohol.
  Those who want to commit acts of hate will find a way to get what they want.
  God bless us all.