Lexington Life Magazine - Feb 21'

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Dr. Katie Newton is one of few in the state — and the only in Columbia — certified in animal chiropractic by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Dr. Newton earned her Doctorate in Chiropractic from Parker University in 2015 and the AVCA Certification in 2016. Having worked with animals for over 15 years, her experience ranges from dog training, canine hydrotherapy and Doga, to volunteering in shelters, working in a vet clinic, and now as a chiropractor for animals. Dr. Newton worked as a veterinary assistance during her time as a chiropractic student. She has had the honor of helping many different animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, pigs, and horses. Dr. Newton has served the Columbia area going on 4 years. She is Mom to 3: her 1-year-old daughter, 13-year-old dog, and 16-year-old cat. Dr. Newton chose chiropractic therapies to help improve the lives of pets and their people by helping them feel and function better. To schedule an appointment for your pet, please call the PETSinc Vet Clinic at 803-739-9333.

* $50 off is applied to dental cleaning and polishing only *after* a routine dental exam ($35). If your pet requires bloodwork, pain medication, or dental extractions, additional charges will apply. Dental special expires 03/01/21 REDEEMABLE ONLY AT:  PETSinc Retail or Neuter Scooter Vet Clinic (803-739-9333) 300 Orchard Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170

VET CLINIC: M - Sa: 9am - 6pm ADOPTION CENTER: M - Sa: 9am - 6pm

300 Orchard Drive  West Columbia  803-739-9333  petsinc.org


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“We are honored to accept this award and will continue to provide compassionate and dependable care to our community.” – Tom & Jayne Falk, Franchise Owners

Your Home –


Events like aging, illness, or disability can make living independently at home more difficult. Assisting Hands® understands the challenges you and your loved one may face.

We’ll help you safely remain happy and at home!™

Visit us at: assistinghands.com/midlands We provide compassionate, dependable and safe care based upon the CDC guidelines. • Bathing, dressing, and grooming • Medication reminders • Light housekeeping

• Meal planning and preparation • Walking and transfer assistance • Respite care services

• Transportation to appointments • Shopping and errands • Companionship and more

All caregivers are licensed, bonded, insured, and serve our clients wearing proper PPE

February is National Heart Month






Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

Serving the Midlands Since 2012 104 Hamilton St., Lexington SC 29072

803.661.7557 DHEC License # IHCP-0494 ©2021 ©2021 Assisting Hands® Home Care, Nampa, Idaho 83687. All Rights Reserved.

Thomas and Jayne Falk Franchise Owners


Lexington Life Magazine

For Voting Us “Best”


Lexington ENT & Allergy



STEVEN A. MADDEN, MD Lexington Oncology ——————————————————


Lexington Urology



Health Directions

10 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021


Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife Donna! Life with her is definitely not boring and I just wanted to tell her I love her and let her know how much she means to me and our family. Happy Valentine’s Day to the rest of Lexington too. Thanks for reading our Lexington Life Magazine’s Best of 2021 edition and congratulations to all the winners and nominees. The past year has been challenging on many fronts and small businesses have had to be extremely resourceful to survive and thrive in this pandemic environment. Over the holidays it was nice to have the entire family home from college and together again. During that time, my daughter Jenna and Donna watched a lot of Netflix shows together. Most of the time I am not interested in watching their “girlie” shows, but this time when they asked me to watch a show I agreed and sat down with them. Immediately, I recognized one of the actors. “Isn’t that Ralph Macchio, aka the Karate Kid?” Jenna laughed as she confirmed that it was, in fact, the Karate Kid. I was astounded I had never heard of Cobra Kai before. Basically, the Karate Kid and his arch enemy from the iconic 80’s movies have grown up and now have kids of their own. I was literally dumbfounded. I could not stop watching. The action scenes were amazing and the flashback references to the Karate Kid movies was fascinating to me. It didn’t take me long to binge watch the entire series and I highly recommend it.

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Todd Shevchik toddshevchik@gmail.com

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Tracy Tuten tracy.tuten@outlook.com 803-603-8187

DIRECTOR OF SALES Donna Shevchik shev26@aol.com 803-518-8853

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Jane Carter, Kim Curlee

EDITOR Kristi Antley lexlifeeditor@gmail.com EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell

WEBSITE DESIGNER Paul Tomlinson ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Cam Soltysiak CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristen Carter, Linnette Rochelle, Tyler Ryan, Marilyn Thomas

CONTACT US: 5483 Sunset Blvd., Unit G, Lexington, SC 29072 • 803.356.6500 info@lexingtonlifemagazine.com

ley, ik, Kristi Ant Todd Shevch Cam Soltysiak n, te Tu y ac , Tr chik Donna Shev Kim Curlee,

Happy Valentine’s Day! Wax on! Wax off! Todd Shevchik

contents Features


18 2021 Best of Lexington Life Winner Announcement 32 The Heart of the Matter Congenital Heart Defects 42 Live Large, Play Hard-Sonny D. Dickey 48 Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Citizens Academy 54 Meal Planning Myths Debunked 58 A Labor of Love-Amick’s Guns

13 Faith Matters 69 David Clark


Departments 11 From the Publisher 12 Events 15 Lexington Leader 65 Spice of Life

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FEBRUARY Thursday, February 21st Lexington County Chili Cook-off Icehouse Amphitheater Pavilion, 107 Main St., Lexington, 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. The 7th annual Lexington County Chili Cook-Off presented by the Old Mill BrewPub and Lexington County Blowfish has become a signature event each February in Lexington as businesses and restaurants from across the county compete for the best chili title. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by visiting goblowfish.com; proceeds benefit local Lexington County charities. Ongoing through Friday, February 26th Free Fridays at Riverbanks Zoo Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Every Friday in January and February, admission is free for Residents of Richland and Lexington Counties. Reservations are required, visit riverbankszoo. org for details. Ongoing through Sunday, February 28th Snowville at Edventure Edventure Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St., Columbia, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Bundle up and head to EdVenture for snowy fun, featuring indoor snow-tubing, “sock” ice hockey, arctic snowball blaster, snowy science experiments and more! Free with museum admission, visit edventure.org for pricing and details.

Noses are not meant to be red on Valentines Day, hearts are.

Serving the Midlands Allergy and Asthma Needs for 29 Years

Board Certified in Pediatric and Adult Allergies and Asthma Ty Coleman, Jr., M.D. • Hector Rodriguez, M.D. (803)794-3581 • www.allergypartners.com/midlands WiFi available • West Columbia, SC • Near Lexington Medical Center

Saturdays, ongoing Soda City Market 1200-1700 Main Street, Columbia, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Soda City Market is Columbia’s weekly Main Street event inspired by traditional European street markets every Saturday, rain or shine! Find everything you need to nourish your brain, body, and belly—unique, hand crafted, and produced goods, arts and crafts all made in South Carolina. Parking is free on Saturdays!

EVENTS MAY BE CANCELLED OR POSTPONED, CONFIRM WITH EVENT ORGANIZERS Submit your event info five weeks in advance to lexlifeevents@gmail.com. Events will be included as space permits.

We r • iPa epair: ds a nd iPh • Sa ones m • Co sung’ s m • An puter s dm ore. ..

