TIDBITS - June 22, 2016

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  I’ve paraphrased the late pro football coach Bum Phillips in the past: “There are two kinds of Saluda County Council members. Those who have lost a re-election and those who are going to.”
  Saluda County voters tend to change council members, and the ones who lose shouldn’t take it personally.
  I cover council meetings and I’ve never seen a council member that did enough things wrong to warrant not getting re-elected, but I have seen council members like Bettis Herlong, Fred Mills, Linda Boland, Harry Mitchell, James Nichols, Sherman Lott,  Steve Teer and now, Jacob Schumpert, lose re-election bids.
  The people who defeated them have all done good jobs, too, and that will be the case when Jones Butler replaces Schumpert.
  Rep. Ralph Shealy Kennedy has also done a good job representing District 39. He supports local events and citizens, but in last Tuesday’s primary he lost to newcomer Cal Forrest.
  I know Cal will do a good job, too. He has many friends and relatives in Saluda County, as was reflected in the voting. His late father Cally was a member of my SHS Class of 1969 and his great-grandfather was C.B. Forrest, the founder of the popular Saluda store.
  Former Sheriff Jason Booth also lost his bid to get his old job back. Like Jacob and Ralph, Jason worked very hard, knocking on many doors throughout the county.
  Robin Freeman won the nomination and will meet Sheriff John Perry in November.
  On behalf of all the citizens, I express my appreciation to Jacob, Ralph and Jason for their service to Saluda County,  and congratulate Jones, Cal and Robin.


  I hate this old age, memory  (or lack thereof) thing.
  I got to church Sunday morning and reached in my coat pocket and pulled out a koozie.
  This is not an object one gets at church. Coffee. “Yes.” Koozies. “No.”
  But where did I get it?
  The koozie has “Greenwood Miracle League” printed on it, so I did not get it at a wedding, where I have collected numerous varieties.
  The sportscoat is from my spring and summer “collection,” so where did I go that I got  “dressed up” and was awarded a koozie in the spring or summer other than church or a wedding?
  It’s driving me nuts.
  So, if any of you saw me getting a “Greenwood Miracle League” koozie while wearing a tan sportscoat somewhere, please let me know!
  P.S. When I think of something to write in my column, I write it in the notes app of my iPhone.
  I thought I typed in “koozie.” When I checked the notes a few hours later, I saw “Kookier,” and I couldn’t figure out what the heck that was about!


  Columbia’s Dustin Johnson finally earned his first major golf championship Sunday when he won the U.S. Open.
  It was one the most popular wins ever, because of a ruling and decision by the USGA that has been universally panned.
  Unless you’ve  been hiking in the wilderness, you probably know what happened.
  Johnson was preparing to putt, when he noticed his ball moved. He pointed it out to a tournament official, and the official told him it was okay, because he didn’t do anything to make the ball move.
  The ball movement was broadcast over and over and it was obvious Johnson did nothing to make the ball move, because it moved backwards. All of his practice putts went forward.
  About an hour later, while he was leading by two strokes, a USGA official came up to Johnson on the 12th hole and told him the ball movement issue was still under review and he may be assessed a stroke penalty at the end of the round.
  What an asinine move to tell this to the tournament leader with six holes to play. The commentators did not know if Johnson was winning by two or one. Later when Johnson bogeyed a hole, no one knew if he was leading by one or tied for the lead.
  Some of the best golfers in the world, who had completed their rounds started tweeting criticism of the USGA’s timing. Jack Nicklaus and Tigers Woods were also critical.
  Thankfully, Dustin sank a birdie putt on 18 to win by four. Actually, he won by three, because the USGA assessed the one shot penalty. I still don’t understand how a forward motion can make a ball roll backwards.
  I’ve been around a long time, and I have seen many controversial rulings in sports. Usually, in the comments section discussing the controversy, you will see people supporting both sides of the issue.
  Not this time. I read about 100 comments, and all were critical of the USGA. Many were from golfers who said they were dropping their USGA memberships.
  This isn’t the first time Dustin has gotten a raw deal in a major. A few years ago he was leading the PGA on Sunday when he hit his drive into the crowd on the 18th hole.
  The crowd had to be moved out of the way, and Dustin, thinking the sandy area where the crowd had been standing was rough  grounded his club.
  He later found out the sandy area was a hazard where you could not ground your club, and he was assessed a two stroke penalty.
  Yes, Dustin and his caddie should have studied to course to know the area was  basically a sand trap, but why would tour officials allow fans to stand in a trap?
  We don’t have to worry about that any more. Dustin won, and like Phil Mickelson when he finally won a major, he should go on to win many more.
  Dustin’s victory was followed a few hours later by his alma mater Coastal Carolina beating No. 1 Florida in the College World Series.
  Sunday was a great day to be a Chanticleer!


  I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of South Carolina’s most famous artists, Jim Harrison.
  I have two of Jim’s signed prints in my office and one in my home.
  I know some art critics don’t like Norman Rockwell type painters, but I do. Jim’s paintings of old stores with Coca Cola signs painted on the sides were beautiful and brought back memories of years ago.
  With Jim’s talent, he could have set up shop in one of the state’s bigger cities or even left the state, but he decided to work out of the small town of Denmark, a town I visited a great deal in my youth because our Killingsworth relatives lived there.
  Our state lost won of its great authors, Pat Conroy, not too long ago, and now we have lost one our great artists.
  I can still read Pat’s books, and I see Jim’s work each time I walk through my office door. That is what legacy is all about.



  Saluda County lost another of its greatest citizens, when George “Brud” Wheeler died last week.
  Mr. Brud was 96, but was still “sharp as a tack.”
  He was a World War II hero, earning many medals, included the French Legion of Merit that was awarded a few years ago.
  He was a member of Saluda American Legion Post 65 for 70 years, was a former commander, and attended meetings regularly. The post has now lost two 96-year-old legends in the last few months. Frontis Hawkins, the post adjutant for 34 years, died a few months ago.
  Professionally, Mr. Brud was a well known dairyman and farmer.
  His late wife Katherine worked for many decades in the school district office, serving for a longtime as Supt. A.L. Bradley’s secretary. Like her husband, she was loved by all who knew her.
  Saluda County appreciates all Brud Wheeler did for this community over the years. He will be truly missed.
  Our sympathy to his daughter Debbie Frazer and the rest of the Wheeler family.