Tidbits - January 2, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


WHAT A MONTH!

  By the time this paper comes out in the mail, the month of December will be over.
  Thank goodness, I am worn out!
  Of course, December is a busy time anyway, but this year we a have few extra activities, like a football state championship.
  I have been covering Saluda football for 42 years and directing the Emory choir for over 40, but I have never had football and a Christmas cantata collide until this year.
  Saluda High won the state championship on December 6 and we had our cantata on December 8.
  The week before the cantata, I told the choir, “We only have a couple more practices.”
  Then one of the choir members said, “No, we only have one more practice.:”
  “What!”
  In those many years we didn’t win the championship, I had a week or two for three or four or five to get my days straight ...and rest.
  Add to the fact, the last four Saluda playoff games were on the road. So, most fans had the work that Friday, then make a trip ranging from 45 to 100 miles.
  Then we’d get home late after the game.
  There was no going straight to sleep for me with the upset wins over Southside Christian and Abbeville.
  So, I was already football tired going into December.
  Needless to day, after the Tigers won the title, I didn’t get much sleep that night.
  I wrote the football story on Saturday morning, started my column on Sunday afternoon,  went to the cantata, and finished my column when I got home.
  In normal years, the completion of the cantata allowed me to coast the rest of the holidays.
  Not this year. We had the “Parade of Champions” for the football team on December 12, and the Christmas Parade on December 14.
  Our family get-together was December 21 at Trey and Allie’s.
  On Christmas Eve, I worked until ten, then joined Jamie’s family for Christmas Eve brunch. I left there to go to our church service at noon, came home and took a short nap, then went to a drop in at the Fingerlins.
  My great niece Taylor Ann Bowdler’s birthday is December 30, and her parents have always given her a birthday party in January to avoid the Christmas crush.
  This year, however, Taylor Ann wanted to have a party in December, so I headed to her house Saturday.
  Thank goodness, I’m a Gamecock fan and don’t have to worry about that college national championship stuff.. Many Saluda people and a few of my relatives from out of town., equally as tired from Christmas as I, flew to Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl Saturday.
  I was shocked when my cousins Eddie, Mendee, Russell and Sara Lee Shealy started posting pictures from the Grand Canyon, which was covered with snow!
  I thought Arizona was supposed to be hot!
  I’ve seen the Grand Canyon in 100 degree heat, and it was spectacular. The snow pictures, however, were breathtaking.
  We learned our lesson the hard way when we went to the State Championship game at Benedict. If we go back again, we’ll leave several hours earlier because of the traffic nightmare.
  Bubba, Thomas and Hayes Shealy flew out Friday for the Fiesta Bowl. According to Sheila, they had to wait two and half hours to get a rental car when they arrived in Phoenix and every restaurant required a two hour wait to be seated. Learning this, they left in plenty of time to get to the stadium early.
  As tired as I have been all month, I’m sure I would have forced myself to stay up for all the Ohio State-Clemson game if I were a Tiger fan.
  Being that I’m not, I fell asleep.
  I woke up in the middle of the night to check the score on my phone, and view the highlights.
  I was not surprised the Tigers won.
  Ohio State had the opportunity to put the Tigers away early, but instead of being up 28-0, they settled for three field goals to lead 16-0.
  The helmet to helmet hit on Trevor Lawrence turned the game around. That penalty was followed by an interference call, and it was suddenly 16-7.
  What I was amazed to find out is the same referee crew that couldn’t spot holding for 50 yards or see illegall procedure in the Carolina-Florida game, called the Clemson-Ohio State game.
  Most Carolina fans hoped they had been exiled to Siberia, but lo and behold they end up in one the biggest games of the year. Is that crew the best the SEC has?
I know Clemson and LSU are glad they will not have ACC or SEC officials for the national championship game.
  Soon after the Tigers won, some Clemson fans started cutting down Carolina fans. Can’t they just enjoy their team making it to the finals.
  Of course, most Carolina fans were pulling against them. The sports’ teams are enemies.
  There was one meme that explains it: “Pulling for Clemson because they’re in S.C. is like pulling for the Devil because he’s in the Bible.”
  Get ready, the Gamecock fans are going to pull for LSU, too! Clemson should be enjoy it.
  Do you realize Ohio State is the only Power 5 school in that big state? The Buckeyes have no in state enemy. Their biggest rival is Michigan.
  Gamecock fans wish we could be so lucky. Haha!

REMEMBERING

  I was saddened at the passing of Montez Adams.
  He was one of those former Saluda High football players whose name I announced many times when he played.
  Montez was always smiling, even when he was about to be deployed with the National Guard and asked me to take his picture.
  A few days after Montez died, another of my Facebook friends and Montez’ classmate Darvin Johnson died.
  Both men attended the State Championship game and both were so proud of the Tigers. I’m glad that got to experience that.
  I was also saddened at the passing of Vermelle Hipp.
  When I think of her, I remember the dairy farm days of my youth.
  The Furman Hipp dairy was only a couple of miles away from our dairy, and our families would have supper together on occasion.
  One night at the Hipps, Vermelle served fruit cake for dessert.
  “I don’t want any,” Dibbie said. “It looks like do do.”
  My mother sank under the table. The rest of us had a big laugh. Oh, Dibbie was only about four years old.
  Vermelle his was a kind, sweet lady, and she will be greatly missed.