Lexington Life Magazine - May22'

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May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 1

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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.


Be well.


Thursday, May 12th Lexington One-Fore the Foundation Grand Golf Tournament Golden Hills Country Club, 100 Scotland Dr., Lexington, 8:00 a.m. The Inaugural Fore the Foundation Grand Golf Tournament has been rescheduled! Join us at Golden Hills Golf & Country Club for a fun round of golf while helping to raise money to support the Lexington County School District One Educational Foundation! All proceeds will support our schools, teachers and families through our educational and need-based funding to Lexington District One. Each year the Educational Foundation offers student, teacher and school grants; scholarships to high school seniors; financial assistance to families struggling; and much more! For participation or sponsorship information, please email jwashburn@lexington1.net or call phone 803-821-1008. Thursday, May 12th-Saturday, May 14th South Carolina Poultry Festival 101 Main Street, Leesville, various times Bring the family for the 36th annual Poultry Festival in Batesburg-Leesville! Enjoy vendors, live music, arts and crafts, road races, a parade and more! Visit scpoultryfestival.com for complete schedule. Thursday, May 12th-Sunday, May 22nd Village Square Theatre Presents Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Village Square Theatre, 105 Caughman Rd., Lexington, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. In this play based on the book by Roald Dahl and dramatized by Richard R. George, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, Grandpa George, Grandma Georgina, Willy Wonka, and Charlie himself come to life. For tickets visit villagesquaretheatre.com.

8 | LEXINGTON LIFE | May 2022

Saturday, May 14th 16th Annual St. Baldrick’s Event Tin Roof, The Senate in the Vista, 1022 Senate St., Columbia, 1:00 p.m. This event currently honors the battle of 120 SC children (or with SC ties). Be a hero for kids fighting cancer--join the cause to end childhood cancer-a St. Baldrick’s haircut truly is the best haircut. BRAVE the SHAVE: Be a bald by choice hero for those who have no choice! During the pandemic, kids were still being diagnosed with cancer, but donations to support research have been down drastically. We can change that – and save lives! Whether you decide to shave your head, volunteer to raise money another way, or make a donation, please participate in giving kids with cancer the long, healthy lives they deserve. Visit stbaldricks.org for more information. Saturday, May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd Columbia International Festival South Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Dr., Columbia, various times The Columbia International Festival showcases the music, culture, food and performing arts of the various cultures, nationalities, races and language groups represented in South Carolina. Since 1996, the event has been bringing together all of the area’s international communities to build better community/race relations between various ethnic/cultural/language groups and with the South Carolina community at large. Learn about the cultural heritages of around 100 countries, displayed by their foreign-born hosts through pictures, artifacts, fashion, dance, parades and more. Visit cifonline.org for schedule and tickets.




Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms reading this today. As a son, I am especially thankful for my mother who passed away from breast cancer 13 years ago. Mom had an innate quality to laugh at life and the challenges that came with it. She had a slightly goofy chuckle, and her head would tilt at an angle slightly backwards when she laughed. Her smile would widen while her eyes would sparkle. No matter what kind of mood I was in, Mom’s laughter always brought a smile to my face. I miss her dearly. As a father, I am just as thankful for my wife Donna and her mothering skills and abilities. Being a mom is no easy task and I truly appreciate her hard work and love for our family. I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather as much as I am. We have had our fair share of rain so the pollen has seemed less severe this spring than last year when a stiff breeze would sweep up the pollen like tumbleweed in the ole wild west. As a proud father, I’d like to congratulate my oldest son Joey on his graduation from the Citadel, my daughter Jenna on her acceptance into Auburn’s School of Nursing, my youngest son Noah’s 15th birthday, my father’s 79th birthday and his 25th anniversary to his awesome wife Janet. Thanks for reading this magazine. We couldn’t produce it without the support of our sponsors whose advertisements help support our community outreach efforts.

14 Village Square Theatre 19 Are You My Mother? 24 Packing Light for Summer Travel 28 West Columbia Kinetic Derby 34 Summer for Pets 38 American’s Evocative Parking Lot 46 Summer Fashion Essentials for Men

Columns 11 Faith Matters 55 David Clark

Departments 8 9 13 52

Calendar of Events From the Publisher Lexington Leader Spice of Life




Thanks again for reading and Happy Mother’s Day to all! 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

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


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Emily Carter, Renee Love,Jackie Perrone, Tom Poland, Marcy Roberts, Marilyn Thomas, Mark White STAFF PHOTO BY Clark Berry Photography

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


May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 9

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Pastor Rocky Purvis Northside Baptist Church www.northsidebaptist.org 803.520.5660 This is the month we celebrate our mothers. So in honor of them, I thought I would share Erma Bombeck’s “When God Created Mothers.” When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.” And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a broken heart. And six pairs of hands.” The angel shook his head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands.... no way.” It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.” That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded. One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.” God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow....” I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.” The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” he sighed. But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.” Can it think?” Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator. Finally, the angel bent over and ran his finger across the cheek. There’s a leak,” he pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.” It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.” What’s it for?” It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride. “You are a genius,” said the angel. Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.” This month make sure to show your mother how much you love her! n Sunday: 8:00, 9:30 & 11:00 am Life Groups: 8:00, 9:30 & 11:00 am 4347 Sunset Blvd, Lexington, SC 29072

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May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 11

Making Summer

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by Jackie Perrone

Linda Norman “I like to keep busy and to give back to the community, so I’ve always found a way to volunteer where I live.” AND HOW! Linda Norman’s casual remark covers a lifetime of creativity, service, and good citizenship. And geography: San Francisco, Africa, Australia, Kansas and today in South Carolina. These days, she resides happily at Deepwood Estates in Lexington, settling here to be close to her daughter and grandchildren. She “found her way to volunteer” in her adopted community by sewing dolls and bears to be given away. For each of the past 12 years, she has donated 150 bears (with two outfits each) to Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Sister Care, Toys for Tots, and to hispanic children at St. David’s Lutheran Church in West Columbia. “Making these bears for children who may be going through a hard time gives me joy,” she explains. Linda Norman grew up in San Francisco, and her world travels began when she married an Agricultural Economist who wrote books, worked as a consultant, and dedicated his life to helping farmers in developing countries grow better crops. In Nigeria and Botswana she taught pre-school and elementary school and polished her skills at sewing and design. “I started making toys because an English teenager in Nigeria made one. Then, soon after I moved to Lexington a niece in the family here visiting, just had to have her bear with her at all times. As the British would say, she put a bee in my bonnet.” She’s also made several items “on request” for close friends, including a school mascot fox with a backpack, a Spiderman costume for a bear, teddy bears made from the shirts of a man who passed away, and memory pillows from a man’s shirts for his family. Wherever this citizen of the world lived, she was always active in church, serving on committees and teaching Sunday School. Since moving here, she has worked behind the scenes at the aquarium at Riverbanks Zoo. Anything you’d like the chance for a do-over? “If I could, I would love to snorkel again at The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.” “What I enjoy most about living in Lexington, other than the beautiful warm weather and being near my daughter and her family, is the friendly people. Everywhere I go, people are smiling and they are always willing and happy to visit with me for a little bit. I’ve lived all over the world but Lexington is home.” n lexingtonlife.com

