Lexington Life Magazine-June 22'

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2023

Best of Lexington Life!

Nominate your favorite local businesses at Lexingtonlife.com The top three nominees in each category will be listed on the 2023 Best of Lexington ballot that will run in the September, October, November and December issues of Lexington Life Magazine. Nomination deadline is Friday, July 15th.

4 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

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JUNE Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 12th Lexington County Ag + Art Tour Various Locations, Saturday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of farms and markets featuring local artisans at every stop! During the tour visitors will see first-hand where their food comes from, watch artists in action and purchase their works, enjoy the melodies of local musicians, and learn more about rural life. The tour is the largest free farm and art tour in the nation with over 45,000 visitors participating since 2012. Start when and where you want and be sure to sign in at each site. For details and participating venues, visit agandarttour.com. Tuesday, June 21st Historically Speaking Presentation Lexington County Main Library, 5440 Augusta Rd., Lexington, 6:30 pm Come out to the Lexington Library to learn about the rich history of Lexington County. Repeats every third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call the museum at 803-359-8369 or email us at museum@lex-co.com

Saturday, July 2nd Lake Murray 4th of July Celebration Lake Murray Dam, 1797 North Lake Dr., Lexington, various times Bring the whole family! Enjoy the patriotic display as locals & visitors decorate their boats in ways that will leave you amazed! The boat parade is at 12pm at Bomb Island and is viewable from the park sites at the Lake Murray Dam or by boat! Watch S.C.’s largest firework display from Spence or Dreher Island at dark. Call the Lake Murray Country Visitor Center to register for the parade (803) 781-5940 or visit lakemurraycountry.com. Monday, July 4th Lexington County Peach Festival Gilbert Community Park, 110 Rikard Circle, Gilbert, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. This family friendly FREE festival is an event for all ages! Celebrate your community, Independence Day, and the Queen of all fruits, the peach! Enjoy live entertainment, fresh peach treats, arts and crafts, the peach parade, fireworks, beauty pageants, and so much more! For more information and a schedule, visit LexingtonCountyPeachFestival.com.

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contents

Features 14 18 22 27 32 36 46

I hope everyone is ready for summer! Our family just got done celebrating our oldest child’s college graduation from the Citadel. I must say it is odd having a kid out of college. I feel old. He now has a job and is about to start his life in the “real” world. Seems like yesterday when he was crawling on the floor in his Huggies and learning to ride a bike. Now we talk about Roth IRA’s and how to save money in an inflation rich economy. I’m very proud of Joey for completing college. He is more of a hand-on type learner, however he trudged his way through his 4 years of school and it was a tough road for him. He didn’t quit and persevered through the pandemic and all the challenges that came with it before earning his business degree. His “real” world education comes next and I’m excited to see how his future unfolds. Its such an exciting time in one’s life when you are in your twenties. He will be establishing his foundation for the years to come. As a parent, I just pray that God will look upon him with favor and place him where he needs to be to have a successful and fulfilling life for him and his family. Best wishes to you and your family for a relaxing and fun filled summer in Lexington. We are so fortunate to have Lake Murray right in our backyard and all the recreational opportunities for fishing, boating and camping that she offers us. Thanks for reading Lexington Life Magazine and don’t forget to nominate your favorite businesses for the Best of Lexington on our website: lexingtonlife.com. I’m sure that they will appreciate your support and recognition for a job well done. Enjoy your summer! Todd Shevchik

The Preservation Specialists Midlands Fatherhood Coalition Summer Bucket List Ideas Boating Safety Summer Camp Benefits Captain Telegram Protect Your Older Loved Ones in the Sun 50 Tech Devices that Save Homeowners Money

Columns 8 9 43 55

From the Mayor Faith Matters Emily Carter David Clark

Departments 6 7 11 52

Calendar of Events From the Publisher Lexington Leader Spice of Life

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22 26 EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jane Carter WEBSITE DESIGNER Paul Tomlinson

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

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

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kim Curlee

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Candace Jones, Marcy Roberts, Captain Tyler Ryan, Natalie Szrajer, Marilyn Thomas, Brandon Watson COVER AND STAFF PHOTOS BY Clark Berry Photography

CONTACT US: 114 HAYGOOD AVE., LEXINGTON, SC 29072 • 803.356.6500 • info@lexingtonlifemagazine.com

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June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 7


Pearls make a great graduation gi!

Mayor

e Chapman Company, Fine Jewelers 903 North Lake Drive, Lex, SC 29072

Steve MacDougall It’s been just over a year since the opening of the Icehouse Amphitheater Pavilion and there is much success to celebrate. Many of you may recall the site as being home to an ice plant in the late 1920’s before it became a propane distributorship in 1970. The Town purchased the property in 2012 with a vision for it to help revitalize downtown and provide quality of life for the community. Three years later, the Town broke ground on the Icehouse Amphitheater and the venue opened in October of 2016. The latest addition to the property happened in 2020 when construction began on the Pavilion. The Pavilion first opened in February of 2021 and in just the first year, there were nearly 100 events and concerts held with approximately 291,500 visitors. In that same time span, the Icehouse Amphitheater also ranked as the fourth most popular leisure destination within a 50-mile radius. We believe that with the addition of the Pavilion on this site, the Icehouse Amphitheater has become the ultimate outdoor venue and we are very proud of its success. If you haven’t been to the Amphitheater yet, we hope you’ll join us soon! The Market at Icehouse is currently in season. Come shop local vendors fresh produce and enjoy live music each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through the end of September (with the exception of July 2). For full details on all of the concerts and events, visit IcehouseAmphitheater.com.n

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Pastor Ken Jumper The Harvest I have a story for you that never gets old! It includes a chance meeting with my dad, who has passed away and is now in heaven with mom, so this brings back special memories to me. I thought I’d revisit it with you as it reminded me so much of God’s faithfulness to those who love and serve Him and the value of finding moments with those we love. I trust it will speak to your heart, as well. I had been slowing my pace down a bit; turning off the television and just hanging around the house, except for church on Sunday. However, early Monday morning I had the urge to go to the Riverwalk in Cayce and talk a walk. As I drove there, I thought I would give my dad a call and see if I could catch up with him after my walk. After all, mom passed away a few years ago, dad is getting into his upper eighties, and I’m tracking a few years myself; I don’t see dad too much even though he lives a few minutes away in Cayce where I grew up. I parked at the Gervais Street entrance and headed toward the old “locks” down behind the quarry in Cayce where I grew up. As I am about 30 minutes into my walk, I made my turn and was about halfway back when I thought to give my dad a call. I reached into my pocket for my phone, when … whoa! You won’t believe it. I looked up, and there was my dad standing about twenty feet in front of me. I did a double-take. “Dad, what are you doing down here?” “Oh, I just had a bite to eat and thought I would walk down here a minute,” he replied. He had entered the trail by the park entrance in Cayce, and that’s where we met. Unbelievable timing! We talked a bit, walked awhile together, took a moment to embrace and affirm our love for each other. I left totally amazed at the goodness of the Lord. The Bible states that “the Lord will order the steps of those who trust Him.” Isn’t it amazing that dad and I met at that intersection, down by the river, at the perfect moment? If I had been 30 seconds faster, or as he put it, “if I hadn’t stopped by the bathroom,” we would have missed each other, but we didn’t. God is so good. He has so many wonderful surprises for you, too! Invite Him into your heart and life today. n Dr. Kathi Sample, General Dentist