UBreakiFix.com 803-520-8285

5594 Sunset Blvd, Lexington, SC 29072 Monday- Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm

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Pastor Jim Glatz Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church


At Magnolia Boutique we have a great selection of gently used clothing for the entire family! Most Adult Clothing $3–$10, Children's Items $2–$6 and home decor items. We purchase gently used Items by appointment only. 5140 Sunset Boulevard, Lex, SC | (803) 520-0011

Looking cute for my Valentine

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 In this definition, Paul says that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” Love forgives. We need this love that forgives because unforgiveness and holding on to a grudge damages people and keeps them from living the life Jesus has freed them to live. Yet so many people are holding on to hurtful things of the past, and they have paid a terrible price. It has been said that “‘Unforgiveness’ is the poison that you wish to give to the offender -- one who hurt you --but you are the one that ends up taking it!” We need love that forgives so we can be free from the destruction caused by our holding on to grudges and bitterness. However, we also need love that forgives because we ourselves are sinners in need of forgiveness. Through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, God blesses us with a love that forgives and keeps no record of wrongs. The Apostle John promises us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) The appropriate response to God’s forgiveness is to forgive others. As the Apostle Paul taught, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) One of the hallmarks of Christian maturity is our capacity to forgive. We forgive not because a person has offered an apology or has made restitution for what they have done. We forgive because the Lord has forgiven us. The better we know God, the better our capacity to forgive. Conversely, the less we know God, the less our capacity to forgive. In celebrating Valentine’s Day, be sure remember the ones you love, but also remember theh One who loves you more that you can imagine. He created you, redeemed you and set you free to love and forgive others. n SAXE GOTHA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 5503 Sunset Blvd. Lexington, SC 29072 • 803-359-7770 Traditional services held Sundays at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. saxegotha.org • facebook.com/saxegotha

Thanks to the Groomers at Lexington Pet Lodge! Professional Grooming Staff Indoor/Outdoor Runs Climate Controlled Luxury Suites

654 Ginny Lane, Lexington (803) 957-7297 lexingtonpetlodge.com lexingtonlife.com

February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 13

Mayor Steve MacDougall

I hope you and your family had a safe and happy holiday season. Now that 2020 is behind us, hopefully 2021 will be full of new beginnings for all. The Town of Lexington has a lot to look forward to this coming year. Current projects will be completed and new ones will begin. The Icehouse Amphitheater Pavilion is just about complete. Starting in the spring, the brick, open-air building will be the new home of The Market. Vendors will also use this space once concerts get back in full swing. This spring, the Gibson Pond Dam will be complete and Gibson Park will reopen. The new state-of-the-art dam will have a walking area and two piers. The project has been in the works since the flood of 2015, and we are excited to finally be able to get the park back to its former glory. The widening of North Lake Drive in front of Lexington Elementary School will be completed later this year. The new traffic configuration and added lane headed out of town is a continuation of our one-way pair project and will significantly improve the traffic flow in that area. This is Phase 2 of 3 for traffic improvements in this corridor. We will soon start construction on the Old Mill Pond Trail. This will be a one-mile-long, lighted walking trail, which will circle the entire pond. The trail will be a new area for people to enjoy while visiting the downtown area. Downtown Lexington will soon have wayfinding signage. These signs will help guide residents and visitors to various intown amenities that are available to enjoy. Here’s to hoping things will get back to normal in the months ahead and that 2021 will be filled with great progress and development here in Lexington. n

Continuing to Give Care & Safety a Personal Touch in 2021!

Book Your Personal Tour Today

www.lexsc.com • 803-996-3765 smacdougall@lexsc.com

Thanks for voting us Best of Lexington 2021!

Photo by Megan Melton

803.445.2600 www.forlifemedical.com

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Protect Your Loved Ones You’re in good hands with Allstate John Barrier 173 Corley Mill Road, Suite B Lexington, SC 803-399-7588 john.barrier@allstate.com lexingtonlife.com

by Jackie Perrone

David Longstreet When David Longstreet earned his college degree at Mississippi State University in 1993, he planned a future focused on mechanical engineering and industrial applications. Following that path, he acquired a wife and started a family while advancing in his business career. In 2012, the Longstreets’ world changed forever. In one awful moment on a Sunday morning, a driver who had been drinking all night crashed into the family car, and their 6-year-old daughter Emma was killed. Soon after, David found himself leading a fight for stricter DUI laws in South Carolina, hoping that no other family would have to endure such a senseless tragedy. “I had to explore politics and law enforcement and the South Carolina State House and figure out how to get support for changing our laws,” he says now. “We worked to set some parameters. First offense? Percent BAC? (that’s blood alcohol content). Chronic offenders? What restrictions would be likely to be approved in our legislature? What penalties would be appropriate?” He learned that most laws don’t accomplish everything needed but perhaps advance a cause that needs to be improved. He enlisted the help of legislators and law enforcement officers and community leaders to build support for tightening the restrictions on those found guilty of drunk driving. They were able to persuade legislators to pass Emma’s Law, named for the little girl whose life was taken in that horrific wreck. Essentially, Emma’s Law provides that first-time DUI offenders who have a BAC of .15 or higher will be required, if convicted, to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for a period of six months. A person with a second or higher conviction of DUI or DUAC will be required to install the device for a period of two years. An ignition interlock device (IID) is similar to a standard breathalyzer, except it is connected to the vehicle. Convicted DUI offenders will be able to start their vehicle only by blowing into the device and having their breath analyzed. Too much alcohol = that vehicle isn’t going anywhere. “I would like to see that standard tightened,” he says. “A reading of .08 or higher would improve our community.” Longstreet feels he has been blessed to work for outstanding companies over the years, including Sumitomo, Johnson Controls, Bose, and now Apex Tool Company, where he is principally leading testing and analysis for power tools, largely for the automotive and airline industries. This mechanical engineer has put the law-tightening effort on hold for a while. His children are nearing adulthood, and he wants to use his time and energy in helping them find direction for their lives. “If I can reach others in this article, I want to urge them to follow common sense and stay out of drunk-driving trouble,” he says now. “There are plenty of ways to get transportation these days after a session of drinking alcohol: a taxi, a ride-share, a friend who stayed sober. PLEASE don’t see your life ruined, and those of others, because of alcohol. That’s the message I will be sharing for the rest of my life.” n lexingtonlife.com

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Thanks for voting us Best Golf Course and Best Tennis Pro Lane Hinson! Come play tennis with the best!

1066 Barr Road, Lexington (803) 359-8838 www.ccoflexington.com

A PERSONAL DOCTOR FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY $50-$80 per month for adults $10 per month for children under 18 Unlimited Visits | No Waiting

Thanks for Voting us Best Hair Salon!

Have your own concierge physician

(803)520-0251 108 Scarborough Dr, Lexington Palmettorootssalon@gmail.com 214 Old Chapin Road, Lex, SC 29072 Call today! 803-951-2750 www.livingwellfm.com


Massage & Esthetician Therapy now available Appointments Preferred, Walk-Ins Welcome

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Lexington Life Magazine 2021 Winners Thank you for voting us the BEST!

10 OFF %


764 West Main Street Lexington, SC 29072 803-399-1514 | www.kestnerautomotive.com 18 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021

Batesburg Location: 803-820-0353 210 W Church Street, Batesburg, SC 29006 Gilbert Location: 803-820-0352 3970 Augusta Hwy, Gilbert, SC 29054

Hours: Monday- Friday 8AM-6PM www.gilbertpaintandbodysc.com


Best Aesthetic Spa: Cardinal Age Management Best Aesthetic Practice: The Essential Face Best Afterschool Program: Palmetto Athletic Center Best Allergist: Lexington ENT Best Alterations: Jackie Lynn Tailoring Best Ambulance Service: For Life Medical Transport Best Apartment Complex: Reserve at Mill Landing Best Asian Restaurant: Red Bowl Best Assisted Living Facility: Oakleaf Village of Lexington Best Attorney Criminal Defense: Law Office of James Snell, Jr. Best Attorney Family Law: Law Office of Jean P. Derrick Best Attorney Litigation: Morgan Litigation Group Best Attorney Real Estate: Templeton Law Firm Best Audiologist: Lake Murray Hearing Associates Best Audio Installation: Ultimate Audio Best Auto Body Shop: Gilbert Paint and Body Best Auto Performance Shop: Kestner Automotive Best Auto Repair Shop Domestic: North Lake Auto Best Auto Repair Shop Foreign: Christian Brothers Automotive

North Lake Auto Repair

Thank you for voting us Best Real Estate Attorney!

Thanks for voting us the Best!

Family Owned and Operated 511 N. Lake Drive, Lex, SC 29072 (803) 957-2345 www.Northlakeautorepair.net


We handle residential and commercial real estate matters, including contracts, closings, title searches and title curative matters

2464 Mineral Springs Rd, Lexington, SC (803) 358-7207 | www.propertylawyersc.com February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19

Best Auto Service Department Dealership: Herndon Chevrolet Best Bank: First Community Bank Best Barber Shop: Lexington Barber Shop Best BBQ Restaurant: Shealy’s Barbeque Best Breakfast: Eggs Up Grill Best Buffet: Hudson’s Smokehouse Best Burger: O’Hara’s Public House Best Cardiologist: Dr. Garrison Morgan-Providence Medical Group Best Carpet Store: Floor Boys Best Car Wash: Frank’s Car Wash Best Catering Company: Southern Way Catering Best Cell Phone and Tablet: UBreakiFix Best Charter School: Midlands Middle College Best Chiropractor: Bigbie Chiropractic Best Coin and Collectible Dealer: Gilbert Coin and Collectible Exchange Best College for Working Adults: Midlands Technical College Best Commercial Real Estate Agency: W.S. Commercial Real Estate LLC Best Cosmetic Dentist: Southern Shores Dental Best Cosmetology School: Kenneth Shuler Cosmetology

Thank you for voting us the Best!!!

it ’ s our honor to serve the people and businesses of lexington and we are humbled to have been voted Best Bank.