May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 13

Years 60 V I L L AG E S Q UA R E T H E AT R E

O F E N T E RTA I N M E N T A N D E D U C AT I O N by Emily Carter

Community theater is one of the many creative arts that provides locals with a platform in which they can express themselves freely in a safe space. As more people are exposed to the arts in any given area, creativity, innovation and awareness flourish. Self-expression allows the privilege of exploring language and the emotions that make it effective in a way that can permanently influence the lives of the actors and the audience, breaking through barriers of age, culture, race and gender, as well as economic status. 14 | LEXINGTON LIFE | May 2022

“Anyone can be involved in our community theater,” says Debra Leopard, Artistic Director of the Village Square Theatre in Lexington. “It’s more important than ever in today’s world to build confidence, find a place to belong, learn to communicate and work as a team, build lasting friendships. You always fit in at the theater and it’s an important part of society.” Originally named the Lexington Recreation Committee, Village Square Theatre was the brainchild of a group of parents desiring creative activities for their children. They held dances in churches and schools, formed youth sports teams, hosted festivals featuring local musicians. The Armory on Northwood Road housed art and craftwork. In 1972, they expanded into a traveling theater company, bringing You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Babes in Toyland to a packed house at the old Lexington Elementary School. As the Lexington Recreation Committee and its offerings grew and the mission evolved, 1975 brought a natural division of the sports and arts sides, birthing a name change to Lexington County Arts Association. The sports offerings moved to Lexington County Recreation Commission. In 1987, Lexington County Arts Association purchased Village Square Movie Theatre, giving brick and mortar to the organization, and continuing its dream. The old screen still backdrops the stage, a piece of history kept intact for the community to remember a time of long ago. A long running tradition has been the performance of decade reviews, bringing a creative examination of occurrences and history within a recap of a ten-year time frame. These reviews portray a broad and local look at time and culture, narrated and portrayed by local acting talent. Much like the Dorothy character in their popular feature, The Wizard of Oz, Village Square Theatre has survived its share of lions, tigers, bears, and flying monkeys, yet stayed the yellow brick path to make sure something and someone was behind the curlexingtonlife.com

tain. Tornado damage and flooding brought need for repair and realignment, but the building still stands proud on Caughman Road, slightly hidden behind Firestone Tire and Village Square Shopping Center. “I’ve had so many people tell me over the years that they didn’t know we were back here,” comments Leopard. “We’re just off Main Street, in the heart of downtown Lexington. We’re here and everyone is welcome.” And in that building, Leopard is confident that people can find their place. “Anyone can be involved in theater,” invites Leopard. “Village Square has a lot to offer. We laugh. We have fun. You make friends for life.” Leopard, who holds a Master’s of Theatre Directing Specialty from University of South Carolina, reflects on the significance of Village Square to families and communities. “You are never too old or too young to be in a play. There aren’t many things in life that are multi-generational.” During the 60th Anniversary celebration Review performed in February, Leopard notes that there were highlighted excerpts from twenty-three musicals, fifty songs, involving fifty-five performers ranging in age from eleven to seventy. “Village Square Theatre brings discipline, dance, song – the dramatic arts to the community. It’s an important part of who we are as a society,” says Leopard. As with most of the world, Covid 19 brought hardship to Village Square Theatre. The building and organization shut down for over a year unable to perform or gather for classes. Dependent on donations and ticket sales, it was a struggle to stay afloat, but the long-standing history and determination of the board and its service to the community provided the framework for a firm commitment to the role of Village Square Theatre and the people of Lexington. This past February as the opening of the Anniversary Review approached, an unexpected surge of Omicron variant forced the group to be creative and think out of the box. “It was a true porlexingtonlife.com

trayal of the adage the show must go on,” says Leopard. “We never had a full cast due to exposure and illness, but we kept going, covering for one another, determined to perform and celebrate.” After all, the show MUST go on!

“Village Square has a lot to offer. We laugh. We have fun. You make friends for life.” Village Square Theatre provides classes in acting, directing, voice, dance, public speaking, audition prep, and more. Taught in a group or private setting, these classes allow for freedom in self-expression and prepare students for success with an openly free-range of modalities. With sixty years in the rearview mirror, 2022 has Village Square Theatre moving full speed ahead. “If you aren’t involved in a play or attending a show at Village Square

May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 15

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Theatre,” says Leopard, “You are missing out. There’s so much for everyone. Every generation can participate.” We, as humans, love to be entertained—sports events, concerts, parties, movies, etc, and there is nothing that can compare to live acting. Acting performances can be a gentle or a harsh reminder as to how we should work together as a society. While we can watch all of this through digitalized reel, the magic atmosphere elevates when delivered in live, human form. Alongside a cast we can experience happiness, sadness, disappointment, regret, excitement – all in one two-hour block of time on the edge of a cushioned seat, senses heightened and responsive to the rise and fall of a scene curtain and dramatic music– all orchestrated by family, friends, and neighbors. What we absorb from these experiences mentally, physically and emotionally can make a direct impact on our lives and the lives of those we love for generations. As spring thaws and Covid restrictions relax and the world excitedly engages in assembling once again, you don’t need to travel very far to find amazing productions. Visit the Village Square Theatre’s social media pages or website for show times, volunteer opportunities and educational classes. n

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18 | LEXINGTON LIFE | May 2022