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by Jackie Perrone

Arif Rivzi Arif Rivzi was born in Pakistan, grew up there with a British school education, then moved to St. Louis MO where he earned a degree in business and finance. That in turn propelled him to New York and New Jersey. So how does he find himself in Lexington, S.C. these days, making biscuits instead of spread sheets, and managing food service instead of corporate accountants? “My wife Sameena Khan made it possible,” he explains. “She is a medical physician and accepted a position with Lexington Medical Center, the best decision of our lives. We tried a commuting marriage for a time, while I continued my work in New York and traveled back-and-forth every week for a couple of years. We decided that I needed to focus on starting a business here, at our new home. I have always enjoyed cooking, growing up in the household of a large family, and the combination/ essence of spices, herbs, vegetables and meats always intrigued me. Food service was natural to me.” That was 12 years ago. Today he heads up the team operating two Lexington restaurants, RF’s Corner Grill and Bubba’s Biscuit, both on track to becoming legends of interesting, yet familiar cuisine. Arif says he is “reaching back to childhood kitchen days and pulling out so much to be combined with southern food styles here in South Carolina.” Along with the satisfactions of owning a successful business, challenges are never very far away. The restaurants give Arif the opportunity to do what he loves best, creating exotic dishes and giving his guests a special experience to cherish. The COVID pandemic presented a huge challenge in maintaining staff; that crisis has eased somewhat, and Arif depends on lexingtonlife.com

his employees to attain the highest standards. “They all take reviews and feedback personally and sincerely try to give their best,” he explains. A significant part of the staff are his children. The oldest, Zoya Rivzi, attends The University of South Carolina and serves as business partner at Bubba’s Biscuit. She is also learning the business side of things which may soon include a food truck. She will soon decide whether she will pursue a career in the restaurant business or medical school like her mother. Their son Zain, 15, is a freshman at River Bluff High School and spends his weekends at Bubba’s helping out wherever needed. The youngest, daughter Zara is 12, in middle school, and not yet involved in the family business. Arif Rivzi appreciates the community they chose, and says he is humbled by the

show of love and support they have felt as they settled in. “Our town and county of Lexington is our HOME. We believe in partaking in activities which support our community to make it stronger, better and safer.” n June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 11


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IN MEMORIUM Officer Roy Andrew “Drew” Barr, Jr. June 24, 1994 - April 24, 2022 Roy Andrew “Drew” Barr, Jr., 27, was born June 24, 1994 in West Columbia, SC and passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2022. He was the beloved son of Roy and Sonia Wheeler Barr. Drew was a Public Safety Officer-K9 handler with Cayce Police Department where he worked for five years. He began working with Sandy Ridge Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 14; he previously worked for Lexington County as a certified EMT and was an active volunteer with the Monetta Volunteer Fire Department where he served for many years. Drew loved to fish, hunt and spend time with his friends. As we continue to share the news of the impact that Officer Barr’s service and dedication had on the law enforcement profession and on the people of Lexington County, here are a few ways you can help. Children can send cards to officers; sometimes the words “We thank you for your service,” or “Thank you for keeping me safe,” are incredibly powerful; especially to those that risk their lives for us each day. You can mail cards to: Cayce Police Department • 1800 12th Street, Cayce, SC 29033 If you wish to make a financial donation, you can donate to: Cayce Public Safety Foundation, In Honor of Officer Drew Barr 1800 12th Street, Cayce, SC 29033 Caycepsf.org Finally, you can also donate to or participate in something that Officer Barr was particularly passionate about: Molly and the K9 Officers of the Midlands.

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June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 13


The Preservation Specialists Advisor Team

Helping You Retire With Confidence Photos by Clark Berry Photography

“Rather than be all things to all people, we specialize in retirement,” explains Pat Strubbe, founder and owner of Preservation Specialists. “Our expertise is in helping people within 10 years of retirement go to and through their retirement, so they can replace their financial worries with the peace of mind to truly enjoy their retirement.” Mr. Strubbe first became interested in personal finance after experiencing a coming-of-age moment as a teenager when facing difficult family circumstances. While sharing birthday wishes with an excited sixteen-year-old Pat, his well-meaning grandfather promised to buy him a new car as a special present. After that phone conversation ended, his hopes were dashed when his mother carefully explained to the adolescent that this was not a financially feasible choice for his elder relative. Because of unexpected and critical medical issues, not only was the grandfather’s financial security compromised, but the family was also seriously concerned about how his bills would continue to be paid. 14 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

This poignant event made a lasting impression on the youth, especially when he started to consider his own future career path. “As I was approaching college graduation, I began to learn more and more about helping people through financial planning, and my grandpa always came to mind,” says Mr. Strubbe. “That was when I decided to go into financial planning, and I’m thankful to say that I’ve been in the field ever since!” After graduating with honors from Purdue University, Mr. Strubbe says he “was blessed to start in financial planning immediately afterwards in January of 1997.” Born and raised in Indiana, he launched his career by working for a large financial services firm. “The positive of that was that I obtained an outstanding education in the industry,” he says, “but I also saw the uglier side of the industry. Sure, the company I worked for wanted us to help our clients, but what they wanted more was to make money.” For Mr. Strubbe, that employment situation became a catalyst for making a career-changing decision. “As I learned more

and more about the industry,” he explains, “I realized that starting my own firm was the only way to truly know that I could always do what I felt was best for my clients.” The first step in achieving that goal involved a relocation of his family to Columbia, South Carolina, in February of 2003. This area was their destination of choice because of the warmer climate and its reputation for resting within the heart of the Bible Belt. “We love Columbia’s size,” he adds. “It avoids so much of the stress and difficulty of really big cities while still offering many things to do and places to go.” Since their arrival, Mr. Strubbe and his wife, Janelle, along with their four children, Carter, Ava, Gabby, and Isla, have put down roots within the community. Allexingtonlife.com


most immediately, they began attending Hope Lutheran Church in Irmo, where Mr. Strubbe became their elder of finances. After settling in the Midlands, Mr. Strubbe established his company, Preservation Specialists, LLC, the following year. “Like many companies, when we first started,” he

Mr. Strubbe, “The vast majority of our clients hire us when they are within 10 to 15 years of retirement. However, we will offer a 15-minute phone call with one of our advisors at no cost and no obligation to anyone to give them a chance to have their financial questions answered. Also, if someone

“Our long-term goal is to help 1,000 Midlands families retire with peace of mind!” recalls, “it was just me!” He wore a lot of hats in those early days, “and I don’t just mean financial planning – I also mean things like calling to schedule meetings and folding and stapling our client newsletters!” By the following year, Preservation Specialists’ reputation was growing within the community, and the company earned the coveted Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau for “exemplifying outstanding ethics,” says Mr. Strubbe. Not surprisingly, Preservation Specialists has expanded significantly since its inception. “Over the years, we’ve built a team of rock stars to help our clients,” says Mr. Strubbe. “We now have five advisors and a team of 11 helping our clients.” Not long ago, the company was able to relocate. “We stopped renting and purchased our building in the Harbison area to provide us with a permanent home with lots of space for expansion,” says Mr. Strubbe. Their new office space is situated at 700 Saturn Parkway in Irmo, South Carolina. “Our long-term goal is to help 1,000 Midlands families retire with peace of mind!” he states. With years of applied experience, Mr. Strubbe has honed his purpose within this specific niche and developed an informed plan to achieve his objectives. “Many in our industry focus most or all of their attention on investments,” explains Mr. Strubbe. “While investments are important, we believe a comprehensive retirement plan covers five different areas: income planning, investment planning, tax planning, healthcare and insurance planning, and estate planning. We also believe that everyone is different, so instead of a cookie-cutter approach, we build our clients a custom-built retirement plan.” This customization involves the implementation of a savvy methodology. “Rather than investing client’s hard-earned money into a mix of stocks and bonds, we use something called the ‘endowment approach,’” says Mr. Strubbe. “Essentially, the goal is to provide steadier income and returns with less risk by divvying up your nest eggs into many more baskets.” According to lexingtonlife.com

