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Patricia Morgenstern Chester, SC

Early Detection is the Best Treatment Last year, Patricia Morgenstern of Chester learned she had lung cancer through Lexington Medical Cancer Center’s lung screening program. Because she got screened, her cancer was discovered and treated before it could spread, proving that early detection is always the best treatment. At Lexington Medical Cancer Center, we treat cancer successfully every day. But we’d rather find it early so there’s a better chance for a cure.

At Lexington Medical Cancer Center, finding cancer early isn’t just your fight. It’s our fight, too.

LexMed.com/Fight lexingtonlife.com

July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 3

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Have you ever had braces on your teeth? If so, you understand. If not, consider yourself about to be educated. My youngest son, Noah, recently turned 14 and had top and bottom braces installed last week on his teeth. In my opinion, the set of teeth you get in your mouth is highly reliant on the genetics of your mother and father. In other words, our family was in trouble. I had braces twice as a kid and so have my daughter and wife. Noah was excited to get braces. However, his excitement soon wore off when his sore gums and teeth were extremely sensitive. He was limited to a diet of “mushy” foods that he could eat without really chewing. For a week, his diet comprised of Rush’s milkshakes, KFC mashed potatoes, and Bojangles mac & cheese. A small part of me was envious. I sometimes forget about suffering through wearing a headgear at night, retainers, wires poking into cheeks, rubber bands and the dreaded orthodontist visits when the braces are tightened, and you have sore teeth all over again. Noah has been a good sport through it all and I am thankful that we are able to afford orthodontic care for our family. He has been great brushing after meals and, as if on cue, his voice has begun cracking like Peter on the Brady Bunch. Adolescence is upon him this summer. Please be sure to nominate your favorite local businesses at: lexingtonlife.com or irmochapinlife.com. Have a great summer and enjoy all our wonderful area has to offer. Thanks Mom & Dad for making me a “metal mouth” as a kid. I appreciate it more now than you will ever know. Thanks for reading, Todd Shevchik

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


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


EDITOR Kristi Antley lexlifeeditor@gmail.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Candace Brown, Renee Love, Jackie Perrone, Marcy Roberts, Bill Shanahan, Marilyn Thomas, Kim Becknell Williams

EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Tracy Tuten tracy.tuten@outlook.com 803-603-8187

STAFF PHOTO BY Clark Berry Photography

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

Kristi An

tley, Kim Curl Donna Sh ee, Cam Soltysiak, evchik, To Tr dd Shevch acy Tuten, ik,

contents Features


12 Getting to Know Local Authors 18 Back to School Shopping Budget Tips 22 The Healing Power of Laughter 28 Blowfish Baseball 34 Local Open Air Markets

7 From the Publisher 8 Events 11 Lexington Leader


Columns 9 Faith Matters 47 David Clark



22 July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 7


Saturday, July 17th 1940’s Theme Canteen Dance, 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. American Legion Post 7 Hall, 211 Legion Dr., Lexington A nostalgic 1940’s Canteen Dance featuring authentic 1930’s & 40’s music and entertainment, reenactors, memorabilia, a period canteen with snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, door prizes and more! 1940’s period military or civilian dress is encouraged but not required! Fun for all ages, come and dance the night away or just sit back and enjoy the entertainment! Tickets are limited; $10 RSVP or $20 at the door); free for WWII Veterans, visit sites.rootsweb.com or email pss_nyz@yahoo.com for more information. Saturday, July 24th and Sunday, July 25th S. C. Carolina Arms Collectors Gun and Knife Show Jamil Shrine Center, 206 Jamil Rd., Columbia, Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Whether you’re in the market for something or not, going to a gun show is always fun and can be an educational social event. Ticket prices are $10 adults, $8 with military ID, 12 Yrs. & under are free when accompanied by an adult. For more information refer to scgunshows.com. Thursday, July 15th Animalia and Random Acts of Kindness Performance, 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main St., Lexington It’s a double f eature, p erfect for the entire family! Animalia: Panthers, koalas and fish - oh my! Join Dr. Knows A. Lot as he explores a whimsical world in Animalia with dance and circus acts. The cast of Random Acts of Kindness will demonstrate their love for each other and the audience with their impressive skills in dance and circus arts. This show will entertain and warm your heart. Tickets are $20 for adults, ages 3-10 are $15, visit eventbrite.com.

Submit your event info five weeks in advance to lexlifeevents@gmail.com. Events will be included as space permits. 8 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021


Pastor Jim Glatz Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church 5503 Sunset Blvd., Lexington (803)359-7770 | Saxegotha.org

The Midlands Arts Conservatory prepares students for arts-related careers, a lifelong appreciation of the arts, and for high-quality post-secondary studies. The school provides an arts-enriched personalized learning environment, integrating academic rigor and quality arts instruction for all students. We are now enrolling for grades 6-10 for the 2021-2022 school year.

3806 North Main St, Columbia, SC 29203 Phone: (803) 799-9388 www.MidlandsArtsConservatory.org

Happy 4th of July!

