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Lakeside The Good Life on Lake Marion, South Carolina • December 2011- January 2012

National Bass Tournament brings nation to Lake Marion

Roam for the Holidays Christmas on the Lake

Mortgage help? santeelakeside.com

Bah, Humbug

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in this issue

General Manager Gail Mathis gailm@theitem.com

16 26

Publisher Jack Osteen jack@theitem.com Articles & Research Robert J. Baker bbaker@theitem.com

19 18

R. Darren Price dprice@theitem.com Layout & Design Cary Johnson cjohnson@theitem.com

30 Landmarks and Landscapes

4

MOrtgage Help? Bah, Humbug!

8

Insure Yourself For Most “Wonderful Time of the Year” 12

National Tournament Nation fishes at Lake Marion

26

Finding your happy LMA student wins quilting award

30

On the lake

33

Give Yourself This Holiday Season

14

Roam for the holidays Christmas happenings on the lake 36

Dad’s Lake Lessons still linger today

16

For your information 38

Waterfowl Hunting Patience and flexibility

18

Photography Robert J. Baker, Ashley A. Fry & Gail Mathis Contributing Writers: Yana Mathis, Earle Woodward, Rebecca Coker and Debi Love-Fralix

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Landmarks and landscapes Berkeley County • Calhoun County • Clarendon County • Orangeburg County & Sumter County

The Santee Cooper lakes, both Moultrie and Marion, cover Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Orangeburg and Sumter counties, and have provided recreational opportunities to countless lake lovers and our landlocked neighbors since the lakes were built in the 1940s and 50s. Altogether these counties boast Revolutionary War battles sites, grave markers of war heroes, museums dedicated to preserving watershed moments in state and American history, beautiful churches that have sheltered the worship of Jesus

Christ for more than two centuries and wildlife reserves, swampland and nationally recognized, pristine forests.

BERKELEY COUNTY

The Cypress Gardens, located on S.C. 52, eight miles east of Moncks Corner, provide a 250-acre park that features more than 80 acres of open swamp covered in bald cypress and water tupelo to make a unique habitat for waterfowl, numerous butterfly species, deer, opossum, bobcats, raccoons and the occasional snake and alligator. Specific attractions include the gardens’ Butterfly House, with live butterflies, birds, ponds and exhibits detailing the beautiful creatures’ life cycle; the Swamparium, an observation area featuring fish, amphibians and reptiles, including venomous snakes native to the area; and several walking trails made from dikes dating back to the rice fields previously cultivated at the site. The gardens feature a 24,000-gallon freshwater aquarium and flat-bottom boats, which

4 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

hold up to six people, that meander through a designated path in the swamp. As long as they have a least one adult present, groups can see alligators and other wildlife. Mepkin Abbey, a community of Roman Catholic monks, was built in 1959 on the Cooper River, S.C. 402, north of Charleston, where historic Mepkin Plantation once stood. Guided tours of the church are provided at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday; and 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The abbey is closed to visitors on Mondays. Groups of 10 or more visitors are asked to make reservations by calling (843) 7618509. The Moncks Corner Train Depot was once the first destination for mail and news from the outside world and also served as a platform for farmers to sell goods. Renovated in 2000, it now serves as the town’s Visitor and Cultural Center, and the facility can rented for special occasions, meetings and seminars.

Old Santee Canal Park and Berkeley Museum are located on S.C. 52, near the Tailrace Canal in Monck’s Corner. For more information, call (843) 761-9622.

CALHOUN COUNTY

Belleville Plantation and Cemetery dates back to the Revolutionary War when Col. William Thomson and his new bride, Eugenia Russell, bought 400 acres of land on Buckhead Creek. Located on the Congaree River near Fort Motte in St. Matthews of U.S. 601, the site almost became the state capitol after the war, but lost out by a couple of votes. The Calhoun County Museum, located at 303 Butler St., St. Matthews, contains an art gallery, along with agricultural galleries and a research room with archives. For more information, call (803) 874-3964. The Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve, located on Turkey Track Lane near Fort Motte and St. Matthews, provide nature walks ranging from easy to strenuous on its 201 acres, which contain steep, undisturbed bluffs bordering the Congaree River. A preserve kept by the Department of Natural Resources, the bluffs contain American beech, oak-hickory and bottomland hardwood forestry along with more than 100 species of other trees, shrubs and woody vines. For video of the bluffs, visit bit.ly/f Ve4Ds . For more information, call (803) 8743337. Shady Grove Methodist Church, located on State Road S-9-53 in Cameron, was built in the 1800s on land given to Conrad Holman in 1740 by King George


II. Its oldest section was built with handhewn log framing set by wooden pegs in the early 1800s. Its white-frame building, along with its bell tower and steeple, were recognized as a historical site in June 1970.

CLARENDON COUNTY

The Clarendon County Museum and History Center, operated at 102 S. Brooks St., Manning, by the county’s Historical Society, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, excluding holidays. The museum features permanent exhibits dedicated to war memorabilia and the county’s agricultural history as well as an early 20th century kitchen furnished with an antique wood stove, cast-iron water pots and old-fashioned china and cutlery. Fort Watson, located nine miles southwest of Summerton, was originally a substructure for an Indian temple dating back to the late prehistoric period. Because of its strategic location, the mound here was used by the British to build a fort during the American Revolution. On April 15, 1781, Gen. Francis Marion and Lt. Col. Henry Lee circled the fort, and after Maj. Hezekiah Maham constructed a tower to overlook the British stockade, the Americans retook the first post gained back from the British in South Carolina during the war. Lake Marion Artisans, a group of artists from throughout Clarendon County and its surrounding areas, has an open gallery select hours Thursday-Saturday of each week at 108 Main St., Summerton. Santee National Wildlife Refuge, located in North Santee and Summerton, was first opened in 1941. The refuge manages 10

conservation easements and serves as a major wintering area for ducks and geese and a stopover area for neo-tropical migratory birds, raptors, shore birds and wading birds. Endangered and threatened species at the refuge include the American alligator and the wood stork. The Visitor’s Center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. The refuge trails and grounds are open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Aug. 31. For more information, call (803) 478-2217, or email santee@fws. gov. The Swamp Fox Murals are spread throughout Clarendon County and feature depictions of Gen. Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion and his soldiers fighting the British in Clarendon and surrounding areas. Murals in Manning are located on the walls of B-Mart,

the Manning Fire Department, IGA, Edward Jones, Piggly Wiggly, Geddings Do It Best Hardware and Substation II. In Summerton, they are located at Baucom Realty, Ginger’s Flower Shop, the Walker building, Detwilers and Gaters Law Office. In Turbeville, they are at Dollar General, the Smith Building and the corner of Main and Gamble Streets. The newest mural, completed in June by Terry Smith, is located at CitiTrends, South Mill Street, Manning.

hours. A $5 rental fee is required for the picnic shelter. For more information, call (803) 473-3543. Weldon Auditorium, North Brooks Street, Manning, is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility originally built in 1954 and re-opened after years of disrepair in December 2010. For more information and a schedule of events, visit weldonauditorium. org.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY

The Alex Salley Archives Building, located on the corner of Middleton and Bull streets in Orangeburg, houses irreplaceable historical records, papers and other items relating to the county’s past. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the first Saturday of each month. For more information, call (803) 535-0022. The Branchville Railroad Shrine and Museum, 7204 Freedom Road, Branchville, is located at the world’s first and oldest railroad junction, featuring a line that once operated on the country’s first scheduled passenger train. At one point in the 1800s, Branchville sat on the longest line in the world, the 183 miles stretching from Aiken to Charleston. Call (803) 274-8820 for hours and admission prices. The Elloree Old Town District features buildings that date back to the early 20th century, antique shops, gift boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and the Elloree Heritage and Cultural Museum. Located on Historic Cleveland Street in downtown Elloree, about seven miles from Santee off Exit 98 at Interstate 95, the museum was founded in 1998 as part of the downtown area’s revitalization efforts and boasts a rotating series of exhibits in its 10,000-square-foot facility and specifically focuses on rural life of