Are you my

Mother? You may recall this refrain from the classic P.D. Eastman book about a baby bird who searches for it’s Mother. Children would find Eastman’s book a comforting story with a happy ending, but we could also interpret the story as an archetypal journey, the search for Mothers and even Home. In Eastman’s book, the baby bird asks one animal after the next, “Are you my Mother?” Of course, we all have mothers, but many of the important people in our lives are not biologically related to us. A professor, coach, or a caring neighbor may be just as inspiring in a young person’s journey as one’s biological parents. Mrs. Page was my parents’ next-door neighbor. She and her husband Johnny did not have children, and at a time when her peers already had grandchildren, Mrs. Page remained hopeful about having her own child, somehow instinctively knowing it is always too soon to give up on a dream. I am told that my Father would carry me wrapped in blankets across our yard, and then pass me over the fence to Mrs. Page. While my parents worked, Mrs. Page took care of me, and we did everything together, from watching birds and squirrels in the bird bath to planting annuals: pansies, marigolds, petunias, and snapdragons. We liked bouncing rubber balls against her garage wall, making Martha Washington candies, and playing the game “Memory.” As I grew older, so did our hobbies, and we both learned to cross stitch and ride bikes. Later, we both learned to drive. For birthdays, Mrs. Page would treat me to a restaurant and then shopping at a department store to choose a present of my choice. Even the store names were uniquely beautiful, like Woollexingtonlife.com

worths, Ivey’s, Thalhimer’s, and Noelle’s. Mrs. Page knew everything, even how to bring Poinsettias back from the dead. This near-magical process required putting plants in closets and then bringing them back into the world at precisely the right time. She knew the perfect lipstick and the right roses to wear on Mother’s Day, red if one’s mother were living and white if not. Mrs. Page would cut Tea Roses from her garden and chill them in the “ice box” overnight, a process she believed made the flowers last longer. On Sunday morning before church, Mrs. Page would bring the roses to our house for us to wear. In those days, many of us would pin either red or white roses to dresses or coat lapels on Mother’s Day: tributes to our respective mothers. Like the hatchling in Eastman’s book, some of us must also seek out that person who could “keep us under wing,” like an adopted mother, those chosen family members with whom we may not share blood but kindred connections and in whose “nest” we feel at home. Mrs. Page did not have biological children, but positive

by Renee Love

May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19

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role models in a child’s life do not have to be limited to a child’s parents: a child’s mentor could take many forms. Likewise, Home need not be limited to the place in which one was physically born: Home might be that place in which one feels loved and happy. For me, one of my homes was with Mrs. Page in the little house on Kimbrough Street. In all these years, I have yet to meet anyone like Mrs. Page, someone who at 58-years-old experienced the blessings of motherhood and “had” the “baby” she had always wanted. The Mother of Mother’s Day Mother’s Day has an interesting history with which you may be familiar, stemming back to the early twentieth century, to the 500 white Mother’s Day carnations that Miss Anna Jarvis, a Philadelphia teacher, distributed to the mothers at Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1907, after her own mother’s death, Jarvis began a national campaign to celebrate mothers, and because her mother had taught Sunday School at Andrews Methodist Church for twenty years, Jarvis gave her mother’s favorite flowers, white carnations, to all the mothers in the con-


gregation. These white carnations given to celebrate mothers were perhaps the first Mother’s Day flowers, and Jarvis’s efforts to honor mothers developed into an official Mother’s Day holiday, the second Sunday of May, approved by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. By the 1920’s, Jarvis had become frustrated with the commercialization of Mother’s Day, which was becoming an industry— the printed cards, boxed candies, and other products designed for Mother’s Day. Jarvis and her sister criticized how businesses tried to “cash in” on Mother’s Day; they wanted the holiday to focus on the people of Mother’s Day and not “the business” of Mother’s Day. Jarvis did not have children, but in her role as a teacher and mentor, I imagine she “mothered” and mentored many young people. Ideally, mothers (and fathers) nurture children, helping the tiny seeds of a child’s personality grow into fruition. For each one of us, we being with unlimited potential, starting life in a form smaller than an acorn, yet through nurturing, we can eventually “blossom” into adults, just as the acorn becomes the great oak tree. But it is not only a child’s parents who can make a positive (and powerful) difference in a young person’s life. Role models and mentors in the community can play inspiring roles in helping young people

grow into healthy adults, just as Ms. Page, my next-door neighbor, helped me. Positive role models in a child’s life do not have to be limited to a child’s parents -- though, of course one hopes that parents would be good role models, too. A child’s mentor could take many forms: a teacher like Miss Jarvis, a grandparent, music teacher, coach, Boy Scout leader, next-door neighbor, aunt, or uncle. Even before Jarvis launched her campaign to develop a Mother’s Day holiday, she clearly perceived the importance of role models in a person’s life, of mentors who help nurture the next generation to maturity. It’s likely Jarvis played a mentoring a role in the lives of many students, helping young people develop their talents and potentials, helping them become productive citizens, just as she was. Around the same season as Mother’s Day, many schools today have Teacher Appreciation Week, which seems appropriate since Jarvis, the Founder of Mother’s Day, was a teacher also. When my children were young, they would delight in picking “flowers” from our yard for their teachers. We did not have carnations or roses, so the children’s bouquets looked wild and magical, like an impromptu gathering of Honeysuckle and wisteria vines, Hosta leaves and purple flowers, white Azaleas and fern fronds. Ms. Page would have been so proud. n May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 21

22 | LEXINGTON LIFE | May 2022


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Packing Light For Summer Travel by Brandon Watson

You’re finally ready to plan that trip you’ve been waiting two years to take. What do you pack for a summer vacation? Can you fit everything you need for a twoweek trip into a carry-on? Yes, you can! Packing light may seem like either a mysterious art form or just plain torture, but it’s really not so bad. No matter what your destination is this summer, you can pack light and still have plenty of outfit choices to get you through your vacation in style. Why Should You Pack Light? Many airlines charge extra for checked luggage, and fees can be as high as fifty dollars for one checked bag. It’s not just a money-saving move, though. Traveling with a carry-on also saves time at the airport and as an added bonus you won’t have to worry about lost, stolen or delayed luggage. What Type Of Carry On Should You Use? Before we discuss what to pack, it’s a good idea to talk about what to pack it in. If you are going the carry-on-only route, it’s a good idea to study your airline’s baggage policies, as they vary from airline to airline. While many domestic and international airlines allow carry-on sizes up to 22” x 14” x 9”, others have smaller carry-on requirements. Frontier and Spirit Airlines, for example, have a size limit of 18” x 14” x 8”, and several European budget airlines have similar restrictions. Typically, you’ll be allowed a piece of carry-on luggage that you’ll stow in the overhead bin and a personal item that you’ll stow under the seat in front of you. This often takes the form of a tote, backpack, or small duffel. It has to fit easily under the seat, so keep that in mind. How Much Do You Pack for a Two-Week Trip? A common mistake is to pack for two weeks when in reality you only need to pack for one. Most hotels have a laundry service, and if they don’t, there will usually be a laundromat or laundry service nearby. Vacation rentals often have washing machines but not always dryers.