Independence Day – the Fourth of July – marks the day that the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were free from British rule. The actual vote to declare independence took place two days earlier on July 2, 1776. We, as Americans, value our freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom to bear arms are all part of the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. Many brave men and women have died and continue to die to protect our freedoms. A good question to ponder is, “Is freedom good in and of itself?” Or, in other words, is freedom intrinsically good? While some may insist that freedom is intrinsically good, it may not be, because our freedom can be used for good or evil. Freedom without a moral compass or sense of mutual responsibility creates chaos in which the law of the jungle rules. Such a time existed in the Old Testament book of the Judges when “everyone did as he saw fit.” (Judges 21:25) Even today, many people view freedom as the ability to do pretty much whatever they want. The Apostle Paul taught that our freedom could be used for either good or evil. Consequently, he warned the Christians, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13) We are free in Christ so that we can serve God and others. While we, as human beings, can make choices, we are never really free since we are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. (Romans 6:16) Our choices can be in the service of sin or Christ. As Bob Dylan sang, But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes Indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody So, in this month in which we celebrate our freedom, let us ask, “How am I using my freedom? Is it in the service of my Lord and others? Or is it to serve my sinful nature?” n Sunday Worship Services: Traditional 8:30 a.m. Contemporary 10:45 a.m. | Traditional 11:00 a.m.

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by Jackie Perrone

Barbara Willm Trailblazer Barbara Willm has led medical professionals down paths that previously had not even existed, but later turned into superhighways. She identifies a need, figures out a way to meet it, invents a name for the program, and Presto! New services for a growing community arise. Now this experienced medico is retiring after 35 years at Lexington Medical Center and looking back on some of the amazing things she was a part of there. It’s a gratifying reflection. “I started life in Walhalla, SC,” she says, “arrived in Columbia in time for high school at the old Columbia High, and then on to earn a B.S. in Nursing at the University of South Carolina. For three years I worked in Florence, where I met a techie named Dale Willm assigned to the Operating Room.” She continues, “Then I landed a job at Richland Hospital, where they trained me for the O.R., and I spent five years there. When there was an opening at Lexington Medical in the O.R., I made the move.” Barbara began her LexMed work at the new Urgent Care facility in Irmo, the first in the Columbia area, and when the director there moved on to other responsibilities, she took over the position. “Later, we opened a facility in Swansea. We came up with the name Community Medical Center, opening sites rapidly in Gilbert, Batesburg-Leesville, Chapin, West Columbia, and Lexington. LexMed was needed everywhere, and we found a way to make it happen.” The pathway took another turn when LexMed established Community Relations and Development for the Lexington Medical Center Foundation, with Barbara Willm as Vice-President. “I wrote my own job description,” she says. “We wanted to serve patients wherever they were, fundraise for medical needs, and let everyone know we were here to help them.” Barbara has served on many boards, including chambers of commerce, medical clinics, and Midlands Technical College Foundation. She has been chairman of most of them and has received awards such as Key to the City (Greater Irmo), Woman of Distinction (Girl Scouts), and Lifetime Achievement (Greater Irmo and Cayce-West-Columbia). Her colleagues have called her mentor, coach, leader, and inspiration to the entire community. Her husband Dale is newly retired after a lustrous career at Johnson Controls. They have two children: daughter Hallie, an attorney, and son Rob, on staff at Nephron, and one grandson. n lexingtonlife.com

July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 11

Getting to Know

Local Authors

by Marilyn Thomas

Not everyone is a natural-born reader, but with enough practice, you can enjoy reading as a quick escape from reality, even if only for a few minutes a day. Words can be powerful tools. Precise and expressive language is critical to relay one’s intended message to the reader. Whether carved in wood, scribbled in pencil, typed, or printed, sentences are crafted to inspire, entertain, inform, encourage, enlighten, and educate. As we visualize the finesse, character, and energy of an author, we form vivid images in our minds, thereby challenging and promoting our personal growth. Regardless of which type of literature you choose, reading on a daily basis improves memory, vocabulary, health, and relationships. We are fortunate to have many gifted writers within our community that take pleasure in sharing their experiences, dreams, thoughts, and observations with readers. Take a few minutes to become acquainted with these wordsmiths; connect with them as they take you on their journey of expression and freedom through writing.

Tom Poland “I like what Cormac McCarthy has to say about being a writer: ‘I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it,’” says Tom Poland, a prolific, fulltime Southern writer and amateur photographer who originally hails from Georgia but now claims Irmo as his home. “I started early, at age nine, when I won an honorable mention in an essay contest in the Augusta Chronicle,” he recalls. Throughout his young life, his interest in writing continued to develop, and while enrolled at the University of Georgia, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism as well as a master’s in media. “I moved here in 1974,” he says, “to teach at Columbia College for four years, after which I went to South Carolina Wildlife Magazine, where I worked in film and then for the magazine as a managing editor.” Additionally, he has taught at Midlands Technical College and the University of South Carolina (USC). Mr. Poland’s work, which earned him the Order of the Palmetto in 2018, mostly focuses on nonfiction, and as “a few titles of interest,” he names The Last Sunday Drive, Classic Carolina Road Trips, Reflections of South Carolina I & II, Carolina Bays, Wild, Mysterious, and Majestic Landforms, and Georgialina, A Southland As We Knew It. The inspiration for his subject matter evolves from “my days as a wildlife and natural history writer for South Carolina Wildlife,” he explains. “I like to write, so when I see a subject I know people will enjoy, it motivates me to put plans for a book together. I try to show people what they miss by taking the same frequently traveled highways all the time. I also write about all things Southern, like our Southern landscape, traditions, lost ways, and interesting characters.”

“Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed.” -Red Smith 12 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021


Scott Vaughan “Read, read, read, read. To be a good writer, you must love to read,” advises Scott Vaughan, another journalism-degreed graduate from the University of Georgia, and long-time Lexington transplant. He and his wife Vicki moved their family to the area thirty years ago so he could take the post of publisher-editor at Lexington’s Dispatch-News. “I enjoy creative writing, reading, gardening, and exercise,” says Mr. Vaughan, who is also a Bible study teacher at Lexington Baptist, former coach for Lexington Dixie Baseball League, and an entertainer for private events. “In 2017, I joined the staff of The Cooperative Ministry in Columbia as Director of Community Awareness,” he adds. “I began writing short stories in the third grade,” he recalls, and “Technically, through newspapers and magazines, I have been published for almost fifty years. But independent publishing is a new hobby.” His first book, Brookwood Road, released in 2014, is a fictionalized account of his childhood adventures on the farm. It is also the fulfillment of a promise he made to his late father immediately before his passing. “I’m so thankful that he knew I wrote that book and that he could share some of his recollections of farm life through me,” he says. “From there, I started publishing a book


every two years or so,” he says, and since then, he has written four additional novels: Elm Street (2016), Hickory Trail (2018), The Beauty Queen & The Reporter (2019), and Nine Innings (2021). “In Lexington, all of my books are autographed and available at Kitty’s Hallmark,” he adds. “Readers can also buy direct from me, and I will autograph and personalize the book.” “I write for an audience of one – me,” says Mr. Vaughan. “If others are blessed by what I write, they are moved to emotion, or they make a connection with a story, there’s nothing better than hearing about that. I’ve been blessed to hear from people all over the country who have enjoyed Brookwood Road and relate, ‘That was my life on the farm!’” Sabrina Henne Local realtor, entrepreneur, and newly published author Sabrina Henne says, “I think I always wanted to write a book.” This eight-year resident of Lexington is married with two daughters and is a graduate from High Point University in North Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a concentration in marketing. In addition to writing, she also enjoys fashion designing, traveling, reading, working out, golfing, and sewing. “Basically, my publisher found me, and they believed I had certain qualities that they needed in order to impact the world in a positive way,” she says of the recent debut of her international publication, Beyond Success with Sabrina Henne. Prior to this achievement, Ms. Henne had also self-published a small branding book called How to Sell Your Home for More Money. Matt Morris, Ms. Henne’s friend and mentor whom she met in a travel club, recommended Ms. Henne to Success Publishing when the company was seeking unique voices for a new self-development book line. “They sent me an application to be an author,” she says, and after an intensive interview process, she was selected as one of the thirty-one writers featured in the publication. The metaphorical experience and pivotal moment that inspired her chapter, which July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 13

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Anna Duvall and Crissy Roddy Both Anna Duvall and Crissy Roddy are Lexington residents who graduated from USC, and although Ms. Roddy grew up in the area, Ms. Duvall moved here from North Carolina to pursue a degree at the university. Coincidentally, Ms. Duvall met her husband, Nick, while in the Carolina Band, but they also became acquainted with Ms. Roddy’s husband, Mark, who was a fellow member of the group. The Duvall family are still dedicated Gamecocks who consider themselves “professional tailgators.” The Roddy clan also enjoys tailgating, traveling, and spending time outdoors. “I’m currently a leader in my daughter’s Girl Scout troop,” adds Ms. Roddy. Today, both Ms. Duvall and Ms. Roddy are highly credentialed professionals with extensive experience in psychological counseling who work within the realm of education. Ms. Duvall, who has a master’s in secondary school counseling and twenty-seven years’ experience in the field, is a school counselor and career specialist liaison for the South Carolina State Department of Education, while Ms. Roddy, with a Ph.D. in counselor education and eighteen years of career experience, is the director of counseling at White Knoll High School. “Aside from writing my dissertation,” says Ms. Roddy, “I’d never seen myself as a professional writer. I enjoyed writing

in my younger years, but never thought I would have a book on my bookshelf with my name on the spine.” Similarly, Ms. Duvall says, “I don’t like to write, so authoring a book was never a goal. I was approached by a publisher after presenting at a national conference on student anxiety. I never would have agreed to do this if I didn’t have Crissy at my side!” “We have seen an increase in student anxiety in recent years and feel strongly about helping our students cope with the stressors of their lives,” says Ms. Roddy. “While presenting on the topic of student anxiety, we thought a great deal about how to help students by teaching them specific strategies for decreasing their anxiety levels. We created an Anxiety Toolkit that students can tailor to fit their individual needs.” “We had been presenting on the topic of student anxiety at the state level,” continues Ms. Roddy. “My colleague Anna Duvall and I were approached by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) in late 2018 to write an article for their magazine on student anxiety. When presenting on this topic at the national ASCA conference in 2019, we were approached by a publisher and asked to write a professional book on student anxiety.” The result of that request is a publication entitled Managing Anxiety in School Settings: Creating a Survival Toolkit for Stu-

is entitled “The Stream,” occurred within the middle of a difficult custody battle. “When we are willing to share our deepest pain,” she says, “that’s how we can impact other people, so they know that someone else went through that, and it’s not as bad.” Her contribution within the book provides practical insight that she describes as “seven strategies on how to turn your life around,” and its “purpose is to make a positive impact on the world, globally,” she says. She adds, “But whatever you’re going through, even if your life is great, and you just want to do something to increase your production, increase your health benefit, I have the perfect seven steps for that.” lexingtonlife.com

