LAKESIDE THE GOOD LIFE ON LAKES MARION, MOULTRIE AND WATEREE • OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013
Lakeside Pullers Take to Summerton
Colonial Cup Horse Racing
Walking the Tailgate Runway 1 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
Jimmy Jones, Stephen R. Smoak and Tom Gardner; Coroner John B. Fellers III; and Sheriff Jim Matthews. NOTABLES: The American League’s first black player, Larry Doby; columnists and Pulitzer Prize winner Kathleen Parker; Broadway performer Samuel E. Wright; singer and songwriter Brook Benton; and professional wrestler Jim Duggan.
1437 Amelia St., Orangeburg * www.orangeburgcounty.org POPULATION: Est. 92,243 * AREA: 1,128 square miles COUNTY SEAT: Orangeburg PLACES: Bowman, Elloree, Eutawville, Holly Hill, Rowesville, Santee, Springfield,Vance, Woodford. SELECTED OFFICIALS: State Sen. C. Bradley Hutto; state Reps. Gilda Cobb-Hunter and Jerry Govan Jr.; County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr.; Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith; councilmen Clyde B. Livingston, Heyward Livingston, Willie B. Owens, Johnny Ravenell and Harry F. Wimberly; Coroner Samuetta B. Marshall; Sheriff Leroy CLARENDON COUNTY Ravenell. 411 Sunset Drive, Manning * www.clarendoncountygov.org NOTABLES: St. Louis Rams player Alex Barron; Washington POPULATION: Est. 34,400 * AREA: 696 square miles Post columnist Eugene Robinson; Indianapolis Colts player COUNTY SEAT: Manning Tim Jennings; Tennessee Sen. Bob Rocker; World Series PLACES: Alcolu, Jordan, Manning, New Zion, Paxville, Rimini, champion Herm Winningham; Hollywood actress Shawnee Silver, Summerton, Turbeville, Wilson. Smith; author Stephen Euin Cobb. SELECTED OFFICIALS: State Sen. Kevin L. Johnson Jr.; state Reps. Dr. Robert Ridgeway and Ronnie Sabb; Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart Jr.; councilmen SUMTER COUNTY Billy Richardson, W.J. Frierson, A.C. English and Benton 13 E. Canal St., Sumter, third floor * sumtercountysc.org Blakely; Sheriff Randy Garrett Jr.; Coroner Hayes F. Samuels POPULATION: Est. 105,517 * AREA: 682 square miles NOTABLES: African-American tennis great Althea Gibson; COUNTY SEAT: Sumter Miss America 1957 Marian McKnight; Amelia Bedelia PLACES: Horatio, Mayesville, Pinewood, Rembert, Shiloh, author Peggy Parrish; retired Sen. John C. Land III, longestSouth Sumter, Stateburg, Wedgefield. serving state legislator; Philadelphia Phillies outfielder SELECTED OFFICIALS: U.S. Reps. James Clyburn and Glenn Murray; Panama Canal engineer David Gaillard. Mick Mulvaney; state Sens. Thomas McElveen and Kevin L. Johnson Jr.; state Reps. Grady Brown, Phillip Lowe, KERSHAW COUNTY Jimmy Bales, J. David Weeks and George Smith Jr.; Council 515 Walnut St., Camden *www.kershaw.sc.gov Chairman Larry Blanding; Council Vice-chairman Eugene POPULATION: Est. 61,697 * AREA: 740 square miles Baten; Councilwomen Vivian Fleming-McGhaney and COUNTY SEAT: Camden Naomi D. Sanders; Councilmen Artie Baker, James R. Byrd PLACES: Antioch, Bethune, Boykin, Camden, Cassatt, Elgin, Jr. and Charles T. Edens; Coroner Harvin Bullock; Sheriff Liberty Hill, Lugoff, Westville. Anthony Dennis. SELECTED OFFICIALS: State Sens. Joel Lourie,Vincent NOTABLES: Original Drifters member Bill Pinckney; Sheheen and J. Thomas McElveen III; state Reps. Grady educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune; Brown, Laurie Slade Funderburk, James H.“Jay” Lucas U.S. First Lady (1839-41) Angelica Singleton Van Buren; Gov. and Jimmy Bales; County Council Chairman Gene Wise; Richard Irvine Manning III (1914-18); and Miss USA and councilmen Willie L. Mickle, Sammie Tucker Jr., C.R. Miles Jr., Miss Universe 1980 Shawn Weatherly.
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from the lake
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 4
LANDMARKS AND LANDSCAPES
SO BAZAAR nothing to mess with
P-U-L-L! Summerton tractor pull
REGULATIONS FOR late season hunts
ON THE LAKE
BATTLE FOR underwater whiskers
WALKING THE Tailgate runway
NATIVITY SCENES at Mepkin Abbey
FIRE PITS IN vogue for fall
AMMONS LEAVES legacy at Camden High
About Us GENERAL MANAGER Gail Mathis email@example.com PUBLISHER Jack Osteen firstname.lastname@example.org ARTICLES & RESEARCH Robert J. Baker, Editor email@example.com
Rob Cottingham firstname.lastname@example.org LAYOUT & DESIGN Cary Johnson email@example.com Manon Zamora-Barwick firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOGRAPHY Robert J. Baker, Rob Cottingham, Jamie Hudson Wilson & Bristow Marchant
I can finally feel fall in the air. I have been patiently waiting for it to arrive. We have our summer people who love the 100-degree weather, tanning, skiing and boating. And then we have folks like me, the fall person, the one who loves the colors, the cooler temperatures and less bug bites. In this edition, you will find stories on tailgating fashion and tractor pulling. We have also expanded coverage into the Lake Wateree area, so a few Kershaw County stories can be found within as well.You’ll find plenty of activities in the lake counties in our Landmarks and Landscapes pages. Find out how to enjoy your back yard by building a fire pit. I know that we don’t have a new one, but I love my old one just the same. Sitting out by our pond with a small fire, drinking a Coke, or depending on how cold the weather is, hot chocolate, and the grandchildren roasting marshmallows – Life is good on those days. Though our holiday issue won’t release until December, I encourage our readers to start your Christmas shopping early with specialty shops from Santee to Camden. Now, back to this issue, we have something for everyone, from stories on fall planting and migratory bird season to fishing tournaments, oyster roasts, horse races and more. Like I said, there’s plenty to do to enjoy our lakes. Read this issue and find out where you want to start. Be good to yourself and others. You can also find Lakeside on the front page of The Item’s web site www.theitem.com.
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Earle Woodward, John DuRant, Jolie Brown, Ray Winans and Jamie Hudson Wilson For ads, call Gail Mathis at 803-435-8511 For stories, call Bobby Baker at 803-774-1211 or Rob Cottingham at 803-774-1225
GAIL MATHIS GENERAL MANAGER
2010 & 2012 Best Speciality Publication
2011 Award Winning Magazine
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE 3
Landmarks &Land The Santee Cooper lakes – Marion and Moultrie – spread out over Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Orangeburg and Sumter counties. Nearby, Kershaw County is one of three South Carolina counties that holds Lake Wateree, which has 242 miles of shoreline and includes the Shaw Air Force Base Recreation Center. Altogether, these counties boast Revolutionary War battle sites; 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.
Android phone users may now download a Clarendon County Tour App courtesy of George and Carole Summers of the Swamp Fox Murals Trail Society and David Brinkman, a computer software engineer from Columbia. The fully GPS-enabled, multilingual application shows many of Clarendon
County’s most historic locales, including audible descriptions of many historical cemeteries. The Swamp Fox Trails are also included on the app, which is free for anyone to download on an Androidassociated phone. For more information, visit www.clarendonmurals.com. The Columbia City Ballet will present “The Nutcracker” for the fourth year in a row at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Weldon Auditorium in Manning. Tickets are $15 and $25, depending on seating arrangement. For more information, call (803) 433-SHOW. Lake Marion Artisans, a collective of artists from throughout Clarendon County and neighboring areas, has an open gallery select hours each week at 108 Main St., Summerton. For more information, visit on.fb.me/PBlaxD.
The Lake Marion Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12-1 holds its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the fire department
training room at the Emergency Services Complex, 219 Commerce St. in Manning. The public is invited to attend all meetings, which are moved periodically to the second Wednesday of the month due to fire department training. Time changes are noted in advance. For more information, call Flotilla Commander Joe Livingston at (803) 707-4016. The Swamp Fox Murals feature depictions of Gen. Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion and his soldiers fighting the British in Clarendon and other nearby counties. Murals in Manning are located at B-Mart, the Manning Police Department, IGA, Edward Jones, Piggly Wiggly, Geddings Do It Best Hardware and Substation II. Summerton has murals at Baucom Realty, Ginger’s Flower Shop, the Walker Building, Detwilers and Gaters Law Office. Turbeville has murals 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 in Manning.
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COLUMBIA CITY BALLET
dscapes Weldon Auditorium, North Brooks Street in Manning, will host Craig Karges at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13, with tickets for $15 and $20, depending on seating. The Plantation Singers will be the first act after the new year to take the Weldon stage, doing so at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Tickets are between $5 and $15 for that performance. For more information, call (803) 433-SHOW.
