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The top three nominees in each category will be listed on the 2019 Best of Lexington Life ballot in the September, October, and November issues of Lexington Life Magazine Nomination deadline is July 23.

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My son Noah loves to be buried in the sand. While on vacation in Folly Beach, he buried my feet and I buried his. There was a small tree branch laying nearby. Noah suggested we try to make it stand up, so we buried about a foot of the branch in the sand. I was surprised when it stood straight in the stiff breeze. Noah was proud and wanted to name the tree. He suggested a combination of our names, like Toah or Nodd. We both quickly agreed on Toah. After dinner, we returned to the beach to watch the sunset. We were stunned to see Toah still standing. Better yet, people were taking pictures by the tree. The next morning, Toah remained firmly rooted in the sand. Toah received a lot of attention that day. No one could figure out why a tree branch was standing in the middle of the ocean surf. Some people tugged, but it didn’t budge. Others took pictures, and some even added small shells to the branches. Formerly a dead tree limb, Toah had come to life. A sunbather took up residence right next to Toah. We were jealous that someone had beaten us to “our” tree. Then I realized that Toah was not ours. It belonged to God. Toah survived the entire week of storms, waves, high tides, and curious onlookers. We didn’t bury the branch very deep, yet God kept it upright. Why? I don’t know. I’ve learned not to question God, but to respect everything He does because He is almighty, and I am mortal. I spent my last day beached next to Toah. I was the only one there, but I didn’t feel alone. I felt God’s presence and spoke silently to Him, and then I listened. I thanked Him for my family and asked Him to look over us with grace. When I gathered up my belongings, an ocean breeze rustled through Toah’s branches as if to say goodbye. I smiled and snapped another picture, extremely thankful for the time we spent together. If you’d like to see pictures of Toah, check out lexington_irmochapinlife on Instagram. Thanks for reading Lexington Life. Todd Shevchik

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Todd Shevchik DIRECTOR OF SALES Donna Shevchik 803-518-8853 EDITOR Katie Gantt EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Tracy Tuten 803-603-8187 Elinor Fatato 803-447-0873

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contents Features

12 Second Hand Time 21 Escape Game Rooms 24 Art of Dentistry 28 Vaccinations and Concussions 33 The Silver Tsunami 39 Plates and Plots


5 From the Publisher 7 Events 11 Lexington Leader 47 Spice of Life


Columns 9 Faith Matters 45 David Clark


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JULY Wednesday, July 11 Open Call for Live Band “Restored” Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2224 Augusta Hwy., Lexington, 7 p.m. Anyone interested in playing music is welcome to attend this open call for the startup band “Restored” and discuss what is possible to serve our brothers and sisters in the local nursing homes. Come to share your ideas and talents with the band founder in this open discussion meeting. For more information, contact Ken at 803-467-0036. Saturday, July 14 Reggaetronic Lake Murray Music Festival Spence Island, Lake Murray, 11:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. Now in its 7th year, Reggaetronic is a celebration of music and community. This unique festival presents the community with an appreciation of togetherness through traditional rock, reggae, and funk music paired with DJ inspired flavors of the islands. For more information, visit Thursday, July 19 “Hands on History” Lexington County Museum, 231 Fox St., Lexington, 10 a.m. This free educational program will allow children to learn about toys and games that were popular in the

18th and 19th centuries. For more information, contact J.R. Fennell at 803-359-8369. Saturday, July 28 Midlands Women’s Fair Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St., Columbia, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The 2nd Annual Midlands Women’s Fair is the local lady’s opportunity to get pampered, do some shopping, and have fun with her girlfriends. This free event features over seventy vendors focused on empowering, educating, and nurturing women. Activities include a photo booth, chair massages, makeovers, airbrush tattoos, self-defense classes, health screenings, fashion shows and more. For more information, contact info@ Tuesday, July 31 Make Your Own Sushi Lexington Main Library, 5440 Augusta Rd., Lexington, 6:30 p.m. Discover inexpensive ways to create stunning sushi dishes at home. Make and sample sushi on site with this hands on workshop. No raw fish will be used in this presentation. Registration required and limited to 25 people. For more information and to register, call 803-785-2680.

Submit your event info five weeks in advance to Events will be included as space permits.

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The Boys of Summer Our very own Boys of Summer, the Lexington County Blowfish, have been knocking it out the park. What better way to spend a warm, summer evening than taking in some local baseball?

