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THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Vol. 67 • No. 7 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in more than 450,000 homes and businesses and published monthly except in December by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. 808 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC 29033

July 2013 • Volume 67, Number 7

Tel:  (803) 926-3 1 75 Fax:  (803) 796-6064 Email: EDITOR



Diane Veto Parham Walter Allread PUBLICATION COORDINATOR

Pam Martin

Aiken got its start as a winter playground where the wealthy could enjoy the good things in life. Today, visitors can still get a taste of that elegant lifestyle— no trust fund required.


Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

Susan Collins PRODUCTION

Andrew Chapman WEB EDITOR


Susan Scott Soyars Contributors

Becky Billingsley, Mike Couick, Carrie B. Hirsch, Jan A. Igoe, Charles Joyner, Marc Rapport, S. Cory Tanner

Keith Phillips

12 Elegant Aiken


4 CO-OP CONNECTION Cooperative news




Sink your teeth into summer at the Pageland Watermelon Festival. Plus: Meet three South Carolinians making entertainment headlines across the nation.

National Representation

National Country Market Tel:  (800) NCM-1181 Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor.



10 Thinking ahead

to your local co-op. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Address Change, c/o the address above.

Thanks to advance planning and careful negotiation, co-op leaders across the state have executed an agreement that will save utility consumers billions over the next 45 years.

Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, S.C., and additional mailing offices.

Printed on recycled paper

Learn how Brig. Gen. Calvin Elam is quietly making history as the commander of the S.C. Air National Guard. TR AVELS

20 Riding around Rock Hill

Take a spin around the Giordana Velodrome, the world-class cycling facility now open at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center.



22 Bursting in flavor

Tracie’s squash pies Pasta primavera Strawberry delight salad Frozen fruit salad GARDENER

24 Success with palms American Idol

Expert tips on how to show our official state tree a little TLC.


SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING is brought to you by your member-owned, taxpaying, not-for-profit electric cooperative to inform you about your cooperative, wise energy use and the faces and places that identify the Palmetto State. Electric cooperatives are South Carolina’s — and America’s — largest utility network.


19 A commanding presence

Deb bi Smi rno ff/i Sto

© COPYRIGHT 201 3. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor.



Diane veto Parham

Tel:  (800) 984-0887 Dan Covell Email: Keegan Covell Email:


30 One giant leap for … $200K

What good is commercial space flight if you can’t get a decent pork chop once you’re up there?

Exploring the city’s refined heritage


SC Sto r i e S

A commanding presence

SC tr av e l S

Off to the races Humor me

The final frontier

July 2013




Member of the NCM network of publications, reaching more than 7 million homes and businesses

Certified tea master Kelly MacVean welcomes visitors to afternoon tea at Aiken’s La Dolce Gourmet Bakery, Coffee and Tea Bar. Photo by Milton Morris.

On the Agenda For a listing p m co lete s, see of Event 8 page 2



Pageland Watermelon Festival

Don’t be shy—plant your face right in a cool slice of watermelon, hands behind your back, and eat your way through as much as possible in 90 seconds. You may come up a winner! If seed spitting is more your style, there’s a contest for that, too, at this Chesterfield County festival that has been celebrating its favorite fruit since 1951. Magic, music, rodeos, carnival rides and a watermelon costume contest round out the fun in downtown Pageland. Lynches River Electric Cooperative is a sponsor. For details, visit or call (843) 672-6400.

JULY 19–28


Dragons are coming to Beaufort— more specifically, dragon boats. One of the fastest-growing water sports, dragon boat racing is the newest event to be added to this 58-year-old festival. Spectators can watch from Waterfront Park on July 20 as teams of 20 paddle their colorful 44-foot boats down the Beaufort River, raising funds for cancer survivors through DragonBoat Beaufort. The 10-day festival is packed with water and outdoor sports, plus a concert by country artist Chris Cagle on July 20 and the popular Lowcountry Supper in the park on July 25.

If you’ve tasted an heirloom or homegrown tomato, you already know what the fuss is all about. If not, find out why Sustainable Midlands says “’maters matter” at its celebration of those who grow, sell, serve and love locally grown tomatoes. New this year is the Tasty Tomato Feast— specialty dishes featuring local tomatoes at Columbia restaurants for 12 days leading up to festival day at Columbia’s City Roots urban farm. On site, dive into the signature tomato-tasting event, tomato bobbing, a tomato dunking booth, and foods as varied as tomato-flavored sorbet and the classic white bread, mayo and ’mater sandwich.

Beaufort Water Festival

For details, call (843) 524-0600 or visit

Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival


Purple Martin Sunset Cruise

No one knows why more than 700,000 purple martins return, summer after summer, to an island in Lake Murray—the world’s largest roosting area for these acrobatic birds. But the spectacle of clouds of purple martins returning to roost at sunset attracts boaters and birders alike. The S.C. Wildlife Federation will have professional ornithologists and naturalists on board the Southern Patriot to explain what they know about the phenomenon. The lake cruise includes a fried chicken picnic dinner. For details, call (803) 609-4778 or visit



For details, call (803) 381-8747 or visit


‘Between the Springmaid Sheets’

“Risque” is rarely a word applied to the textile industry. But when WWI flying ace Col. Elliott Springs took over the family’s struggling Springs Cotton Mills 80 years ago, his ideas for a racy and provocative ad campaign not only helped boost the company to prominence, they made advertising history. The controversial illustrations and daring puns from those ads, which captured the nation’s attention, are on display at the S.C. State Museum in Columbia, courtesy of Winthrop University Galleries. For details, call (803) 898-4921 or visit



Making mother proud Butc h Hirs ch

I watched her on Idol, there was something different in her voice. She knew it was a race, and she wanted to win.” Since winning the televised competition, Candice Glover has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and

Candice Glover isn’t the only South Carolinian making entertainment news this summer. In June, Broadway singer and actress Patina Miller, a native of Pageland, won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She got her start in theater at the elite South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

and recording artist. Judges ­consistently praised her performances during the 13-episode season, and Candice’s melodic voice won a growing national fan base. Back home on St. Helena Island, mother Carole Glover watched each episode with nervous anticipation and today conveys a heartfelt message to all her daughter’s fans. “We want to say thank you to all the people who voted. I knew she was a singer, but American Idol took her to a place she’s never been,” Carole Glover says. “When

Only on Energy Q&A: Replacing a window AC unit with a mini‑split heat pump costs more upfront, but it may save you money in the long run. A hero among us: World War II veteran Robert “Bob” German, a member of Horry Electric Coopera­tive, shares his stories of service as a U.S. Navy submariner.