The 3rd annual Camden Antiques Fair will be held daily from Oct. 17-20 at the Rhame City Arena. Preview party tickets are $60, while fair tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. For more information, call (803) 432-6513, email hope@ steeplechasemuseum.org, or visit www. steeplechasemuseum.org. The Camden Community Concert Band’s fall concert will be held 3 p.m. Oct. 20 at Rectory Square Park, with free admission. The rain location is Camden High School. Colonial Christmas in Camden will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, 222
Berkeley County • Clarendon County Orangeburg County • Sumter County
Broad St. in Camden. The Kershaw House will be decked with boughs of holly, and visitors can meet a militiaman home for the holidays, play colonial games, write a Christmas greeting with a quill pen, try on period clothes and sample delectable 18th century refreshments. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for ages 6-12 and free for children younger than 6. For more information, email email@example.com, call (803) 432-9841, or visit www.historiccamden.net. The 43rd annual Revolutionary War Field Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 2-3 at the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site. Roaring cannons will announce each day’s battle at 1:30 p.m., and colonial women will demonstrate 18th century skills, while blacksmiths work the forge and the Redcoats and Rebels face off on the field. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for military and seniors 62 and older, $4 for ages 6-12 and free for children younger than 6. Family packages for two adults and three children younger than 12 are available for
$20. Food concessions and free parking will be available, but no pets are allowed. For more information, visit www.historiccamden.net, or email hiscamden@truvista. net.
Halloween at the Sumter Mall is a joint effort between the Sumter Police Department and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office to ensure children have a safe and happy Halloween night. They will be at the mall from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 partnering with merchants to provide candy, movies, games and a costume contest with prizes for children. For more information, call (803) 774-6146. Old McCaskill Fall Farm Day will be held 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at 377 Cantey Lane in Rembert.Visitors will have a chance to see animals, working saw and grits mills and a blacksmith’s shop. Admission is $5, and children younger than 2 are admitted for free. For more information, call Kathy McCaskill at (803) 432-9537, or visit www. oldmccaskillfarm.com.
43RD ANNUAL REVOLUTIONARY WAR FIELD DAYS
HALLOWEEN AT SUMTER MALL
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Poinsett State Park in Manchester State Forest contains Sumter’s 14-mile portion of the Palmetto Trail, a 425-mile long trail from the mountains to the sea 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 main office, 6660 Poinsett Park Road, Wedgefield. For more information, call (803) 494-8177. The 3rd annual Silver Bells Arts and Crafts Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7 and 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Fair Memorial Building. More than 40 crafters are expected, and Santa will offer pictures with children from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Prints will be available for $5. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call (803) 983-3235. Swan Lake Iris Gardens, one of the premier swan observatories in the world, is located on West Liberty Street in Sumter. Its renown is due in part to its status as the only public park in the United States to serve as home to all eight species of swans, including black necks, royal white mutes, coscorobas, whoopers, black Australians, whistlers, bewicks and trumpeters. Tables are located throughout the grouns, and a large playground features an antique fire engine that is perfect for climbing. The Bland Gardens feature a boardwalk, on which visitors may meander through a cypress swamp, and a gazebo popular for spring
weddings. Call (803) 778-5434 for more information about reservations for any of the park’s facilities or email tourism@ sumter-sc.com. The Sumter Sunrise Rotary 5th annual 5k Run/Walk will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 26, starting at Rotary Centennial Plaza at the corner of Liberty and Main streets in downtown Sumter. Catherine Watkins, past president, said the fundraising efforts go toward the club’s polio eradication efforts and to help provide educational supplies to local schools. There is a cost to participate. For more information, visit the Sumter Sunrise Rotary Facebook page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Sumter YMCA’s 31st annual Turkey Trot will be held 9 a.m. Nov. 28 at the organization’s Miller Road location. It is the final race of the 2013 Sumter Series and will end at noon. There is a registration fee. For more information, visit bit.ly/19dL1UJ.
Compiled by Robert J. Baker email@example.com
31ST ANNUAL TURKEY TROT
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
SILVER BELLS ARTS & CRAFTS
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HELLO AGAIN, SANTEE COUNTRY...
Making a list, checking it twice by RAY WINANS
know that you’re thinking the same as I am: What happened to summer? It seems like all it did was rain and create unbearable humidity. I am hopeful, though, that fall will bring a change to all that. I have a lot of things planned for this fall season, so the weather better straighten up. I have a couple short-term bucket list items that I’m looking forward to crossing off the list. As a matter of fact, I just crossed one off the list. For years, I have wanted to decrease the flock size of the nuisance geese that continually land in my pond each year. Each year, I set out to catch them on the pond, and I always invite some willing participants who understand the taunting that these specimens of the waterfowl family dish out every season. My wife says that they know I’m out to get them, and at least one of them – the informant – is a subscriber to the annual state Department of Natural Resources season calendar, thus alerting all local geese of the season. Well, finally, the snail mail system caught up with the informant, and he must not have received his calendar be-
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cause we surprised them. That’s all I have to say about that. The next item that is on my list is something I have been looking forward to for four years now. I have been applying for gator tags since DNR first opened draw hunt opportunities in 2008. Finally, I was successful. Now all I have to do is find a gator, hook it, bring it close to the boat, be able to hit a quarter-sized spot on the back of his skull with a pistol, wrestle it into the boat and then carry it to a local processor. That is going to be the easy part. You see, I got my tag in the mail several weeks ago, and upon opening the package, I found a lock tag and a rules-and-regulations book. Now, here’s the problem: The tag is pink. I immediately looked at my wife after opening the package and, seeing the color of the tag, told her this was going to be really tough. With that “why?” look on her face, I knew I had her hooked. I told her the pink tag meant I was going to have to take a female gator and that was where the difficulty came into play. As I was reeling my wife into the story, I explained that I had to hook a gator, fight
it all the way to the boat and then, well, the tough part, reaching under the belly and figuring out whether it is male or female. I definitely got that “you’re kidding me” look for a minute until I smirked and the jig was up. I didn’t keep her hooked up long enough to let her know that she was the one that had to do the checking. I guess it’s another case of the one that got away. I’m hoping for a successful gator hunt and looking forward to telling a good story in the near future. Hopefully, I will have some good pictures to share with you in my next column. So that’s a couple of things on the list that are within my grasp. There are some things that I know may take several years or maybe decades to cross off, but I can still dream. I believe it’s always good to have a list of things you would like to do in your life.You never know what will afford you the opportunity to experience some of those things. If you don’t have a list, you will never cross anything off. Until next time, I hope you take the time to make out a list, or at least think about one. Be safe and God bless.
IT’S SO BAZAAR Summerton church back with traditional
fundraiser by ROBERT J. BAKER with file photos firstname.lastname@example.org
ince 2007, St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Summerton has opened its doors on the first Saturday morning in December to welcome guests to its annual Bazaar. And in that time, those guests have come in droves for everything from barbecue chicken, frozen casseroles and tomato pies to handmade crafts, sweaters, purses and other items. “We always have so much,” said church pastor Father David Thurlow in 2012.“And the bazaar is always really well-attended.” Thurlow and the Episcopal Church Women, who have put on the event for more than five decades, expect 2013 to be no different. This year’s bazaar will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at the church. “With our new facility we’ve been able to expand a bit more in the past couple of years,”Thurlow said. “(Last year’s) was a great event. We had handmade crafts, sweaters, purses, handbags, baked goods, Christmas tree ornaments, bird feeders – all kinds of handmade items. Though held for the past six years on the first Saturday in December, the event was previously held before Thanksgiving, but always had competition from the Carolina-Clemson game. “Since it’s in December, we have more handmade Christmas items than we did in the past years where it was before Thanksgiving,” said past ECW President Martha Wright.“It’s worked out to where it’s a more convenient time for people to have it in December.” Aside from the homemade items, both barbecue chicken prepared by men of the church and Trudy Flowers’ tomato pies are large draws for the bazaar. “(The tomato pies) are just amazing and savory with cheese and onion and bacon,”Wright said. So popular are the pies, that they are typically sold out before the church even opens its doors for the bazaar. “They are always ready at the door, and we all hold hands and our minister makes a circle and we pray for the event, and then they all come in,”Wright said. For more information, call the church at (803) 4852504.
55th ANNUAL ST. MATTHIAS BAZAAR
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at the church 9 N. Dukes St., Summerton • (803) 485-2504
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P-U-L-L! LAKESIDE PULLERS TAKE TO SUMMERTON by ROBERT J. BAKER email@example.com
10 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
umter resident Jean McLeod pulled her first ever quarter-scale tractor on Sept. 7 in Summerton. “But it won’t be my last,” she said shortly after pulling off her helmet and dismounting the rig her husband, Albert, built for her.“I’ve always seen him do it and thought it would be fun, so he built me one.” McLeod was one of more than two dozen participants in the pull, which was held by Lakeside Pullers, a group that has members that come from all parts of South Carolina. Member David Cockerill served as a referee for the event, monitoring rigs as they drug the tractor down a dirt course off Nelsons Ferry Road in Summerton. “I think the people out here are having a good time,” Cockerill said.