Taw Caw Park, located off Wash Davis Road in Summerton, has an extensive set of boardwalks around Taw Caw Creek, which empties into Lake Marion. A popular spot for fishing, the area has a playground, picnic shelters, volleyball courts and is free and open to the public during daylight santeelakeside.com 5


7174 for more information, or visit www. draco.scsu.edu.

the past. Opened Oct. 5, 2002, the museum’s Farm Wing is its oldest, continuously run exhibit. For more information, call (803) 897-2225 or visit elloreemuseum.org. Horne Wetlands Park was added to the Edisto Memorial Gardens off Seaboard Street in Orangeburg in 1992 and features a 2,600-foot boardwalk where visitors can meander through a tupelo and cypress wetland. This park is completely handicap accessible. For more information, call (803) 534-6821. I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, located at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, features a 40-foot planetarium dome, located across the foyer adjacent to the galleries, and has an auditorium capacity of 82 seats and a Minolta IIB Planetarium Projector. Educational programs for schools may be arranged by appointment two to four weeks in advance. Admission to the museum is free, but fees for programs vary. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call (803) 536-

6 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery, located at 427 Lakeview Drive on the S.C. 21 bypass in Orangeburg, is one of more than 60 federal fish hatcheries located in the United States. Operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the hatchery produces a number of species, including striped bass and red breast and bluegill sunfish, which are used to stock lakes and streams throughout the southeastern United States. Nose sturgeon are used for research and development at the site. The aquarium is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, call Hatchery Manager Willie V. Booker at (803) 534-4828 or email the hatchery at orangeburg@fws. gov. The Springfield Community Gardens in Springfield begun solely to cheer up an ill Springfield resident now serves as home to a renown Butterfly Garden, along with vibrant perennials, vines, rippling fountains and other beautiful flora. The site also includes a prayer garden filled entirely with all-white flowers, with the only other color being green from the plant foliage. Visiting hours are from dawn to dusk each day. For more information, call (803) 258-3152.

SUMTER COUNTY

The Church of the Holy Cross, an excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture, is located in Statesburg, off S.C. 261. For more information, call (803) 494-8101. The Cultural Center on Haynsworth Street in Sumter contains both the Sumter Gallery of Art and Patriot Hall. Housed in a newly renovated facility, the gallery offers classes throughout the year for kids, teens and adults. Located at 135 Haynsworth St., Sumter, Patriot Hall frequently hosts national and international acts, including the Moscow State Symphony of the United Soviets Socialist Republic, the Charleston Ballet, the Atlanta Symphony, the U.S. Coast Guard Band and a variety of touring plays and musical productions.

For more information, call (803) 436-2260. Poinsett State Park in Manchester State Forest encompasses 1,000 acres of separate trails for hiking, biking and trail riders, and also contains Sumter’s 14-mile portion of the Palmetto Trail, a 425-mile long trail from the mountains to the seat spread across the state. The lake at Poinsett is the perfect setting for a relaxing ride in a paddleboat, which can be rented at the park’s office, while Lake Marion is obviously ideal for kayaking and canoeing. The park office is located at 6660 Poinsett Park Road, Wedgefield. For more information, call (803) 494-8177.

The Sumter County Genealogical Society, 219 W. Liberty St., Sumter, is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, but is closed for all major holidays. Queries begin with a nonrefundable deposit of $20, which also covers the first hour of research. Copies and mailing charges are extra. Facility volunteers ask that requests be as specific as possible, with all relevant information provided. For more information, call (803) 774-3901, or email Editor Jay Ingersoll at sumtergensoc@ aol.com. The Sumter County Museum and Historical and Genealogical Research Center and Backcountry Homestead, located at 122 N. Washington St., Sumter, sits in a southern mansion built in 1916. The museum is popular for its living history demonstrations and its Backcountry festivals, which appear each fall and spring. For more information, call (803) 775-0908 or visit www. sumtercountymuseum.org. Swan Lake Iris Gardens, located on West Liberty Street in Sumter, is the only public park in the United States serving as home to all eight species of swans, including black necks, royal white mutes,


sumter-sc.com.

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY The Kingstree Historic District contains 48 different buildings on Main, Academy and Hampton streets that make up Kingstree’s downtown commercial area. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 1982, the district features the Williamsburg County Courthouse, a library, a railroad station and numerous businesses.

coscorobas, whoopers, black australians, whistlers, bewicks and trumpeters. The park has an open-air Garden Street picnic The Salters Plantation House shelter, the covered Heath Pavilion that seats was built by Williams Salters 200 comfortably and the enclosed Visitor’s before he died in 1833, and has Center with conference/reception space for had many renovations since. 125 people. Tables are located throughout An important example of 19th the grounds, and a large playground features century domestic architecture, an antique fire engine perfect for climbing. which combined national and The Bland Gardens feature a boardwalk, local trends, the building was on which visitors may meander through a primarily influenced by the Greek cypress swamp, and a gazebo popular10/27/11 for BOCSeniorCheckingLKSD_BOCLakeside 2:46 PM Page 1 Revival, while its front porch is spring weddings. Call (803) 778-5434 for more information about reservations for any relatively common among similar porches across the Pee Dee during of the park’s facilities or email tourism@ the time period. The plantation,

home of Capt. John Alexander Salters, eventually served as the land for Salters Depot, upon which the town of Salters was built. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 2000. The Williamsburg County Historical Museum, 135 Hampton Ave., Kingstree, is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, and features a room depicting a turn-of-thecentury drug store. For more information, call (843) 355-3306 or email history1@ftc-i. net. Compiled by Robert J. Baker bbaker@theitem.com

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Livin’ Lakeside

Government to help foreclosures? I say, “Bah, humbug!” By Yana Mathis

I

was told this issue would lean toward a Christmas theme, and all I could think of is the hard time Realtors continue having helping sellers move their properties. First of all, let me say that I’m one of those from the Old School that believes in saying, “Merry Christmas,” not “Happy Holidays” or anything politically correct to make the minority feel comfortable. I will never shy away from wanting to keep Christ in Christmas. With that out of the way, let me start my rant by noting that it saddens me to see how many people are struggling out there just trying to make ends meet. There are several categories of peo-

8 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

ple I meet every day who are just fighting to keep a roof over their heads. The lucky ones are those who have not lost a job, their health or their marriage, and have managed to keep their credit score intact. This group has no problem qualifying for a loan, and it is truly exciting to help them into the home of their dreams. The process moves along nicely and, usually in 30 days, everyone is happy and all parties in the process make some money, while someone gets a nice, new place to live. The next group are those who have decent credit and income, who want to buy homes but have some hiccups that need to be straightened out during the mortgage process. In cases like this, we usually suggest 45 days on the sales contract for a closing date. The bank – or mortgage company – usually has a laundry list of hoops the buyer must jump through, as I like to say, to have the loan preapproved. Most banks will give conditional loan approval “subject to” items being completed or produced to satisfy their underwriters. Many times the seller and Realtor(s) involved are on pins and needles until the closing date, wondering if the loan will reach final approval or not. Then there’s the group that includes aspiring home owners who cannot get a loan. We may reach out to a seller who’s had their property on the market for a longer-than-average time and ask them to consider owner-financing for the buyer. Of course, if we go to a formal closing at an attorney’s office, there will be normal closing costs, including commission, that may require anywhere from 6-10 percent of the sales price to be put down by the buyer. If the buyer has little to nothing to put down, but can make the monthly payments, then we may suggest “rent with an option to buy.” This one step shy of a rental, renting with the option to buy, allows the renter some peace of mind in knowing that they have extra time to work on their financing without someone buying the property out from under them while they are living there. If the seller ultimately rejects the option to purchase, then hopefully the ability to rent with a secured lease can be worked out. Then, the renter can