does hire us, we provide a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. If they change their mind for any reason in the first year, we will provide a full refund of their entire financial planning fee.” Jenny Price is just one of the company’s many satisfied customers. “Pat and his team at Preservation Specialists are just that—specialists in knowledge, professionalism, and providing individual care to your personal account,” she says. “It is so comforting to know that Preservation Specialists is monitoring your account continuously and has your back at all times. We have referred several of our friends to Preservation Specialists because we believe in the financial knowledge and individual care they provide. We look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come. They just feel like family!” In addition to meeting the needs of individual clients, “Our other goal is simply to provide as much financial and retirement ed-

ucation as we can throughout the Midlands,” says Mr. Strubbe. To that end, the company hosts periodic webinars and in-person classes for the interested public. Additionally, he often utilizes local media outlets for sharing his financial planning know-how. For example, “I host the weekly radio show, ‘Save Your Retirement with Pat Strubbe,’ on WVOC 560 AM every Saturday at noon with a replay at 9 AM on Sundays,” he says. Also, WIS-TV features Mr. Strubbe in a segment entitled the “Midlands Retirement Report,” and he has been invited to speak on his area of expertise on FoxSports Radio. Furthermore, Mr. Strubbe has even published two books, Save Your Retirement and The Retirement Secret, both of which have achieved best-seller status on Amazon, and his work has been featured in nationally circulated periodicals such as USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, and Entrepreneur Magazine. With a heart for those journeying through retirement, the team at Preservation Specialists also extends charitable ties to other organizations that are known to be benevolent toward this demographic. “Our biggest support for our community has been through our partnership with Leeza’s Care Connection,” says Mr. Strubbe, “which is locally based on St. Andrews Road and supports caregivers of all types. In 2015, we began promoting their local wellness center and a matching donation program. We are thrilled that with our clients, together, we have donated over $33,000 since then!” n

PRESERVATION SPECIALISTS, LLC 803-798-1988 • SCPreservation.com • Info@SCPreservation.com June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 15


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At Lexington Medical Center, we want you to lead a long and healthy life.

And we’re here to help you do just that. Our experienced physicians, nurses and health professionals want nothing more than to help make you well again. Our network of care includes more than 70 physician practices in Richland and Lexington counties. Our community medical and urgent care centers offer lab work, diagnostic tests, outpatient surgery and after-hours care. And our state-of-the-art hospital stands ready to care for you whether you’re welcoming a new baby, seeking treatment for cancer or need surgery for your heart. Whenever you need us, Lexington Medical Center is here for you. So if you don’t already have a doctor or you’re looking for a new one, visit LexMed.com/Doctors. We wish you a lifetime of good health and happiness.

LexMed.com/Doctors lexingtonlife.com

Be well. June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 17


The Midlands Fatherhood Coalition:

Dads Really M George Eliot, the Victorian novelist, sagely advised: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Although arguably a notable sentiment, the struggle to fulfill one’s potential in certain roles – such as parenting – can be daunting when unforeseen circumstances become overwhelming. The Midlands Fatherhood Coalition understands the challenges that fathers sometimes face, and by connecting local dads to essential services with existing community partners, they help to grow stronger families and, consequently, provide children with the stability they need to reach their own potential to achieve a successful future. 18 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

“Midlands Fatherhood Coalition (MFC) knows the value of why Dads matter in the everyday lives of their children,” says Angela McDuffie, the CEO of this central South Carolina, nonprofit organization, which was created for the purpose of helping men in the local community to become “great dads.” “All fathers are the target audience, and from there, we gain access to their children and other individuals who are essential to the family structure,” she says. Studies show that when a father is not involved in a child’s life, the results can be troubling. “Seventy-one percent of teens

who experience early parenthood, 71 percent of all high school dropouts, 90 percent of homeless runaway children, and 63 percent of youth suicides all come from father-absent homes,” says CEO McDuffie. On the other hand, if a father is actively engaged with his offspring, they are “two times more likely to go to college, 80 percent less likely to spend time in jail, and 75 percent less likely to experience teen pregnancy,” she adds. A University of South Carolina graduate, CEO McDuffie became interested in this field when she was introduced to fatherhood programming while working with lexingtonlife.com


by Marilyn Thomas

Matter youthful offenders in an educational setting. Her next steps in aligning with this focus included completing a master’s degree in counseling and accepting a position as a resource coordinator for fatherhood. As the organization’s current CEO, “My primary responsibility is ensuring that the mission of MFC is upheld and that best practices are in place,” McDuffie says, and that mission is to engage fathers in the positive support of their children and to enhance support for fatherhood throughout the Midlands. “Additionally, defining our strategic direction, identifying and ensuring that relexingtonlife.com

sources are in place to accomplish our goals and objectives are essential to my role,” says CEO McDuffie. “Other responsibilities include the following: vetting and maintaining adequate team members to help carry out our mission, navigating a culture of inclusiveness, elevation and growth, and being the liaison between board and team members.” MFC was founded in 2006 by the statewide umbrella entity, the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. The latter’s website states that this nonprofit is “one of the nation’s longest-running, largest, and most-effective networks of fatherhood programs.” It was established in 2002 by the Sisters of Charity Foundation, a regional faith-based corporation that has supported and collaborated with local communities to create “health and human services and education-related organizations” to “address causes and consequences of poverty” for more than a century. “MFC is affiliated with the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families through technical assistance training, programming and branding oversight, direct funding and financial oversight, and policy,” explains CEO McDuffie. Rooted in a forerunner organization that originated in Fairfield County in 1998, MFC has since grown its services and currently sponsors programs for fathers and families in four counties: Lexington, Fairfield, Richland, and Sumter. “Expanding to Lexington increased our capacity to serve and lead MFC in enrollment, component completions, and other essential performance indicators (i.e., father/child engagement, child support payments, etc.),” says CEO McDuffie. “Fatherhood is essential to all individ-

uals,” she asserts. “Regardless of their socioeconomic status, we discovered many Lexington fathers in challenging situations when seeking to obtain visitation to see their children, becoming gainfully employed, and in understanding how to navigate their current situation.” Correspondingly, the main barriers that fathers encounter can be “the lack of adequate mediation between the custodial parent and the father, misinformation and communication lapses, underemployment and opportunities for advancement, self-esteem, and sense of hopelessness,” explains CEO McDuffie. “The demand for fatherhood services continues to be great in Lexington,” she says, but MFC is making a positive difference. “In Lexington alone, MFC has served 918 participants and impacted the lives of 1,964 children. In 2020, despite the pandemic, MFC served 549 fathers and 1,213 children, $393,120 was saved in incarceration costs, and $174,602 was collected in child support.” All services at MFC are free of charge for the men who enroll, and 24-week programs have been developed to address the needs of the service recipients. These cover relevant topics such as obtaining employment and economic stability, building healthy relationships, parenting and co-parenting, and improving physical and mental health. “Fatherhood programming sessions are offered twice weekly on Tuesdays at 6 PM and Thursdays at 12 PM,” says CEO McDuffie. “MFC-Lexington also offers employment boot camp for those unemployed and underemployed who are seeking to become gainfully employed. Regular office hours are Monday through June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19


