Anderson andersonmagazine.com January/February 2022
Anderson International Festival Returns
Making History with a Bus Ride
THE FASHION POWERHOUSE
OF MAREN & MAIN
7TH ANNUAL Golden Years
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January/February 2022 andersonmagazine.com
Publisher/Editor April Cameron
Sales & Client Manager Jennifer Merritt
Graphic Design Jennifer Walker Online Editor Lisa Marie Carter Contributing Writers Caroline Anneaux Jim Harris Josh Overstreet Deborah Tucker Jay Wright
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Featured Photographer Van Sullivan Photography
Anderson Magazine is published six times a year. Advertising Inquiries:
International Festival Returns
Tri County Tech Dual Enrollment
ON THE COVER: Jennifer McAninch and Mary Virgina Curtis of Maren and Main
14 12 Offering Resources and Hope
Copyright: All contents of this issue ©2022 Anderson Magazine. All rights reserved. No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner without prior consent of the publisher. The publishers believe that the information contained in this publication is accurate. However, the information is not warranted, and Anderson Magazine does not assume any liability or responsibility for actual, consequential or incidental damages resulting from inaccurate erroneous information.
Anderson Magazine PO Box 3848 Anderson, SC 29622 864.221.8445
An Ode to Joy
16 The Electric City Gambit andersonmagazine.com
A Bus Ride for Freedom
Letter from the Editor
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you are starting off the New Year with joy, positivity and good vibes! We sure do try hard to kick in a lot of new habits during this time, so I wish you luck on achieving the resolutions you have set for yourself. I really enjoyed putting this issue together for you. As you know, my goal is to spread good news about Anderson County – its people, places and things. And, this issue is full of stories about individuals who have done so many good things for themselves and others. It pretty much is an issue about success! The cover story shares the journey of two young women who have made their entrepreneurial dreams come true by opening the boutique, Maren and Main. It was such a pleasure to sit down with them and talk about how they got started in the retail industry and to see how their personalities click together! As business partners and friends, they have found a special magic that makes Maren and Main so successful. You’ll also enjoy reading about a local family that has reached not only educational successes, but provide contributions to their community. Jackie Blakeley earned a PhD in educational leadership. Her daughter Sterlin holds a degree of doctor of optometry, and her daughter Briana received her doctorate in law! One of my favorite stories from this issue is about a woman who is a true difference-maker. Cladys Porter Harrison was asked to be a Freedom Rider in 1961. She was a young 25-year-old woman and was scared to take on this task. Others had suffered violence for engaging in equal right activities. Read about her journey that day, and let’s celebrate her courage. Make sure to pay attention to the details and dates on page 8. The Anderson International Festival is coming back, and we’ve got a list of all the activities you don’t want to miss! The country of focus this year is Germany, and organizations throughout the county have planned special exhibits and activities to help our community experience a taste of Germany right here in South Carolina. As you start the New Year, I hope you’ll have plenty of successes in your life – whatever your definition of success may be! As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Believe you can, and you’re half way there!”
Platelets, hair growth and better skin: what’s the connection? By Emmy Williams About 50 million men and 30 million women have male (or female) pattern baldness. It can begin early in life but is much more common after the age of 50. In fact, more than 50% of men will experience some kind of hair loss in their life. PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy is used for a range of conditions – from muscle pain and injuries to cosmetic procedures like hair restoration and microneedling. Platelets are one of the four parts that make up blood. Platelets promote cell growth and helps cells multiply. In platelet-rich plasma, platelets are about five times more concentrated than in regular blood. This concentration of platelets is useful, because platelets assist in wound healing. When it comes to hair loss, platelets are injected into the head to reach the bottom of the hair follicle and stimulate hair growth. Dr. Terrence Bruner and nurse practitioner Lauren Craig of AnMed Health Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery are thrilled to announce the addition of PRP for hair restoration to their extensive service list beginning in January. “We are so excited to see PRP for hair restoration launched at our office. This will be amazing for our patients and anyone in the Upstate experiencing hair loss,” said Dr. Bruner. How often someone will need to have PRP injections administered depends on genetics, amount of hair loss and age. “I am very excited to begin offering PRP injections for hair restoration, as I have seen the benefits and know this can be life changing for so many people,” said Craig. A PRP injection is a low-risk procedure and does not usually cause major side effects. The procedure involves drawing blood, so staying hydrated can prevent feeling lightheaded. PRP is also used in microneedling, a service that AnMed Health Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery also offers. Microneedling is a cosmetic treatment that creates extra collagen which can help heal scars and reduce signs of aging. People may consider having a microneedling treatment with PRP if they want to treat certain marks or blemishes on the body or face for cosmetic reasons. Practitioners use microneedling with PRP to treat acne scars, surgical scars, wrinkles and fine lines, sun damage, large pores and uneven skin texture. The addition of PRP with microneedling will help to speed the healing process and stimulate skin growth – potentially producing better results than microneedling alone. andersonmagazine.com
Nurse practitioner Lauren Craig demonstrates microneedling with PRP. Because PRP injections are made up of your own cells and plasma, the risk of an allergic reaction is much lower than with other injectable medications. “I have seen a huge improvement in skin tone and texture as well as improvement in acne scarring with microneedling. Microneedling in combination with PRP acts as a growth factor and can dramatically change the skin after as little as two or three treatments,” Craig said. AnMed Health Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery is now accepting patients for both microneedling with PRP and PRP for hair loss. Call 864.367.0197 to book an appointment today.
