Tidbits -April 19 2019

TIDBITS bt RALPH SHEALY


JUST ONCE

  My cousin Kevin Parris of Spartanburg dropped by late Monday afternoon.
  He had fulfilled a lifelong dream of seeing the Augusta National golf course.
  Any golfer would like to see the home of The Masters, and while Kevin is a golfer, he also has a PhD in Horticulture and knew in advance one of the world’s most famous golf course was built on the site of a plant and tree nursery.
  We see azaleas. Kevin knows their “real” name.
  Kevin got to attend the practice round after admitting to his horticulture class at Spartanburg Community College last year that he had never been to The Masters.
  Recently, one of the students who as in that class last year came up to him on campus and said, “Do you still want to see Augusta National?”
  The student is from Martinez and his father, a doctor, volunteers at the course all week, and he arranged for Kevin to attend the practice round Monday.
  When he visited Monday, I didn’t first ask him about golf, I asked him if he tried the pimento cheese sandwiches.
  He said he did, and his wife Melissa told him he better not return to Spartanburg without bringing her some pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches. He brought a cooler to accomplish the task.
  “The barbecues are good, too,” I said.
  “I had one of those, too,” said Kevin.
  If you’ve never been, you’d be astonished at the price of these famous sandwiches, $1.50! The Masters is too classy to gouge customers!
  I haven’t been to The Masters since 1982, but I believe the sandwiches were the same price back then.
  The Masters is probably the only PGA tournament where you CAN NOT take your cell phones on the course, and that include practice rounds. Kevin could take a regular camera in on Monday.
  He took pictures of all the plants, of course.
  He was impressed with one full-grown tree near the clubhouse.
  “They just put that in last year,” someone told him.
  Planting a full grown tree? That’s how they do things at Augusta National.
  Kevin  also got some good photos of players.
  He was pretty close to Tiger Woods when he swung on No. 16. When Kevin got to his truck to return home, he pulled the picture of Tiger up on the screen of his camera, then he took a picture of that with his cell phone camera, so he could show off Tiger on his phone! After what happened Sunday, I know he’s really glad he had that picture on his phone. Of course, no cameras are allowed by fans at the Masters when the regular tournament began.
  When I came to work for the Standard-Sentinel in 1976, we got two Masters tickets, one for the Sentinel and one for the Standard. They were separate newspapers until 1973.
  Chris Keeler and I would go on Thursday’s opening day, then Chris’ dad Marty would use the tickets are give them to his friends the rest of the tournament. I would much rather watch the final rounds on TV, because it is hard to see the action with the big crowds.
  Chris had been many times before, but that first time for me was amazing. I was in awe. Not only did I get to see my golf hero Arnold Palmer play, but I got to walk around one of the most beautiful places on earth.
  I told Kevin Monday, Augusta National was like the Grand Canyon. You only have to see it once for it to be with you the rest of your life.
  I didn’t have a camera in all my trips to Augusta National. We didn’t have photography passes.
  I also didn’t have a camera when I saw the Grand Canyon on my trip to Las Vegas with my late college roommate Mickey Gresham in 1972.
  On that drive across the country, we saw Graceland, the Mississippi River, the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, among many other great sites, and we did not even take a camera.
  The same held true on my trip to New York City my freshman year at Carolina.
  With 11,000 pictures on my phone, and over 16,000 photos posted on Facebook, I’ve made up for it!

TIGER

  Many said Tiger Woods’ career was over, but somebody forgot to tell Tiger.
  What an emotional moment when he won the green jacket for the fifth time! He’s now one Masters win behind Jack Nicklaus and one ahead of Arnold Palmer, the two most revered golfers in history.
  With the threat of bad weather, the Masters got underway at 7:30 a.m. Sunday and the telecast began at 9:00.
  I’m sure many across the country stayed home from church to watch.
  As choir director and worship leader, however, I didn’t have that choice.
  A few weeks ago, I had the children’s sermon and it was about a parishioner who told the pastor the current Sunday was going to be his last at that church.
  One of the reasons he gave for leaving was seeing many members looking at their phones during the worship service.
  Everyone at Emory knows I have my Bible on my phone, so I follow along with scripture reading on the YouVersion app. Sunday, when the scripture reading was over and everyone said, “Thanks be to God,” I quickly hit the ESPN app to check the Masters’ scores.
  As Geraldine used today, “The Devil made me do it!”
  I posted this confession on Facebook.
  My Facebook friend and cousin Angela Eargle Beasley commented,  “Our preacher said, if you're following The Masters on your phone during my lesson, just make sure your amens are timed appropriately.”
  Tigers’ win is great for golf. Whether you like him or not, when he plays the ratings go through the roof.
 The problem with NASCAR right now is there is no one left to root far. I was astonished at all the empty seats at Bristol last week. That track used to attract 150,000 fans each race.
  Kyle Bush wins every other race it seems, and most people hate him. Too many of the popular stars retired at almost the same time, and the current crop is a pretty drab bunch.
  With the major win, Tiger seems perched to break all of golf’s records.
  I know CBS and NBC, Golf Channel and ESPN are happy, and so are the viewers.

NINE DOWN

  Since I gave up sweets for Lent, I’ve lost nine pounds!
  Lent ends Easter Sunday. I hope I don’t find what I’ve lost!
  Sundays are “Little Easters, so I can eat sweets those days. I’ve tried not to over do it. Jackie gave me a bag of miniature Kit Kats for my birthday, and I saved them for Sunday. I’ve tried to eat them in moderation. No more than four in a row.
  Most of my stockpiled sweets have hardened.
  I think I read the life expectancy of a Twinkie is 3000 years, so I have a few of those unopened.
  As I was writing this Sunday afternoon, I remembered Dibbie gave me a package containing one piece of chocolate covered bacon during the week.
  I put it aside to save for Sunday.
  I ate it. It’s not bad. Nothing containing bacon can be bad, but I would not go out of my way to  buy any more.
  It’s like that time I ate a piece of kangaroo at a Newberry restaurant. Not bad, but that’s all I’ll ever need of that delicacy.
  If I can go six week without eating sweets, I certainly can continue to avoid Little Debbie a little longer.
  I wouldn’t mind losing a few more pounds....