Lexington Life Magazine-Sept. 22'

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READY FOR A FALL REFRESH? COME SEE US!

Rug Gallery of Lexington offers a large selection of medium to high quality rugs in a relaxed, family friendly, no pressure, customer service oriented atmosphere. 1270 BOWER PKWY C2 , COLUMBIA, SC 29212

(803) 834-5330 www.lexingtonruggallery.com

6 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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Auto • Home • Business

Let us help you to be the clear winner! www.absoluteglassinc.com 1612 W. Main St., Lexington

951-7200 Thank you for nominating us again!

Lexington Square

5230 Sunset Blvd, Ste F, Lex, SC 29072

(803) 785-8423

M-F: 7am–7pm, Sat: 8am–7pm, Sun: 9am–6pm Clean Juice (Lexington Square)

@cleanjuicelexingtonsquare

cleanjuice.com/locations/lexington-square/ 8 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

Hours of Operation: Monday 8:30am-6:00pm Tuesday 8:30am-6:00pm Wednesday 8:30am-6:00pm Thursday 8:30am-6:00pm Friday 8:30am-6:00pm Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm

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

www.lexingtondiscounthomes.com | 803-951-1900 1847 Augusta Highway | Lexington, SC lexingtonlife.com


contents

Features 16 19

Thank you for reading Lexington Life Magazine! Usually, I end the letter by mentioning that fact, but I wanted to make sure you, the reader, know how important you are to the magazine. Without your readership, care and compassion for our community, we would be nothing. September 27th marks Donna and my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Time sure flies by when you are running a business, juggling three kids, and still trying to make time for your significant other. Working with your spouse makes things even more interesting, however we try to separate work from personal with some degree of success. Is it even possible to manage your wife? Ha Ha! Seriously though, I couldn’t do it without her. She’s a sales guru and I handle the business side and it somehow works. I am thankful she is a multi-tasker because that is something I am not. We are preparing for the empty nest phase which is not too far away. Any tips from those who have experienced the transition to the empty nest? Congratulations to the businesses listed in the Best of Lexington Life 2023 nominations section! These businesses have survived Covid and work extremely hard to make sure that we (consumers) have a satisfactory experience when utilizing their business. Entrepreneurship is not easy. Ask any business owner how many hours a week they work and listen to their response. It is all encompassing. I recently drove to Missouri and picked up a recent magazine load so they would arrive in mailboxes on time. Was it a pain in the butt? Yes! Was it necessary to ensure the advertisers would be in the mailbox at the appropriate time frame? Yes! Please vote for your favorites online at lexingtonlife.com so that they may be recognized for excellence. Thanks for reading, are you ready for some football? Todd Shevchik

32 37 60 54 64

Simple Stock Creates Delicious Soups Best of Lexington Life Magazine Nominee Listings Remembering Brandon LaVar Byrd High School Football Preview Is it Worth It? Warning Sign: Prediabetes A Peach of a Summer

Columns 11 71

Faith Matters David Clark

Departments 9 10 13 68

From the Publisher Calendar of Events Lexington Leader Spice of Life

32 54 EDITOR EMERITUS Allison Caldwell GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jane Carter WEBSITE DESIGNER Paul Tomlinson

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

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

EDITOR Kristi Antley lexlifeeditor@gmail.com

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

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kim Curlee

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mary Ann Hutcheson, Angel Kumari, Tom Poland, Marcy Roberts, Brandon Watson, Kim Becknell Williams STAFF PHOTOS BY Clark Berry Photography

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

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 9


SEPT/OCT Saturday, September 17th Lakeside Litter Sweep Cleanup Event on Lake Murray Leesville, Chapin and Prosperity, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. End the summer with a splash while making a difference in our community! Join the effort to clean up Lake Murray; choose one of following three locations: Southshore Marina in Leesville, Lighthouse Marina in Chapin, Dreher Island State Park in Prosperity. Registered volunteers will receive a t-shirt, sandwich lunch, a gift and entry for larger prizes from local businesses. Spread the word, bring a friend and have some fun while cleaning up the Jewel of the South! Visit Keepthemidlandsbeautiful.org to register. Thursday, September 15th-Sunday, September 18th Columbia’s 35th Annual Greek Festival 1931 Sumter St., Columbia, Thurs-Sat 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., S un 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. This is your chance to be GREEK for a WEEK! Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral welcomes you and offers its hospitality for the annual Greek Festival. Bring the family and enjoy music, atmosphere, food and drink, fashion and art, and learn about Greece. Visit Columbiasgreekfestival.com for more details. Friday, September 23rd-Saturday, September 24th The Irmo Okra Strut Festival and Parade 7507 Eastview Dr, Irmo, Friday 6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Fun for the whole family! Enjoy live musical performances, arts, crafts, amusement rides, food and drinks. The 48th Annual Irmo Okra Strut Parade will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, with festivities beginning at 10:00 a.m. For details visit okrastrut.com. Thursday, October 13th Jay Criscione & Family Golf Tournament Golden Hills Golf and Country Club, 100 Scotland Dr., Lexington, 11:00 a.m. This event honors & celebrates the Floyd family who lost their father, Dale Floyd, to brain cancer in 2013. Dale’s brother, Coke, lost his wife, Diane, to Kidney Cancer in 2010. Recently Linda Floyd lost her courageous battle to breast cancer. Coke Floyd is a survivor of Melanoma and Jason Hall is a survivor of a rare cancer Chordoma (notochordal sarcoma). The Floyd family supports the Cancer of Many Color’s mission in providing financial support to local cancer patients while going through treatment. Coke and the family continue to sponsor the CMC Golf Tournament and many different fundraisers through the year. Linda was known to rally CMC’s mission and spread awareness within the community. The family joins together to provide support and Hope to all cancer patients regardless of age or treatment center. For details about participating and sponsoring this event, visit cancerofmanycolors.com. 10 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

Thanks for nominating us Best Family Law Attorney Andrew B. Farley | Sabine S. Boulware 137 E Butler Street, Lexington, SC

803.359.0428 | www.afarleylaw.com

It’s TAILGATE TIME! WE’VE GOT YOUR BURGERS, HOT DOGS AND STEAKS! Thank you Lexington for Nominating us BEST MEAT STORE oletimeymeatmkt.com

Visit any of our Three Convenient Locations:

925 North Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072 (803) 358-6848 6352 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC 29212 (803) 772-3602 710 Main Street, West Columbia, SC 29170 (803) 755-3171

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Rev. Helen Harrison Ham Saxe Gotha Associate Pastor, Adult Ministries Thanks for nominating us Best Litigation Attorney 200 East Main St., Lexington, SC 29072 (803) 359-9000 | www.wsblegal.com

Because real estate matters shouldn’t be ‘Ruff

Thanks for nominating us Best Real Estate Attorney

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

2464 Mineral Springs Rd, Lexington, SC (803) 358-7207 | www.propertylawyersc.com

September marks many changes; the seasons are transitioning with leaves falling from the trees and temperatures dropping a few degrees. Football is also back in season, so fans are sporting their team colors with pride and cheering them to victory. Our schedules have changed with school back in session and more traffic on the roads. Lexington School District One continues its search for a new superintendent and a new middle school has opened, Lakeside. Our teachers, students, and parents are forming a new community. Life is full of changes and transitions. A friend told me earlier this year that every transition--the good and the bad--is an invitation to grow closer to God. The question is: do we see life’s transitions as opportunities to grow closer to God or to grow more anxious? The temperatures and our daily habits may change, but our God does not change… and that’s good news! We live in a world that never ceases to stop, but we can stand on the promise that our Almighty God remains firm no matter what. Hebrews 13:8 states that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Furthermore, God not only remains constant, but He also continues to provide for all our daily needs. The little book of Lamentations reassures us in chapter 3:22-23: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” It may seem counterintuitive and countercultural to state that we believe in a God that does not change, a God that we cannot see or touch. I am sure it does not make much sense to God to believe in us either, for we change more than the internet! But that is the good news of the gospel – God loves us unconditionally, despite our flaws and failures. God is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him. He will never change His mind about dying on the cross to give us eternal life. n

Located near Lexington High School www.gracepets.com 803-808-PETS 147 Charter Oak Rd, Lexington

Thanks ff nominating us Best Veterinarian Dr. Sonya Akers Dr. Briana Davis Dr. Ryan K. Dover Dr. Haley Hunt

lexingtonlife.com

Dr. Bailey Lyons Dr. Tim Loonam

Dr. Jennifer P. Williams

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 11


Thank you for nominating us the BEST! Care Services Customized for You Thank You for Nominating us Best Senior Home Care

Restaurant:803-356-1070 Catering: 803-356-1118 www.hudsonssmokehouse.com

Alzheimer's & Dementia Care Personal Care Companionship Senior Care Communities Respite Care

803.233.3343 | www.mcleodcare.com

Thank you for nominating us Best Roofing Company Call us TODAY for your FREE inspection and estimate

• CertainTeed SELECT ShingleMaster certified company • Specializing in residential roof replacement/maintenance/repairs • Other services: siding repair/replacement and gutter installation

Get Ready for Fall!

(803) 391-4604

Locally Owned. Come check out our showroom!