Dr. Terrence Bruner 7 Linwa Boulevard Anderson, SC 29621 864.367.0197 5
By April Cameron
Jennifer McAninch & Mary Virginia Curtis andersonmagazine.com
By combining a love of fashion with smart marketing, excellent customer service and a high-profile social media presence, Mary Virginia Curtis and Jennifer McAninch have created the thriving boutique in downtown Anderson, Maren and Main. The charming clothing store opened its doors in September of 2021 at 208 N. Main Street, and the local community seems to be shopping without stopping! “About 80 percent of our business comes from customers in the Anderson area,” said McAninch. “This community has been so supportive of us, but we also have customers all over— Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas…” McAninch and Curtis joined forces as a dynamic retail fashion duo while both were employed at one of Anderson’s first clothing boutiques, Blake & Brady. McAninch worked for 13 years at that store and Curtis was there for four years. “Jennifer hired me,” said Curtis. “And she was tough! I was only in high school at the time, and I did not want to disappoint her.” Blake & Brady owners Chris and Sissa Sullivan began to discuss retirement and closing the business. “We had a passing ‘one day’ type of conversation, but didn’t think it would happen like this,” said McAninch. “We thought we could just have an online store and do pop-up shops. But a great location became available, so we switched gears.” With just a couple of weeks to renovate the space, the two worked furiously to meet their opening deadline. “We picked everything out ourselves,” said Curtis. “Our goal was to have a blank canvas so the clothes are the star of the show.” Now, with less than six months under their belts at their own boutique, these two entrepreneurs have found a recipe for success. “We each love different aspects of the business,” said McAninch. “I enjoy a lot of the back office work like
managing the inventory and in-putting pricing. MV is great with our marketing and social media. People love our videos, and she is in charge of all of that.” Curtis is currently a student at Clemson University pursuing a degree in graphic communications. McAninch was a kindergarten teacher for just one year before she decided that was not meant to be her career path and began working in the retail fashion industry. With their 17-year age difference, they bring together a perfect mix of talents and tastes to make Maren and Main successful. “We definitely pull in two different audiences,” said Curtis, “and we respect each other’s customer base.” McAninch said she tends to play it a little safer with her fashion choices, and Curtis is more of a risk-taker. Choosing what styles to carry may be one of their favorite parts of the job for both the ladies. Sometimes they take risks on trends that they feel like Anderson isn’t quite ready for, and those items end up flying off the shelf. The two make regular visits to AmericasMart Atlanta to visit the apparel and gift markets. They secure partnerships with wholesale vendors and some exclusive branding opportunities. “We tend to order smaller quantities of items so everyone in town doesn’t have the same outfit,” said McAninch. “It creates demand and exclusivity.” What seems to be somewhat of a trademark of their marketing is using “real” customers as models for their clothes. “We love for our customers to represent our store,” said Curtis. “We want those modeling our clothes to be happy, positive and light-hearted. We want to see happiness,” she said. And the name? No one on payroll is named Maren. “It’s a combination of our two names,” said Curtis. “Mary and Jenn combine for Maren, and then we are on Main Street!” w
Anderson International Festival – presented by Anderson Area Sister Cities
of creating the 1897 map. Enjoy German food and drink. Exhibit open until March 31.
The Anderson International Festival (AIF) is a series of events focusing on international countries intended to educate and bring the rich cultures of people from various areas of the world to people of all ages in Anderson County and the Upstate. This year’s featured country is Germany!
January 13 • 6:30-8:30 pm Anderson Arts Center GermanFest Exhibit Opening Reception Enjoy artwork from three different artists, all of German descent, creating in different mediums. See exquisite textiles, watercolors and ceramics. The Carnegie Building.
Enjoy the many different special activities during the months of January-March, & grab a taste of the German culture!
January 18 • 5:30 pm Anderson County Museum Mary Koziar traveled all over Germany, collecting a variety of items including postcards, dolls, beer steins and many other items. Join Mary as she talks about her travels as a teenage girl through the German countryside.
January 4 • 5-8pm GermanFest Kickoff Kickoff GermanFest at the Anderson Arts Center. You’ll be entertained by The Foothills Oompah Band, have the chance to visit a local food truck, and you’re invited to pub crawl your way around downtown to our local breweries and craft beer establishments.
January 23 • 3-5 pm Belton Area Museum Association “Willkommen” Exhibit Opening Come view our new exhibit featuring the culture, history, and people of Germany.
January 7 • 4-7 pm City of Anderson First Friday Activities Downtown January 13 • 5-6:30 pm Anderson County Museum GermanFest Exhibit Opening Reception Mapping It Out: The Von Hasseln Family and Anderson, SC Many researchers know that J. H. von Hasseln created a most useful map of Anderson County in 1897. Our exhibit will uncover the details of the von Hasseln family’s journey to the United States in the 1870s, the professions they worked in, and will even explore the process andersonmagazine.com
January 25 • 5:30 pm Anderson County Museum Dr. Tanya Espinosa Cordoba from Anderson University will do a program on her German collections. She will talk about teaching school in Germany, some German holiday traditions she experienced, and other cultural insights. January 26 • 2:30 pm main Library Anderson County Library Locating your German Ancestors.
January 31 • The Kitchen Emporium German Wine Dinner Delicious dinner paired with German wines and a discussion about growing and harvesting German wines. $45 per person + tax + gratuity. Reservations required.
