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Life Renewed.





MARCH Saturday, March 19th-Sunday, March 20th Columbia Gun and Knife Show South Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Dr., Columbia, Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Whether you’re in the market for something or not, going to a gun show is always fun and can be a social event. Even if you aren’t planning to purchase any goodies at the show, take enough money for entry, food and drinks. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 with military I.D., kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult. For details visit Saturday, March 19th-Sunday, March 20th Spring Arts and Crafts Market Extravaganza S.C. State Farmer’s Market, 3483 Charleston Hwy, West Columbia, Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Browse through more than 100 vendors, crafters and local businesses from across the Midlands. Items available include jewelry, children’s clothing and accessories, pottery, artwork, photography, woodworking, handbags, Christmas crafts, ornaments, wreaths, and items to spruce up the home and garden for the spring season. In addition to offering local artisan crafts, the event also acts as a fundraiser for Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. Free admission and free parking. For more information visit

Thursday, March 21st-Sunday, April 3rd Tartan Day South 2022 Historic Columbia Speedway 2001 Charleston Hwy., Cayce, 6:00 p.m. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind event! The Tartan Day South Highland Games and Celtic Festival is a four day event honoring the impact the Scots, Irish, Welsh and ScotsIrish have had on the history of the Columbia area. The festival is an array of many different venues and events featuring sports, food, music and interactive exhibits. Thursday, March 31st Taste of Lake Murray 2022 Doubletree by Hilton, 2100 Bush River Rd., Columbia, 6:00 p.m. This event was created to raise the funds necessary to hold the 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray each year. A Taste of Lake Murray is a great time to kick off the Lake Murray season and enjoy food and beverages from area restaurants and vendors. Live entertainment will be provided. Tickets are $100 per person and available at the Capital City/Lake Murray Country Visitors Center (2184 North Lake Drive, Columbia), online at or by phone at (803) 781-5940.

Irmo, Chapin & Lake Murray 803-973-0648

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Features 14 18 22 29 34

The weather is warming up and our daylight hours have lengthened considerably. March has always been one of my favorite months because the temperature is comfortable without being sweltering. The grass starts turning green and will now require more consistent attention than it did over the winter. Spring is here! My youngest son Noah turns fifteen in May and tonight he came to me with a request that caught me totally off guard. He wanted to learn how to shave. Wow! Talk about a dad moment. He explained to me that he wanted to shave the discoloration on his upper lip and clean up his chin from the unruly hairs. I kept a straight face and grabbed a razor and some shaving cream for him. As I watched him intently concentrate, he guided the razor across the discolored area so that it was no longer discolored. His face beamed with pride as he moved on to his chin. I demonstrated how he could use his tongue to help the razor get into the nooks and crannies of his face and watched as he imitated me. Soon he was satisfied with his first shave as he smiled and dashed off to his room leaving me standing alone in front of the bathroom mirror. At that instant, I realized that God’s gifts come in many different forms. He had just given me a special moment with my son that I will cherish forever. My shaving lesson lasted only ten minutes, but I am still smiling ear to ear nearly two hours later.

PAC Providence Athletic Club Irmo Music Academy Nurses Honor Guard of S.C. The Lost Art of Hand Writing Online Habits that Put Your Identity at Risk

Columns 11 Faith Matters

Departments 8 9 13 36

Events From the Publisher Irmo Chapin Leader Spice of Life





Thanks for reading Irmo Chapin Life Magazine! Todd Shevchik



DIRECTOR OF SALES Donna Shevchik 803-518-8853

EDITOR Kristi Antley

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mary Ann Hutcheson, Renee Love, Jackie Perrone, Marcy Roberts, Marilyn Thomas STAFF PHOTO BY Clark Berry Photography

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To Serve or To Be Served

Artist Kelly Pelfrey


Jesus made a huge statement “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:28) Think about the first part of his statement. The creator of the universe came to earth to serve others! So, if God himself came to serve, how should I live? As we still maneuver through the pandemic we are struggling as individuals. People are lonelier and more isolated than ever before. Mental health issues are increasing. Our students are struggling. We are finding that 30% of the people who were active in church before COVID are never going back to church. I believe a crucial part of returning to some sort of normalcy is to learn to serve again. One thing true about our community and our country, people love to respond to the needs of others. We love to serve. We like it when we can genuinely help others. That is the way God wired us. He made us to serve. Jesus set the example. Serving is a spiritual discipline. In fact, you were created for service. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph. 2:10) So we can do good things… we can serve! Do you want to serve God? Well, when you serve others, you are serving God! “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Col. 3:23) Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Serving gives your life meaning. JESUS: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:35) Look at serving others as an opportunity, not an obligation. “Worship (Serve) the Lord with gladness!” Psalm 100:2 n


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irmo-chapin by Jackie Perrone