2237 Leaphart Rd, Suite A West Columbia, SC 29169

1728 N. Lake Drive, Lexington 29072

www.vistaroofinginc.com

Angie's List super service award winner over 6 years in a row. Hours: M-F 9:30 am–5:30 pm, Sat 9 am–12:30 pm, Sun Closed

12 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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by Angel Kumari

Queenie Torigian “You have talent. You should continue doing art,” said Queenie Torigian’s third-grade teacher. From that point on “Queenie” was a true artist engulfed in the world of art. “Our mother was a life-long learner, the life of the party, and a true friend,” remarks her daughter, Alysia Kehoe. Queenie, a Lexington resident of over 20 years peacefully passed away on August 14, 2021 at the age of 100 years, eight months, and 14 days old. Her soul continues to live through her passion of artwork and the lives she touched. Born on January 1, 1921 in Istanbul, Turkey to late Armenian parents John and Shakeh Torigian, Queenie and her family fled to France when she was almost three years old. Then, as a bright, nine year old girl with her family, she moved to New York, later completing her education at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and McDowell School of Fashion. Eventually life relocated her to the low country; she lived in Lexington near her two daughters, Alysia Kehoe and Claudia Ellis. Queenie’s artwork collection contained a variety of art styles, including watercolor, acrylics, oils, needlework, and Japanese art and sculptures. Any style of artwork--you name it--she experimented with it! She frequently painted in her artist’s studio containing every canvas, paint, brush, and color available. “When neighbors would see the studio light on late at night, they would say, ‘there is Queenie up there painting,’” Alysia recalls. The creative art process started for Queenie with visualizing an idea and the medium she wanted to use to best capture that idea. After the general foundation was determined, she would go to work creating her intricate but complex art pieces with various materials. In the beginning her artistic style consisted of traditional-style paintings of landscapes; later she transitioned into contemporary art containing abstract objects, shapes, and even fish. Queenie was the neighbor that always greeted you when she was on the porch. She enjoyed the company of her friends and family. Aside from art, she loved playing classical piano, cooking, playing video games, and her favorite card game, Skip-bo. She was also an active member of the Shepherd’s Center group and an expert at flipping homes as a business. She even practiced water aerobics until the young age of 97! “She (Queenie) loved the Lexington community because her daughters, friends, neighbors, and community all resided here,” says Alysia, “she was proud to be a great-grandmother to Liam, Kenyon, Alex, and Seb. Her legacy lives on through her artwork.” Alysia continues, “Her memory lives with her loving friends locally, and with family­—you are missed Queenie!” Her artwork is of such a unique variety and skill, it is something you must witness to appreciate. Many pieces were stowed away because she felt that they were not “quite done,” a characteristic of many talented artists. About 80 pieces of her artwork collection will be showcased and for sale on Oct. 13th, 15th, and 28th at Lexington United Methodist church to benefit Mission Lexington and The Shepherd Center. n lexingtonlife.com

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Thank you for nominating us!!

Thank you for nominating us!

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214 Old Chapin Road, Lex, SC 29072 Call today! 803-951-2750 www.livingwellfm.com

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Dr. Jon D. Smith | Dr. Caroline Hartley, Dr. Todd Cleary | Dr. Carley Lucas

LEXINGTON 110 CHARTER OAK ROAD LEXINGTON, S.C. 29072 8033596143

COLUMBIA 1116 ATLAS ROAD COLUMBIA, SC 29209 803-783-0525

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Thank you for nominating us BEST again! 764 West Main Street Lexington, SC 29072 803-399-1514 | www.kestnerautomotive.com

50th Anniversary Sale!

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

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

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 15


Simple Stock Creates Delicious Soups 16 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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by Marcy Roberts

Fall is here, and that means it’s time to head back to stock. If you use bones from cooked meat, the kitchen. All summer we aim to keep our homes this step can be skipped. One more tip: if you make gravy with cool, so we grill, dig into cold salads or maybe just a meal and have it leftover, freeze that as head out for ice cream when the heat and humidi- well and keep it near your trimmings in the ty soars. Now that it’s starting to get dark earlier and freezer. It will make your broth richer and more flavorful without adding bouillon. there’s a bite in the air, we start to crave comfort food, and having the oven going doesn’t seem like a bad Making the stock When you want to make soup, or when idea, either.

S

oup is a fall favorite, but there’s no reason to buy packaged stock to whip up your favorite kind. Making stock from scratch is healthier, more economical, and tastes so much better. Whether it’s made from chicken, beef, pork, ham, or vegetables, the stock is the flavorful base of any soup recipe and it’s great for you. Bouillon is loaded with sodium, with around 900 mg in a single cube - or close to 40% of your recommended daily allowance! Since too much salt is a bad thing for everyone, homemade stock is a superb alternative.

Think Thrifty You can make stock throughout the year, or at least prepare for stock-making just by giving it a bit of thought. Your stock won’t cost you a penny because it can be made completely from kitchen scraps. By saving ingredients in your freezer, you are using food that would otherwise be thrown in the trash. That’s using your head, helping the planet and your wallet, all at the same time. All you need is a reusable container or gallon freezer bag, and you’re good to go. Any time you chop vegetables, put the scraps into your freezer container. That includes onion and garlic skins and ends, carrot tops and peels, mushroom stems, lexingtonlife.com

trimmings from celery, green beans, broccoli, and peppers - really, any veggies you eat can be tossed into the stock bag. Remember learning that nutrients in vegetables get thrown away in the cooking water? When you make stock, those vitamins are in your soup base, giving you extra health benefits. If you like vegetable stock, your freezer container is complete. When it gets full, you’re ready to make some stock or begin another container.

Meat-based stocks If you only use meat-based stocks in your soups, you may simply add meat scraps to the vegetable trimmings. Chicken bones and whole carcasses, a ham bone, the bones from roasts of beef or pork, and the trimmings when you prepare those meats can all be tossed in. Most home chefs prefer to keep each type of bone separated, but combining flavors is fine if you like. You may keep the vegetables separate so you can decide last-minute which stock you want to make. Another option is to buy soup bones, usually for beef or pork-based stock. These are a cheaper alternative to buying meat if you don’t make a lot of the bone-in cuts. Broil them, drizzled with a bit of oil, and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and any herbs or spices you like. This gives the broth color and more flavor. Without browning and crisping, you will probably be disappointed at the quality of your

your freezer is bursting with trimmings, it’s time for the stockpot! The size is up to you. It depends, of course, on how many ingredients you’ve saved up, as well as the amount of stock you want on hand. Generally, the stock keeps very well for two weeks in jars at the back of the refrigerator, but you can also freeze it in plastic quart containers or in gallon freezer bags and pull it out to thaw any time. Note for freezing in bags: the best plan is to put the bag inside a bowl or large measuring cup, fill and seal, and then freeze right in the container. This keeps it upright and safe from spills. When it’s frozen, remove the container. Remember to always thaw the bag in a bowl or pot, just in case! Dump all your ingredients into the chosen pot and fill most of the way with water. You may add salt, pepper, herbs, and spices or season it at the end. Bring the stock to a boil, then lower the heat so it stays at a simmer, covering the pot most of the way. Now it can bubble away, anywhere between three hours and all day long, depending on your schedule. When you decide it’s ready, remove from the heat. Cooling is recommended for easier handling, as it needs to be poured into another pot through a finemeshed sieve. If your sieve is on the smaller size, you can do it in stages, discarding the boiled bones and vegetables before resuming, until you have the strained stock ready in the other pot. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Some stocks aren’t as flavorful and, in that case it’s fine to add a cube or two of bouillon. The sodium diluted throughout a large pot won’t affect your health, but it will help the flavor immensely. These tips will help you prepare and keep healthy stock on hand so that you will always have something to flavor your favorite soups. Get busy cooking and maybe even document your delicious creation on social media! n

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 17


Thank you Nominating us the Best Upholstery Repair Shop!

Hot Rods Upholstery Services 5005 Sunset Blvd, Lexington, SC 29072 www.HotRodsUpholsterySC.com | 803.399.1656 We Help Keep Lexington Looking Great!

Thank you for nominating us for Best Glass Store!

Thanks for nominating us again! MEMBERSHIPS START AT $14.88/MONTH FOR SUNBED OR SPRAY TANS No Contracts, No Commitments • Open 7 Days A Week

LEXINGTON 358-2291 • IRMO 749-2334

Your One Stop Shop for all Your Glass Needs

Auto • Home • Business www.absoluteglassinc.com 1612 W. Main St., Lexington

951-7200

�ank you for nominating us BBt Manicure/Pedicure for 2023!

THANKS FOR NOMINATING US BEST JEWELRY STORE 1787 South Lake Dr., Suite I, Lexington, SC 29073 • www.facebook.com/blushnails1787 • 803 359 0046

Shellee Storm - LMT 9875 108 Scarborough Dr Ste D2, Lexington, SC (Inside Palmetto Roots Salon) Hours: M-F: 9-6, Sat 9-2 www.betterbodies massagewellness.com

903 North Lake Dr Lexington, SC • (803) 996–5530 Locally owned and operated, over 40 years experience.

803.490.0111

Thank you for nominating us the BEST!

Life is great...Massage therapy makes it better. 18 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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


Congratulations to all of the nominees for The Best of Lexington Life Magazine Contest! Deadline to submit votes is Monday, December 12, 2022. Winners will be announced in the February 2023 issue.

Vote for your favorites today! Thanks for nominating us again this year for Best Criminal Defense Attorney

www.SnellLaw.com

Calling a lawyer doesn't have to be intimidating. Call my friendly and experienced staff today to schedule your consultation.

Call (803) 408-7256

123 Harmon Street • Downtown Lexington

Thank You for nominating Assisting Hands for

20

22

Thomas and Jayne Falk - Franchise Owners

Best Senior Home Care

We would appreciate your vote!

2012

a 10th A nnivers ry

2022

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

803.661.7557

assistinghands.com/midlands DHEC License # IHCP-0494 ©2022 Assisting Hands® Home Care, Nampa, Idaho 83687. All Rights Reserved.

lexingtonlife.com

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19


Best Aesthetic Spa: Beauty for Life • Allure • Lexington Aesthetics Medical Spa Best Aesthetic Practice: Cardinal Wellness and Esthetics • Lexington Aesthetics Medical Spa • Premier Medical & Med Aesthetic Center Best Afterschool Program: Big Blue Marble • Palmetto Athletic Center PAC • Empire Gymnastics Best Allergist: Allergy Partners • Palmetto ENT & Allergy • SC ENT Best Alterations: Jackie Lynn • Kimmy’s Alterations • Zebra Cleaners Best Ambulance Service: First Priority • For Life • Metro One Ambulance Best Apartment Complex: Thornhill Apartments • Waterway • York Woods at Lake Murray Best Asian Restaurant: Bodhi Thai Dining • Ganbei • Red Bowl Best Assisted Living Facility: Lakeside Place Senior Living • Oakleaf Village • The Legacy of Lexington Best Attorney-Criminal Defense: Dick Harpootlian • John Mobley • Law Office of James Snell, Jr. Best Attorney-Family Law: Farley Law Firm • McCutchen Mclean • Stratton and Reynolds Best Attorney-Litigation: Morgan Litigation Group • Reeves and Lyle • Williams, Stitley & Brink Best Attorney-Real Estate: Holliday Ingram • Stratton & Reynolds • The Templeton Law Firm Best Probate/Estate Law Firm: Cofield Law Firm • David Frawley LLC • McCutchen Mclean LLC Best Audiologist: CENTA Hearing • Lake Murray Hearing • Midlands Hearing Best Auto Body Shop: Caliber Collision • Ellison Collision • Gilbert Paint and Body Best Auto Performance Shop: 1st Auto Repair • Kestner • The Muffler Shop of Columbia Best Auto Repair Shop (domestic): Kestner • The Muffler Shop • White Knoll Automotive Best Auto Repair Shop (foreign): Abbott’s Auto Car and Repair • B&T Automotive • Das AutoHaus