Like us on Facebook

Our Facebook page celebrates all that’s great about living in South Carolina. Join the conversation and share your photos with us at

opened the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C., by singing the national anthem. She’s currently on the 40-city American Idol Live! concert tour, and her legion of Palmetto State fans can see Candice perform when the tour stops at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on Aug. 5. For details and ticket prices, visit or call (843) 529-5000. —carrie b. hirsch


Butch Hirsch

American Idol

Candice Glover, American Idol’s most recent winner, is from St. Helena Island, where her mom, Carole Glover (right), is her biggest fan.

Turn down the road toward the Glover family home on St. Helena Island and it’s hard to miss the signs that still dot front yards and shout out in bold, capital letters, “WE LOVE CANDICE!!!” In May, millions of television viewers voted 23-year-old Candice Glover the winner of American Idol’s 12th season, jump-starting her career as a singer

More Palmetto State stars

As a cast member on The American Baking Competition, a CBS reality show airing Wednesday nights, Pickens homemaker Francine Bryson won the hearts of viewers with her down-home recipes including a peanut butter bacon pie. After winning the show’s first episode, Bryson faced stiff competition for the $250,000 grand prize. The final episode airs this month, but viewers can watch past shows online at​shows/ american-baking-competition.

S.C.RAMBLE! By Charles Joyner, See Answer ON Page 26




3 K


3 K

Each digit in this division problem stands for a letter. Solve the problem and write your answer in the box tops (one digit to each box). Then use the code key at right to find two hidden words.

Code Key 0 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 I OS K R E A M U F   | July 2013   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



On the Agenda





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Managers and trustees from 20 South Carolina electric cooperatives were on hand for the signing of an updated coordination agreement between Central Electric Power Cooperative and Santee Cooper.

Thinking ahead I’ve always been a believer in the maxim that nothing happens without a plan. It’s true in everyday life, and it’s especially true for South Carolina’s member-owned electric cooperatives. Thinking ahead is essential when you operate the state’s largest utility network. From humble beginnings in the 1930s and 1940s, our 20 co-ops now operate more than 70,000 miles of power line and deliver electricity in all 46 counties. In all, more than 1.5 million South Carolinians use power from electric cooperatives. It didn’t happen by accident. Maintaining and growing that network is a weighty responsibility, and why the leaders of our state’s electric co-ops have been working hard for the past three years to negotiate a deal that will ensure your community continues to enjoy reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power for decades to come. The wholesale electricity aggregator for the state’s independent electric co-ops, Central Electric Power Cooperative, recently signed a multi-billion-dollar cost-saving extension of an agreement to purchase power from Santee Cooper, the state’s largest electricity producer. That’s right—savings in the multi-billions, spelled with a “b.” Cooperatives have been buying power from Santee Cooper since the 1950s. The original coordination agreement, outlining how the co-ops and the state-run utility would work together to build and maintain a power grid for



the benefit of all South Carolinians, was first signed in 1980 and last modified in 1988. The revised agreement, which now runs through 2058, will benefit all cooperative consumers as well as Santee Cooper’s wholesale and direct-served customers. Some of the biggest savings will come from lower borrowing costs. Utility networks must be built out—and paid for—over the span of decades, and having a long-term agreement in place will lower the cost of bond issues required to finance new construction and modernization projects. Ronald J. Calcaterra, president and CEO of Central, says the agreement also sets the framework for a “true and effective partnership” between cooperatives and Santee Cooper as they plan for future energy needs in a changing technological and regulatory environment. “We’ll all benefit from joint planning and cooperation between the two organizations,” he says. “Better planning always leads to better outcomes.”

President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina Mike Couick

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A trolley tour led by Judith Burgess includes the history of The Willcox, Aiken’s grand hotel built in the late 19th century to accommodate well‑heeled Yankees escaping the winter weather.



Experience the genteel history of a playground for millionaires​—no trust fund required  BY D I A N E V E TO PA R H A M | P hotos by M ilton M orris

Long before the thoroughbreds came to town, Aiken already had a claim to fame: its warm, dry climate and lush pine forests made it a popular health retreat for those with breathing troubles. Then little Loulie Eustis, a frail, 6-year-old orphan in the care of her well‑to-do aunt Celestine, arrived in 1872, and with her came Aiken’s future. Loulie flourished, and so the family returned, winter after winter, affluent friends in tow. Those visits set Aiken on a course that colors its character to this day. Loulie grew up to be eminent polo enthusiast Louise Eustis, wife of elite New York horseman Thomas Hitchcock, and the Eustis and Hitchcock clans, along with their well-heeled friends from the north, laid the foundations for the city’s enduring tourism and equestrian industries. Modern-day Aiken still wears the trappings of the city’s opulent past, but you don’t have to be rich to indulge in these elegant attractions.

Aiken Trolley Tours

Name-dropping is almost obligatory in Aiken. To talk about this small city, refer to the lengthy list of rich and famous folks who have stayed and played here. Franklin Roosevelt. Fred Astaire. Bing Crosby. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The Vanderbilts. The Astors. The Whitneys. The sheikh of Dubai. The owner of the Hope Diamond—not to mention the diamond itself. No one tells the city’s celebrated stories better than Judith Burgess, whose own Aiken family history dates back for centuries. On Saturday morning trolley tours, Burgess shares vivid tales of the rich and famous, as well as her own connections to Aiken’s special places.