July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 15

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dents. “It is intended for school counselors, teachers, and educational professionals that work with students in K-12 and postsecondary settings,” says Ms. Roddy. “School counselors are experiencing an exponential increase of students dealing with anxiety,” explains Ms. Duvall. “I wanted them to have a practical source they could pick up and use immediately to help their students. Remember, school counselors are responsible for the academic, career, and social/emotional domains for their students. It is increasingly difficult to be effective in all three areas at the same time. These professionals need quick, ready-to-use interventions.” The books also offers a personal touch from the authors. “The stories in the book are true,” adds Ms. Duvall, and the cover art features her daughter, Cayman, seated outside of the Lexington One Performing Arts Center at Lexington High School. “Since this first book was written for school counselors and other educators, we would like to create an Anxiety Toolkit workbook for students to use,” Ms. Roddy states, while Ms. Duvall mentions the possibility of creating “a companion book with activities that match the text” as well as a parent-friendly version of the book on this important topic. “We are very passionate about our profession,” Ms. Roddy concludes, “so we would love to continue our writing journey involving other school counseling topics.”

Summer James As soon as Summer James mastered the basics of writing, she penned her first manuscript, which she entitled, My Family Album: A Book of Fish, because, as a child, she and her family members swam almost daily. Still today, as a disc jockey for metropolitan-area FM station WTCB B106.7, she is known as the radio mermaid. A native South Carolinian, Summer pursued a degree in business management and then a career in television and radio in Los Angeles before returning to Lexington when her mother (and “best friend”) called to say, “It’s time to come home.” Prior to that transition, communicating with her childhood chums caused her to “reevaluate everything” when they confided to her that they had fully expected her to become a famous writer. After that, “The stories started coming very easily to me,” she says. “That’s how I went back into writing and actually decided that I needed to publish some books.” “I love being on the air every day,” she says, but “when I’m not doing that, I’m writing stories and trying to find inspiration in everything around us – outside, inside, my family, the dogs, the cats. That’s my love. I can’t think of anything better than to try to find something that can make somebody else smile.” She adopted the moniker “Dr. Mrs. Summer” under which to produce her first publication called My Cats Can’t Cook. This waterproof children’s book is a “cal-

Tom Poland The Last Sunday Drive; Classic Carolina Road Trips; Reflections of South Carolina, I and II; Carolina Bays, Wild, Mysterious and Majestic Landforms; Georgialina, A Southland As We Knew It tompol@earthlink.net tompoland.net arcadiapublishing.com | amazon.com Scott Vaughan Brookwood Road; Elm Street; Hickory Trail; The Beauty Queen and the Reporter; Nine Innings Sharketing411@gmail.com Scottdvaughan.com Scottvaughan.blogspot.com Nineinnings.info Sharketing.shop | Amazon.com Sabrina Henne Beyond Success with Sabrina Henne; How to Sell Your Home for More Money www.sabrinahenne.com Amazon.com Anna Duvall and Crissy Roddy Managing Anxiety in School Settings: Creating a Survival Toolkit for Students Amazon.com | Routledge.com Summer James My Cats Can’t Cook; The Man in the Red Shorts Bookendkids.com | Amazon.com

ico cooking cat fable” written as a lyrical journey intended for “children, fish, and mermaids.” It aims to expand its readers’ vocabulary by introducing five new terms and featuring age-appropriate word games. Her next publication was originally produced as an audiobook named The Man in the Red Shorts, which details the difficult challenges her brother faced after surviving a life-changing car accident. Summer describes this as an “inspirational journey that lets kids and young adults know that, no matter what happens to you, you have a genius, and if you’re still here, that’s for you to share.” Other children’s productions, expected to be released later this summer, include Poor Bear: Polar Bear, Do You Snoozle, Too, and The Radio Mermaid. Summer loves to meet new people and their families: “I will personally deliver your book if you are anywhere in Lexington, Richland, or around the Midlands, or if you live in a fun beach city.” n July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 17

$hopping $hop ping by Marcy Roberts



The first day of school is right around the corner, believe it or not. A little advance preparation can alleviate a huge amount of stress. Now is the time to start hitting the stores and take advantage of shorter lines, bulk stocking for the year and browsing the best inventory available. Of course, some teachers will have specific requests, but for the most part you know the main staples that are necessary to equip your child for a successful academic year. Here are some tips to make the process as painless as possible.

Take Inventory

Before purchasing anything new, look through your kids’ school supplies from previous years to see if there is anything that can be reused. Perhaps there is a notebook from last year that was barely even opened, for example. Just tear out the pages that have already been written on, and nobody will know the difference. Also, remember that colored pencils can be sharpened and those scissors that work at home will also work at school. Creatively “recycling” school supplies in this manner could cut your back-to-school shopping list in half or more if you’re lucky.

Set a Budget

In the moment, it can be hard to say no to a pouting child who’s begging for the latest trending backpack or lunchbox, especially when those items from last year are barely used. Remember, though, that there is a big difference between wanting and needing something. Set a realistic budget before leaving the house. If your kids object, use this as a teaching moment and explain that fewer impulse buys now means more ice cream later.

Do Some Critical Thinking

School-issued back-to-school lists are an excellent guide but following them to the letter can sometimes lead to 18 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021


unnecessary purchases. Treat them as flexible suggestions and consider your child’s individual needs while looking over the school’s list. For example, if the school’s list includes crayons and colored pencils, but you haven’t seen your child use a crayon for years, skip the crayons and buy only a nice set of colored pencils. Remember, you can always go back and purchase more supplies if necessary.