We offer Coin Collecting Supplies , Collectible Coins, Gold and Silver Bullion, Colonial, Obsolete, Confederate, FRN and other Paper Money Estate Appraisals for Coin Collections We buy Coins, Gold, Silver, Jewelry, Diamonds, Paper Money and Other Numismatic Items

Your Hometown Coin & Collectible Shop Since 2010

5 miles from Lexington High School in The Shoppes of Gilbert Member FDIC

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4079 Augusta Highway 803-892-4307 | www.gilbertcoins.com lexingtonlife.com

Best CPA: Dooley & Company CPA Best Credit Union: Palmetto Citizens Best Custom Home Builder: Epic Homes Best Damage Restoration Services: Palmetto Commercial Services Best Dance Company: Chosen Dance Company Best Day Spa: Glow Best Day Care: Big Blue Marble Academy Best Deli: Cribb’s On Main Best Dentist Adults: Palmetto Smiles, Dr. Jamie Cross Gomez Best Dentist Kids: Midlands Pediatric Dentistry Best Dermatologist: Columbia Skin Clinic Best Dessert: Nonnah’s at The Haven Best Dry Cleaner: Lexington Dry Cleaning Best Engineering Firm: The SEFA Group Best Exterminator: Mike Corder Exterminating Best Facial: Holistic Skin Care Best Fast Food: Chick-Fil-A Best Fitness Center: Orange Theory Best Florist: Lexington Florist

Holistic Skin Care & Waxing

Services Provided: Nano CDB Infusion Treatment Microvenom Anti-Aging Facial European Facial Back Facial | Microderm Brow Wax | Brow Tint Full Face | Underarm Wax Brazilian Wax

Thanks for voting Dr. Jamie Cross Gomez Best Dentist!

Valentine’s Special Enjoy a Tranquilly HOUR Facial

Thanks for voting me Best Facial!!!

30 minute mini face and back facial as one. You will leave hydrated and refreshed.

ONLY $75 Gift Certificates Available!

LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED Located at 121 North Lake Drive in Lexington Book your appointment at heidiholistic.glossgenius.com Or call Heidi 803 446-7547 lexingtonlife.com

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Best Funeral Home: Thompson Funeral Home Best Furniture Store: Scott’s Furniture Best Garden Center: Wingard’s Market Best Gastroenterologist: Consultants in Gastroenterology Best General Contractor: Hill Construction Best Glass Store: Absolute Glass Best Golf Course: Country Club of Lexington Best Greek Restaurant: Grecian Gardens Best Gun and Ammunition Store: C2C Arms Best Gym: Health Directions Best Hair Salon Adults: Palmetto Roots Best Hair Salon Kids: Snip-Its Best Hair Stylist: Angie Williams-Palmetto Roots Best Happy Hour: O’Hara’s Public House Best Hardware Store: Lexington True Value Best Healthy Eating Restaurant: Poke Bros Best Heating and Air Company: All American Heating and Air Best Home Builder: Great Southern Homes

Roses, Orchids, Lilies, Tulips and more!

We’ve got what you need to say I love you this Valentine’s Day!

Thank you for voting us the BEST OF 2021!

Thank you for voting us the BEST!!!

Place your order for pick-up or delivery today! Flowers for all occasions | Specializing in weddings

1100 West Main Street, Lexington • 803-359-6097 Hours Mon-Sat 8am-5:30pm • We accept major credit cards

Open Monday–Saturday 10-6 705 N Lake Dr, Lexington, South Carolina

family owned, locally operated by Jimmy Worthy

www.scotts-furniture.com | (803) 359-4121

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Best Hospice Care: McLeod’s Home Care Best Hotel : Wingate Inn Best Ice Cream Shop: Menchie’s Best Insurance Agent: Hal Girard State Farm Best Insurance Auto: Hal Girard State Farm Best Insurance Homeowners: Herring Insurance Services Best Insurance Life: SC Farm Bureau Best Interior Design: EDs Interior Best Internet Service Provider: Spectrum Best Investment Firm: Crescent Financial Best Italian Restaurant: Alodia’s Cucina Italiana Best Jewelry Store: Chapman Jewelers Best Kid Friendly Restaurant: Old Mill Brewpub Best Kid’s Meal: Moe’s Southwest Grill Best Landscaping Company: Saluda Hill Landscapes Best Learning Center: Mathnasium Best Manicure/Pedicure: Blush Nails Best Manufactured Housing Company: Lexington Discount Homes

Thank you for voting us best!

Thank you for voting us Best Place to Buy Homeowner’s Insurance!

903 NORTH LAKE DR LEXINGTON, SC • 996 -5530 Locally owned and operated, over 30 years experience. Like us on Facebook! @ChapmanFineJewelers

316 South Lake Drive , Lex | 803 356 0763 Email: Brent@BrentHerring.com


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Best Oral Surgeon: Associates in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Best Marina Gas Prices: Jake’s Landing Best Massage: Soothing Sessions Best Mattress Store: Economy Furniture Best Meat Store: Ole Timey Meat Market Best Medical Spa: Rejuvenations Medical Spa Best Men’s Clothing Store: Craig Reagin Clothiers Best Mexican Restaurant: Diablo’s Southwest Grill Best Microbrewery Local: Hazelwood Brewing Co. Best Milkshake: Rush’s Best Mortgage Company: Synovus Best Mosquito Treatment: Mosquito Joe Best Moving Company: Moving Squad Best Music School: Lexington School of Music Best OBGYN: Kraemer Women’s Care Best Oil Change: Take 5 Best Oncologist: Dr. Steve Madden-Lexington Oncology (LMC) Best Ophthamologist: Dr. Edward G Mintz-Columbia Eye Clinic

Exceptional Care,

Remarkable Experiences

If you are experiencing pain or suffer from an injury, Drayer PT can help! Drayer Physical Therapy Institute offers skilled and licensed physical therapy to help relieve pain and get you back to doing the things you love. Lexington 738 W Main St • 29072 • (803) 821-9514 Cayce 1340 Knox Abbott Drive • 29033 • (803) 851-1686


Dr. Ginger Macaulay | Dr. M. Heyward Boyette Dr. Mary Keisler | Dr. Lacy Strom | Dr. Cathy Brown Dr. Alix Drye | Dr. Crystal Knight Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-6pm | Saturday 8am-1pm

109 Palmetto Park Blvd, Lexington SC 29072 803-359-6611 | Fax 803-359-4872 www.cherokeetrail.net ww

Find the clinic nearest you at drayerpt.com/locations 24 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021


Best Optometrist: My Optical Best Orthodontist: Braces Place Best Orthopaedic: Midlands Orthopaedic Best Pain Management: Sandhills Pain Specialist Best Pediatric Practice: Southern Med Pediatrics Best Periodontist: Southern Roots Periodontics Best Personal Trainer: Faith Barbare-Simply Fit Best Pet Groomer: Lexington Pet Lodge Best Pet Hospital: Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital Best Pet Kennel or Boarding Facility: Grace Animal Hospital Best Pharmacy Local: Riley’s Drugs Best Physical Therapy Practice: Drayer Physical Therapy Best Pizza: Clara and Ray’s Best Birthday Party Venue: Palmetto Athletic Center Best Place to Buy Bath or Kitchen Fixtures: KB Kitchen and Bath Best Place to Buy a Boat: Captain’s Choice Best Place to Buy a Car (New): Herndon Chevrolet Best Place to Buy a Car (Used): Hudson Brothers

