Tidbits -September 3, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


COVID TIMES
  I enjoy subscribers coming by to renew their papers, especially those who come from out of town.
  Johnny Harp is special,  because he’s pushing 100 and drives over from Columbia each year.
  James Graham, the long-time driver and friend of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, visits his home county of Saluda from the Washington, DC, area this time every year.
  But, this isn’t a normal year. Mr. Johnny and Mr. James are both healthy, but neither made the trip this year, because of COVID-19. Both had relatives renew their papers.
  Last Thursday, we had a “reset” meeting at Emory, called to determine if and when we’ll restart Sunday School and Children’s Church.
  Who would have ever thought churches would be having meetings like this?
  We’ve had in-church services since June, but with social distancing, most wearing masks and no congregational singing. We do feature a soloist each week.
  We’ll start Sunday School and Children’s Church back in few weeks, but with guidelines.
  This past week was supposed to be our Homecoming and revival. I don’t know the last time we didn’t have Homecoming.
  Another tradition, our Christmas cantata, is not possible until this pandemic passes.
  Singing spreads particles about three times further than talking, and Emory and Nazareth aren’t big enough for that much social distancing. Singing in a masks just doesn’t work.
  For nearly 40 years, Emory and Nazareth choirs have combined to perform a cantata. Even if the pandemic ends on Election Day, as some have predicted, we would not have enough time to practice. We usually begin practicing in September.
  I have picked out a cantata and given each choir member a CD, so by September 2021 we should all have it memorized!
  While Emory and Nazareth are too small for choir singing, First  Baptist in Columbia is not. I always watch the end of the First Baptist service on TV when I get home from our church.
  First Baptist has a massive choir loft, but for the last few weeks they have spread 20 -30 choir members around the loft and supplied each with microphones. They are great!
  This Sunday was different. First Baptist has been having in person services, but after nine church members were diagnosed with COVID-19 after last Sunday’s church, the service was available by streaming only.
  Emory has been able to reach members who have not been able to come to church by streaming the service on our Facebook page.
  This Sunday, however, people in Saluda County who have CenturyLink did not have internet.
  I thought it was just a Saluda County problem, but then I found out a piece of equipment CenturyLink owns that is used by many providers broke down. Turns out this was a world-wide problem!
  We had our internet back by the time I got home from church.
  We were talking what a mess we would have if the  broken internet spread to Monday when the schools started. I have to have internet to get my paper out.
  What a world!
  I was stunned when I got the news notification that Anderson native, and “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, 43,had died of colon cancer.
  Apparently, he had been fighting the disease for four years, all while acting in impressive movies.
  What courage! He was a super hero.