“Aiken is a place that people from all over the world have connected to,” Burgess says, with an infectious delight in the city’s charms. “People have always been welcomed and accepted here.” Winter Colony visitors were greeted by Aiken’s pleasant climate and ample space to build their “Aiken cottages” (each at least 22 rooms large, Burgess confides) and to introduce their passions for riding, racing and hunting with horses. “Miss Judith,” as she is called, points out famous “cottages” and the horse-friendly dirt roads that still connect Aiken with its equestrian heritage. A “Miss Judith” tour spotlights the city’s oldest home— Chinaberry, built in 1824 for plantation owner William W. Williams, a key character in the birth of Aiken. Here on this property, the last battle of the Confederacy, the Battle of Aiken, was fought, and the house served as a makeshift hospital while “the Confederates held those Yankees back,” Burgess says. And on a personal note, that’s the house Burgess and her sister grew up in. “My daddy traded a Chrysler Imperial for that house over 60 years ago,” she says. “He was a wheeler-dealer.” Burgess’ personal history blends seamlessly with her trolley tales. A retired elementary schoolteacher, she was recruited to share her knowledge of local history with visitors. She read Aiken history books, talked to locals and   | July 2013   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Elegant Aiken culled the best stories. When former schoolmates return to Aiken for reunions or retirement, Burgess welcomes their recollections and adds their anecdotes to her cache. She recently led a tour with the granddaughter of one-time mayor Julian Salley, who owned the house that heiress Evelyn Walsh McLean rented on her visits to Aiken—the house where McLean hid her Hope Diamond inside her silk hosiery in a lingerie drawer. On tours, Burgess sports a replica of that gem, fashioned into a ring. Burgess’ sparkling stories spill out, with flashy names and reflections of Aiken’s glittering past. “I hope I can help people to appreciate Aiken and to want to come on a tour—and come back and bring a friend,” she says. Aiken’s trolley tours leave from the Visitors Center and Train Museum, 406 Park Ave. SE. Visit or call (803) 642-7631.

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum

Lisa Hall beams when she talks about her favorite horse, Blue Peter. “That’s my boy,” she says, gazing up at the thoroughbred’s racing silks, stats and memorabilia mounted on display on a paneled wood wall. “I remember going to the Aiken Trials as a young girl

After a fire damaged the town’s thoroughbred racing museum in 2000, Lisa Hall lovingly transformed it into a more fitting tribute to Aiken’s racing legacy and champion horses.

“It may be a small city, but we’ve got just as much history here as Churchill Downs.” and finding his grave under a live oak tree—he’s buried here in Aiken, at the training track,” Hall says. With ease, she recites Blue Peter’s virtues—winner of the Eclipse Award, honoring champions of the sport; son of the fiery War Admiral and grandson of the legendary Man o’ War. Blue Peter was a favorite for the 1949 Kentucky Derby, Hall says, but a bout of appendicitis kept him out of the running. Illness in 1950 led to his death. In 10 starts, he compiled a record of eight wins and two third-place finishes. “He never finished out of the money,” Hall says admiringly. Hall’s high regard for horses and history fits her well for the job she loves—supervisor of the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. She took the reins in 2000, right after an electrical fire burned the upstairs of the old carriage house that houses the museum. Already working for the city’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department, she asked permission to take on the damaged museum and transform the way it honored its 39 Hall of Fame Champion horses. “I wanted to make it more like the museums I had seen 14


in Kentucky, where you can really focus on the history of the horses and their trainers and stables,” Hall says. “We’ve had some really amazing horses that were trained here— that says a lot about the training facilities in Aiken—and I thought they deserved more than just a photo on a wall.” The two-story museum features memorabilia donated by owners and trainers, plus a reference library where breeders can research pedigrees and where historians and students can research individual horses. Visitors are frequent during prime horse seasons— March, when Aiken’s Triple Crown takes place, or autumn, for steeplechase, polo and fox-hunting events. Hall helps update Aiken’s year-round calendar of equestrian events, tracking the happenings in all the city’s horse disciplines. “Aiken is one of the best horse towns in the country,” Hall says. “It may be a small city, but we’ve got just as much history here as Churchill Downs.” Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum is at 135 Dupree Pl., inside Hopelands Gardens. Visit or call (803) 642-7631. For a full calendar of Aiken horse events, see

Rose Hill Estate

A surefire way to ensure the pedigree of an old Southern home is having a ghost in residence. Rose Hill Estate, a Winter Colony cottage now entertaining guests as a bed and breakfast, claims multiple sightings of its resident ghost. She’s said to be Claudia Wright Lea Phelps, matriarch of the property’s original family, unhappy with having some folks about. “A guest the other day said he felt like something came and got in the bed with him while he was sleeping,” current Rose Hill owner Stephen Mueller says. “So she likes some people!” quips his mother, Eva, his partner in the B&B. The Muellers have joyfully shared the quirks and romance of this historic property with their guests for a decade. Rose Hill—the highest point in Aiken, the only Winter Colony home that retains its original full city block and outbuildings, and the first Aiken property on the National Register of Historic Places—had been empty, neglected and for sale for several years. The Muellers had driven by, even explored its unruly gardens. With no background in running a B&B, they decided to buy and restore Rose Hill in 2002. Its gardens were so overgrown, no one was quite sure how many buildings were there. “If we hadn’t been that ignorant, we probably wouldn’t have bought it,” Eva jokes. “People ask us if the furniture came with the house,” Stephen says. “Keys didn’t come with the house. We signed the papers, and they said, ‘Good luck!’ ” The shingle-style Dutch Colonial was the home of the prominent Phelps family for 80-plus years, then served as a religious college, spiritual retreat and art education center. Now the main house’s seven rooms and two suites are B&B accommodations. A greenhouse became a wedding chapel, with a hand-painted mural inside and a miniature bell tower outside. The Phelps’ former dog kennel is now a bride’s changing room. And the old stable is The Stables Restaurant and Bar. Before welcoming their first guests, the Muellers furnished the main house top to bottom, scouring area antique shops. They refinished floors, replaced wallpaper and restored the richly wood-paneled Club Room to make it the envy of every visitor—oversized fireplace, intricately carved wooden bar, leather chairs and game tables. Extensive labors reclaimed the gardens, whose huge

Stephen Mueller and his mother, Eva, discovered a gracious old home with a rich history when they bought Rose Hill Estate. The original owner, William Walter Phelps, built the home to blend into its surroundings. One of the numerous outbuildings has become a wedding chapel.

cedars and magnolias, hydrangeas, azaleas, wisteria and camellias link back to Rose Hill’s history: Claudia Phelps organized the state’s local garden clubs into the Garden Club of South Carolina on the grounds of Rose Hill and served as its first president. The Muellers call themselves “­custodians for the next era,” bringing the property to life while preserving Rose Hill’s historic, low-key charm. “It sustains a timeless elegance, like poetry or gardens or art,” Stephen Mueller says. “Some people are very moved. You can see the look in their eye—they recognize it as something very special.” Rose Hill Estate is at 221 Greenville St. NW. Visit or call (803) 648-1181.   | July 2013   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Elegant Aiken

Executive pastry chef Kirstie MacVean and her mom, tea master Kelly MacVean, opened their popular shop in downtown Aiken last November.