You will love our Micro Minnie Towable

Locally Owned and Operated lexingtonlife.com

February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 25

Best Place to Buy Eyeglasses: My Optical Best Place to Buy Hardwood Floors: Floor Boys Best Place to Buy a Motorcycle: Thunder Tower Harley Davidson Best Place to Buy Organic Products: Garner’s Natural Life Best Place to Buy Outdoor Furniture: Carolina Pottery Best Place to Buy Paint: Lexington Paint and Flooring Best Place to Buy a Pool: S&S Pools Best Place to Buy a Prom Dress: Dazzles Best Place to Buy Propane: Southern Flame Propane Best Place to Buy an RV: John’s RV Best Place to Buy Tires: Pope Davis Tires Best Place to Buy Windows: Stroud Supply Best Place to Play Tennis: Country Club of Lexington Best Place to Sell Gold: Golden Eagle Precious Metals Exchange Best Place to Work: Nephron Pharmaceuticals Best Plastic Surgeon: Dr. Richard Wassermann Plastic Surgeon Consultants Best Plumber: Kay Plumbing Best Pressure Washing Company: Trey Mathias Pressure Washing

Hours of Operation: Monday 8:30am-6:00pm Tuesday 8:30am-6:00pm Wednesday 8:30am-6:00pm Thursday 8:30am-6:00pm Friday 8:30am-6:00pm Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm

Serving Lake Murray, Lake Marion, Lake Wateree, and Lake Greenwood

www.lexingtondiscounthomes.com | 803-951-1900 1847 Augusta Highway | Lexington, SC 26 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021


Hours: Mon-Sat 11am–9:30pm, Sun 11am–9pm 5541 Sunset Blvd. Ste. C, Lexington, SC 29072 @Diabloslexington • Diablossouthwestgrill.com lexingtonlife.com

Best Private School: Northside Christian Academy Best Produce Farm: Walter P. Rawl and Sons Best Property Management Company: Scott Properties of the Midlands Best Real Estate Agent: April Stroud-Resource Realty Group Best Real Estate Company: Williams Real Estate Group Best Ribs: Maurice’s Piggy Park Best Roofing: Premiere Roofing Best Salad: Root Cellar Best Seafood Restaurant: Oak Grove House of Fish Best Self Storage Facility: Charter Oak Self Storage Best Senior Home Care: Assisting Hands Home Care Best Senior Living Community: Southlake Village Best Shooting Range: Palmetto State Armory Best Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center: NHC Healthcare Best Smoothie: Tropical Smoothie Best Southern Cooking: Lizard’s Thicket Best Steak: Private Property Best Subs: Firehouse Subs

thank you for Voting us the best!

“Thank you for voting us the best!” “Helping to keep you warm and cozy this Valentine’s Day

Helping to keep you warm and cozy this Valentine’s Day! Thank you for voting us the best! Two Locations: 2131 HWY-378 Lexington 239 Charter Oak Road, Lexington (803) 996-0698 charteroakstorage.com lexingtonlife.com

Serving Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Newberry, Sumter & Orangeburg counnes 10029 Broad River Road Irmo, SC 29063 | 803-732-3322 premiereroofingcolumbia.com

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Best Sushi: Antai Best Sweet Tea: McAlister’s Deli Best Tanning Salon: Carolina Tan Best Temporary Employment Service: Snelling Staffing Services Best Towing Service: Wingard Towing Best Travel Agency: Dream Vacations and Tours Best Tree Removal Service: Mike’s Tree Service Best Unique Gift Shop: Blush Boutique Best Upholstery Repair: Hot Rods Best Urgent Care: Veritas Health Best Urologist: Lexington Urology Best Veterinarian: Grace Animal Hospital Best Wait Staff: Goodfellas Best Wedding Venue: Southern Oaks Best Weight Loss Program: Bigbie Chiropractic Best Women’s Clothing Store: Fab’rik Best Women’s Gym: Burn Bootcamp Best Yoga Instruction: Pink Lotus

No Bones about it...

Be Our Valentine!

$14.88 Monthly Sunbed or Spray See salon for details. Enrollment fee may apply. Exp. 2-28-21

Thanks for voting us Best Place to Tan!

FREE SPRAY TAN one for you and one for a friend!

Come try the best booth in town, absolutely FREE! new clients only, one per customer, level 1 clear Norvell, Exp. 2-28-21

You’ll Love Your Look! www.carolinatanfactory.com

Thanks for voting us Best Veterinarian and Best Pet Boarding Facility Located near Lexington High School www.gracepets.com 803-808-PETS • 147 Charter Oak Rd, Lexington 28 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021

LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED 25 YEARS IN THE TANNING INDUSTRY! No Contracts, No Commitments Open 7 Days A Week

IRMO 749-2334 • LEXINGTON 358-2291 lexingtonlife.com

CUSTOM FROYO CAKES AVAILABLE!!! You choose it and we’ll make it special for you!

Thanks for voting us Best Skilled Nursing and Rehab Facility Exp: 2/28/21

free yogurt of equal or lesser value. cannot be combined with any other offer. valid thru 2/28/21, BOGOHALF

Specializing in Choice Cuts of Beef & Pork Three Convenient Locations: 925 North Lake Drive Lexington, SC 29072 (803) 358-6848

Thanks for choosing us as best general contractor 803-720-9225 | www.hillconstructionllc.com


6352 St. Andrews Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 (803) 772-3602 710 Main Street West Columbia, SC 29170 (803) 755-3171

one d e v ur lo licious o y t Trea our de eyes with s or rib filet


Do n wo ’t for nd ge and erful t our des side we s s off erts er

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February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 31

The Heart of the Congenital Heart Defects

MATTER by Marilyn Thomas


s Valentine’s Day décor demonstrates, hearts come in all shapes and sizes, but inside the human body this delicate organ is an essential source of life as it grows from its cellular form. Occasionally, problems arise, and congenital heart defects (CHDs) develop. Even so, modern medical science offers successful monitoring options and promising treatments to address those issues and grant the heart’s owner a rich and fulfilling future. To educate and promote awareness about congenital heart defects (CHDs), February 7-14 has been designated as CHD Awareness Week. CHDs are the most common type of birth defects, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with nearly one percent of babies in the United States being born with these conditions. A CHD can affect the heart’s structure and, therefore, the way it functions. At least eighteen different types of CHDs have been identified, and their symptoms can range from very mild to severely life threatening. Advances in medical technology and care, however, have enabled those with CHDs to live longer and healthier lives. Sometimes a CHD may be discovered during a prenatal ultrasound, but for Lexington mother, Samantha Hansford, this was not the case. More than 32 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021

seven years ago, no unusual issues were identified during her pregnancy with her daughter Elise, but after her birth, a pediatrician noticed a faint murmur at a three-month-old well visit. Soon, the Hansford family had scheduled an appointment with the Pediatric Cardiology Department at Richland Memorial (now known as Prisma Health) Children’s Hospital, and an echocardiogram showed that Elise had a primum atrial septal defect (ASD). “Normally with primum ASD, the hole in the bottom two chambers,” explains Ms. Hansford, “it does require some form of medical intervention to close.” For the next few years, Elise’s heart was checked once or twice annually, and when she was four, she visited a new cardiologist, Dr. Margaret Gray. After performing an echocardiogram, the physician expressed concerns about the child’s mitral valve. “Because of the leakage that she had,” says Ms. Hansford, “it was making her heart work a little bit harder, and so she wanted us to come back at six months.” At the next visit, when Elise was about to turn five years old, the news was grim. The leakage had increased, and a second opinion from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston confirmed that surgery was imminent. To prepare Elise for the procedure, Ms. Hansford explained the surgery in lexingtonlife.com