Sumter resident Leonard Meeks certainly was. “This is my first time seeing one,” he said of the tractor pull. “I’ve been working on lawnmowers all my life, but I’ve never seen one pull. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s hot out here.” Temperatures hovered in the upper 90s while a blazing sun crowded the blue sky, but 15-year-old J.J. McKenzie was having fun despite the heat. The Lakewood High School sophomore pulled two separate rigs – lawnmowers “suped up” to pull the tractor – his own and his grandmother’s pink baby. “I’ve been into this for about a year or two,” he said.“I grew up with racing and race go-karts as well.” J.J.’s father, John, agreed. “My grandfather raced, and I raced, so now (J.J.) races,” John McKenzie said.“I guess I got him into tractor pulling.”
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Pinewood resident Michael Avin said it is also his second year with the club. “I do some of the work on my own mower,” he said.“I had another guy build it for me. I just went to pick it up last night (Sept. 6), and it has a brand new motor.” Avin’s rig – emblazoned with “Super Bee” on the side – stood out in bright yellow. “My cousin pulls, and he talked me into starting a few years ago,” McKenzie said.“It was enough to hook me because it’s exciting and fun.” Money from the pull was used to cover prizes and other club expenses, and also to help with a food drive.“Southern Digger” rider Ray Kanruter of Lugoff said even at 68 he “enjoys every minute of it.” “This is my third year here, and I think it’s great,” he said. His rig also did not require much work for the recent pull. “I’ll tell you the truth: It sat in my shop for two months,” he said. “First time I got on it was last night.”
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WALKING THE F
RUNWAY by JAMIE HUDSON WILSON firstname.lastname@example.org
14 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
orget that old, worn jersey and jeans, today’s tailgater is dressing up for the occasion, combining her fashion sense with the colors and insignia of her favorite teams. If you are from South Carolina, your loyalties probably lie with one of two major teams – the University of South Carolina Gamecocks or the Clemson University Tigers. The American Tailgater’s Association estimates that the first evidence of modern tailgating occurred during the Civil War at the Battle of Bull Run of 1861 when Union sympathizers held a picnic above the battle field while soldiers fought below. The activity became more popular, according to the association, as college football gained in popularity. Some records hold that the first evidence of this was when fans of the 1869 Rutgers football team wore their colors in the form of turbans to distinguish themselves from the fans of the opposing team. Though nearly 150 years have passed since the early days of tailgating, the fervor to cheer on one’s team has stayed the same and it continues to engrain itself in the life of its fans, including their clothing choices come game day. The parking lot of many a football stadium is more of a catwalk than it has ever been, and many clothiers focusing on high-end wear for its sports fan customers. Two decked-out mannequins – one Clemson, one Carolina – stood opposite one another in front of Chrystal Mim’s business off Guignard Drive. “I think I’ll leave these out here to draw people in,” she said. Recently, a good percentage of Mim’s shop – Hayden Hayes Boutique, located of Guignard Drive – has been dedicated to the fan wear, with customers coming in sometimes hours before they head to the game. “I had one lady came in at the last minute,” she said. “We were able to put a whole outfit together.” The whole outfit – including clothes and accessories – all bore witness to the team’s image. Mims said she has seen the interest in game day fashion increase just this past year. “It really seems to be popular,” she said.“With the first game of the season, I was swamped.” She now says that she is able to buy inventory from suppliers who cater to the game day crowd. It’s about marrying the styles of the day to the colors
of the team. Maxi dresses and high-low skirts pair with orange and garnet accessories. Geometric designs lend themselves to a great presentation of team colors. The first thing to greet customers at Simpson’s Hardware is a 10 by 10 canopy tent filled with Clemson and Carolina paraphernalia. Bean bags that bear the Gamecock sit across from Clemson Tiger lawn ornaments that proudly proclaim the university to be No. 1. Every tailgating accessory is emblazoned with the team brand. From car flags to fuzzy die, Simpson Hardware has most of what many want to complete their tailgating experience, including apparel. “Some people just like to have it, though they don’t necessarily go to the game,” said manager Shawn Matthews. “Some just like to tailgate at their house.” The store boasts game day wear for both men and children as well as ladies boutique dresses which can be accessorized at the store’s in-house gift department, Fancy That. Necklaces and earrings reflect the colors of the two main, local rivalries. Handbags and shoes – all color-coded – complete the ensemble. “It’s sort of the new social thing right now,” Matthews said.
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TAILGATING TIPS FROM THE AMERICAN TAILGATING ASSOCIATION • INVITE THE RIGHT PEOPLE
• DON’T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS. Chances are, nobody else will think to bring Make sure you invite enough people to your cups, plates, napkins, utensils and so on. All tailgate. Not everyone will be able to make it and you don’t want to be left with three people that food with nothing to eat it off of will be a real bummer, so make sure you have plenty. sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Don’t forget the music. Inviting the right people is key as well. Make Before the game, during halftime, and after sure that you have a few people who will take the game, your fellow tailgaters will love it if the initiative to get to party started. If all your guests are quiet and shy, it will take a while to you have some music. Busting out your team’s fight song is guaranteed to get everyone get everyone going. pumped, but any fun music will help keep So make sure you have some people who things going. will get everyone in the mood to celebrate. • HAVE THINGS TO DO. Better yet, be the life of the party yourself. Cornhole, horse shoes and a football to • EXPECT THE WEATHERMAN TO BE toss around are just a few favorite activities of WRONG tailgaters. The perfect tailgate would take place on • CHAIRS ARE A MUST. a 70-degree sunny day. But life is not that Although you want to keep your tailgaters perfect. Plan for rain, snow and wind and be busy and active, some will need a break every prepared. Have a tent or awning for outdoor once in a while. Make sure to have a decent tailgating. amount of chairs available for your fellow If you are a die-hard tailgater cheering on tailgaters to take a load off. If you forget or your team in the dead of winter, heat lamps run out, pull up a couple of trucks and drop the are a great investment. Stock up on ponchos, blankets and umbrellas for old and rainy days. tailgates. • DON’T FORGET TO DECORATE. Your fellow tailgaters will be impressed with Make sure everyone knows your team or your preparedness. driver. Deck your tailgate out in your team’s • HAVE ENOUGH FOOD. colors and gear. There is no such thing as Usually your fellow tailgaters will bring something to contribute to the snack table, but too much when it comes to decorating your tailgate. overstock just in case. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to prepare five dishes and dips • TVS AND RADIOS. If you aren’t going to the big game or the yourself. Even if you just buy a few extra bags race, make sure you and all your fellow tailof chips to break out in emergency situations, you will be glad to have them in the event of a gaters don’t miss a thing. Be sure to have a big enough TV in a place that everyone can see. food shortage. Back-up radios are great for people who would • PROVIDE A VARIETY OF DRINKS. rather mingle or stay away from the crowds. You can probably expect your fellow tailgaters to bring their own alcoholic drinks. SOURCE: americantailgaterassociation.org/ But as the perfect tailgate planner, it always news/10-tips-throwing-perfect-tailgate-party/ pays to be prepared. Have a few extra types of drinks to accommodate your unprepared friends. Many people forget to bring non-alcoholic beverages for non-drinkers and children. Coffee and hot chocolate are great on cold days and can be a lifesaver when your friends one too-many alcoholic drinks. | LAKESIDE 16have OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2013
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See fall colors by boat by EARLE WOODWARD email@example.com
all is upon us, and we are enjoying that magical time of year when the dull, dusty green leaves of summer fade into one last, brilliant burst of color before they drop to the ground. This is a time when those hot, humid days of summer, when the humidity is so high that visibility is reduced to a hazy mile or two, change to days with a little bit of nip in the air. And the crystal clear skies bless us with unlimited visibility this wonderful time of year. It is about this time that thousands upon thousands of pilgrims make an annual trip to the mountains of the Blue Ridge just to witness the splendorous fall colors. I must admit that I, too, was once counted in that number. My lovely bride, Sherri, and I would load up the car with luggage enough for a month in the mountains and snacks to last for weeks and then venture up to the Blue Ridge Parkway to drive for days on end. We marveled at the clear blue skies and wondrous splashes of yellows, reds, greens and oranges. But there was a problem: The guy that was driving never got to enjoy the scenery because the traffic was so bad. He had to keep his eyes glued to the car in front of him, instead of on the wonders of nature. There just had to be a better way to see the majesty of the fall without the traffic, the overcrowded overlooks and sold-out hotels. And there is – a boat ride. This area of the state is absolutely overrun with boating opportunities, from the lake to the swamp to multiple rivers of varying size. They all offer a fantastic view of the fall colors, and for the most part, launching your boat is inexpensive,
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if not free. Back in the days when the mallard duck ruled the skies over Sparkleberry Swamp, I was a fully fledged addict for duck hunting. It was all I ever thought about. I began in mid-October riding my boat all through Sparkleberry looking for just the right place to hunt ducks when the season opened during the Thanksgiving holiday. By early November, the leaves would begin to change and the color of the leaves against the blackened water of the swamp was just breathtaking. The ducks quit showing up back in the middle 80s and as a result I stopped riding the swamps like I once did. But the colors of fall have never stopped showing up. True, fishing does usually pick up a bit during the fall, and you may run across a fisherman or two, but compared to the wild scene that is playing out in the mountains at the same time, you might as well be in complete solitude. There is a place for every boat size to enjoy the colors. Not everyone is comfortable riding around in Sparkleberry Swamp, and some boats are just too big to get in there, but Wyboo and Potato Creek may be perfect for those with larger boats. It’s hard to beat a slow, idle speed ride from Wyboo to the islands between Potato Creek and the Big Water of Lake Marion. The islands are covered with almost every variety of tree you can imagine, giving them a painter’s pallet of color options. On a nice, calm day you can ride in tight to the shoreline for an even better look. Swing through Nelson’s Cut and continue on down to Taw Caw Creek and
Goat Island. How about the Santee River? There are four state-owned boat ramps adjacent to Pack’s Landing, and they can handle almost any size boat you’d want to launch. It’s an easy ride out to the river, and by turning left under the trestle, you can get a short ride down to the place where the river dumps into the lake. By turning right, you can boat all the way to Columbia or Camden, whichever your heart desires. The drawback to the rivers may be the water levels. If it has been dry and rivers are low, then you may have to exercise a bit more caution, keeping a watchful eye out for sandbars and downed trees and stumps. But take your time. Why hurry such a fine trip to begin with? If the level is higher, you’ve got clear sailing for the most part. For those with smaller vessels, I still recommend the Santee. But I also believe Sparkleberry is a wonderful adventure as well, perhaps even more so than the river. It’s a free-launch facility, and the swamp can also be accessed from Pack’s Landing as well. It can be a little tricky, but if you know your way around the swamp, it’s a beautiful journey. One of our more overlooked rivers is the Lower Santee River. There is a public boat ramp under the S.C. 52 bridge between Greeleyville and St. Stephens, and both directions offer some fantastic scenery for the smaller boats. The water of the Lower Santee is often crystal clear and reflects oaks, hickories and the maples lining the banks. The colors are phenomenal. Again, be careful during times of low water as the bottom comes up very quick-
ly in this river, and there are plenty of snags. Bald eagles, deer and a variety of ducks and other critters are frequent visitors to the water’s edge, so keep an eye peeled for them while you ride. There are plenty of other scenic rivers in the area, including the Wateree, Lynches, Black and both the big and little Pee Dee. All of them offer wonderful boat riding with almost no other people in sight. A quiet day on the river during the height of the leaf season is something everyone ought to see and experience at some point in their lives. Avoid the crowds, do something different: Pack up the family, fix a picnic lunch, pick a lake or river that fits your boat size and go enjoy a peaceful day on the water marveling at God’s handiwork. I really don’t think you’ll regret it.