Bonhoeffer, by Dr. Richard Burnett As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and author.
February 1 • Noon Anderson County Museum Lunch & Learn- Textile Mills in Germany John Rainey will share his knowledge of working in the Textile Mills in Germany. He will bring a variety of items made in the mills he visited while working in Germany.
March 24 • 6:30 pm Belton Area Museum Association Night for the Museum Come support the Belton Area Museum Association in their biennial fundraiser. The night will include a silent and live auction and a delicious assortment of German food and beer.
February 4 • 5-8 pm City of Anderson First Friday Activities Downtown Musical performance by The Foothills Oompah Band presented by GAMAC.
About Sister Cities Anderson Area Sister Cities is a member of the larger organization, Sister Cities International. Sister Cities members work to promote peace and understanding through exchanges and initiatives that focus on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development. Sister city relationships offer the flexibility to form connections between communities that are mutually beneficial and which address issues that are most relevant for partners.
February 10 • 11 am Anderson County Museum German Fairy Tales Linda Loparo will have a preschool program on one of the German fairy tales, combined with a preschool craft to take home. February 15 • 6:30 pm FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH “The German Influence on Christianity” with Dr. Channing L. Crisler Among the many cultures that have shaped Christianity as we know it today, few may surpass Germany. Though it often goes unnoticed, various moments and figures from Germany’s past have profoundly impacted the way Christians think about faith, the church, and even scripture. Lecture will be held in the Kirk Fellowship Hall.
To get involved in the Anderson Area Sister Cities, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional events continue to be added to the exciting GermanFest schedule! Please follow us on FaceBook to ensure you are aware of all of the activities and details! Find us at: andersonareasistercity. If you have questions about a specific event, please contact the host of the event directly.
Feb. 22, Mar. 1, Mar. 8 • 2-3:30 pm Anderson University Professional & Lifelong Learning Book STUDY – Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (by Eric Metaxas) Enjoy a book study and lecture on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, featuring author, teacher, and Theology Matters director and managing editor, Dr. Richard Burnett.
www.AndersonCountyMuseum.sc.gov (864) 260-4737 www.AndersonArts.org 864-222-2787 Anderson County Library www.AndersonLibrary.org • (864) 260-4500 Belton Area Museum Association www.beltonmuseum.com • 864 338-7400
February 24 & 25 • 7pm Belton Area Museum Association German Fairy Tales with BHP Drama Students Audiences of all ages will enjoy watching BHP drama students perform some classic German fairy tales. 7 p.m.
The Kitchen Emporium www.thekitchenemporium.net • (864) 225-2021 City of Anderson www.cityofandersonsc.com • (864) 231-2601 Anderson University www.andersonuniversity.edu • (864) 231-2000
March 15 • 2-3:30pm Anderson University Professional & Lifelong Learning Lecture: Life and Times of Dietrich andersonmagazine.com
TCTC Dual Enrollment Student Wins Top Honor in Playwriting Competition
Mary Bate Mary Bate entered Tri-County Technical College this fall as a 16-yearold dual enrollment student looking for an academic challenge. In August she enrolled in two classes – art history and appreciation and English 101 -- while maintaining straight-A’s as a junior at S.C. Connections Academy, a tuition-free virtual public charter school that K–12 students can attend from home. Dual enrollment allows high school students to take college classes while they are still enrolled in high school. These classes count for both high school and college credit. It was the first time the Anderson resident had experienced an inperson lecture in five years. Since completing the sixth grade, she has andersonmagazine.com
been a student at the S.C. Connections Academy. She said her dual enrollment classes immediately challenged her and reignited her love of writing and the arts. She credits instructors Jesse Morgan (art) and Betty Stack (English) with motivating her creatively. “They had higher expectations of me than I had of myself,” she said. An avid theatre lover, Bate had acted in several youth, community and college productions, but had never tried her hand at playwriting. Earlier this year she participated in Bob Jones University’s Musical Theatre EduCamp for high schoolers and says her classes at TCTC gave her the courage to sign up for a 24hour playwriting contest held during the week. She competed against 19 other high school students and took home the top honor in playwriting, along with a firstplace acting ensemble award. “I went in expecting a fun week of acting and experience. I was there to make new friends, learn about theatre, and to explore my own talent,” she said. She walked away with two awards “and a big smile on my face,” she added. Once she decided to enter the playwriting competition, judges gave each competitor mandatory phrases and props to incorporate into their scripts. “Each of us had to take the required phrases and props and people and had 24 hours to create a play that was 8 to 10 minutes in length.” She headed straight to the university’s library where she began to power write for four hours. She took a break and left the library to audition for a part in the soon-to-be-written plays. “I had nothing prepared. I rummaged in my back pack and found a Pez stick. So, my audition consisted of talking about how much people hate Pez. It was completely improvised,” she said. She left feeling both energized and
nervous and headed home to start writing again until the wee hours. She turned her play in and the next day learned she qualified for one of the playwriting awards, as well as an audition for the plays that would be performed. She spent almost the entire next day memorizing and rehearsing the script that she and three others were given to perform. Later that evening, she got a text that she was chosen for one of the acting roles. “The script I performed won the second-place award as I learned during the awards ceremony that evening. I performed the script after the awards ceremony.” After the performance, she and the group she acted with won the first-place acting ensemble award for their performance in a fellow