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Packing clothing you can wear more than once is ideal, so look for fabrics that are wrinkle-resistant and hold their shape. Clothing made from merino wool is wonderful for keeping you warm in chilly weather and wicking away moisture. Also, you can wear it repeatedly and it still smells clean. Packing for All Weather and Occasions Is it possible to pack for trekking, sightseeing, museum-hopping, and the beach all in one carry-on? Yes. What if the weather changes? The answer is still yes. With a few core pieces that can take you from day to night, some cozy layers, and some comfy basics, you can build a travel wardrobe that is simple, classy, and functional. A capsule wardrobe is a selection of wardrobe pieces that are versatile and can be mixed and matched to create several outfits. The idea is that tops and bottoms are interchangeable, allowing for multiple different outfits using the same few articles of clothing. Most capsule wardrobes feature neutral colors but that doesn’t mean you can’t use pops of color or patterns. Here are some typical clothing pieces that will make up your travel capsule wardrobe. • Lightweight, stylish black pants you can dress up or down • Little black dress or skirt • Jeans • Leggings • A pair of khakis, cargos, or chinos in a neutral color like tan or gray • Button-down shirt • Two or three basic t-shirts • Two or three tank tops • A comfy sweater/cardigan • Rain jacket • Packable down jacket • Two pairs of shorts • Swimsuit & cover-up • Underclothes Ideally, any of your shirts should go with any of your bottoms. You should be able to vary the look of an outfit by adding a scarf, cardigan, or putting your button-down shirt over it. For example, you can wear your black dress out to dinner with a pretty necklace and sandals, then wear the dress the following day with your cute sneakers and your white button-down tied in the front to give a cute, sporty look. Add a jeans jacket or cardigan if it’s a little cool. Black pants look cute with a dressier lexingtonlife.com

shirt but also work with a t-shirt or tank. Switch pieces up with new accessories or combinations to give you two weeks’ worth of outfits but still be able to fit into a carry-on. Of course, you can swap any of these items out to reflect your style or location. For example, if you are visiting a tropical destination, you might swap out the little black dress for a pretty sundress. You may skip the base layers and just stick with a light sweater and a rain jacket. You may choose to swap out the black pants for a pair of capris or add another pair of shorts. It’s a good idea to have an outfit or two you can wear for an evening out or an event, and outfits that will take you from a morning of exploring the local neighborhood to a dinner out at a bucket list restaurant. Ultimately, your goal is to create a wardrobe where each item will match any other item in your bag. All of your shirts will work with your shorts, your sandals will look good with any of your clothes, and you have enough options to get by for two weeks doing laundry once. Make your attire POP--accessorize your lexingtonlife.com

capsule wardrobe with a pretty scarf, a statement necklace, and perhaps a cute hat. Layering For Comfort Bring a base layer you can wear if the weather turns chilly, and a packable down jacket that folds into a bag and doesn’t take up much room. Keep in mind that airlines put a weight limit on carry-ons, so it’s important to keep luggage from becoming too heavy. A light, rain-proof jacket is also a good idea. What about shoes? Most likely you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes. Wear your heavier, bulkier shoes on the plane and pack your sandals or dress shoes in your bag. Packing The Bare Necessities Keep cosmetics simple and be sure to follow the TSA guidelines for liquids. Remember, most toiletries can be purchased at your destination, so don’t feel like you need to bring the kitchen sink. Should You Cube? Some people swear by packing cubes,

others are adamantly against them. It’s a personal choice, really. Compression packing cubes can help keep you organized and from rummaging around in your bag, especially if you have a top-loading backpack. Try one out, and if it works for you, great. Packing cubes are not a necessity, though. Pay Attention To Fabrics Lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabrics are the go-to of seasoned travelers. Some brands specialize in making clothing that is ideal for travel and trekking and create clothing lines that are “packable” by using materials that hold their shape, don’t weigh you down, and are easy-care and quick drying. Packing light doesn’t mean you ditch style or comfort. You can whittle down your choices to clothing that is lightweight, versatile and easy to care for. One good rule of thumb is to lay out everything you think you’ll need and then get rid of half of it! Following these guidelines will help you pack light, save time and save money, while still looking stylish on your trip. n May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 25

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May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 27

West Columbia Kinetic Derby Day: by Marilyn Thomas

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Community, Kinetic


Cars, AnD

v i i t ty a e r

A blast from the past, the West Columbia Kinetic Derby Day is a family-oriented activity where nostalgia intersects with scientific understanding, artistic creativity, and environmental responsibility. This inspiring event offers something for everyone and is sure to become a springtime favorite within the West Columbia and Cayce community every year. The third annual West Columbia Kinetic Derby Day took place on April 22, 2022. “We created this event to inspire creative thinking and bring the community together,” says Anna Huffman, the City of West Columbia’s Communications and Technology Director. As part of the city’s Redevelopment and Revitalization Plan, which was published in 2018, the community’s leaders convened to discuss ideas that “would bring new life to West Columbia,” explains Director Huffman. “One of the things was to create events and festivals for visitors and residents to come and participate and make West Columbia a destination, so we brainstormed and reached out to our local artist community. A couple of business owners had talked about how they wanted to do a kinetic parade, so we worked with them and then incorporated the soapbox derby with that, so that was how Kinetic Derby Day was created.” Since that time, the event has “definitely grown,” says Director Huffman. “We draw people in from Charleston, Charlotte, Greenville, and Augusta, so it is a huge event.” The first kinetic racers corral side-by-side at the starting line on the crest of Meeting Street’s hill. Both individuals and businesses may enter the race, and the competition has divisions for different ages and categories. In the past, one of Lexington’s high schools even created a curriculum that culminated in the Kinetic Derby Day event. Building supplies were donated by Lowe’s, an engineer assisted students with car construction, and two of the top vehicles received free entries into the event. “The program was great,” says Director Huffman, “and the kids loved it.” At this year’s event activities included an artisan’s market with handmade crafts and exhibits, a variety of edible options served by local food trucks, Children’s Theater performances, a ferris wheel with a glorious view of downtown Columbia’s skyline, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) demonstrations presented by several organizations (e.g., Nephron Pharmaceuticals, JT Kia, Carolina Law Office, Lexington Two School District Innovation Center, EdVenture, and the Cayce/ West Columbia Library). Additionally, an exclusive Kid Zone featured face painting, balloon artistry, games, kinetic crafts, and smaller soapbox cars for the younger children to enjoy. There is something for everyone--businesses, individuals and families. “Our River District Association has worked with businesses down there to encourage them to come out on the street,” says Director Huffman, “so that while people are out watching lexingtonlife.com

