Page 1

ShadeS of

Green smart choices for building ‘green’ and saving money


Come watCh the snakes S .C . SC E N E

Life where the rivers merge


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THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Vol. 64 • No. 4 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in 470,000 homes and businesses and published monthly except in December by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. 808 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC 29033 Tel:  (803) 926-3 1 75 Fax:  (803) 796-6064 E-mail: INTERIM EDITOR

Lou Green


F e a t ur e

15 Shades of green

What does it mean to “go green” in home-building? It means different things to different people, and not everything that sounds green is green. We’ve got tips to help you decide, make smart choices and save money.

Photos: Walter Allread

Walter Allread

MAY 2010 • Volume 64, Number 5


Pam Martin


Jenny Maxwell ART DIRECTOR

Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

4 Co-op Connection Cooperative news

6 On The Agenda

Susan Collins PRODUCTION

Jason Clarke WEB EDITOR


Susan Scott Soyars CONTRIBUTORS

Becky Billingsley, Mike Couick, Jim Dulley, Kristine Hartvigsen, Carrie B. Hirsch, Jan A. Igoe, Charles Joyner, Greg Lucas, Bob Polomski, Marc Rapport, Pat Robertson, Beth Williams ADVERTISING MANAGERS

Tel:  (800) 984-0887 Dan Covell E-mail: Keegan Covell E-mail: Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor. Please send to your local co-op. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Address Change, c/o the address above.


Periodicals postage paid at Cayce, S.C., and additional mailing offices. © COPYRIGHT 2010. The Electric

Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor.


10 A ‘winner’ gets lots of support The media and politicians are catching on to an idea birthed in South Carolina that can help thousands of energy users make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. ENERGY Q&A

12 Track energy use

at home and save

A reader admits it’s tough to get his family to reduce electricity use, and he’s looking for options. We’ve got suggestions to inform and motivate. SMART CHOICE

14 Home + Power Tools = Castle

Repair, upgrade and remodeling jobs got easier and more energy efficient with recent advances in technology. Tool lovers, this list is for you!



21 Peyton Avrett

This iron worker is an artist like his father. Wrought iron furniture has joined the fences and gates made at their Ole Charleston Forge.



22 Life where the rivers merge

Hometown pride shows in Nichols, a Marion County town nestled between the Little Pee Dee and Lumber rivers. OUTSIDE

26 The challenge course at Sesqui SC Gardener: An organic lawn Outdoor tips TRAVELS

28 Snakes at Edisto Island


Come watch the snakes, but don’t worry. There’s a safe barrier between you and the snakes in a natural habitat. RECIPES

30 Mother’s Day treats

Mom will enjoy these recipes on her special day—especially if you cook them. CHEF’S CHOICE

32 French cuisine,

Lowcountry style



In the corner of our state sits a restaurant with good food and cooking classes—and a real French chef, Eric Masson.

Smart choices for building ‘green’ and saving money





38 Bullwinkle gets a bad rap An exercise machine by any other name is still cause for Hubby to have a hissy fit.

Printed on recycled paper

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

34 Marketplace 36 SC EVENTS



Getting a green house—meaning, an energy-efficient house—is not so hard with a little planning and our experts’ guidance.


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.


Freedom Weekend Aloft, Sun Fun Festival, Edisto Riverfest, Pieces of the Past, and our Top Pick for Kids PLUS: Energy Star promises improvements, why short is good, a poetic Handy Dandy Fix-It Book, and S.C.ramble


On the Agenda


For a complete listing of Events, see page 36

May MAY 28–31

Freedom Weekend Aloft The colorful spectacle of hot-air balloons is just one attraction of this Memorial Day weekend tradition—the Greenville Hospital System Freedom Weekend Aloft at Heritage Park in Simpsonville. Along with balloons, not to be missed are the U.S. Disc Dog Nationals, big-name concerts, the Freedom Family Fun Zone and a car show. Heritage Park is at 861 SE Main St. in Simpsonville. Details at or (864) 399-9481.

JUNE 4–5

Sun Fun Festival Summer officially has arrived when the Sun Fun Festival kicks off in Myrtle Beach. Concerts, kids’ activities including games and face painting, races and more are featured in the annual fun fest, which attracts big-name performers, such as Disney’s Demi Lovato, as regular highlights. Sun Fun is held at Grand Park across from The Market Common at the old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Details at or (843) 626‑7444.