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Freedom is in our hearts this time of year. We celebrate our freedom won vicariously through faithful soldiers. In national pride, we dare anyone to take it away. But what if our freedom’s greatest threat comes not from the outside but from the warring freedoms within? When a newspaper posed the question, “What’s Wrong with the World?” G. K. Chesterton wrote a brief letter in response: “Dear Sirs: I am. Sincerely Yours, G. K. Chesterton.” In John’s Gospel, Jesus challenged religious leaders by saying they were enslaved. Their response, “We have never been enslaved to anyone.” Jesus countered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” Our culture sings along with Elsa from Frozen, “It’s time to see what I can do. To test the limits and break through. No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I’m free.” Tim Keller explains that today’s concept of freedom doesn’t fit reality. We are not unhindered or free to do whatever we want. Actually, we are bound by our desires or, more precisely, our freedoms. There are liberating freedoms and enslaving freedoms that are at war within us, i.e., a desire to be healthy and a desire to eat fast food. Spiritually speaking, we use our freedoms for our own glory rather than God’s and for our benefit over our neighbor’s. This is called sin, and we are enslaved by it. Just as our military fights for our national freedom, we need someone to fight for our soul’s freedom. Only one was willing and capable, namely, Jesus Christ. By grace through faith in his perfect life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection, we are set free. “So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” WATERSHED FELLOWSHIP 711 E. Main Street Suite S, Lexington, SC 29072 (Lower Level of Old Mill) 803.738.5335 •

WE SALUTE OUR GREAT COUNTRY AND ALL THAT IT SYMBOLIZES This Fourth of July celebrate and remember the brave men and women who have given so much in the way of our country’s freedom.

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by Jackie Perrone

David Herndon

David Herndon calls his arrival in Lexington at the age of 16 a “culture shock.” “My father bought the Chevrolet dealership from Harold Looney in 1968. We moved from Greensboro, N.C., a community of 100,000, to Lexington, which had a population of an official 2,000 at the time. This high school boy had to adjust.” Now Herndon welcomes the sea-change those 50 years have brought in the fast-growing and forward-looking community he lives in. Like many of his neighbors, he sings the praises of a town, which has come a long way from the one drug store and one grocery store of the 1960s. “It’s a wonderful place to raise a family.” Herndon graduated from Lexington High in 1970 and the University of South Carolina in 1975. Herndon Chevrolet is now in its fiftieth year, and the son is carrying on the traditions of his father Buck. The dealership likewise has changed with the times: In its original location, it was spread across several spots downtown; the dealership where Rush’s now stands, new cars displayed at what is now Wells Fargo, and the trucks’ display is now McDonald’s. As the business

grew, they were able to obtain 11 acres “way outside town at Highway 6 and 378” and have been adding space since 1984. Herndon Chevrolet went from selling about 40 cars a month in 1968 to the present pace, which last month sold 193 vehicles. In 1968, there were fewer than 20 employees; today, that number is 80. Herndon Chevrolet supports a wide variety of community activities, including Lexington Dixie Baseball and the Chamber of Commerce. As for its owner, David Herndon has served as president of the Lexington Civitan Club (no longer in existence), Lexington County Gamecock Club, and statewide, the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association. In 2015, he was featured as Dealer of the Year in the Time Magazine Quality Award. The family tradition continues via son Luke, employed as general manager at Herndon Chevrolet. Daughter Brantley works at Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Nick is in the West with the U.S. Forestry Commission, and Cassidy is a senior at the University of Tennessee. Three grandchildren complete the family tree. n July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 11

Seco 12 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2018

ond Hand TIME CLOCK by Mary Ann Hutcheson

Before the dawn of modern timekeeping devices, many a young child were lulled to sleep by the repetitive, soothing note of a ticking clock. Often, it was the safe, dependable sound of an old grandfather clock’s heavy pendulum swinging a gentle rhythm back and forth until the reluctant youngster gave up the fight.

Times have changed, and so too have the rituals associated with keeping time. Now those clocks are historical relics, some sitting idle in their homes, others given away or sold at auction. Visiting Harold MacVittie’s Second Hand Time shop in Chapin is a step back into time and an opportunity to see and hear those clocks come alive. Around 35 to 50 clocks decorate the walls of the shop’s front room, one as old as 200 years. Several grandfather clocks stand sentry duty along the wall. All the clocks are restored to operate like new, and most are for sale. Customers are treated to the distinct sounds of individual chimes and tick tocks – and every now and then, on the hour, the playful sound of a tiny wooden cuckoo bird. MacVittie’s shop is family-owned and operated since 2013, and MacVittie is a gifted and devoted clock repairman. Second Hand Time’s presence on eBay has earned a 100% customer satisfaction rate. Discovering a New Trade MacVittie was in his fifteenth year as maintenance group leader for a large distribution center when he discovered he had

a knack for fixing clocks. He tells the story of buying a clock, about 12 years ago, that broke during its first week. With no training, he began to work on it. Before long, he had acquired 50 clocks in the workspace of his home garage, “all going off at the same time,” he says. In time, he decided to take his accrued pension and put it into the little Chapin shop he envisioned as perfect for his clock repair business. MacVittie was told, “Clock repair is a dying breed. Are you crazy?” MacVittie was neither crazy nor planning to let his dream die, not with his skill, dedication, and people skills. The business proved to be an adequate money-maker for him, and it’s something he loves doing “all day long.” MacVittie says as a child, he never showed any interest in the art that he now considers a passion. “I fell in love with something I never thought I’d do,” he smiles, “and it is a real treat.” He adds, “There is a certain satisfaction that comes with repairing something that hasn’t been working for years and years.” In July of this year, MacVittie’s Chapin shop will have operated for five years. July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 13