Thursday, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and Friday, 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM. MFC-Lexington also offers after-regular-hours meetings by appointment.” To provide this comprehensive approach, MFC partners with multiple community organizations and entities that share in their vision: The Courage Center, a recovery-focused organization for young people and their families; LRADAC (formerly referred to as The Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council); the Lexington County Department of Social Services; Pro Bono Matters, a resource where clients can identify and solicit legal aid; family court, the judicial department, and the solicitor’s office (to include arbitration); and large and small industries (e.g., Newbold Services of the Michelin Corporation) within the area business sector. If members of the local community want to support this organization, donations are always welcome. Additionally, on June 18, MFC will be sponsoring its annual “Daddy & Me 5K” at Saluda Shoals Park to raise funds as well as awareness. Registration to participate in this event – as a runner or sponsor – can be completed online at thedaddyme5k.itsyourrace.com. Although originally launched in 2014 as the “Daddy Dash” by MFC, the event was rebranded as “Daddy & Me 5K” in 2017 through a collaboration with the former Springdale Police Chief, Kevin Cornett, and Serve & Connect, another local nonprofit organization. “Coupled with MFC’s first-hand knowledge on how im-

20 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

portant it is to have an involved father in the home, Chief Cornet shared his vision for a run that would celebrate dads and also raise money for the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition,” explains CEO McDuffie. “The vision was a perfect fit for Serve & Connect’s mission in bridging the gap between community and law enforcement. Serve & Connect coordinated the run for two years and Midlands Fatherhood Coalition has continued this event.” Those who are interested in volunteering in other capacities within the organization can complete and submit the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition Volunteer Form on MFC’s website. CEO McDuffie adds, “Our development department has been working to launch a volunteer program that provides an orientation and tutorial on how to get involved. Volunteers

will be screened through development and placed as needed. Participation depends on what the volunteer is offering and how it can be matched with the needs of the organization. For example, if the volunteer is offering financial literacy, the facilitator (if a good match) will work with the identified office and be added to the economic mobility component calendar.” Local fathers who would like assistance in strengthening their family connections with their children can contact MFC in a number of ways. The phone number of the Lexington office is (803) 996-2114, and the website at www.midlandsfathers.com has a contact form that can be submitted online. “MFC-Lexington is a full-service office located at 943 East Main Street in Lexington,” says CEO McDuffie, and even walk-ins are welcome. n

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r e m m u S t e k c u B List Ideas by Brandon Watson

Let’s face it, life moves fast. If you don’t take advantage of every moment, you could miss it. Summer is a time when the weather is warm and you can take more breaks from work to do other activities. What’s on your list this summer? If you haven’t already, it’s time to create a summer bucket list ­— a list of things you want to do and accomplish over the course of the season. Here are some bucket list ideas that are perfect for the summer. 22 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

Go horseback riding at a local stable Do you remember riding a horse as a child? There’s nothing more relaxing than exploring a trail on horseback on a cool summer morning. Trail riding is a great way to see beautiful parts of the world. You could ride in meadows surrounded by trees, through streams with clear water, or down mountain paths with incredible views. Be sure to bring your camera so you can snap some photos of your surroundings as you ride. Many stables offer one-hour rides that are perfect for beginners, and some even let you ride bareback. Explore the options for trail riding in your area. You’ll get health and fitness benefits from horseback riding too: • Increased balance and coordination. • Increased strength, particularly in the core, hips, and legs. • Improved posture. • Stress relief. • Enhanced sleep quality. • Vitamin D from being outdoors

Build a sandcastle. When summertime arrives, it’s time to hit the beach and enjoy the fun of building a sandcastle. Sandcastles can be whimsical, elegant, or downright silly. You can use your imagination to create something that reflects your personality or interests. Or you can take inspiration from the amazing castles built by sand-castle artists around the world, complete with moats, turrets, and even decorated flags. Use your imagination and artistic skills to create a masterpiece! If you’re building a sandcastle, you’re likely at a beach, and you can enjoy the sunshine and waves too. Visit a water park. There’s no shortage of water parks around the country that are guaranteed to give your family an adrenaline rush. Some even have roller coasters that will let you get your fix of both water and speed. Today’s slides are bigger, better designed, and more fun than ever before. Some let you ride with others on mats or tubes, while others let you ride alone along a high-speed chute of water; others take you down steep drops or through loops. There’s usually enough variety at any given water park that everyone can have a terrific time. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. There’s almost nothing more rewarding than helping animals in need. The summer months are especially busy for animal shelters, when people are more likely to abandon their pets due to vacations and moving. While most shelters have specific times to come in and help, many also accommodate volunteers who want to stop by and spend time with the animals on their own schedule. When you volunteer, you may help care for puppies and kittens, or you could be caring for dogs abandoned by their owners, or cats taken from abusive homes. So, you’ll be doing something kind to improve the lives of homeless animals. lexingtonlife.com


Shelters need volunteers to help groom, clean, feed, and socialize the animals. Some will even let you take shelter animals out for a walk. So, you’ll get exercise too. The best way to get started is to contact your local animal shelter or humane society. Some organizations require volunteers to be at least 12 years old, while others take volunteers as young as 6 years old if an adult accompanies them. Have breakfast at a local farmers’ market Start your weekend morning off right by supporting your local farmers and getting fresh fruit or baked goods for your family. You’ll find lots of local producers of fruit, vegetables, cheese, breads, and more. Some also offer prepared foods like coffee, tea, and snacks -- a great chance to get breakfast before taking the kids to school or enjoying the weekend with friends. Sleep under the stars and do some stargazing How long has it been since you’ve slept under the stars? Keep it simple by sleeping in your backyard or taking a camping trip to your favorite campground. If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider backpacking in the wilderness overnight. Do some stargazing while you’re at it. Make sure you bring along an astronomy book, so you can learn about each star as you spot it in the sky. Attend a food festival There’s no better way to meet people than bonding over food, and food festivals are basically giant parties where everyone is there for the same reason -- to eat! Start by checking out any local festivals in your area, but if you’re feeling extra ambitious, consider traveling for the ultimate foodie experience. Document your tasty trip with several photos and reviews for social media; chefs love feedback! Remember to ask for a detailed list of ingredients if any of your family or friends attending have food allergies. The Bottom Line So, there you have it, a list of activities and suggestions to add to your summer bucket list. Whether you use all of them or only one or two will be up to you, but now you have a plan. Ready to get started? What are you waiting for? n lexingtonlife.com