May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 29


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the soapbox racing or out on the STEAM Festival on State, they’re also going in the shops and browsing.” Restaurants within the neighborhood welcome passers-by as well, so the dining options are always plentiful. The downhill race route was rearranged as an obstacle course, which is a first for 2022. Winners of all the races are presented with handmade trophies created by local artist, Justin Vorhis. These awards are based on age divisions and for categories such as “artistically creative roller,” “need for speed,” and “recycled art.” Another first for this year was special recognition of the winner of a “grudge match” between the Cayce and West Columbia police departments.“The derby grudge match between myself and Chief [Marion] Boyce,” says City of Cayce Police Chief Chris Cowan, “is an extension of our commitment of working together for a common goal: our two cities being safe and successful (thriving). I am committed to friendly competition as long as it does not get in the way of protecting the citizens of Cayce and holding those who would victimize our citizens accountable.” When questioned about this friendly rivalry, City of West Columbia Police Chief Marion Boyce’s response is that “It’s all fun and games, and it’s good to have some fun with that stuff, but at the end of the day, I have tremendous respect for Chief Cowan and his police department – they’re top-notch and professional, and I think mine is one of the best as well. The police force has the pleasure of blocking off all the roads and making sure everybody’s safe at the Kinetic Derby,” says Chief Boyce. Also, “The Cayce Police Department has a display at Kinetic Derby Days,” adds Chief Cowan. “Our C.O.P.S. (Community Outreach Policing Services) unit and community outreach coordinator showcases our new E energy equipment and community policing services.” “Community events that bring citizens of all walks of life together make stronger communities,” asserts Chief Cowan. “Fun, food, and fellowship grow bonds that unify us.” Correspondingly, Chief Boyce says, “I think it’s a great way to enjoy your community, and West Columbia has a lot of things that are up and coming and on the move. It’s a great way to showcase some of the local arts and businesses in the area. It’s just good, wholesome family fun.” “We want family to get involved and just have a really family-friendly, fun event where there are all kinds of things going on for everybody that comes,” says Director Huffman. West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles would agree; he and his family have participated in Derby Day since its beginning, and this year was no exception. “My two youngest daughters [Charlotte and Cate] race on a cart we built. My oldest daughter [Emma] scoots around in her wheelchair socializing and enjoying all the other activities. The event is so much fun,” he adds. “Building the cart is fun, especially if you do it with one of your kids. It is a great opportunity for them to build something and use it to compete in. We built our cart with my middle daughter, Cate. It was awesome to get to watch her race it.” Another devoted participant in the race is local retiree Martin Alexander. Originally from Flint, Michigan (also known as “Vehicle City”), he developed a penchant for things-that-go from an early age. While taking a motorcycle road trip between working on his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he visited his family in Lexington County, “and I never left,” he says. Before and after his early retirement, he became interested in creating custom motorcycles and bicycles. His late wife, Beverly, who was certified as a welder, as required by a previous position working in nuclear power plants, joined him in this pursuit. “As you can see, I’ve always been interested in having a vehicle allowing the wind in my face,” says Mr. Alexander. “When I was a child, my father was in charge of the regional soapbox derby in Flint for several years. I never got to race because my father was busy organizing the race rather than building a car with me. Perhaps that is why when my wife told me about the Kinetic Derby, I was eager to become involved. My first derby car,” he recalls, “was actually a 12-foot rocket which won the 2018 Grand Champion prize. In 2019, I put wings and wheels on it and won the Artistically Creative Roller prize. I also entered a 12-foot-long blue whale named Moby Dixie for the State Street display. This year I will drive a gyrocopter, based upon the second ‘Mad Max’ movie, which was built two years ago, prior to the COVID cancellations.” Of the previous races, he recalls, “A favorite experience would have to be winning the lexingtonlife.com

Grand Champion prize, as it was so unexpected, but of course, it’s always enjoyable to quietly glide down the Meeting Street hill in friendly competition.” Mr. Alexander also adds that “One of the original goals of the derby was to have cars built as inexpensively as possible using as many recycled

materials as possible. I have always tried to adhere to that. I get virtually all of my materials from scrap people throw out to be picked up by the trash collectors. For example,” he explains, “my entry this year, the gyrocopter, cost me only $16 – that was for the propeller. Everything else is scrap material I had found.” “I recommend the race because it allows anyone with any skill level or any income level to participate on equal footing. And it teaches people how useful and fun recycling can be. It is always fun to see how creative people can be, especially without a large expense,” he says. The West Columbia Kinetic Derby Day has an informative website at www.kineticderbyday.com. Interested spectators, racers, sponsors, STEAM demonstrators, and artisans can find out everything they need to know to participate to the fullest in this springtime annual event. n May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 31

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May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 33

by Marcy Roberts The summer season is a great time of year, and not just for people. Cats, dogs, and other pets love the warm weather just as much as their owners, and tagging along on road trips, swimming in the pool, and hanging out by the picnic basket are all popular summertime activities. As a caring pet parent, you will want to keep your best friend safe this summer, and that starts with the proper planning. Understanding the dangers summertime can bring and being proactive about them is the best way to protect your pet all season long.


Make sure all ID tags are accurate and up to date. Your pets do not know their address, and even if they did they would not be able to communicate that vital information. You can close the gap by making sure all ID tags are accurate, up to date, and easy to read.


Ask your veterinarian about microchipping. Even the best ID tag will be useless if your pet’s collar is lost, so ask the vet about microchipping for your cat or dog. This permanent form of ID cannot be lost, and it could be the key to reuniting with your pet.