enjoy leasing without interruption for a typical period of six to 12 months. However, the seller is free to have the Realtor continue to market the property for sale “subject to tenant’s rights.” Because lenders have much stricter lending standards, many people who once enjoyed the experience of home buying are forced to rent at this time. As proof, the rental market is very strong and active, even in our local lake market. Some financial advisors are pushing for people to save more money for their down payments before house hunting. The availability of no-moneydown mortgage loans are getting harder to find unless you belong to a special category of buyer, like veterans; public service workers, such as firefighters, police or teachers; or low-income buyer in a rural area. Even so, you must still have a good credit score to qualify. As the uncertainty in the housing market continues, all taxpayers need to be on alert for proposed changes in governmental policies that may hurt us in the long run. Two things that I have read lately disturb me, the first of which is talk among regulators of proposing a QRM (qualified residential mortgage) that would require a minimum 20 percent down payment. Who has that kind of money around? The second involves efforts to limit or do away with the mortgage interest deduction as legislators debate federal budget issues. Washington’s effort to help may come back to haunt us, unfortunately. So, I say, take notice, speak up and become informed and involved about the future of our housing market or we may one day see our privilege of home ownership eroded. The current homeowners who become our clients are in several categories as well. The best group to be in is the one where you don’t need any Realtor’s advice, including mine. You’re in this group if you have made good decisions along the way and enjoy a low-interest, fixed mortgage rate

that has your payments well within your means. You have your health, a good job and a supportive family. In short, your life is “hunky dory,” as they say. For now, at least. I was in that position once, and along came a sudden illness, a job loss and a divorce all within a short period of time. I’ve never shied away from telling my readers the truth about my life, and I hope some of you can learn from my tribulations. I’ve always heard to have eight months of emergency funds in liquid savings, but I had most of mine in investment real estate. The majority was in rental property and, when the bubble burst, and the economy crashed and people lost their jobs, the domino effect happened. The renters got further and further behind on paying me, so I got further and further behind on paying the bank. When the insurance and tax bills came due, I found myself borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. When you’re forced to liquidate in a depressed real estate market, you just take what you can to pay the bills. That was not the vision I had for my investments. I’m sure many of you can relate or know someone who has fallen behind on their mortgage that would not have had a problem had not a situation hit them from out of the blue. I recently sold a home for a lady whose husband died, and without his income she was unable to pay her mortgage. She worked and had her health, but he did not and his death stopped their second household check from coming in. I can only assume she had no life insurance for him. She moved to another town and rented an apartment from a friend. This particular seller did a smart thing when faced with foreclosure: She called her lender and asked permission for a short sale, where the home is sold “short” of what is currently owed on it. She was behind by several months, which meant she was living in her home for free, and was able to negotiate with her bank to give them a deed-inlieu-of-foreclosure. Her deal saved the bank a lot

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of money in legal fees, as well as time and aggravation. I myself was on the receiving end of a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure just recently. I had a property that I financed for one of my renters I had converted to a homeowner. She paid pretty regularly until she became ill, lost her job and simply quit making payments. I let it go on far too long – I’m too nice – until finally calling my lawyer one day. I told her I had a buyer for the home, and she said it would be easier and cheaper for me to pay her to leave than bring a foreclosure action! Well, I took the legal advice and offered someone who owed me thousands an incentive of $500 to move out and hand over the keys. She did and I just had to tell myself, “This is just one more lesson in life.” I used to have a little note written on my desk that read, “If you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” The sellers who struggle each month to make their payments are another category of those trying to sell their homes in a volatile market, those who are desperately trying to hang on to their credit score and the equity built up in their property and only barely getting by. The problem is, it’s a buyer’s market and the ones with money and good credit are savvy. They want to purchase far below the market value. The bargain hunters have been holding out to see how far the prices will drop. Maybe you’ve noticed that despite historically low interest rates, home prices and sales are still low. Due to the economic climate we’re in today, people are nervous about making that long-term commitment. Some are not sure if they’ll have the same job a year from now. Another group gaining in numbers includes those whose lenders have already informed them that they are in the process of filing foreclosure proceedings on them. It is this group that the government is pretending to help. I say “pretending” because I’m yet to know anyone personally who has been helped. I hear advertisements quite frequently saying to call this number or visit a certain website to find out if you “qualify” for help in stopping foreclosure. I heard a proposal that makes the most sense to me, which would allow refinancing – longer terms at current interest rates – of your current loan WITHOUT an appraisal if you know your current home value is less than what you owe. This is called being upside

down in your loan payments. Another suggestion is to restructure the loan amount to 125 percent of the current market value, which would allow people to stay in their homes and finance a value that in the future would be in range of the market value. One of the Web sites I checked out is www.scmortgagehelp.com, which has a laundry list of items you’ll need to provide if you want their help. I would love to hear back from any of you that has received help from our government in order to keep your home. The economy is cyclical, just like life and how you get treated by how you treat people. In other words, what goes around comes around. My advice is to work hard, protect your credit, be smart with your money, refinance if you can and put some of these offers to help to the test. It may seem like a lot of paperwork and a hassle to complete the necessary information they are asking for, but you’ll never know until you ask. Please don’t hesitate to consult with a seasoned real estate agent who can guide you through all the twists and turns of home ownership. I hope you all enjoy the holiday season that is upon us, and I wish you a Merry Christmas. Yana K. Mathis is a licensed Realtor with The AgentOwned Realty of Manning.

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Final segment of dove season comes with holidays By Robert J. Baker bbaker@theitem.com

It might not be football, but hunting mourning dove during the fall and early winter is just as much a South Carolina tradition as the Carolina-Clemson game at Thanksgiving. The third of three statewide open seasons begins Dec. 21, giving dove hunters a little more than three weeks to get that final bird before the animals are off-limits again through next fall. The season will overlap with those for marsh hens, running through Dec. 24, and woodcock, running from Dec. 26 through Jan. 31. Public dove fields in the area include the Santee Dam Wildlife Management Area near Lake Marion in Clarendon County, the

Oak Lea WMA near Summerton and the Santee Cooper WMA near Eutaw Springs in Orangeburg County. The Department of Natural Resources has set daily times from 30 minutes before dawn to 30 minutes after sunset, with public fields open after noon daily. Bag limits are 15 per hunter per day, with hunters limited to 50 shells per hunt. There is no limit on Eurasian collared doves. For more information, visit www.eregulations.com/southcarolina/hunting/waterfowl/season-dates-summary or www.dnr. sc.gov.

ABOVE: Photo provided Matt Mays wears camouflage during a recent hunting trip to keep out-of-sight. RIGHT: File photo It might not be football, but hunting dove and other waterfowl is a time-honored tradition in South Carolina, providing for many a father-son outing each fall.

santeelakeside.com 11


That most ‘Wonderful Time of the Year’ Ah … Christmas, that most wonderful time of the year: Chestnuts roasting over an open fire, snowflakes gently drifting down in the moonlight while the family sings Christmas carols by the fire. Sound like your home at Christmas? Yeah, it doesn’t sound like mine either. Mine usually goes something like this: After a month of holiday parties, we are worn out. I mean EXHAUSTED. The week before is filled with frantic last minute shopping trips because we didn’t do what we swore we’d do last year, and that’s start early. We can’t get the kids in the bed, much less get them to sleep. One says he is going to watch Sportscenter all night, and the other says he’s going to hide and catch Santa Claus in the kitchen eating the Little Debbie snack we left for him. Christmas morning is different. Everyone is happy and relaxed, and all the anxiety seemingly melts away. That is, until one son decides Santa likes the other brother better because he got more. Oh well, Christmas really is filled with wonderful memories that last a lifetime. I will always have the memory of my daddy loading us up and cruising the newly built Interstate 95 looking for a Christmas tree in the median. The tree wasn’t that wonderful, but the adventure sure was. The last thing you want to do is let insurance claims spoil your own happy memories. Here are some good ways to make sure that doesn’t happen. When shopping, make sure you keep any and all valuables

out of sight in your car. Thieves are opportunists. They will target the easiest mark they can find. This means also taking that $300 GPS off your dash and putting it out of sight. Also, keep all receipts when shopping. If you pay cash, this may be the only proof of your purchase. Park in a well-lit part of the parking lot, preferably directly under a video camera. Always be aware of your surroundings. If you don’t like the look of a group of guys hanging around your area of the parking lot, ask for an escort or wait until they leave. Christmas trees are a great source of house fires in December, and you should never buy a dry tree. They go up in flames a lot faster than moist ones. By that same token, keep your live tree moist and watered. Erect the tree close to an outlet so you don’t have to use long extension cords. Never use a string of lights with broken or frayed wires. Also, don’t use the 5,000-watt colored “big” bulbs your granddad used on the cedar tree outside his house on the tree inside yours. And always unplug the tree before you go to bed. I know you want visions of Christmas lights filling the house all night, but it’s just not safe. One of these years, we are going to have snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We might not have chestnuts, but marshmallows will be roasting in the fireplace at our home, and everyone will be in their beds and asleep by 8:30 p.m. under warm and thick blankets. John DuRant is the owner of DuRant Insurance and can be reached at 803-435-4800 or john@durantinsurance.com.

