Tidbits -March 14 2019



  I saw a display of battery operated, magnetized lamps that look like light switches at a local store the other day.
  The lights come in packs of two. I bought a set a year or so ago. One light is out in my shop. Where is the other one?
  I bought a two pack of ink pens a few weeks ago. One pen is in my shirt pocket. What did I do with the other one?
  I often fall for the two for the price of one trick.
  I’ll put one of the deodorants, for example, in the proper place, then put the other in “storage.”
  When I run out of deodorant, I’ll by another at a store. When I get home, I spot the stored one I bought earlier, and call myself “stupid.”
  The I’ll run out of deodorant, and buy a replacement in town. When I get home......
  I probably have deodorant that his been in my “storage” place since the Obama administration.
  It’s not just two for one deals that get me.
  When the mayonnaise is running low, I always buy a replacement jar in advance. You just can’t run out of mayonnaise when you have the perfect tomato for a sandwich.
  The last time I did this, I opened the kitchen cabinet to put the new jar of mayonnaise and guess what I saw? Yep. A full jar of mayonnaise.
  By the way, when I went to iron a shirt the other day, I saw my second light switch. It was in the same place it had been since I bought it, and had probably looked at it every time I ironed clothes. Talk about invisible!


  I was among the many in Saluda County forced to make some banking decisions when SunTrust announced it was leaving town.
  In my lifetime I have only used two banks for my personal account. Oh, there were 30 different names, probably, but only two banks.
  Years ago, when Bank of America left Saluda, there was no technology, so I simply took my eight dollars out of my account at Bank America, and opened an account at SunTrust. Was it SunTrust then? I don’t remember.
  Technolgy came about and soon I joined the masses doing online banking on my computer and my phone. All was right with the world.
  Then SunTrust let us know they were leaving.
  It’s times like these you appreciate how much you use technology.
  I also had to choose another bank.
  I like all our remaning banks in town, so I decided to visit them one by one.
  But, it was so easy to open an account at the first bank I visited, I decided to go with them.
  I had a new bank account in less than an hour.
  I wish that was all I needed to do.
  The first thing I did was change my Social Security direct deposit.
  All my insurances I pay by draft had to be switched.
  All the bills I pay online had to be changed to the new account.
  Then, I thought about Amazon.
  Then I thought about Paypal.
  I didn’t think about AAA, Norton, AARP, etc.
  I said “etc.” because I can’t remember who else drafts funds from my account.
  So, I decided to follow the Social Security’s advise in a mailing that said not to close your old account out until you are sure your check has been deposited in your new account.
  I am keeping some money in my old account to avoid future surprises.
  I’m too old to have to keep making changes.


  Billy Coleman died last week at the age of 103.
  To say he was one of a kind would be an understatement.
  He practiced law in Saluda until he was 92. When he graduated from the USC law school, he was the youngest graduate ever at 22. He began college when he was 16.
  You could never be in Mr. Billy’s presence without getting treated to a story.
  One of my favorites was when he and his college roommate took the train to Auburn for the Auburn-Carolina football game in 1933. They had $8.00 between them, so they decided to gamble with some other passengers to raise extra money, and lost $5.00!
  They still successfully made the trip on $3.00! Mr. Billy often said that was the first and only time Carolina beat Auburn.
  The very first case he ever tried was over ownership of a cow in Lexington County.  He lost the case  even though he brought the cow to trial. 
  He said he knew cows, and the law, but he didn’t know the jury.
  Mr. Billy at 25 was the youngest person ever elected to the S.C. Senate. He resigned a couple of years later to got to war.
  He joined the Navy even though he didn’t know how to swim, and became a pilot of a landing craft that transported soldiers from the ship to the shore.
  On one of his assignments he delivered a unknown general to shore in Italy.
  “Nobody had ever heard of him, but he later slapped a soldier, then everyone knew who he was,” Mr. Billy told me.
  That unknown general was George Patton!
  His toughest assignment was piloting his landing craft on D-Day at Utah beach. He lost many friends that day. One German shell flew over his head and hit the ship behind him.
  Mr. Billy returned from the war and became a Saluda County institution, practicing in what was then the Griffith and Coleman law office, located upstairs in what is now the  future home of Radius Church.
  How many times a day did Mr. Billy climb those stairs during his years practice?
  Many will recall Mr. Billy smoked filterless Camels, a lot of them.
  Late in life, he had an appointment with a heart doctor, and after looking at the X-rays the doctor said, “Looking at your lungs, I can tell you’ve never smoked.”
  “Only about two packs a day,” Mr. Billy said. Those stairs cleared his lungs!
  I had the pleasure of sitting between Mr. Billy and Judge Julius Baggett in the end zone at Death Valley for the 1980 Carolina-Clemson game.
  That was the year George Rogers would win the Heisman Trophy, and Carolina entered the game highly ranked with an 8-2 record.
  That was also the year Willie Harper intercepted two Gary Harper passes and returned them for scores. Clemson won 27-6.
  Wearing Gamecock colors in a sea of orange was not pleasant. To say we got taunted when we left the stadium would be an understatement.
  I was only 29,  Mr. Billy was 65 and Judge Baggett was in his late 50’s, probably, and the three of us made a vow that we would never, ever attend another Carolina-Clemson game at Death Valley. All three of us kept the promise.
  His wife, Lula, was my French teacher in high school. His four daughters have been good friends of mine.
  I was so sad when Mr. Billy’s daughter Nancy Ann lost her battle with cancer just a few months ago. Now, they are together.
  When a portrait of Mr. Billy was unveiled at the Courthouse ten years ago, he ended his comments  by telling of a story  Nancy Ann wrote for South Carolina Wildlife Magazine.
  “She told how some names in this state, like Frog Level, Cowpens and Hell Hole Swamp, were derived, and she ended her story by saying, ‘but the greatest place in South Carolina is a town call Saluda, because that is where I’m from.”
  I don’t recall the flags at the State House being flown at half staff for anyone from Saluda County, but in the last six weeks it has happened twice, for Mr. Billy and for Rudolph Mitchell.
  These Saluda County legends were cousins.
  We can never replace those two.


  I was also saddened at the passing of Lemar Cockrell last week.
  Like Mr. Billy, he was a veteran of World War II.
  Like Mr. Billy, he was involved with the law. His job was enforcement, retiring after many years as a member of the S.C. Highway Patrol.
  He and his wife Sybil were a perfect match.
  He would bring her to the Sentinel office and rarely did she visit without bringing us something great to eat. She even dug me up a tree once.
  Like Sybil, Lemar enjoyed making you laugh.
 He will be greatly missed.


  I always liked Betty Hopkins.
  For many years she was the bookkeeper at Saluda Appliance and TV, or as oldtimers called it, Baxters’.
  She was always pleasant, and I saw her a lot, since I bought all my TVs, VCRs and appliance there.
  She was also married to the late Saluda legend, George Hopkins.
  Tennie Ruth Lott was a community leader, but she was also an artist.
  She weaved things out of pine needles.
  I am fortunate to own a container she made out of a gourd and pine straw.
  I hope she passed down her talent to others.
  We will miss Betty and Tennie Ruth.