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FIRE PITS IN
vogue FOR FALL by JAMIE HUDSON WILSON firstname.lastname@example.org
20 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
or the past four years homeowner Keith Charpentier has been creating something of an outdoor retreat beside his home. His open-air pool house features a working kitchen and bar area alongside a heated pool. His property overlooks a scenic portion of Second Mill Pond in Sumter. “Sometimes I’ll just come out here after work and I won’t go inside until 10:30 p.m.,” he said. After purchasing a ready-made fire pit at a home improvement store, Charpentier quickly realized he needed something more substantial and easy to maintain. He also noticed that he was taking a lot of yard waste to the road to be picked up by sanitation employees. He decided to kill two birds with one stone. Well, lots of stones actually. While landscaping his property, Charpentier removed several large rust-colored stones. Using a little ingenuity and a lot of labor, Charpentier made a large fire pit in his back yard complete with a stone patio. The result is a fire pit that blends into the natural scenery of Second Mill Pond. “It was like working a jigsaw puzzle,” he said.“We left it as natural as we could.” Now, the pit provides the Charpentiers and their friends with a place to sit and relax and “solve the world’s problems,” Charpentier said. As the dog days of summer slowly faded away in early September, Charpentier’s wife, Lynn, said the fire pit will become more popular with their friends and family. “We’ll be out here a lot as it gets cooler,” she said. According to the National Association of Realtors, fire pits are a hot commodity right now. Whether they are the commercially built fire bowls or of the do-it-yourself variety, the fall season will bring many outdoors to enjoy the gentle warmth of the campfire. The practice dates back to the early civilizations where the hub of activity often centered on a fire. The fire pit is back in vogue as many homeowners seek to make their outdoor space as livable as their indoor space. Some of the pits are little more than a location for things to be regularly burned. Others present the pit as the focal point of one’s outdoor living space. Some are outfitted with fireproof decorative glass that provides for a fantastic show of colors once the fire is lit. Picking a fire pit is a decision guided by one’s budget and
lifestyle. Lyle Wescott, a Sumter firefighter who teaches fire prevention, said there are a few things potential fire pit owners need to remember if they plan on installing, buying or using a pit. A good rule of thumb, he said, is that any flame needs to be 25 feet away from any structure. “A structure is a house, storage shed or even dog house,” Wescott said. The area around the pit site should be free of debris like leaves and other trash. This hinders the possibility that a fire could get out of hand. Hazardous materials should not be burned either, Wescott said. And above all, a fire pit should never be left unattended. Wescott encourages all homeowners to keep their focus lest a fire becomes too much to manage. “It’s best to have a hose handy,” he said. When you want to extinguish the fire, it’s best to soak the area with water until you don’t see any embers in the ashes. “Even then, you want to keep an eye on it for a little bit,” he said. If a fire does get out of hand, Wescott said, it’s best to call emergency services as quickly as possible and to remove yourself from immediate danger.
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Black water Peril HALLOWEEN AT CYPRESS GARDENS by ROB COTTINGHAM
email@example.com photos provided
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f you’re a South Carolina native, then you probably know just how haunting the black waters the state’s many swamps can be, especially in the fall. You can see the pale backlight of the fall sky through the tufts of Spanish moss dangling from innumerable limbs of cypress trees. It’s deafeningly silent for what seems an eternity, save the bobcat’s chilling howl or the owl’s ominous shriek. The sun is fading just beyond the horizon, leaving just enough light to create a reflection of the twisting braches glossed over the bewilderingly dead-still waters. An atmosphere known for its abundance of life becomes a sinister tapestry of all that we fear, creates and demons alike. As you peer deeply into the void, you futilely attempt to silence the paranoia that cripples your sanity. Try as you might to convince yourself that there are no evil beasts among the trees, you can’t fight what you feel is true: Many eyes are watching you. Years ago, Cypress Gardens decided to capitalize on its 80 acres of swampland for the celebration of all things spooky. Halloween in the Swamp, as it was dubbed, became an instant hit down in Moncks Corner, and visitors come from all over to experience the unique atmosphere. Running from Oct. 17-19, Halloween in the Swamp features a diverse list of activities. For a general admission charge of $5, visitors can walk a lighted pumpkin trail that will lead them to the Great Pumpkin. Guests can also enjoy a marshmallow roast where veteran storytellers will share eerie tales and lore. For the younger kids, there’s a children’s game room and other less frightening activities to enjoy, including music and refreshments. Those who feel up for a thrill can pay $10 more to take a guided tour known as the Haunted Swamp Experience in which guests float along the swamp in flat-bottomed
boats as a guide shares ghost stories of legendary horrors of the black waters. At the end of the boat ride, visitors disembark and proceed along a walking trail full of surprises. Dwight Williams, director of Cypress Gardens, acknowledges the potentially creepy atmosphere of the swamp and suggests that no children younger than 12 take part in the Haunted Swamp Experience, but emphasized that the event is family friendly. “We’re not going to terrorize anyone,” he said.“It’s fun. A lot of it is pretty campy. This is meant to be enjoyed by everyone.” However, Williams couldn’t deny the potency of the tour. “We’ve made people wet their pants before,” he said. Classic black and white horror films, such as “Twilight Zone” features, will also be playing during the other events. This year marks the 16th edition of the event, which was canceled just once in 1996. Williams said the production has grown steadily over the years and he is proud of its success, considering its modest production. “This is a home-grown effort,” he said.“We have 100 local volunteers who work hard to make this event such a great success. These aren’t paid professionals; they’re generous people who are enthusiastic about Halloween and Cypress Gardens.” As to why the event is so successful, Williams’ answer was simple. “People want to be scared,” he said with a chuckle.“They love it.” Halloween in the Swamp starts at 7:30 p.m. each night and admission is limited to 500 guests a day. Williams suggests buying your tickets in advance when they become available on Cypress Gardens’ website, www.cypressgardens.info.