Vote online at

lexingtonlife.com

Thanks for nominating us Best Afterschool Program! 116 S. Lake Ct. Lexington, SC 29073 • 803-359-2420

www.empiregymnasticssc.com

Nominated for Best Charter School

3806 N. Main Street Columbia, SC 29203 803-799-9388 www.midlandsartsconservatory.org @arts_midlands

Midlands Arts Conservatory

@midlandsartsconservatory

Thanks for nominating me BEST CPA! A. Tyler Deese, CPA, CVA

Thanks for nominating us Best Auto Body Shop! 20 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

1224 Pickens Street Suite 180 Columbia, SC 29201 www.DeeseCPAs.com • (803) 429-6569 lexingtonlife.com


Best Auto Service Department Dealership: Herndon Chevrolet • Jim Hudson Ford • Wilson Chrysler Best Bank: Ameris Bank • First Citizens Bank • First Community Bank of SC Best Barber Shop: Ivy League • Lexington Barber Shop • Lexington Gentleman’s Salon and Barber Best BBQ Restaurant: Belly’s • Hudson BBQ • Maurice’s Best Breakfast: Bubba’s Biscuits • Eggs Up Grill • Another Broken Egg Café Best Buffet: Blossom • Hudson’s BBQ • Shealy’s BBQ Best Burger: Goodfella’s Grill & Bar • O’Hara’s Public House • Wayback Burgers Best Carpet Store: Carpet One • Door to Door Floors • Floor Boys Best Car Wash: Frank’s Car Wash • Marty’s Car Wash • Miles Detailing Best Catering Company: Hudson’s Classic Catering • Scott Hall Catering • Southern Way Best Cell Phone and Tablet Repair: CPR Cell Phone Repair • Smart Phone Medic • UBreakiFix Best Charter School: Clear Dot Charter • Midlands Art Conservatory • Midlands Middle College Best Chiropractor: Bigbie Chiropractic • Life Wellness Center • Old Mill Chiropractic Best Coin and Collectible Dealer: • Gilbert Coin and Collectible Exchange • Golden Eagle Precious Metals Exchange Best Consignment Store: Good as New • High Class Consignment • Magnolia Boutique Best Commercial Real Estate Agency: Fuzion Realty • McGee Realty • Southern Visions Real Estate Best Cosmetic Dentist: Cinnamon Hill • Robinson Dental • Southern Shores Dental Best Cosmetology School: Kenneth Shuler • Lexington Technology Center • Southeastern Esthetics Institute

Vote online at

lexingtonlife.com Powering Midlands properties for nearly 20 years!

Longest Serving Restaurant in Town New Owners: Timmy and Robin Armstrong and Family

154 Ellis Ave. Lexington SC 20972 | (803) 359-4475 wingsaleooexington.com

Thank you for nominating us for Best Electricians!

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Thank yy ff nninating us! Dr. Jon D. Smith | Dr. Caroline Hartley | Dr. Todd Cleary | Dr. Carley Lucas 110 Charter Oak Road Lexington, SC 29072 • (803) 359-6143

SouthernShoresDental.com

lexingtonlife.com

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 21


Best CPA: Deese and Company • Dooley and Company • Rish & Entastiga CPA Best Credit Union: AllSouth Federal Credit Union • Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union • SC State Credit Union Best Custom Home Builder: Kinsey Homes • Lady Street Builders • Magnolia Custom Homes Best Dance Company: Columbia City Jazz Conservatory • South Carolina Dance Company • Stepping Out Best Day Spa: Girl Code Skin Studio • Girl Find Your Glow • Lexington Aesthetics Best Daycare: Big Blue Marble • Hi-Ideals • Lexington Child Development Center Best Deli: East Bay Deli • Substation 2 • The Deli Best Dentist-Adults: Dr. Sherry Powell • James Denny, DMD • Palmetto Smiles Best Dentist-Kids: Palmetto Smiles • Singh Pediatric Dentistry • Sunset Children’s Dentistry Best Dermatologist: Carolina Dermatology • Columbia Skin Clinic • Palmetto Dermatology Best Dessert: Lena’s Bakery • Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt • O’Hara’s Bakery Café Best Discount Store: Costless • Big Lots • Tuesday Morning Best Dry Cleaner: Kleen Kare Cleaners • Lexington Dry Cleaners • Zebra Cleaners Best Electrical Company: Gregory Electric • Grow Electric • Rytec Electric Best Engineering Firm: HDR • Jackson Engineering • Mead and Hunt Best Exterminator: Cayce Exterminating Company • Family Pest Management • Palmetto Exterminators Best Facial: Holistic Skin • Kelli Gibbons Esthetics • Transformations Aesthetics Bliss Salon

Vote online at

lexingtonlife.com

Thanks for nominating us Best Kids’ Dentist and Best Adults’ Dentist! Always accepting

new patients Thank You for Nominating Us!

A PROFESSIONAL SMILE GOES A LONG WAY! Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

Thanks ff nominating me Best Dentist

Caa today! Dr. Sherry Powell 120 Midlands Court West Columbia, SC 29169 (803) 739-0390 M-Th 8AM–5PM

22 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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Best Fast Food: Chick-Fil-A • Rush’s • Sonic Best Fitness Center: Hot Worx • ISI Training • Lexington Fit Body Boot Camp Best Florist: Lexington Florist • Something Special • Tim’s Touch Best Funeral Home: Barr-Price Funeral Home • Caughman Harman Funeral Home • Thompson Funeral Homes Best Furniture Store: Economy Furniture • Marty Rae’s • Scott’s Furniture Best Garden Center: Lowe’s Home Improvement • Wingard’s Market • Woodley’s Garden Center Best Gastroenterologist: Columbia Gastroenterology Associates • Consultants in Gastroenterology • Lexington Gastroenterology LMC Best General Contractor: Hill Construction Company • M B Kahn Construction • New Level Construction Best Glass Store: Absolute Glass • Central Glass • Century Glass Best Golf Course: Charwood • Country Club of Lexington • Golden Hills Country Club Best Greek Restaurant: Bellis House of Pizza • Grecian Gardens • Mediterranean Cafe Best Gun and Ammunition Store: C2C Arms • JC’s Outdoors • Kilo Charlie Best Gym: Orange Theory • Planet Fitness • Rock Box Fitness Best Hair Salon-Adults: Annie’s Attitude • Palmetto Roots Salon • Raven Salon & Bridal Best Hair Salon-Kids: Cost Cutters • Raven Salon & Bridal • Snip-Its Best Hair Stylist: Arianne Connors Free Spirit Salon • Dale Elizabeth Elevate Salon • Karlie Mobley Avenue Salon

Vote online at

lexingtonlife.com

Thank you Lexington for trusting us in your time of need and for the nomination. Please remember us when voting!

CAUGHMAN HARMAN Funeral Home Lexington Chapel • 503 N. Lake Drive, Lexington

Phone: 803-359-6118 • Fax: 803-359-2398

Smile on a special someone with flowers

Family Owned, Locally Operated by Jimmy Worthy

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

ank you for nominating us the best! FOOD~CLOTHING~HOUSEWARES~FURNITURE~APPLIANCES

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2739 Laurel St., Suite 1A, Columbia, SC 29204 (803) 799-4800 www.ColumbiaGastro.com September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 23


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Thanks for nominating us Best Home Builder

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Thank you for nominating us the Best! New Home Construction & Remodeling Serving Lexington and Richland Counties

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Best Jewelry Store: Chapman Jewelers • Moseley’s Diamond Showcase • Traditions Jewelers Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant: Blaney’s Wings • Flight Deck • Salsarita’s Best Landscaping Company: Big Cat Lawn Care • Blue Marlin Landscape • Saluda Hill Landscape Best Landscape Supply Company: Barthelemy Supply Company • Carolina Landscape Supply • Pinestraw Place Best Learning Center: Code Ninjas • Lexington Tutoring Academy • Mathnasium Best Manicure/Pedicure: Blush Nails • Lexxi Nails • Onyx Nails Best Manufactured Housing Company: Clayton Homes • Home Max • Lexington Discount Homes Best Oral Surgeon: Dr. Davis Associates in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery • Dr. Scioscia Lexington Facial & Oral Surgery • Dr. Shull Palmetto Dental Associates Best Marina: Big Man Shealy’s • Epting’s Landing • Jake’s Landing Best Massage: Better Bodies Massage Shellee Storm • Flow Massage • Massage by Sue Sue Martinez Best Meat Store: Caughman’s Meat • New York Butcher Shoppe • Ole Timey Meat Market Best Medical Spa: Cardinal Wellness and Aesthetics • Lexington Aesthetics Medical Spa • Rejuvenations Medical Spa Best Men’s Clothing Store: B.P. Skinner Clothiers • Britton’s of Columbia • Craig Reagin Clothiers Best Mexican Restaurant: Brothers and Beer • Diablo’s Southwest Grill • San Jose Best Microbrewery-Local: Angry Fish • Krafty Draft Brew Pub • Savage Craft Best Mortgage Company: Movement Mortgage • Palmetto Mortgage Group • Synovus Bank

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Homeowner | Automobile | Umbrella Life | Health | Business |Workers Compensation

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Thanks for nominating us best home owners insurance! THE SCOTT AGENCY - ALLSTATE

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Thank you Lexington for the nomination Servicing the State of South Carolina

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Gerrie Gresham, Agent 1070 S Lake Dr STE Lexington, SC 29073 FB: Gerrie Gresham State Farm 803-356-0505 www.mylexingtonagent.com