JUNE 12–13

Edisto Riverfest



Colonial life in the days of the fight for independence is the theme for “Under the Crown” at the Living History Park in North Augusta. The annual event, “set” in 1780, kicks off with a Friday night dinner and cranks up over the weekend when the Crown moves in to re-establish its authority. Re-enactors bring it to life with demonstrations for all ages and activities for kids. The Living History Park is at 299 W. Spring Grove Ave., North Augusta. Details at or (803) 279-7560.


Hard to beat a warm, sunny day drifting down the blackwater Edisto River in a kayak or canoe. The annual Weekend on the Edisto River at Colleton State Park combines that simple pleasure with demonstrations, music and food. Overnight trips from the Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Trail Commission also are available. Colleton State Park is located at 147 Wayside Lane, Canadys. Details at or (843) 538-8206.

MAY 29–30

Pieces of the Past Farming done the old-fashioned way is the theme for this weekend at the Living History Farm, a replica antebellum Piedmont farm cut from the wooded hills in Kings Mountain State Park. Mules, blacksmiths and interpreters in period costumes revive the old practices to the delight of today’s kids and adults. Kings Mountain State Park is at 1277 Park Road, Blacksburg. Details at or (803) 222-3209.




Energy Star improvements promised

SCL To-Do List

Following government tests that question parts of the Energy Star efficiency rankings program, the program’s management has promised “an enhanced testing program” and “enforcement actions against companies that violated the rules.” Auditors with the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed a nine-month investigation of the Energy Star program in March. As part of its study, GAO submitted fake products, such as a gasoline-powered alarm clock, and listed non-existent companies for evaluation. It found Energy Star to be primarily a self-certification program “vulnerable to fraud and abuse.” “We take this report very seriously,” said a statement from the Environmental Protection Agency, which in 1992 created the voluntary standard for rating energyefficient consumer products. Effective immediately, manufacturers wishing to qualify their products as Energy Star must submit complete lab reports and results for review and approval by EPA prior to labeling. EPA is no longer relying on an automated approval process. All new qualification applications will be reviewed Send Us Worst Summer Jobs and approved individually by EPA. We have a friend who as a teenager worked part Companies applying to be program partners will not be of a summer spreading asphalt for roof repairs. able to access the Energy Star certification mark until EPA has (He quit after a few days.) Can you beat steamapproved a specific Energy Star-qualified product submitted by the company. ing tar in July? Tell us about your worst summer job, in 200 words or less, and send a photo if you Effective at the end of the year, all manufacturers must submit test results from have one. We’ll share the best in an upcoming an approved, accredited lab for any product seeking the Energy Star label. Testing issue. Deadline is June 1. in an accredited lab is currently required for certain product categories including windows, doors, skylights and compact fluorescent lighting. The new process will extend the requirement to each of the more than 60 eligible product categories. We’re here! The Department of Energy, a partner with EPA on the Energy Star program, We love hearing from our readers, but when you write, your letter must be signed and legible. We conducts off-the-shelf product testing for some of the most common household edit for grammar, style and length. Please write to appliances. A recent audit found that 98 percent of products tested Electricity fully complied Remains a Good Value Letters, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott with Energy Star requirements. Electricity continues toDrive, be aCayce, bargain, especially when SC 29033, e-mail letters@scliving. Devices carrying the Energy Star logo are supposed to deliver the same or better compared to other consumer goods. As demand for coop or fax (803) 796-6064. performance and use 20 percent to 30 percent less energy on average than energy rises and fuel prices increase, your electric comparable models. cooperative is committed to providing safe electricity at the lowest possible cost.

Average annual price increase over the past decade:


Short is good!

By Charles Joyner, See Answer ON Page 35




















The names of six South Carolina counties can be spelled out in the grid above by moving from letter to adjacent letter; up, down, left, right, or diagonally. You many not use the letter in the same box twice in the same word.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; NRECA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; NRECA


Sometimes it’s nice to come up short, like when you’re the green bar in this chart. Electricity remains a good value—a bargain really— when compared to other consumer goods. As demand for energy rises and fuel prices increase, your electric cooperative is committed Orange Juice Eggs to providing 12 oz. White Bread 1 doz. Gas safe electricity 1 lb. loaf Electricity 1 gal. at the lowest 500 kWh possible cost. Average annual price increase over the past decade   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