June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 23


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Stay Safe As the days in South Carolina continue to get warm and steamy, more and more people are hitting the lake, ocean and rivers for sports recreation, stress therapy and fishing! Over the years, the number of watercraft and water activities has grown exponentially, which helps ensure healthy tourism, but also adds concerns about safety and education. Whether you are paddling a kayak, riding at high speed in a power boat, leisurely steering a pontoon rental, wakeboarding, or simply drifting on a float, being aware of safety hazards and regulations on the water will keep you and your loved ones protected. In 1971, the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, now known as the Department of Natural Resources, began keeping records on boats and accidents in the Palmetto State. According to the DNR, there are 79,804 registered boats around the state; fast-forward fifty or so years to 2020, and the number has catapulted to 777,008. Given that there are the same number of bodies of water as back in the 1970’s means that the 460,000 acres of lakes and 8,000 miles of rivers become more congested every year. In 2020, there were 161 accidents reported to law enforcement, along with 29 fatalities and 81 injuries. SCDNR First Sergeant Hunter Robinson has been with the agency in Lexington for 22 years and explains that, “Although there is often more than one factor contributing to an accident, the three main reasons come down to inexperience, inattention, and having no lookout person. Factors such as alcohol, speed, and lack of education are often part of the incident as well. Robinson says that overall safe operation on the water starts with the proper safety equipment required to be carried on every vessel larger than 16 feet. He cites SC Code 50-21-870, the Boater Safety Act, as the reference to a lot of enforcement on our state waterways, and part of the authority to provide safety inspections on the water. “We are looking for several specific items when we perform a safety check on the water,” he says. The first thing they check for is that the vessel is properly registered in its home state, including the correct hull numbers, etc. Another must have is a US Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (PFD) that fits properly for each passenger.” He adds that the USCG type is not important, as long as it is sized correctly. The next item they check for is a throwable device often called a cushion, which can be thrown into the water if someone falls overboard. Speaking of PFDs, although they are not required to be worn by adults on board, it is strongly recommended; children under 12 must wear them while on board at all times. Fire extinguisher requirements are often misunderstood--Robinson explains that any boat with an enclosed motor or fuel supply (including PWCs) must carry an extinguisher if

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on the Water This Summer by Captain Tyler Ryan

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it is under 23 feet, and two if it is above 23 feet in length. There must also be a sound producing device. One of the major contributing factors to accidents has to do with inexperience, or not having a general understanding of operational laws. Although there is no “speed limit” on the water, you cannot operate a boat in a reckless manner. Robinson says that on a quiet day, cruising up the lake a 50 MPH may be perfectly safe. However, heading to a busy cove or on a day when there is a big event with a lot of other boats, the same would be reckless. Many marinas or congested areas are limited with idle speed or no wake zones, which means the bow of the boat cannot create white water; that doesn’t mean unmarked coves are free from rules. Robinson continues, “Many people don’t know that you cannot operate within 50 feet of any dock, person, anchored boat, or pier, at any speed.” Another common dangerous practice that SCDNR Officers encounter is people riding outside the railing on pontoons or on sundecks while the boat is in motion. “When a boat is not in gear,” Robinson says, “it is ok to climb around the boat or be on the front or rear decks outside of the railing. However, as soon as the boat is in any gear, it is unsafe, and illegal. Although not every accident results in serious injury, many do happen because of a lack of education in boating and maritime rules. Two boats approaching each other at 90 degrees (think of a 4-way stop sign) is something that happens several times a day. Many people do not know that the boat on the right is the “stand on” vessel, and as South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Robert C. Dennis Bldg., 100 Assembly St. Columbia, SC 29201 dnr.sc.gov • 803-734-3833

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such has the right of way, meaning that the boat on the left must turn. If you are overtaking another boat, either on the left or right, the law states you must blast your horn to alert the boat in front that you are behind them. It is a good rule of thumb, according to Robinson, to have someone who is always on the lookout for other boats, people in the water, or even hazards in the water. He reminds boaters, however, that even if a boat has the right of way, it does not change the responsibility that every boater has to be safe and do their best to avoid incidents. On warm summer nights, a sunset cruise or evening out on the water to see birds or the stars is a favorite pastime but can also lead to problems. Many boaters don’t understand the importance of using lights CORRECTLY. Most pleasure boats, from sunset to sunrise are required to have three lights. A white 360 light, which can be seen in all directions, and red and green navigational lights. Robinson says these lights can tell you a lot about a boat in the dark, including what direction it is traveling, how large it might be, and even if it is at anchor. South Carolina law does allow the use of other colored lights within reason; flashing blue and red lights are against the law as they can be mistaken for law enBoat US Foundation boatus.org/southcarolina 1-800-245-2628

forcement or EMS. Boaters are often seen cruising across the lake at night with dock lights on, which is another violation of law, as they can blind other boaters and should only be used in the marina for the purposes of helping someone dock the boat. Alcohol is another familiar sight on the waterways, and although it is not illegal to have open containers on boats, it is a common factor in unsafe operation while out on the water. Robinson says that drinking on a boat, even if done by the driver is not against the law, but he does say that driving a boat under the influence is a violation. “The unlawful concentration of alcohol is .08%,” he says about the law, “but it doesn’t mean that you are not under the influence with a .05%.” Robinson says that heat, being on the water, and even dehydration can significantly impact your ability to safely operate a boat. South Carolina does not require anyone above the age of 16 to take boating education classes. However, taking the time to become knowledgeable about the rules is very important for responsible boat operation. New boaters and experienced boaters who have not operated a watercraft in a long time would benefit from these courses regardless of age. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources offers online boater safety classes which teach the rules of the road, and organizations like The Carolina Boat Academy will provide hands-on training in all aspects of operating a boat on the water in real time. At the end of the day, many would argue that there are few better ways to spend a sunny afternoon than being on the water. Doing your part to be responsible, prepared and properly educated in boat safety will ensure there are many more boat days ahead for all. n The Carolina Boat Academy Lakemurrayboattours.com/ boatacademy captain@carolinaboatingacademy.com 803-575-2925

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How Kids Can Benefit From

by Marcy Roberts

Summer is drawing near and for parents across the country that means preparing a child for camp. You may have fond childhood memories of your experiences at camp and the friends you made there or the skills you acquired. A well rounded, structured and supervised summer camp will leave your child more prepared for the challenges of life as well as encourage creative and constructive thinking as they explore their environment. Best of all, kids love it!

32 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

Being Away From Home Helps Kids Gain Independence Taking your child to summer camp is a great way to encourage them to become more independent and responsible. Your child can live away from home for several days or weeks in a row and learn how to manage life without the help of their parents. Of course, they will still have supervision, but many kids begin to feel more responsible when they have the freedom of making their own decisions that comes with being at summer camp. They are also likely to learn important life skills such as doing chores and interacting with adults and other children in any atmosphere. Summer Camp Can Be Good for a Child’s Health Camps are a great place for children to learn to be healthy. Some camps have nutritionists and dieticians who give campers tips on what they can do to improve their health, while also introducing them

to new foods they might not normally eat. Camps with strong fitness programs are also an ideal environment for children to get active and learn about how different types of exercise can help them feel better and stronger. Other health benefits kids who go to summer camp enjoy include exposure to the sun and fresh air--two things that are important for a child’s overall health. Spending time outdoors gives kids the opportunity to learn how to survive in the elements (bugs, heat, sun) as well as ample time to soak up vitamin D, which is important for bone health. They also receive playtime and structured exercise. Physical activity improves muscle strength, balance, and coordination while reducing the risk of obesity and heart disease down the road. Teaching kids to exercise early will help them develop a lifelong habit of being physically active.