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 25


Best Mosquito Treatment: Mosquito Joe • Mosquito Squad • Palmetto Exterminators Best Moving Company: Gamecock Moving • Moving Squad • Soda City Movers Best Music School: Freeway Music • Lexington School of Music • Musicians Supply Lessons & Gear Best OBGYN: Elite OBGYN Michelle Gee • Kraemer Women’s Care • Lexington Women’s Care LMC Best Oil Change: Christian Brothers • Express Oil Change • Take 5 Best Oncologist: Lexington Oncology LMC • SC Oncology Associates Dr. Robert Collins Best Ophthalmologist: • Columbia Eye Clinic • Eye Center Robert Huff, MD • Palmetto Retina Center John Payne Best Optometrist: Eye Associates of Lexington Dr. John Randall • Eye Care of Lexington Greg Bailey • My Pharmacy and Optical Best Orthodontist: Braces Place • Davis Orthodontics • Whitehead Orthodontics Best Orthopaedic: Lexington Orthopaedics • McCain Orthopaedic • Midlands Orthopaedics Best Pain Management: Drayer Physical Therapy • Lexington Brain & Spine Pain Management • Thrive Wellness and Rehab Best Place to Buy Beer/Wine/Liquor: Happy Hour Wine and Spirits • Lexington Beverage Outlet • Sam’s Fine Wine and Spirits Best Pediatric Practice: Lexington Pediatric Practice • Palmetto Pediatric and Adolescent Care • Southern Med Pediatrics Best Periodontist: Associates in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery • Palmetto Dental Associates • Southern Roots Periodontics

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Best Personal Trainer: David Walker Crossfit Lodestar • Joy Gallo Fit Body Boot Camp • Rachel Maxwell Hot Worx Best Pet Groomer: Blue Ribbon • Central Bark • Kristi’s Fancy K-9s Best Pet Hospital: Birchwood • Cherokee Trail Veterinarian • Millcreek Animal Hospital Best Pet Kennel or Boarding Facility: Cherokee Trail • Lexington Pet Lodge • Sutton’s Southern Pet Retreat Best Pet Supply Store: Hollywood Feed • Lazy Creek • The Leash Connection Best Pharmacy-Local: Medicine Mart of Lexington • My Pharmacy and Optical • Riley Drugs Best Physical Therapy Practice: Drayer Physical Therapy • CORA Physical Therapy • Select Physical Therapy Best Pizza: Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders • Clara & Ray’s Restaurant Italiano • Mellow Mushroom Best Birthday Party Venue: Hard Working Mom Studio • Palmetto Athletic Center • Vitali Karate Best Place to Buy Bath or Kitchen Fixtures: Capital Kitchen & Bath • Gateway Supply • KB Kitchen & Bath Best Place to Buy a Boat or Watercraft: Captain’s Choice • Marine 360 • Redline Motorsports Best Place to Buy a Car-New: BMW of Columbia • Herndon Chevrolet • Toyota Center Best Place to Buy a Car-Used: Hyatt Cars of Lexington • Robertson Auto • Unicar Enterprise Best Place to Buy Eyeglasses: Envision • Eye Associates of Lexington • My Pharmacy and Optical Best Place to Buy Hardwood Floors: Carpet One • Floor Boys • Lexington Flooring Best Place to Buy Organic Products: 14 Carrot Whole Foods • Earthfare • Garner’s Natural Life Best Place to Buy Outdoor Furniture: Carolina Pottery • Costless Outlet • Tropic Aire Best Place to Buy Paint: E.D.’s Paint and Interiors • Lowe’s Home Improvement • Sherwin Williams Best Place to Buy a Pool: Cannonball Pools • Fasnacht Pools • S & S Pools

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Serving Lexington for Almost 15 Years! We would like to thank everyone in the Lexington community for your ongoing support and loyalty since we opened in 2008!

Thanks for Nominating us! The Leash Connection It’s “WOOF” a Visit!

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�ank you for nominating us! DIY Boutique Studio ~ Home Decor, Birthday Parties and Events 603 Columbia Ave 2A, Lexington, SC 29072 803-490-2008

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 27


Best Place to Buy Pageant/Prom Apparel: Catz Formals • Greg McKenzie Pageant & Prom • Tylar Rose Pageant & Prom Best Place to Buy Propane: Amerigas Propane • Palmetto Propane • Southern Flame Propane Best Place to Buy an RV: Camping World • John’s RV • Lester’s RV Best Place to Buy Tires: Abbott’s Auto Care and Tire • Cox Tires • Mavis Tires and Brakes Best Place to Buy Tools: Lexington True Value Hardware • Lowe’s • Mann Tool Best Place to Buy Windows: Pella Windows • Stroud Supply • Universal Windows Best Place to Buy Window Treatments/Coverings: Bella Eleganza • Budget Blinds • ED’s Paint and Decorating Best Place to Sell Gold: Gilbert Coin Exchange • Golden Eagle Precious Metals • Jewelers Studio Best Place to Work-Manufacturing/Industrial Company: CMC Steel • Michelin • Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. Best Plastic Surgeon: Dr. Brett Carlin Carlin Plastic Surgery • Dr. Gregory Sexton at Capital Plastic Surgery • Dr. Todd Lefkowitz at Lexington Plastic Surgery Best Plumber: Delta Plumbing • Kaye Plumbing • Stormy Plumbing Best Pressure Washing Company: Blue Line Pressure Washing • Carolina Painting and Pressure Washing • Trey Mathias Pressure Washing Best Private School: Ben Lippen School • Grace Christian Academy • Northside Christian Academy Best Produce Farm: Clayton Rawl Farms • Four Oaks Farm • Walter P. Rawl & Sons Best Property Management Company: Rogers Property Management

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Schedule your bath & kitchen showroom appointment today! www.gatewaysupply.net Monday - Friday | 8am - 5pm *Locations all over South Carolina!

Thank you for nominating us the Best Place to Buy Propane! 215 Oak Drive, Lex, SC 29073 (Behind the Barnyard Flea Market) 803-996-0707 | Cell: 803-260-0701 www.southernflamepropane.com

28 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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• Scott Properties of the Midlands • Southern Dreams Realty Best Real Estate Agent: April Stroud RRG • Jennifer Jones Robin Jones Realty • Tim Williams 803 Realty Best Real Estate Company: 803 Realty • Coldwell Banker • Resource Realty Group (RRG) Best Ribs: Belly’s • Hudson’s Smokehouse • Willie Jewels Best Roofing Company: Joye Roofing • Premiere Roofing • Vista Roofing Co. Best Salad: Bellis House of Pizza • Groucho’s • Libby’s Best Seafood Restaurant: Catch Seafood • Blue Marlin • Oak Grove Fish House Best Self-Storage Facility: Charter Oak Storage • Fast Casual Self-Storage • Gilbert Self Storage Best Senior Home Care: Assisting Hands Home Care • McLeod Home Care • Retire Ease Best Senior Living Community: Deepwood Estates • Southlake Village • Still Hopes Best Shooting Range: C2C Arms • Kilo Charlie Shooting Range • Palmetto State Armory Best Sign Company: Columbia Flag & Banner • Guerrilla Graphix • The Sign Shop Best Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center: LMC Extended Care • NHC Healthcare • Wellmore Best Smoothie: Between Chaos Nutrition • Clean Juice • Tropical Smoothie Best Southern Cooking: Comfort Scratch Kitchen • Lizard’s Thicket • Sweet Magnolia Best Steak: Griffin Chophouse • Private Property • Root Cellar Best Sub: Bellacinos • Jersey Mikes • Substation II Best Sushi: Ganbei • Konichiwa • Sukiya Best Tanning Salon: Carolina Tan Factory • LexingTan • Palm Beach Tan

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 29


Best Temporary Employment Service: Roper Staffing • Snelling Staffing • Spherion Best Therapist: Crossroad Counseling Center • Dorri Smith • Jill Smith Best Towing Service: Freedom Towing • Schroeder’s Towing • Wingard’s Towing Best Travel Agency: Cruise Planners Melanie Scarborough • Forest Lake Travel • Travel Leaders Best Tree Removal Service: Boozer Tree Service • Mike’s Tree Service • Pioneer Tree Service Best Unique Gift Shop: Blush Boutique & Home • Magnolia Boutique & Resale • Tera’s Merle Norman Best Upholstery Repair: A. W. Canvas & Upholstery • Hot Rods Upholstery • Nordan and Foster Custom Upholstery Best Urgent Care: Doctor’s Care Lexington • LMC Urgent Care • Veritas Health Group Best Urology Practice: Carolina Urology Dr. Keith Brightbill • Lexington Urology • Southern Urogynecology Dr. Pezzela Best Veterinarian: Cherokee Trail • Grace Animal Hospital • Midlands Veterinary Practice Best Wait Staff: Goodfella’s • O’Hara’s • Travinia’s Best Wedding Venue: River Road and Jasmine House • Southern Oaks • The Vines Best Weight Loss Program: Bigbie Weight Loss • Feeling Good Nutrition • Profiles by Sanford Best Wings: Buffalo Wild Wings • Carolina Wings • Wings and Ale Lexington Best Women’s Clothing: Cho on Main • Fabrik’ • Tulip Boutique Best Women’s Gym: 9 Rounds • Burn Bootcamp • Hotworx

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LET’S GET READY FOR FOOTBALL

293-A Dooley Rd Lexington, SC 29073 803-399-8530

Thanks for Nominating us best women’s clothing boutique

A BOUTIQUE

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Thank You for Nominating us Best Place to Buy Organic Products Garner's has a vast selection of vitamins, herbs, essential oils, proteins, hemp products and kratom...Stop by and see us! 5166 Sunset Blvd STE C, Lexington, SC 29072 803-973-3001

30 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

Proudly serving all of Lexington County. We provide towing services for all vehicles from f Passenger cars to Tractor Trailers. Freedom Towing & Recovery

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Thank You for Nominating us Best Coin and Collectible Dealer and Best Place to Sell Gold.!

Make sure your roof is a good defense against the elements! Call us today!

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5 miles from Lexington High School in The Shoppes of Gilbert 4079 Augusta Highway • 803-892-4307 • info@gilbertcoins.com www.gilbertcoins.com

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Serving Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Newberry, Sumter & Orangeburg counnes 10029 Broad River Road, Irmo, SC 29063 803-732-3322 | premiereroofingcolumbia.com Thanks for nominating us Best Wedding Venue! 2401 Highway 378 Gilbert, SC 29054 (803)-647-4518 ww www.southernoaks378.com southernoaks378@gmail.com Featured on: Facebook, Instagram, The Knot & Wedding Wire

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 31


March of 2007 was a tragic and life-altering period in Cynthia Brown Byrd’s life, one that calls back the pain fifteen years later. On March 5, she was at her beloved mother’s bedside as she passed away. She remembers thinking at the time that the next day would be her youngest son Brandon’s twentieth birthday. “I hope momma doesn’t die on my son’s birthday; that would be too hard for me,” was an unexpected, intrusive thought. On March 12, Byrd and her siblings laid their mother to rest. “My son Brandon was an honorary pallbearer at his grandmother’s homegoing services. He walked around like a young preacher, so quiet and respectful.” Her next words tumble out in a memory of pain and loss. “Two weeks and one day after Brandon’s twentieth birthday, and just sixteen days after my mother passed, I received terrible news.”