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“Way too happy for a clock guy” In MacVittie’s line of work, a person needs to be dexterous, mechanically inclined, and, most importantly, patient. He says, “You have to be patient enough to sit and watch a mechanical movement for a long time in hopes that it’s going to slip up for you.” Because no one was teaching it anymore, he learned by experience. In the process, he broke and threw away plenty of clocks, while accumulating a useful stock of parts. MacVittie specifies that he is not a horologist (a maker of clocks); he is a barebones clock repairman. He is apparently quite an excellent one, as he no longer needs to advertise. In fact, he has been working six days a week for almost three years. A comprehensive list of his Monday appointments alone boggles the mind. His business takes him as far north as Laurens, as far south as Branchville, as far west as Atlanta, and as far east as Charleston. “No one is doing this anymore, at least not reasonably. You can get a clock repairman in some areas of the state, but a cleaning alone will cost between $400 – $500. I charge between $85 – $200. You’re not going to get it cheaper.”

Nostalgia MacVittie believes he is probably harder on himself than others. He needn’t be. Customers are thrilled with his work, and many have become friends after years of doing business with him. Harold’s wife, Karen, says, “I love that he takes care of everyone’s clock like it’s our own. I love this shop, and it’s perfect for him.” Throughout his interview, the shop’s phone rang and customers came in to drop off or pick up their clocks.

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The Old Clock on the Stairs by HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

“I hope you’re writing a great story! He is great,” says the first customer. Another describes what an amazing job Harold had done on his grandfather clock. Harold MacVittie admits that much of his work is nostalgic. People bring in their grandparents’ clock or are looking to replace a specific, treasured clock they lost in a house fire, or one that was given as a Christmas gift. A

couple might tell Harold that he brought them back to when they were first married. They will show him a picture, and MacVittie can usually find the exact same clock for them. Sometimes, people come in to buy a clock, and upon seeing MacVittie’s work, will bring in their old one for him to repair. “I love the shop,” he says again, with a smile.

“By day its voice is low and light; But in the silent dead of night, Distinct as a passing footstep’s fall, It echoes along the vacant hall, Along the ceiling, along the floor, And seems to say, at each chamber-door, — ‘Forever — never! Never — forever!’” July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 17

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“You have to be patient enough to sit and watch a mechanical movement for a long time in hopes that it’s going to slip up for you.”

Sometimes his work can be sad. He might get old clocks through charity or people who have no use for them and give them away. In their era, those clocks were serious time pieces. Times have changed. With them goes the understanding of the fractional divisions that define time on an analog clock. Digital representations do the work for us. The charm of our old clocks, adds an element to our lives worth valuing. And Harold MacVittie understands that. When asked how long he continues to repair clocks, MacVittie says, “as long as people keep wanting it done. We’re going to deal only in used clocks and keep doing it until or as long as my wife says we’re making money!” You can learn more about MacVittie’s amazing clocks by browsing his website, where you can hear the actual gongs and chimes of clocks and view his photo gallery, including some of his amazing before/ after repaired clocks. Better yet, visit him at his shop in Chapin, and maybe you will be

lucky enough to hear the soft chimes of his 1825 “French Prayer Clock,” or 150-year-old “Blind Man’s” clock. Harold MacVittie will greet you with a warm smile, wearing his classic leather shop apron, and you will be enchanted by the backdrop of softly chiming clocks that you won’t soon forget. n

Second Hand Time Clock Sales and Repairs Harold MacVittie, 803-345-0322 106A Beaufort St., Chapin, SC 29036 July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19

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Your Adventure Awaits! Finding clean, family fun and entertainment can be tough – and engaging many different age levels is even tougher. Introducing Escape Game Rooms, the newest, most trending experience. The concept combines technology and innovation, luring hundreds of thousands of customers ages six to 90 each year. The first U.S. facility was built in 2012, and today there are over 367. Tickets often sell out in advance. In the interactive, live adventure inspired from video games and movies, four to 10 escape room players are challenged to break mysteries and progress through steps within an allotted time to find a key or combination for a lock to be released from a lab, apartment, or ship. Secret messages in the form of words or symbols are planted on

the walls, ceilings, random objects, and floors in the form of literature, art, music, puzzles, math problems, etc. (In an actual emergency, players are able to get out without a key.) Adrenaline rushes as participants scramble, shrieking and giggling to make sense of the clues. Panic rises as a voice over a speaker announces time left and an occasional extra hint. The experience has emotional highs similar to riding a roller coaster, thrilling and sometimes scary, but encourages teamwork and enhances deductive thinking skills.

by Kristi Antley

Lexington’s first and only escape room, Escape Plan Columbia, is the brainchild of Josh Brickey and his wife Patty. “I had the idea after several of our friends shared their amazing experiences at escape rooms, and we decided it would be a fun, profit-