simple terms and read her children’s she needs to do.” books about visiting the hospital. Since Because of their journey, Elise and then, they have even found an English her family have become active advoauthor, Gemma Keir, who has written a cates for supporting awareness and series of books called The Abilities in fundraising for the American Heart AsMe, and one of those features a child sociation (AHA). Elise was chosen as with CHD. “Elise immediately took to the AHA Midlands’ Child of the Year for it and thought that was her story. That 2020 and was a featured guest at their is what we have used to help her find annual Heart Ball. After presenting a her voice and tell her story,” says Ms. video about her story, Elise bravely told Hansford. the crowd, “Thank you for saving little In the spring of 2019, Elise was rolled hearts like mine.” into the operating room at MUSC where For the donors, Elise and her mom Dr. Scott Bradley, a world-rehad made and distributed cannowned pediatric cardiolovasses of her hands in a heart gist, performed her openFebruary shape, topped with a crown, heart surgery. Seven hours because they call her their 7-14th later, he met with the fam“little warrior princess.” is Congenital ily to share the exciting They were also rewarded Heart Defects news that the procedure with a painting of their was successful, and he Awareness own, which was jointly was able to repair her micreated by ball attenders Week tral valve as well as the holes and native South Carolinian in the bottom of her heart. artist, Tripp Barnes, when a Elise’s healing process progenerous patron bought the artwork gressed very quickly, and she was re- and gifted it to the family. leased on the following Friday. Since At age six, Elise and her family joined then, her medical reports have been pos- in the annual AHA Midland’s Heart Walk itive, and she has returned to her normal in March of 2020, and she was ranked routine of attending kindergarten and as one of the top five walkers for raising enjoying gymnastics, swimming, ballet, more than $1,000. She also participated and tap. She was even selected to dance in an AHA school-based program that in the seasonal performance of The raised awareness about heart-healthy Nutcracker presented by Ann Brodie’s choices and courageously shared her Carolina Ballet. “There may be certain personal story with the student body at limitations that she has,” says her mom, Meadow Glen Elementary School, where “but she’s going to find a way to do what she attends. “Her involvement with AHA lexingtonlife.com

has really given her confidence,” says Ms. Hansford. “We’re proud to be and still are a part of the Heart Association and helping with advocacy and awareness of not just congenital heart defects, but also being heart healthy,” says Elise’s mom. “I know that she is going to have an amazing future in whatever she wants to do, and I know that being a part of the AHA has put that advocacy bug in her with helping her friends learn what it is to be heart healthy.” The Hansford family often encounters other CHD survivors, but they seem to have developed a special connection with another local resident, Amanda Bluestein. “Just to have those role models to look up to is really important,” Elise’s mom says. Both underwent surgery to repair their CHDs at about the same time, but Ms. Bluestein had been monitoring her aortic stenosis for several decades, since her diagnosis at eighteen months of age. As a child, she often felt like a “science experiment.” Because her irregular heartbeat was a classic example of her CHD, she occasionally became a learning tool for young medical students. Like Elise, she “had to go every year for an annual checkup just to make sure that nothing changed, and they always knew that I was going to have to have surgery, but they didn’t know when it would be,” she says. Initially, her doctors predicted that her future life might be limited, “But the great thing about technology is that it grew with me,” Ms. Bluestein says. “I think I was one of the first ones that they used the Doppler [echocardiogram] on at Augusta Health. They would check every year and give me some guidance and guidelines, some tips, and basically, I would just get cleared to go forward with everything.” Under the supervision of her physicians and the monitoring of medical technology, Ms. Bluestein chose to live a full and healthy life. She graduated from college and lettered in cheerleading; modeled and acted in New York, where she met her future husband; taught Zumba and aerobics classes; and participated in pageants and was crowned as Miss South Carolina USA, placed as first runner-up in Miss USA, and won Mrs. Galaxy. Today, she is a professional pageant consultant and a mother of two. Ms. Bluestein “tried to stay as healthy February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 33

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as possible,” but in the summer of 2018, her level of fatigue had become more noticeable. With two small children, that was not unusual, but after further testing, the doctors noticed a significant change with her heart and confirmed that it was time to act. Sometimes aortic stenosis can be corrected with a minimally invasive procedure, but because her aorta had dilated, it needed to be replaced, and that can only be achieved with open-heart surgery. After considering her options, she returned to Augusta University Health, where she was first diagnosed, to have her surgery. There were no complications, and she was able to return home after three nights in the hospital. Although hesitant at first, she was encouraged by one of the nurses there to embrace her “new accessory” and become a “proud member of the zipper club.” In November of 2019, she was chosen as a Midlands Ambassador in the Go Red for Women AHA awareness campaign. About her ordeal, she says, “It has made me realize that I’m a lot stronger and braver than I think and that I give myself credit for. It’s okay to be afraid,

but don’t let those fears keep you from doing what you need to do and living your life. It’s also been great to be an advocate for this now.” To connect with other CHD survivors, both families have turned to in-person and social media support groups, and Ms. Hansford also advises that “Contacting the American Heart Association is a great way to start, because they have families like me, other heart heroes, and people like Amanda.” n

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Living Large and Playing Hard Military paratrooper, heating-and-air technician, and Harley motorcycle enthusiast are just a few of the intriguing personas that comprise the larger-than-life identity of a local professional saxophonist known as Robert “Sonny D” Dickey. One of Lexington’s most talented and distinctive performers, this almost-octogenarian is active in the area music scene and devotes hours of his time every day to perfecting and maintaining his powerful Texas-tenor musical tone. Robert “Sonny D” Dickey’s story has humble beginnings. The second born of 10 children within an Italian family in Hartford, Connecticut, he was introduced to music at an early age. His Uncle Pete LaPira, a piano and accordion player, would practice for hours each day, while a curious young Robert intently observed. “I was just tall enough to stand where my eyesight looked down the keyboard of a piano,” recalls Sonny D. “I used to stand there and watch him do that, and I was fascinated by music, because of what he did, the sounds that he produced with that keyboard.” His personal foray into music began at the age of 10 when he agreed to play the bugle with a Catholic youth organiza42 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021

Sonny D. Dickey

by Marilyn Thomas

tion. Unfulfilled, he then switched to the Salvation Army band, who handed him a “beat up trumpet”; in less than a year, his “stunned” conductors were lining up solo performances in area churches. Still, “I couldn’t express myself with it,” he says. “I wanted something that got more in your face, more of the personality of me.” After sharing his dissatisfaction with his father, he found a saxophone at a nearby pawn shop and also sprung for two-dollar-a-week lessons. In addition, Sonny D also delivered newspapers so he could pay for two extra sessions each week. His only instructor was Sebastian Cassarino, a teacher he describes as a “musical genius.” “When I got that $129 saxophone, I got to tell you, my whole life changed. Right from that moment, I knew it – this was going to be where I was lexingtonlife.com

going to be. It’s a spiritual journey, to be honest with you, that’s how I describe it.” Shortly thereafter, Sonny D established an hours-long practice regime that he still follows today. “I wanted to perfect the sound of my saxophone,” he says. Sitting in a metal shower in his basement day after day he describes the protocol, “I used to play one note, sometimes for two to three hours at a time. I wanted to perfect that note, just so I could hit it every single time without making a mistake.” While still in high school, tragedy struck. His aging music teacher passed away; shortly thereafter, his father was suddenly killed in a construction site accident. As the oldest son, Sonny D felt compelled to step into the role of surrogate father and provider for his younger siblings. On the weekends, he started playing with his mother’s brothers in a jazz band. “By the time I was 16 years old,” he says, “I had a vast knowledge of jazz music and standards that most kids my age couldn’t dream of. I did that to make money to bring home food.” To help with expenses, he enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school; predictably, he joined a band with a group of soldiers who played in officers’ clubs. He also enrolled in the paratrooper program with the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and enthusiastically completed the intense seven-week training. After the first jump, “I was overwhelmed so much,” he recalls. “I could not sleep for days. I was so fascinated by what happened that I couldn’t get enough of it!” He was so obsessed that he often offered to jump for other soldiers after exchanging their jackets and dog tags. “I did over 80 jumps in the couple of years that I was there. I got on plane loads that I wasn’t even assigned to, and I still got to jump.“I was fascinated with it!” Sonny D declares.; After leaving the army, he participated in “sport parachuting.” He became a “parachuting legend” who pioneered aerodynamic technology for Parachute Incorporated; published an article in a national parachuting magazine; directed 11 world meets in Lake Placid, New York; and earned a set of commemorative gold wings and notable standing within the United States Parachute Association’s Hall of Fame in California for successfully completing 1,000 free falls. In total, he made over 3,000 jumps, and lexingtonlife.com