Remembering by Mary Ann Hutcheson

Brandon LaVar Byrd “Do the Right Thing”

32 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

March 21st “I was at work on the night of March 21, and Brandon wanted to see the movie 300 with some friends. At first, I told him no.” After some thought, she gave him permission, reminding him that they needed to be up early the following morning. She adds, “Now if I had told him no, that would have been fine with him; that was it. My kids knew my yes was ‘yes’, and my no meant ‘no’. And my son Brandon was such a good kid, a really good kid. I trusted him.” Brandon dressed and got ready to leave, telling his sister Kym, “I’m leaving; ma will lexingtonlife.com


be home soon.” As Cynthia was leaving for home, she heard the night shift employees talking about “that bad accident” on Interstate 26 and how no one could have survived it. They were talking about the road being closed off. Her route home did not include the Interstate, and she didn’t think further about the accident. Later at home, she explains, “The doorbell rang, and I said to Kym, ‘I wonder why Brandon’s ringing that bell?” “When I opened the door, there was a highway patrolman and a minister, or priest—a religious official.” Cynthia asked herself, ‘What in the world are they doing here?’ The patrolman asked, “Ms. Byrd. Do you have a son named Brandon Byrd?” A state of shock and denial took hold, preparing her for something she was not ready to hear. She had just lost her mother and had barely had time to grieve. She told the visitors to please wait, that she was not ready. She tried to get her daughter to leave the room, but Kym wanted to be with her mom. So, Cynthia moved to the kitchen, sat at the table and grabbed a cold drink to take her blood pressure medication. At least fifteen minutes passed before she was ready to return. The patrolman asked again, “Do you have a son named Brandon Byrd?” “Yes.” “Does he drive a blue car?” “Yes.” “I’m sorry,” he said. Cynthia has little memory of what happened next; it all became a terrifying blur. Kym rushed outside to call family, sharing the horrible news. Cynthia ended up in the emergency room with Kym by her side. Over and over ran the same internal message, “Brandon is such a good kid… this can’t be Brandon.” She slept for three days, telling her family she didn’t want to wake up. Well-meaning family and friends came to the house and the continuous ringing of the doorbell was upsetting. Her family finally posted a sign asking visitors to please knock instead. “I lost those days,” she says. Numb from shock, and unable to make arrangements for the funeral, Cynthia needed serious support. Her son’s older brother stepped in and arranged for his casket. “It was a pain you can’t even describe,” she remembers. “The loss is gut-wrenching. It tears at you like a needle constantly jabbing, multiplied by fifty.” For the next six years she was unable lexingtonlife.com

to travel that section of the interstate. During that time, she kept her son’s phone active so he would have it “when he returned.” Anyone who has experienced extreme loss can relate to that grief process. The thought of moving forward after such terrible pain makes us cling to whatever our heart tells us. The “Dark Place” Those who knew Brandon remember an enthusiastic learner with a big smile. He was a devout Christian who left the porch light on for his mother and once told Cynthia after getting her hair done, “Mom, you’re so pretty, it looks like you’re going to the prom.” A positive person, his favorite saying was, “Do the right thing.” Brandon took his education seriously. He was on the principal’s list at Dutch Fork High School and a recipient of a government Life Scholarship, which he used to attend Midlands Technical College. Because of his academic achievement, Brandon was named to the scholar’s list while pursuing a career in radiology. At the time of his death, Brandon was six weeks into his employment as a radiology transporter at Lexington Medical Center’s Radiology Department. His manager had recently asked Cynthia if he could offer Brandon a part-time position that would allow benefits because he was doing such a great job. The family was thrilled with the news, though not surprised; they knew Brandon was a vibrant, hard-working young man. Sadly, the paperwork arrived too late.

Cynthia was barely making it through each day. The pain and loss of her beloved son, so soon after the loss of her mother, was taking her to what she called her “dark place.” Life no longer seemed important. Concerned for his sister, her older brother told her, “I know I don’t know how you feel, but we all loved Brandon. I know you’re going to cry. But can you do one thing for me? Can you cry on your feet? Can you try to do that?” She remembers saying, “I’ll try, big brother.” “I know what he wanted me to do,” she remembers. “He wanted me to stop closing the curtains, stop not answering the phone, stop not letting people come in the house. He saw where I was going with my pain, and he was concerned. Her brother’s words got her going. She said, “I cried, but I got out of that bed; I did it on my feet! I hug my brother now when we do things, and I say, ‘Are you proud of me?’” He answers, “Yeah, you’re doing it; I’m so proud of you.” Healing Through Charity What Cynthia’s brother meant by “doing it” was her staying on her feet for the past fifteen years while turning her grief into life-affirming charity towards others. Five months after her loss, Cynthia decided that she wanted her son’s name somewhere as a living testimony to his life force. Education was a priority in her home, and the family spent countless hours in the library. She contacted the Richland County Public Library for information related to donations. “The library represents what Brandon stood for,” she said. Once she knew what was September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 33


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needed to help the library, her quest was on. “Now, I’m going to get that money,” she said. And she did. From that first step came the “Remembering Brandon LaVar Byrd” projects that have mushroomed into fifteen years of charitable projects, fund-raisers, fashion shows, and more. Cynthia, Brandon’s brother London, and sister Kym needed to do something positive to work through their loss, so they coordinated school supply drives at Seven Oaks Elementary School, collecting much-needed school supplies for children and raising money for the library. Cynthia and her family also raised $17,500 for the Richland County Public Library to support ongoing programs and projects at the library. One of the meeting rooms at the St. Andrews Regional Branch is named for Brandon, and one of the twenty-four trees in the indoor garden has been dedicated to his memory. To raise money that first year, she decided to do a fashion show, starting with “just regular people.” “I encouraged people to get up there on that stage,” she remembers. She went to different clothing businesses, asking to borrow clothes and accessories for the event. Once people realized her purpose for borrowing, they warmly gave from their hearts. The first program started small at the community center, with a $7.00 admittance fee. “We raised $3,000 that first time,” she said. “Then we did additional yearly shows until we got up to our last fashion show in 2016. It was hard work, but so much fun.” One of her most exciting fashion shows involved using Midland Technical College’s auditorium, which seats 400 people. No one thought she could fill the space. She said, “I know I can’t fill it myself; sure can’t. But we’re going to get it!” And she did.

model and help them raise money. She says, “We ended up with a plastic surgeon, an ER doctor, a podiatrist, a gastroenterologist, and a former pilot. I put their pictures on the flyer. And of course, Brandon’s picture as well.” The show was a huge success, and everyone had a great time. Brandon’s picture adorns every flyer, as well as all media stories about her charity work. He is always the reason for her giving. And she makes sure his spirit is with her. “Brandon didn’t get a chance,” she says, “so I want to make it happen for others who need it.” “This is the day that the Lord has made; I shall rejoice and be glad in it.” An unsung hero, Cynthia Byrd Brown does not desire to draw attention to herself, but her cause. She has filled a neat and well-organized blue binder that tells the story of Brandon’s life. The photographs and stories build a picture of who Brandon was beginning at childhood to how he has impacted the lives of others since he “transitioned” from one life to the

“When I lost my son, I was given a lemon – so I told myself I could remain silent and just live my life that way, or I could add sugar and make lemonade, and do something positive about it. That’s when we came up with the toy drive, adopting a highway and a scholarship fund.” — Cynthia Byrd Brown She found sponsors for the venue and assembled a foundation of artists and designers. Having worked with Lexington Medical Center for years, she was able to recruit doctors as “men of distinction” to lexingtonlife.com

next. There are photographs, philanthropy awards, letters of appreciation, news stories, awards, a Richland resolution letter for her good deeds from the Richland County Council, a Best of Philanthropy

Award honor in Columbia Metropolitan publication, a Lexington Medical Center “Everyday Heroes” issue, etc. There are even flyers for her remarkably successful fund-raising fashion shows, and so much more all carefully inserted into individual clear plastic sheets. She has been interviewed by Columbia’s major news stations and lauded for her leadership roles in charitable programs like the Salvation Army, Mission Lexington (formerly LICS), Sister Care, Transitions, Seven Oaks Elementary School, Calhoun County school drives/supplies, just to name a few. Cynthia is most touched that Brandon’s church honored him with the Brandon LaVar Byrd Scholarship Fund. Perhaps by learning from others like Cynthia who, with enormous courage and strength discovered how to turn tragedy into generosity we can help ourselves when difficult times arrive. Cynthia’s mother and son live on in her as she continues to give and find new ways to serve others. A friend who is a physician once told Cynthia, “Everybody wants to do something to help, but sometimes you just need someone else to do the work. And you’re that person. You just need some financial support. That’s what you have. You’re doing a great job!” “When that police officer came to my house, it was the worst news ever,” recalls Cynthia. “Five months later I realized I had to do something to learn how to live again. From that time my passion to help others grew and grew and grew. Even after doing it for fifteen years, the minute I open my eyes every morning, I say, ‘This is the day the Lord has made; I shall rejoice and be glad in it.’ And I immediately take the covers off. You’ve got to get up and get moving.” n September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 35


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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 37


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RI V ER BLU F F f oot ba ll pr e v i e w the gators Last season the River Bluff Gators went 2-8 and head coach Blair Hardin will improve upon that this season. Sophomore quarterback Parker Murray and running back Cooper Johns will stay busy as Coach Hardin utilizes the triple spread option that both the Citadel and Wofford are known to run. In order to be successful running the football the Gators depend upon senior offensive linemen Jordan Allen and Drew Surratt to provide key blocks for the offense. One of Murray’s main targets this season will

be tight end Blaine Blose and receiver Stephen Collier. By mixing a blend of the option with some play action passing, River Bluff’s offense will keep their opponents guessing. On the defensive side of the football, the River Bluff Gators have seniors Thomas Powell, Connor Clamp, brothers Jaden & Jonathon Cook will make it difficult on opposing offenses. River Bluff uses a 3-4 defensive scheme that Hardin employs. The Gators look to improve their record and sneak into the playoffs this year.