On the Agenda


GONE FISHIN’ The Vector Fish & Game Forecast provides feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour. Minor peaks, ½ hour before and after. Minor

AM Major


PM Major

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

3:07 4:22 6:07 11:52 8:37 2:22 2:52 3:37 4:07 — — 12:52 1:37 2:07 2:52

7:37 8:22 9:37 1:07 1:52 9:22 10:07 10:52 11:22 4:37 5:07 5:37 6:22 6:52 7:22

11:22 12:22 — — 2:07 8:52 9:52 10:52 11:37 7:37 8:07 8:52 9:37 10:07 10:52

3:22 4:22 5:22 6:37 7:52 3:52 5:07 6:07 6:52 12:07 12:37 1:22 1:52 2:22 3:07

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

3:52 5:07 6:22 7:37 8:37 1:52 2:22 2:52 3:37 4:07 — 12:52 1:22 2:22 3:07 4:22

8:07 8:52 10:07 12:52 1:22 9:07 9:52 10:22 11:07 11:52 4:52 5:37 6:07 7:07 7:52 8:52

11:37 12:07 — 12:22 2:37 8:22 9:37 10:22 11:22 12:07 8:07 8:37 9:22 10:07 10:37 11:22

3:37 4:22 5:07 5:52 7:07 4:07 5:07 5:52 6:37 7:22 12:22 1:07 1:52 2:37 3:22 4:07




Mole Meal One word of caution when using bone meal, as reader Cora Franklin suggests in “Green Thumb.” Our 39 years in

landscaping and nursery have taught us that moles are attracted to bone meal in some regions. They probably don’t eat the tomato roots, but their tunneling is destructive. Instead, use a mild drench of Peters or Miracle-Gro once plants are established.

READER CONNECTIONS We asked for your worst do-ityourself disasters. It prompted one reader to wax poetic.

Handy Dandy Fix-It Book

“This handy dandy fix-it book Will save you lots of time, By revealing simple house repairs That could cost you just a dime.”

If I loosen up the bottom, I can then remove the top, So I crawled beneath the kitchen sink With a funny kind of hop.

I decided that I’d buy the book. Most repairs, I had no clue, And I knew I’d get my money back On the first job that I’d do.

The pipes were kind of rusty, And I wiped away the grime That seemed to seal the entire mess That had built up over time.

With lots of tips I armed myself, In search of jobs to tackle. Maybe I should patch a crack With a little bit of Spackle.

I took the wrench and sized it, And the nut moved just a bit, So again I grabbed the hammer To give the wrench a hit.

“That’s a cinch,” I muttered, As I looked for something harder; And then I saw the kitchen sink That was always dripping water.

I knew I must be careful, So I slowly gave a tap, But the hammer slipped and fell again, And this time broke the trap.

“That’s the job I’m looking for! My wife will be so proud! I’ll save all kinds of money,” I said to me out loud.

It seemed like several hours, But the nuts were finally free, As my wife kept on repeating That the loosest nut was me!

My charming wife had heard me, And she said she’d make a bet That before I fixed the kitchen sink, We both would wind up wet.

Not to worry ’bout this problem, It’s much easier than you think. Just then, I dropped the pipe wrench, And it broke the porcelain sink.

She tried to shake my confidence By bringing up the past, Like the heater line I busted, And we almost all got gassed.

The sink caved in and hit the pipes, And I got a real sick feeling, As I watched the water gushing up And bouncing off the ceiling.

Or the time I fixed the washer, From a sock stuck in the pump. When I finally got the sock removed, She hauled the washer to the dump.

The lights got wet and shorted out. My wife began to choke. It seems the entire kitchen Was slowly filling up with smoke.

But that’s before I bought this book That taught me how to master All those problems of the past That ended in disaster.

The kids ran to the neighbors, The dog chased out the cat, And then I must have fainted. I can’t remember after that.

I grabbed a wrench and started, A gentle nudge or two, But the nut seemed kind of frozen As if stuck on there with glue.

Four thousand dollars later, I can say I learned a lot, But I learned from my experience, Not from the book that I had bought.

Then I tried a hammer To help loosen up the thread. The hammer slipped and hit my toe. It swelled and turned bright red.

And I think I found the secret To the handyman’s success: Just leave those simple fix-it jobs To those who do them best!