Tim Whipple A lot has changed in the 40 years that Tim Whipple has been coaching high school students. What hasn’t changed are teenaged boys, according to this veteran mentor. They’re still up to the same high-jinks of the growing-up years that have always earmarked them, and they still need the understanding, support, and trust that enable them to build good character. Coach Whipple has built a noteworthy career through relationships with his students. There’s nothing he’d rather be doing. “It’s all about trust,” he says. “If I am straightforward and honest with my students, they can respond the same way, and we can make something good happen. Leadership involves many intangibles. I try to focus on important life lessons.” His leadership has guided the basketball program at Irmo High International School for the Arts to a basketful of trophies and championships as well as many honors for the coach. Most recently, he was surprised with “Tim Whipple Day” at the school, including a State House Resolution presented by Representative Chip Huggins congratulating him on his four decades as head basketball coach. This tops a long list of achievements, including induction into three halls of fame: Erskine College Athletic Hall of Fame, South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He has been named South Carolina Coach of the Year three times, Area Coach of the Year six times, and Region Coach of the Year 15 times. His teams have won an unparalleled five state championships out of 10 championship appearances. Tim is ranked second in state history in total wins, and his 10 state championships are the most of any 4A/5A coach. His Irmo program includes nine seasons of being undefeated in region play. He likes to say that, while he grows older every year, his students remain the same age. He thinks they keep him young at heart (until he looks in the mirror). “Think of the things they are coping with,” he muses. “Social media, the Internet, and the awful year of COVID-19 pressures. Teaching used to be about one person, the teacher, imparting knowledge to students. Now all that information is available to them at a touch. They still need to learn the life lessons of collaboration and teamwork, discipline, and focus. Athletics is an ideal platform for that.” Tim Whipple is a graduate of Erskine College, later earning his M.Ed. in secondary administration and supervision from USC. Tim and his wife Valerie have two daughters, Kate and Kristen, and two grandchildren, Kellan and Laney. n





Providence Athletic Club (PAC) Panthers Baseball:

Life Lessons Learned from

Game By Marilyn Thomas

For the Providence Athletic Club (PAC) Panthers’ players, coaches, and family members, baseball isn’t just another sport. The leadership of this local program is intentional in using baseball as a conduit through which it can create unity, build character, and achieve excellence in their players – both on and off the field.


n the spring of 2009, a group of parents congregated in Lexington, South Carolina, to discuss the possibility of initiating athletic opportunities for their home-educated students. This unified vision soon resulted in the birth of the Providence Athletic Club (PAC) Panthers program. As their endeavors gained momentum, volunteers stepped up to lead the way in providing a variety of sports options. Among them was Jim Blevins, a father of three sons, who offered to serve as the first baseball program director. “My sons were aging out of league baseball,” he explains, and because they were home ed-


ucated, “laws at that time prohibited them from playing for local high schools. “We tried to make PAC different from the very start,” he continues. “We tried to use baseball as a tool to help parents raise godly young men. It has always been my philosophy that players don’t step on the field and learn lessons about life through osmosis, so we tried to be intentional in discussing things that happened during the game and how the lesson learned could be applied in life outside baseball.” “We also tried to teach an aggressive brand of baseball,” he adds, “and teach the theory behind the game to help the players develop a love for the game. We stressed unity and brotherhood as we tried to mold young men.” Coach Blevins retired from the program in 2019, but, he asserts, “Starting PAC baseball was one of the best decisions of my life, one which my wife encouraged me greatly to do, and gave me many great memories with my sons and the other 60 or so young men who have graduated from our program.” The proverbial baton has since been passed on to Pete Krupczyk, a former missionary to Peru, who connected with Mr. Blevins in 2017 after returning to the United States. Also a father with home-educated children, “We were looking for some baseball for my boys when we got back, to try to get back into the normalcy of being off the mission field,” explains Coach Krupczyk. “I had three boys, and we couldn’t go in 12 directions, so we made them decide what sport they wanted to play, and they all agreed to baseball.” As the current baseball director and varsity head coach for the PAC Panthers, Coach Krupczyk brings to the table a love for the game that began in childhood

and has influenced many of the personal choices within his life. While serving as a missionary in Peru, for example, baseball was the channel through which he was better able to meet and connect with the people there, and he continues to hold the position of Little League district administrator within that country. With nearly 28 years of coaching experience, “For me, teaching kids from the beginning of the season to the end of the season, my goal is to make them better,” says the coach. “Knowing that we’re making that impact in their lives for that purpose, that’s gratifying to me, and knowing and seeing the kids come through the program and watching them get better, for all of us, that’s the most satisfying thing we can expect out of the kids and just be grateful for that time. “I would say we’re not your typical baseball program,” the coach adds. “With PAC, we are a family environment. We care about each player as individuals, and we care about their families, who are just as important to us as the players.” This bigger picture is important to Coach Krupczyk and the other PAC volunteers. “It’s not just about baseball,” he explains. “We want to make sure in everything we’re doing that we’re not sacrificing a kid or a player through the process. [We are] going for the win, but if I lose a kid in the process, then we lost, so we try to avoid that through the whole thing.” “What Jim [Blevins] and the other coaches have built in the very beginning is still the foundation that we’re standing on and the reputation of how we do things,” he goes on. “Knowing that we’re developing not only our kids but have the opportunity to reach out to these other