Avoid picnic foods that could be dangerous for your pet. When the weather gets warm dinner is often outdoors, and there is nothing like a summer picnic. If your pet wants to tag along and join in on the fun you can keep them safe by keeping them away from foods that could be harmful, like chocolate and small or cooked bones.


Practice smart water safety. There is nothing like a swim at the lake or a dip in the pool when the weather gets hot, but pet parents should never allow their dogs to swim unsupervised. Practicing smart water safety and keeping a watchful eye on your pet are vital during this special time of year.


Know the signs of heatstroke. Sometimes the heat can get a bit too intense, and when it does heatstroke can be a real danger for your pet. Educating yourself and knowing the warning signs is the best way to keep your pet safe when the mercury rises.

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Keep Your Bes lexingtonlife.com


Make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations. From established diseases like rabies and distemper to emerging threats like Lyme disease and the West Nile virus, your pets are facing dangers on many different fronts. The best way to fight back is with timely vaccination, so make sure your pets have all their necessary shots.


Provide an outdoor playground for your indoor cat. Keeping your cat indoors is good for their safety and well-being, but sometimes kitties just want to play and enjoy the warm weather. A supervised romp in an outdoor playpen can be just the thing for your summer-loving cat.


Make road trips safer with a canine seat belt. The only thing better than hitting the road for a summer road trip is taking your best friend along for the ride. A canine seat belt will help keep your best friend safe and secure no matter what the road has in store.


Keep your pet safe with flea and tick protection. From collars that provide protection for the entire season to spot-on treatments applied directly to their fur, pets and their parents have many choices, so do what works best for you and your best friend.


st Friend Safe lexingtonlife.com


Do a daily tick check. Even if you have tick protection in place, it never hurts to be sure. Conducting a daily tick check of your pet, and yourself, is the best way to steer clear of some seriously scary diseases. For many pet owners summer is the best time of year, and the only thing better than the warm weather is hanging out with their four-legged best friends. If you love summer and your pets, the 10 tips listed above can help you keep your best friend safe from warm weather dangers. n May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 35

Happy Mother’s Day to All The Furbaby Mamas!

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May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 37

Americana’s Evocative

Parking Lot You’ll find vintage cars and trucks, bona fide Americana, in three places. Rusting along a back road, mangled and beat up in junkyards, and private garages, the domain of restorers. No, make that four places, in the air. I’ve seen classic cars on poles and the rooftops of garages. Advertising they called it. by Tom Poland 38 | LEXINGTON LIFE | May 2022

love old rides and when I come across one, a time machine scoops me up and whisks me into the past. A wave of nostalgia sweeps over me and questions rise. In what graveyards do its owners and passengers lie? How many miles did it rack up? Who, if anyone, claims ownership? Just how did it end up in this final resting place? Will it be here when I pass this way again? Of late several times did I pass by two classic trucks heavily clad in a patina of rust. Mental note, Tom: come back and photograph these beauties. Update: I tarried a bit and when I came back they had vanished, rescued by collectors I hope. Whenever possible I take the road less traveled where I see old trucks and cars relegated to rust and dry rotting tires. But somewhere, I know, their restored brethren fill their owners’ heart with pride and lexingtonlife.com

joy. Collectors coddle and pamper these survivors and like bluebloods they reign as automotive royalty. But what about the abandoned old cars and trucks? Who speaks for the blue-collar conveyances? I do. I treasure these one-time indispensable vehicles spending their rusty retirements in fields, yards, and the weedy patches of nowheresville. They rust as newfangled descendants whiz by with their hybrid-electric engines, climate control interiors, Bluetooth hands-free phones, satellite radios, and GPS marvels. You can’t get lost anymore, can you? Yes, you can. You can lose yourself in Americana’s Evocative Parking Lot. The parking lot is disjointed. It’s around the next curve. Way out yonder in a farflung field. Behind a collapsing building. Propped up on cement blocks, “see-mint” as the old timers pronounce it. All across the land vintage vehicles wait for you. Some wait in broad daylight. Some play hide and seek. You just have to look for them, and you should. Just seeing them brings back memories of ancient grandparents, clapboard buildings, smokehouses, shade-tree mechanics, country stores, tin lexingtonlife.com

buildings. Maybe an old gristmill, maybe even grandmother’s butter churn through the miracle of associative thinking. These old relics roll no more and no one fixes them, as we say down here, but thankfully no one bothers to take them to the junkyard for scrap. They’re banished to the Rust Home and they’re as American as apple pie. They join the ranks of Coca Cola signs, white picket fences, ice cream parlors, and hand-painted US flags on red barns as true Americana.

on your left in a grove of old oaks. Then go all ’round the traffic circle and take 391 to your right.” Allure. That’s what these roadside remnants possess. You just don’t get that homesick feeling when you see a new truck beneath a shed. It’s still got some get up and go and it will do just that. Go. But just how long can an old car or truck sit without someone towing it away? Long enough for a tree to grow through it? The proof sits before you. An acorn ended up beneath the engine compartment. It germinated, and enough sunlight fell through the carnage left from a rippedout engine to make it grow. Rains fell and water dripped down sheet metal so the little oak could drink a bit. One of life’s small miracles confronts you. The tree became a sensation, protected perhaps by someone who wanted to see how long a tree could reach for the sky through all that Motown metal, or maybe it’s just one acorn’s good fortune, a stroke of luck. Did someone drive the truck over a sapling and shut her down for good and later sell the engine? Or did a squirrel bury the acorn beneath the truck, sensing a place safe from rivals of the acorn-eating tribe? I’ll never know, but I know this much. Today’s trucks and cars seem ill suited for life beneath a shed, and, besides, fewer sheds stand as we leave small farms and grease monkeys in the dust. Your truck, your car, your pride and joy? When its days are done, I’ll wager it ends up crushed, shredded, and recycled.

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Old trucks and cars reign as classic belles for those of us who find them mysteriously alluring, like a woman with a slight scar on her cheek, a flaw that heightens her beauty. Old cars as beauties: if only people aged like old cars and trucks. And so old cars and trucks serve as beautiful landmarks for the GPS-less crowd pining for old paper maps. “Say, mister, can you tell me how to get to Delmar?” “Drive past an old blue Plymouth ahead

All that sounds efficient but it sure isn’t picturesque, and sure as the rising sun it won’t provide shelter for a one-tree arboretum like you see here. I repeat. You’ve got to get lost. Abandon your GPS. Forget maps. Just drive into the May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 39

Happy Mother’s Day!