HALLOWEEN IN THE SWAMP 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner When: 7:30 p.m. until Oct. 17-19 Price: $5 general admission, $15 with haunted tour (admission limited to 500 guests) Phone: (843) 553-0515 Online: www.cypressgardens.info
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BIRD HUNTS by ROBERT J. BAKER firstname.lastname@example.org
24 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
igratory bird hunters in Clarendon County don’t have to wait for the late-season migratory bird regulations, although they’re going to have to wait a couple of months before hunting the birds. The state Department of Natural Resources announced Aug. 20 the laws for the 2013-14 late season based on a framework set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According to DNR, the season and its bag limit selections must be approved by the service and published in the Federal Register. And DNR advises that although Canada and white-fronted geese may be hunted from Nov. 23-Dec. 1, Dec. 7-Jan. 26, 2014 and Feb. 6-15, 2014, the birds may not be hunted at all in Clarendon County, the portion of Orangeburg County north of S.C. 6 and the portion of Berkeley County north of S.C. 45 from the Orangeburg County line to the junction of S.C. 45 and State Road S-8-31, and the portion west of the Santee Dam in Berkeley County. Other dates, regulations and limits include: Sea ducks — Through Jan. 26, 2014. A bag limit of six cannot include more than four scoters. The possession limit of 21 cannot include more than 12 scoters. DNR advises that sea ducks taken outside of the regular duck season may be hunted only in Atlantic Ocean waters separated from any shore, island or emergent vegetation by at least one mile of open water. Coots, blue and snow geese — Nov. 23-Dec. 1; Dec. 7-Jan. 26, 2014. The bag limit for coots is 15, and the possession limit is 45. For blue and snow geese, the bag limit is 25 and there is no possession limit. Ducks, excluding sea ducks — Nov. 23-Dec. 1; and Dec. 7-Jan. 26, 2014. DNR has set a bag limit of six, but with no more than four mallards — and two hens — along with two pintails, one fulvous whistling duck, one black-bellied whistling duck, three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, two scaup and either one black or one mottled duck. A possession limit of 18 has been set, and includes no more than 12 mallards, six pintail, three fulvous whistling ducks, three black-bellied whistling ducks, nine wood ducks, six redheads, six canvasbacks, six scaup and any combination of three total for mottled or black ducks. Mergansers — Dates are the same as for ducks, excluding sea ducks. There is a bag limit of five, which cannot include more than one hooded merganser. The possession limit is 15, with no more than three hooded mergansers. Brant — Dec. 28-Jan. 26, 2014. There are two birds per bag limit, with six for possession limit. DNR said in its announcement that Nov. 16 and Feb. 1, 2014, are Federal Youth Days, and only those hunters 15 and younger may hunt waterfowl such as ducks and geese on those days.Youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old. The adult is not required to be licensed, but is not allowed to carry a gun or hunt. DNR Lt. Billy Downer said hunters must remember that waterfowl cannot be shot prior to 30 minutes before sunrise. “Shooting hours for late season duck hunting are uniform statewide,” he said in a Sun file story.“During weekends and during the holiday season, there’s a tremendous amount of people that turn out to hunt in the morning. When we talked about hunter education, we talked about ethics being unwritten rules, basically common sense things to where the law doesn’t necessarily apply, you need to use ethics.” Hunters must also be aware of the laws governing distances for shooting in a residential area. “They are different depending on your area, and certain areas have been closed,” Downer said. A number of areas along Lake Marion fall under a 200-yard rule, which means that a hunter cannot hunt for waterfowl within 200 yards of a home. On the Clarendon County side of Lake Marion
Wyboo Creek, Potato Creek and Wyboo Hatchery, also known as First Water all fall under the 200-yard rule. “I always caution the duck hunters to make darn sure (you’re careful), even in some areas that there is no yardage restriction,” said DNR Capt. Harvin Brock.“I said if you goof around and you get close to these people’s houses, they’re going to go to their House member, their Senators, and close this for you and make a yardage restriction and cut you out of some good hunting areas.” “You’ve got to police yourself, and most of your good duck hunters do that,” he said.“You have your good with your bad and that’s where some of these restrictions have come from.” For more information, call (803) 734-4002 or visit www.dnr. sc.gov. For wildlife emergencies or to report violations, call (800) 922-5431.
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SUMTER 15 SUMTER 15
38 3838 Watch, listen and learn – it’s the format that has allowed 38 professional angler, outdoorsman and businessman Bobsparkleberry sparkleberry by Wilson to learn something new each time he embarks onsparkleberry asparkleberry new adventure, whether he’s fishing, hunting, flying landing landing landing landing his airplane or discussing a business venture. Wilson developed his love for fishing from his father, R.E.“Ears”Wilson. Pack's Pack's Pack's Pack's “I guess I was probably six years old when he took me fishinglanding for the first time,”Wilson said.“I loved the sport right landing landing landing 37 off.” 37 3737 Wilson grew up in Chester County and first experienced fishing on Lake Marion was when he was around 11 or 1111 12 years old. low low Falls Falls low low Falls Falls landing landing “I love it,” he said.“Fishing with my dad and watching him fish was rIMInI great. ” landing landing rIMInI rIMInI rIMInI Wilson said he was taught as a youngster that you eat what your catch or kill. 36 36 3636 35 35 “I still do that today,” he said. “Unless I’m fishing for pan fish, I catch and release. Now35 I 35 will catch fish from time to lonestar lonestar lonestar elliott's elliott's lonestar elliott's elliott's landing landing Carolina landing landing Carolina Carolina king king Carolina king king time for some33 of the older folks in the community who can’t get out to fish anymore. I’ll catch the fish, clean it and retreat retreat &Marina &Marina Marina retreat retreat &&Marina 33 33 33
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Bowman Bowman Bowman Bowman Orangeburg----25 25miles miles Orangeburg 25 miles Orangeburg 25 miles Orangeburg Florence----56 56miles miles Florence 56 miles Florence 56 miles Florence 178 178 178 Sumter----30 30miles miles178 Sumter 30 miles Sumter 30 miles Sumter Summerton----5555miles miles Summerton miles Summerton miles Summerton Manning----8888miles miles Manning miles Manning miles Manning Reevesville Reevesville Reevesville Reevesville
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FRANCIS MARION NATIONAL FOREST WMA OCTOBER
- NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE 29
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FALL GARDENING by JOAN CASANOVA
32 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
crumptious, healthy veggies, hefty harvests and a break on your grocery bill are just some of the appealing advantages that draw people to growing their own vegetables. If you’ve never gardened before, or you’re a green-thumbed garden guru, you’ll soon figure out that fall’s a great time to get growing your own produce. Cooler temperatures and milder sun can spell success for any gardener who takes up the trowel as autumn approaches. Favorable fall conditions mean growing cool-weather crops is comparatively easy, with less watering and care needed for a successful garden. Cool crops will start out strong, growing quickly and then slow their growth as days become shorter and cooler. You’ll also need to work less to protect your garden from pests, as both insect and animal populations taper off during fall. And since weeds will germinate less frequently, and grow more slowly altogether, weeding won’t be a time-consuming task either. Finally, more rain and less sun and heat mean you’ll need to water less. If you’re ready for gardening success, now is the time to grab that hoe, break some ground and get growing.
broccoli is no exception. Plant stalks 18 inches apart and get ready for an easy, heart harvest. Broccoli is high in fiber and calcium. • Cabbage – The quintessential fall vegetable, Bonnie’s hybrid cabbage grows large, round blue-green heads. From salads to stews, cabbage adds a punch of flavor and nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamins C and K and plenty of fiber. •Romaine Lettuce – Romaine packs a big punch with more vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients than other popular types of lettuce. Rich in fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene, romaine is especially good for heart health. Space your transplants 18 inches apart.
PICK YOUR PLANTS Start with transplants, rather than seed. A shorter, gentler growing season means you need to get started right away. Many local garden centers will have a selection of transplants from producers like Bonnie Plants that will grow well in your geographic region. Transplants will be six weeks older and give you a jump start. You’ll be able to harvest sooner than if you start from seed and skip the volatile, sometimes unsuccessful seed-starting process. Transplants that come in earth-friendly biodegradable pots also make planting easy, preventing transplant shock and sparing the use of much plastic. As the pot biodegrades, it’ll add nutrients to your soil.
SIZE UP THE SOIL Loosen compacted soil, fluffing it up with a garden fork. Soil test – local Clemson Extension Service offices offer tests for $6 each – and amend if necessary. Adding a two-inch layer of bagged compost is always good practice. You can spread a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, according to labeled instructions for added nutrients.
CROPS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Choose cool crops that your family likes to eat. Popular fall favorites include: • Lacinato Kale – A cold-hardy vegetable, kale leaves sweeten after frost. Kale is a super food, and Lacinato leaves extended excellent health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, fighting cancer and decreasing inflamaation. • Early-dividend broccoli – Many greens love the fall, and
GET THE GARDEN READY Once you know what you’ll be planting, remove any garden debris from the past season’s garden and remove weeds before they go to seed. Plants will need an inch of moisture per week, either through rain or supplemental watering.You might want to consider raised bed planting; beds are easy to build or buy, and they allow you to start out with good quality soil. Plus, you’ll bend less come harvest time.
LET THE SUNSHINE IN Position your plot for optimum sun exposure. Most vegetables need full sun – at least six hours per day, in fact. But don’t fear frost. When frost threatens, cover your plants with floating row cover, cold frame or a cloche. Or, you can grow your fall veggies in a container and move pots to a protected location on frosty nights. Whether you’re working in the backyard, a raised bed or in containers on a deck, you’ll see how easy and successful fall planting can be. Start now to ensure you enjoy a healthy, plentiful and fulfilling fall harvest. For more tips on fall gardening visit www.bonnieplants.com.
