Tidbits - May 5, 2020

 

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


LET’S DO IT!
  A couple of skydivers who own their own airplanes are sitting around a table one day.
  One says to the other, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea.’
  “What is it?” says the other.
  “Let’s drive to the airport, strap on our parachutes, hop in our planes, then at about 4000 feet up, let’s jump out of our planes, sky dive to our planes, jump back in, save them from crashing, then come in for a landing.”
  “Wow! That’s the greatest idea I’ve ever heard!,” said the other “Let’s do it!”
  Now, this is not a scene from a Looney Tunes cartoon. This actually happened. You may have seen it on the news.
  Of course, before the guys attempted their stunt, they made sure they had video evidence.
  One of the pilots actually pulled off the trick. It was amazing to see him jump from the plane, catch it, and climb  back in.
  It was good news, bad news for the other pilot. The good news was his chute deployed after he failed to catch his plane. The bad news was a perfectly good airplane crashed to earth. I hope he had one of those Lloyds of London insurance policies.
  Evel Knievel could break every bone in his body while trying to jump school buses in Las Vegas while riding his motorcycle.
  Once he healed in year or two, he’d set his sites on jumping the Grand Canyon.
  What’s wrong with these dare devils?
  That said, we probably all have our dare devil events in our lives, but weren’t overly concerned for our health at the time.
  Mine was climbing. Hardly a week passed during the summer in my youth that I didn’t climb the outside rungs our 55-foot tall silo.
  Daddy had created safety belts for climbing up the silo’s enclosed chute to the top, but you were on your own climbing the outside.
  At the top, the view was beautiful. You could see Little Mountain!
  Years ago, I wrote about the time I hit a wasp nest about 30-feet off the ground. I had two choices, fall or get stung.
  No way I was going to fall, so I got stung three times and gently made my way back to the ground. I think that’s why wasps don’t scare me today. If I can survive an attack 30-feet up, a sting on the ground is nothing.
  Today, when I drive past those silos, I shiver. What in the world was I thinking?
  As a teenager I walked to the edge of Blowing Rock and threw some paper over to see if it would get blown back. I also stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon when I was 21.
  That was yesterday. If have to use a little step stool now, I make sure I have something to hold on to before I step up.

FIFTEEN!
  The National Champion University of Georgia football team set a record when 15 members of the team were selected in the NFL draft.
  Of those 15, five defensive players were selected in the first round. That’s another record.
  Opponents of the Bulldogs in 2022 can smile, because 15 players off this year’s team are gone. Bulldog Burt will not like me saying this, but Georgia cannot possibly be as dominant in 2022 as they were in 2021. You just don’t replace 15 NFL draftees.
  To be truthful, I made the same statement when Clemson lost so many great defensive players one year. The Tigers were just as impressive the next year. Of course, Brent Venables was defensive coordinator then.
  One of the big stories of the draft involved the University of  Texas. The State of South Carolina had seven players drafted - three from Carolina, two from Clemson, one from S.C. State and one from Coastal Carolina.
  Texas, one of the greatest names in college football, did not have a single player drafted.
  This speaks volumes about recruiting rankings. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, Texas’ recruiting classes ranked #3, #3 and #8, respectively, and not one of those “stars” were drafted by the NFL.

CHAMPION
  I was saddened at the passing of Rodger Thompson last week.
  He was one of the heroes of the Saluda state champion team in 1963.
  The Tigers won the state title in 1962 and returned many great players for ‘63. What Saluda would miss the most were two fantastic running backs, Tom Blease and Marion Frye.
  That problem was solved when Rodger’s family moved from  Batesburg-Leesville to Saluda, and Rodger was able to fill the void left by Tom and Marion.
  John Robert Crawford returned at fullback, and my first cousin Larry Thompson was the other running back. People wondered if Larry and Rodger were kin. They weren’t.
  Back then only the conference champion made it to the playoffs, and like in 1962, a win over Strom Thurmond gave the Tigers the league crown.
  The Tigers returned to the State Championship game at the same location where they won the year before, Presbyterian College in Clinton.
  The opponent was York, who had defeated the Tigers during the regular season.
  The regulation game ended in a 6-6 tie, and the game went into sudden death overtime.
  Saluda won the toss to get the kick-off, and Rodger soon broke a 48-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers their second straight state championship.
  I can still see the play, which had to sustain Tiger fans for 56-years until Saluda won the championship again in 2019.
  Rodger, thanks for the memories.