Learn from the Past

It’s hard to predict which stores will have the best back-to-school deals, but you can make a good guess by looking at what each has done in past years. For example, a store that had some excellent deals on school uniforms last year will probably have similar price cuts on uniforms this year. Also, be aware of the quality of paper, pencils and pens. Who wants their homework assignment that they have worked on all night to smudge, smear, tear or wrinkle from normal use? Investing a more for critical items that are more durable will payoff big time in the future and avoid unnecessary frustration.

Search for Deals Online

Whether you end up buying from online vendors or simply using information found online to guide your in-store purchases, the internet is a great source of information. Back-to-school deals will be highly advertised, making it easy to compare prices ahead of time, or even on the go. It’s also wise to search for coupons and special discount codes in advance. Consult company websites, consumer blogs, fellow parents on the net, and sites like Amazon and eBay to find the best ways to save money. Back-to-school costs can add up in a hurry. However, armed with these money-saving tips you can relax. Take time to plan ahead, make the trip fun for your kids with a special lunch and enjoy your time browsing. You will save dollars, time, and stress and be able to rest assured that your kids will be returning to school with exactly what they need. n


July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19

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The Healing Power of

by Candace Brown

All too often, precious moments of our lives are consumed with anger, sadness, or worry. Although each of these feelings plays an important role in an emotionally balanced lifestyle, when they get out of control our emotional health begins to suffer and we fall victim to undue worry, insecurity, and hostility. When our emotions continue to go unchecked, the consequences grow and spread to other parts of our lives, affecting our relationships with others and even our physical health. Luckily, we all have laughter on our side. Humor, like anger, sadness, and fear, is an enduring characteristic of the human condition and acts as nature’s counterbalance to the other three. Here are some reasons to consider adding laughter into your routine. Laughter Dissolves Distress We’re told the neural activity in our brains that occurs when we experience anger makes it physically impossible to think clearly. Similarly, science has shown that introducing humor to the emotional equation temporarily bars our brains from experiencing fear, anger, or sadness. If we can consciously apply this technique, it can help us in just about any situation. For example, if you can’t shake a bad case of the nerves while you’re preparing for a job interview or a business presentation, just take a step back and have a little laugh, whether at your own situation or something else, and feel the anxiety disappear; it’s the same principle behind the age-old technique of picturing an audience in their underwear. Learning to limit how seriously we take ourselves can have positive long-term effects, such as increasing our ability to find solutions to complex personal issues and helping us to maintain a healthy self-image. If your emotional burden stems from

something more far-reaching, like the loss of a loved one, it may take more effort to interrupt the cycle of negativity. First, though, remember that sadness has a rightful place on the emotional spectrum, and grieving is a normal, healthy reaction. If it gets out of hand, however, you can try remembering your loved one in a humorous way, or just purposefully devote some time to laughter every day and see if your emotional scale doesn’t tip back in the direction of balance. It may sound difficult, but just remember that painting humor into your perspective goes a long way toward creating a psychological distance, which in turn can provide relief from the toll taken by a heavy emotional load. Laughter Loves Company Humor can be a lot easier to come by, and a lot more meaningful, when it’s shared. Often it’s the irony in different perspectives that brings the humor in a situation to light. Other times, we simply need someone less burdened by a negative outlook to point us toward the brighter side. In any case, whether we’re dealing with frustration, bitterness, or loss, sharing the emotional weight of our circumstances with another person can make the difference between being able to bear it and being crushed beneath it. Sharing humor helps us in many other ways as well, as it triggers positive feelings and strengthens the emotional bonds we share with others. The stronger these bonds, the better equipped a relationship is to withstand stress and disappointment. Laughter in a relationship can also be synonymous with joy, satis-

faction, and buoyancy, as humor helps us be more spontaneous and expressive, as well as less defensive. Incorporating more laughter into our lives can not only aid us in our most intimate relationships, but also in our interactions with friends, colleagues, and even strangers. Although we might not think of humor as a habit, it can be a healthy one to cultivate. When we’re in the middle of a destructive emotional storm, sometimes laughing seems like the last thing we care to do, and it’s true that the chemistry behind our negative emotions can make finding the humor in a situation a nearly impossible task. The good news, however, is that if we make a habit of laughter, then we will not only be less likely to fall under the dark spell of our own anger or anxiety, but we’ll also be more capable of breaking any cycles of negativity that we do find ourselves in. There are many ways to do this, but maybe the simplest way is best: laugh sincerely, laugh often, and laugh together. n


Celebrate and stay safe!

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BLOªªFISH BASEBALL BLO It’s All About Lexington County! by Bill Shanahan

M We are honored to have the Lexington County Blowfish as a part of our community! Entering their 16th season (seventh in Lexington County) the Blowfish are proud members of the Coastal Plain League, the nation’s premiere summer collegiate league. Players are recruited from colleges and universities across the state, region and nation including USC Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers. 28 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021

any of these players have grown up right in Lexington County and attended local high schools like Lexington High, River Bluff, Gilbert, Dutch Fork, Irmo, Pelion, Chapin, Airport and others in Lexington County. These are truly “Homegrown Players” like USC Gamecocks David Cromer (Lexington High) and Cade Austin (Chapin), Tyler Berry (Gilbert) and Ricky Williams (River Bluff), as well as Winthrop’s Aaron White (Irmo). When the Blowfish relocated from Columbia to Lexington County in 2014 and as the new stadium was under construction, local owners Vicki and Bill Shanahan wanted to attend each town council meeting in Lexington County to share the good news and get to know each community personally. Bill enjoys telling the story of traveling to the town of Summit and attending their town council meeting. Never having been to Summit (population 402) he relied on smartphone map directions. Wandering through neighborhoods thinking they were lost, Siri said “You are Here”. Immediately stopping the car in front of a home, suddenly a garage door opened and there to greet them was the Mayor of Summit, Town Council and the Police Chief.