July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 21

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able, cutting-edge business to create.” Josh has a master’s in divinity, and Patty is a former chiropractor, so this was a totally new genre to explore and expand. “I spent about four months in research, and we started the business 2½ years ago. It has continued to grow every year; we are up to 40,000 guests at this point in time. Our facility is now 6,500 square feet and includes an event room for private parties. During the week, we host corporate and school groups for team-building exercises; on the weekends, we have mostly families and social groups.” Josh is the mastermind behind the main plots, designing his own graphics and electronics, only hiring contractors minimally as needed and employing a team of 14 people

to help. “We take pride in that our facility is family friendly and unique, unlike some of the larger big-box franchises.” There are currently four escape room themes: “Espionage” (you are a spy trying to diffuse a bomb), “Missing” (you are tracking down missing people and running for your own life), “The Wizard” (you must save the kingdom), and the newest most advanced room, “Floor 23” (you are stuck in an elevator). All rooms are for ages 7 and over – except “Floor 23,” which is recommended for ages 12 and over. New for the summer will be a room with a pirate theme that will be exciting for all ages. Advice for first time players: “I know this may sound vague,” Josh explains, “but you

must remember that anything and everything may or may not be a clue, regardless of how insignificant it may seem.” Each player has his or her own intuitive gifts and talents that contribute to the experience, and the players must be able to communicate and perform under pressure. See if any of the items in the room move, slide, or open; flip through books; few things are placed in the room for aesthetic value alone. If it isn’t locked down, it’s probably a clue. Divide and conquer – try not to waste too much time on one clue; split up and listen to each other. It’s a good idea to sample a few escape rooms online before your adventure to get into the right mindset to decipher clues and decide where the creator intends you to move next. All in all, escape rooms are good, wholesome family fun that involves all of the senses and skills of the group members. What a great way to bond and get to know each other in the process. Book your experience today and see what you and your team members are made of. n July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 23

Skilled rt

A by Marilyn Thomas


Because dental anxiety is a concern for Dr. Gregory J. Wych, he acknowledges his patients’ fears without judgment. This awareness and his own personal experiences have motivated him to ensure that his general dentistry patients are comfortable while he provides high-quality cosmetic techniques to the adults in his care. 24 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2018



r. Gregory J. Wych’s journey into his chosen profession was induced by a dental catastrophe that occurred during his senior year of college. He recalls that he had a “really bad week” that involved an unfortunate collision between a racquetball racket and his front teeth. To repair the broken smile, the neighborhood dentist in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, applied dental bonding, a procedure that uses tooth-colored resin to build up teeth and/or fill in irregular spaces. Although a reasonable option at the time, the material would fracture easily, and that is “humiliating for anybody,” says Dr. Wych, “especially a dentist.” This event seemed to seal his fate. He soon enrolled in Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, and after his graduation in 1984, he enlisted in the Navy as a dental officer. In the course of duty,

he was relocated to Beaufort, South Carolina, where he served at the Naval Hospital and Marine Corps Air Station. A few years after his discharge, Dr. Wych purchased an existing dental practice on Woodrow Street in Irmo. Prior to this, a colleague in general dentistry had applied veneers to improve Dr. Wych’s troublesome teeth, but “they weren’t satisfying,” he says, and continued to be very breakable. In 1996, Dr. Wych achieved two major successes that forever altered his career in dentistry. First, he made an appointment with Dr. Bill Dickerson, general dentist renowned for his cosmetic work, where Dr. Wych had completed continuing education courses. Dr. Dickerson placed 10 high-quality veneers on Dr. Wych’s front teeth, and, as a result, he could finally brandish the smile he had been seeking. “It was very positive,” he says about the experience. “It changed my life.” That same year, Dr. Wych also moved into a new, custom-built office facility at 7505 Saint Andrews Road in Irmo, where he continues to practice to this day. “I just want people to have a great experience and great customer service,” he says, “because I’m all about customer service and experience myself, because that’s what I want.” With his soft-spoken manner and quick wittedness, Dr. Wych endeavors to help each patient feel at ease. His reassuring credentials are confidently displayed in the comfortable waiting room, where patients can enjoy trail mix and a cappuccino, ground from fresh beans. Other comfort-centric measures include colorful original artwork, some by local painters; open, airy hygiene cleaning areas, furnished with Tempur-Pedic cushioned chairs; and large windows that stream natural light and overlook strategically placed bird feeders outside the building. For patients who are especially apprehensive, the practice has offered sedation dentistry for about fifteen years. “We do what’s

called moderate enteral oral conscious sedation,” Dr. Wych explains. “We can do an amazing amount of work in one appointment,” he says, and “We’ll wake you up when it’s over.” The Art of Dentistry is one of the few general dental practices in the state that has earned a government-issued permit to perform this procedure by satisfying the rigorous inspection and training processes required. In addition to routine dental procedures (cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns, etc.), cosmetic dentistry is another distinctive service offered by Dr. Wych, and this “can be everything from whitening your teeth to porcelain veneers (and) implants to replace missing teeth,” he says. Because of his expertise, Dr. Wych has been awarded a fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the world’s premier dental implant organization.