the only injuries he ever incurred were “a few raspberries.” Still, Sonny D was drawn to New York City, where the eclectic and thriving music scene offered exciting opportunities for a young musician to explore and enrich his skills. “My musical training came from the ‘school of hard knocks,’” he says, “just playing with the best of the best. There were times I played with guys – not to make money but to get better.” Several well-known doo-wop groups Sonny D joined on stage included The Five Satins, The Tune Weavers, and The Drifters. He eventually landed a long-term gig with a five-piece horn band called Joe Premont and the Paramount at the Wagon Wheel club on 42nd Street. Next door was a similar establishment known as the Peppermint Lounge, where Joey Dee and the Starliters were featured regularly. One evening, Joey Dee invited Sonny D to come to their weekly jam and teach him “some things on the sax.” He gladly accepted the offer and was surprised to find himself playing along with a young Jimi Hendrix, a renowned American musician who strummed his guitar left-handed and upside down. Years later, he saw Jimi Hendrix again at Woodstock in 1969, where for three days, Sonny D slept in a Chevrolet van on top of a B3 organ. “I was there, but I didn’t play,” he says. “When I was looking at Jimi Hendrix from where I was standing, he looked like an ant, we were so far back.” Although Sonny D was living the musical American dream, he also married, became a father, bought a Harley, and launched a successful 28-year career in the heating-and-air-conditioning industry. As an employee of the Subzero Refrigerator Company, “I was their national district service manager for 11 states in the whole southeast of the United States.” By the late eighties, he had relocated to the south and continued to expand his repertoire. He mastered southern rock by joining the Georgia Sun Band and played with Henry Parilla for twenty years in Atlanta. While living in Georgia, he backed up jazz and blues singers Trudy Lynn, Sweet Betty, and Francine Reed in a Sports Illustrated Magazine-sponsored event for the 1996 Olympics. During one of their rehearsals, he was unexpectedly handpicked to play with Huey Lewis and the February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 43

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News, the main act. After the show, representatives from Sports Illustrated gifted the band with signature 1996 Olympic jackets, and Huey Lewis “came over to me,” says Sonny D, “and he gave me his jacket and said, ‘You earned this big time, man.’ I have that jacket to this day, hanging in my closet.” This is where Lexington comes into the journey. In 2003, Sonny D moved to Lexington County to be closer to one of his sons in Irmo. Since arriving here, he has joined two new bands, Sonny D and Ambience and Elliott and the Untouchables, and has hung out his own solo-act shingle as Saxsational. Clips of his performances can be found on YouTube, and he and his enterprises pro-

“When you hear me, you’ll see a guy who closes his eyes and creates a story” vide contact information on Facebook as well as on the www.elliottandtheuntouchables.com website for scheduling shows. Elliott and the Untouch-


ables has a long-running gig at Biltmore Estates, several times a year; Sonny D also plays regularly with his bands at the Social Grill in the Ballentine area,

the Keg Cowboy Bar and Restaurant in Lexington, and The Joint and the Main Course restaurants in downtown Columbia. “I play six to seven hours sometimes and play gigs,” says Sonny D. After years of dedication to his craft, he has mastered the alto, tenor, soprano, and baritone saxophones and has even worked up a solo-duet act by playing both the alto and tenor saxophones at the same time. He can also musically enhance any private or public event by performing alone on his Yamaha wind controller, a complex musical device that enables him to produce a big band sound with hightech computerized equipment. “I’m a Texas Tenor sound,” he explains. “It’s very old school. If you listen to music back in the sixties, fifties, and forties, I’m big-time into that sound. That’s a lost sound in the saxophone business world, and I do it naturally.” “When you hear me, you’ll see a guy who closes his eyes and creates a story,” says Sonny D. “That’s what I do in every solo I play. It’s a story to talk to the people, so I can make them feel better and do what I can to make people happy. I do it because I love doing it!” n

February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 45

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Lexington County Sheriff’s Department

Citizens Academy

by Linnette Rochelle

Lexington County’s sheriff’s department works hard to serve and protect the county’s residents. The department patrols the streets, responds to calls for service, provides holding facilities, helps small municipalities and assists with various services throughout the community. Within its policing role, the department cross-references with other agencies and entities such as SLED and is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agency, which is the gold standard for law enforcement. The sheriff’s department works with the community through many events, including but not limited to coat, food, and toy drives, Special Olympics, and neighborhood watch programs. With a citizenship of 300,000 and growing, the sheriff’s department actively recruits new deputies and is always looking for volunteers to help with community events and various programs such as the Jailbreak 5K, Jailbreak 5K Urban Challenge Run, Annual Deputy of the Year Awards Banquet, Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation Shootout, etc. Weekly volunteer opportunities and more and be found at lexingtoncountysheriffsfoundation.com. Lexington county’s men and women in blue work 24/7 to serve the community. One method of teaching residents about the services of the sheriff’s department is done through the Citizens Academy, which is an eight-week training course for citi48 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021


zens to learn about the sheriff’s department – its history, organization, and services. When in session, classes meet on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Each week, a meal is provided and a different department unit or bureau is covered, with graduation on the final week. Week One: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department History. Each citizen is given a book about the department and an ID, and time is spent going over class policy. Participants are introduced to staff members in charge of the various departments and given the history of the sheriff’s department as well as an overview of department operations. A frequent topic of discussion is the population growth of Lexington County and the ongoing need for deputy recruits. Week Two: Narcotics Unit. Citizens learn about what is happening in their community with drug activity, opioid addictions, and the use of Narcan, which is a medication used to revive someone who has overdosed on opioids so he/she can

receive further treatment. The citizens also learn about gang activity in the community and how the department addresses these activities. Week Three: Crime Scene Investigations. Participants get access to a mock crime scene, which includes dusting for, taping, and pulling laten prints and then processing them in the AFIS system for matching. They also learn about blood-spatter patterns. Week Four: Firearms and Explosives. Citizens are taken to the Sheriff Lewis McCarty Firearms Range for hands-on experience with firearms, which includes shooting on the range. Participants also observe an EOD (explosives demonstration). Week Five: Shoot/Don’t Shoot and Domestic Violence. lexingtonlife.com

The academy goes over rules of engagement regarding when to shoot and when not to shoot. This includes simunition, i.e., reality-based scenario training. In the simunition, the participant is placed in a virtual situation similar to what deputies face on a daily basis. The firearms are pressurized to allow for a realistic recoil as if firing a real firearm. In real time, you must identify the threat, the level of threat, determine the appropriate force the situation requires, and respond accordingly. As a point of interest, deputies also utilize this type of training twice a year, which includes two daytime simunitions and one low-light or dusk simunition. When it comes to domestic violence (DV), the Citizens Academy goes over state statutes, deputy experience, and the circle of violence, which consists of the honeymoon phase, verbal abuse, and physical abuse. Dating violence is included in this training as well. Since DV is the No. 1 call LCSD deputies receive on a daily basis, it is imperative for them to understand the circle of violence and its cyclical nature, be able to recognize it, and know how to respond appropriately to each domestic situation. On October 5, 2017, during domestic violence (DV) awareness month, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon wrote on his blog about how DV “threatens the fabric of society.” He defines it as “one person’s need to control another in order to feel powerful.” He points out that, rather than asking why a person stays in an abusive relationship, we need to ask what barriers prevent a victim from leaving an abusive relationship. He goes on to explain that DV is not partial. It can happen to “anyone of any race, age, religion, or gender … (to) couples who are married, living together, or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. No one is immune.” Sheriff Koon talks about the need for every citizen to get involved by changing how one views and thinks about DV, by modeling healthy relationships in your own life, and by reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors to find out what is going on in one’s relationships. He says, “It’s not nosiness; it’s caring.” Sheriff Koon ends his blog post by emphasizing that domestic violence is a societal issue requiring everyone to work together to end it. Week Six: Special Operations Division. This division includes Marine Patrol, the bomb truck and robot, and the K-9 Unit. Lexington County Sheriff’s Department’s Marine Patrol unit assists in crossing Lake Murray for a quicker response time during calls for service. They are also responsible for patrolling the majority of Lake Murray for boating safety and emergencies. Lexington County also has its own bomb squad equipped with a robot and bomb truck. The Citizens Academy goes over protocol in regard to how to deal with bombs and the use of the robot and bomb truck. The class is also given a demonstration of the sheriff’s K-9 unit, including a summary of the K-9s’ training, their gear, which includes bulletproof vests, and laws protecting them. Lexington County has a full K-9 unit, which is now made up of nine dogs. Week Seven: Detention Bureau. Class participants are given a tour (all visual via security cameras currently due to COVID-19) of the detention facilities. The class is introduced to the staff and taken through the steps of booking inmates, including the fingerprinting process. The class learns how inmates are classified and housed in appropriate facilities. It is shown the medical wing and the cells and witnesses how February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 49