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12 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

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santeelakeside.com 13


Give family, loved ones your time this Christmas season

A

By Rebecca Coker

s long as I can remember, I have had two unchanging ambitions: to write and to one day have my own family. It’s quite a profound statement; those who know me know I change my mind, and that I change it often. The holiday season is fast approaching. I remember as a child arduously counting down the days until Christmas, driving my family insane. As each day passed I made a new announcement on how many days remained until Santa would bound through our front door. He would have to: Our house lacked a chimney that functioned

14 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

correctly, and my parents always left the door unlocked and unguarded on that most joyous of nights for the man with rosy red cheeks and the belly like a bowlful of jelly to stride in and leave presents under our tree. When I turned 21, my grandpa told me time would start flying by; I didn’t believe him. Only two years later, however, I do. And now at Christmas, instead of counting down the days, like so many others I pray for time to slow just a little so I can prepare for the holiday season. So many times we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We fill our minds and time with worry about work, bills, family obligations and all the other day-to-day activities that must be done. We do this so much that we often forget the simple joy and gift that is Christmas; we lose sight of the true meaning of this holiday while we try to find the best gift, the best wrapping paper, the best decorations. We focus on hosting the perfect holiday party and pulling it off without a hitch. We have all fallen into this frantic holiday routine at one point or another. This year, it is my goal to slow down and remember the baby in a manger, without whom we would have no reason to celebrate. My family knows not to expect large or extravagant gifts from me this Christmas. I’m a full-time student once again. Like I wrote earlier, I am constantly changing my mind. This year, instead of games that cost a fortune and look miniscule once wrapped and placed under the tree, my focus is striving to find meaningful gifts that appeal to each member of my family. This has been harder than it sounds. Gold, frankincense and myrrh I have not, but I do have sincere appreciation, love and a heart that is full of thanksgiving this year. Isn’t that, after all, what Christmas is about? When I start to feel down about the fact that I cannot purchase wonderful gifts for my family, I am reminded of the greatest gift of all, the one that was delivered not by a jolly man in a red suit, but by a virgin in a stable because no one was willing to sacrifice from inside. This Christmas, I urge you to take on the same initiative that I have. Give your family the gift they long for the most: your time. I wish everyone a blessed and beautiful Christmas season. Rebecca Coker is a 23-year-old Turbeville resident who spends most summers on Lake Marion with her family. She enjoys boating, tubing and nearly anything else one can find to do on the water. A graduate of East Clarendon High School, Cocker is currently a licensed practical nurse in transition to the RN program at Central Carolina Technical College.


santeelakeside.com 15


Dad’s Lake

life lessons still helping today By Debi Love-Fralix Cooper’s Landing, Lake Marion

N

othing in life is certain, except change. While in college, I would often hear one professor in particular repeat this adage to our class. The words have echoed in my ears numerous times during my lifetime, and mostly likely will continue to do so. You see, recently I have moved back to my hometown of North Santee after more than a 20-year absence. I have noticed that things on the lake have changed, too. One afternoon, after an exhausting day of moving, I found myself relaxing and sipping coffee from my mom’s back porch, my eyes gazing over the beauty of Lake Marion. The view at sunset is still as stunning as it always was, but somehow it had changed. The lake level is lower now, and the rustic power poles by the Interstate 95 bridge once made of wood have been replaced by steel. So, the view is changed somewhat. Years ago, a large white heron affectionately named Charlie Bird would light on the end of the pier every afternoon as he waited for dad, home from fishing expeditions, to provide him with an afternoon meal. Rumors continued among my family and friends for years that Charlie Bird continued to wait at the pier every afternoon for a year after my dad’s death, waiting to meet his old friend. Now, Charlie Bird comes no more. So, I began to ponder what in my life has not changed, and as I took a final sip from my cup, a bass boat passed by. As I listened to the sound of its powerful engine roar, this is what I concluded: The wonderful life lessons that I learned from my parents will never change. More specifically, the life lessons I learned while fishing with my dad, Charles Love, perhaps one of the most talented professional fishing guides that ever fished the Santee Cooper lakes and a powerful influence in my life, remain steadfast with me even today. 16 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

My parents, Charles and Helen Love, purchased Cooper’s Landing in 1980, and our family moved to Santee to operate the new family business. Dad worked primarily as a professional guide, and for the most part had heavy seasonal bookings. Sometimes, when he didn’t have to guide, we would venture out in his pontoon to fish for bass, crappie, catfish or bream. This was a time for father-daughter bonding, a time to discuss life. These fishing trips created wonderful and fond memories where meaningful life lessons were created. With the holiday season fastapproaching, I thought I would share with you a glimpse of these lessons, the first of which was patience and persistence. I learned this lesson while fishing with my dad. If you are a fisherman, you know patience and persistence are key components to this exciting sport. Patience is not an easy lesson to be learned, particularly in your youth, and it seems more challenging as an adult. As a child you’re so tempted to keep pulling your line out of the water and move it here and there; how frustrating it is to just sit still and be quiet. Daddy would hook fish left and right and then hand me his pole to reel in the prized catch. But I wanted to do it on my own and as a child would often find my line tangled around a stump or tree. At times I just wanted to give up, but then one day I asked dad how it was he was so good at this fishing thing when I wasn’t. He would just smile in that daddy-understanding type of way and say simply, “Deb, you just gotta have patience. Now try it again.” That poor man replaced more hooks and little BB lead on my cane pole while fishing for pan fish than you can imagine. If you’ve ever taken a child fishing, you’re probably smiling right now because you’ve experienced the same thing. Eventually, I learned more patience and got the hang of it and was overwhelmed with joy when I landed my first huge smallmouth bass all by myself. The second life lesson was faith, and was intertwined


throughout the various changes I’ve had in life. Fishing had always been an integral part of my dad’s life and for our family. It was on a fishing trip with a local pastor in the 1970s when dad was witnessed to and gave his life to the Lord through salvation. Having witnessed as a child my parents taking our family to church and praying together, the most influential memory I have of my dad displaying his faith was when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. When the doctors told dad he had cancer and had only a few weeks to live, as conventional therapies would not work, one young doctor sweetly leaned over to dad and said, “Mr. Love, do you understand your diagnosis or have any questions for me?” Dad looked the young doctor squarely in the eyes and said, “No, we’ll just turn this over to the Lord and have faith in him like we’ve done with everything else in life … now what time’s supper?” I was stunned and speechless at his response. I could not fathom this faith and courage he displayed even when facing cancer. Even the young doctor’s eyes had tears in them. Within those short weeks, we brought dad home and positioned his recliner in the living room with a clear view of the lake. The few times he was able to sit in his recliner during that time, his eye would twinkle as he strained his neck to look over the water. We began a conversation one evening about fishing, and I told him how much it always meant to me that he took the time to take me fishing and how I always admired how exceptional he was at it. We exchanged fishing stories and then dad’s eyes turned from the water to me as he said, “Deb, you know people have asked me for years what my secret is, and how I know what I know about fishing.” “It’s not all about knowing the moon phases, bait to use or whatever,” he said. “I’ll tell you the secret.” With that, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a very small, worn and tarnished silver cross, holding it in his hand. “You see this cross,” he said. “I’ve carried this in my pocket for years and years. I just carry it to remind me of things. Every time before I stepped foot on my boat, I always prayed that God would

keep me and everyone on my boat safe and bless us with fish. And that’s the secret no one else knew.” As tears filled in my eyes, I felt so special in that moment to learn of dad’s fishing secret and will never forget even in facing death the profound impact those words have made in my life. You see, faith may just be a ordinary word to most people but its true meaning is both powerful and long-lasting. Faith is really being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. This held true for many life lessons I learned from my dad. Nothing in life may be certain except change, maybe, but it’s how you react and respond to change that’s important. With the passing of my dad and – most recently – my mom, my sister and I are now the new owners of our family business. And although circumstances in life have changed so we now have a business to operate and though I sometimes feel like throwing my hands in the air in defeat, I remember that those lessons will continue to guide me with this new challenge and adventure. This holiday season I am thankful that my dad took time out of his busy schedule to take me on many fishing trips. Those valuable lessons that I learned while fishing in Santee are now passed to my children and, hopefully, will be for generations to come. What are you thankful for this season, and what are you going to do to pass that special life lesson on to someone else?