computed tomography (CT); the Waterlase dental laser (to treat moderate gum disease); and Envision a Smile: Cosmetic Dental Imaging software. Plus, the electricity that supplies all of the office equipment is generated by solar panels installed outside the building. The practice’s current office manager, Phyllis Wood, was hired as a hygienist twelve years ago, and she chooses to work for Dr. Wych because of “his skill set and his importance of continuing education, and just being on the cutting edge,” she says. “He goes the extra mile. He is always going to provide a very, very high level of care to his patients, and that’s why I’m here and that’s why I like working here.” South Carolina requires dentists to take a minimum of 14 hours of continuing education each year, but Dr. Wych has completed as much as 300 hours in a year’s time. He has also taught at the Spear Institute, a school that provides higher education for dentists, and has written three books about dental topics. Being involved in the community has always been an extension of The Art of Dentistry, and Ms. Wood, as the “face of the practice,” has served on the Irmo Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Wych is a founding member of Leeza’s Care Connection, a local non-profit, and an active member of Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in downtown Columbia. The practice has also participated in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s outreach program called ‘Give Back a Smile,’

“I just want people to have a great experience and great customer service... because I’m all about customer service and experience myself, because that’s what I want.” Additionally, “We do something here called ‘FASTBRACES,’” adds Dr. Wych, who is a Senior Master Affiliate and an instructor for other general dentists in installing the patented apparatus, which significantly reduces the amount of time the patient must wear braces to straighten their teeth. To support this comprehensive care, the office is equipped with the latest technology available including digital 3-D cone-beam

which restores the smile of battered spouses. “My smile has gotten bigger; my self-esteem has improved,” says Jean Parker, an Art of Dentistry patient from Columbia. “I can sincerely say that my visits to Dr. Wych and staff are ones that I look forward to!” More information about the practice and all the procedures available can be found on their website at www.irmocosmeticdentist. com or by calling 803-781-1600. n July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 25

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Checkup Checklist

by the physicians at Lexington Pediatric Practice, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice 28 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2018

This time of year makes us think of new backpacks, freshly sharpened pencils, and school sports and activities. From staying up-to-date on vaccinations to preventing injuries such as concussions, the doctors at Lexington Pediatric Practice, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, offer advice for parents and children to help ensure a great school year. School-Age Vaccinations Children ages 10 to 11 should receive a whooping cough (pertussis) booster through the Tdap vaccine. Whooping cough is a bacterial infection with violent coughing fits marked by a “whoop� sound

while gasping for breath. Children are usually vaccinated for whooping cough as young children. The vaccine provides excellent immunity, but its effectiveness decreases over time. That makes older children, teenagers and adults more likely to contract whooping cough and spread it to others. Around age 11, children should also receive a vaccine for meningitis, an infection of the protective membrane around the brain and spinal cord. While the disease is rare, it can be deadly. Symptoms of meningitis are a high fever, severe headaches and neck stiffness along with altered mental status, sensitivity to light and vomiting. Teenagers should receive a meningitis booster

again between the ages of 16 and 18, before attending college. The disease is known to spread among individuals who live close to each other, such as in a college dorm. Boys and girls should receive an HPV vaccine during adolescence to prevent several forms of cancer. Finally, parents of school-age children should also make sure that their children have had two rounds of the chicken pox vaccine, or have immunity. Concussions There’s no doubt sports are a great way for children to get exercise, learn about teamwork and work toward a goal. And while every parent likes to cheer from the sidelines, mom and dad always have concerns about their child getting hurt. Lately, a lot of that talk centers around concussions. A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when a blow or jolt to the head causes the brain to slide back and forth forcefully against the skull. This injury can affect brain function for a period of time. The signs and symptoms of a concussion can vary greatly. The person may feel a little foggy or be moving slower than usual. Physical signs include a headache, nausea

and vomiting, along with light and sound sensitivity. There can also be sleep disturbances and personality changes such as irritability or depression. If your child has a concussion – or if you even suspect that they do – they should absolutely under no circumstances return to the field to play on the same day the concussion occurred. It’s important to prevent a second concussion from occurring within a short period of time. Experiencing a second concussion before signs and symptoms of a first concussion have resolved may result in greater risk for chronic symptoms, including rapid and dangerous brain swelling. It’s called “second impact syndrome.” And there is concern that people who have had multiple concussive brain injuries over their lives may have lasting and even progressive impairment. Researchers are working to learn more about that. Meanwhile, even though concussions are often associated with collision sports like football and hockey, they’re also common in contact sports that don’t require helmets such as soccer, basketball and wrestling. Other causes can be a car crash, bike accident, physical abuse and falling. Helmets can help prevent head injuries, but do

