Tidbits - April 2, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

WEEK TWO

  Like most of you, week two was a lot like week one.
  We got the newspaper out. We have to be in the office to insert and mail the papers. I did open the office on Monday and Friday mornings, just in case someone wanted to put something in the paper.
  As long as CVS and BiLo keep sending inserts, we’ll keep printing a paper. Some weeklies are not printing, including our neighbors at the Twin City News, who will not print in April.
  If things change, we will announce it on Facebook.
  Some funny memes are circulating. One good one is, “When this is over will ‘My 600-lb. Life’ contact me, or do I have to call them?”
  People are eating, including me.
  You may find this amusing, but I gave up French fries for Lent!
  That may not much of a sacrifice, you may say, but I eat fries at lunch six times a week.
  When I started, the drive-thru operators made me repeat my order, because they know my voice.  By getting a burger and a small drink, I have actually lost weight ... or should I say had.
  Like everybody panicked by this pandemic, I bought a lot of food, and like everyone, I’m eating it.
  My sister Dibbie brought me a birthday cake, made by niece Mayson, on my birthday Tuesday. Dibbie cut her a piece of cake, and left me to eat the rest of it.
  I bought two tins of cinnamon rolls, and I started to bake some the other night. I stopped when the thought hit me, “You’ve got a whole cake to eat, you idiot.”
  I’ve got a third of the cake left. I will prevail.
  Television has been pretty good. A few first run episodes are still running.
  The other night, I decided to watch the first episode of that program on Netflix everyone was talking about, “Tiger King.”
  Believe me when I tell you, if P.T. Barnum were alive today and had a freak show, the cast of this program would be in it. They would be dancing and singing behind Hugh Jackman.
  The “star” Joe Exotic is actually a pretty good singer. (I have since found out that was not him singing.)
  When the first episode was over, I said to myself, “What did I just watch?”
  Well, to make sure what I saw was for real, I watched the second episode.
  I fell asleep Friday, so I only got one episode in.
  I never binge watch anything. If a ten-episode program comes on one of my streaming services, I take 10 weeks to watch it, but with four episodes left of the “Tiger King,” I was bound and determined to watch them all Saturday.
  I did. Don’t ask me to explain it. You have to find out for yourself.
  On Twitter or Instagram Saturday, I saw a post from Entertainment Weekly that the producers have so much leftover footage, there may be a second two.
  Holy mackerel! I can’t wait!
  I’ve already found a couple more of my British crime shows to watch, so I am in good shape.
  I’m praying that all this ends soon, and we can return to life as normal as possible. Stay safe.

DON’T WATCH

I don’t watch the White House daily press conferences.
I’ll get a recap on the news. It’s there I’ll find if the President said something that his staff will have to correct the next day.
  Someone says the President “thinks out loud.”  He thinks it would be nice of the coronavirus threat would be over on Easter Sunday, and  a quarantine might be needed for several states, but instead of consulting with the experts, he says it out loud.
  I feel so sorry for the experts on the stage, who have to follow him.
  I wish the President would just read a prepared statement, and let the experts, including the Vice-President, answer the questions. Vice-president Pence is a good man and a true politician. He knows how to handle questions.
  And, I wish the President would stop tweeting.
  Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted about how great the ratings were for his coronavirus press conferences. Always the entertainer, I guess, even when people are dying in a pandemic.
  I have been very impressed with our nation’s governors.
  Gov. McMaster has done an excellent job. It’s quite obvious the Governor has studied what is going on, and knows what he is doing.
 In the question and answer session, he defers to the experts. He doesn’t say, “I have a feeling.”
  The coronavirus pandemic should not be political, but that’s not the lay for the land in America now.
  The Administration has done some good things. The aid package should have been a no brainer, but the Democrats delayed things and tried to add environmental programs into the payout, things that had nothing to do with the virus issue.
  Then  the House was prepared to vote through the internet for the same package, but a Republican representative made them all come back to Washington for an in person vote. Ridiculous.
  Even in times like this they have to be forced to work together.
  It’s embarrassing.

PRINCIPALS

  In a matter of a couple of days, a former Saluda High principal, Bill Whitfield, and the mother of another former principal, Jimmy Crawford, passed away.
  Faye Crawford Mitchell was the epitome of Southern charm. She was always “dressed to the nines.’
  For over 25 years she was married to another Saluda legend, Rudolph Mitchell. It was the second marriage for both of them, and they were a perfect match.
  Mrs. Faye was a special lady and she will be greatly missed.
  What can you say about Bill Whitfield, other than he devoted over 50 years of his life to this community.
  I was in high school when we has named Saluda High School’s agriculture teacher. He followed another legendary Ag teacher Boyce Todd, who was elevated to principal when Major McCarty took the principal’s job in Summerville.
  Bill followed in Mr. Todd’s footsteps well.
   Both of the men advised the Young Farmer organization. Through that program, Boyce taught my Daddy Shake, a young farmer for real, how to weld.
  Bill leadership led to the creation of the Saluda Young Farmer Truck and Tractor Pull that has given out thousands of dollars in scholarships for over 40 years.
  Eventually, Bill followed Mr. Todd’s footsteps by becoming Saluda High School’s principal.
  Faculty who worked under him said that was the best time to be at Saluda High. The camaraderie they formed lasts until this day. A group picture is entitled, “The Way We Were.”
  At his death, he was serving as Saluda County’s member on the Piedmont Technical College Board of Commissioners. He was a leader in getting the Saluda campus of Tech built.
  Among his many leadership duties at Saluda Baptist, he  led an annual mission trip to Nicaragua. My nephew Trey and his wife Allie were among those who made the trip.
  When Trey’s grandmother Grace Spainhour died at the beach, Bill, Carol, and Billie Ellis were among the Saluda people who made that long trip to the funeral.
  He cared about the people of his church and his community.
  In my Facebook tribute to him, I used a picture of Bill, Brenda Shorter and me at the Class of 69’s 45th reunion.
  Brenda, who broke Bill up all the time, went on ahead, and I know she, and Bill’s dear friend Pat Rodgers were there to welcome him home.
  Bill always attended our Class of 69 reunions, and so did classmate Lewie Shealy.
  Lewie, who died last week, did not make it to our 50th, because his step-nephew died that day.
  Bill did not make it either,  because he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few weeks before.
  He faced death before. A rare liver disease was killing him, but he got a liver transplant that gave he a new lease on life.
 On the 17th anniversary of his liver transplant, he passed away.
  God gave him 17 extra years to give to our community.
  Well done, good and faith