teams – they respect us. Other schools see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, and a lot of them love playing us because they know they’re getting good competition through all of this. We just want to see our young men raised up in a godly environment and prepare them for life and to get them to play a baseball game in the middle of it,” he says. “We want to give them some life skills that they can get through life and throw a little bit of baseball in there with it.” “It’s a great program,” concurs Lisa Baghdady, one of the PAC parents. “The coaches are excellent and are committed to teaching the boys so much more than just the game of baseball. They teach them how to be good sports, how to encourage one another, how to watch out for one another, and they expect Christ-like attitudes at all times of the game. They begin and end each training session and game with a time of prayer,” she explains. “The program is training godly young men, not merely baseball players. Also, coming together for the games with other families is so much fun. We have a good time cheering for one another’s kids, and win or lose, the boys learn a lot and really have fun together. It’s a wonderful baseball family.” Coming up through the ranks is her son,

camps during the summer. Some of their gifted athletes have even landed positions on college baseball teams after graduating from the program. In 2021, after losing two senior starters, the remaining PAC Panthers varsity baseball team players “stepped up” and achieved an undefeated season within the SCHSAA conference. When they reached the state championship, however, they experienced some losses. Because Coach

“The program is training godly young not merely baseball players .” Jonathan Baghdady, a 15-year-old junior varsity baseball player, whose positions include third base and pitcher. “It’s great fun to make new friends and hang out with the other players,” he says. “I like how they try to give everyone a chance to play instead of just letting the starters play. I also enjoy the good Christian environment.” The Panthers baseball teams receive plenty of opportunities to play. On the weekends, the varsity team participates in doubleheaders against other South Carolina Home School Athletic Association (SCHSAA) conference members throughout the Southeast. Additionally, PAC leadership schedules games during the week with teams from local schools (e.g., Hammond, Cardinal Newman, Heathwood Hall, Ben Lippen, and public and charter schools). Also, the Panthers have occasionally competed in public school baseball tournaments, and players have attended university-sponsored sports


Krupczyk challenges his players to “have a short-term memory” when setbacks occur, they pressed on. Still qualified to compete in the championship games, they traveled to the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) Tournament in Dayton, Tennessee, where they ultimately captured the first Division 1 title for PAC and chalked up a fourth national championship win, which tied another record for the highest number of titles at NACA. Annual tryouts for the team are hosted in the early fall, and season training begins the following winter. A “father–son workday” kick-off event is held each January to prepare the field and utilities for the new season. Those who attend this “bonding” activity close out the day by enjoying a meal together and hearing a special challenge from a notable speaker with an athletic background. For players who make the team, a reasonable fee is involved to cover traditional costs such as purchasing


uniforms and equipment, hiring umpires, etc. All of the coaches within the baseball program, however, work voluntarily. This year, approximately 51 participants joined the PAC Panthers baseball program, which consists of varsity, junior varsity, and middle school (B) teams. Although the baseball program is open only to boys aged 11 to 18, PAC also offers a variety of other athletic opportunities. According to Coach Krupczyk, these sports include softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, cheer, golf, bass fishing, and cross country. “Participation on our teams is open to specifically home-educated athletes but has expanded to include some private school students whose schools do not offer a sports program and students who do charter or virtual schools,” he explains. “Athletes of all races and religious affiliations may be a part of PAC athletic teams, as long as they meet the age and eligibility requirements for each sport.” n

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Irmo Music Academy makes a

Big Noise!


hen you drive down the heavily trafficked Lake Murray Blvd, you may have noticed a huge sign that says “Music Lessons” in front of Anchor Lanes. That sign is in front of the relatively new Irmo Music Academy, founded by local music teacher and musician Marty Fort. The school is his third location in addition to the Columbia Arts Academy® on Rosewood Drive and the Lexington School of Music® on Barr Road. We caught up with school Director Marty Fort to find out what all of the ‘noise’ on Lake Murray Blvd is about and asked him: What’s new at the Irmo Music Academy? “We’re very excited that in January we reached almost 400 students. That’s a big milestone for us as we started with zero students when we opened in 2018,” Marty explained. “The other big news is that we received a utility patent for our Musical Ladder System®. We’ve had multiple design patents for a while now, but utility patents are much harder to obtain. That’s pretty cool for a music instruction award system used by 30,000 music students and 125 music schools that was founded right here in the Midlands.” What led you to start a school in Irmo? “I grew up in the area. In high school played shows with rock bands at the Irmo High Drama Lab. We live in the area now. After our Columbia and Lexington locations reached capacity, it was the natural next step.” What do you have to offer Irmo music students and their parents? “We offer lessons in piano, guitar, violin, drums, singing, bass, ukulele, mandolin, and banjo. As a school we strive to work with teachers that are fun, friendly, and patient with beginners. Our recitals are held twice a year at the Koger Center for the Arts in the large orchestra room. “Again, the Musical Ladder System® is a big thing for our students. Parents