July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 29



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not prevent concussions. Children with concussive symptoms need to rest physically and cognitively to allow the brain time to heal. Children should have no symptoms before returning to play. For some kids, that’s seven to 10 days; other children can have prolonged symptoms, lasting even months. If you think your child has a concussion, go to the doctor. And your health care provider should tell you when it’s safe for your child to play sports again. The good news is that most children with a concussion recover fully without any permanent injury. Lexington Pediatric Practice has offices in West Columbia and Lexington. To learn more, visit n

811 West Main Street, Suite 204, Lexington, SC 29072 3240 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia, SC 29169 (803) 359-8855

July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 31


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the by Jackie Perrone

It’s not just the young people. Lexington’s burgeoning population includes many seniors basking in the warm climate and enjoying their grandchildren. Their needs – drastically different from those of younger generations – command the attention of many services. What services, and how to obtain them? Lexington Life offers a look into the special situation of our senior citizens, with a two-part series on their care. First: What’s involved in remaining at home as health and energy diminish? Next month: Moving into a retirement community.

You’ve stepped down from the work schedule that ran your life for decades. Retirement brings new activities and new challenges, and the passing years are taking their toll. Gradually, you realize that either your family or someone else will have to help you navigate the daily routine, and that it’s time for some decisions. Remaining in your home will require competent help and a carefully managed routine; how is that to be arranged? Where’s the Guidebook for Senior Services? Our state’s senior population is growing rapidly, projected to July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 33


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34 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2018

double in about 12 years. There aren’t enough services to meet the demand, but help is available. At the head of the list: the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging works with a network of regional and local organizations to provide help to seniors who wish to remain in their homes. This is our state’s principal resource for help with the problems of dwindling independence. It focuses on providing low-cost services, including meals, home care, transportation, and home modifications for the elderly. Yes! Answers are out there. Last year, that Office on Aging established a website called, dedicated to matching seniors with available resources. Alternatively, a phone call to that office (1-800-868-9095) will enable a conversation with a person.

“Whether you’re sick or well, need a lot of help or just a little, long-term or temporary, we can step up with help or steer you to other providers to fill the need.” At the local level, the Central Midlands Area Agency on Aging (1-866-394-4166) serves four counties: Richland, Lexington, Fairfield, and Newberry. It calls its program the “Gateway” – or point of entry into the aging network. This referral will put you in touch with the services to meet your needs. Cindy Curtis is a family caregiver advocate at Central Midlands. Decades of experience in navigating the system has armed her with information and resources for home care for the elderly. “Start here!” she says. “Our staff can analyze your needs and direct you to the proper available resources for your situation.” The problems are many and varied. Personal assistance? Housekeeping help? Transportation? Isolation and the need for social contact? Round-the-clock or occasional service? Each person’s situation is individual and, usually, everything devolves to the bottom line: What can I afford? What do Medicare and Medicaid do to help? How much will it cost to get what is needed? What if I can’t pay the bills? Medicare helps with medical bills but has no benefit for custodial care. Medicaid is an income-based service that can step into the gap for low-income recipients. And then, there are some (MANY!) services available cost-free to everyone. Your individual circumstances guide the plan for suitable help. Add Lexington County’s Recreation and Aging Commission to your list of why you’re glad to be here. This thriving service is known for its lively senior center, providing meals, entertainment, and help, but their list of services goes much farther. Mary Beth Callais, assistant director, uses the term “single point of entry” to cover its information resource: “Whether you’re sick or well, need a lot of help or just a little, long-term or temporary, we can step up with help or steer you to other providers to fill the need,” she says. For qualified, homebound clients: light housekeeping can be arranged, daily meals (frozen or fresh) provided, transportation made possible, and even a telephone buddy who will check by phone every day to be sure all is well.

July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 35

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She likes to emphasize the lifestyle-enhancing benefit of the programs at the Center on Park Street in downtown Lexington. “Meals and entertainment. Classes for exercise and for education. Trips and visits. This social outlet offsets the dangers of depression and loneliness for the homebound.” These are taxpayer-funded benefits, provided at no cost to most. Donations are welcomed to keep and expand the services. The county commission relies heavily on volunteers who assist with the programs and maintain contact with local seniors. This county bureau maintains seven centers: Batesburg-Leesville, Gilbert-Summit, Lexington, Pelion, Pine Ridge-South Congaree, Swansea, and TriCity in West Columbia. You can set things in motion with a phone call to 803-356-5111. Looming over everyone’s life plan is the issue of transportation, a huge lack in this area. Those who no longer drive their own cars are indeed homebound, and these agencies can provide transport to a doctor’s office or to the senior center, where food and entertainment are available. Another element to consider is respite and help for the principal caregiver, who is usually a family member also holding down a job and bearing other responsibilities. Additionally, the Council on Aging maintains an ombudsman with the responsibility to investigate reports of abuse and fraud and mismanagement. Its goal: That no one should be victimized, ever, by abusive caregivers. Bad apples are tracked down and eliminated. Hospice is a service providing a lifeline for caregivers of those approaching sunset. This service is often free of charge, depending on circumstances, and offers vital help in navigating the complexities of end-of-life. Your doctor’s recommendation can set up this assistance.

