Tidbits - March 31, 2020


  My sister Dibbie gave the March birthday observers in our family tickets to see the touring production of the Broadway musical, “The Lion King,” at the Koger Center in Columbia Saturday.
  I posted on Facebook my experience when I first saw the play on Broadway. I’ll share this with those not on Facebook:  
  Twenty-two years ago, I joined a group from Saluda in seeing the amazing “The Lion King” on Broadway. The problem for me was we left by train from Columbia at 2:30 a.m. and we didn’t arrive in New York until about two hours before the play was to begin.
  I didn’t sleep on the train and by the time the play began, I had been awake for 41 hours straight. I have a feeling I slept through some of it.
   Well, I really don’t have a feeling I fell asleep. I KNOW I fell asleep,  because I remember waking up.
  My goal for Saturday was to stay awake, so I could discover what I missed in New York. That was a challenge, because the 2 p.m. start was during my normal nap time.
  The New York production was the most amazing entertainment event I had ever seen, so there were no surprises in Columbia.
  All the animals were recreated  by  humans. I’m talking  giraffes, elephants rhinos, etc. They are so convincing, you don’t see people, you see animals.
  The stage in New York was much bigger that the Koger, and the Columbia venue only has aisles down the sides. On Broadway the animals came down all the aisles to begin the show. It was amazing to a first timer.
  I’ve seen all productions of “The Lion King,” both movies and the play. Saturday, I was able to determine I had slept through a good bit of the first act in New York, because I didn’t remember some parts at all.
  I did wake up in time in New York to see the King die, and remembered the rest of the play.
  One thing that kept me awake this time was I sat next to my great-niece Emoree Donlon, who is five, six or seven. I can’t keep up.
  Whatever Emmy’s age, she was not heavy enough for the seat cushion to go completely down, so she was folded up like portable cot  for over two hours.
  Still, she was able to turn sideways, and several times, she had maneuvered so her feet were at the back of the seat, and her head was looking at the floor.
  I think she enjoyed the play, though. She clapped a lot!
  The production was great.
  As someone who spent many years with the Saluda players, where our primary lighting was a couple of floodlights, the lighting effects were amazing. I saw objects disappear and holes open in a floor where there we no holes. All that was done with lighting.
  “The Lion King” was just as amazing Saturday, as it was 22-years ago. That was a great present Dibbie gave.
 Not the same was the realization of how much I’ve aged in 22-years.
  If you go to an event at the Koger or the nearby Colonial Life Arena (CLA), you are going to do a lot of walking and climbing.
  In the Year 2000, I was 49-years-old and still smoking, yet I walking all over Manhattan, including a 32-block walk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to our hotel.
  This Sunday, I could barely get out of my Sunday School chair.
  An imagined conversation would be,   “What’s the matter with you?”
  “I’m stove up.”
  “What did you do?
  “I went to a play.”
  When we left Saturday, I turned down by the CLA by mistake, because that road is a dead end.
  I noticed the A’ja Wilson statue out front and decided I wanted to get a picture of us posing by the statue.
  Since I was the only idiot on that road, I parked on the sidewalk ramp, and we rushed to get our picture. My cutline for the picture was, “We saw The Lion King and the statue of the Basketball Queen.”
  I have decided there will be an Aliyah Boston statue one day. Since A’ja’s statue is shooting, Aliyah’s should be attempting to block the shot!
  It was good weekend for Columbia. “The Lion King” played to sold out audiences, the Carolina baseball team won the series with #4 ranked Vanderbilt, and the Gamecock women won a trip to the Final Four.
  Despite being ranked Number One the entire year, the Gamecocks have lost the favor of analysis, because the offense has not been impressive. The fact Carolina has beaten 12 ranked teams is what should be impressive. They made a statement Sunday, beating Creighton by 30.

  Carolina’s new basketball coach Lamont Paris held on of the best new coach press conferences I have ever heard,and as a Gamecock fan, I’ve heard plenty!
  If he’s as good a coach as he is a speaker, then the Gamecocks are in for some good things.
  Already, however, four of the current players have entered the transfer portal without giving the new coach a chance. Do they expect former Coach Frank Martin to accept them at his new job a UMass? Maybe.
  The transfer portal, as it is today, allows players to immediately play for their new teams without sitting out a year,as it was in the past.
  It’s okay. Martin had eight or nine players hit the portal last year after the disastrous Covid season, and he was able to fill the roster with transfers.
  They say Paris is an excellent transfer protal recruiter.
  Some Gamecock fans wanted former star B.J. McKie to be hired as head coach.
  If B.J. were not the leading scorer in Gamecock basket-ball history nor from Columbia, would anyone want to hire a two-year Wake Forest assistant coach? Of course not.
  Ray Tanner would have looked prettty stupid firing a man with 15-years as a head coach, and hiring a man with no experience.
  Paris has 15 years as a top- assistant,and five years as a head coach.
  Let B.J. add  to his resume and he can be considered the next time Carolina hires a coach.