Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, August 27, 2016, 3:21 p.m.
It’s the day after Clinton beat Laurens, and all through the town, still no one seems to have his feet on the ground.
Or her feet. The hovering transcends gender, which has nothing to do with transgender anything else.
Today I went over to Presbyterian College, wearing perhaps the oldest Clinton cap that is still being worn. It’s black and has the word “Clinton” in red and white. If I was wearing it anywhere else, people would think I was for Hillary Clinton, which I am, but it has nothing to do with the cap.
People watching – and, in fact, meeting the Blue Hose – celebrated the cap. I’m satisfied some were for Trump. In Clinton, a Clinton cap transcends politics.
A Presbyterian football player celebrated my blue cotton football jersey because it had “94” on the front and his had “94” on the front and back. Derrick Washington is a senior defensive lineman from Milledgeville, Georgia. I told him I think I bought my jersey in a truck stop, and it was possibly because the year was 1994. He said he still liked it.
This was not a contemporary wardrobe I wore over to PC. My sneakers were relatively new.
For both the Red Devils and the Raiders, the long and winding road is only beginning. Next week Clinton travels to Greer, another place it has recently taken its lumps. Laurens is at home against a dangerous opponent, Chapman, which will be dangerous to Clinton later because they are in the same region.
At Bailey Memorial Stadium, Keith Richardson, my high school coach, was watching his grandson, who now plays for the Blue Hose, as did Coach Richardson himself. Bill Rhodes, who also coached me, was working the concession stand. Last night, Bill was in the background while I was shooting video of present coach, Andrew Webb, talking about the 34-29 victory over Laurens. Harold Nichols was there to coach the Blue Hose, but what I chatted about with all of them could be boiled down to, simply, a variation of “How About Them Red Devils?”
For at least a night, Wilder Stadium was like it was in the glorious days of yore, and the game on Richardson Field was worthy of the comparison.
For the proud people of Clinton and its surrounding fiefdoms, order had been restored. Big, bad Laurens, from Class 5A — which, for some reason, suddenly became important because Clinton is still 3A, and, for some reason, people seem to have forgotten that Laurens District High School is no bigger than Clinton High School than it was last year – had been repelled in its invasion, and as is self-evident, Raiders tend to raid. The schools haven’t changed, only the classifications, and because 4A is no longer split, Laurens has slipped up to a class that heretofore did not exist and Clinton has remained a bit more comfortably in 3A, where it has resided since the 1960s.
Let’s lose the class warfare. Laurens leads in A’s. Clinton leads in football teams … for the coming annum. Just because Laurens is in a higher class doesn’t mean it has more class.
Renaissance is not often a word used in relation to the untidy and boisterous sport of football, and I don’t expect any bumper stickers to show up celebrating the Red Devils as The Big Red Renaissance.
Oh, no, the yell will still be “Go Big Red!” in these parts.
Here’s the game story I wrote in the Index-Journal.
Please visit the KindleScout site and consider nominating my fifth novel, Cowboys Come Home, for publication. You’ll find sample chapters, a short synopsis and a Q&A. Take a look at it here.
Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs, absolutely free. Tell ‘em Mr. Monte sent you, y’hear?
Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.
Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about a crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.
Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.
The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.
The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.
Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.
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