La Dolce Gourmet Bakery, Coffee and Tea Bar Tea, as MacVean happily explains, is much more than the generic tea bags we tend to overboil, sugar up and ice down. Different teas call for special temperatures and steeping times to maximize their flavors. Certain teas, like fine wines, pair well with particular foods; many can be cooking ingredients. Four cups of tea a day, she says, can lower the risk of heart disease by 60 percent. When people tell MacVean they don’t like tea, she responds: “Then you haven’t had tea made the right way. Can I make you a real cup of tea?” The afternoon tea experience is a new adventure for most. Tiered trays of scones with lemon curd, jam and clotted cream, plus savory tea sandwiches and assorted desserts, are served with multiple tea courses. MacVean walks guests through the history and trivia of afternoon tea, disabusing them of misconceptions about “high tea” MacVean dedicated herself to learning all she could about (the working man’s hearty tea, served on high dining tea—different types, how to blend it, how to brew it, how tables) versus “low tea” (for aristocrats, served on low to serve it—and she earned tea master certification from drawing room tables). both the United Kingdom Tea Council and the American La Dolce’s cool colors and soft music offer a soothing Tea Masters Association. environment to enjoy teas and treats, served on the 80-plus Add it up, and you get the Tea Lady, bringing a new sets of tea china MacVean collected while in England. twist on tea to downtown Aiken. “Our goal was to have an atmosphere that brought you La Dolce is the gourmet bakery, coffee and tea bar in and immediately had you take a deep breath and just MacVean shares with her daughter, executive pastry chef relax,” MacVean says. Kirstie MacVean, on Laurens Street, in the heart of Aiken’s And maybe wear a hat. MacVean has collected an array busy retail district. Open since November 2012, it has of hats suited to a tea party. Without fail, she wears one enchanted customers with, literally, a world of teas, plus for afternoon tea and encourages customers gourmet desserts, sandwiches and soups. Web Extra Visit to don hats as well—“as it should be,” for “There was clearly a hole in the market in Aiken,” says MacVean, an Aiken Electric proper tea. this month Cooperative member. “We were offering someto explore four more La Dolce is at 123A Laurens St. NW. Visit thing that people were looking for but hadn’t Aiken attractions. or call (803) 335-1440. had. The afternoon teas were a big hit.” Steeped in Southern culture, sweet iced tea is well known in these parts. But if you have a real passion for teas, spend an afternoon with internationally certified tea master Lady Kelly MacVean. The title and credentials are for real. MacVean’s husband, Stuart, traces his family history to the Scottish Highlands, and he owns a plot of land there, making him Laird Stuart and his wife Lady Kelly. Then, while living in England several years ago, Kelly

“We were offering something that people were looking for but hadn’t had.”




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GreatCall® created the Jitterbug with one thing in mind – to offer people a cell phone that’s easy to see and hear, simple to use and affordable. Now, they’ve made the cell phone experience even better with the Jitterbug Plus. It features a lightweight, comfortable design with a backlit keypad and big, legible numbers. There is even a dial tone so you know the phone is ready to use. You can also increase the volume with one touch and the speaker’s been improved so you get great audio quality and can hear every word. The battery has been improved too– it’s the longest-lasting– so you won’t have to charge it as often. The phone comes to you with your account already set up and is easy to activate. The rate plans are simple too. Why pay for minutes you’ll never use? There are a variety of affordable plans. Plus, you don’t have to worry about finding yourself stuck with no

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Gotta Get Away!

o win t e c n a h c a r o Enter f ay w a t e g lf o g t h a 2-nig n! e ik A ic r o t is h in

Our Winner will receive a luxury vacation at the exclusive Guest House at Houndslake in historic Aiken (rated #1 Aiken Inn on TripAdvisor) … including: n 2 room nights at The Guest House at Houndslake for up to 4 persons n free round of golf at Houndslake Country Club (a Joe Lee-designed golf course) n $50.00 dining voucher at the Country Club Restaurant

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By entering, you may receive travel information from these great sponsors:

jj The Guest House Golf Resort, Aiken jj Houndslake Country Club, Aiken jj Towns County, Ga. jj Rock Hill Parks, Recreation jj Historic Cheraw CVB, Tourism jj Anson, North Carolina Tourism jj S.C. National Heritage Corridor jj Aiken County Parks, Recreation jj Pendleton District

jj Audubon Center at Beidler Forest jj Athens, Georgia Tourism jj Historic Bennettsville jj Alpine-Helen/White County, Ga. jj Aiken Downtown Development Assoc. jj Hendersonville, N.C. jj Anderson CVB, Tourism jj Lowcountry Tourism jj West Virginia State Parks

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YES! Enter me in the drawing for a 2-night getaway at Houndslake Golf Resort in Aiken. Name Address   City State/Zip  Email  Phone

APRIL-MAY WINNER: Stephanie Shelby, Summerton Prize: 5-day, 4-night getaway in Cancun, Mexico: deluxe room for two, at either Laguna Suites or Ocean Golf-Spa Hotel (winner’s choice, subject to availabilty), plus $500.00 airfare credit; Compliments of Coastal Leisure Service. Send coupon to: South Carolina Living, 133 Yoshino Circle, Lexington, SC 29072 or Entries must be received by August 5, 2013 to be eligible for drawing.




Brig. Gen. Calvin H. Elam AGE:


Irmo, where he’s a member of Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative OCCUPATION: Senior ranking officer, S.C. Air National Guard; CEO, Elam Financial Group VOLUNTEERS AS: Chair of the Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees PERSONAL: He and his wife, Mary, have three children: April, 32; Erin, 22; Forbes, 15 LATEST PROJECT: In April, Elam published his first book, SelfReliance—What Do You Mean, You Didn’t Know? African-Americans Achieving a Well Spent Life.

