Tidbits - June 4, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

MOMENTS TO REMEMBER
  Congratulations to the Saluda County students who graduated form King Academy, Wardlaw, Batesburg-Leesville, Ridge Spring-Monetta, Strom Thurmond and Ninety Six. We’re proud of you.
  I’m singling out the Saluda High Class of 2020, however, because of the extraordinary year they’ve had.
  It began with the hiring of a new principal, SHS grad Robert Etheredge.
  The first half of the year was remarkable! The Saluda High football team won the State Championship for the first time since 1963. This community was in a state of euphoria, and it carried on for weeks.
  Then came January 27, 2020. That’s the day two SHS students, Drayton  Black and Jaden Coleman, were killed in a truck accident, and Jaden’s brother Kadius was seriously injured.
  The funerals for Drayton and Jaden were both held in the high school gym on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The gym was filled for both services.
  In less than two months, the school went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
  The girls basketball team perked things up by advancing all the way to the Upperstate Championship game before falling to Christ Church.
  The spring sports teams were heading toward promising seasons, and the prom was on the way. Then every student in American became home schoolers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  The colleges are allowing seniors in spring sports to come back next year. High schools can’t do that.
  The Tiger baseball team had 14 seniors, and the softball team was also loaded with talented 12th graders. The track team returned three athletes who won state championships in their events last year. All those years putting in work toward their senior years was lost.
  A social distancing graduation was scheduled for the Bettis Herlong at Matthews Field from Friday, May 29. You all know what happened. A storm came up just as the commencement was getting underway.
  Once the storm passed, the graduation resumed at 20:20. How appropriate! Drayton’s presence was felt as his purple robe was draped across a chair, and Kadius had recovered and was able to walk with his classmates.
  I’ve often said my senior year at Saluda High School was the best year of my life, and I feel for what all our high school seniors across this land have lost, but this will be a year none of you will ever forget.
  As the song goes, “memories will ever follow, where’er we may rove.”


HEIDI
  I was saddened at the passing of Heidi Frazier last week.
  A native of Switzerland, she moved to Saluda when her husband Ray retired from the military and returned to his hometown.
  Heidi was tiny, probably less than 5-feet tall. I can’t remember where it was, but I was stunned when she stood up to sing and her beautiful operatic voice filled the room.
  Heidi was a joyous person, and will be greatly missed.


WE MUST HEAL
  Our country has been torn apart by a $20 bill and a bad cop.
  George Floyd did not deserve to die and the man who caused his death needs to pay with prison time. Why was an officer that had so many complaints filed against him still employed?
  Columbia’s protest began with crowd singing “Amazing Grace.”   Then the peaceful protests turned into riots and vandalizing. What did Columbia, SC, do to deserve police cars being burned and businesses vandalized? The mayor of St. Paul said rioters looted grocery stores and pharmacies, business the community citizens need during this pandemic.
  No matter who is to blame, it is time for us to come together in prayer for our country and ALL of her people.