“I went in expecting a fun week of acting and experience. I was there to make new friends, learn about theatre, and to explore my own talent,” Mary Bate said. She walked away with two awards “and a big smile on my face.” participant’s play. During the awards ceremony, she was on stage with two other finalists. “When I heard my name called as the winner of the playwriting award, I was super excited and shocked. My play, “The Psychiatrist Knows More than You Think,” somehow it won.” She received a trophy and a free week of EduCamp at Bob Jones University. “I went there expecting to get an education, not an award. It’s a week I will never forget,” said the Anderson resident. Her first semester at TCTC is equally memorable. “I was nervous and self-conscious the first day or so. My high school teachers have told me dual enrollment is where I need to be. I expected to receive at most high B’s but I’ve received A’s in both classes. TCTC is a great place to do dual enrollment. It aligns perfectly with high school students who want to be challenged academically.” TCTC English lecturer Betty Stack says Bate reached out to her immediately after winning the award. “Mary is an amazing student who will do extraordinary things one day. Theatre and writing are definitely in her future. She is one of the best students I have ever taught. She is inquisitive and she is extremely smart. Recently she told me her critical thinking skills have advanced since taking my class. That is my goal as an educator. When she said that, I was beaming inside and out.” “I’ve come out of this semester with more respect for myself and knowledge of where I stand academically because of my instructors’ impact on my education. I’m a better student and a better person,” said Bate. She ends the semester at TCTC with a deeper appreciation of art history and a wealth of writing experience, thanks to instructors Morgan and Stack. “I got lucky. They both care so much about their students and our successes.”n andersonmagazine.com
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Offering Resources and Hope By Jim Harris
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” In the case of husband and wife team Dave Phillips and Zoe Hale, the answer is quite a lot. The Community Resource Guide and Hope Mission are evidence of this passion for serving. Zoe and Dave are retired military. Dave, who retired first, had been on church staffs and involved in planting churches. With a daughter in the area, in 2014, they decided to move to Anderson. Zoe, when she retired, spent a year with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service to America). Program organizers asked her two questions; “Where is the poverty in your community, and what are the agencies doing something about that?” That led to an analysis of services available in Anderson. At the same time, Dave worked with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. The council needed community mapping, recording the agencies that provide various services to help those in need: homeless, marginalized, and those transitioning out of the prison system. Finding that Google and other search services were often not accurate or complete, Zoe and Dave decided to compile this information into a readily available format. Hence, the Community Resource Guide was born. In the first edition, published around four years ago, Dave estimates around 150 services were listed. Today, that number is over 300. The guide provides outlets for immediate needs like food and shelter and legal services, transportation, employment assistance, and mental health resources. Listings for area food pantries and sources for clothing are there as well. Entities that provide services for specific populations like the elderly, women, young people, those struggling with addiction, and veterans are listed. The guide is distributed at about 250 locations in the area, including AnMed Health, the Department of Social Services, several different schools as well as through the police department. It is also available by request by emailing manager@ myresourceguide org, and it can be found online at myresourceguide.com. New editions of the guide are published in February, July, and November. In February 2020, the Covid pandemic necessitated the closure of some service providers for marginalized populations. One of those was Clean Start, which provides showers and a place to do laundry. With cleanliness being a vital component of avoiding infection with the virus, this would leave numerous people at risk and with no workable alternative. Learning this, Dave approached Anderson County requesting a shower trailer to serve the homeless or those living without water. The county located a ten-stall shower trailer and set it up at the Salvation Army location. The county andersonmagazine.com
and city provided water tanks and removal. Around eighty volunteers made the shower operation run until Clean Start could reopen. A group of these volunteers identified a need for other services for the homeless, which was the beginning of Hope Missions. Hope Missions is a no-barrier entry facility that provides meals to those in need. Originally located out of Street Outreach Ministries, they moved into their 3,500 square foot location at 213 South Towers Street in Anderson on July 1 of this year. In partnership with Honey’s Place, Hope Missions provides food, coffee, restroom facilities, clothing, blankets, and anything else to help those living on the street or in deep poverty. Hope Missions serves a hot breakfast to around 75 people on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Most
GALLONS OF COFFEE
1,323 4,878 articles articles of womens of mens Clothes Clothes
no longer live on the street
who attend are homeless or what Zoe calls fragilely housed, meaning they live in a place without power or water. While there, they can also get coffee, obtain clothes and enjoy a comfortable area to socialize. Most of the individuals served at Hope Missions also struggle with substance abuse, so working closely with experts and facilities that provide services in that area to try and help these folks get clean is an integral part of their work. Around 25-30 people attend Bible studies that Dave leads every Tuesday, but all faith-based activities are optional. Today Hope Missions is led by a generous board of volunteers. Chaired by Kim Shore, the board includes Jenny Pray, Julie Huber, Norman Epps, Ron Huber, Sonny Francesconi, Sunny Wells, and Dave. Dave is also quick to point out an excellent level of cooperation with local governments and officials. In its first year of operations, Hope has served 2,126 meals and 525 gallons of coffee, given out 1,323 articles of clothing for women, 4,878 articles of clothing for men, guided eight people into substance abuse programs, and helped 18 men and women to no longer live on the streets. Dave estimates the homeless population of Anderson County to be 2,000-2,500 people. In Anderson School District Five alone, some estimate there are at least 400 homeless children. That number could be higher since students’ absence of conventional in-person attendance makes getting an accurate count challenging. The Community Resource Guide and Hope Missions would like to expand their offerings to seven days a week. They run entirely off donations and volunteers that donate time and services. If you’d like to support them, donations can be made through www.southmainmercy. org and select Community Resource Guide. n andersonmagazine.com
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An Ode to
continue for a second year,” said Carol Burdette, chief executive officer. “Our contestants were thrilled that we offered two in-person opportunities for their fans to come out and support them. Also, this benefited two small businesses that were willing to host this phase of the competition (Carolina Bauernhaus and Tipsy Tavern). Their friends, family members and fans came out to support them and it boosted the sales of these small businesses, too!” Burdette expressed many thanks to the presenting sponsor, The Peoples Bank, and best wishes to the winner, Kendall Lanford.