Rick Smoak


SC Life

A commanding presence

Calvin Elam wasn’t looking to break any barriers when he joined the U.S. Air Force out of Greenwood High School in the 1980s. He just wanted money for college. Now he’s Brig. Gen. Elam, assistant adjutant general for air, South Carolina, the first African-American to attain that rank in the 67-year history of the S.C. Air National Guard. In his position, Elam commands more than 1,500 men and women at McEntire Joint Air National Guard Base near Columbia, home of the Swamp Fox F-16 fighter jets that have served with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan. Elam’s rise through the ranks as a citizen-airman is the result of old-fashioned discipline and hard work. During his six years of active duty as a administrative specialist at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, he earned a business degree from the University of South Carolina. After leaving the Air Force, Elam was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air National Guard in 1988 and quickly earned a reputation as a “can‑do” officer. “People size you up pretty quickly,” Elam says of his drive to succeed and regular promotions. “If you ask me to do a task, I’m going to do it for you at a very high level.” That applies to civilian life, too, where Elam is a financial advisor with about $50 million under management for clients. He’s the married father of three children and serves as a fundraiser for numerous charities, including the March of Dimes, Boy Scouts of America and the Palmetto Health Foundation. Elam says he’s well aware of his place in state history but that he doesn’t dwell on it. “I know I’m seen as a role model by some, and there’s been some added visibility and responsibility in that regard,” he says, “but I’ve learned that if you do your job well, you’ll show up on the radar screen.” —marc rapport   | July 2013   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




Riding around Rock Hill To the untrained eye, the oddly

Photos: Diane Veto Parham

shaped structure just off Cherry Road in Rock Hill—a huge, concrete, oval hole in the ground, with steeply sloped sides—is a curiosity. But Olympics fans who followed track cycling at the London games last summer will immediately recognize a velodrome—an arena devoted to a sport some describe as NASCAR on bikes. Friday nights at Rock Hill’s Giordana Velodrome have grown into weekly gatherings for hundreds of those fans, who thrill at the chance to watch cyclists wheel up and down the 42.5-degree embankments and zip around the oval at up to 45 miles per hour.

Near the turn of the 20th century, Rock Hill was home to three velodromes, one on a rooftop at Winthrop University, cycling coordinator Thad Fischer says, standing with a poster of two of the area’s early cycling champions. Now there are fewer than 30 velodromes nationwide.

“Spectators get to watch entire races and see everything unfold right in front of them,” says Will Richter, a 19-yearold cyclist from Rock Hill who took up track racing at the velodrome last year. “It’s really fast, and it’s really fun.” The Giordana Velodrome is the centerpiece of the Rock Hill Outdoor 20

GetThere Center—250 planned acres of recreational amenities, most still in development. The wooded Piedmont Medical Center Trail, along the Catawba River, opened in 2010, and the velodrome opened in 2012. A competitive BMX course is in the works. “We have taken this thing from a national-caliber facility to a worldcaliber facility,” says Thad Fischer, Rock Hill’s cycling coordinator. The cycling world has noticed. Local, national and even international cyclists are celebrating the Giordana Velodrome as a brand-new treasure—a 250-meter track built to Olympic standards, suited to training high-caliber professionals, as well as introducing newcomers to the sport. In April, USA Cycling’s women’s National Track Team trained prospective members of its 2016 Olympic Games team—including 2012 silver medalist Lauren Tamayo—at the velodrome. In August, thousands of fans are expected when USA Cycling brings the most elite riders to Rock Hill for the national championships. Since its grand opening, the velodrome has attracted thousands of users—accomplished cyclists honing their skills at a modern, conveniently located training track; local enthusiasts looking for a safe and challenging workout; beginning cyclists learning basic track skills and etiquette; and fascinated spectators who cheer on the Friday-night league races. Close to 600 regional riders—men and women, as young as 9 and as old as 82—have


The Giordana Velodrome and the Rock Hill Outdoor Center are located at 1000 Riverwalk Parkway, just off Cherry Road in Rock Hill. Admission to the Friday night league races is free. For details, visit or call (803) 326-2453. UPCOMING EVENTS:

Friday Night Racing: 7 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 27 Giordana Cup Races: Aug. 17 USA Cycling Elite Mass Start National Championships: Aug. 22–24 S.C./N.C. State Championships: Sept. 21

completed track certification clinics. “This is like a niche sport of a niche sport in America,” says Kyle Knott, a competitive track cyclist who oversees youth and racing programs at the velodrome. “It’s something everybody wants to try after they see it on the Olympics.” Track cyclists ride bikes with one gear and no brakes. They use the banked walls to strategic advantage— diving down the curved embankments to accelerate, sprinting past competitors on the 17-degree-sloped straightaways. With up to 24 racers in the field at one time, the fast-paced action at the Friday night races can be challenging to follow, but an infield announcer provides running commentary and race results so spectators can track their favorite riders. “You’ll be hooked once you watch it,” says Knott, who is often one of the competitors on the track. “We want to win races, but we also want to put on a good show.”

DOWNTOWN AIKEN ... A truly unique place to visit.

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803-649-2221 •   | July 2013   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



EDITED BY CArrie Hirsch



in flavor


2 cups squash, finely grated 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 3 eggs, beaten 1 stick butter or margarine, melted 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon flaked sweetened coconut 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie shells, slightly thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into pie shells and bake 40–45 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on wire rack. Serve warm. TRACIE FREEMAN, PICKENS


Gina Moore/iStock

1 cup small broccoli florets 1 small zucchini, sliced 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut in strips ½ pound asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces ¼ cup butter or margarine, unsalted 1 cup half-and-half or cream, warmed Fresh ground black pepper to taste 1 pound linguine, cooked and drained Grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium skillet, saute broccoli, zucchini, red bell pepper and asparagus in butter over medium-low heat until crisp tender, stirring frequently. Add half-and-half and black pepper; cook briefly until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally. Serve over linguine; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. JUDY WELLS, BLUFFTON

Turn your recipes into cash Send us your original recipes Appetizers, salads, entrees, side dishes, desserts and beverages—almost anything goes. For each one of your recipes we publish, we’ll send you a $10 BI-LO gift card. Be sure to specify ingredient measurements. Instead of “one can” or “two packages,” specify “one 12-ounce can” or “two 8-ounce packages.” Note the number of servings or yield. Entries must be original and they must include your name, mailing address and phone number.

What’s cooking in SCRecipe October: Pumpkin Nov/Dec: Family traditions Pumpkins look great on porches, but they can be tasty in the kitchen, too. Send us your best recipes for pumpkin—breads, casseroles, desserts, soups—and don’t forget about the seeds!