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meals are dispersed. Being a detention facility only, Lexington County holds inmates until they are sentenced and then sends them to other long-term facilities such as the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Week Eight: Graduation. Every citizen who has made it through training receives a certificate of appreciation and a challenge coin, an item usually only given to deputies. A challenge coin is typically given by a superior officer, the purpose of which is to build morale and encourage members of the unit to go above and beyond the call of duty. Much like a certificate, the coins are often given as a recognition of achievement. Though no one knows for sure, the most popular story of the challenge coin’s origin is of an American soldier in World War II who was captured by the Germans. He was stripped of all his personal effects except for a leather pouch that hung around his neck. The pouch contained a coin that had been given to him by his commanding officer and was stamped with his unit’s insignia. Escaping from the Germans, he was captured by the French, as he tried to cross into allied territory. The French were going to execute him since they could not secure his identity. When his coin was discovered, the insignia was recognized and the execution postponed until his identity was verified. It is thought that the term “challenge coin” came about as a result of his identity being challenged and the coin being his only proof of identity, which ended up saving his life. Challenge coins have become a sacred tradition. All branches of military give out challenge coins as well as the POTUS police forces and fire departments, according to Sergeant 1st Class Gogan of the US Army (YouTube). So, at the graduation ceremony of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Citizens Academy, Sheriff Jay Koon presents each graduate with a challenge coin from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department as a show of accomplishment. The purpose of the Citizens Academy is to educate Lexington County residents about the sheriff’s department, to build rapport between law enforcement and the community it protects and serves and to inform the participants of laws which enable them to better protect themselves and their neighbors. The program is also designed to acquaint the residents of Lexington County with the goals, objectives, organizational structure, and general operation procedures of the sheriff’s department and to promote goodwill, mutual understanding, and community support. Conducted twice a year (March–May and August–September), the program consists of 27 hours of training. To sign up for the Citizens Academy, you must be at least 18 years of age and pass a criminal background check. For more information, please go to lexingtonscsheriff.com/citizens-academy. n 50 | LEXINGTON LIFE | February 2021

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Meal Planning

Myths Debunked by Kristen Carter


eciding what to eat can be a challenge, even for a household of one. Being caught off guard when you are “hangry” can lead to unhealthy and unwise food choices, causing you to eat whatever happens to be available at the time. Organized, personalized, advance meal planning has grown in popularity over the last few years. What was once reserved for stay-at-home-moms and those in charge of large organizations is now a worldwide phenomenon. Having a basic plan for your meals can save money, save time in the store and in the kitchen, save your sanity, and can take a lot of the guesswork out of the dreaded question: “What’s for dinner tonight?” Creating and adhering to a plan for a few days or a week can be intimidating to consider, and making the actual schedule can be time consuming and boring if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are seven of the most common myths that cause people to hesitate in creating a meal plan, and the solutions. As you will see, these obstacles are so easy to work around, you’ll wonder why you didn’t get started much sooner. Myth #1: Meal planning is too much work. This will be easier if you are prepared. There are can be many small steps, and your success depends almost entirely

on your ability to plan ahead. However, there are also ways to make it easier to follow the plan, such as batch work, which makes everything more streamlined and allows the task to feel nearly effortless. In time, the meal planning process will become second nature, and you will realize it is easier to follow the plan than it is to stray from it. Myth #2: There are too many meals to plan. Many people make planning meals more complicated than it needs to be. There’s no real need to stress over organizing every meal of every day. If your kids have eaten cereal every morning for years, there’s no reason you need to change that up now. Keeping your pantry stocked with staples -- items you and your family eat regularly -- allows you to take the “easy way out” while still sticking to the plan. There’s nothing saying that your meal plan needs to be complicated. Myth #3: It’s too hard to make steady progress. Most people are too ambitious with their expectations of meal planning for the family. Although you want to meet your personal goal, the final selections should be moderately convenient, budget friendly and nutritious. Do not try to make huge changes overnight; small lifestyle changes are far more sustainable,

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and in most cases, healthier, too. Myth #4: Having dinner delivered is just too tempting. You can still order dinner our every now and then if your budget allows it and your choices are smart. There’s no harm in letting someone else cook dinner from time to time. Many families use meal planning as a way to minimize expenses, and that may make it feel like you can’t deviate from the plan. By carving out a little room in the budget for days you don’t have the time or energy to cook, you still get the cost-cutting benefits of meal planning without feeling cut off from restaurants and delivery services. Myth #5: Meal planning takes too much time for busy families. While it is true that coming up with a meal plan takes time out of your busy day, it’s also true that an effective plan saves you time at the grocery store, and saves you time in the kitchen. Some sites, apps and blogs offer ready-made meal planning subscriptions, where the administrator charges a small fee in exchange for cultivating the meal plan for you. These plans will need to be tailored to your family’s individual needs. Whether you let someone else do most of the work or you dive in head-first, carve out a specific time each week to do your meal planning and prepping. Sticking to the


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same routine allows it to become habit, and in time, you’ll get even quicker at it. Myth #6: Getting the kids to eat is hard enough as it is. Every parent has dealt with picky kids at least once in their lives. Whether it’s your own kids or their friends or cousins, picky eating definitely makes things more difficult. By allowing your children to be a part of the meal planning process, they’re more likely to at least try to eat the new foods you present to them. Even young kids can help pick some meals for the weekly plan. Older children can help with shopping, recipe-finding, and cooking. When you let them help with dinner, you are helping them to appreciate the costs and efforts involved, encouraging them to accept healthier or more diverse cuisines, and you could even be inspiring a life-long love of cooking. Myth #7: Planning out every dinner for the rest of your life is so boring. Planning ahead has a negative reputation with most people, but the greatest joy in meal planning is how much you can customize it. If your family is bored by the planning process, consider implementing a rotating system. In this method, the plan only needs to be done occasionally, as the meals repeat every few weeks. For those who need more variety, a meal delivery kit can alleviate the stress of planning and shopping while still allowing you to try new things. You’re only limited by your own creativity and how much work you’re personally willing to do. Planning meals does not have to be difficult. With proper preparation, expectations and reasonable goals, meal planning can simplify your life on a daily basis. Give these tips a try and see how easy it can be! n

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A Labor of Amick’s Guns by Tyler Ryan

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A father and son walking into the woods to hunt deer is a Midlands tradition as well as a rite of passage. However, it was not just a tradition for Jimmy and Brad Amick. Each time Jimmy guided 8-year-old Brad through the steps of dressing appropriately, preparing and checking gear, trekking through the woods and climbing into a stand, he was creating a bond that would not only lead his son into a love and respect for firearms but would also lead to a life in public service. As a child, Brad learned from his father how to clean guns, shoot straight, and hunt safely, but he also witnessed Jimmy serve the community as a member of the Lexington County Fire Service – a calling he would answer for over 35 years. Amick’s Guns, the father and son business, came about naturally. In 1994, a friend asked Jimmy to help him fix the firing pin in one of his guns. This led to a deeper look into the mechanics of guns for Jimmy and, ultimately, additional requests from friends. “I’ve always been good with my hands, and everyone knew it,” Jimmy recalls. “It really got me interested, so I started tinkering with some other ones, and it just kind of worked its way up to a business.” The business originally operated out of a camper in the family’s backyard in Gas-


ton. Jimmy quickly became known as a gunsmith around town; business was good, profitable, and consistent. In 1995, as Jimmy was finding a new passion after over three decades in fire service, Brad graduated high school (where he was a competitive shooter) and became a paramedic for Lexington County. In 1998, he joined the police force, working full-time as an officer for Springdale and then West Columbia. While working in law enforcement, Brad’s passion for guns continued to grow. He acquired first-hand knowledge regarding tactics and safety while working in narcotics and then with the NET Team, which specializes in high-risk cases that often involve firearms. Business in the Amick’s backyard continued to increase, and Brad pitched in as much as he could between shifts at the police department. “It was pretty tight,” Jimmy remarks. “Brad would have to move out of the way for me to work, and I would have to move for him.” Brad explains the hardship: “I remember Dad saying, ‘At some point, this is all going to be yours, and if we are going to make it grow, we have to be here,’ but after working 50 to 60 hours a week in law enforcement, there just wasn’t a lot of time to help at the shop.” While serving as a police officer, Brad was also a volunteer fireman and had an opportunity to join the fire service full-time in 2005. The transition made sense from a business standpoint. Most law enforcement agencies are active for 10- or 12-hour shifts; fire service is often active for 24-hour shifts. This meant that, although the days would be very long, there would be many more opportunities to work uninterrupted in the gun business. For 22 years, the two Amicks continued to build their business and reputation, branching out into the training world and competitive shooting. “About three years ago, we noticed business picking up more, and we realized we needed to expand. So, we decided to go for it,” Brad says. In early 2019, the two men found a location that they felt would be perfect for what would become the traditional “storefront” right next to the airport. The location had room for a retail section, included a workshop that provided plenty of space for Jimmy and Brad to work alongside each other, had an additional building that could lexingtonlife.com