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A ‘winner’ gets lots of support that gains such broad support. It’s even more amazing when two ideas gain traction in the media and with both Democratic and Republican politicians. The two ideas—both spawned by electric cooperatives in South Carolina—would, first, allow energy efficiency home-upgrades to be financed on your power bill and, second, make sufficient funds available for lending to those projects. As the S.C. legislature was considering the onbill financing, the Myrtle Beach Sun News said, “We hope the legislature will seriously consider what appears to be a good deal all around for South Carolina.” “Letting electric co-ops loan money for home upgrades makes sense,” said the Herald-Journal newspaper in Spartanburg. “What’s not to like?” asked a writer in The State newspaper. The Herald in Rock Hill said the plan “is a winner.” The state legislature passed the new law and the governor signed it in March. Now, the only thing missing is the money, the second good idea I mentioned above. A significant amount of money is needed—enough to make a real difference in the amount of energy South Carolina cooperative members use and, if the program is a success, to delay the construction of another power plant. The magnitude of such an undertaking is overwhelming for any one utility. Utilities are not banks or in the business of money-lending. That’s where the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) comes in. RESP is in a bill the U.S. House is considering to fund the idea, one Newsweek described as “a loan program that doesn’t feel like one.” Loans would be made for energy-efficiency upgrades that are judged by the cooperative to provide sufficient payback in energy savings, and those loans would be paid back on the monthly power bill, with two-thirds of the energy savings going to pay the loan and one-third going to the consumer. The Aiken Standard said the S.C. congressmen who supported the national legislation to make money available “are to be commended for putting their names as sponsors of this legislation

Seldom does an idea come along

Mike Couick

President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina



Newsweek featured South Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ bright idea on page 8 of its April 19 issue.

that could improve life for many rural Palmetto State residents.” Newsweek’s coverage labeled it “A bright idea to save energy in South Carolina.”

What can you do?

The federal legislation is not law—yet. I believe your congressman and our two U.S. senators would appreciate knowing that you support this, that you’re concerned about our need to use energy more efficiently, and that you agree such a loan program is a great way to encourage homeowners to upgrade their homes or apartments for energy efficiency. They would welcome an e-mail from you. Get started at

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By JIM Dulley


Energy, Inc. (TED)

Track energy use at home and save




It’s surprising how some minor life-style changes can impact the amount of energy your home consumes. It can save money on your utility bills. Another key reason to reduce electricity consumption is the need to control what’s called peak demand. It’s like rush hour for the electric grid — the time of day when folks come home, switch on lights, crank up the air conditioner and start activities around the house. If you want to always have electricity available, your electric cooperative has to have enough generation capacity to meet this peak consumer demand. Building a generating plant is expensive, and using less electricity at peak demand times can delay the need for more plants, keeping electric rates down. EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY. To trim energy use in your home, it may help to educate your family on which devices use the most electricity, so they can minimize use of these. Generally, any appliance or device that creates heat uses the most electricity. Some devices that don’t have heating as their primary purpose may surprise you with the amount of heat they put out (essentially a waste of energy). Incandescent light bulbs are a good example. You might consider labeling some of these devices with a red sticker as a reminder. If you have an electric meter with a visible spinning wheel, switch on various appliances while your family members are watching the meter. It may create a lasting impression when they see how much the wheel speeds up when you switch on a hair GetStarted dryer or the clothes dryer. Switch off all nonessential These companies offer energy management appliances to see how slow devices and control systems: you can make it go. k Agilewaves, (650) 839-0170, agilewaves. MONITOR AND CONTROL. com As a next step, a number of k Black & Decker, (800) 544-6986, ­ new energy management k Control4, (888) 400-4070, devices are available to k Energy, Inc., (800) 959-5833, monitor and control electric­ ity use. The simplest ones k Onset, (800) 564-4377, accomplish the same goal as To our readers: South Carolina Living does watching the electric meter. not make recommendations regarding An example is the Power “preferred” suppliers. Monitor by Black & Decker.

James Dulley

I try to get my family to make life-style changes to reduce our electricity use, but it’s tough. It may help if they can see how much is being used. What are my options to accomplish this, and what are the savings?

The outdoor transmitter unit of a Black & Decker Power Monitor system (left) is mounted on the electric meter. This Onset wireless temperature and relative humidity data logger (above right) is mounted near the wall register. A small, portable TED monitor (top right) shows real-time electricity usage and the dollar cost.