ABOVE: Charles Love holds a large bass caught on Lake Marion. LEFT: Charles and Helen Cooper Love owned and operated Cooper’s Landing for decades, leaving the family business to their daughters.

santeelakeside.com 17


Flexibility key to bagging waterfowl this season By Earle Woodward earlew@theitem.com

T

wenty to 30 years ago, the Santee Lakes and the Sparkleberry Swamp area were home to literally thousands of migrating mallards, black ducks and pintails, not to mention the thousands of wood ducks that spent the summer months here. The mallards, black ducks, etc., a.k.a., “Big Ducks” were the king and we only shot at wood ducks if we couldn’t get anything else. Times have changed. It appears that the majority of the ducks no longer venture this far south, many stopping in North Carolina, Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay area, so what’s a dedicated duck hunter supposed to do? Improvise, be mobile, to be short about it, work your fingers to the bone to find and stay with what few ducks there are. It is gonna take work, but it can be done. For instance,

18 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

there are close to 8,000 mallards that have been released all round the lakes on impoundments that are owned by folks able to do it. I don’t begrudge anyone that opportunity because when they shoot their ponds, the ducks scatter. Years ago, back when there were ducks, back in the 1970 and 80’s there was an impoundment between the Congaree and Wateree Rivers that held an awful lot of ducks, one game warden told me one day that he estimated 25,000 on the pond. Well, you can imagine how well that went over with the local waterfowl hunters, most felt that is should have been illegal and something should have been done about it. But great fathers above, when they shot those ponds, the swamp got filled with mallards looking for places to land and the local boys had a field day. I’ve been told by reliable sources that the 8,000 or so released birds on the ponds all around the lakes have been joined by plenty of teal, some redheads, some ring necks and a host of other birds, so while there may not be the numbers that we had in the glory days, there are some birds in the area, you’ve just got to find them. With the water being so low on the lakes right now, there will be fewer places for the birds to hide, so finding any on the lake will be a little easier, but everyone else will be looking for and finding them too, so be ready to camp out and to have some company on opening morning. Don’t overlook the wide open areas of the lake, on more than one occasion I’ve jumped groups of big ducks from the very center of the lake between Persanti Island and Stump Hole Landing. Likewise, check out all of those swampy areas that you found while scouting for deer and deer hunting, a lot of those may very well be holding wood ducks. Beaver ponds are also a major attraction for wood ducks, but the occasional mallard may find them as well. There are people that have released birds in parts of the county that you would never think of as having mallards, a lot of those got blasted on Nov. 19, but a substantial number will them spread out to neighboring ponds, backwaters, beaver ponds and swamps. Many


Tammies, tame ducks, not the real thing, and some names too vile to mention here, but whatever you call them, they may well be the only game in town. Biologists are beginning to accept the fact that the migration patterns have changed and we may never again see ducks like we once did.

- Earle Woodward

will stay as long as there is food and they are not harassed. Speaking of released birds, I know the rap that has been put upon them. Tammies, tame ducks, not the real thing, and some names too vile to mention here, but whatever you call them, they may well be the only game in town. Biologists are beginning to accept the fact that the migration patterns have changed and we may never again see ducks like we once did. I’ll tell you this, when I’m standing knee deep in the swamp and I hear the growl of a drake mallard, I don’t stop to ask if he’s a released bird or not. By the same token, if a group of mallards drop into my decoys, it’s on, I’m not checking to see if they have the dew claw or not. When I’m in the swamp, a duck’s a duck and he’s fair game. My dog doesn’t sniff a released bird and refuse to pick it up; instead, he flies out, grabs the birds and returns to my hand, and I’m just as proud of him, regardless of whether the bird came from Manitoba or Manning. So, there are ducks to be had, if you’re willing to put in the scouting time and the hard work to find them and stay on them. I know it’s tough for us weekend duck hunters who have to work for a living, but it can be done. I’ve talked to several people lately that have professed to have had one of their best years in a long time last year and we all know how many ducks were in the usual hot spots. They looked in the out of the way places and paid their dues, but it worked for them. Few had limit days, but for the most part, they got mixed bags of three to four ducks per day, and by today’s standards, that’s pretty darned good. Good luck!

santeelakeside.com 19


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January 18, 2012

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February 10, 2012

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IGA Shopping Center, 600 S. Mill St. Manning, SC 29102 20 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

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santeelakeside.com 21


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Lake Marion Map Information

22 Lighthouse Pointe Family Campground...... 803-478-2138 1 Low Falls Landing...................................... 803-826-6050 17 Mac’s Landing & Camp.............................. 843-871-1224 6 Mill Creek Marina....................................... 803-492-7746 37 Pack’s Landing........................................... 803-452-5514 30 Polly’s Landing........................................... 803-478-2351 3 Poplar Creek Landing................................. 803-897-2811 20 Randolph’s Landing....................................800-BIG-CATS 12 Rocks Pond Campground........................... 803-492-7711 31 Santee Lakes Campground......................... 803-478-2262 4 Santee State Park....................................... 803-854-2408 24 Scarborough Marina................................... 803-478-2184 38 Sparkleberry Landing................................. 843-761-4068 13 Spier’s Landing.............................................................NA 2 Stump Hole Landing................................... 803-826-6111 26 Taw Caw Campground & Marina................ 803-478-2171 27 Taw Caw Creek Landing................................................NA 28 Taw Caw Park................................................................NA

33 Arbuckle’s Landing..................................... 803-478-5260 8 Bell’s Marina.............................................. 803-492-7924 14 Big Oak Landing & Campground................ 843-753-2285 11 Blount’s Landing........................................ 803-492-7773 15 Canal Lakes Fish Camp.............................. 843-753-2271 35 Carolina King Retreat & Marina................. 803-478-2800 32 Cooper’s Landing and Guide Service.......... 803-478-2549 7 Cypress Shores Marina............................... 843-351-4561 36 Elliott’s Landing......................................... 803-452-5336 29 Goat Island Resort...................................... 803-478-8165 18 Harry’s Fish Camp...................................... 843-351-4561 10 Hide-a-way Campground........................... 803-492-9695 16 Hill’s Landing............................................. 843-753-2731 34 Jack’s Creek Landing.................................. 803-478-2793 23 J&J Marina.................................................. 803-478-2490 25 John c. Land III Boating Facility.................. 803-854-2131 5 Lake Marion Resort & Marina..................... 803-854-2136 9 Lakeside Marina & Resort.......................... 803-492-7226 21 Lake Vue Landing....................................... 803-478-2133

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In search of a champion Bassmaster National Tournament brings nation to Lake Marion Photos and story by Robert J. Baker bbaker@theitem.com

As Mike Jackson sat in the hot seat on the fourth day of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Classic Series National Championships held Nov. 9-12 off the shores of Lake Marion in Clarendon County, he knew something the audience didn’t. Though he held the lead going into the final morning of fishing against 24 other professionals, the San Mateo, Fla. native hooked nothing but air that Saturday. Jackson sat stoically watching as his competitors weighed-in, one after another. Each one seemed to need a higher weight total as the minutes crept by; as officials with the American Bass Anglers Inc. took Jackson back stage as the final group of five anglers weighed-in, Jackson seemed the likely winner. Alabama native Allan Glasgow, a winner of two previous smaller championships on Clarendon County’s famous lake, almost immediately went into the lead, but he would have to

26 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

wait for Jackson’s own weigh-in. The man who led more than 150 professional anglers from across the U.S., men and women who traveled from as far as Texas and Maine, would go last. Though empty-handed as he docked at John C. Land III Landing only an hour earlier, Jackson approached the stage with what appeared to be a full bag. Bass Angler Sportsman Society founder and spokesman Ray Scott had kept the mood light, jokingly asking unlucky anglers what type of bait he would need to use for not catching fish. But as Jackson handed Scott his bulging ABA-sanctioned bag, the jokes stopped. Scott approached the ABA-mounted scale on stage with trepidation, a stern look turning to a grin as he dumped a bag full of lake water in front of the stage. Glasgow didn’t quite know what to think.


