Tidbits -May 16 2019

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


AND IT GETS WORSE

  After I wrote about my snake adventures last week, things got worse!
  On  my walk Tuesday, I saw three snakes before my first lap around the pond!
  By the time I had finished, I saw three snakes. Granted, some of the last three snakes may have been the same as the first three. I know the first three were different, because they were in three separate locations.
  The worst sighting Tuesday was when my walk was just about over and a snake and I arrived at our little crossing bridge at the same time. Neither of us were expecting that and we both were scared out of our wits.
  Now, I have to pay attention when I cross the bridge. I thought it was safe.
  With nearly 5000 Facebook fans knowing my hatred of snakes, I soon began to get tagged with pictures of snakes my Facebook friends had found in their yards. They were blaming me!
  Another tagged me with a story from Virginia, explaining why that states has so many snakes this year. They are blamed on the heavy rainfall in the winter and a mild February. They same explanation could apply to South Carolina, I’m guessing.
  Then I got tagged at least four times of the man from Oklahoma opening the storm door in the garage and a snake biting him in the face.
  His first words were, “Call an ambulance.”
  Many speculate that this was fake ... because the man didn’t curse!
  Another video was of a car traveling on the interstate in S.C. Suddenly, a snake slithers from under the hood and crawls on the car’s windshield.
  I questioned why the driver didn’t turn on the windshield wipers, because at the end of the video, the snake is crawling back under the hood.
  It is for that reason that I don’t run over snakes in the road. If you don’t kill them they could wind up in your engine compartment, then find their way into your floorboard ... just before you die.
  On Wednesday, I issued a “praise report,’ because I only saw one snake on my walk.
  Of course, I am avoiding the pond dam, where snakes like to warm themselves.
  I did temporarily solve the kitten jumping our at me issue, I reported last week.
  I had seen the kittens of the “guard cat” at Saluda Hardware at week ago, and mentioned my solitary kitten probably needed a friend. Monday, Cyndie McCormick message and asked if I wanted the orange kitten I liked, because the kittens were now “all over the store.”
  Tuesday, I went to get the orange kitty and ended up with his or her brother or sister, as well.
  When I got home, I introduced the older kitten to the younger ones, and none of them were impressed. In fact, they all appeared petrified of each other.
  As for Friday, the old kitten is hanging around the front of the house, while the younger ones occupy the back.
  The older kitten the first few days did not follow me on my walk. I guess he was pouting or jealous, or both.
  Oh, when I put a picture of the kittens on Facebook, someone wrote, “Cats take care of snakes!”
  And, there you go!

FROM FIRST TO WORST

  In 2010 Carolina’s baseball team won the national championship. The Gamecocks repeated as champs in 2011, and played for the title again in 2012, but lost this time.
  In 2019, the Gamecocks have the worst team in the SEC.
  How in nine years time do you go from having the best team in the entire country, to having team that cannot even beat a 21-27 Furman team near the end of the season?
  I guess you can put the blame on the “Bear Bryant Syndrome.”
  You don’t want to be the coach to follow Bear Bryant. You want to be the coach who follows the coach who follows Bear Bryant.
  When Bear Bryant retired at Alabama, the Tide hired “favorite son” Ray Perkins. Even though he had a 32-15 record, Ray was fired after only four years.
  Bill Curry followed Perkins, then he was fired. Gene Stallings followed Curry, and led the Tide to another title. I believe he had a walk-on receiver named Dabo on that title team.
  Chad Holbrook didn’t go to Carolina, but he was a member of Ray Tanner’s staff during the glory years.
  No one was upset when Tanner picked Holbrook, a “favorite son” in a way, to succeed him.
  Under Holbrook, the Gamecocks got worse each season, until they missed the playoffs for the first time in decades. Chad was fired.
  Tanner hired Mark Kingston.
  Kingston’s first year, he led the Gamecocks to the Super Regionals, but practically the entire team either graduated or signed pro contacts.
  Kingston had four players returning this year, including two starting pitchers, both of whom were injured prior to the conference schedule and didn’t pitch a lick in the league.
  Other pitchers also were injured, and the staff is so depleted, Kingston was on the verge of using position plays to pitch, like we Little League coaches used to do.
  Pitching is not the only problem. The team can’t hit or field very well, either!
  I’m not in favor of Kingston getting fired. He needs time, because the SEC schedule is so brutal.
  Against three ACC who were ranked at the time they played, N.C. State, UNC and Clemson, the Gamecocks were 4-1. Against the SEC, Carolina has only won five games.
  Kingston does need to recruit better players, however.
  (This was written before Carolina went 2-1 against Kentucky. They now have seven league wins.)

TOP 150?

  “The State” newspaper had a recent story, declaring Frank Martin had recruited two of the top 150 high school basketball players in the country.
  Those players are Jaylyn McCreary and Trae Han-nibal.
  Before you get overly excited, Gamecock fans, “The State” also listed some recent USC signees who were ranked in the Top 150.
  In 2017 the Gamecocks recruited David Beatty. He was not overly impressive and transferred. In 2016 the Top 150 selection was Sede Keita, Remember him? Me either. He, too, transferred.
  In 2016 P.J. Dozier made the list. He attempted to go pro after  his sophomore year and has been in the NBA minor leagues since.
  In 2014, there were two selections, Marcus Stroman and TeMarcus Blanton, two more forgettable players.
  At last, six years ago, the Gamecock signee in the Top 150 was Sindarius Thorn-well. He was the SEC Player of the Year and led the Gamecock to the Final Four.
  From this I think we can all learn not to get too excited by any recruiting rankings, no matter the sport.

DAVID PALMER

  I was saddened at the passing of David Palmer last week.
  He was one of the few people, who got to retire from two different jobs.
  When he retired from Monsanto, he decided to go to barber school. He then worked many years at Shealy’s Barber Shop,  before he retired from that job.
  I always enjoyed talking to him when I’d take papers by.
  His wife, Barbara, was a Saluda School District One fixture for many years, and passed way not too long ago.
  David will  be missed.