Every holiday spread features the family’s “must-have” dishes. Share the recipes for the tried-and-true favorites at your holiday feasts—they might start a new tradition at another family’s table.

Deadline: August 1

Deadline: September 1

Submit • online at • email to • mail to Recipe, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033 22




16 ounces strawberries, quartered 1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained, each slice halved 1 – 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 4 – 5 large lettuce leaves, chopped to bite size 1 16-ounce tub cottage cheese 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped ½  – I cup French dressing

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, orange slices and sugar. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, arrange ingredients on salad plates as follows: bed of shredded lettuce, strawberry-orange mixture, cottage cheese and chopped nuts. Drizzle with French dressing.  ANNIE RUTH YELTON, SIMPSONVILLE


2 cups sour cream 2 teaspoons lemon juice I cup granulated sugar J teaspoon salt 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained ¼ cup maraschino cherries, drained, stems removed ¼ cup walnuts, chopped or 2 ripe bananas, mashed

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Pour into a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan, then cover and freeze for 4 hours or longer. CAROL HORTON, FORT MILL

LeeAnn White/iStock

Debbi Smirnoff/iStock

Upcoming Events:

USA Cycling Track Spring Camp: Tues. Aug. 13 - Tues. Aug. 20 Giordana Cup: Sat. Aug. 17 USA Cycling Elite Mass Start National Championships: 803-326-2453 Thurs. Aug. 22 - Sat. Aug. 24 Features: SC/NC State Championships: Sat. Sept. 21 • 250 Meter Track Free for Spectators! • 42.5 Degree Banked Turns The Giordana Velodrome is a part of the Rock Hill Outdoor Center. • Meets UCI Standards

PA R K S , R E C R E AT I O N & TO U R I S M

More cycling and outdoor recreation amenities coming soon!   | July 2013   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




On a recent visit to Columbia, I was pleased to see so many palmettos growing around our capital city. South Carolinians take great pride in our state tree (Sabal palmetto), as well we should. Not only celebrated in our state’s history and on our state flag, this tree makes a handsome landscape plant. Our beloved palmetto, also known as cabbage palm, is native to the coastal plain and thrives in that sandy soil. While palms may be more familiar along our coast, with the right mix of temperature, palm species and care, they can grow anywhere in South Carolina. Cabbage palms are relatively cold hardy—10 F is about the coldest temperature they can handle without significant damage. Most of our state, including much of the Upstate, stays above this minimum temperature, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map ( I am seeing more palmettos being planted in our red clay hills lately. In colder areas of the Upstate, however, planting cabbage palms is risky. A safer option is to choose an alternative with greater cold hardiness: windmill palm or needle palm. Windmill palms form a single trunk covered in a dense layer of brown fiber and will often reach 20 to 30 feet in height. They are cold hardy on all but the highest mountains in South Carolina. Needle palms, native to South Carolina, are considered the most coldhardy palm species. Unlike palmettos and windmill palms, however, needle palms grow as dense shrubs and don’t produce an obvious trunk. Plant palms in a well-drained location in the spring or early summer,



Success with palms

Our beloved palmetto, also known as cabbage palm, is native to the coastal plain and thrives in sandy soil. giving them ample time to establish roots before winter. Young palms without a visible trunk cannot tolerate root disturbances and should only be transplanted from containers. Larger palms with developed trunks, often dug out of the wild, may have bare root balls but transplant quite well. Regardless of size, never plant any palm deeper than it was originally grown. Deep planting leads to root suffocation,


nutritional problems, root-rot diseases and a slow death. A tall palm needs support until its roots are strong enough to hold it upright. Attach braces with straps, not nails, to minimize trunk damage. Water newly planted palms to keep the soil evenly moist for at least six months, and withhold fertilizer until new frond growth is observed, typically two to three months after planting. Once established, water deeply, providing one inch of water a week during the absence of rainfall. Palms are adaptable to many soil types, but they need special nutrients. To keep your palms healthy, get your soil tested at a Clemson Extension office to discover which nutrients are missing. Then fertilize on a regular schedule with a slow-release, specialty palm fertilizer, often called “palm special.” Do not ring or pile fertilizer near the palm’s trunk. Instead, scatter it evenly under its canopy. Palmettos and other palms require little pruning. Healthy, green leaves contain valuable nutrients and provide protection from cold damage. Remove only fronds that are badly damaged, diseased or completely dead, sawing them off near the trunk—don’t cut into the trunk, and never try to tear fronds free. Any damage to the trunk can lead to disease or insect infestation. More details on selecting and caring for palms can be found in the fact sheet “Palms & Cycads” (HGIC 1019), available from Clemson Extension’s Home & Garden Information Center, is an area horticulture agent and Master Gardener coordinator for Clemson Extension based in Greenville County. Contact him at S. CORY TANNER

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Note: Co-op members should already receive this magazine as a membership benefit. Please make check payable to South Carolina Living and mail to P.O. Box 100270, Columbia, SC 29202-3270. (Please allow 4 – 8 weeks.) Call 1-803-926-3175 for more information. Sorry, credit card orders not accepted.   | July 2013   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Calendar  of Events Please confirm information before attending events. For entry guidelines, go to


17 • Wet ’n’ Wild Wednesday Walk, Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville. (864) 244-5565. 17–19 • International Ford Retractable Club 2013 Convention, Hilton, Greenville. (860) 345-8423. 19–20 • South Carolina Peach Festival, downtown, Gaffney. (864) 489-5721. 19–20 • Live Music at the Old Rock Cafe, Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, N.C. (800) 277-9611. 19–27 • Georgia Mountain Fair, 1311 Music Hall Rd., Hiawassee, Ga. (706) 896-4191. 20 • Hagood Mill’s Summertime Medicine Show, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 20 • Highway Robbery Tour with Texas Hippie Coalition and special guest Eve to Adam, Ground Zero, Spartanburg. (864) 948-1661. 26 • Turtle Trail Naturalist Hike for Families, Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville. (864) 244-5565. 26 • “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Electric City Playhouse, Anderson. (864) 224-4248. 27 • Off the Beaten Path: Wild Mushrooms Walk, Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, N.C. (800) 277-9611. 29–Aug. 15 • “American Colors: Patriotism Reflected in Art,” Pickens County Museum of Art & History, Pickens. (864) 898-5963.