As they walked into the garage and sat down at the folding table and chairs, the Mayor turned to Vicki and Bill and said, “We are all so excited that the Blowfish are coming to Lexington County- my best friend’s son is going to play for the Blowfish this coming summer”. This was truly a key moment in realizing they had hit a home run, realizing the emotional connection of having local players on the home team at the “Green Diamond Jewel” we call Lexington County Baseball Stadium. Each year the Blowfish create a theme that promotes and highlights Lexington County from designing pinstripe jerseys of the five Lexington high school colors, to promoting the “Centerline” of the Total Eclipse that went over Lexington County Baseball Stadium, to becoming the Lake Murray Blowfish with specially designed jerseys featuring the lake. Each season the Blowfish players wear these one-ofa-kind jerseys and on Fan Appreciation Night they are auctioned off with prolexingtonlife.com

ceeds benefitting local Lexington County charitable causes. This season’s theme is “It’s All About Lexington County” and its cities and towns. Each player jersey bears the name of a city or town in Lexington County. These player jerseys will be worn throughout the season starting with Opening Night through the final night of the regular season Saturday July 31st. Fans have the opportunity to bid on these unique player jerseys all season long until Fan Appreciation Night when they will be auctioned off. Proceeds will benefit each Lexington County town/city for the charitable cause that will be selected by their Mayor and city officials. Each Lexington County city and town will have an opportunity to have their own Town Appreciation Night at the Blowfish games. This season’s player jerseys are presented in part by Carolina Comfort Heating and Air and lexingtonlife.com

the Lexington County Farm Bureau. The Blowfish season continues in July with Independence Fireworks shows on Saturday July 3rd and Sunday July 4th with their “Patriotic Concert in the Sky” Fireworks Spectacular. Blowfish baseball is affordable family entertainment. Groups are welcome of 10 more with a number of our popular All-You-Can-Eat Nights still on the upcoming schedule. You can learn more about the Blowfish at GoBlowfish.com n July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 29

30 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021



Best of Lexington Life!

The top three nominees in each category will be listed on the 2022 Best of Lexington ballot that will run in the September, October, November and December issues of Lexington Life Magazine. Nomination deadline is Friday, July 16th. lexingtonlife.com

July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 31

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Open-Air Markets to Discover & Explore by Kim Becknell Williams


Open-air markets

offer the best of everything local, from fresh veggies, fruits, artwork, and hand-made crafts to live music, cooking demonstrations, and free tastings. With the onset of the pandemic last year, the concept of open-air markets became extremely popular as more people chose to be outside when shopping. Customers who attend the markets are in for a treat; many times the actual producer or creator of an offering is available for one-on-one conversation and interaction, making the shopping experience personal and intimate. Locals also have the opportunity to run into neighbors and connect with the community while grabbing a lemonade, Kombucha, or a cup of coffee with a fresh pastry. Whether you live in Lexington, Chapin, Columbia, or West Columbia, there is something for everyone at the open-air market! What are you waiting for? lexingtonlife.com

COLUMBIA Soda City Market Regardless of the weather, Soda City never stops! Situated between the 13001600 blocks on Main Street, this weekly community event is open Saturdays all year from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Ample parking is available and free on Saturdays. So, whether you walk up, ride your bike, or drive, this event is easily accessible, and you can bring your leashed pet along with you. There are no public restrooms associated with the market, but facilities are lexingtonlife.com

available at local participating businesses with purchase. Nearly 120 vendors set up to display their wares, always drawing a crowd of around 3,000 each Saturday. Bringing that many people to the market is a huge benefit to the market vendors as well as local businesses in the area. People are drawn to the market for many reasons. “Soda City Market is a producers-only market featuring vendors who cater to your brain, body, and belly,” Erin Curtis, Soda City Operations Director wrote in an email. “Inspired by traditional European street markets, Soda City Market is a microcosm of Columbia, a melting pot of cultures, and an inviting community experience worth making a part of your regular weekend routine.” Browsing market goers might find bottled barbeque sauces and rubs, elderberry syrup, fresh veggies and fruit, specialty cooking oils, or farm fresh eggs. This culinary and shopping extravaganza also includes live entertainment and handson activities, depending on the schedule. Curtis explains that the music and entertainment are permitted by City of Columbia licensed buskers who perform for donations. “Soda City Market is an exemplar public-private partnership with the City of Columbia,” Curtis explained. “The market has always been self-funded and continues to have a large economic impact.” This market offers community members to help the economy and help other locals. “The market generates over 3 million dollars in taxable gross sales annually and is responsible for generating hundreds of business July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 35