teachers, our staff, and everyone to work in a professional and secure environment. A lot of music schools are strapped for cash so they can’t afford security protocols. We spare no expense to make sure that at each lesson, a full-time staff team member is present in the school. All rooms have security cameras with a monitor for parent surveillance. We conduct seven background checks on every teacher and staff member. Parents are welcome at anytime to sit in on their child’s lesson.” The advanced safe1061 Lake Murray Blvd. ty program has been Irmo, SC 29063 made available to other schools as well and is 803-931-3495 making a huge impact, “I launched a national Mon.-Fri. initiative that gives any school opportunity to 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. take advantage of our Sat. 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. protocols, which can be found at: at FamilySafeSun. 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.,” says Marty. “Any parent reading this can be assured that we are laser focused on providing the safest environment possible for our students, staff, and teachers. There is also a detailed chapter with photos regarding our protocols in my #1 Amazon Best Selling Book “The Ultimate Guide To Music Lessons”.” “It’s also important to note that we are blessed to own the buildings for each of the schools we operate. In Lexington we just expanded and acquired the lot next door and we’re looking forward to our future projects there. At Irmo we expanded to the parking lot behind our top lot, which gives us 50 parking spaces while most schools in the Midlands are cramped for parking.”

Irmo Music Academy

just want to know how their kids are progressing and if lessons are worth the investment. As a teacher myself for over 30 years, I knew that recitals every six months are great, but we needed to do more. To really help our music students we had to get better at communicating with their parents. With this system, students get tested with different challenges every three months to start. Now, testing may sound like no fun, but when students get to earn special Musical Ladder® wristbands, trophies, and the new practice buddy animals, they actually beg to take tests. “It’s important to note this is not a participation program,” Marty remarks. “These awards are only given to our students for passing their test and our parents love that component of the program. It truly lets the parents know how their child is progressing, We’ve also launched our Musical Ladder® parent portal software which is part of our utility patent. Parents can view teacher notes online, see upcoming tests and get notifications. It’s been a great way to give our students the best music education possible.” What’s unique about the Irmo Music Academy? “One of the newest things has been destination concerts for our students. We performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Foster Theater last year, and we got a standing ovation! This spring we’re performing at the Guest House of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee and we’ve got a lot of future concerts in the works. At this time, we are the only music school taking our students around the country to perform at the nation’s top venues. Family safety is another important item that sets the Irmo Music Academy apart from other music schools. “I’m proud to be a husband and a dad. Again, as a teacher of over 30 years, I’ve taught in many schools. When I created our school, I designed it with safety in mind,” Marty explained. “I want our students, our

Does being a Dad help you to serve your customers? “Even though I’ve been a teacher for long time and I taught at USC Upstate as a professor for six years, there’s no doubt that becoming a dad really helped me understand our customers. To any parent reading this, if you enroll your child at our schools we promise we’ll match them with a teacher that will listen to you and to the student. We make it a point to give personalized lessons and have since 2003. So, whether you or your child wants to play the Beatles or Metallica, we will work hard to make sure you achieve those goals; it’s what I would want for my own daughter. This is one of the primary reasons that we now have almost 1,700 music students and are South Carolina’s largest music school. What’s the next step? How can students get started? It’s super easy. Contact the school online at, or call or text 7 days a week at 803-931-3495 or stop by in person and take a tour at 1061 Lake Murray Blvd., Irmo, SC 29063. We would love to show you around and learn more about your musical ambitions and goals. MARCH/APRIL 2022



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Working as a Nurse Is More Than a Job; It Is an

HONOR by Mary Ann Hutcheson

Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina




he level of dedication from our nurses, especially during the pandemic, has gone above and beyond all expectations. Nursing is a vocation, not just a job. Those who perform the tasks of a nurse did not sign up just for the paycheck. Midlands Nurse Kerry Glasser says she was never without her play doctor’s bag and stethoscope as a child – and her strong desire to serve as a nurse has never wavered. Today, she works full time as a nurse while also volunteering for a worthy cause. Several years ago, Glasser learned of the South Carolina chapter of a national program, called the Nurses Honor Guard. The South Carolina program was established in 2019 in the Greenville area of the Upstate by Registered Nurse Stormy Shealy. The program is a recognition ceremony performed by nurses who wish to honor their fellow nurses by paying tribute to them at the time of their death. An Irmo native and full-time registered nurse (RNC), Glasser traveled to the Upstate to attend Honor Guard tributes and was deeply moved by the impact the ceremony had on loved ones’ families as well as on participating volunteer nurses. The 501© nonprofit program eventually extended to the Midlands, Grand Strand/Pee Dee, and Low Country areas of the state. Glasser, now the Lead Guard Member for our Midlands area, has been working hard locally to build participation and recognition for this volunteer organization. Glasser’s tireless efforts to get the word out to prospective Midlands volunteers included writing letters to local churches and media services. Dressed in full uniform, she visited over 50 funeral homes in the Midlands to acquaint them with the Nurses Honor Guard. One of our local radio stations mentioned the organization during a recent broadcast. She notes that, whenever the Honor Guard has provided a service in this area, the contact is often through word of mouth and/or colleagues. Her tireless dedication to building our local chapter is exceptional. “Many locals don’t know we’re here.