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Outdoor play is not only vital to a child’s overall development and learning, but kids also often get bored if they spend their days at home in front of a TV, tablet, or video game console. Summer camp is an exciting alternative that will keep them busy and help them avoid boredom. Spending Time With Other Kids Helps Develop Stronger Social Skills Not every child is naturally outgoing and friendly. Some kids are a little apprehensive or reserved, preferring to keep to themselves or sticking with only one or two friends at a time. This can be perfectly fine for some children, but it’s important for kids to learn social skills so they know how to interact with their peers in real time. Camps often put children in groups where they must work together, which encourages them to get along and work as a team. Interacting, collaborating and negotiating with other children independently in a safe environment is a valuable lesson that will serve your child for the rest of his or her life. Summer Camp Helps Kids Develop an Appreciation of Nature Children have the freedom to explore, let their imaginations run wild, and get lost in nature at summer camp. This is an excellent way for a child to learn to deal with and appreciate the weather and the changing seasons. During lexingtonlife.com

free time, children may be able to walk through the woods or have the opportunity to visit a petting zoo where they are surrounded by nature and animals. Hiking is excellent exercise, and kids can enjoy time immersed in Mother Nature and learn about trees, plants, and animals. Kids Acquire New Skills at Camp Perseverance, problem solving, leadership, hard work and grit are just a few of the skills that summer camp can imbed in a child that will last forever. These internal skills also build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of pride. Many camps offer activities

such as hiking, canoeing, camping, horseback riding, sewing, fishing, swimming, arts and crafts, and other fun activities that children may not have time (or the right weather) for during the school year. These activities can be both educational and physically beneficial for children. The Bottom Line Summer camp is a magical place. There are no teachers, no tests, and the days are filled with fun activities such as sports, archery, rock climbing, arts and crafts, cooking, and more. The beauty of summer camp is that it provides children with the opportunity to grow at their own pace. Your child will meet new people from different backgrounds and learn how to get along with people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. They’ll make new friends, meet new people, and participate in new experiences, beyond playing video games at home or vegetating in front of the television. n June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 33


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F by Natalie Szrajer

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or more than 40 years, Captain Telegram has made a point of performing not to showcase himself, but to bring joy to others. “I’m not the show,” he explains, “I’m the wacky emcee”. There are a million and one ideas floating through his head at any given moment, and those ideas take him “over the river and through the woods” via hot air balloon rides, singing telegrams, bananagrams and trolley tours on a daily basis. Originally from Indiana, Michael Kelley a/k/a Captain Telegram worked parttime for a company delivering singing telegrams. After hearing that one of his co-workers was venturing to Alabama to start a telegram service, he decided to try his luck in Columbia. Now more people

know him as Captain Telegram as opposed to his real name. “I wound up coming here (to Columbia) and had success almost instantly,” says the Captain, “making more money in two weeks than I ever did before.” Incorporating trolley services and hot air balloon rides diversified and stabilized his business venture. Boisterous singing telegrams were made popular with Western Union beginning in the 1930s and continued through the early 1970s. However, that’s when independent companies and performers such as Captain Telegram picked up the tab. As times changed and technology continued to develop and advance, the Captain knew he had to get creative to stand out from his competitors. Singing telegrams are traditionally characterized by the individual performer with their own personal twist for the occasion--be it ridiculously funny or sappy and sweet. Captain Telegram gives his own spin by appearing in a red cape and captain’s hat, parading around the celebrated person. “I’ll make a fun fuss and then sing at the end,” he says. He’ll lexingtonlife.com


often have balloons and a cymbal banging monkey most commonly known as the “Jolly Chimp”. After years of following premade scripts, the Captain found his own path and prefers to sing on the spot, straight from the heart in the heat of the moment. The customer who ordered the service reveals a few key elements and traits about the honored person and he takes it from there. Whether it’s totally hilarious or sentimental, it is always unique. “I walk in not knowing the setting or how they may respond, and they generally like it,” he remarks. “I tell people who aren’t impressed that these people care about you and if they didn’t like you, they wouldn’t spend the money.” On that note he jokingly adds: “I get paid to have fun, have adventure, misbehave and be disruptive.” The range and demographics of the people he has delivered telegrams to spans the gamut--the governor, lieutenant governor and other various prominent figures to prisoners. But while everyone has their own story, it’s the sweet little grandmothers that tickle him every time. “What usually makes one stand out is when I go see grandma,” the Captain says, “because of the love and energy in the room. If I have a bad day and deliver a singing telegram, all of this love goes through me. I leave feeling incredible,” said Captain Telegram. Singing telegrams have always been the foundation of the Captain’s livelihood, but as times change he has had to make adjustments and become more creative. For instance, at one time he performed singing telegrams with belly dancers. There was also a time when he was in the inflatables business, but the services people love most overall are his trolley rides and hot air balloon rides.

foremost. It is his protocol to keep an eye on the weather conditions a couple of days prior to taking flight and if there are winds above 6 mph and any threat of rain, he will reschedule balloon rides. “While piloting a balloon, I have to stay focused the entire time and ensure that passengers behave. When we land, they cannot immediately get out of the basket. It’s a serious responsibility,” he says. He navigates the balloon on the south side of Lake Murray but generally avoids going over water, highways and airports. The Lexington area is great for flying because there are wide open fields; Clinton Sease Farm has been gracious, and it is a breathtaking sight to see the corn maze from above. Remember those million ideas running through the Captain’s head? One of

Up, up and away If you want to fly away for about an hour and get a birds-eye view of Lexington, Captain Telegram’s hot air balloon rides are the way to go. The Captain has flown hundreds of times since the early 1980s. Being hundreds of feet in the air can give someone a totally new perspective. Experiencing a sunset in a giant, colorful, heated balloon in the sky is not something a lot of people can say they have done. While soaring in the sky has a calming effect, weather conditions obviously play an important factor and Captain Telegram considers safety first and lexingtonlife.com

June 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 37


those has been to pair his hot air balloon rides with a drone service, thanks to Zach Windham. Windham is a licensed drone operator and is excited about the future possibilities of the combination. “I reached out to the Captain about six months ago expressing my hobby of flying drones, filming and editing,” Windham said. “I film aerial videos for local companies and events around the Midlands. I mentioned to him that I have filmed most of my bucket list goals except for a hot air balloon, and now I film the majority of his flights.” Windham loves the energy Captain Telegram brings to the table and is excited about upcoming projects on the horizon. “Captain is the man to collaborate with!” Windham exclaims. Tra-la-la-la Trolley Captain Telegram has had his trolley service for roughly 20 years. In earlier years he booked services through the City of Columbia, before the City developed the transportation system known as Comet and the Soda Cap Connector. The Captain’s ventures always develop from experience and mastery of a vehicle or subject; he helped a friend operate a trolley about 30 years ago. His current trolley is less “Mister Rogers” and more converted bus style since there are no open windows and doors. However, his trolley doesn’t look like a typical city bus; he has refurbished the inside to appropriately accommodate wedding parties and other large groups comfortably. Wedding parties are conveniently transported from the wedding site to the reception site and, as you can imagine, the energy and excitement on that ride is unbelievable with many crazy photographs! Photographs of the newlyweds on the rear of the trolley are a MUST! Although the trolley services are generally around the Midlands area, there have been several occasions that the trolley has been hired in Aiken, Augusta, Savannah, and Charlotte. Helping the Less Fortunate One of the Captain’s many passions is raising awareness regarding 501c3 non-profit organizations as well as individuals performing random acts of kindness in the Midlands area. Along with a few friends he created Woods Talk News, a network to share non-profit developments, missions and progress, fundraising efforts and to promote volunteerism. It 38 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

originally focused on the homeless population, but later evolved to include a variety of causes: environmental, health and exercise, animal rescue, art and culture, recreation, working with the less fortunate, etc. The name Woods Talk News was born from the Captain’s many discussions in the woods with a friend who happened to be homeless. The news outlet is in its beginning stages; there is a Facebook page and a strong vision for future projects as well as many interested businesses and potential community partners. “The idea is to share information about what these organizations and individuals are doing and help them

get recognized,” said Captain Telegram. “I want it to be more conversation like… making it fun and informative.” As you can see, Captain Telegram is quite an interesting Lexington character with many positive “irons in the fire”. He is having the ride of his life delivering smiles, singing telegrams, driving a trolley, piloting a hot air balloon and figuring out new ways to help others. To find out more about his ventures, to get involved or book his services, visit his Facebook pages (facebook.com/CaptainTelegram or facebook.com/WoodsTalk-News), his website (CaptainTelegram.com) or give him a call at 803-256-3737. n lexingtonlife.com