“I love country, pop
By Deborah Tucker
and alternative music. My favorite song from the competition would have to be ‘Break It to Me Gently’” “Once again, the funds raised will go to struggling families in Anderson County, and we look forward to hosting Anderson Sings again next year,” concluded Burdette. As for Lanford, she is excited about the opportunities that the contest brings. “I really appreciate the prizes from winning Anderson Sings,” said Lanford. “In addition to $2,000 in cash, I’m receiving a day in a By Lisashoot. MarieI will Carter recording studio and a professional photo be opening for Celebrate Anderson, which will be held Labor Day weekend 2022!” Singing comes naturally to Lanford. Her entire family has musical talent. “I started singing in middle school and continued
Kendall Lanford decided to compete in Anderson Sings when she saw last year’s winner, Easton Gowen, perform at Celebrate Anderson. “I won the Greer Idol contest in 2019, so I felt I had a good shot in the Anderson Sings contest,” said Lanford. The United Way of Anderson County sponsored Anderson Sings as a unique way to raise money during the coronavirus pandemic. The contest began as a virtual event with all of the singers performing online and raising a dollar per vote with proceeds going to the United Way of Anderson. “United Way was excited to have Anderson Sings andersonmagazine.com
on in high school,” she said. “My parents are very supportive of my singing. My step-dad, Victor De Leon, serves as my voice coach, hairdresser, and all-around manager.” Lanford continued, “My step-dad used to be a musician himself. He had a record deal and sang at the 14
Alabama Theatre in Myrtle Beach for years, until he developed a rare disease that caused him to lose his voice. Fortunately, after that, he was able to find another talent and what is now his passion—hair and makeup. He works with me on songs and helps me warm up before performances. We go through each song I have to perform and tweak things here and there that need a bit of work or change small notes that sound more pleasing to the audience’s ear.” Lanford said she would love to sing professionally. “I love country, pop and alternative music. My favorite song from the competition would have to be ‘Break It to Me Gently’ (Juice Newton) and ‘Yodelin’ Blues’ (The Wilkinsons).” While working on her professional singing career, Lanford, who recently turned 20, also focuses on her college work and business career. “I study business logistics and supply chain management at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg,” she said. “I’m also working on a minor in psychology and looking forward to graduating in 2024.” Along with her studies, Lanford works at GOAL3 in Mauldin, where she is currently an e-commerce specialist. Readers can keep up with Lanford by subscribing to her YouTube page. To learn more about United Way of Anderson County, call the office at (864) 226-3438 or visit the website at www.UnitedWayofAnderson.org. n
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The Electric City Gambit By Josh Overstreet
benefits of playing chess. “Everyone who loves chess is welcome to come to play and learn,” said Iorga. “Playing chess as a hobby is good for keeping your mind active and improving some skills such as multitasking, pattern recognition, patience and strategic thinking. Additionally, when you play in an official tournament, you need to learn to control your emotions, so it’s improving other skills such as calmness under pressure or sportsmanship.” Additionally, there are monetary prizes for those who compete in official tournaments and rise through the US Chess Federation’s rankings. For high schoolers who compete, this can lead to college scholarships. Ever since Iorga started advertising the meetings through the group’s Facebook page, the Knights of the Upstate constantly have a stream of new players, both young and old, and the group recently held its first official tournament. “We just had our first big open chess tournament on November 13th, with 36 players plus 10-20 parents in attendance,” said Iorga. According to Iorga, this was the first Swiss system event held in Anderson. The Swiss system is a widespread tournament format that most official chess tournaments use, according to the US Chess Federation’s official rulebook. The Anderson November 2021 Open presented by the Knights of the Upstate brought in players from Anderson, Greenville, and Columbia in addition to
What does the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit and Anderson have to do with each other? the Knights of the Upstate. In August 2021, Vincent Iorga started the group after some prompting from friends who watched The Queen’s Gambit— a series about a female chess prodigy—and knew that Vincent played chess on a competitive level. “A few close friends, knowing I play chess in tournaments, and after watching the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, asked me if I wanted to teach their kids how to play,” said Iorga. “Other friends,learning about this, suggested that I can do it for more kids.” Iorga’s father taught him the game when he was young, and growing up he would play with his father and his friends as a hobby. In the last couple of years, however, Iorga began playing officially and joined the US Chess Federation. The US Chess Federation is the official governing body for chess players and supporters in the United States and represents them in the World Chess Federation. Each year, the US Chess Federation sanctions over 10,000 tournaments and over 500,000 games of chess. “I had to go to North Carolina to play rated games on a regular basis and in Greenville there is a good chess club, but they have only quick games on Thursday evenings that often conflict with my work,” said Iorga, a robotics technician at Magna International. “It influenced me to think about starting a chess club closer to me.” Thus, the Knights of the Upstate chess club was born. The group meets every other Saturday at the Carpenter’s Church from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and is open to anybody who wants to learn to play and enjoy the andersonmagazine.com