This is a two-piece system: a wireless sensor attaches to the electric meter outside, and a small digital display inside relays the meter reading. Local electric rates can be programmed in to calculate the real-time cost in dollars. To see how much a specific appliance costs to use, switch it on and watch the display to see how much more electricity is being used. These work on most electric meters, but not all, so check their Web site for compatibility. Another, more expensive device is TED (The Energy Detective) by Energy, Inc. It operates in a similar fashion except that it senses electricity use from current transformers (CTs) on the circuit breaker panel. The installation of the CTs may require a licensed electrician. There are two TED models: the more advanced TED 5000 can be monitored from a personal computer or even a mobile phone, taking all the mystery out of how much electricity your home is using. Advanced energy management systems have wireless sensors on electric and gas appliances. The main control unit and display compile information so you can program and control the electricity use of each appliance. If there are problems or excessive energy use alerts, these systems send out notifications by e-mail or text message. Most South Carolina electric cooperatives are installing smart electric meters, a multi-year undertaking. Their first advantage is more efficient meter reading, but the equipment eventually will allow even more sophisticated and helpful ways of providing control of and information on energy use. Send questions to Jim Dulley, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, e-mail or fax (803) 739-3041.

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Home + Power Tools = Castle


After a particularly hard winter, many South Carolina

homeowners are planning repair, upgrade and remodeling projects. That job became easier and more energy efficient with recent technological advances. Steven Mungo, CEO of the Mungo Companies and president of the S.C. Home Builders Association, says many factors have led to better-built homes. “Today’s homes are much more efficient than their predecessors, and much of it is due to improved construction techniques,” he said. “However, many of the products that go into a new home take a lot of the credit as well, especially better windows, doors, appliances and, most importantly, higher-efficiency heating and cooling units.” Here are some ways to maintain and improve any home.

SETTING THE STAGE The Ryobi BTS21 Table Saw sets up easily, table extends to support long materials, smoothly guides for accurate cross cuts, folds with wheels for simple storage. $249. (800) 553-3199; MEASURING UP The Craftsman AccuTrac Laser Measuring Tool calculates dimensions for paint, wallpaper, window treatments, plumbing and more. Measures up to 100 feet, quick conversions, LCD screen. $100. (800) 697-3277; MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL Your new weekend project best friend is the Rockwell SoniCrafter. It saws, scrapes, sands, grinds, cuts, polishes and more. $120. (866) 514-7625;


DRILL IT HOME Get 2,000 charges with the DeWalt 18V Cordless XRP ½-inch Hammer Drill Kit with self-tightening chuck, LED work light. $329. (866) 577-1906; SEALED TIGHT Professional power of the Milwaukee 14.4-volt caulk/adhesive gun delivers 23 inches per minute for sealing glass, flashing, flooring or any caulking jobs. Adjusts to thick or thin beads. $260. (800) 221-0516; FIRMLY FIXED A flush-nose design makes the Stanley TRE550 Electric Staple and Brad Nail Gun perfect for use in tight spots; has time-saving anti-jam mechanism. $30. (800) 591-3869;


EVERYDAY CUTTING Black & Decker 13-amp 7¼-inch Laser Circular Saw is an affordable workhorse for most household projects. Laser guide provides cutting accuracy, beveled shoe for angles. $63. (866) 562-7848;

DRAMATIC SAVINGS Save up to 70 percent in heating and cooling costs with an Acadia Highlights heat pump. It’s quiet, reliable, low maintenance and 300-percent efficient. Starts at $10,000. (877) 322-2342;



TRIMMED AND TRUE Cut pipes, trim a mantelpiece, install a metal roof. The Bosch PS70 12V Max Metal Shear cuts sheet metals in tight spaces, without a cord, up to 18-gauge thickness. $335. (877) 267-2499; VERTICAL CUTS High-torque motor allows fast cutting with the Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Reciprocating Saw. Weighs 8.1 pounds, ergonomic design, long battery life. $99. (877) 783-8899;

Building green What does it mean? How to save money and make smart choices

By Jenny Maxwell

You’ve got a home improvement project in mind.

Maybe you’re building something new. You’ve seen the TV shows and read a few articles about how to make your project green. You’d like to reduce the impact your new room—or house—has on the environment.

