Tidbits - October 1, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


ON THE MOVE
  For the third time since I’ve been with Standard-Sentinel, I have been involved with a move.
  The first came when the Keelers built the new office on North Main in 1983, the second came when I lost that building to foreclosure, and the third took place over the weekend,  because the building we have been in the last five years has been sold.
  The COVID-19 pandemic has  been a major blow to newspaper revenue worldwide. There’s little advertising when all businesses are struggling, but the pandemic has taught me we can do most of the newspaper work at home. We don’t need an office, but we do need a place to insert and mail the papers.
  I’ve got a place, but it’s in a building not open the public until the pandemic is over. I was going to another place, but something changed at the last minute, and I had already told people that’s where we were going! In the meantime, I’ve got to figure out where to put a drop box for items customers usually bring in, and how to get the papers to our regular drive up customers on Tuesdays, including my Aunt Christine Shealy, who turns 100 on October 2!
  Please bear with us until we figure all this out. All contact information is on the front page.
  I want to thank Angie and Randy Rita, my brother Jamie, my sisters Dibbie and Elizabeth, my nephew Morgan Jones and Holly Blackman for their help in the move. They all worked for free!
  Finally, I want to thank Kathy Rushton, and her husband Ron, who came to our rescue five years ago when we had no place to go and they offered the little pink building on West Church Street. It saved us. I hope the building continues to serve our community.

FOOTBALL TIME
  I was so happy to see high school and SEC football start this weekend.
  On a normal year, the high schools would have already played five games by now. SEC teams would played at least four.
  Since the high schools had few scrimmages this year, coaches, players and fans really didn’t know what to expect in that first game.
  Saluda, for instance had one scrimmage. Normally, they’d have two or three scrimmages and a jamboree.
  Friday, the Tigers opened the 2020 season in the same city, Columbia, where they ended the 2019 season as state champions.
  Danny  Bledsoe and I again rode with Wayne Grice in his truck.
  You all know my Zaxby’s record. Every time we’ve eaten at a Zaxby’s  before a game, the Tigers won. This included restaurants in  Batesburg-Leesville, Newberry, Greenwood, Greenville and Lexington.
  This year, many Zaxby’s are open for drive-thru only, and it’s hard to eat a salad on the backseat.
  Wayne said he had an urge or Rush’s all day, so that’s where we ate. It was good and we cold eat while we travelled.
  Was I worried about breaking the Zaxby’s streak? No. To be honest, I was not too worried about the Tigers losing to Eau Claire.
  I was right. The young Tigers won 62-14. I emphasize “young,” because the Tigers had one senior to catch a pass and score a touchdown, Naim Butler. The rest of the 56 points, 220 yards rushing, 77 yards passing were accomplished by juniors, sophomore and freshmen. The offensive line has some “hosses” and most of them have two more years.
  The defense was dominating, and it, too, has a bunch of underclassmen.
  Talk about big shoes to fill, quarterback Jonah McCary had to follow record-breaking, four year starter Noah Bell. All he did was complete nine of 11 passes, and the two he didn’t complete were catchable. Three of his passes went for touchdowns. He also rushed for 45 yards and a score.
  Now, let’s be honest, Eau Claire is the worst team the Tigers will play this year. One of the best teams, Newberry, is coming to town tomorrow. It will  be a different world for sure, but the youthful Saluda team played with confidence in their first game. That doesn’t often happen with young teams. A winning attitude from being a champion makes a difference.
  We listened to scoreboard shows on the radio coming home, and when one of the commentators talked about the Saluda-Eau Claire game, they used that wonderful phrase “defending champions,” and mentioned when the “entire town” came to the state championship game last year. It’s nice to see how Saluda’s football team and fans impressed last season.
  Carolina? Same old, same old. The Gamecocks played just well enough to lose close.
  It’s always the case with Carolina, one or two plays make the difference.
  I don’t want to hear any firing talk in this pandemic season, but I did see an interesting tweet. The tweeter said Jeremy Pruitt was Tennessee’s seventh choice for head coach, but he has already elevated the Vols above the Gamecocks in the SEC East during the Muschamp reign.
  That’s not good. We’ll just get through this season .... and wait till next year!

RONALD PORTER
  I was saddened to get to church Sunday morning to hear Ronald Porter had died.
  Ronald had fought the brave fight for years.
  The Lord gave him several second chances during his career working for SCE&G. That was during the days when linemen climbed  the poles with spikes, and one time in particular, he was hit with major voltage that should have killed him, but he pulled through.
  As Emory Church members, I’ve known him all my life. I played with him on the Emory softball team, and I coached his son Randall on my little league team. Also, on that softball team was his twin brother, Donald.
  Until he got to sick, Ronald rarely missed a Sunday at church. All of us at Emory will miss him.
  My sympathy to Betty, Gwen, Randall, Pam, Rhonda and the rest of the family.