Daily • Art Gallery at the Fran Hanson Discovery Center, South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson. (864) 656-3405. Tuesdays through Sundays, through July 27 • COLORS art exhibit, Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg. (864) 582-7616. Wednesdays through August • Reedy River Concerts, Peace Center Amphitheater, Greenville. (864) 467-4484. Thursdays through August • Music on Main, downtown on Main Street near the Clock Tower, Spartanburg. (864) 562-4195. Thursdays through August • Downtown Alive! Main Street at Hyatt Regency Plaza, Greenville. (864) 467-4484. Fridays through Labor Day • Bluegrass Music and Square Dancing, Oconee State Park, Mountain Rest. (864) 638-5353. Saturdays through November • Hub City Farmer’s Market, Magnolia Street Train Station, Spartanburg. (864) 585-0905. Saturdays and Sundays • Historic Building Tour, Oconee Station State Historic Site, Walhalla. (864) 638-0079. Second Saturdays • Music on the Mountain Bluegrass Jams, Table Rock State Park, Pickens. (864) 878-9813.

8 • Clint Black concert, Old Town Amphitheater, Rock Hill. (803) 326-3838. 9 • Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, URS Center for the Performing Arts, Aiken. (803) 649-2221. 9–10 • South Carolina Pelion Peanut Party, Pelion Community Club, Pelion. (803) 606-9522. 10 • Vietnam Veterans of America LZ 960 Benefit Poker Run, Lakevue Landing, Lake Marion, Manning. (803) 478-4300 or (803) 460-8551. 10 • Wild Summer’s Night Auction & Wild Game Feast, Medallion Conference Center, Columbia. (803) 256-0670. 10 • Southeastern Toy Soldier Show, S.C. State Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4921. 13 • Wild Hogs: America’s Growing Invasive Problem, Birds & Butterflies, Aiken. (803) 649-7999. ONGOING

Daily • Trail Riding, Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg. (803) 222-3209. Daily • Trail Riding, Lee State Park, Bishopville. (803) 428-5307. Daily • Trail Riding, Poinsett State Park, Wedgefield. (803) 494-8177. Daily, except Mondays • Living History Days, Historic Brattonsville, McConnells. (803) 684-2327. Daily, except Mondays and major holidays • Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, Camden. (803) 432-9841. MIDLANDS Daily, by appointment • JULY Overnights and Night Howls, 16 • Purple Martin Sunset Cruise, Riverbanks Zoo Garden, Lake Murray, Irmo. (803) 256-0670. Columbia. (803) and 779-8717, ext. 1113. 20 • Palmetto Tasty Tomato Weekdays through AUGUST Festival, City Roots Farm, Aug. 16 • Summer Zoo Camp, 1–4 • Shakespeare Festival, Falls Columbia. (803) 381-8747. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Park, Greenville. (864) 467-4350. 22 • Make Your Own Bacon Columbia. (803) 978-1113. 2–3 • Ed Brown’s Championship Workshop, Motor Supply Co. Tuesdays through Saturdays, Rodeo, 633 S. Charleston St., Bistro, Columbia. (803) 256-6687. through Aug. 18 • Summer Blacksburg. (864) 839-6239. 22–27 • Christmas in July, Recreation Programs, Santee 3 • Harvest Hope Extra Mile downtown, Aiken. (803) 649-2221. State Park, Santee. (803) 854-2408. Hunger Run, Furman University, 25–27 • Friends of the York Greenville. (864) 281-3995, ext. 3112. County Library Book Sale, 201 E. Tuesdays through Sundays, through Aug. 11 • Picasso: 7 • Wild Eyes Wednesday White St., Rock Hill. (803) 981-5860. Master Prints, Columbia Museum Walk, Paris Mountain State Park, 27 • Gardening Special Event, of Art, Columbia. (803) 799-2810. Greenville. (864) 244-5565. Living History Park, North First Thursdays • Art Crawl 8 • The Wailers, Peace Center, Augusta. (803) 279-7560. and Streetfest, Main Street, Greenville. (800) 888-7768. Columbia. (803) 988-1065. 27 • Museum Roadshow, 8–10 • Georgia Mountain S.C. State Museum, Columbia. First Fridays • Meet the Moonshine Cruiz-In, Georgia (803) 898-4921. Artists, The Village Artists, Mountain Fairgrounds. Columbia. (803) 699-8886. AUGUST (662) 587-9572. Fridays through Sept. 6 • 2 • Brew at the Zoo, 9–10 • “Always a Bridesmaid,” First FriYAYs! EdVenture Children’s Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Abbeville Opera House, Museum, Columbia. (803) 779-3100. Columbia. (803) 779-8717. Abbeville. (864) 366-2157. Saturdays • Behind-the2 • Main Street Live, downtown, 13 • Kiss, with special guest Scenes Adventure Tours, Rock Hill. (803) 324-7500. Leogun, Charter Amphitheatre, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Simpsonville. (864) 241-3800. Columbia. (803) 978-1113.