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licenses since its inception,” Curtis said. “In peak season, the market contributes to over 500 individuals’ paychecks per Saturday and thousands of paychecks over the course of a year. Additionally, [at] Soda City Market, no public monies, including hospitality tax funds, are accepted.” LEXINGTON The Market at Icehouse Amphitheater and Pavilion This beautiful venue is located right off Main Street in Lexington, conveniently located within a few steps of popular restaurants, unique bars, and community parks. The market is open 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. every Saturday from May 22 to September 25 (except July 3). More than 1,000 public parking spaces are available, surrounded by picturesque landscaping and city landmarks. You’ll find locally grown produce, food trucks, live music, crafts, and artwork as you browse vendors beneath the newly completed pavilion and open lot areas. Every week during late spring, summer, and early fall, families and individuals enjoy spending Saturday mornings perusing the market. Members of the community can shop local and keep their hard-earned dollars in the area. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed, so even Fido can join in the fun; restrooms and water fountains are also available on site. “The Market gives the community the opportunity to see what local farmers, artists, and vendors have to offer in one con-

venient stop. It gives people the chance to see the talent and resources we have right here in our backyard and gives farmers the opportunity to educate the community on the benefits of eating fresh, local produce.” said Laurin Barnes, Communications Manager – Town of Lexington. “There are many vendors who don’t have a brickand-mortar shop, so this gives them exposure to people from all over who come to The Market.” From week to week, this market might look a little different, with ever-changing variety. “There are different vendors each week, so it’s an experience everyone can enjoy again and again,” Barnes explained. CHAPIN Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market The Town of Chapin is growing rapidly, and it shows! If you are visiting for the day or the weekend, or you are a long-time resident of the area, don’t miss the Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market, located on the 100 Clark Street block. The market is open seasonally 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month from May-October (the market is held July 10 this year due to the July 4th holiday weekend). It is a popular event; be aware that some vendors sell out early due to high demand. Several public parking areas are located nearby, including locations at the Wells Fargo, the Crawford Center, and Beaufort Street and portable potties are provided. Local farmers, growers, and artisans are well-represented at the market, along with an array of vendors and plenty of food options. Tables of fresh produce, baskets overflowing


July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 37

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with colorful fruit, and hand-crafted items are just some of the treasures market goers will discover. “Each market features live music, demonstrations, and activities for children presented by the Chapin Branch Library,” said Nicholle Burroughs, Director of Public Affairs. “The Chapin Downtown Market caters to all ages and is dog friendly, as long as our four-legged friends are kept on a leash.” Show support for the community simply by attending and strolling through the market. “The Town of Chapin is delighted to continue the tradition of Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market. Our community is proud to support our local businesses and artists,” Burroughs said. “We wanted to create an inclusive open-air market that would support our local economy and showcase the incredible talent we have in our area. Our market highlights the very best of our community and gets at the heart of what Chapin is all about.” WEST COLUMBIA Meeting Street Artisan Market Located in the Interactive Art Park at 425 Meeting Street in West Columbia, the Meeting Street Artisan Market is open Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. year round. Free parking can be found at the Interactive Park at 425 Meeting Street, Capitol Square at 483 Sunset Boulevard, the public parking garage at 310 Court Avenue, and Carraway Park at the Riverwalk at 212 Hudson Street. Bring the family and your leashed dog for a good time filled with discovery. What can market goers expect to find? “Anything handmade,” said Anna Huffman, Communications and Technology Director. “Fine art, crafts, candles, wood working, potters, jewelry, greeting cards, face masks, handbags, coffee/tea, prepared food mixes, fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, leather goods, and bath and body products.” The market is a one-stop shop with so many items to peruse. Additionally, special night-edition markets are offered on occasion. “Our market is unique in that each vendor is selected weekly based on the craft to ensure a variety of different vendors,” Huffman said. “The items sold by the vendors must be created by the vendor.” Locals gather each week to find a variety of hand-crafted treasures. “West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market brings the community together. Our local vendors have established relationships with members of our surrounding commulexingtonlife.com

nities, which keeps loyal customers coming back week after week,” Huffman said. “They also spread the word about the market. The surrounding businesses on State and Meeting Street also benefit from the shoppers and vendors venturing out when stopping at the market.” Nearby shops, restaurants, and breweries are also conveniently located for market goers to extend their shopping spree or to grab a bite or brewski. Pets are allowed here. Portable potties are available, and a few facilities are available at local participating businesses with purchase. Additional Market Tips “Most markets have a current website or an Instagram or Facebook page to keep up with the latest market news,” said Cindy

Lexington’s Market at Icehouse Amphitheater and Pavilion 107 West Main St., Lexington Saturdays May 22-September 25, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (except July 3) Lexsc.com Chapin Downtown Farmer’s Market 100 Clark St., Chapin First Saturday of each month from May-October, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (except in July, held on July 10) Chapinsc.com Columbia’s Soda City Market 1300-1600 Main St., Columbia Every Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Sodacitysc.com West Columbia’s Meeting Street Artisan Market 425 Meeting Street, W. Columbia Every Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Westcolumbiasc.gov

Morris, a regular market shopper and volunteer. “If you are a regular market goer, sign up for the market’s newsletter to get the direct news about vendors and special events.” Each of the four markets listed above has a Facebook page. Give them a follow and check for last-minute changes, seasonal item availability, or current event information. Although vendors are often announced ahead of schedule for planning, keep in mind that last-minute situations can arise to prevent a vendor from attending any of the markets listed above. Due to the ever-evolving COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, masks may be required, and sanitation stations are often provided for handwashing. Most vendors provide bags to package purchases, but it is helpful if buyers bring their own canvas bags, totes, or baskets. “Bring your own bags and preferably a cooler bag with an ice pack in hot weather to protect tender vegetables and keep meats and cheeses cool,” Morris recommends. “If you purchase flowers, it’s helpful to have a jar or cup with water to keep the flowers hydrated.” Depending on the vendor, debit and credit cards are usually accepted. Some prefer cash only. “Bring smaller bills, Morris adds. “And don’t expect to get a $50 or $100 bill broken.” For items that sell out quickly, refer to vendor websites and social media platforms in the event that advance orders are accepted to ensure that you get what you want. Although pets and families are welcome, please be respectful of others; clean up after your pet and your children. Be mindful of the busyness of the market. “Although part of the experience is chatting with the vendors, be aware of the length of the lines and keep your conversation brief to be courteous to others waiting,” Morris pointed out. Above all, enjoy your time browsing for local treasures, picking out the freshest produce, and mingling with members of the community in the fresh air. n July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 39