Sometimes, one of our colleagues has heard about us or attended a funeral we were at,” she says. The local group is looking to spread the word. The organization welcomes active or retired male and female nurses, licensed in good standing, in the State of South Carolina, and volunteers are needed for the Midlands chapter. Occasionally, when there is a shortage of volunteers from this area, volunteers from the Upstate and/or the Low Country have been asked to fill in and help perform a service here.

Nightingale Tribute at the funeral or memorial service. This service, steeped in tradition, is similar to a military tribute and officially releases the nurse from her nursing duties. The Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina attends all services wearing the traditional white uniform, cap, and cape. The volunteer nurses stand guard at the casket, or urn if requested, and provide a presence at the services. They place a white rose on the casket or urn to signify the nurse’s devotion to her profession and to show appreciation for their nursing colleague. They then

“We give them the lamp to let them know that their loved one made a difference, and that we recognize the sacrifices they, as the supportive family, made as well.” Student nurses can also join but cannot participate until they graduate. After they perform their first service, nurse volunteers earn a nursing honor guard pin at a ceremony as a small but important reminder that they are valued and respected. Kerry Glasser says that a firsttime volunteer only has to attend one ceremony to become drawn to return. What Is the Nurses Honor Guard? The ceremonial tribute is offered free of charge for any South Carolina resident who has been an RN, LPN, NP, CRNA, or CNM who holds a nursing license, active or retired, from the state of South Carolina. The ceremony pays tribute to nurses at the time of their death by performing the

recite the Nightingale Tribute at the funeral or memorial service, followed by the presentation of the Florence Nightingale lamp to the family. “We want the family to have those good memories,” Glasser says. “We give them the lamp to let them know that their loved one made a difference, and that we recognize the sacrifices they, as the supportive family, made as well.” Glasser shares the significance of the Nightingale Lamp: The Florence Nightingale Lamp used in the service represents Florence Nightingale, who was known as the “Lady with the Lamp. She earned this title because she would visit soldiers at night with a small lantern in her hand to tend to their inju-




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ries during the Crimean War in the 1850s. Many wounded soldiers were saved due to her pioneering nursing works and laid the foundation for professional nursing today. The lantern is a symbol of comfort and courage and of lighting the way to modern, professional nursing. This lamp will be given to the family as a memento, similar to how every veteran receives a U.S. flag. The final – and most poignant part of the ceremony – is what is called the Last Call to Duty. A Nightingale Lamp is lit in the nurse’s honor and her name and is called out with a request to report to duty. The name is called out three times, and a bell is rung after each call. After the last call, the lamp’s flame is extinguished, symbolizing that the nurse’s tasks are complete, her duty is done, and she can now go home in peace. Glasser shares that the ceremony creates profound emotions in the room for everyone present, including the nurses. The family members are not alone in their loss; the nurses are there in fellowship. In her presentation about the Guard, Glasser writes: You may see us shed a few tears as we bid farewell to one of our own, but for us it is an honor and a privilege for the Nurses Honor Guard to be able to give tribute to a nurse who gave her whole life to caring for others. We not only want to show our respect and appreciation to our fellow nurses, but we also want to honor the families that gave in their own ways. We want them to know the impact their loved one made. Join the Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina If applying to join, please fill out the form at the bottom of the Honor Guard webpage. (https://www.nurseshonorguard. com/) Without these answers, they cannot process your request for membership. The organization offers its services throughout the state of South Carolina and

The Nightingale Pledge I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care. is a 501© (3) nonprofit organization. It is staffed strictly by volunteer nurses. Volunteering is not just for retired nurses. It can offer a satisfying way to tap into the caring, emphatic, resourceful, and compassionate natures that carry nurses through a demanding and challenging profession. Request a Ceremonial Tribute for a Family Member This ceremonial tribute is offered free of charge for any South Carolina resident who is a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, licensed practical nurse, or anyone active or retired, and who holds a nursing license in good standing with the Board of Nursing from their home state or

the state of South Carolina. Check out our short video: ( To request our services, please visit our webpage at (, scroll down the page, and fill out the online form or contact one of the following: Regional Leads: • Kerry Glasser RNC and Toni Crawford LPN, Midlands • Stormy Shealy RN, Lena Warner RN, and Julie Schlecht RN, Upstate • Beth Edwards LPN, Charity Herring RN, Pamela Sims DeRuvo RN. and Pam Stroud RN, Grand Strand/Pee Dee • Lynne Malden RN and Adrianna Fox Deise RN, Low Country/Charleston n




L.K. (Trey) Harrell, III Jeremy C. Martin M. Alan Peace Thomas B. Jackson, III Erik T. Norton Donald W. Tyler Taylor A. Peace William “Bill” Buchanan Andi Cornelison

REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS Estate Planning & Probate Incorporations Construction Law & General Litigation 135 Columbia Avenue P.O. Box 1000, Chapin, SC 29036 803.345.3353 | Fax 803.345.9171