All major paint manufacturers now offer paints with low or no volatile organic compounds that give off gasses—that new paint smell—linked to headaches and throat and lung irritation.

But what’s the best way to do that? Going green can mean using recycled materials, reducing the water and electricity required to run your home, and using products that make your house healthier. There are many choices—some better than others.

Various shades of green

“People need to get out of their heads that there is one green product,” says Ben Leigh of The Sustainability Institute. Leigh is director of training for this non-profit organization based in Charleston. He teaches workshops for homeowners who want to be environmentally conscious when they build or renovate. Green has become a way to market products, he says. The label doesn’t necessarily mean the product will be the greenest choice for you. Instead, you have to evaluate the materials you choose and consider the trade-offs. Then, factor in your budget and your taste. “I ask myself five questions,” Leigh says. “Is it made from recycled materials? How long is its useful life? Can it be recycled after? What is the impact on energy use? What is its ‘embodied’ energy?” Leigh takes bamboo flooring through this evaluation process. Bamboo flooring is not made from recycled material, he points ll   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Easy ways tongo gree

Go caulk crazy

Do the light switch

“The average home has 40 light bulbs,” says Leigh. Then he does the math: replace 40 60-watt bulbs with CFLs and save at least $100 per year on electricity. Visit

Add insulation

“The attic is the easiest place to start,” Leigh says, “and if you’re a handy homeowner, it’s something you can do on your own.”

Use low-VOC paint

“Homeowners used to ask contractors to use paints with low volatile organic compounds and they’d refuse, but it’s such an easy decision to make now,” Leigh says. All major paint manufacturers offer a low-VOC line, and the cost over regular paint is minimal.


Walter Allread

Building green means paying attention to the things you cannot see, like caulking around the heating and cooling vents that eventually will be covered by a vent register.

“Caulk is cheap,” says Ben Leigh of The Sustainability Institute in Charleston. Find the holes and fill them. “The biggest loss is through air leakage,” he says. And always caulk before you repaint, inside or out.

Even though you may be tackling only a small, unrelated remodeling job, a cost-benefit analysis might suggest that adding more insulation in the attic at the same time would be worth the cost. “It’s hard to go wrong with adding insulation,” says Greenville architect Scott Johnston.

Install radiant barriers under your roof

A highly reflective material—sort of a heavy-duty aluminum foil for your attic—radiant barriers reflect summer heat and can be installed for pennies a square foot. Architect Scott Johnston says adding a radiant barrier can reduce the temperature in your attic 20 to 30 degrees in the summer.

Button up your attic hatch



Walter Allread

Walter Allread

David Magnuson installed a radiant barrier in his attic and made other energy efficiency improvements to his Simpsonville home, which he says paid for themselves in energy savings.

Leigh sees this is the great untapped opportunity to save: “It’s the biggest hole in your house.” In summer, hot air moves down through your attic hatch. Hatches tend to be in hallways, as are heating and air thermostats, which means systems may be working harder than they need to. To weatherproof the hatch, a homeowner needs to add weatherstripping and insulation. Leigh provides instructions for you at

Fred Oxner of West Columbia prepares to seal an attic access door, the great untapped opportunity to save, according to Ben Leigh of The Sustainability Institute. “It’s the biggest hole in your house.” To weatherproof the hatch, a homeowner needs to add weatherstripping and insulation. Oxner has developed a kit for building a boxed cover.

Walter Allread

If you’re building a new home, design with energy efficiency in mind, starting with how you position your house on the site to take advantage of sunlight, wind patterns and tree placement. David Magnuson placed shade trees for the best cooling effect of their summer shade at his Simpsonville home.


ll out, so it does not reduce the burden on landfills. It is durable, so its useful life is long, and it can be recycled after, another benefit. It has little impact on energy use; in other words, bamboo flooring won’t help you save money on heating and cooling your home. But what about embodied energy? Embodied energy is the amount of energy required to grow, manufacture and deliver a material, Leigh explains. The bamboo flooring on the market in South Carolina is grown in Indonesia and China, so it has a high cost in the embodied energy category. And that, Leigh says, is what makes bamboo a less good choice for him. He’d prefer either a locally grown and milled floor—wood maybe—or wood that’s been reclaimed from a local building. “Anytime you can buy something local, that’s a good choice from a green perspective,” he says.