“Playing chess as a hobby is good for keeping your mind active and improving some skills such as multitasking, pattern recognition, patience and strategic thinking. 16
out-of-state players from Georgia, North Carolina and even New Jersey. “I plan to have more such events regularly in the future,” said Iorga. Holding tournaments is just a start, because Iorga plans on introducing more and more of the Anderson community to chess. “One of the next steps would be to bring chess programs to local schools in Anderson and the surrounding areas so kids can have one to two hours of chess in their after-school activities,” said Iorga. “And after that I want to bring a South Carolina scholastic chess championship trophy to Anderson!” In the long term, Iorga even wants to have larger and larger official tournaments that last over entire weekends and bring in 200-300 players. Being involved in the Anderson community is important to Iorga and his wife, who originally are from Bucharest, Romania. They owned a successful insurance brokerage before deciding to come to the United States. “It was not an easy decision but we have made new friends here, so Anderson is our new home,” said Iorga. “We both try to be involved in our community and after ten years here we don’t regret at all this move.” If you are interested in learning to play chess or getting involved with the Knights of the Upstate, visit their Facebook page. n
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A Bus Ride for Freedom By Caroline Anneaux
Anderson native Cladys Porter Harrison was a 25-year-old mother of a three-year-old daughter in June 1961. She was going through a divorce and staying with her parents on the same property where she still lives today. “I got a phone call at 5:00 a.m. one morning in June 1961,” said Harrison. “When the phone rings early in the morning, you jump out of bed to answer it. Normally it means bad news.” However, this was not a call from a loved one or friend telling her there had been an accident or illness in the night. This was a phone call from a local NAACP leader asking her to rise to the challenge of becoming a Freedom Rider by 8:00 a.m. that same morning. Harrison had very little time to decide what she should do. “I knew that Martin Luther King, Jr. had written letters to young black women who were close to graduating college or just a year or so out of high school,” said Harrison. “They were looking for young women who would need to take a bus ride to visit college campuses around the South. Because I was already 25, married, and a mom, I never answered the call to help. But they called me.” Freedom Riders were groups of young women and men in 1961 who volunteered to go into bus stations to buy tickets at the whites-only counters, use the whites-only restrooms and sit in whites-only seats on the buses. Even though laws were passed as early as 1947 to outlaw segregation, it was not uncommon to see segregation still enforced in the South. These brave young men and women, both black and white, wanted to see change, and the law was on their side in the summer of 1961. That did not make the choice to be a Freedom Rider easy. In fact, it was very dangerous. Young adults traveling in andersonmagazine.com
bad and went outside to ask her to come back in and sit down. I told her I was not going to cause any trouble, I just needed to get to Columbia like everyone else. She came in from the rain and sat down.” Around two o’clock they passed through McCormick and local policemen stopped the bus. They got onto the bus and held their batons as they walked up and down the aisle. Harrison was nervous, but she held her Bible and repeated Isaiah 41:10 to herself. The policemen asked Harrison and her companions to get off the bus, and they questioned them while standing alongside the highway. She told them they were going to Columbia to visit a college and they were not trying to cause any trouble. The policemen told her that if she got on another bus in Columbia to ride back to Anderson, she would not make it home that night. With that threat ringing in her ears, she boarded the bus and rode it all the way to Columbia, where her father was waiting to pick her up and take her home. “I knew God was with us on those buses that day,” said Harrison. “I may have been shaking in my shoes, but I was determined to ride those buses to Columbia and represent my race that day. The law said we could buy tickets at any counter, sit on any seats on the bus and use any restroom. Martin Luther King, Jr. was expecting me to follow through with the promise I made that morning when I accepted the challenge to be a Freedom Rider, and I completed my mission with every ounce of courage I could muster.” It was 2007 before Harrison received any recognition for being a Freedom Rider that day in June 1961. It was too dangerous for her and her family to put her name in print in the 1960s. “It is a shame that it took so many years for it to be safe enough to name the ones who were part of this movement in the early 1960s,” said Harrison. “I am now 86 years old, and I never imagined we would have race issues 50 years later, but we do. I have always believed that all people, no matter the color of their skin, should be treated with equality and kindness.”n
small groups, most of them for the first time without their families, knew they were risking their lives as they stood up for their constitutional rights. The Freedom Riders were harassed by angry white people, the police and even those of their own race. “I was the only woman to agree to go that morning,” said Harrison. “Close to a dozen others who said they would go dropped out at the last minute. I was so frightened. I was really concerned that something would happen to me, and my child would not have a mother. My father assured me that they would take care of her, but he also gave me a Bible verse to repeat over and over that day.”