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Hand Writing The Lost Art of

by Renee Love, Ph.D. When we think of writing, we may think of children learning to write the alphabet in elementary school or love letters written to us by high school sweethearts. But, depending upon one’s state and school system, children may no longer be learning how to write in cursive. Even for those who seldom write letters, we have many associations with handwritten materials, and some fear that cursive writing and beautiful penmanship are becoming lost arts. If you have saved old letters, as I have, what we are saving is not the information in the letter but the emotions and memories preserved in the letters – reminders of loved ones and of past times. Perhaps some of the most famous letters have been written to Santa Claus. My cousin Crystal once received a letter from the Tooth Fairy that was written on tiny paper in tiny words that were impossible to read without a magnifying glass. As I

organize my files, the hardest items to discard are old cards and letters, remembrances of people I love. Some loved ones are still with us, and some have gone to places where we cannot follow. I hope organizing guru Marie Kondo, the master of decluttering, would not hold my letter collection against me. Kondo suggests saving items that bring joy, and since old letters do bring me joy, for now, I plan to hold onto these “love letters.” In the words of some of my letters, past

chapters of life are chronicled in my loved ones’ handwriting. When I read letters from my grandmothers, who both passed away long ago, I can almost hear their voices in the scrawled words. Through their words, I can recall their personalities more vividly than if I relied on my memories alone. Both of my grandmothers had handwriting that looked like, in their words, “chicken scratch,” but there were reasons behind the uncertain script. My Grandma Rosie had had a stroke, and it was difficult for her to write, so her letters also remind me of her mental strength and how she refused to let physical challenges keep her from writing (or painting). My grandma would write about going to church or visiting with relatives to the falling pecans or the daffodils or the white chickens that stood guard-like at the edge of the yard. She would write about the small things in everyday life and even exercise routines,




which included counting the number of times she could walk around her house. Through the experience of re-reading her letters, I am comforted by her presence, and I can almost hear her voice again. My family has a collection of letters written by my grandfather, great-grandmother, and others. In one of the letters, my grandfather, writing from the battlefields of World War II, writes to his mother (my great-grandmother) about how the Red Cross had contacted him with the news of his father’s death. These letters are like priceless snapshots in words of the young man my grandfather was in 1943, long before he was a father or grandfather, long before he carried the responsibilities of a large family and a hundred acres of tobacco fields. When my high school friend Matt was in the Iraq War, we exchanged letters. Matt’s letter-writing process involved first making a draft on notebook paper of what he wanted to say; then, once his draft was perfect, he would copy the words onto a card or nice paper. This process allowed him to avoid having to cross out mistakes because he had perfected his phrasings in the draft letter. Matt would joke that “We were never closer than we were 6,000 miles apart.” Of course, Matt wasn’t being literal; he was referring to how letters helped people stay in touch across the miles. The words provide a glimpse of someone’s thoughts and life experiences; words help bridge the chasm of space, time, and emotions. Eudora Welty, one of the great writers of the twentieth century, recalls in her autobiography, One Writer’s Beginnings, how her mother and grandmother spent decades exchanging letters between Mississippi and West Virginia. When Welty’s mother moved to Jackson, Mississippi, she sorely missed her family in West Virginia. In an attempt to stay connected to family, Welty’s grandmother and mother exchanged multiple letters a week. Welty remembers that “as long as [her mother] lived, letters went back and forth every day between [her] grandmother and [her] mother.” Most of the letters were about everyday happenings, not about the extraordinary, as seen here: “Gus and Moses are playing on their banjoes as Eudora would say. I do not know what John is doing. He is in the other room.” In another letter from Welty’s grandmother to Welty’s mother, “I hear the train now.

… It stopped raining last night, and today it has been snowing part of the time and blowing nearly all of the time. … I wish you had a half dozen of my chickens. … I do wish I could step in a while and see you, and as I cannot I think I will take a nap. With lots of love from mother.” I think my mother and I are keeping the postal service in business, and we still write letters and cards – not just to each other but to other family members as well as friends. My mother sends over a hundred Christmas cards each year with handwritten messages in each card, and my mother delights in every card and letter she receives, reminders of her many loved ones. I still send holiday cards, too, but I


also write emails and texts. Technology allows us to connect with people almost instantly; in our texts, we can use not only words but pictures. I confess that I am still a one-finger-texter, but any parent can attest to children’s near-innate texting abilities and how communicating through mobile devices allows our teenagers to be virtually connected 24/7 with their friends. Texting is different from typing, so children often take a “keyboarding” class in school, so they can learn to type their papers on computers. (I must be one of the last generations to have taken typing in school.) Typing on the computer has some advantages over handwriting. For instance, academic settings studies have

demonstrated that there is often a bias when teachers grade illegible work, and such biases are removed when students’ work is typed and legible. Computers also help students with learning challenges overcome spelling errors and other obstacles. In his essay “What We Lose with the Decline of Cursive,” Tom Berger (2017) points out that “digital technology has clearly emerged as a powerful democratizing force, knocking down barriers to access for students with special needs.” Further, Berger says, “the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity concludes that students with dyslexia will be ‘big

