Tidbits - July 18 2019

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

 

GENE AND SHAKE

  In February 1926 two babies were born in the Emory section of Saluda County, one was black and one was white.
  The black baby, Eugene Etheredge (Gene), was born February 26. The white baby, James Bettis Shealy (Shake), was born February 28.
  Years later, Gene would come to work with Shake on the Shealy Brothers Dairy Farm.
  The pair were a contrast in size. Daddy never weighed more than 132-lbs. in his life, and Gene looked like a weightlifter, with arms like tree trunks.
  We all milked many a cow and hauled many a bale of hay with Gene. He was like a member of the family.
 He and I shared a fear of snakes, only Gene’s fear was more extreme.
  If he’d go fishing in a pond, and spotted a snake in the water over 100-yards away, he’d leave!
  When Daddy died, Gene’s grandson Robert brought him to visitation at the funeral home. That was the one of the times that night I teared up.
  Why am I writing this?
  Robert has been named Saluda High School’s new principal, and Daddy’s son, Jamie, is an assistant principal.
  I don’t think Gene and Shake, while milking cows at 5 a.m. on a cold winter morning, would have ever imagined that could happen.
  Congratulations, Robert! I know Gene would be so proud.

STILL LEARNING

  Motte Jean Yarbrough brought me two stacks of old newspapers his late father, Saluda legendary attorney Motte Yarbrough, collected through the years.
  Like me, Mr. Motte never threw anything away, and I’m glad.
  Motte Jean said his dad even saved his tennis racket from when he was on the Wofford tennis team!
  I had no idea Mr. Motte, was an athlete, but I do remember, even in his later years, you could not outwalk him!
  Motte Jean said his dad believed in exercise, even into his 90s.
  Mr. Motte was staying with Motte Jean and his family in his later years, and one day Motte Jean’s wife walked into the living room and found Mr. Motte on the floor.
  She thought he had fallen or even passed away, but soon discovered he was doing exercises!
  One of the papers Mr. Motte saved from 1969 taught me something I never knew.
  It contained the obituary for Frank Herlong.
  Like “Cuddin” Cally Forrest I mentioned last week, “Cuddin” Frank Herlong was also my grandmother Eugenia Shealy’s first cousin, but on the Herlong side of the family.
  The obituary said Frank Herlong was Saluda High School’s first football coach, dating back to the 1920’s.
  One team featured Goat McMillan and O.D. Padgett, who both would go on to star at Clemson. After graduation, McMillan was a longtime Tiger assistant, and spent many years on the staff of Clemson legend Frank Howard.
  The team featuring McMillan and Padgett played for the state championship, losing to Gaffney 6-0.
  Prior to reading that, I thought Saluda High had played for six state championships in its history. Now, we can up that total to seven.
  Growing up, I knew Cousin Frank was always at Saluda High football practices and other sports’ events, and was well respected.
  His support was one of the reasons the gym at the old high school was named in his memory. Now, I know he was the school’s first football coach.
  I know he was thrilled when his son Ben, and cousins Bettis Herlong and Ed Shealy were members of the 1941 SHS state championship team.
  Cousin Frank was a rural mail carrier on the old Route 4, where I live, for many years.
  Some say he may have given my Daddy his nickname.
  On his daily stop at Calk’s Store, Frank noticed little James running in the yard across the road and said, “Look at him shake!”
  James was “Shake” from then on to everyone, except his mother who always called him “James.”
  Daddy was never positive that’s how he got his nickname, but he did recall a memorable moment supplied by Cousin Frank.
  Always diminutive, Daddy got excited one morning at the store when Frank said, “Shake, I believe you’re growing.”
  “I am!,” little Shake said.
  Then Cousin Frank burst into song, “Oh, my dear you’re growing old....”
 Ah, the memories.....
  Cousin Frank was succeeded on Route 4 by his son, Ben, who carried our mail for decades ... and made a daily stop at Calk’s Store, and saw many children playing in the yard across the road.....

CATS II

  In the church yard Sunday, Lois Hare let me know she had her own cat story, in response to my column last week.
  She said she drove to Batesburg-Leesville, and made only two stops, Shealy’s and WalMart.
  When she got home she heard a noise underneath her SUV. She couldn’t figure out what it was, so she got her son Townsend to check it out.
  Townsend crawled under the vehicle and discovered an about a month-old kitten.
  Lois said it did not belong to her, because all their cats have been “fixed.” I guess it belongs to her now.
  We’ve all heard of kittens leaving with vehicles, but this is the first time I’ve heard of one coming home on one!

TOO BIG

  Glenn Molette sent out a column this week that dealt with the recent Nike controversy.
  In case you haven’t  heard, Nike designed a shoes to release around July 4th that featured the Betsy Ross, 1776 flag, but that great historian, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick informed Nike the shoes might be offensive because that flag flew over slave states.
  Nike immediately pulled the shoes and they are now worth $2500 a pair if you’re lucky enough to find some.
  Kaepernick definitely has a problem with this country, and Nike hired him.
  Many thought featuring Colin in an ad would doom the company. Wrong. The stock rose.
  Did the pulling of the 1776 flag hurt Nike? No. The stock rose again.
  Molette said Nike may be too big for controversy to hurt the bottom line. Most of the shoes are made in Mexico and Asian countries, and the workers allegedly make about $3.50 a day, so by employing cheap labor, Nike is worth $34 billion.
  The company is a lot like President Trump. He’s rich and no matter what he does, his base is going to support him.
  Unlike, the President, Nike does not have to run for re-election.