“He had that bag, and I wasn’t really sure,” he said. “He came over to shake my hand, and I figured he had won. I wouldn’t have beaten him with that much weight.” Jackson said he thought he’d have a little fun with the situation. He ultimately finished in fourth. “I was disappointed,” he said. “I didn’t come to win anything other than first, and I fished well for three days. It just wasn’t working today for me.” Though Jackson’s playful stunt shocked Glasgow, the avid angler was only behind Jackson going into the final day of fishing by less than four pounds. By the end of day three, Glasgow had bagged 55.75 pounds of bass, including a 5.73-pounder. His four-day total of 19 bass weighed 65.10 pounds altogether, according to ABA final results, and earned him $100,000 in prize money.

“I’m just so proud of him,” said wife Lisa as her husband received his national trophy, which guarantees him a spot in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, known to anglers as “the Super Bowl of Fishing,” which will be held in Shreveport, La., in February. “This is something he has wanted all his life,” she said. “To watch him be this happy, and to make that goal, it’s just a wonderful thing.” Like Glasgow, the winner for the championship’s amateur – or co-angler division – also remained near the top place until the final day of competition. Michael M. Smith, a Laurel Hill, Fla. native, won $50,000 with a tournament total of 35.92 pounds, catching 9.23 pounds on his final day of completion. He had shot to 11th place out of 160 co-anglers on the first day, moved to 3rd on the second and dropped slightly to 5th going into the final day. Smith’s final day put him ahead of Dyersburg, Tenn. angler

santeelakeside.com 27


Ronny Webb, who led for all three days of open fishing but only managed 1.96 pounds on the final day. “This was definitely an exciting tournament,” said ABA President Morris Sheehan. “There was much of the unexpected and a few surprises.” One such surprise, Sheehan said, was Kentucky native Spencer Turner, 17, who had only managed 115th place in the co-angler division after the second day of fishing. He was disappointed after his second weigh-in, and his parents had packed the family’s bags and checked out of their hotel shortly before the third day began. “And then he weighed-in and got 21st place,” said mom Stacey Turner. “We were packed and ready to leave. We just didn’t think there was a way he could make that much ground in just that one day.” But Turner had turned in a bag weighing 12.28 pounds, nearly three times what he weighed-in only the day before. He couldn’t carry the magic into Saturday’s final, however. “I wasn’t able to get anything today,” he said after the weigh-in, which put him in 24th place overall. “But I couldn’t be happier, honestly. I never thought I would get this far.” Sheehan said both pros and amateurs had to compete in several tournaments throughout the year to make the ABA-hosted nationals, which the organization uses to grant its one spot in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. “We get that one slot, and we hold this tournament as a way of selecting the professional that will be able to get there,” he said. “Competitors fish in many different tournaments, including regionals, to get to this place.” ABA National Marketing Coordinator Debra Talley said lake communities bid to host the championships each year, knowing the tournament will bring in “millions of dollars, possibly.” “We choose the community we feel will best host the championships,” she said. “Whoever can make that best offer, that is who we choose. And there is stiff competition, because we can bring

28 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

in as much as $2.5 million into a community.” Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dawn Griffith said anglers, their families and even spectators visited local businesses and, of course, stayed in local hotels and motels during their time in Clarendon County. While boaters were allowed to fish anywhere on lakes Marion and Moultrie, some 170,000 acres of waterway, each day began at the landing near Summerton. “We had some who were here for as much as two weeks, since they did have some practice fishing days,” Griffith said. “We’re hoping this has a great economic impact on the community.” Chamber President Badge Baker said the overall impact on the community might not be measured in dollars, however. “This shines a big spotlight on Lake Marion and Clarendon County and Santee,” he said. “The people who have visited here will go back to their communities and hopefully talk about Clarendon County and what a great place it was to fish. This could lead to even more opportunities to host large events like this, which would benefit our county even more.” The water’s charm had an effect on Glasgow even before he held up his trophy triumphantly in the national tournament. “I’ve fished here twice before and won tournaments in 2005 and 2009,” he said. “It’s a beautiful lake, and the people here are inviting and friendly. They want us to be here. I’d love to come back some time.” With family living close by in Rock Hill, Lisa Glasgow finds a return to the lake highly probable, especially as her husband can use his prize money toward preparations for the February tournament. “We have family nearby, and I’ve always said we should just move this way,” Lisa joked. “But now that he can have that bit of cushion with the prize money, and not have to worry about the household expenses so much maybe, it will be good for him. We have family in the area, so maybe it will be a place he comes to practice.” Visit www.theitem.com/clarendon_sun for a slideshow of pictures from this year’s national championship.


Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Classic Series National Championships Top 5 Results BOATER (PROFESSIONAL) DIVISION

CO-ANGLER (AMATEUR DIVISION)

1st – Allan Glasgow of Ashville, Ala. – 65.10 pounds 2nd – Wade Grooms of Bonneau – 64.37 pounds 3rd – Kenneth W. Heckel of Lamar, Ind. – 64.32 pounds 4th – Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla. – 58.69 pounds 5th – Trenton L. Whitehouse of Bristow, Okla. – 58.54 pounds

1st – Michael M. Smith of Laurel Hill, Fla. – 35.92 pounds 2nd – Chad Schroeder of Dallas, N.C. – 29.99 pounds 3rd – Ronny Webb of Dyersburg, Tenn. – 29.75 pounds 4th – James R. Harrison Jr. of Anniston, Ala. – 29.72 pounds 5th – Christian M. Thomas of Leesburg, Va. – 28.75 pounds

For full results for the overall championship – and each day of competition visit www.americanbassanglers.com

santeelakeside.com 29


Fourth-grader “Finds Her Happy” with State Fair quilting award Photos and story by Robert J. Baker bbaker@theitem.com