Stamps came into use around 1840, during Queen Victoria’s reign. Before stamps were used, the recipient of a letter would have to pay a charge for receiving the letter. ______________ In 2013, a seven-page letter sold at a Christie’s auction to an anonymous buyer for over $6 million. The letter, written by Francis Crick in 1953 to his 12-year-old son Michael, describes Crick’s discovery of DNA. ______________ Perhaps the most well-known song about letters is “Please Mr. Postman,” which the Marvelettes debuted in 1961. The Carpenters popularized the song again in 1975. Both groups took the song to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. _________ Some people enjoy collecting fine writing utensils. According to The Penshop Company in the United Kingdom (2019), the most expensive pen that sold at an auction was the handmade Fulgor Nocturnus by Tibaldi, which sold for over $7.8 million.

winners’ from a switch to keyboarding because that skill helps them improve on the volume of words used, written clarity, spelling, and editing.” On the other hand, just as typing can help students in some areas, like with legibility and spelling, writing in cursive has benefits, too. Berger points out that “there is some evidence that cursive helps students with dyslexia learn to read and write because it ‘integrates hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and other brain and memory functions.’” I learned to write cursive in second grade. Somehow, being able to write one’s name in cursive was like an unspoken rite of passage into young adulthood. Cursive writing refers to a style of writing where the letters are connected, often with loops or interlocking strokes. The letters have a consistent style and seem to “flow” together. The idea was that by connecting the letters together, the writer wouldn’t have to pick up the pen as frequently, which, in turn, would allow a person to write more swiftly and smoothly. Cursive writing was widely taught in schools during the nineteenth century, although people have been writing in other styles for thousands of years (i.e., Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sumerian cuneiform, etc.). A significant, democratizing change in writing utensils also occurred in the nineteenth century – the invention of ballpoint pens. Produced inexpensively, these pens provide access to affordable writing tools. Later, the ballpoint pen design was revised, and the ink was changed to one that dried more quickly. As a teacher and writer, I still write an enormous amount using pen and paper. Of course, I have a computer and mobile phone, and I write on those devices also, but I still handwrite many documents, particularly cards, letters, and lists. (My children say my texts are often “too long.”) If I have a considerable amount of writing to do, like with holiday cards or grading papers, I buy new pens, always the same brand: black, gel ink pens with a .07 medium tip. I write so much that I can easily use up all the ink in pens. (When is the last time you used up all the ink in a pen?!). Many of us have a favorite brand of pen or pencil. It turns out that printing and cursive writing are equally fast (or slow). In addition to neurological benefits, some

proponents who argue for the benefits of teaching cursive writing believe that children can engage with historic documents better if they learn to write in cursive – since many of our founding documents (i.e., The Constitution) were written in cursive. Without being taught how to write in cursive, the argument goes, children may not be able to fully appreciate the craftsmanship of historic documents or read these historic texts in their original format. In the nineteenth century, cursive writing instruction would have been part of the curriculum for most students; unfortunately, since the 1970s, the use of cursive writing has been on the decline. When I see cursive writing from generations’ past, it looks perfect and almost magical, like something enchanted from a fantasy world in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Pictured on the previous page are letters my great grandmother received in 1914, 1915, and 1964. The writers were friends and relatives – not artists. In these examples, the writer of each letter is different, but the beautiful, cursive penmanship has a consistent style and elegance that makes me wonder if we have lost something with our current penmanship skills. I’m not trying to persuade anyone about whether cursive writing – or better penmanship – should be part of the school curriculum. Instead, I hope you will consider some of your own associations with handwritten words – whether letters or notes or lists. Consider, “When is the last time that you’ve written a letter or card to someone?” When we take time to put words on paper, in a sense, we are elevating the importance of the communication; we are suggesting the information deserves the time to be written by hand and even deserves preserving. When we write letters, notes, and cards, we are giving not only a piece of mail or a birthday wish but a bit of ourselves, too, a glimpse of our thoughts, a snapshot of ourselves at that time in life. If we’re lucky, the words may become a reminder of friendship and love for years to come. We are not only writing words on paper but writing the feelings in someone’s heart and memory. n Renee Love, Ph.D., is a professor and writer in Greenwood, SC who can be reached at




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The online world is truly a wondrous expanse, offering everything from research journals to the latest in cheap celebrity gossip to making shopping and education streamlined and convenient. If you spend time online, you already know about the amazing benefits and information it has to offer for both personal and business purposes; however, such a wondrous expanse also comes with hidden dangers.