Amicks Guns

2335 Airport Boulevard, West Columbia 29170 Amicksguns.com • 803-796-1376 Hours: Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

be used for training and education, and had space for future expansion. By September, the shop located at 2335 Airport Boulevard in West Columbia was open to receive customers for business. There was no looking back, as firearms continue to be a huge business today. There are three large groups that drive the gun industry, according to Brad: 1) The Second Amendment supporters, who carry firearms for safety and defense of their homes and families; 2) game hunters; and 3) competitive shooters. There is one constant, however, when it comes to firearms – the need for training and safety. “When we were writing up the plan, we wanted to make sure there was a training division and facility, where we could provide quality, structured professional training,” Brad says. More and more people are buying firearms, which is a separate nuance from experienced sportsmen who know their way around a gun. “We are in turbulent times, and people are buying guns who never would have before,” Brad continues, “which leads to the need for extensive instruction. We tell people to come see us before you buy a gun,” reflecting their desire to match the customer with

“I get to work with my Dad and two of my daughters work the front counter. It truly is a family business.”

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the right gun for their goals. “Some stores will sell the gun they want to sell rather than the gun that is right for the new owner,” Jimmy explains. “It is about getting the right gun according to your budget, use, and ability,” says Brad, “It is the personal aspect that makes the difference.” The Amicks are proud of their philosophy that selling the right firearm is more important than selling the one that will make the largest profit. Brad points out the purpose of the gun should be first and foremost when one is making a decision. “Educate yourself on what you are looking for, then shop. Browse many different stores; just because someone tells you that one particular gun is what you need doesn’t make it necessarily true. The equipment is just one part of the equation of owning a gun.” An increase in gun ownership is evident across all demographics, ages, and professions. “There seems to be a large amount of women buying guns for personal protection ... especially housewives who want to learn how to carry and operate their gun safely,” says Brad. This

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has led to more specific group-training programs geared to the unique needs and goals of the gun owner. “There is a lot more to owning a gun than knowing how to load it and pull the trigger,” Jimmy explains. To meet that need, the Amicks offer various programs for all levels – from the amateur owner to the competitive shooter, hunters, and even specialized professionals such as police SWAT team members. One of the most popular and basic classes for someone who doesn’t have a lot of gun experience is the Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP). It allows South Carolina citizens to carry a firearm in their daily life with several restrictions for personal protection. From there, there are tactics that are important – in other words, how to safely use a firearm for protection of the owner and the family. Although sales and training are a large part of the future of firearms, at the end of the day, Jimmy and Brad Amick are, essentially, gunsmiths. “This is the company that Dad started, and it is our bread and butter,” Brad says of the repair

side of the business. “There are a lot of guys that take a few courses and claim to be gunsmiths but are really nothing more than part swappers. Our guys are all specially trained above and beyond basic armorers.” Jimmy Amick’s backyard gunsmithing company has now grown to over 10 employees, constantly expanding and evolving their services as demand increases. Personalized sales, guaranteed quality service, and superior educational resources are provided in the name of safety with the goal of treating customers like family. While the two men are passionate about the business that has been built, they fondly remember the tying bind of the “hunt” that brought the success. When asked who the better shot is, Brad says, “When I shoot a deer, I only shoot once.” Jimmy says, “I only shoot once, too,” to which Brad laughs and lovingly replies, “And then he shoots again.” “It’s really cool, actually,” admits Brad. “I get to work with my Dad and two of my daughters work the front counter. It truly is a family business.” n


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Food to Fall in


SEAFOOD BAKE FOR TWO 4 oz. halibut fillets 6 scallops 6 peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp, tail still attached 1/3 c. dry white wine 2 tbsp. melted butter 1 tbsp. lemon juice ½ tsp. seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™ 1 tsp. minced garlic Salt and pepper to taste 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley Preheat oven to 450 degrees F; arrange the halibut, scallops, and shrimp in an oven-safe, glass baking dish. Drizzle with wine, butter, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the seasoning and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven until the halibut has turned white, and is flaky, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. MOIST AND TENDER FILET MIGNON 2- 8 oz. (1 inch thick) filet mignon steaks 2 tsp. olive oil 1/4 tsp. onion powder Salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp. minced shallot 2 slices bacon Place oven rack in its highest position; set oven to broil. Rub steaks all over with olive lexingtonlife.com

oil. Sprinkle with onion powder, then with salt and pepper. Wrap one slice of bacon around each steak, and secure with a toothpick. Place steaks onto a broiler pan, and broil for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the steaks over and sprinkle the tops with shallots. Broil for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to preferred wellness. STUFFED STRAWBERRIES 1- pint fresh strawberries 1- 8 Oz. package cream cheese, softened

½ c. confectioners’ sugar, or to taste 2 tbsp. orange flavored liqueur, or to taste Cut the tops off of the strawberries and stand upright on the cut side. Make a cut 3/4 of the way down from the tip of the strawberry towards the bottom. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and liqueur until smooth in a mixer or a food processor. Place into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe into each strawberry and arrange on a serving platter. Enjoy! n February 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 65

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The Trembling Time

I’m the luckiest man alive.

Imperfect but brilliant God-fearing parents instilled a love of learning. The occasional whoopin’ taught right from wrong. An exceptional high-school teacher inspired a lifelong love of history, so I would know Liberty’s price. We learned fundamentals: “What goes up, must come down. Your word is your bond, son. Everything you do comes back to you. Love your neighbor as yourself.” A flawed man saw a burning bush, and led his people from bondage by way of lamb’s blood. This story intertwined with a shepherd boy using a slingshot and a river rock to slay Goliath. As kids we recognized the fire of pledging lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. We wondered at men who declared: “Give me Liberty, or give me death!” We marvelled at men like our fathers and their musket-loading wives standing down the world’s mightiest army. We wondered why a Teacher who could heal the sick would willingly be crucified. We were mystified at hearing He did it for us. We learned how our freedom ended when it infringed on the rights of others. We looked forward to voting for trusted people in sacred elections to serve on our behalf.

He described the screaming terror of straining futility as the burning Arizona scorched his face, and the relief of suddenly hearing a man yell: “I got it!” Uncle Bob dove behind a bulkhead as Japanese machine gun bullets blazed into the deck where he’d been standing. We learned how a few “Community Organizers” took over Russia in 1917. We heard how these Communists convinced Russian leadership to betray their own country, and how these “leaders” were then called “useful idiots” and executed alongside millions of others. We recoiled at how property was seized. We vowed with innocent conviction to never allow this to happen here. It’s been 50-odd years since those fundamental days. I’ve travelled this country and had deep conversations with all types of people. Each one mentioned the certainty of a final accounting: Every time we were mean to a puppy or lied to Mama or our spouse or ourselves, every prayer we ever scoffed at and every person we killed with thoughts, every time we insincerely pledged allegiance to The Flag, every game we ever cheated at, and every cookie we ever stole. Millions of rippling pages will whisper in cavernous silence while a Blazing Fire searches The Book for our name. We’ll sense an unseen man on either side of ourselves. Now is The Trembling Time. One man leads to unending fire. Choose wisely so The Other One takes your hand.

Losing at ball games taught us to strive harder together so we’d get a winner’s trophy. We shook hands with our opponents after every game. I was spellbound by my Uncle Bob’s story of a Hawaiian Sunday morning on the Tennessee. He told how 250 sailors pulled on a two-inch mooring cable to gain enough slack to release them from the sinking Arizona. lexingtonlife.com

David Clark writes and works in Cochran, GA. Connect with him at cw.w4trj@gmail.com.

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