Tidbits - January 11, 2018



  I’ve had about as much fun in this cold snap as I can stand.
  As I have documented millions of times, I hate cold weather, but this latest round has gone too far.
  I don’t recall our pond being frozen for this long in my adult life. I don’t recall ever seeing creeks and the Little Saluda River frozen, but they have been in the last few days.
  I sympathize with all of you who have to work outside in this.
  Alex Berry is young, but he wrote on Facebook the other day he didn’t think he’d ever live to see the day when he’d have to take a sledge hammer and break the ice in the pond so the cows would have something to drink.
  Those who do not farm, don’t think about things like that.
  Of course, I grew up on a diary farm and cows have to be milked every day regardless of the weather.
  I think my dislike of cold weather directly correlates with having to milk cows on cold winter mornings.
  I joined quite a few dairy workers across S.C. in milking in what was then the coldest morning in state history for that date - minus four degrees.
  I’ve detailed this ordeal several times over the last 40 years. It was a miserable couple of hours.
  We knew the pipes were going to freeze, when we saw the forecast the day before, so we saved water to wash the cows before we put the milkers on them.
  Normally, we’d use warm water, but that was not possible this day. We wore rubber gloves, when we dipped the rag into the cold water.
  If cows have to go to the bathroom, they go. Everything that left their bodies froze. Cows coming into the parlor would slip and slide on what their friends left behind.
  Of course, we could not wash it off. I’d never seen anything like it, nor would I ever see anything like to again.
  I was never so glad to get to my warm house as I was that day. I think the first thing I did was soak in a hot tub of water.
  That morning, Daddy got the blow torch out to try to thaw the pipes at the pump near the barn.
  Jamie sent out some of his remembrances of cold weather Monday.
  He said Daddy came in from milking one cold winter morning, and opened the refrigerator and stuck his head inside.
  Mother asked him, “What are you doing?”
  “I’m trying to warm up,” he said.
  That might have been that time with the pond froze very thick.
  When we were kids, the ice was so thick that we could “skate” on the pond. This was done while Daddy was watching.
  We were told, however, NOT to go out on the pond when no adult was around.
  Jamie recalled when we went out on the pond anyway that I pushed him down.
  I don’t remember pushing him, but I do remember him falling and introducing his nose to the ice.
  He came up with a bleeding nose. Well, I panicked.
  I grabbed a piece of ice and told Jamie to put it under his nose to stop the bleeding.
  This big brother was not concerned that little Jamie may have broken his nose, but that we would get a beating if Jamie went into the house with a bleeding nose and we were found out for disobeying orders.
  Let me explain that we were walking on the end of the pond that was about a foot deep. I was smart enough not to walk where the water was deep.
  Jamie also remembered spending the night at our grandmother Eugenia Shealy’s house during the winter.
  I guess like many houses of that time, there was heat in only two rooms, the den with an oil heater, and the kitchen with a wood cooking stove.
  That meant no heat in the living room, dining room, bathroom, and bedrooms.
  My grandmother would heat a towel on the stove in the den, then put it under the covers at our feet. She’d then tucked us in under so many quilts that we could not move.
  When you woke up the next morning, you made a beeline to the stove in the den.
  We missed out on the snow last week. The pictures of the snow on the coast reminded me of our trip to New York City in 1996, the week following the “Blizzard of the Century.”
  It was the week of the Martin Luther King holiday,  so it was about this time.
  The city was covered with snow. Central Park looked like a Currier & Ives print.
  It was beautiful and so cold, but when I put a photo of my nephew Morgan Jones standing in the snow at Times Square, Morgan said it was colder in Saluda now than when we took that picture in NYC. He was right!
  I’ve heard stories during the week of hunters seeing ducks and geese landing on frozen ponds. Other animals, like dogs and cats, ventured out onto the ice.
  It’s depends on where you’re from, I guess.
  We had a mailman come by last week and he was not wearing a coat.
  “Where are you from?” I asked.
  “Originally from Maine,” he said. “This isn’t cold to me.”
  Then again, we had a FedEx driver come by Monday.
  “I’m a Northerner, and I hate cold weather,” he said.
  I’ll  be so glad to see 70 again!


  I’m sure I want make it to the end of the National Championship game, but Georgia is looking good so far (Monday 9:47 p.m.).
  Last week, I didn’t make it to the second half of the Clemson-Alabama game, but when I woke up in the middle of the night, the game was being replayed, so I saw how Alabama pulled away.
  The Georgia-Oklahoma game earlier that day was one of the best games I’ve ever seen.
  Of course, the Georgia-Alabama game is moot anyway, since Central Florida has already declared itself the national champion.
  The reason is simple. CFU finished 13-0 and beat Auburn in the bowl game, and Auburn beat both national finalists, Alabama and Georgia.
  Makes perfect sense, right?
  Central Florida is not taking into consideration the bowl game meant absolutely nothing to Auburn, and the War Eagles still only lost by a touchdown.
  Everyone who knows anything about football knows if CFU played in the SEC or ACC they would be a 9-3 team at best. That’s still pretty good.
  I remember in one of those 11-2 seasons, Carolina had to come from behind to beat Central Florida in Orlando. That was when Blake Bortles was quarterback.
  Using the CFU reasoning, I hereby declare the University of South Carolina men’s basketball team the 2006 National Champions. The Gamecocks won the NIT that year, but they also beat National Champion Florida twice during the regular season, so the Gamecock should get the trophy.
  I was happy Bryan McClendon was named the Carolina offensive coordinator, mainly because I had my picture taken with him at the Saluda County Gamecock meeting a couple of years ago. Haha! Just kidding.
  McClendon is the type of coach you don’t want to lose. Those great running backs Georgia used against Bama Monday, McClendon recruited.
  He’s a coach every school wants. Carolina gets to keep him.
  With the former Ole Miss OC hired to coach the quarterbacks, and Bobby Bentley coaching the running backs, the Gamecocks now have some great offensive minds. Let’s hope it translates into points.
  Saluda High held its football awards banquet Sunday.
  The Tigers seniors won 36 games during their four-year career. That is second only to 1960-63 that won 40. It should be mentioned the Tigers only won two games their freshmen year. The other three years the Tigers won 34.
  Coach Stewart Young recalled the offensive inexperience the 2017 Tigers had going into season, and they still won 12 games and played for their third straight upper state championship.
  Next year, the Tigers return 97 percent of their rushing yards, 100 percent of their passing yards, and 75 percent of their receiving yards. Plus, they get Kendarius Graham, who was the leading returning rusher from 2016 coming into the season, back. Kendarius injured his knee in the second game, and missed the rest of the year.
  Everybody is already looking forward to next. Coach Young said the Tigers will once again be going for the championship!
  Miracle of all miracles, I made it all the way to the end of the National Championship game, and I’m glad I did.
  What a great game, and what a story! A little used freshman quarterback from Hawaii comes in at the start of the second half, with Alabama down 13-0, and leads the Tide to an overtime victory.
  We saw a star being born and another star, Jalen Hurts, probably getting moved to another position next year. He’s not going to play quarterback in the pros anyway.
  The happiest man on earth today is the Alabama placekicker. When he missed the game winning field goal at the end of regulation, I put on Facebook, “Bullet dodged ... goat for life.”
  Had the Tide not won, that young man would have been the scum of the earth in Alabama for the rest of his life.