Common Online Habits That Put Your Identity at Risk by Marcy Roberts

The risk of online damage affects all ages – just a few include cyberbullying, invasion of privacy, identify theft and financial scams, phishing emails, and malware downloads as well as accidentally viewing offensive material and messages. This article will shed light on how you can best take advantage of online opportunities without compromising your identity. 1. Sharing Too Much on Social Media Social media is all about sharing, but some things should be off-limits. A simple rule of thumb is that, if a part of your password is included as a personal password recovery question, you should never share that information online, whether with

your social media friends or elsewhere on the web. Those off-limits nuggets of information can include things like the name of your high school or college, your address, hometown, the names of your kids and pets, and anything else that has already found its way into a password. If you must share those details, be sure to change your passwords to exclude them. 2. Using the Same Password Everywhere If you are using proper password hygiene, removing personal details that have already been shared on social media will probably take some time. Unfortunately, many people end up using the same


password over and over again, setting up the same credentials for everything from their bank and brokerage accounts to the long-forgotten website where they bought that winter coat. Using the same password in multiple places is one of the most common habits that put online identity at risk. It may be more work, and it will surely take more effort, but setting up a separate password at each online site you use is the right thing to do from a security standpoint. You can make the process of creating and remembering multiple passwords easier with a password manager program, but it is important to check the reviews and understand how the credentials will be

stored and who has access to them. Not all password managers are the same, and it is important to pick one with a solid reputation and a dedication to security and privacy protection. 3. Storing Your Credit Card Information at Online Retailers From Amazon and Etsy to the thousands of smaller sites scattered all over the web, online retailers want to make it easy for customers to buy their products. As a result, many online retailers offer the option of storing credit card numbers and other payment methods, which may be convenient, but it can also be risky – and make it easier to overspend. Even if it means each transaction takes longer, keeping your credit card account secure is well worth the extra effort. 4. Responding to Unsolicited Emails, Phone Calls, and Text Messages Another common habit that can put your identity at risk is responding to unsolicited emails, phone calls, and text messages. Scammers are getting better at crafting messages that look authentic, complete with fancy graphics and convincing fake websites. You can never be too careful, so never respond to emails, phone calls, or text messages that come to you unsolicited. Even if you think the communi-

cation is authentic, contact the sender direct to find out what is going on and what kinds of information are required. It only takes a few extra minutes to look up the actual phone number or support email address for your bank or other financial institution, and it will be worth it for the peace of mind you get. 5. Not Having Robust Virus and Malware Protection in Place The final online habit that can put your financial life and your identity at risk is failing to have the right kind of protection in place. At a minimum, you should have robust antivirus software and malware protection on every device you use, including your smartphone, which is actually a tiny computer masquerading as a telephonic instrument. It may also be worthwhile to pay for additional protection against ransomware attacks, a growing risk for not only businesses but individuals as well. You can never have too much protection, so check what is in place and upgrade those firewalls if necessary. When you go online, you gain access to an entire universe of information and resources that are just a click away. At the same time, you open yourself up to an equally large range of threats –from viruses and malware to identity theft and ransomware attacks – that could hold your files, photographs, and savings hostage. If you want to enjoy the good side of the internet while ramping down your risk, breaking the five unhealthy online habits listed above is a good place to start. n






Easy Pan Dinners

SALMON WITH VEGGIES cooking spray 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4inch wedges 1 tbsp. olive oil 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, divided 1/4 c. Dijon mustard 2 tbsp. honey 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 5 c. broccoli florets 4 -5 oz. salmon fillets 2 tbsp. bagel seasoning 2 tsp. soy sauce Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Toss sweet potatoes with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Place on one half of the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. While the po-

tatoes are cooking, stir together Dijon, honey, and cayenne in a small bowl. Toss broccoli with remaining oil, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl. Remove potatoes from the oven. Add salmon to the other half of the baking sheet. Place 2 teaspoons of the mustard mixture on each salmon filet; brush evenly to coat, then sprinkle evenly with bagel seasoning. Add broccoli to the sweet potatoes. Return to the oven and bake until salmon flakes easily with a fork and the veggies are golden, about 12 minutes. Stir soy sauce into the remaining mustard mixture and drizzle over veggies. EASY GROUND BEEF PATTIES AND POTATOES 1 lb. ground beef 5 potatoes, peeled and cut into steak fries 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings


salt to taste ground black pepper to taste garlic salt to taste Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Shape the ground beef into patties and place in pan. Layer the vegetables on top of the beef patties, starting with the potatoes, then carrots and finally onions. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste. Cover with aluminum foil and seal edges. Bake in the preheated oven until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN DINNER 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil lemon, juiced 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. dried tarragon 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. paprika 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 4 chicken thighs with skin 1 small red onion, sliced into petals 8 mini bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded 1 lb. baby potatoes, halved 1 lemon, sliced 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped 8 pitted kalamata olives Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Whisk olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, vinegar,

tarragon, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Add chicken thighs, onion, baby bell peppers, and potatoes. Stir until everything is evenly coated. Transfer vegetable-chicken mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Scatter lemon slices over the vegetables, making sure to leave the chicken uncovered so that the skin will brown. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and top with feta, parsley, and olives. ONE PAN MEXICAN QUINOA 2 tsp. olive oil 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/4 c. vegetable broth 1 -15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 -14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice 1 c. quinoa 1 c. frozen corn kernels 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 lime, juiced Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute jalapeno peppers and garlic in hot oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour vegetable broth into the saucepan. Stir black beans, tomatoes, quinoa, corn, and salt into the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the liquid is fully absorbed into the quinoa, 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. n