Creating a healthier home

Greenville architect Scott Johnston develops green homes around three priorities—wellness, conservation and environmental impact. “We start by thinking about making a building as healthy as possible,” he says. “We add natural daylight, try to incorporate natural ventilation, and eliminate mold, harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds.” Reducing those volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, has been one of the major efforts of the green building movement. Identifying VOCs is easy for most of us, Leigh says. “That new car smell? VOC. New carpet smell? VOC.” Odors in your house—from paint fumes to fabric dyes—derive from VOCs. These products are giving off gasses that may cause headaches or irritate your throat and lungs. Some VOCs may even trigger long-term health problems, including cancer. With the growing attention on green building, avoiding VOCs is getting easier. All major paint manufacturers now offer low- and no-VOC paint choices. Flooring and furniture manufacturers are also reducing the VOCs that their products contain. Again, not all products deliver on their lofty

Locally grown wood or wood that’s been reclaimed from a local building gets the preference of The Sustainability Institute’s Ben Leigh even though bamboo is a hot item for “green” building. Bamboo replenishes quickly after harvesting, but it comes from China or Indonesia, which requires more energy for getting it here.

“We start by thinking about making a building as healthy as possible.” —Scott Johnston, Johnston Design Group

green claims. Leigh recommends you check out low-VOC products through

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Upgrading to more eco-friendly products is great, but where is all that wood, sheetrock, carpet and linoleum going after you rip it out and place it in the dumpster? What about the lumber scraps and bits of metal that are byproducts of new construction?   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




Almost anyone would prefer to “go green” by using electricity produced in an environmentally friendly way.

Power from the sun or wind comes to mind, and power plants that run on fuels that, when burned, emit no harmful chemicals into the air would get everyone’s vote. However, it would not be practical or affordable to turn off power plants that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build, leaving that investment stranded and unused. Furthermore, solar and wind energy turned into electricity is still far more expensive than the power coming into your home today, and there’s not enough of it. Electric cooperatives do provide an option: members can purchase green power that is produced by generators that burn methane, a greenhouse gas, that is produced naturally by landfills and that would otherwise go into the atmosphere. Several such generators are in place at landfills across South Carolina through cooperation between electric cooperatives and Santee Cooper, the state-owned electric utility. For $3 per 100 kilowatt-hours per month, residential members can participate in the Green Power program. Businesses purchase in 200 kilowatt-hour blocks for $6 per month. The money is reinvested in the Green Power program. Contact your local cooperative for more information.

The number one way for you to build green is by increasing your energy efficiency. “The proof is in the power bill. You can renovate and cut your energy bills in half.” —Ben Leigh, The Sustainability Institute

If you want to be a green builder, you’ve got to minimize construction waste, too. In a renovation, one way to reduce waste is to deconstruct, rather than demolish, as much as possible. Some companies will come in and remove cabinets and flooring, for example, for re-use. In the Upstate, new construction waste is easily recycled, according to Johnston. “At no 18


additional price and with hardly any additional effort—one extra phone call—you can have a bin to collect construction waste for recycling.” Companies take lumber scraps, sheetrock pieces, metal and other refuse, sort it and recycle it. “Fifty to 75 percent of new-construction waste can go to recycling centers without even trying hard,” says Johnston. “With effort, you can get as high as 90 percent into recycling centers.” Using recycled items can reduce the construction impact on landfills. Countertop and tile manufacturers are recycling glass, stone, even paper, to make new products. The Sustainability Institute’s Ben Leigh cautions that you apply his fivequestion test as you choose these products, too. “There’s a company making recycled countertops in Charleston, just a half-mile from my house, so because they’re local and they’re recycling materials, they’d be a great choice for me,” he says. Leigh says that all reclaimed products are not equally green. “I would use flooring that’s been reclaimed, cabinetry that’s been reclaimed, or countertops. Those are good choices because you’re keeping it out of the landfill.” A used toilet from a re-sell store, on the other hand, might not be an automatic win. “There, I’d think about the useful life that’s left in that item and the water use. It might not be the best green choice for me.”

The most important green improvement

The improvements that benefit the planet most may not be the splashiest, say both Johnston and Leigh. Their number one way for you to build green is by increasing your energy efficiency. “The proof is in the power bill,” says Leigh. “A lot of people skip over this, but you can renovate and cut your energy bills in half,” says Leigh. A home energy rater will test your house, then create an energy model on a computer. They can predict your bill based on the upgrades you choose. It’s a way to help you see the best ways to get returns on your investment. “Think of it as having a financial analyst on your side,” Leigh says. Leigh looks at a kitchen renovation as a good place for many energy-saving improvements.