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 39


Thank You for Nominating us the Best again! Lexington Barbershop

PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION

2440 Augusta Hwy, Lexington, SC 29072 803-356-6060

ESTATE PLANNING PROBATE CONSTRUCTION LAW/LITIGATION CONTRACT PREPARATION AND REVIEW

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Lexington f o ot ba ll p r e v i e w the w i ld cats The Lexington Wildcats surprised everyone with a 9-3 record last season. Coach Perry Woolbright is very excited about his group of seniors. He has the talented quarterback Jaiden Mines to guide his squad through the grueling schedule they play. Lexington will be led by captains Jonah Norris, Harley Fox, Luca Feraci, and Kameron Coulter. Top players highlighted for Lexington include Kamadi Maxwell (WR/DB), Jonah Norris (RB). Jarrod Mewborn (WR), Luca Feraci (OL), Kameron Coulter (DB), and Ryan Mc Farland (OL). Coach Woolbright likes to spread the offense out and this creates mismatches that the Lexington Wildcats plan to take advantage of versus their opponents. Defensively, the Wildcats play a 3-4 scheme and will rely on their defense to make plays and get the football back in their offense’s hands. With all the talent and depth on this year’s squad, the WIldcats are positioned to have another successful fall season.

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 41


Thank you for Nominating Us Best Auto Repair Shop (Domestic)

White Knoll Automotive & Transmission Repair

Serving The Midlands Area

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whi te knoll fo otba ll pr e v i e w tim berwolves

White Knoll head football coach Nick Pelham is looking to improve upon last year’s 2-8 team and knows this year’s squad could be even better. Led by seniors Jesse Ross (RB), MJ Jones (DB), Ron Briggs (OL), and Nate Thomas (DB), Coach Pelham will have some senior leadership to rely on. The Timberwolves will also depend on their underclassmen this season. Coach Pelham mentions junior tight end Hasan Lee Jr., Jaiden Kimble (WR), Austin Cunningham (WR), and Marcus Domenech (LB) as players expected to help White Knoll have a successful season. Coach Pelham hopes to mix his personnel groupings to keep opposing defenses on their heels. He plans to throw the ball significantly and on defense he is hoping a slanting defense and odd number fronts will keep opposing offenses off the scoreboard. White Knoll has its work cut out for them in order to make the playoffs this season. lexingtonlife.com

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 43


FOOD~CLOTHING~HOUSEWARES FURNITURE~APPLIANCES

Don’t forget... Grandparents Day is September 11th! THE LEGACY

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n o rt h si de fo ot ba ll pr e v i e w c rusa d ers Last season Northside Christian Academy transitioned from 8-man to 11-man football and was a first- year varsity team. Head coach Dean Howell has an extremely young squad this year with only two seniors leading the Crusaders. Seniors Dylan Judy (OL/DL) and Braeden Patterson (WR/LB) will be showing the way to the underclassmen they will be leading. Coach Howell has a talented roster of underclassmen led by speedster Sam Burks (WR/DB). He is joined by Trevor Hoffman (WR/DB), Hudson Shick

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(OL/DL), Zack Gebhard (OL/DL), Landon Folks (OL/LB), Gaven Ford (RB/LB) and Jefferson McCollum (QB). The Crusader offense will take what the defense gives them. On defense, Northside Christian Academy plans to employ a physical, aggressive mentality that will get the ball back to their offense. Coach Howell is encouraged by his team’s progress and it won’t be long before Northside joins the ranks of the other larger SCISA powerhouses. record and sneak into the playoffs this year.

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 45


We Support Our Schools

5080 Sunset Blvd, Suite B, Lexington, SC www.sunsetchildrens.com • 803-996-0753 Dr. Kathi Sample, General Dentist

Thank you for nominating us the best!!

FREE Inspections | FREE Battery Test FREE Air Pressure and Air Pressure Check FREE Tire Rotations (Even if tires were purchased elsewhere)

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“Where We Meet by Accident” Batesburg Location: 803-820-0353 210 W Church Street, Batesburg, SC 29006 Gilbert Location: 803-820-0352 3970 Augusta Hwy, Gilbert, SC 29054

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f o ot ba ll pr e v i e w i n d ians The Gilbert Indians went 9-3 last year and expect to contend for a state title in 2022. Coach Leaphart runs a multi-set offense that provides different fronts, formations, and coverages. His philosophy is to run a no-huddle offense and run as many plays as possible. Since Gilbert runs a rather sophisticated scheme, it creates opportunities for the offense to exploit their opponent’s confused defense. The Gilbert Indians will have their 12 seniors serve as team captains this season. The offense will be led by QB Chance Jennings who will have Alias Graham-Woodberry and Jaden Allen-Hendrix in the backfield providing running options. Other players mentioned by Coach Leaphart are: Blake Cooke (OL/DL), Jordan Smith (DB), Nat Yon (OL) and Kyler Seigler (LB). The Gilbert Indians have a deep, senior laden roster and are a team no one wants to play during the playoffs.

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 47


48 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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Getting You

BETTER SOONER. If you’re dealing with injuries or pain, you can count on the experts at Lexington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine to get you moving again. Our highly specialized physicians offer comprehensive care for patients at five convenient locations throughout the Midlands. Whether for diagnostics, treatments, consultations or physical therapy, our team is here to get you better, sooner.

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 49


are you ready for some football? river bluff high SChool

lexington high SChool

2022 schedule

2022 schedule

gators

Aug. 19

7:30p

Aug. 26

wildcats

@ Lugoff-Elgin

Aug. 19

7:30p

@ West Florence

7:30p

Swansea

Aug. 26

7:30p

@ South Aiken

Sept. 2

7:30p

Irmo

Sept. 2

7:30p

Stratford

Sept. 9

7:30p

@ South Aiken

Sept. 9

7:30p

Blythewood

Sept. 16

7:00p

Sept. 16

7:30p

Gilbert

Sept. 23

7:30p

@ Dorman

Sept. 30

7:30p

Sept. 30

7:30p

@ White Knoll

Oct. 7

7:30p

Oct. 7

7:30p

@ Lexington

Oct. 14

7:30p

@ White Knoll

Oct. 21

7:30p

Dutch Fork

Oct. 21

7:30p

@ Aiken

Oct. 28

7:30p

Chapin

Oct. 28

7:30p

Lower Richland

50 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

@ Chapin River Bluff

Dutch Fork

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White Knoll high SChool

Northside Christian

2022 schedule

2022 schedule

timberwolves

Crusaders

Aug. 19 7:30p Orangeburg Wilkinson Aug. 26

7:30p

Spring Valley

Sept. 2

7:30p

Colleton County

Sept. 9

7:30p

@ Westwood

Sept. 16

7:30p

@ South Aiken

Sept. 23

7:30p

Lancaster

Sept. 30

7:30p

River Bluff

Oct. 7

7:30p

@ Dutch Fork

Oct. 14

7:30p

Lexington

Oct. 21

7:30p

7:30p

@ Calhoun Falls

Sept. 2

7:30p

@ Orangeburg Prep

Sept. 9

7:30p

New Hope

Sept. 16 7:30p Hickory Grove Christian Sept. 23

7:30p

Oct. 14

7:30p

Williamsburg @ Bethesda Academy

Oct. 21 7:30p Palmetto Christian Academy Oct. 28 7:30p Spartanburg Christian Academy

@ Chapin

gilbert high SChool

indians

Aug. 26

7:30p

Sept. 2

7:30p

South Aiken

Sept. 9

7:30p

Pelion

@ Batesburg-Leesville

Sept. 16

7:30p

@ Lexington

Sept. 23

7:30p

@ Saluda

Sept. 30

7:30p

@ Lower Richland

lexingtonlife.com

Aug. 19

Oct. 7

2022 schedule 7:30p

Swansea

Oct. 14 7:30p Orangeburg Wilkinson Oct. 21

7:30p

Oct. 28

7:30p

@ Dreher Brookland-Cayce

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 51


52 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 53


A From my orchard of memories a lonely peach tree stands in the front yard of my youth. The tree looked sickly and produced fruit a tad bigger than a golf ball. The tree stood in the shadow of pines. That may have been its problem. It never was pruned. Another problem. Still, it fascinated me, though I recall not eating one peach from that frail tree of youth. Things would change, though. In the years to come, I’d spend a lot of time eating, photographing, and writing about peaches, that delight from Persia. Yes, Persia. First known as Persian apples, peaches found their way to the New World, and down South summer is not summer without peaches, peach pies, and peach ice cream. Churn up some frozen delight. Slice up a peach and turn your morning cereal into a treat. Make preserves. Dried peaches aren’t bad either. Eat this stone fruit whole, discarding the pit known as a drupe. 54 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

of a SUMMER by Tom Poland All this epicurean delight begins with another joy come March. That’s when a cotton candy, peppermint dreamscape mesmerizes all. To see a peach orchard in full bloom is to see majesty. Van Gogh, that one-eared artist, painted a pink peach tree against a blue sky with white clouds. “My best landscape,” he said. It’s said too that he found renewal in peach orchards. Why not. Peaches nourish, please, and inspire. They also create what amounts to a growing controversy. Which state grows the most peaches? Which state is truly the Peach State? My native Georgia lays claim to that title but I’ve heard that Edgefield County, South Carolina, alone produces more peaches than Georgia entire. Let’s look at some numbers from a few years back. According to a report in the Greenville News, South Carolina produced lexingtonlife.com