Of course, government agencies are not the only ones providing services. An abundance of commercial home health care agencies have developed in recent years, providing everything needed, for a fee. They advertise widely and have websites about their programs, and people with adequate financial resources have options at every level, whether seeking part-timers for a few hours or full services round the clock. The bottom line: Don’t feel you have to figure everything out alone. Our community can help. n

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July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 37

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reak away from traditional theater with a night out at Plates and Plots. This interactive dinner theater combines theatrics, a catered meal, and wit and imagination. Plates and Plots Dinner Theatre is lodged in the heart of Lexington in a small shopping strip off Sunset Boulevard. The actors are all volunteers with a heart for the melodramatic. “Theater is for everybody, but there’s different theater for everybody. You’re going to have a good time here. We had two couples who came here the other night and didn’t know each other. By the time they left, they were (best friends). They’re even planning their next outing to another show,” says Tracey Lease, owner of Plots and Plates. What’s not to love for $35? Everyone gets a show plus a threecourse meal. “It’s like playtime for adults,” says Heather Adams, creative volunteer and playwright. “A lot of our shows are ridiculous, but that’s what makes them fun.” Besides spontaneity and laughter, what can audience members expect during one of the plays that averages three hours? “The experience is always different even though the premise is always the same,” say Lease. The play starts at approximately 7 p.m. with several acts, although this depends on the play. There’s

an act and then a salad, an act then an entrée, etc. Meals are catered by a chef who prepares meals especially for Plates and Plots. The length of the show varies depending on the number of people in the audience. Both Lease and Adams agree, it’s a nice escape from reality for both the actors and the audience members. Guests can expect the play to finish around 9 or 10 p.m. Guests may opt to bring their own wine of choice. “We are funnier after a couple of glasses of wine,” says Lease. Their dinner theater plays rely on some audience participation. If anyone thinks they have to think of lines, don’t worry. There are lines for the audience to recite word for word. No worries about mess-ups at Plates and Plots because even the actors themselves mess up their lines. “The audience loves when we make mistakes. They think it’s hysterical. Several read-throughs are performed by the actors, but mistakes happen – and when they do, the actors don’t dwell on them. Dinner theater is meant to be interactive, and the more the actors and audience can intermingle with each other, the better. This isn’t a traditional show where you sit and watch, although Lease and Adams mention some people still prefer that. “We try to let them know in the beginning that it is interactive. If they’re game for it we talk to them and they talk to us. They’re as July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 39

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“A lot of our shows are ridiculous, but that’s what makes them .”


much a part of this as we are,” says Lease. There’s a new show typically every five to six weeks on average, and they have a show almost every weekend. The team performs murder mysteries, but they also put on comedy-dramas. If you missed a show, Plates and Plots will more than likely bring it back again, as they don’t retire a play. Past shows include the live role-playing style of Clue, the twister murder case of Wardrobe Malfunction where a wife keeps her husband’s body in a closet, and a 1940’s vintage drama in Radio La La. In Person: “Usually we get our ideas from 101-C Summer Duck Trail very strange places. Sometimes a Lexington, SC 29072 situation or piece of furniture,” Online: says Lease. “Wardrobe Malfunction was all about killing off a guy Facebook: and how to get rid of him.” Plates & Plots Dinner They also like to do shows Theatre centered on a holiday with Reserve Now: Christmas and Valentine’s 864-832-PLOT or Day being popular. “We did a Valentine’s show set up at an awards show, and Cost: $35 per person I’m interviewing people as they walk up,” says Adams. Fun Fact: Plates and Plots is available to come to you. Her husband and producer behind the plays was able to Contact us, and we’ll bring find microphones and other a show to you. pieces to perfectly simulate an awards show. In fact, he often finds the most unique pieces for the shows, she emphasizes. “We also did a Christmas show where I got play the crazy elf,” says Lease. “That character was me on speed!” Adams, Lease, and another lady, Jennifer Simmons, take turns writing the plays or collaborating on plays. “We all take turns writing scripts among Tracey, Jennifer Simmons, and I. The script is always a guideline. We have to roll with whatever they say. We have a script, memorize a script, and then encourage the actors to make it themselves. We improvise a lot,” explains Adams, who enjoys creating a script. The ladies are excited for an original play entitled Space for Murder, which is about a teen whose relative suddenly dies. Thankfully, she has some special friends coming to her aid. This show will have interesting costumes for sure, they add. All of the shows are family-friendly, and people may bring their children using their own discretion. “We’re family-oriented. Generally, our shows aren’t R-rated; more like PG-13. We don’t cater toward children, but you can bring your kids. Generally, 12 and up

is good because of the length and the fact you’re sitting the entire time,” says Lease. Lease would love to do some children’s plays in the future. That’s one of her many goals. “We want to have a children’s play. It teaches them the opportunity to learn the basics but also different ways to learn teamwork and speak in front of each other. It gives them an outlet for creativity,” Lease explains. Creativity run loose is what Plates and Plots is about. Unexpected spontaneity and fun drama make for a great break from reality. There’s only one thing the cast says to beware of. “You never know what people are going to say or do. Usually, people get made part of the show if they get up (to use the bathroom) or something,” says Lease. If you’ve got to suddenly go, you’ll more than likely become a character. n July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 41