40 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021


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July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 43

Super Summer

Seafood & Salad 44 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021


AVOCADO AND TUNA TAPAS 1-12 oz. can solid white tuna packed in water, drained 1 tbsp. mayonnaise 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped 1 dash balsamic vinegar black pepper to taste 1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste 2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted Stir together tuna, mayonnaise, green onions, red pepper, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Season with pepper and garlic salt, then pack the avocado halves with the tuna mixture. Garnish with reserved green onions and a dash of black pepper before serving. CRAB AND ORZO SALAD 1 1/2 c. uncooked orzo pasta 1 lb. cooked crabmeat 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped 1 carrot, peeled and diced 1 medium red bell pepper, diced 1 medium green bell pepper, diced 3 green onions, chopped 1/2 c. mayonnaise 3 tbsp. chili sauce 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 3 drops hot pepper sauce (Optional) Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo, and cook 11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and place in the refrigerator about 1 hour, until chilled. In a large bowl, toss together orzo, crabmeat, tomatoes, carrot, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and green onions. In a small bowl, blend mayonnaise, chili sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Pour over the orzo mixture and toss to coat. HERB WATERMELON FETA SALAD 1/2 large chilled seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 small red onion, sliced 1 c. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves 1 c. chopped fresh cilantro 1/2c. minced fresh mint leaves 2 limes, juiced 1 -4 oz. package crumbled feta cheese 3 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, or more to taste salt and ground black pepper to taste Gently toss watermelon, onion, basil, cilantro, mint, lime juice, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl. lexingtonlife.com

SEAFOOD GUMBO 1⁄4 c. oil 3-4 tbsp. flour 2 onions, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 1-1 lb. bag frozen chopped okra 1 qt. chicken broth 1-16 oz. can whole tomatoes, w/liquid 4 -5 cloves garlic, crushed 2 bay leaves 2-3 tbsp. crab boil, tied in cheesecloth salt & pepper to taste hot pepper sauce to taste 2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled 1 lb. crabmeat or 2 cans crabmeat 1 pt. oyster (OPTIONAL) 1 lb. sausage (OPTIONAL) 1 lb. firm white fish fillet (halibut, white fish, cod) 1 tbsp. gumbo file powder For sauce: heat oil, add flour and cook over medium heat until VERY dark but not scorched, stirring constantly, monitoring for burning. Set aside. In large dutch oven, saute onion, celery, and okra until limp. Add sauce, broth, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, crab boil packet, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 hours. 10 minutes before serving, add all raw fish, sausage if desired, seafood and the file powder. Simmer until done, but do not boil. Serve over bowls of rice. n July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 45


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Rocks and Roots


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


friend I’ve known for thirty years runs a fairly large organiziation in a big city, and he drove a distance to visit me. We talked during lunch. It was obvious something was bothering him. After lunch we walked through my garden looking at the beautiful vegetables, talking to the dogs, and listening to the stillness of a gorgeous summer afternoon. We got to the corn patch in the back and stood among the glorious seven-foot stalks. My friend let out a sigh. “This corn really is beautiful.” We passed a thousand garlic bulbs drying in the sun. “That garlic is descended from twelve cloves my Daddy started fifty years ago.” My friend looked at the bulbs. “Fifty years ago, dern.” The dogs led the way to the pea patch, playing and tumbling. My friend let out a full laugh. “It’s great to watch dogs play.” We arrived at the pea patch. We looked straight down the 200 foot rows. One sees a gorgeous, peaceful symmetry when looking down rows of peas. We sat down on some buckets. I just listened as he poured it all out. Then he stopped. “Well, I gotta get back to the big city.” We walked to his truck. I leaned on the truck. “Don’t you remember how we learned as kids to ask God to direct our steps?” “Yeah, but this is different.” “No, it ain’t. You’re just thinking you’re not worthy of God’s love.” He slapped the truck. “How did you know that?” “Because that’s what we all think.” “But I worry all the time!” “Well, you’ve got to pray every time you worry. Don’t you love walking on mountain paths?” “Yes, I love those paths.” “But those paths aren’t straight, are they? Don’t they have rocks and roots in the way?” “Yes, you have to be careful.” “Worrying is like walking the mountain path blindfolded. God won’t remove the rocks and roots, but he will guide you around them. But you got to let God guide you.” “I don’t know how to do that.” “Start every morning by thanking God for directing your steps. Every time you worry, pray that prayer. You’ll be praying all the time until you begin to learn to talk to God about everything. That’s what having a personal relationship with God means. Just talk to God the way you’ve talked to me.” “And you really believe that works?” “I didn’t always believe. But I finally learned, and it has made a huge difference for me.” He dropped me off at my shop. He sent me a message later that afternoon: “I think my prayers are already working.” The next morning he sent a message: “I’ve begun the day with my prayers. I slept good last night for the first time in a long time. Thanks.” God’s Promise is simple. Many people call it corny and foolish. But I have witnessed and am convinced that God’s Promise always remains, waiting for us to simply accept its truth. n July 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 47

48 | LEXINGTON LIFE | July 2021


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