54,600 tons of peaches in 2018. Georgia produced 25,000 tons. California, however, produced 510,000 tons that year. Ranking the states, we get California, South Carolina, New Jersey, and then Georgia, followed by six states not to be found in the South. It’s time Georgia changes its claim to fame to peanuts. It’s the nation’s leading producer of peanuts. Welcome to Georgia, the Peanut State. Well, that doesn’t carry much of a ring, does it. Still, I recall a certain peanut farmer who made it to number one in a double P category, presidential politics. All this peach business began when I drove up Old US 1 to visit family in the Chapel Hill area. Up near McBee, South Carolina, (Macby if you’re a local), I saw peach orchards aplenty. Then a sign pointed me to McLeod Farms Roadside Market. I detoured off Old Number 1 and soon I was on my way with peaches and tomatoes for my daughter up in Chapel Hill. Though a bit firm, the peaches were a hit. It’s early still for Carolina peaches, so these must have come from elsewhere. Picked before their time for a reason. Picking a peach at the most opportune time isn’t easy for novices. I read that professional pickers live by a cardinal rule. Never bruise a peach. A gentle squeeze tells all. The peach feels like a baseball. Do not pick. It feels like a tennis ball. Wait a few days. The peach gives, but does not bruise. Almost. Rosy red and yellow and feels just so. Pick. The peaches I bought were indeed rosy-red and yellow, small balls of sunshine. Still, they were a tad hard but that changed. By day three my daughter’s family were grabbing peaches from a bowl where the stone fruit resembled art, a still life. Had one myself. It hit the spot. Among the produce that bespeak of summer are watermelons, tomatoes, and peaches. Soon peach trees will be heavy with their beautiful burden. Make it a peach of a summer. Wherever they come from, keep your bowl full of Persian apples, aka peaches. They’re low in calories but rich otherwise. n

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 55


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Join our community of families seeking TRUE health. Experience the difference when a physician:

Listens ~ Explains the cause ~ Takes a holistic approach ~ Cares about YOU. My office is at The Flight Deck Shoppes in Lexington, South Carolina. I am focused on serving the Health Insurance Needs for Individuals of all Ages. I offer guidance and solutions with regards to the needs for Health Insurance and Medicare Insurance. Choosing Health Insurance plans can be Difficult. That is why I make it Easy. The Annual Enrollment for Medicare is October15–December 77. Open Enrollment for Individual Health Insurance is November 1–January 15.Give me a call to get on my Calendar so that we can discuss the best Options for your Individual Health Insurance in 2023. I will be glad to help. You can Call or Text Jeff Howle at 803-678-8121. You can also Email Jeff at jhowle@healthmarkets.com www.jeffhowle.com. or find him online at ww

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency Jeff Howle - Sales Leader Licensed Insurance Agent Health | Medicare | Small Group | Life 803-678-8121 • Fax: 877-714-4421 jhowle@healthmarkets.com • www.jeffhowle.com 56 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 57


Optimize Your Schedule With These Time Management Hacks by Bobby Waters

Time is a resource that always seems to be in short supply. If you struggle to allocate enough time to the tasks that truly matter to you, you’ll be relieved to know you’re not alone. Nearly everyone wishes they had more hours in the day, yet few realize just how much time they truly have to be focused and productive. Effectively utilizing that time comes down to understanding how to optimize your daily schedule efficiently. This article touches on a handful of ‘low-tech’ yet effective productivity hacks that’ll have your schedule looking squeaky clean. 58 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

Create a Daily To-Do List The first order of business is to jot down all the daily tasks you have ahead of you. You must write everything down regardless of the type of activity. How you choose to do so is up to you. Some folks enjoy using a scheduling app on their phones or computers, while others prefer to write their agendas by hand. Make sure to choose the method most convenient and accessible for you. If you are constantly lured into mindlessly scrolling on your phone, you will want to use a pen and paper approach. Lastly, you might find it helpful to organize your tasks into categories. Daily chores and utility bills might go into a ‘Household’ category, while class assignments or readings fall under a ‘School’ tab. lexingtonlife.com


Regardless of your chosen method, getting everything down in writing is necessary to complete the next (and arguably most essential) productivity hack--prioritization. Learn To Prioritize Prioritizing specific tasks over others is critical for optimizing your daily schedule. To do so, you can use a nifty little tool called

the Eisenhower Matrix. This tool helps categorize tasks based on ‘urgency’ and ‘importance.’ The four categories that make up the matrix are: ‘Urgent, Important,’ ‘Not Urgent, Important,’ ‘Urgent, Not Important,’ and ‘Not Urgent, Not Important.’ Tasks with precise deadlines and severe consequences if not completed fall under the first quadrant. Important, non-urgent tasks such as long-term goals (e.g., passion projects and fitness milestones) take less priority than the previous category and should be scheduled accordingly. Next, urgent, unimportant tasks that need to be completed but do not require your skills should be delegated. Finally, jobs that are unimportant and non-urgent should be deleted or delayed. They hold no importance nor relevance to you, and time devoted to completing them is time wasted. The Eisenhower Matrix is just one of several scheduling tools available. It’s an excellent way to trim the ‘fat’ from your daily plan and inject more time into items that need it. Set Time Limits For Each Task According to Parkinson’s Law, work constantly expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. In other words, the more time you are given to work on a specific task, the longer you will spend on said task. Setting a strict time limit for each activity on your schedule will ensure that you do not fall into the ‘perfectionism’ trap of spending hours on a single action while neglecting the rest. Remember to set physical reminders or alarms to notify you when your time

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is up. Setting reasonable time limits for each item on your schedule will ensure that you get more done during the day without working longer hours or sacrificing much-needed personal time. Eliminate Distractions The final step in overhauling your overall productivity and efficiency involves eliminating unwanted distractions. You know how it goes; you respond to one email or text message, and suddenly you’re responding to all of them. Nobody is immune to distractions, and they are bound to happen. Save yourself the trouble of pulling yourself out of a scroll trap or content rabbit hole by taking the necessary steps to keep from falling prey to such habits. For example, you could set your phone and laptop to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode and set your social media accounts to ‘unavailable.’ Silencing your notifications, putting your phone in a hard-to-reach spot, and reminding friends and family not to contact you during your work hours are also solid ways to cut distractions and utilize your time efficiently. Effective time management involves minor adjustments that yield tremendous results. These tips alone can radically increase how much time you have on your hands. But when combined, they allow you to allocate more of your time to important, urgent, and enjoyable activities with quality results. Remember, “not enough time” is a myth. With these tools and tricks, you’ll have more time on your hands than you’ll know what to do with. n

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 59


“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

60 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

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is it

worth by Kim Becknell Williams

it ?

A sweat had beaded up on my skin as I lifted weights as part of my routine at my favorite gym. It was a hardcore workout, but not atypical. This man walks up to me in the middle of my set, an older man, and asked, “You work out awfully hard. Is it worth it?” I was taken aback at first, a little offended and all I could say was, “I feel good every day.” Looking back on times when people push themselves, I wonder if they ever heard the same question. Did a doubting Thomas question their drive or purpose? A person who goes through medical school, or law school, or any difficult schooling would surely agree that it was worth it. But, if they couldn’t land a job using their education, would it still be worth it? Would the knowledge be for naught? Years ago, I heard a sermon about whether the minister would preach a sermon if only one person showed up to hear it. It takes hours to prepare a sermon, sometimes days or even longer. Picture an empty sanctuary with only one person seated in the pew and a minister in the pulpit. The minister concluded that he would preach the sermon he had prepared even if no one showed up to listen. So, just the act of preparing, writing, and rehearsing the sermon was the beauty in all of it; it was enough. In college, my writing professor told our class to never give up trying to get published. He said to line the walls in our homes with rejection letters. Eventually, there would be an acceptance letter or two. The act of writing, spilling thoughts onto paper, is an act of discipline…and an expression of our souls through words. If it isn’t published and no one likes it, we are walking that beautiful path alone. And that’s okay. It’s worth it. I’m sure those who create masterpieces in the form of painting, music, and dance feel the same way. On everyday terms I think about preparing an elaborate meal for my family of four. Spending all day to fix a perfect dinner, only to realize everyone’s plans had changed. No one sits down to the dinner table except for me. I had already set the table in the dining room for this special dinner. There would be three place settings too many. At first, I figured I’d fix my plate and sit at the breakfast bar in the kitchen. I changed my mind and sat in the dining room with the silver and the fancy porcelain dishes. I dined on a fancy dinner all by myself. I paid more attention to each bite savoring the day’s labor. Was it worth it? If I had known no one would show up, would I prepare such a meal just for lexingtonlife.com

myself? Probably not, but not knowing was a beautiful thing. Next time, I might intentionally prepare a lavish dinner just for me. Like Von Goethe’s quote, we must embrace the beauty as we find our way. While much of what we do is for our own benefit, there’s a trickle-down effect that reaches out to others. Maybe those on the receiving end will also see the beauty gently reflected, even if we never realize it. There is value and beauty in so many things around us and in the people we meet--like a neighbor. This one neighbor was in his late 80s, but age didn’t hinder him when tending his garden. He shared a plot in a community garden taking care of seasonal produce, watering, pulling weeds and such. Toward the end of summer when it was time to switch the crops out for fall, the neighbor passed away. His middle-aged son went to take care of the garden to continue the tradition. He brought back baskets and boxes overflowing with fresh produce. Squash, cucumbers, and an abundance of tomatoes were shared by many. Neighbors literally reaped the rewards. The gardener’s hard work benefited so many even after he was gone. It was worth it. And I hope he knew that. Three years have passed since that man approached me at the gym. Oddly enough, his simple question has pieced together some proverbial puzzle pieces of mine that had been floating around aimlessly. The preparation, the hard work and the anticipation of something can be the most valuable part of a goal or a project - not the end-result. It’s not the diploma, the oration of the sermon, the consumption of a meal or the published article, but the behind the scene struggles that get you there. It’s the tending of a garden, pushing yourself at the gym, preparing the meal and studying late into the night to gain knowledge. So, to the man carrying a coffee cup idly into the gym whose agenda is far different from mine, I have my response. “Yes, it’s worth it. Whether you see it or not.” Perhaps that conversation a few years ago had little effect; however, he is still at the gym and seems to be exercising more than drinking coffee these days. Enjoy your work, whatever it may be. Paint a picture, cook a feast, write a story, plant herbs, veggies, or flowers. Study a new subject. Play your favorite song. Move your body through exercise or dance. Listen to a sermon. You never know where your solitary walk may take you, but you will find beauty in the journey. n September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 61


Jake Weiss, O.D.

The doctors and staff of Columbia Eye Clinic welcome Jake Weiss, O.D. to the practice.

Experience:

Professional Affiliations:

Now scheduling appointments.