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FRIEND OR FOE? by JOHN DURANT
s a parent with a soon-to-bedriving teenager – in just two years – I can attest to the anxiety of adding my oldest son to my insurance policy. With the exception of my wife, there is no brighter light in my life than my two boys, and they mean everything to me. But bless their hearts, they already eat enough to feed half-a-dozen grown men, and I’m getting the shakes over what adding my eldest son to my auto policy will do to further erode what little is left of my bank account. In the past, the largest economic concern parents had with teenagers and insurance was adding them to their auto policies. Generally speaking you can expect your premiums to increase quite a bit as the insurance policy adjusts to the risk of adding a teen. However, the explosion of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, has created potentially far more damaging liability exposures with regard to your own personal liability. From an insurance standpoint there is reason to be concerned. If used irresponsibly ,social media can cause significant financial loss to your household. I recent-
34 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
ly read about a teenager from Oceanside, N.Y., that sued Facebook and four of her classmates and their parents to the tune of $3 million. Accusations were that the classmates bullied and humiliated her on a Facebook forum. The four classmates allegedly posted derogatory and false statements about her that were intended to hold her up to “public hatred, ridicule and disgrace.” Even if the allegations were false, the parents were required to retain counsel and resources to pay any judgment that may be rendered. Ask yourself,“Why would my homeowner’s policy pay for this?” The simple answer is that a standard homeowner’s policy will not pay. Libel and slander do not fit the definition of bodily injury under the policy forms. Bodily injury refers to physical damage to the property. Although in the aforementioned lawsuit the girl accused her classmates of making her life miserable to the point that she was physically sick, there is a high probability that there would be no coverage under the girls’ homeowner’s policy. However, in the event that the court
ruled in her favor, the other girls’ parents’ personal assets would be at risk for the claim. The good news is that most companies will offer, by endorsement, coverage for such claims where, by written word or publication, you violate someone’s privacy. Hopefully, the four girls’ families had such coverage in place. For insurance agents, there is no way for us to know exactly how a court will rule on the policy language. In my opinion the best way to protect against such claims is to first add the endorsement to your policy, and then purchase an umbrella policy. Umbrellas normally provide $1 million of coverage and are written on a broader basis than the personal liability coverage under your policy. The umbrella policy with provide an additional layer of liability protection once your limit has been reached under your primary personal liability coverage. The average cost of an umbrella policy is typically $200 or less, making it relatively inexpensive for the amount of coverage it provides. Social media can be a fun and useful
form of communication, but it does have its risks – especially for children. They simply don’t have the life experience to realize that it can have long-term effects on their lives. Once a post is made anywhere on the Internet, there is no taking it back. It has the potential to affect them far into the future with college choices, employment, and in other ways they can never anticipate. Parents, I urge you to be involved in your children’s lives. Know what sites they are visiting and what they are posting. Don’t be afraid to be their parent. John DuRant is the owner of DuRant Insurance in Manning. He can be reached at (803) 435-4800, or by emailing john@ durantinsurance.com.
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On Lake the
JEFF BYER / SPECIAL TO LAKESIDE A green heron perches at a park near Santee in mid-June.
CAMILLE WATKINS / SPECIAL TO LAKESIDE Echo, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, took the front of his ownerâ€™s kayak in her backyard in Summerville in mid-June.
PHOTO PROVIDED Sunset from the banks along Lake Marion on Goat Island is one of the many aspects that draw visitors to the area.
TERESA SCURRY / SPECIAL TO LAKESIDE John Scurry of Cub Scout Pack 339 poses with his dog recently during a camping trip.
Please submit photos to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline for submissions for the next edition is November 11, 2013. 36 OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE
PHOTO PROVIDED Mandy Maddock Holbert, a former Sumter resident, center, runs just before her husband, Ronnie, right, in the Mad Mountain Mud Run in Hendersonville, N.C., on June 1.
SARA BETH RICHBURG / SPECIAL TO LAKESIDEA lovely rainbow Panola resident Will Jenkinson caught this 8-pound catfish while on Lake Marion near Summerton in early June.
DANNI RICHARDSON / SPECIAL TO LAKESIDE Bails of fresh cut hay sit in a field on Paddock Road in Clarendon County in early May.
ACQUELINE SMITH / SPECIAL TO LAKESIDE Melissa Mutterer, a former Lee County resident who now lives in Hilton Head, kayaks on the May River in Bluffton during vacation recently.
DANNI RICHARDSON / SPECIAL TO LAKESIDE A corn field near Baggett Road in Clarendon County sits under a bright blue sky in early June. OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE 37
BATTLE FOR UNDERWATER
WHISKERS HILL’S LANDING HOSTS 11TH ANNUAL CATFISH TOURNAMENT by ROB COTTINGHAM
ishing has been one of the most popular pastimes in South Carolina for some time. Learning to bait a hook, spool a reel or how to distinguish a real bite from a nibble are about as commonplace knowledge as learning how to throw a curve ball or toss the perfect spiral. And like many other sports, the more you do it, the better you get. Eventually, some fishermen emerge from the mass collection of casual fishers and call themselves anglers, but experts will tell you,“angler” isn’t a name you give yourself; it’s a title you earn. That title is earned by those who truly exhibit a wealth of knowledge and instinctual ability to pursue and catch the fish they seek as they compete with distinguished anglers and others who seek the prestigious appellation. Or you could just do it for fun. Hill’s Landing Annual Catfish Tournament is one event that appeals to both the enthusiastic and the casual among fishermen, according to Elaine Kelly, who runs the landing’s store and restaurant. “We get all kinds of people at these tournaments,” she said. “From the serious anglers to the novice fishermen, all are welcome.”
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email@example.com This is the tournament’s 11th year, and Kelly said she expects a big crowd this year. “We had more than 50 boats in last year’s tournament,” she said.“It gets bigger and bigger each year.” The tournament takes place Nov. 9-10, with a captains’ meeting and dinner at 8 p.m. Nov. 8. Blastoff is at first light the following morning and continues until the final weigh-in at 11 a.m. Nov. 10. “Teams have a little over 24 hours to catch the five biggest catfish they can,” Kelly said.“Things get pretty competitive as the final weigh-in draws near. There’s an optional weigh-in at midnight that Saturday, too, so if you’re not sure about how much your fish weigh, you can bring them in and have time to run back out if they’re not to your liking.” The buy-in for the tournament is $150 per boat until Oct. 31, when the price goes to $175, according to Kelly, who added that anglers have free range in terms of which kind of catfish they keep. Located in Cross, along the diversion canal between lakes Marion and Moultrie, Hill’s Landing is a prime location for hosting these tournaments, as the canal offers easy passage to either lake, which opens the gaming area wide open. A bigger area means more opportunities to catch “the big one.”
“Any catfish counts,” she said.“We have quite a few species in these two lakes, but the main ones are Arkansas blue catfish, flatheads and channel catfish. Those are the biggest, as well.” Competitors are allotted only a total of 10 fish per team, regardless of how many members there are on a team. That breaks down to five fish a day, Kelly said. “As far as the tournament goes, the rules are fairly straightforward,” she said.“Just be mindful of state laws.” One such law will limit those taking part in the tournament to one 36-inch or larger blue catfish per person per day. The fish must be alive at weigh-in so it can then be released back into the water. The tournament strictly abides by the guidelines set by the state Department of Natural Resources. Kelly advises participants to look into the state’s fishing laws prior to signing up and fishing. The DNR website offers a downloadable PDF handbook at tinyurl.com/l8wqm.38. Unlike many tournaments, Kelly said, this one has a 100 percent payback, and the tournament pays out the top 10 teams, with 10th place claiming $1,000. “We also give prizes for several categories,” she said.“There’s a prize for biggest fish, best total weight, best female angler and best youth angler.” Regardless of formalities, Kelly still urges those interested in competing in this year’s event to sign up. “It’ll be fun all around for everyone,” she said.“Come on out.”
HILL’S LANDING 11TH ANNUAL CATFISH TOURNAMENT
Where: Hill’s Landing, 728 Hills Landing Road, Cross When: Captain’s dinner at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 at the landing, Tournament runs from first light Nov. 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 10 Cost: $150 per boat till Oct. 31; $175 after Phone: (843) 753-2731 www.hillslanding.com
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Invigorating your Carolina Yard by JOLIE ELIZABETH BROWN firstname.lastname@example.org
t’s no secret – South Carolina has received a record amount of rain this summer. Excessive rains like those we’ve seen create problems like mosquitoes, flooding, and if you have three big dogs in your back yard like I do, mud. Back-toback gloomy days can make any gardener depressed, but the sun will always shine again. Remember that. Now that we’re in the fall and the sun is back out, you might be ready to get back to maintaining your yard on a more regular schedule. Consider spending this time making your yard wildlife friendly and much, much lower maintenance.You won’t waste water, fertilizer or pesticides, and our lakes, rivers, bays and wildlife will be protected, too. One way to accomplish this is Carolina Clear, a statewide water quality program developed by Clemson Extension Services. Carolina Clear, in turn, developed the Carolina Yards and Neighborhoods program, which comes with “The Carolina Yardstick Workbook.” The book will take you through the nine principles of having a Carolina Yard.