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An Old Flame by Emily Carter

T

he best part about the Chevy step side was just that, the step on the side. We rode there, on the dirt path of the farm, hanging on to the side rails of the truck bed, barefoot savages. The wind cooled the summer days, offering air-conditioning through a breeze brought by speed. We liked to stick the landing, jumping off the step just as Daddy hit the brake, but before he engaged the clutch. If we launched just right, the momentum carried us for a moment, an automotive leap from a swing. On a late afternoon, my sister mistimed her jump and fell straight down, the arch of her foot a perfect fit for the arc of the muffler. The smell of burned flesh permeated the air just before her wails broke the sound barrier. We were dirty from working in the garden and night was fast approaching. Mama and Daddy put my sister in the front and threw my brothers and me in the truck bed and we bugged out in that Chevy step side through the back roads to a place called Black Ankle – in hot pursuit for a woman who “talked out fire”. It was half an hour on two lane, winding roads. Through the back glass I craned my neck to see my sister, a writhing pendulum of agony, striking chord between the shoulders of our parents. It would seem more fitting if I described the fire woman as a hunched over enchantress; small in stature with a sloping spine curvature. However, the fire

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talker was tall, dignified and beautiful. Her hair hung in loose brown curls, and she stood on the porch of a wood frame farmhouse sensing our arrival. She had the gift of healing burns, passed from her daddy. The legend states that the communication with fire moves from father to daughter, then mom to son, alternating genders through waves of generations. Daddy carried my charred sister to the woman, and they spoke in hushed tones. She hummed a low brogue and spoke in a tongue we didn’t understand. My brother said it was French as though he was fluent with the language. At eleven, he thought he was smarter than the rest and we started to argue, but we paused because it wasn’t wise to fight during a time of crisis. My sister ceased rocking in pain and gazed up at the woman who charmed the lords of the embers. They locked eyes and the pain lifted--the burn left. The redness receded and evaporated into the air as though it never happened. The woman wouldn’t accept the wad of ones Daddy offered her. She waved as we left and we rode home, the air fresh and still, my sister healed, the cicadas and creek frogs in concert with all things nocturnal. We were never afraid, only grateful to know a woman who could wane out the flames. There is no scar to retrace this memory, and some may think it never happened, but belief and faith run cloudy in explanation and that is where the magic lies. n

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Protect Your Older Loved

SUMMER SUN Summer is a wonderful time for the entire family, including the older loved ones who live with you or make their homes nearby. Whether your elderly parents live with you or your loved ones live across town, there are steps you can take to keep them safe in the sizzling summer sun. If you want to keep your elderly friends and relatives safe, a few simple precautions can make a world of difference. Here are 11 easy things you can do to protect your older loved ones as the weather starts to heat up. 1. Monitor medication. Some medications can be problematic in the summer heat, and many antibiotics can make sun exposure dangerous. It is important to monitor the medications your older loved one is taking, educating yourself and them about these potential problems. 2. Prioritize hydration. Fluctuations in thirst can increase the risk of dehydration for senior citizens, and that can be an even bigger problem in the summer heat. It is important to place a high 46 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

priority on hydration by providing plenty of healthy and delicious things to drink when the weather gets hot. 3. Get up early or stay up late. The middle of the day is the worst time to be outside in the summer sun, and that makes now a great time to be an early bird or a night owl. If your older loved one lives with you, setting the alarm a bit early or staying up longer at night can make a big difference in the level of harmful sun exposure and other warm weather risks. 4. Conduct a daily tick check. From Zika to Lyme disease, many frightening illnesses are carried by ticks, and these little bloodsuckers are everywhere in the summer months. Checking yourself, and your elderly loved one, for unwanted passengers is a good practice, and one to follow after spending time in the great outdoors. 5. Keep the house cool. If your elderly loved one lives with you, do what you can to keep them cool. Whether that is opening up the windows and letting the cool breeze flow through or just cranking up the air conditioning, everything you can do is a step in the right direction. lexingtonlife.com


Ones in the

6. Avoid food poisoning with safe handling practices. Summer picnics are a lot of fun, but eating the wrong thing could land your senior loved one in the hospital. Following safe food handling practices like keeping cold foods cold and hot ones hot can reduce the risk of harmful pathogens and keep your older relatives safe. 7. Know the signs of heatstroke. When the weather gets hot the risk of heatstroke rises exponentially and knowing the warning signs could save the life of your elderly relative. Educating yourself now will mean less worry later, so learn the warning signs and stay vigilant. 8. Supervise pool time closely. Young children need to be monitored closely at the pool, and so do your elderly relatives. Keep a close watch on your loved ones as they enjoy a cool dip in the pool - it just might save their life. 9. Carry extra sunscreen. You can never have too much sunscreen, so carry extra for your older loved ones. Reapplying sunscreen on a regular basis is a great way to protect your loved ones from skin cancer and other dangers. 10. Dress in light clothing. When the weather gets hot it is important for everyone, including your older loved one, to dress the part. Light loose fitting clothing is the order of the day, and the season, so grab those summer outfits and enjoy. 11. Protect their eyes. Skin needs protection from the summer sun, but so do eyes. Investing in a good pair of polarized sunglasses with full UV protection is important, and a great way to keep your loved one’s vision safe. Protection from potential summer dangers is always important, but some people are more at risk than others. Senior citizens can be especially vulnerable to summer dangers, including food borne illnesses, heatstroke and skin damage from excess UV exposure. If you want to protect the people you love from these warm weather dangers, the 11 tips listed above can get you started. n

by Marcy Roberts

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3 Smart Tech Devices That Save Homeowners Money

by Candace Jones

Technology plays a fundamental part in most of our lives. It automates our day-today living, reducing laborious household tasks that used to take us hours right down to a few seconds. Did you know there are many smart devices that can make your life simpler and save you money at the same time? Ideal for money-conscious homeowners, these three smart devices can be instrumental in bringing down the cost of running your household. Smart Meters Energy suppliers are becoming more aware of conserving energy. Many now offer smart meters as part of your home energy tariff. If you haven’t seen a smart meter before, it is a device that takes the hassle out of reporting accurate meter readings by submitting it automatically to your provider. They allow you to monitor your usage in real-time, too. No more rooting through your kitchen drawer to find the key for your meter cupboard! Smart meters do all the hard work for you. Accurate meter readings mean you only pay for the electricity or gas you actually use, rather than relying on estimated usage--with absolutely zero extra effort involved once it’s installed (and your supplier will usually do this for you).