30 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside


A

Barbie. Pierced ears. Play make-up. Little girls usually ask for these types of things for their 7th birthdays. Carrie Rickenbaker, now 10, asked her aunt for a sewing machine for hers. A fourth-grade student at Laurence Manning Academy, the girl has few friends who even know about her penchant for stitchery or her passion for quilting, one of her favorite hobbies aside from most sports. And after only three years at the needle, Carrie’s work has garnered some attention that earned her the second-place ribbon for “Fancy Work – Ages 11 and under” at the South Carolina State Fair in October. “On Oct. 13, we went to the State Fair to view (Carrie’s) handiwork on display there,” said mom Julie. “To her delight, she had been awarded a secondplace ribbon.” Carrie named her entry “Happy,” which Julie said was “ironic as the theme of the fair was ‘Find your happy.’” “We were just excited for her,” Julie Rickenbaker said. “She puts a lot of time and effort into this, and we’ve had other quilters tell us that it seems like she’s been doing it longer than just a few years.” Carrie talked about her award on a Wednesday afternoon recently after school as she matter-of-factly ran fabric through a sewing machine on the third floor of her aunt Ginger Martin’s home near Wyboo. She said she couldn’t really remember what made her want a sewing machine for her 7th birthday. “That’s just what I wanted,” she said. “I guess I just watched her and was interested in it.” Through mild grunts and simple nods, Carrie talked about her work as she made panels for what would become stuffed turtles. She frequently sells the quilted animals for both boys and girls at charity events like the St. Matthias Episcopal Church Bazaar. “She was a student of their Montessori school,” Julie Rickenbaker said. “So, she has helped with the bazaar.” After using her first sewing machine for a short time – she doesn’t remember how long exactly – Carrie said she simply outgrew it as she learned everything about quilting, except for the actual stuffing. That final step is handled by a professional in Charleston. “I’m not old enough to do that yet,” Carrie said as she drew a cutting line on boys’ fabric, which was spotted with baseball bats and helmets on a light-blue background. Her girls’ fabric used for the turtles that chilly, early fall afternoon had waves of pink and lime green as well as polka dots. “But I would like to know how to do it one day,” she said. Martin said she takes projects to Charleston as they near completion; she uses the service herself. “I think Carrie will eventually learn how to do it,” she said. “It’s just something about her. She likes to know the how and why. She’s already asked me to take her down there. You can rent time at these machines to do the work yourself, and she already wants to go. It might be something we look at in the near future.” Asked if her friends know about her affinity for sewing, or even her recent award, Rickenbaker simply shrugged. She spends most of her other time playing sports – except soccer, for which she readily admits a dislike. “I have a few friends at school that know,” she said. “Not a lot.” Julie said Carrie’s ability has led to some comical moments with other youth. “She and a friend were playing around, and they were a little rough like kids are sometimes, and the girl told Carrie, ‘If you rip my shirt, you’re going to fix it,’ Julie said. She motioned to Carrie and asked, “Do you remember what you said?” “No problem,” Carrie answered with a wry smile. Julie said Carrie is already planning her entry for next year’s fair; this year’s entry, started as queen-size spread for her own bed, has been her largest effort so far. She held up a red ribbon proudly. “I thought it was cool,” she said. “It’s something I like to do, even thought a lot of my friends don’t know I do.”

santeelakeside.com 31


On the Lake... Ashley A. Fry RE/MAX of Manning provided fun hot air balloon rides to excited students at Laurence Manning Academy in early November.

Robert J. Baker Clarendon County Master Gar dener Arlene Ham places potted chrysanthemums along the sidewalk at the corner of Boyce and Mill streets on the Clarendon County Courthouse grounds in early Oct ober as part of an effort to beautify downtown Mannin g for fall.

Photo provided David Fry of Summerton and Sean Boehrig, formerly of Charleston, try to move a four-wheeler out of mud in Clarendon County earlier in the year.

32 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside


Photo provided by Cheryl Lee Bella enjoys a boat ride at Scarborough’s Landing in July with owner Cheryl Lee and her boy friend.

Photo provided months, sits on a Olivia Zeiler, then 14 ts while hunting deer shot by her paren Nov. 3.

Robert J. Baker Jake Briggs, 2, son of Coty and Aften Briggs and grandson of June Briggs, smells a pumpkin at the Manning United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch on Oct . 23.

santeelakeside.com 33


On the Lake...

Gail Mathis r across the ground Creatures that slithe ry for those who come with the territo d. roa t dir love living on a

Robert J. Baker Sara Beth Richburg of The Zon e in Manning whirls a hula-hoop with her neck at this year’s Kid’s Day of Clarendon County held Sep t. 24 at Manning High School.

Photo provided by Susan Heisey ge added an addition The Santee National Wildlife Refu d unit in late August. The to its hiking trails at its Dingle Pon increases the trail’s length here elevated boardwalk shown n 500 feet of rter-mile, and incl|udes more tha by a qua 34 December 2011 • Januaryfloo 2012 Lakeside swamp. elo ded cypress-tup boardwalk through


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Roam for the holidays By Robert J. Baker bbaker@theitem.com

Residents of the Santee-Cooper lakes and the surrounding counties who haven’t gotten enough of the holidays through early December Christmas parades and tree lightings still have a few weeks to see myriad displays.

Festival of Lights

Most recognizable is the Festival of Lights at Swan Lake-Iris Gardens in Sumter, now in its 24th year at the world-renown swan sanctuary. Even older is the gardens’ Floating Christmas Tree, which is back for its 32nd Christmas. The tree was first sponsored by the Sumter Pilot Club, whose members wanted to add Christmas cheer to the park. Now put on by the city of Sumter, whose employees spend weeks each November decorating the park, the Festival of Lights provides the beautiful sight of the park’s natural flora decorated with strands of lights. Characters like Blue from “Blue’s Clues,” Barney, Bob the Builder, Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer join traditional Christmas icons Santa, Rudolph and gingerbread people along the display path, which features 150 such lighted figures and begins at the park entrance and continues on Swan Lake Drive next to the gardens. Visitors can see the lights through Dec. 31. For more information, visit www.sumter-sc.com/VisitingUs/Festivals_FantasyOf Lights.aspx.

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Nutcracker Ballet in Manning

It’s not too late to get your ticket for the Columbia City Ballet’s second performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” the show which opened Weldon Auditorium’s inaugural season in 2010. Featuring dozens of Clarendon County children, the show will begin 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Weldon, located on North Brooks Street in Manning. Earlier in the day, the ballet company will perform “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” for area students at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Last year’s show packed the auditorium, which seats about 1,050 people. For more information, call (803) 433-SHOW or visit weldonauditorium.org.

Circle of Lights

Tuomey Regional Medical Center’s 12th annual Circle of Lights will run concurrently with its 10th annual Festival of Trees through Jan. 4 in the hospital lobby, 129 N. Washington St., Sumter. Hospice Services of Tuomey and the Tuomey Foundation hold the Circle of Lights each year to honor friends, family and loved ones by decorating the 20-foot Circle of Lights Tree. The Festival of Trees features Christmas trees sponsored and decorated by local businesses and organizations. The trees are placed throughout Tuomey and transform the hospital into a winter wonderland. Admission is free for both events during regular hospital hours. For more information, call (803) 774-9014 or visit www. tuomeyfoundation.org

pageant is faced with casting the most inventively awful children in history from Dec. 15-18, with showtimes at 8 p.m. ThursdaySaturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors/military and $6 for children younger than 6. All seating is reserved. For more information, call (803) 775-2150.

Jingle with the Arts

The Freed School of Performing Arts will present Jingle with the Arts 7 p.m. Dec. 16 and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Patriot Hall Performing Arts Center, 135 Haynsworth St., Sumter. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and can be purchased from SEACO Music, Freed School or from members of the Sumter Civic Dance Company. For more information, call (803) 773-2847.

Golfcart Christmas Parade

Clarendon County’s newest Christmas festivity will begin 6 p.m. Dec. 17 at Randolph’s Landing. The parade began several years ago when the Goat Island Boat Club had to cancel the annual Boat Parade due to low lake levels. For more information, call (803) 4783818.

Christmas Bird Count

The Santee National Wildlife Refuge Christmas Bird Count will begin 6:30 a.m. Dec. 22 at the refuge’s Visitor Center. There is a $5 fee for participation from the Audubon Society. For more information, call (803) 478-2217.

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The Sumter Little Theatre will present this hilarious Christmas tale where a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas

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For Your

Information

BERKELEY COUNTY

Established in 1682, Berkeley County was named after John and William Berkeley, then-owners of the Province of Carolina. After becoming part of the Charleston District in 1769, the area did not yet again exist as a county until 1882, when its seat was made at Mount Pleasant. In 1895, the county seat was moved to Moncks Corner. County Council members are elected from eight districts, with a chairman elected at-large serving as county supervisor. Cities and towns: Bonneau, Charleston, Cross, Goose Creek, Gumville, Hanahan, Huger, Jamestown, Ladson, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, Pinopolis, St. Stephen, Summerville and Pineville Population: 151,273 County seat: Moncks Corner Supervisor: County Council Chairman Dan. W. Davis Sheriff: Wayne Dewitt Solicitor: Scarlett A. Wilson Auditor: Janet Brown Jurosko Clerk of Court: Mary Brown Coroner: Bill Salisbury Probate Court: Keith W. Kornahrens Treasurer: Carolyn Umphlett 1003 S.C. 52, Moncks Corner berkeleycountysc.gov/main/officials.asp (843) 719-4234