Mondays through Aug. 31 • Free Kids’ Carnival, Plyler Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 918-1000. Mondays through Nov. 2 • Blues Mondays, Med Bistro, Charleston. (843) 762-9125. Tuesdays through Oct. 8 • Mount Pleasant Farmers Market, Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant. (843) 884-8517. Tuesdays and Thursdays, through July 30 • Loggerhead Sea Turtle Walk, Edisto Beach State Park, Edisto Island. (843) 869-2156. Tuesdays through Aug. 20 • The Sounds of Nature, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-0874. Tuesdays through Aug. 27 • Creature Feature starring “Ellie,” Charles Towne COLORS art exhibit, which includes Landing State Historic Site, children’s creations, runs through July 27 Charleston. (843) 852-4200. at the Spartanburg Art Museum. Tuesdays through Saturdays • Saturdays through July 27 • 20 • Fight for Air Climb, North Education Center Displays and Newberry SC Farmer’s Charleston Coliseum, North Programs, Myrtle Beach State Market, Memorial Park, Charleston. (843) 556-8451. Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Newberry. (803) 924-7463. 22–23 • Arts Camp for Tuesdays through Sundays, Second Saturdays • High School Students, through July 28 • “Chicago,” Children’s Art Program, Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Arts Center of Coastal Sumter County Gallery of Art, Inlet. (843) 235-6049. Carolina, Hilton Head Island. Sumter. (803) 775-0543. (843) 686-3945, ext. 235. 26 • Moonlight Mixer, Edwin Second Saturdays • S. Taylor Fishing Pier, Folly Tuesdays, Thursdays and Experience Edgefield: Living Beach. (843) 795-4386. Fridays through August • History Saturdays, Town Square, 27 • Sand Sculpture Contest, Alligators, Huntington Beach State Edgefield. (803) 637-4010. Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Hunting Island State Park, Fourth Saturdays through Hunting Island. (843) 838-2011. Wednesdays through September • Bluegrass Aug. 28 • Free Oceanfront AUGUST Series, Haynes Auditorium, Fireworks, Second Avenue Pier, Leesville College Park, Batesburg- 1 • Paddle North Inlet, Myrtle Beach. (843) 445-7437. Hobcaw Barony, Georgetown. Leesville. (803) 582-8479. Wednesdays through (843) 546-4623. Saturdays and Sundays • Oct. 30 • Shelter Cove Park 1–2 • ACE Basin Boat Tour, Gallery Tour, Columbia Museum Farmers Market, Shelter Edisto Beach State Park, Edisto of Art, Columbia. (803) 799-2810. Cove Community Park, Hilton Island. (843) 869-4430. Head Island. (843) 681-7273. 2–4 • Gullah Geechee Nation Wednesdays and Fridays, LOWCOUNTRY International Music & Movement through Aug. 31 • Crabbing, JULY Festival, 6355 Jonathan Francis Rd., Huntington Beach State Park, 15–19 • ECO-Film Summer Camp, Saint Helena Island. (843) 838-1171. Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. ARTworks, Beaufort. (843) 379-2787. 2–4 • Craftsmen’s Summer Wednesdays, Fridays and 16–21 • Junior SOS, various Classic Art & Craft Festival, Saturdays • Myrtle’s Market, Mr. venues, North Myrtle Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Joe White Avenue at Oak Street, Beach. (919) 682-4266. Myrtle Beach. (336) 282-5550. Myrtle Beach. (843) 997-1716. 18–20 • National Father & Son 7–9 • Bee Gees Tribute Band: Thursdays • Farmers Market Team Classic, various venues, Stayin’ Alive, Arts Center of of Bluffton, Calhoun Street, Myrtle Beach. (866) 497-2627. Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head downtown Bluffton. (843) 415-2447. Island. (843) 686-3945, ext. 235. 19 • May River Shrimp Thursdays through October • Festival, 63 Wharf St., 9 • Build a Toy with a Blues & BBQ Harbor Cruise, Bluffton. (843) 757-8520. Ranger, Cheraw State Park, Charleston Maritime Center, Cheraw. (843) 537-9656. 19–20 • Pageland Watermelon Charleston. (843) 722-1112. Festival, downtown, 9–10��• Hooked on Life Fishing Third Saturdays • Birding on Pageland. (843) 672-6400. Tournament, Charleston Maritime the Barony, Hobcaw Barony, Center, Charleston. (800) 462-0755. 19–28 • Beaufort Water Georgetown. (843) 546-4623. Festival, various venues, ONGOING Third Saturdays through Beaufort. (843) 524-0600. Daily, except major holidays • Aug. 17 • Keeper’s Choice, Charles 20 • Open Float on the Edisto Towne Landing State Historic Parris Island Museum, River, Colleton State Park, Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200. Beaufort. (843) 228-2166. Walterboro. (843) 538-8206. Daily, except Christmas • Day Saturdays through Tuesdays • 20 • Shaggin’ on the Cooper, Mansion Tours, Hampton in the Life of a Sailor, Charles Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Plantation State Historic Site, Towne Landing State Historic Pleasant. (843) 762-9946. McClellanville. (843) 546-9361. Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200.


By Jan A. Igoe

One giant leap for … $200K Lately, I’ve grown disenchanted

with Earth, so I might charter a spaceship as soon as I save up $1 million for an intergalactic getaway. (That’s only 563 zillion “Humor Me” columns, give or take.) And I can bring five friends, so be nice to me. Lodging in space is the next big thing. Nobody knows exactly when, but scientists swear that a Super 8 on Mars is virtually moments away. That’s fine, but I’ll be more impressed when Mars gets a Piggly Wiggly. We may die battling hostile aliens, like the one that kept trying to eat Sigourney Weaver, but at least our pork chops will be fresh. For you trailblazers who can’t wait, Virgin Galactic already has travel agents ready to book your seat on a $200,000 sub­orbital flight. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Virgin’s handpicked agents had to demonstrate their affinity for space travel. One such agent—who drives a Ferrari, loves air shows, has flown in a fighter jet, enjoys guns and claims to be “scientifically wired”—has already sold tickets. (It’s not the best career choice for minivan owners who barf on a Ferris wheel.) Even if I’m not ready to jump on the first rocket out of here, zero 30

gravity has its perks. For instance, you can leave your bras at home, especially the push-up ones. Women with implants may want to sit this one out, however. There’s been some talk they could explode.

For Boomers, space travel seems sexy because we were raised with astronaut envy. Dressed in those shiny jumpsuits (early bling) with matching boots, our first orbiters were rock stars. We bit our nails during every launch (which people actually watched) and waited for them to return to Earth smiling and handing out moon rocks. But don’t be fooled. Discover magazine says space travel isn’t all shooting stars and moonshine. That barf thing I mentioned


happens in space. You can count on it. And if you’ve got sinus problems now, just wait till you’re orbiting Venus. When you’re weightless, all your bodily fluids migrate north, so your face will puff up and you’ll sound like a NyQuil ad. Oh yeah, you’ll also be constipated. Which brings us to bathrooms, which is the scariest part of zero gravity in my opinion, since I have trouble peeing on a sailboat. Luckily, space potties come equipped with bars over your thighs, like a roller coaster ride. From what I’ve read, the trick is getting an airtight seal between you and the loo. Think Tupperware. Maybe that’s doable, but suppose something goes wrong? Where will we find a plumber? We could end up like those 4,000 cruise ship passengers, stranded for days without a flush. And there’s no Coast Guard to tow us back. The more I think about it, given my affinity for reliable plumbing and pork chops, I may skip space travel after all. You go. My minivan needs waxing anyway.  JAN A. IGOE ,

our fearless writer, may not have enough nerve or cash to book the shuttle, but if you go, please send her a postcard. Let her know if the plumbing is safe at

South Carolina Living July 2013