However, simple actions like switching the lights off from anywhere in the house will translate into significant savings over time. Smart Security Cameras Installing CCTV used to be a strictly commercial affair for industrial properties or wealthy homeowners. Now, thanks to smart security tech being readily available, almost anyone can invest in setting up a network of cameras to keep their home safe. Smart security cameras are affordable and easy to use. They keep your home secure when you go out to work or away for the weekend. Connecting to your home WiFi, you can access your cameras from anywhere using an app on your phone or web browser. Many come with two-way audio and crystal-clear HD video. The best part? You might be able to reduce your insurance premium with a camera installed in your home. Now that you know these three devices can save you money and that there is no hard labor involved in installing them, what are you waiting for? There’s never been a smarter time to update and streamline your home technology and save money for a rainy day. n

Smart Bulbs Energy-efficient bulbs are nothing new. Smart bulbs kick things up a notch with the instant brightness that LEDs offer, plus clever features that you can control using an app or smart home device. They’re inexpensive and simple to install. Simply screw or click them into place like a regular lightbulb. Then connect to your WiFi and control them from any room. The ability to switch lights on and off and control the brightness means you save money with their efficiency. This might seem like a novelty to start with if you’ve never used them before, and they often come with fun RGB capabilities. 50 | LEXINGTON LIFE | June 2022

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Dishes That Will Delight Dad!

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CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO 2 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp. smoked paprika 3/4 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp. mustard powder 1/2 tsp. cayenne 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs) vegetable oil (1 tbsp. + 1 c., divided) 12 oz. andouille sausage, sliced into coins 6 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth, divided 1 c. all-purpose flour 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped 2 stalks celery, finely chopped 2 bay leaves 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 green onions, sliced (whites and greens separated) 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped Steamed white rice or potato salad In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder, and cayenne. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry and season all over with spice mixture. Sear the chicken thighs in the hot oil, turning occasionally for even browning, until cooked through, about 12 minutes. (The chicken should have a brown crust on both sides.) Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Add the sausage to the same pot and cook until it starts to brown slightly and the edges begin to curl, about 3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the bowl with the chicken. Add ½ cup of chicken broth and deglaze the pot, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits left behind. Pour the deglazing liquid over the chicken and sausage and set aside to cool. Make the roux: Wipe the pot clean and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 cup oil and heat until you start to see wisps of smoke. Add the flour all at once, reduce heat to medium-low, and whisk continuously. Continue cooking and occasionally whisking, allow-

ing the roux to darken until it reaches a deep brown, milk chocolate color, about 20-25 minutes. (The texture should resemble wet sand.) As soon as the roux is done, add the onion, bell pepper, celery, bay leaves and a big pinch of salt. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the roux from burning. Add garlic, scallion whites, and thyme, and cook for an additional 1 minute. Whisk in the remaining 6 cups chicken broth. Using clean fingers or a fork, shred the chicken into bite sized pieces, then return the chicken, sausage, and deglazing liquid to the pot. Bring everything to a simmer and cover. Allow the gumbo to simmer for at least 1 hour (and up to 4 hours) to give the flavors a chance to meld. Remove bay leaves and top with green onions before serving. TENDER PORK SPARE RIBS 1 c. brown sugar 1/2 c. fajita seasoning (such as Fiesta®) 2 tbsp. Hungarian sweet paprika 2 racks pork spareribs, fat trimmed 1 c. beer 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp. honey 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp. prepared brown mustard Mix brown sugar, fajita seasoning, and paprika in a bowl. Rub both sides of pork spareribs with the brown sugar mixture. Place spareribs in a 9x13-inch baking pan; cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Whisk together beer, garlic, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a bowl. Set aside. Tear off 2 large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil and lay them shinyside down. Place a rack of spare ribs on each sheet, meaty-side up. Tear off 2 more sheets of foil and place them on top of the spare ribs, shiny-side up. Begin tightly folding the edges of the foil together to create a sealed packet. Just before sealing completely, divide beer mixture evenly into each packet. Complete the seal. Place the packets side-by-side on an 11x14-inch baking sheet. Bake ribs in the preheated oven until the ribs are very tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Carefully open each packet and drain drippings into a saucepan. You may only need the drippings from one packet. Place ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet and set aside. Heat the saucepan over medium-high and simmer drippings until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. lexingtonlife.com


Brush the thickened sauce over ribs. Preheat the broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Return ribs to the oven and broil until the sauce is lightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. ONE BOWL CHOCOLATE CAKE 2 c. white sugar 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 2 eggs 1 c. milk 1/2 c. vegetable oil 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 c. boiling water Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two nine inch round pans. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. DEEP FRIED CORN NUGGETS 1 -11 oz. can creamed corn 1 -11 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1 egg white 2 tbsp. milk salt and pepper to taste 3 c. vegetable oil for deep frying In a medium bowl, stir together the creamed corn and drained whole kernel corn. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Drop spoonfuls of the corn mixture onto the sheet, and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Heat one inch of oil to 350 degrees F in a large deep skillet or fill a deep fryer with oil as directed by the manufacturer. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, egg white, milk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Dip frozen corn nuggets in the batter, and quickly fry in hot oil until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. n lexingtonlife.com

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Kirk Morgan is honored to have been chosen the “Best Litigation Attorney” in Lexington for the tenth consecutive year. He is also proud to announce his new firm, Morgan Litigation Group, LLC, in partnership with Charles “Chuck” Slaughter. The firm remains focused on catastrophic burn injuries, car accidents, products liability litigation, as well as any other legal conflict which may require trial counsel. Morgan Litigation Group is located at 135 East Main Street in Lexington, South Carolina. A branch office is now also located at 1156 Bowman Road #203 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Kirk and Chuck look forward to assisting the citizens serving all of South Carolina who may need Legal Representation

135 E. Main Street | Lexington, SC 29072 | 803.359.6194

www.morganlitigation.com

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Choices of Course You’re 36 years-old and self-employed. You say you’re working yourself to death. We all face this challenge, as we take any work presented to get things moving. And when things take off, we cannot imagine not taking the work. Working yourself to death is a real fact. Nobody can change it but you. The exception to this is a heart attack from overwork which will get your attention. This happens to a lot of older guys who never learned to find balance. Aside from illness, nothing stops you from working yourself to death — except you. It is a relatively simple decision to make. No decision is still a decision. If you don’t decide to not work yourself to death, then you make the decision to indeed work yourself to death. You’re coming into a period of life where I hope you’ll begin plotting a course rather than just riding life’s currents. It is the right time of life to begin that work. It sounds easy. It is not. Most people will not do it. I suspect not plotting a course mostly has to do with how it requires thinking instead of wasting lexingtonlife.com

time fighting where the current has taken one. Life’s currents almost never lead to any place in particular. They’re just currents. Many times they are circular like a whirlpool, where one goes faster and believes one is getting somewhere. For an in-depth look at where whirlpool currents lead, study the water in the toilet after you flush it. Plotting your course is a lifetime study. Your thoughts about success should begin to change. This is really a constant series of decisions -- often several times a day -- about what success means for you. Nobody can decide this but you. Many men chase money and that’s it. It’s easily done and easily measured. But several decades of examples prove this pursuit always ends in a meaningless place of no real value. Money is certainly important, but worrying about money will keep you up at night. Remember, the love of money is the root of all evil. In my view a man must learn how to live inside his own skin and understand what matters to him: what are you willing to do or willing to sacrifice? Anything one buys can be lost or sto-

len. It pays to study that which cannot be lost or taken away. My experience has taught we will either intentionally ponder these questions or they will force themselves upon us in the burden of regrets over having taken the easy path instead of the right path. The right path becomes easier after a while, but is initially incredibly difficult because it is foreign to one’s youthful thinking. You are coming into real adulthood now. Many men never grow out of childhood thinking because change is difficult, and they ultimately pay a steep price for that choice. God waits for you to pray for guidance. You will receive it if you are mentally ready. n

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

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