Get Mom’s house cleaned this Mother’s Day!


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If you know just where to go in western South Carolina you’ll come across an old car Bonnie and Clyde might have commandeered to rob a rural gas station.


country and take random roads to nowhere. That’s where you’re likely to see the wheels our grandparents and aged and dead relatives drove. You have to get away from the interstates and take the back roads. On a certain Midlands road a sideways glance will glimpse a barn-sheltered blue Chevy pickup nicely framed by pine limbs. Upstate you’ll spot a rusty old Ford truck with a Beware of Dog sign where its driver-side mirror sat. In a place that must remain secret a classic old car sits beneath a shed side by side with an old white enamel dryer. Over toward Kingstree, you can frame

up an old dinner bell and a red Chevrolet pickup sitting beneath the shed of what might have been an old school. In a place known only to me, wedged between a cedar and an oak amid a tangle of vines sits an old aqua-and-white rusty 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air. I hear tell an old farmer used it as a sort of truck. Come sundown in this battered old car, he’d bump through pastures festooned with yellow bitter weeds, clunk past a lonely persimmon tree and ranks of white-faced cattle. Herefords, they were. From afar, those cows would amble the old man’s way and when his jalopy closed in they would break into a stiff-kneed trot. To see the old man’s car was to see feed. A warm afternoon found me driving Highway 76. As I drove into Laurens, I discovered the Nostalgic Filling Station with what might have been an Edsel beneath its overhang. That ill-starred car named after Henry Ford’s son, Edsel Bryant Ford, was marketed as the car of the future circa 1957. It lost what would have been $2,160,573,678 in 2019 dollars. One Edsel expert said “it was the wrong car at the wrong time.” Well, I can tell you the right car at the right time, the right truck at the right time sits somewhere on a back road. Highways with numeric designations like 25, 28, 378, 521, and 178 harbor evocative sights that will spirit you into the past. Old trucks and cars, yesteryears’ museums on wheels. Seek them out. Admission’s free. See if they don’t bring up a swell of memories of old movies and times when you yourself rolled along a bit easier than you do today. For a select few of you, Americana’s Evocative Parking Lot just might remind you of “Cherrylog Road,” James Dickey’s epic poem about a junkyard where, like the hero of the poem, some old cars and trucks are “wild to be wreckage forever.” But, and this is vital—many old cars and trucks retain their figure and look like they did the day they rolled off the line. They’ve aged gracefully beneath that patina of rust, and they’re waiting for you to drive by. Don’t disappoint them. n May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 41

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May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 45

TOP 5 Summer Fashion Essentials

FOR M Whether you’re looking forward to the summer or simply want a wardrobe upgrade for your next holiday, it always helps to grab some summer fashion essentials. From the right swimming trunks to the best sunglasses, summer wardrobe items are often just as practical as they are stylish. No matter what time of the year it is, it’s worth buying some summer clothing and accessories. Not only will they come in handy when you need them, but the right picks can last you for years to come. Plus, whether you prefer designer brands or affordable alternatives, you can find tons of options to suit your style. Here are the top five summer fashion essentials for men. 1. Sunglasses When the sun comes out, one of the first accessories you’ll want is a high-quality pair of sunglasses. Not only will they help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but a good pair of sunglasses can instantly enhance your appearance and make you look effortlessly cool. That’s why everyone needs at least one reliable pair. The right style largely depends on what suits you. It’s worth trying on various pairs in a local store or opticians to see whether you prefer circular, hexagonal, rectangle, or classic styles such as aviators and wayfarers. You could also consider practical pairs such as wrap-around sunglasses these are excellent for sports and look particularly great with casual summer outfits. While you can buy from top sunglasses brands like Ray-Ban or Gucci, you can also find affordable yet stylish pairs from fast-fashion chains like H&M and Uniqlo. You can also find a wide range of pairs in sportswear stores if you’re looking for more practical styles. Just keep in mind that it’s often worth paying more for sunglasses with features such as polarized lenses as these can prevent damage to your eyesight while still looking great.

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2. Swimming Trunks Swimming trunks are another musthave item for every man. After all, they’re not just great for hitting the beach or pool. A stylish pair of swimming trunks can go well with all kinds of breezy summer outfits or even be used for sports and exercise. They’re easily one of the most versatile pieces of summer clothing you can buy. Shorter pairs are generally better for swimming, but you might want to grab a pair of knee-length shorts or board shorts for casual wear and sports. You can even find practical pairs with zip pockets for storing your keys while you’re heading to the beach. Trunks come in tons of colors and styles, so it’s worth grabbing a few different pairs to suit various moods, functions, and outfits. While designer brands like Calvin Klein and Gucci offer plenty of options, you can also find more affordable pairs from retailers like ASOS and SHEIN. lexingtonlife.com

MEN by Mark White

3. Linen Shirts Sometimes you want to go out in the summer wearing something a little smarter than a tank-top or t-shirt. Unfortunately, heavy cotton or polyester button-ups will quickly leave you sweating and end up catching odors. Fortunately, linen shirts offer the perfect middle-ground. Not only will they keep you cool, but they also look smart and stylish. Putting on a linen shirt during summer feels amazing. The material is light, breathable, and doesn’t catch odors easily, making it particularly practical for hot weather. On top of that, linen shirts manage to look suave whether you’re wearing them with shorts, jeans, or even trousers. As such, they’re great for every summer function from formal parlexingtonlife.com

ties to everyday errands. You might want to go with linen shirts from quality brands like GUESS and Hugo Boss. You can also find stylish options from stores like ZARA and ASOS. A white linen shirt will go well with practically anything, but you can also experiment with other colors such as pale blue, mint green, and even tan. It’s worth having a few of these since they can go with so many outfits. 4. Slides When the weather’s hot, even a quick walk to the store can leave your shoes and socks smelly and sweaty. Switching to sandals or flip-flops is practical, but these options don’t exactly look great and sometimes they can get uncomfortable if you’re going on longer walks. That’s why you need a pair of slides. Slides, also known as sliders, offer the perfect balance between style, comfort, and practicality. You can wear them to the pool or even just slide them on when you’re heading to a friend’s house. They’re also extremely easy to wash and dry so you won’t need to worry about odors. Designer brands like Versace, Gucci, and Burberry are famed for their slides. However, sportswear brands often provide the best balance between style and affordability. For instance, check out the North Face Basecamp Slides, Adidas Adilette Slides, and Everlast Godan Sliders. Many of these come with extra pad-