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 And repeat she did. All day long. She carried her Bible and said it was her “weapon.” God was going to protect her and see her through her challenge. The two young black men who rode with her hardly uttered a word the entire day. Black men and women sitting at the back of the buses told them to sit at the back and not cause trouble for all of them. Harrison’s faith was stronger than her fear. She remained calm no matter what insults were hurled at them, and held her head high. Her father drove her to the bus station in Anderson and dropped her off. Harrison walked through the front door and up to the counter to purchase the ticket. She was told she needed to go through the back entrance. When she questioned the ticket agents and told them she may miss the bus if she could not buy a ticket right then, they sold her a ticket, and she boarded the bus minutes before it pulled out heading to Greenwood. She and her companions sat in the second or third row of the bus. It was crowded, so they took the first seats they could find. Harrison heard mumbling from the back of the bus. The men and women of color at the back of the bus did not want her stirring up any trouble. She ignored them and sat quietly as they rode to Greenwood. “When I arrived in Greenwood, I went through the front doors and right up to the ticket counter,” said Harrison. “They allowed me to purchase my ticket, and never said anything negative to me. But when I went to sit in the whites-only waiting area, everyone got up and went outside—in the rain! There was an elderly white lady with a cane who walked outside with them. I felt andersonmagazine.com
Cladys Harrison is the mother of four daughters, four first cousins who are like sons to her, 12 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. Everyone lives within two and a half hours of her, and she enjoys every moment she is able to spend with them. She has been an active member of Mountain Springs Baptist Church for most of her life, even volunteering as the church secretary for 35 years. Harrison enjoys the choir, missionary work and women’s groups. Among many other things, she has written grants for young people to get paid to do landscaping jobs in the community, worked for pay as a secretary, served as president of the PTO at school, chaired a program to have a Habitat for Humanity home built for a single mom and participated in a bike-a-thon. 19
three of a
KIND By Jay Wright: Foothills Writers Guild
Two in the same household with advanced degrees? Rare, yes. Three with advanced degrees? Very rare. How about three doctorates in the same family household? Unique, indeed. Jackie Blakley, dean of the Business and Public Services Division of Tri-County Technical College, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia and a master’s in business administration from Clemson University. In 2016 she earned a PhD in educational leadership from Clemson University. Representing Tri-County, Jackie has also served as president of the South Carolina Association of Women in Community Colleges. She has organized luncheons to address important topics such as women’s leadership, financial literacy, health and wellness, and breast cancer. Her leadership in helping students access resources and excel in classes doesn’t end there. She has chaired the Anderson County First Steps board, served on the African American Leadership Society, served on the board of the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands, been a member of the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way, served on the advisory boards for Anderson Career and Technology Center and Anderson School District 5 Career Center, Anderson School District 4 Business Education Advisory Committee, the HESA Advisory Board of Clemson University, and the AnMed Health Ambassadors Program. She won the Martha Kime Piper Award in
2018 for her service and support of women in higher education. So, what does Jackie do when she isn’t working? She and her husband, Milton, enjoy baking and watching college basketball and football games on TV. She and Milton met while students at the University of Georgia. He was on UGA’s basketball team. Speaking of family, Jackie and Milton have two daughters and a son: Sterlin Jones, Briana Eubanks, and Jamal. All three are honor graduates of Pendleton High School. All three played and excelled in sports programs there, but Mom says the house rule was: Student First – Athletics Second. Sterlin lettered in all girls’ sports programs in high school and was her class valedictorian. She is now married and living in Atlanta. She holds a degree of doctor of optometry and works as an optometrist for LensCrafters, Briana played on all-region basketball and track teams in high school. She is now married and living in Hollywood, Florida. She received her doctorate in law September/October 2021
in 2021 and she is currently preparing for the state bar exam. She plans to work in compliance and family law. Jamal participated in football, basketball, and track programs in high school. He was Region 3A Offensive Player of the Year in football and all region in basketball and track. He is currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina. How does one family harness so much talent and potential and continue a legacy of accomplishment? Jackie attributes it to several things like the support of family members, taking family trips that were fun as well as educational, staying busy, helping others, and finding things that all enjoy doing together like watching sports on TV. The ladies also share a bond by being a part of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Jamal is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. But, perhaps the most important: • Church and faith – the centerpiece. “We are members of Generostee Baptist Church, and that’s where we always were on Sunday mornings.” • Clear priorities – “The rule in our house was that student athletes were students first and athletes second – always.” • Communication – “I still talk to my daughters by phone every day and with Jamal almost as often.” Dr. Jackie Blakley and Milton have much to be proud of. Anderson County is equally as proud of all she and her family have done and the inspiration they have been for so many of our residents. One thing is clear: they are not resting on those accomplishments – they are going strong. n
READ LISTEN WATCH LEARN Digital books, audiobooks, online classes, and more available free from your local library. Visit www.andersonlibrary.org or your local Anderson County Library branch today.