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They include: • Choose the right plant for the right place.You should never plant a water-loving bald cypress on the driest part of your yard, for instance. Nor should your cacti rest in that one low spot where water collects after a rain. • Test your soil before planting. A twocup sample of your soil and $6 given to your local Clemson Extension office will get those samples sent to the Clemson University soil lab for testing. Within 10 days, you will receive a nice printout detailing your soil type, what nutrients are excessive or low, and recommendations for lime. • Don’t overwater your landscape. It results in unnecessary costs for you, and excess water for your storm drain that takes fertilizers and other pollutants elsewhere. • A great addition to any lawn or landscape is a rain barrel, which collects rain water from your roof for you to use when watering your flower beds, washing your car or even your dog. • Mulch. Mulch. Mulch. In our South Carolina climate where we’re in a severe
drought one minute and having torrential rains the next, mulch can be a gardener’s best friend. Mulch serves to retain soil moisture during dryer spells; it also helps to moderate soil temperature. • Fertilizing is always an issue, and 10-10-10 is seldom the ideal solution. Clemson Extension recommends that you don’t guess, but soil test. That $6 could help you save money you’d waste on fertilizer that your yard doesn’t need and won’t use. • Don’t overuse pesticides. Did you know that there are beneficial insects that can help your garden naturally control its pests? Before you go around spraying everything under the kitchen cabinet, check your lawn and plant beds for pest problems. Identify problems, their culprits and treat accordingly. So, now that you’re ready to get back to your yard, start taking the steps to make it a Carolina Yard.You will win and so will our environment. For more tips on making your yard environmentally friendly, or to register your Carolina Yard, visit www.clemson.edu/cyn.
aw shucks! OYSTER ROAST RETURNS TO SUMTER by ROB COTTINGHAM
ig pickings, shrimp broils, fish fries and oyster roasts. If there’s an occasion Southerners need no excuse to plan or attend, it’s a get-together with lots of eating, especially if it’s for a cause. Hosted by the Sumter County Museum, the Carolina Backcountry Oyster Roast is one such event that locals look forward to every year. “I’ve been told we’ve always had a good turnout for the Oyster Roast,” said Annie Rivers, who works at the museum.“From what I can tell, this year will be no exception.” From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 21, visitors will be able to indulge in many Southern comfort foods and local dishes while enjoying the company of their neighbors. The tickets were on sale to museum members through Oct. 1, and now the general public will have the opportunity to join in the festivities for $40 per person. While some might balk at the price, Rivers said visitors definitely get their money’s worth. “Oh, we feed everyone,” she said.“I doubt anyone will leave unhappy.” Josh Brown, who also works at the museum, agreed. “I’ve never seen anyone leave without a smile on their face and a full tummy,” Brown said.“There’ll be so much food, you won’t know what to do with yourself.” Brown said he isn’t sure what the entire menu has in store this year, but he said people can expect many of the same items from last year, including barbecued pork from Brown’s Bar-BQue in Kingstree, Eden’s famous chili and, of course, steamed
oysters. The event might be called an oyster roast, but Brown said one of the side items is always a top choice among visitors. “Drunken collards,” he said.“Everyone who comes here loves the drunken collards.” “They cook the collards with alcohol,” Brown said, laughing. “They use either beer or whiskey, depending on the recipe. It really does something for the greens, flavor-wise. It’s a subtle taste that doesn’t overwhelm you. They’re so good.” Rivers said several kinds of beer and wine will be served, but the event is considered to be a family-oriented gathering. “It’s more than OK to bring the kids along,” she said. Proceeds from the event will go towards the museum and increasing its membership, Rivers added. Last year, event staff held an auction to help with fundraising efforts. Aside from the food, many of this year’s entertainment and festivities were still being ironed out in September, Brown said. Brown remains confident the Oyster Roast will be more than entertaining for those who come. “There’s always lots of people, lots of fellowship,” he said.“It’s just a good, good time.” Reach Rob Cottingham at (803) 774-1225.
CAROLINA BACKCOUNTRY OYSTER ROAST
6:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 21 Sumter County Museum • 122 N. Washington St., Sumter COST: $40 per person • www.sumtercountymuseum.org OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013 | LAKESIDE 41
Nativity scenes TAKE CENTER STAGE AT MEPKIN by ROBERT J. BAKER email@example.com
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fter the cross, the Nativity is one of the most visible icons of Christianity. And it’s the nativity scene that takes center focus during Mepkin Abbey’s annual Creche Festival, which will be held this year in November and December. Groups of 10 people or less can visit the abbey, run by Trappist monks, from Nov. 18-24 and Nov. 29 through Dec. 1, and groups larger than 10 people can visit Dec. 2-7. A community of Roman Catholic monks welcomes visitors every day, except Monday, to the abbey, which was built in 1959 on the Cooper River, S.C. 402, north of Charleston, where historic Mepkin Plantation once stood. But the tours that follow those cordial greetings will be suspended during the festival. A crèche is a representation of the infant Jesus in the manger, typically surrounded by the figures found in a nativity set, according to Mepkin’s website. “Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, animals and shepherds are often included in the scenes,” the site says.“Visitors from around the country flock to Mepkin Abbey for an incredible display of unique, handmade nativity sets from around the world.” “The monks transform their conference center into a forest of trees and candles which serve as the backdrop for the Nativity sets,” the site adds. Online registration for the 2013 Festival will be available later in the fall at mepkinabbey.org. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to help build the abbey’s collection and to cover exhibition costs. “Due to space and time limitations, however, pre-registration is required,” said Friar Guerric Heckel. For more information, email Heckel at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (843) 761-8509.
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AMMONS LEAVES UNSURPASSED
LEGACY AT CAMDEN HIGH by RANDY BURNS
single football jersey – No 10 – hangs at the top of the press box at Zemp Stadium, the oldest active high school football stadium in South Carolina where the Camden High School Bulldogs play their home football games. That jersey pays tribute to Billy Ammons, a 1965 graduate of the school who is the only student athlete there to ever have his jersey retired. Ammons was the quarterback of the 1964 Camden High School state championship team. He would go on to have a successful college career at Clemson University. He was the Clemson starting quarterback in 1968, and led the Tigers to a second place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Ammons also made his mark at Camden High as the football team’s head coach and the school’s athletic director for 26 years – from 1972 to 1997. Ammons posted a record of 178-119 as the head coach, and he earned his second state championship in 1990 as the Bulldog head coach. After his final year as head coach in 1997, Ammons went on to become the school’s assistant principal for 12 years before retiring in 2009. He was on the faculty of Camden High School for 40 years. In 2013, Ammons was elected to the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame. His athletic teams won nine state championships in six sports. Ammons, 66, has many fond memories of the victories and playing at Zemp Stadium. “But to me, coaching is not about wins or losses,” Ammons
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said.“It’s about relationships. It’s about trying to make a difference in the lives of people.” Ammons said it is always a great feeling when he is stopped on the street by someone who has a “kind word for him.” “You can’t put a dollar value on that,” he said.“When someone feels comfortable enough to stop and talk to you about their memories, and the part that you played in their lives. It’s a great feeling.” Ammons also loves to see his former student athletes go on
to success at the collegiate and professional level – both as athletes and as coaches. Two longtime NFL standouts, receiver Bobby Engram (1991) and defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday (1994), starred under Ammons at Camden. Engram was an All-American at Penn State and is currently an assistant coach at Pittsburgh University. Another former Bulldog, Shawn Elliott, is the offensive line coach at the University of South Carolina. Elliott starred at Appalachian State University, and was the co-captain on the 1995 Mountaineer squad that finished 12-1. Ammons also singled out another former Bulldog, James Sumpter, who went on to a successful career with the Gamecocks. “James was one of the most dominating defensive players I’ve ever seen,” he said. Ability alone is not enough to ensure success on the playing field, Ammons said. He takes a “lot of pride” in seeing his former players successful after graduating from high school. “All of the guys from here, they were not only good athletes,” he said.“They were good people. No, they were excellent people. These guys, I’m telling you, they were first class people. They always made right decisions.You are not going to be successful as an athlete if you’re not a good person with strong character.” Ammons’ legacy goes far beyond the state titles and the former Bulldogs who have gone on to success at the collegiate and professional level. “I cared about every student,” he said.“And I really loved my 12 years as assistant principal. That’s when I had more of an opportunity to work with the students who were not making the right decisions.You know, the football players on the team were doing the right things, or they wouldn’t be on the team. As assistant principal, I worked with students who were discipline problems.” Camden businessman Chuck Nash played football for Camden under Ammons. “I can say that I’ve never known of anyone with anything bad to say about Billy Ammons,” Nash said.“He is a man of integrity. Everybody who has ever played for Coach Ammons respected him. I enjoyed my time playing for him, and I know my two brothers did also.You know, you hear about college football being big in the south. Well, high school football is big in Camden, S.C. And Billy Ammons has a lot to do with that.” Since 1963, Camden High School has had only three coaches – Red Lynch, 1963-1971; Ammons, 1972-1997; and Jimmy Neal, 1998-present. “And we’re all from Camden,” Ammons said.“The fact that the school has had only three coaches in more than 50 years tells you about the strength of the football program at Camden High.
I am proud to be a part of that legacy.” Ammons is a regular spectator at Bulldog football games. But, now as a retiree, he gets to spend a lot of time fishing and boating. He and his wife Lynn have lived on Lake Wateree for the past six years. “I love living on Wateree,” he said.“It’s really quiet. And in the fall, I love taking the 12 to 15 mile boat ride to the (Wateree) Dam. The color is as pretty as it is in the mountains. There’s nothing like it.” Ammons doesn’t call himself a “serious fisherman,” but he enjoys fishing several times a year. A few months ago, Ammons and a group of his friends including Buster Rush, a fishing guide, went on a fishing trip on Lake Marion. “We filled a cooler with huge catfish,” Ammons said.“Some weighed 20 to 25 pounds. We are going to make that an annual fishing trip.” Billy and Lynn Ammons have four children and nine grandchildren. “We love spending time boating and enjoying the lake with our grandchildren,” he said. Ammons, who doesn’t like talking about himself, acknowledges that he has had opportunities to coach elsewhere. “Camden is the only place I’ve ever wanted to be,” he said. “I’ve never wanted to leave here.”