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The Price of Independence by David Clark Now is a good time to consider Independence. We learned the price of independence when we were young. Watching older tough guys crying and walking funny as they made the trip back to class taught us that getting sent to the principal’s office was not good. Before I learned first-hand about that trip, I learned what happened to kids who blurted out in class. “Where did the calendar come from?” “Why do we have seasons?” You know the type of kid I was. A disruptive pain in the neck who won’t behave. My teacher sought to straighten me out. “Ok, Mr. Clark, bring me a three-page report in the morning about the calendar. You’ll deliver this report in front of the class.” In hindsight, the numerous reports I did that year taught me to love the encyclopedia, taught me how to write, and taught me how to speak in public. I still blurted out questions occasionally, but the reports did cause me to think — and that was the point. I reached the sixth grade before I took two trips to the principal’s office. I deserved both trips. The dread-filled walk down was my first crash course in introspection. The second was eyeing the paddle on the principal’s desk. The third was sitting on a burning butt while the principal hacked out a letter with two fingers on his typewriter. “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Clark: David was sent to my office today.” He handed me the letter: “Have your parents sign that and bring it back in the morning — without fail.” Then the real

introspection began as I considered my impending death at home. The second trip was the same, but worse. Supposedly, I knew better. That’s all it took. I actually began thinking. Did the principal tear my tail up? Yessir. Did it hurt? You bet. Was I afraid? You better believe it. Did it scar me for life? Absolutely not. This “trauma” gave me a chance at life by helping me learn to think. I had gained a little discipline. I wasn’t a bad kid. I had an intensely curious mind. Growing up alone out in the country taught me zero social skills. And I was a hard-headed young energy-filled boy. Hard-headed boys need to learn there’s pain beyond a certain line, because there’s evidently no other way for hard-headed young boys to learn. Nowadays I would be considered a “problem child.” It should give one pause to consider how easily we medicate “problem” children. We’ve taught two generations now that the answer is a pill rather than introspection. I’ll grant it may be necessary, but it’s striking how all the prior generations survived and thrived in the childhoods we had. If anything in our youth taught introspection, it was getting your tail tore up for crossing a line. Introspection is the difference between discipline and the comDavid Clark writes and pliance induced by an administered drug. works in Cochran, GA. Slavery requires compliance. Discipline Connect with him at is the key to Independence. n July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 45

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Chili Lime Grilled Wings 1 package chili seasoning mix 1/4 cup lime juice 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp grated lime peel 2 lbs chicken wings Mix seasoning mix, lime juice, oil and lime peel in small bowl until well blended. Reserve 2 tbsp of the marinade for basting. Place chicken wings in large resealable plastic bag or glass bowl. Add remaining marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken wings from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Grill wings over medium heat 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally and basting with reserved marinade halfway through cooking. Serve wings with ranch dressing, if desired.

the butter, Parmesan, garlic, garlic powder, parsley and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on top of the bread. Arrange slices of mozzarella on top of the bread and then top with tomato slices. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the honey. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the vinegar has reduced by about half and has the consistency of a thin syrup. Remove from the heat and place in a small bowl. It will thicken as it sits. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Cut the bread into two inch slices and serve hot.

Caprese Garlic Bread 1 loaf French bread or baguette 1/2 cup salted butter room temperature 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 garlic cloves minched (1 tsp) 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp dried parsley flakes or 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley salt and pepper 10 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4 inch thick slices 3-4 medium tomatoes sliced 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar 3 tsp honey 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the bread in half horizontally and place on baking sheet, cut side up. In a medium bowl, stir together

Refreshing Watermelon and Cucumber Salad 3 cups watermelon, cut into 1” cubes 1 seedless cucumber, cut into quarter slices 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped 3 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped ½ tsp cracked black pepper ¼ tsp salt 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar) 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 50g toasted walnuts, chopped 35g feta cheese, crumbled Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss until well combined. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to blend. Divide into 2 serving bowls and garnish with fresh basil leaves and a few walnuts if desired. n

Sizzlin’ Summer Eats

July 2018 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 47

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Lexington Life - July 18  

Lexington Life is a premiere publication serving the residents of Lexington, SC Published since 2004, Lexington Life Magazine is a family-ow...

Lexington Life - July 18  

Lexington Life is a premiere publication serving the residents of Lexington, SC Published since 2004, Lexington Life Magazine is a family-ow...