Calhoun COUNTY

Named for U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun, Calhoun County was formed in 1908 from portions of Lexington and Orangeburg counties. Population estimates from the 2010 Census indicate Calhoun is the smallest county in Santee-Cooper Country, with a population of about 15,500 people. It is the smallest by land mass as well, comprising only 392 square miles of South Carolina soil. County Council’s five members are elected from their respective districts, and a chairperson is chosen at the first meeting held each calendar year. Cities and towns: Cameron, Creston, Fort Motte, Lone Star, St. Matthews and Sandy Run Population: 15,500 County seat: St. Matthews Administrator: F. Lee Prickett Jr. Deputy Administrator: Emmett Kirwan Council Chairman: David K. Summers Jr. Sheriff: Thomas S. Summers Jr. Auditor: Pamela R. Taber Treasurer: Rebecca C. Furtick Clerk of Court: Kenneth Hasty Coroner: Donnie B. Porth calhouncountysc.gov 38 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside

Clarendon COUNTY

Named for the Earl of Clarendon, Clarendon County has been a welcoming place for visitors and residents for more than 150 years. With a population of more than 34,000 people as of the 2010 Census, Clarendon County was one of the few areas in South Carolina that saw population growth in the last decade, with a 7.6 percent population surge mostly in the Summerton, Wyboo and Manning areas surrounding Lake Marion. The county is one of the birthplaces of the Civil Rights Movement, having been home for the landmark desegregation case Briggs v. Elliott that helped end school desegregation in the United States when it was filed with four other cases as Brown v. Board of Education with the U.S. Supreme Court. Council members are elected from three districts, with two elected from the largest district covering Manning. A council chairman is elected at-large. Cities and towns: Alcolu, Manning, Paxville, Silver, Summerton, Turbeville and Wyboo. Population: Est. 34,400 County seat: Manning Administrator: Bill Houser Council Chairman: Dwight Stewart Jr. Sheriff: Randy Garrett Fire Chief: Frances Richbourg Auditor: Patricia Pringle Treasurer: Matt Evans Clerk of Court: Beulah Clark Administrative Office South Brooks Street, Manning (803) 435-0135 www.clarendoncounty.sc.gov

ORANGEBURG COUNTY

Like its close neighbor Clarendon County, Orangeburg County was a hotbed of the Civil Rights Movement during the mid-20th Century, with South Carolina State University at its epicenter as students protested unfair treatment in the Orangeburg community throughout the 1950s and 60s. The county was chartered as Orangeburg Judicial District in 1769 from unorganized land between the Congaree and Savannah rivers. About half of this district was separated into Barnwell in 1800, and the area was fully incorporated as Orangeburg County in 1868 when the South Carolina Constitution remade districts into counties, with officials elected by resident voters rather than state officials. A small western portion was annexed to the newly former Aiken County in 1871, and in 1908 yet another portion was ceded to Calhoun County. A change in 1910, with a small western portion of Berkeley County near Holly Hill and Eutawville being given to Orangeburg, brought the county to its current size. Council members are elected from seven singlemember districts and then choose a chairman among themselves after


each election cycle. Cities and towns: Bowman, Branchville, Elloree, Eutawville, Holly Hill, Neeses, North, Norway, Orangeburg, Santee, Springfield, Vance and Woodford Population: Est. 92,243 Administrator: Bill Clark Council chairman: Johnnie Wright Sr. Sheriff: Leroy Ravenell Auditor: Roger Cleckley Coroner: Samuetta B. Marshall Clerk of Court: Winnie A. Clark: Treasurer: J. Steve Summers Probate Court: Pandora Jones-Glover County Administrative Center 1437 Amelia St., Orangeburg www.orangeburgcounty.org

Sumter COUNTY

Revolutionary War Gen. Thomas Sumter is commemorated in the name of Sumter County, which is the home of Shaw Air Force Base and the 9th Air Force Headquarters, the Third Army and the 20th Fighter Wing. With a population of more than 115,000, Sumter County is the second-largest of the Santee-Cooper lake counties by population. Council members are elected from the county’s seven districts and then select a chairperson among themselves. Cities and towns: Dalzell, Horation, Mayesville, Oswego, Pinewood, Privateer, Rembert, Shiloh, South Sumter, Stateburg, Sumter and Wedgefield Sheriff: Anthony Dennis Fire Chief: Karl Ford Assistant Chief for City Operations: Ernie Dollard Assistant Chief for County Operations: Doug Mathis Administrator: Gary Mixon Council chairman: Eugene Baten, District 7 Vice-chairman: Larry Blanding, District 6 Assistant Administrator: Lorraine Dennis Auditor: Lauretha McCants Clerk of Court: James C. Campbell Coroner: Harvin Bullock Administrative Office 13 E. Canal St., Sumter, third floor (803) 436-2102 sumtercountysc.org

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Getting ready to rent your home?

Things for Prospective Landlords to Consider Before Renting

W

hile the economic downturn hit many people rather hard over the last year, some people have been able to weather the storm and actually thrive in the current economic climate. Real estate investors who managed to keep their holdings under control, for instance, have experienced somewhat of a financial windfall as the economy regressed. This may be due to victims of foreclosure seeking rental properties or more and more people steering clear of committing to a home of their own and choosing instead to rent. But renting out a property isn’t as easy as 1-2-3, even in a market where more people are looking to rent than buy. In fact, vacancies in larger cities such as New York and Los Angeles are so commonplace that rents and stipulations such as realtor fees have begun to drop, albeit slightly. Still, the current climate could benefit those with a spare property ready to rent. There are just a few things to consider before advertising. Is It Allowed? It’s not uncommon for young people to purchase an apartment before purchasing a home but keep the apartment once they do, in fact, buy their first home. That’s often done with the intention of renting out the property once a home is purchased. While that’s a sound financial plan, it’s not necessarily allowed. Before deciding to rent out a property, be it a condominium or apartment, be sure the condo association allows it. Discuss the situation with an association representative to see just what is and isn’t allowed. In some instances, a contract will stipulate that a property can be rented, but only through the association’s own management

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Furnished or Unfurnished? Another thing to consider is whether or not to rent the property furnished or unfurnished. Chances are, if you’ve been living in the property recently, there’s plenty of furniture available to rent it furnished. Of course, this means you’ll have to purchase furniture for your new place. Oftentimes, the financial benefits of furnished versus unfurnished is a toss-up. Some renters prefer an unfurnished place, while others would pay more per month if the place is furnished. One option is to lease the apartment as “Furnished or Unfurnished.” This keeps the apartment on all potential renters’ radar, and if you settle on a tenant who prefers it unfurnished, you can always rent a storage unit for a small monthly fee to store any leftover furniture you might want to keep. ©MetroCreativeConnection

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Will You Do It Yourself ? While some condo associations insist their management team handle things, others don’t. Still, that doesn’t mean doing it yourself is easy or even desirable. Owners can hire a real estate management group independently that will handle things related to renting, such as finding tenants, running credit checks, even maintenance and handling complaints. Of course, this will cost owners money. But for those who simply have busy schedules and an extra property they’re not yet ready to sell, hiring a management group can save you the headaches of being a landlord while still affording you to earn extra money on the property.

Lake Marion Area Monthly and Long Term Rentals

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LAKESIDE BUSINESS AffordAble Country ACreAge SaleS • Financing

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304 N. Church Street Manning, SC 29102

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Robert’s Pest Control

SC Licensed & Insured Spiders, Ants, Fleas, Roaches, Bees, Wasps, Termites, Rats, Serving Manning, Santee SC, Mice, General Pest Solutions. & The Surrounding Areas Nuisance Wildlife Control: Bats, PH: 803-566-1566 Birds, Fox, ground Moles, Opossum, PO Box 339 • Manning, SC 29102 Raccoons, Snakes, Pond Turtles...

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Full Automotive Service SHOP RATES Jim Hinson Owner (803) 433-4433

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2891 Broad Street • Sumter, SC 29150

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Open: Mon-Fri: 10am-7pm • Sat: 10am-5pm • Closed Sunday

Layaway Available - See store for details 44 December 2011 • January 2012 | Lakeside


Lakeside December 2011 - January 2012