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REFUGE LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP RESTORING LONGLEAF PINES
SUMMERTON – The Santee National Wildlife Refuge announced in September its renewal of a national agreement to address climate change by planting native trees of refuge lands. The refuge originally partnered with The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007. “We are pleased to announce the renewal of that program at Santee NWR for 2013-14 with the restoration and reforestation of 448 acres of longleaf pine and nine acres of bottomland hardwood on the refuge,” said refuge manager Marc Epstein. The partnership with The Conservation Fun will see about 415 acres on the Cuddo Unit and 33 acres on the Pine Island Unit restored and replanted with native longleaf pine forest. Nine acres of bottomland forest will be restored on the Cuddo Unit as well. “This is great news because the longleaf pine forest was the dominant, southern forest landscape feature when settlers first arrived to this area,” Epstein said. The refuge is also working with Santee Cooper to restore a 34-acre site to native longleaf pine on the Bluff Unit. “Multiple agencies working together to accomplish mutual goals is a great example of wise and efficient use of our workforce,” Eppstein said. Epstein said there may be temporary interruptions to access at some of the units. Updates will be posted at www.fws.gov/ santee.
FINES, BAN LEVIED AGAINST SUMTER MAN OVER POISON ARROWS
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Four South Carolina hunters, including one from Sumter, have been banned from hunting in Colorado for the next four years, according to the Associated Press. James Cole, along with Joseph Nevling and George Plummer, both of Timmonsville, and Michael Courtney of Florence, were also ordered to pay several thousands of dollars in fines and court costs after pleading guilty to illegal taking of wildlife and
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illegal use of toxins in hunting. According to a Colorado wildlife manager, Michael Blanck, the men specifically used poisoned arrows to hunt and paralyze deer, elk and bears. The toxin allegedly shuts down the animals’ respiratory systems within seconds of any strike, Blanck said. According to the Greenville News, Plummer told authorities after his arrest on Saturday that he’d been returning to the same leased cabin, just east of Collbran, Colo., and using the arrows since the late-1980s. Blanck told the Associated Press that, under a wildlife interstate compact, the men could be banned from hunting in 38 other states, including South Carolina. Cole allegedly defended the practice, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel of Colorado reported, saying,“Back in South Carolina, everybody hunts with (poison arrows).” Judge Arthur Smith told the men during sentencing Tuesday that they carry the responsibility of knowing the laws where they hunt. Blanck said the men had been under investigation for nearly two years. Blanck said local officials were tipped off by another hunter. This year, Plummer’s group was under surveillance since shortly after they arrived about Aug. 31, the start of hunting season. Blanck said aside from being legal, archery with poison arrows violates principles of “fair chase.” Smith seemed to agree. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Smith said to Nevling. He apparently had strong words for each defendant.“This isn’t hunting. This is just going out and killing things.”
CLARENDON SHERIFF HOSTING WILD GAME SUPPER
MANNING – The Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a Wild Game Supper from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 9 at the South Carolina National Guard Armory on Raccoon Road in Manning. Tickets are $10 per person and are available in advance at the sheriff’s office on Commerce Street in Manning. All proceeds will go toward the sheriff’s office K-9 division. Guest speakers will be Jay Gregg, former host of “S.C. Outdoors,” and Stacy Atkinson of Lowcountry Wildlife. For more information, call (803) 435-4414.
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RED CROSS by ROBERT J. BAKER email@example.com
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ast year’s Firefighters’ BBQ Challenge drew more than 3,500 barbecue lovers. American Red Cross Sandhills Chapter Executive Director Nancy Cataldo is hopeful that even more people show up this year to the organization’s biggest fundraiser, which will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23 at G&G Metal Fabrication in Sumter. “This is one of the big ones for us,” Cataldo said.“All the funding goes to help victims of local disasters. Ninety-one cents of every dollar is spent on programs and services in Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties.” G&G’s late owner, Tom Garrity, told The Item last year that he was happy to have the event at his shop. “It was their idea,” he said.“They came to a county officers’ meeting to ask if we were interested. We offered to have it here, and it’s just taken off.” Admission is $5, Cataldo said, and barbecue cooked by the teams – made up from firefighters from different stations in several midlands counties – will be judged in two categories. “We have one part where winners are chosen by actual
barbecue judges,” Cataldo said.“And then the other is a people’s choice. They vote for their favorite barbecue by leaving their ticket at the team’s table.” Last year’s competition featured stations from across the tri-county area, including Shaw Air Force Base’s fire department, plus two stations each from Darlington and Dorchester counties. Contestants were each provided with a whole hog from Harvin Meats and were allowed to use whatever ingredients they wanted, as long as they were cooked on site in a charcoal, gas or wood-fired grill and were not only boiled or fried. Oswego station returned as the reigning champions, with the trophy sitting next to their grill to prove it. The Sumter County station won both the People’s and Judges’ Choice Awards using firefighter Richard Kirby’s secret family recipe. “It’s a combination, so it’s not just ketchup or vinegar,” he said. “It’s got the twang of ketchup, the kick of vinegar, and something a little sweet.” For more information, call (803) 775-2363.
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COLONIAL F CUP’S IMPACT BEYOND CITY LIMITS by ROBERT J. BAKER firstname.lastname@example.org
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or more than four decades, the Colonial Cup has drawn more than 15,000 fans and horsemen from throughout the eastern seaboard to the quiet splendor of the Knights Hill Road community in Camden. This year will be no different when the cup returns Nov. 23 at Springdale Race Course, 200 Knights Hill Road in Camden, for a daylong family affair featuring everything from traditional steeplechase racing to Jack Russell terrier races, mule wagon rides, a carousel and a patriotic flag mural to sign and support the troops. Established in 1970 as part of the state’s Tricentennial Celebration, the Colonial Cup is a memorial to the founder of the eminent race meet and benefactress of the course, Marion du Pont Scott. It is a family day in the country with a host of activities to enchant children and adults alike. This year’s new Live Acoustic Music Pavilion will feature local talent like Frederick ingram, the Monkey Wrench Band, Fair Jam and Dean Cook and Bruce Clark. Families are allowed to bring their own picnics and are free to tailgate, or they may dine at local concessions at the race course. For more information, call the Carolina Cup Racing Association at (803) 432-6513.
COLONIAL CUP SCHEDULE
9 a.m. – Gates open. 9:30 a.m. – Infield activities commence. 11 a.m. – Pre-race show, “Saluting Our Military.” Noon – Horses in Paddock for first race. 12:30 p.m. – Post time for first race. There will be six races run every 30 to 45 minutes COST: $20 per person before Nov. 8; $30 per person after. Children younger than 12 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Complimentary tickets for military, active and retired are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Protect yourself if you rent T
he downward economy has taken its toll on the housing market. Many people are choosing or finding it necessary to live as renters rather than homeowners. Other renters are students, anxiously awaiting their first foray into residential independence. But these same people may be unaware of how to safeguard their belongings in a rental situation. Oftentimes renters mistakenly forego financial protection and are then left high and dry in the event of a burglary, flood or fire. Laptops, MP3 players, global positioning systems, jewelry, and cell phones are at the top of the list for would-be thieves. Furniture and clothing are also expensive to replace. According to MetLife Auto & Home(R), the average person is estimated to have approximately $20,000 in possessions. In a rental property, individuals such as a superintendent or landlord may have access to your home, as may hired contractors. It’s important to protect all of your belongings so you don’t have to pay out of pocket if something is taken or damaged. Renting an apartment is not like living in an on-campus dorm or in a private residence, where belongings are typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Landlord’s insurance only protects the actual property -- not your valuables or the cost of temporary housing -- and it doesn’t protect you in case of a lawsuit.You should investigate rental insurance, which is something that, despite the warnings, 80 percent of college and other renters do not do, according to research. “For a few hundred dollars a year or less, you can purchase a solid renter’s policy that covers protection for your valuables -- up to $75,000 -- as well as protection against personal liability,” said Mario Morales, an underwriting manager at MetLife Auto
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& Home.“Imagine experiencing a fire or other disaster in your apartment, and having to replace all your valuables not to mention all the furniture, pots, pans, dishes, and other necessities at your own expense. Hopefully, you won’t have a theft or experience a fire. But, if you did, you’d know your valuables were protected.” When safeguarding your apartment and choosing a rental insurance policy, consider these important tips from MetLife Auto & Home: • Ask whether the renters coverage pays actual cash value or replacement cost. With “actual cash value,” your coverage will pay only for what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or stolen, due to depreciation.“Replacement cost” coverage will replace the item at current prices. • Take advantage of a discount for multiple policies. Often insurance companies provide a discount when a person has multiple policies, such as renter’s insurance, car insurance, or life insurance. • Add extra protection for unique items with special value. For expensive items such as jewelry, furs, fine arts, sterling silver flatware, antiques, and other collectibles, renters should add an “endorsement,” which provides additional protection above the monetary limits of a traditional policy. • Keep track of possessions with a personal property inventory to help when filing claims and keep a copy in a safe place outside the apartment. MetLife’s Life Advice Series advises that every home have a personal property inventory because it will help you determine the approximate value of your possessions, and consequently, how much insurance you need to cover your personal property.
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