803.779.3070

Charleston Eye, SC Dorn VAMC, Columbia, SC MyEyeDr. Wilmington NC The Eye Institute, PA O.D.: Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Elkins Park, PA B.S.: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Downtown Columbia - 1920 Pickens Street Northeast Columbia - 100 Summit Centre Drive West Columbia - 3227 Sunset Boulevard, Suite C

62 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

American Academy of Optometry Global Specialty Lens Symposium

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 63


by Brandon Watson

WARNING SIGN: PR Diabetes is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other health problems. In fact, it can damage every organ in the human body. The most common cause of death in diabetics is heart disease, with almost half of all diabetics dying of heart problems. But what gets less attention is prediabetes, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, and another risk factor for health problems. What Is Prediabetes? Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than they should be but not in the diabetic range. It’s considered a “pre” disease, as it can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the healthcare community tends to either ignore it or not give it the attention it merits. A normal fasting blood sugar is between 70 mg/dl and 99 mg/dl, while a fasting blood glucose level of over 125 mg/dl or greater indicates type 2 diabetes. Between this range (100 mg/dl-125 mg/dl) lies the 64 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

“pre” range, the area referred to as prediabetes. To make the diagnosis, you need two separate tests that show fasting blood sugars in this range. Fasting means the person took the sample when you hadn’t eaten for at least eight hours. Healthcare providers also measure blood sugar control with a hemoglobin A1C test, a test that estimates blood sugar control over the prior three months. This form of testing is more reliable since it doesn’t look at only one reading in isolation but estimates your blood sugar level over several months. A prediabetic hemo-

globin A1C between 5.7% and 6.4% is a marker for prediabetes. To sum it up, prediabetes means your blood glucose level is higher than it should be but its not yet in the diabetic range. Many healthcare practitioners tell people with blood glucose levels in this range to lose weight and exercise, as the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher when blood sugars are in the prediabetic range. Prediabetes Is Harmful to Heart Health Research suggests people should be concerned about prediabetes because it doesn’t just increase the risk of developing full-blown diabetes; it also increases the risk of a heart attack. When researchers looked at 129 studies of prediabetics, they found that prediabetes was associated with a 16% greater risk of developing coronary lexingtonlife.com


However, the best treatment for this “pre” condition is lifestyle changes. Prediabetes is a reversible condition. One of the most powerful treatments for prediabetes is weight loss. Losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight, if you’re overweight, can bring prediabetic blood sugar readings down. Granted, losing weight is challenging, especially after the age of 50.

REDIABETES artery disease. Just as disturbing, prediabetes was linked to a 13% higher risk of mortality from all causes. Another study that looked at hospitalizations for heart attacks revealed a concerning finding. Even after researchers adjusted for other factors that affect heart attack risk, prediabetes was still linked with a 25% greater risk of a heart attack. This should be a wake-up call if you have prediabetes. It’s shortsighted to ignore rising blood sugars until they climb into the diabetic range. The consensus has always been that prediabetes is a “pre” disease but that it doesn’t cause significant health issues unless it progresses to type 2 diabetes. But there’s growing evidence that this is not the case. Therefore, it’s important to take prediabetes seriously and treat it with respect and lifestyle changes. lexingtonlife.com

Prediabetes Is a Hidden Tsunami Prediabetes is surprisingly common. The shocking reality is that around 38% of adults fall into the prediabetic category, and nine out of 10 people don’t know they have it. These individuals have blood sugars that are too high and are at greater risk of heart attack and progression to full-blown diabetes and aren’t aware of it. Why? Because prediabetes has few symptoms but can still cause damage. The key is to turn things around before complications like a heart attack occur. Around 10% of people with prediabetes progress to type 2 diabetes each year. Unfortunately, healthcare has been slow to take prediabetes seriously. There are no approved medications for treating prediabetes, although some healthcare providers prescribe a blood-sugar-lowering medication called metformin, off-label for prediabetes.

Some tips for losing weight for better blood sugar control: n Take a brisk 30-minute walk every day. Morning is a good time to do this before you get started with the rest of your day. n Work with weights or your body weight. Lifting weights and increasing muscle mass improve insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control. n Ensure you’re getting seven or more hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep in a dark room and expose your eyes to natural light as soon as you awaken. n Learn techniques for managing stress such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and walks in nature. Find what works for you and make it part of your routine. n Eliminate ultra-processed foods and added sugar from your diet. Choose more whole foods including nonstarchy fruits and vegetables. Manage Other Risk Factors for Heart Disease Prediabetes and elevated blood glucose are factors that increase the risk of heart disease. If you also have abnormal blood lipids or elevated blood pressure, your risk will be even higher. Manage those risk factors, too, to lower your risk of heart attack or stroke. Also, ask your doctor to determine your cardiovascular risk profile. They’ll ask questions about your medical history and lifestyle and calculate your odds of developing a heart attack over the next 10 years. If you’re at high risk, they may recommend more drastic lifestyle changes or medications to control your blood pressure or lipids. In Summary Prediabetes is not only a “pre” disease but does carry risks of it’s own. It’s a health problem that deserves respect and lifestyle changes. The worst approach is to ignore it. n September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 65


Falls Prevention Awareness Week is September 18-24

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Lexington Medical Center Proudly Welcomes

Jian Chen, MD, and J. David Li, MD Dr. Chen and Dr. Li join the board-certified physicians and advanced practice providers at Lexington Brain and Spine Institute to care for patients who suffer from painful conditions, ranging from acute neck and back pain to chronic spine disorders and cancer-related pain. These providers have extensive training in non-surgical treatments to reduce pain and restore daily activity.

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September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 67


Tas ty

Treats HAM AND CHEESE SLIDERS 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour 1 c. whole milk 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg 2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard 1 tbsp. honey 12 Hawaiian sweet rolls, split 1 lb. thinly sliced deli ham 8 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) 1 tbsp. chopped fresh flatleaf parsley Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 11- x 7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Melt 2 tablespoons of the 68 | LEXINGTON LIFE | September 2022

butter in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt and nutmeg. Set aside. Stir together mustard and honey in a small bowl; set aside. Microwave remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small microwavable bowl on HIGH until melted, about 20 seconds. Arrange bottom roll halves in prepared baking dish; spread evenly with honey-mustard. Top evenly with ham, milk sauce, and cheese. Replace top roll halves, brush tops evenly with melted butter, and sprinkle with parsley. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven 8 minutes. Remove and discard foil. Continue baking until cheese is melted and rolls are golden, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately. lexingtonlife.com


DRY RUBBED SMOKED CHICKEN WINGS Wing Rub: 1/2 c. paprika 1/4 c. kosher salt 1/4 c. freshly ground black pepper 1/4 c. garlic powder 2 ½ tbsp. dried oregano 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper 1 pound chicken wings and drumettes 2 tbsp. wing rub Wing Rub: Stir together paprika, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container up to 1 year. Makes 2 cups. Next, prepare smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions with an area cleared of coals to create an indirect-heat area, bringing internal

temperature to 215°F; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Toss chicken wings and drumettes in wing rub until liberally coated. Smoke chicken over indirect heat, maintaining temperature inside smoker around 215°F until done, 1 ½ to 2 hours. SPICY SAUSAGE DIP 2 tbsp. olive oil 12 oz. ground beef sirloin 8 oz. dry-cured Spanish chorizo, finely chopped 2 lb. processed cheese, cubed 2 -14-oz. cans diced tomatoes and green chiles 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper Tortilla scoops, for serving Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add beef and chorizo; cook, stir-

ring often to crumble beef, until browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate lined with paper towels; drain 5 minutes. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker; stir in cheese, tomatoes-and-chiles, and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH, stirring occasionally, until cheese is fully melted and sauce is smooth, about 1 hour. Turn slow cooker to WARM; serve with tortilla scoops. BROWNIE COOKIES 1 -18-oz. pkg. double chocolate brownie mix 1/2 c. salted butter, melted 1 large egg 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate baking chunks (about 3 oz.) 1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat brownie mix, melted butter, and egg together with an electric mixer on medium speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts. Using a 1 1/2-inch scoop, scoop cookie dough, and place 1 1/2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Working in batches if necessary, place cookie sheets in freezer until cookies are thoroughly chilled, about 15 minutes. Bake chilled cookies in preheated oven until centers are just set, 10 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 20 minutes. n lexingtonlife.com

September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 69


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The Giant

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

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I first met Wayne Sapp 30 years ago. I’d just moved to this little country town, and was an innocent thirty-two years old. The smartest thing a man can do when he’s new in a small town is to make a pilgrimage one Saturday morning to the oldstyle Parts House and introduce himself to The Boys. Sit down on an old Champion Spark Plug stool at the counter and watch the Boss work. Back then it was all brainpower, real paper books, and wits. We still smoked in there back then, which was one of those old-fashioned required rituals men did back when the experts had to “look in the book and dredge it up.” Finally, Mr. Larry called out a number to himself while he scribbled it on a pad. Then he looked at me: “Hey. You’re that new guy from the big city. What can I do?” “Where do I get tires?” Larry points. “Go see Wayne across the street.” I ambled towards an ancient Texaco station. A grizzled golden-haired man eyed me cautiously. “Hep ye?” “Can you get tires for my ‘70 F-100?” Wayne took a quick look at my pony-tail. “I don’t think I like you.” Then he took a drag off his smoke and stared. We stared at each other for about ten seconds. “Sir, do you have to like me to take cash money?” Wayne pushed his hat back and scratched his head. “No, I reckon not.

Come back Tuesday.” “Okay, sir, do you need money now?” “No, Tuesday.” I turned and made it six steps. Wayne barked. “Hey! Come back here.” I went back. “I think I like you better now.” Wayne offered his hand to shake. I’ve observed most men are decent, but 99.7 percent of men can only discuss the latest ball game. Seven years had passed, and I got torn to pieces when Daddy died. I went to see Wayne. “Sit down right there.” He pulled his chair around to face me while I cried. Customers opened his shop door. “Right now ain’t good. Come back later.” He shut down his world to hear me. He finally took my hand. “Your Daddy was obviously a great man. I can’t replace him, but you can talk to me any time, okay?” I got about six steps away and Wayne barked. “Hey! Come back here.” I went back and he took my hand. “Hang in there, you hear?” Except for a few odd years in The Service and another job once, he worked at the old Texaco station from age 17 up until about three years ago. Wayne was a wiry, cranky old cuss who knew how to give a man a place to fall to pieces without making him wish he hadn’t. He was 85 when he closed his eyes and met Jesus on July 30th. Wayne Sapp was a wiry, cranky old cuss who left a giant hole where a mighty giant once stood. n September 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 71


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