ding for your feet, meaning they’ll feel comfortable even if you use them all day. 5. Breathable Trainers Sliders or flip-flops aren’t always the most practical option for footwear. Perhaps you want to go for a run or head on a long hike to soak up the sun. However, many trainers or sneakers will leave your feet drenched in sweat. That’s why you need some casual, breathable trainers. Sneakers that offer breathability are often lighter, more flexible, and make your feet feel cooler. As such, they make for the perfect summer fashion items - especially if you’re doing anything physical or outdoorsy. Flyknit trainers are particularly useful for this, but other materials also work well. A good pair of breathable sneakers can even look stylish with the right outfit - some are even suitable for parties and clubs. For instance, check out the Yeezy Boost 350 V2, Nike Epic React Flyknit 2, and Adidas x Pharrell Williams Tennis Shoes. No matter whether you’re planning on heading to the beach, a summer party, or just hitting the streets during sunny weather, these five fashion essentials will come in handy. All of them are practical, stylish, and can be mixed and matched with a variety of outfits and looks. Make sure you buy these items now to keep your wardrobe wellstocked for warm weather. n May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 47

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PERFECT CHICKEN RIGGIES 1 tbsp. olive oil 4 oz. hot Italian ground sausage meat 1 c. sliced mushrooms 1 onion, sliced salt and ground black pepper to taste 1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, roughly chopped 1/2 c. Marsala wine 1 -28 oz. can whole Italian plum tomatoes (such as San Marzano), crushed 1 c. chicken broth 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream 1/2 c. water, or as needed 1 1/2 c. chopped hot and sweet peppers 1/2 c. pitted and chopped kalamata olives 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 c. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley 1 lb. rigatoni 1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir sausage, mushrooms, onions, salt, and black pepper in hot oil until vegetables are softened and sausage is browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir chopped chicken to sausage mixture; cook and stir over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Pour in wine and cook, stirring to remove any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, until most of the wine is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and cream; simmer for 30 minutes. If needed, add water to create a thick sauce. Stir peppers, olives, and garlic into sauce. Continue to simmer until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in parsley. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook rigatoni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until nearly cooked, about 11 minutes. Drain. Combine sauce and cooked pasta, stir in cheese, cover and set aside until pasta has absorbed the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes. 52 | LEXINGTON LIFE | May 2022


TOASTED RAVIOLI 2 tbsp. whole milk 1 egg 3/4 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs 1/2 tsp. salt (Optional) 1/2 -25 oz. package frozen cheese ravioli, thawed 3 c. vegetable oil for frying 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese 1 -16 oz. jar spaghetti sauce Combine milk and egg in a small bowl. Place breadcrumbs and if desired, salt in a shallow bowl. Dip ravioli in milk mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs. In a large saucepan, heat marinara sauce over medium heat until bubbling. Reduce the heat to simmer. In a large heavy pan, pour oil to depth of 2 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with hot marinara sauce.

PASTA WITH BACON AND PEAS 1 -16 oz. package spaghetti 1 tbsp. olive oil 1/4 lb. turkey bacon, cut into small pieces 1/2 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 -15 oz. cans tomato sauce 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley 1/4 tsp. dried basil 1 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 -15 oz. can peas, drained 1/4 c. grated Romano cheese Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute bacon, onion and garlic until lightly browned. Stir in tomato sauce. Season with parsley, basil, garlic powder and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas. Toss with pasta until evenly coated. Sprinkle top with Romano. n

SHRIMP AND MUSHROOM LINGUINE 1 -8 oz. package linguini pasta 2 tbsp. butter 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/2 c. butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 -3 oz. package cream cheese 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 3/4 tsp. dried basil 2/3 c. boiling water 1/2 lb. cooked shrimp Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguini and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, melt 1/2 cup butter with the minced garlic. Stir in the cream cheese, breaking it up with a spoon as it melts. Stir in the parsley and basil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in boiling water until sauce is smooth. Stir in cooked shrimp and mushrooms; heat sauce through. Toss linguini with shrimp sauce and serve. lexingtonlife.com

May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 53

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Navy Beans D

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


addy was born in ‘17. His Father left in ‘25, leaving a Mom and six younguns. Daddy used to sit at the dripline of a building we called “The Garage,” which was Daddy’s space. I spent Saturdays out there as he piddled. He’d give me a few small boards and let me piddle, too. I’d ask what he was doing while he watched the rain. “Watching it rain, son.” Finally around the time I turned 12, I asked: “Why are you watching it rain?” “Son, when I was just a little older than you are now, it stopped raining and it didn’t rain for three years. Nobody told us as it rained the last time before it stopped that it wasn’t going to rain anymore after that. We didn’t know it, but the Dust Bowl had begun.” That gave me something to think about. A year or so before Daddy died in ‘99, we had lunch at a buffet restaurant. One of the choices was Navy Beans. “Oh, John Brown, Navy Beans.” Daddy scooped a helping and put them on his plate. I noticed as he took a bite of Navy Beans that he got a faraway look in his eyes. Those were not just any old beans he was eating -- there was something else going on inside his mind. “Daddy, tell me about Navy Beans. What are you thinking as you’re eating them?” He took another bite and sort of leaned back in his chair. “Well, son, you know it quit raining back in the early 30’s. We always had a little garden and that really helped us get by with milk from the cow and a few eggs. But we had no garden in that drought. It was tough times. And then they got worse. “One day, a man in town who had a mercantile store where Mom had worked for a while drove up in a truck. He had just gotten a boxcar full of new stock, and part of what he got was Navy Beans. He respected my Mom and knew she was having a tough time, so he brought Mom a keg of Navy Beans into the house. Back then a keg was 35 pounds. She soaked a batch of Navy Beans overnight and served them up the next evening. They were delicious. She served them again on the second night, and we turned up our nose at Navy Beans. So she scooped the beans back into the pot. She threw the whole potful out to the chickens and sent us to bed, because there wasn’t anything else. She served Navy Beans the third night, and we ate them right down. We were hungry. We ate Navy Beans every night for a year after that. Navy Beans kept us alive, and we wouldn’t have made it without them.” He held a scoop of beans as a toast: “Yessir, it’s worth remembering that I’m living proof you can do just fine on nothing but Navy Beans.” n May 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 55