local support for
By Caroline Anneaux
Girls Basketball Team Coach Daryl Oliver is the new head coach for the girls JV and Varsity basketball teams at Pendleton High School. He comes to PHS with 12 years of college coaching experience and several more years at the high school level. It was after he accepted the position that he discovered that the team lounge was really nothing more than a storage closet for old furniture and broken equipment. “I walked into a room that looked like an oversized storage closet and did not believe that this is where the girls were meeting before and after practices and games,” said Oliver. “There were a couple of old sofas, a concrete floor and not even a refrigerator to store their snacks and drinks.” Right around that time, Oliver messaged his good friend and former co-worker from Clemson University, Grace Ammons, to let her know about his new job. Ammons decided on a whim to stop by and see him one afternoon. “We worked together for six years at Clemson University when he was the associate head coach for the Lady Tigers basketball team,” said Ammons. “I have always been impressed with Daryl’s coaching ability and could feel his excitement about coaching and mentoring the girls at Pendleton High School.” Coach Oliver walked Ammons over to the lounge. The moment she saw it, she knew she had to find a way to improve it for the girls. Ammons graduated from Pendleton High School and felt as though this was
something she needed to do as an alumna. “I took some pictures of what I saw as a ‘storage closet’ and sent a message out on my private Facebook page asking if anyone was willing to help me with this project,” said Ammons. People were. Friends, churches and businesses in the community stepped up and donated furniture, desks, artwork, snacks and even a full-size refrigerator. Within two months, the ‘closet’ was an official lounge the girls could be proud of. Walls were painted, new carpeting was installed, pictures were hung and the giant wraparound sofa arrived. They even have a brand-new media backdrop to use for promotional events. “The girls walk into the lounge every day after school smiling and happy to be here,” said Sara Blake, assistant coach. “It is a warm and welcoming environment for them. Just a great place to relax and regroup before practice or a game.” Team morale has been really high since school started this fall. There has been so much interest in JV they now have ten players on a new team for 2021-22. Riverside Middle School in Pendleton has 15 players in eighth grade this year, and they will be eligible to try out for JV next season. The varsity team currently has ten players, and the coaches are hoping more girls will be interested as the season progresses. Visit the Facebook page “PHS Lady Bulldog Watchers” to keep up with team news and ways to help each season. n
Countybank Holiday Ice at Carolina Wren Park Service and community are an important part of Countybank’s history, and each year Countybank partners with local nonprofits and charitable organizations to volunteer and give back to the community. Through partnerships like this, Countybank is able to live one of its core values to put people first and in turn have a positive impact on our communities. This holiday season, Countybank once again joined forces with Holiday Ice in Anderson to support what has become a holiday tradition. Every winter the spray plaza at Carolina Wren Park in downtown Anderson converts to a synthetic ice rink for holiday fun. Countybank is hosting a booth at the ice-skating rink, and associates have enjoyed meeting Anderson residents and their families. Holiday Ice Event Details • Don’t miss this great annual holiday event! • Holiday Ice is open until January 17. • Stop by Countybank’s table for some fun giveaways and to discuss how we can serve your financial needs.
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United Way Buy-a-Box Fundraiser Childhood Hunger Although Federal Nutrition programs provide meals for students during the school week, weekends can be especially challenging. Weekend SnackPack and Middle School Markets were created to provide weekend food supplements to students who are identified by their teachers, creating food security for them over the weekend. With the support of partners, donors, and volunteers, United Way of Anderson County works hard to fill the weekend meal gap for these kids, so they can return to school each Monday well-fed and ready to learn.
Weekend SnackPack Every week at the Second Harvest warehouse, volunteers pack kid-friendly, ready-to-eat food items in bags. Boxes of SnackPacks are delivered to Anderson County elementary schools for the entirety of the school year. School staff then place the SnackPacks in children’s backpacks to be discreetly sent home each Friday. Each SnackPack has 4 meals and 2 snacks.
Middle School Market Middle School Market is a newly-launched program aimed at addressing hunger in our Anderson County middle schools. Each participating school gets a food pantry stocked with brand-name items that kids love. When a teacher sees a child is in need of something extra, they can offer a full bag of items from the pantry.
How can you help? Buy-a-Box! Donate to the Buy-a-Box fundraiser on February 14th or any day during the month of February! Each box provides 8 children with 4 meals each! You can also Buy-a-Box in honor of your Valentine and they'll receive a Valentines card from you via United Way (donate by 2/7)! Scan the QR code or go to UnitedWayofAnderson.org/buyabox22 andersonmagazine.com
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Events Jan 8-9 • Great American Gun & Knife Show Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center A one stop shopping experience for handguns, rifles, shotguns, ammunition, and more. You can find a large assortment of accessories including scopes, magazines, reloading supplies, holsters, carry cases, range bags, cleaning kits, gun safes, hunting gear, and concealment products. Also several knife dealers selling factory and handmade products.
Feb 25 • Carolina Carnage – Full Contact Medieval Combat Tourney • T. Ed Garrison Arena After a break due to the plague Carnage is back. Once again bringing you one of the largest medieval fighting events in the country. Friday will be a full Day of One vs One matches. We will have multiple duels formats with competitors competing in HMBIA’s Duels League. Along with Outrance Tournaments competing in the World Medieval Fighting Championship Organization. wmfc-knights.com. Saturday will be Group fights with all competitors competing in HMBIA’s Buhurt League. www.buhurtglobal.com
Jan 15 • Wedding Festival • The Bleckley Station Filled with the most current wedding supplies and services from the areas MOST RESPECTED Wedding Professionals. Tickets are $10 at the door and $8 online.
Feb 27 • Youth Art Month Exhibit Opening Anderson Arts Center See the amazing artwork of youth from public, private and home schools programs in Anderson County.
Jan 22 • Birdseed Wreath Make & Take • City Seed at the Station To register, please go to our website lebrundesignsinc.com or prepay at the Station. Jan 28-Feb 13 • Driving Miss Daisy • Mill Town Players, Pelzer Mill Town Players Driving Miss Daisy portrays the relationship between an elderly Southern woman, Daisy and her chauffeur, Hoke Colburn, over a period of three decades from the 1940s to the 1970s.
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Congratulations to our team for putting patients & safety first Thanks to you, AnMed Health earned the nation’s top distinction for patient safety with an “A” grade from the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. The “A” recognizes our high standards in patient safety. This honor belongs to every one of our team members, who work every day for our patients. Congratulations and thank you.
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is an elite designation from The Leapfrog Group, a national, independent watchdog that sets the highest standards for patient safety in the United States.