In the process of renovating this 1912 Greenville home, top, architect Scott Johnston incorporated a variety of green building strategies including the use of reclaimed materials and landscaping, far left, that restored natural habitat. The installation of skylights, center and below, improved the home’s natural lighting and helped lower electricity use. Today, the house serves as an office for Upstate Forever, an advocacy group that promotes green development.

Photos: Courtesy of Scott Johnston Design

“New appliances are easy; you get Energy Starcertified ones.” Water use is another opportunity for saving if you install low-flow faucets and water-saving dishwashers. If you use less water, you use less energy. Renovating one room may be an opportunity to also make whole-house improvements that should not be passed up. Leigh says that’s where an energy analyst can help you make choices: “What if I added more insulation in the attic while I’m doing this project? A cost-benefit analysis will show you how much savings you can get.” It’s hard to go wrong with adding insulation, radiant heat barriers in the attic, or having your ductwork tested and sealed, says Johnston. “Most people can save 30 percent right there.” Even better, if you’re building new, design with energy efficiency in mind. That starts with how you position your house on the site to take advantage of sunlight and wind patterns and extends to making choices such as installing your ductwork in the heated portion of the house. “If you’ll design for maximum benefit, then start adding technology such as foam-based insulation and radiant heat barriers in the attic,” Johnston says, “you’ll find a home that, before you know it, is twice as energy efficient as the standard house.”

green Resources

The Sustainability Institute: a South Carolina nonprofit that provides homeowner and contractor training and an online directory of local vendors for green building. Visit United States Green Building Council: they provide LEED certification information and maintain an information-packed website at GreenGuard Environmental Institute: a nonprofit that works to improve indoor air quality. They award their seal of approval to products that meet stringent guidelines for reducing chemical emissions and mold. Visit   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




SC Life


Peyton Avrett

Courtesy of Peyton Avrett

OCCUPATION: metal smith and designer DRIVES: a beat-up truck with 200,000 miles on it DAD ALWAYS SAYS: “Take a break. It’ll always be here tomorrow.” NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT: “My iPhone.”

Peyton Avrett, left, felt burned out at his job in Chicago, and his father, Charles, was ready to start shifting his focus. So Peyton returned to the Ole Charleston Forge, where they make classical wrought iron pieces.

Even after earning a degree in computer arts from Florida’s esteemed Ringling College and scoring a coveted position in Chicago, Peyton Avrett couldn’t get the Ole Charleston Forge out of his system. He’d spent many childhood weekends and summers alongside his father, Charles Avrett, helping produce classical hand-wrought iron fireplace tools, fences and gates. “In Chicago, I got burned out being artistically bound to a computer screen. I missed the Old World craftsmanship that I enjoyed working with my dad,” Peyton recalled. “I felt I was missing out on the hands-on, tactile approach. And my dad was in a place where he was ready to start shifting his focus.” So Peyton returned to Charleston and became a partner in his father’s business. About two years ago, the Avretts added furniture and lighting lines to their product repertoire. “I had a fascination with furniture and spent a year developing 25 pieces of furniture,” Peyton explained. “In developing the idea and working on designs, I always took into consideration what I had grown up around and pulled some of the aesthetics of Charleston while adding my own ideas.” Visiting the company’s website at, you see contemporary furniture and lighting from the same business that serves the demand for Charleston’s historic wrought-iron traditions. “I always had a modern sensibility and a minimalist approach,” he said. “I really love to find common ground between the two styles.” Ironically, his own home is sparsely furnished. “I would rather wait and get that prized piece, which might be quite expensive, than just settle,” said Peyton. “It takes a long time for me to get a room exactly the way I want it.” —Kristine Hartvigsen   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



Hometown pride: Nichols

Life where the

rivers merge BY BETH WILLIAMS

In the northeast tip of Marion County, the Little Pee Dee and Lumber rivers flow separately until their tannin-colored waters merge, cradling Nichols and a little slice of heaven for area outdoorsmen in the Y that’s formed in the landscape. But instead of trophy bucks or gobblers, Jimmy Devers hunts for that which the land surrenders in due time. He and his wife, Sarah Anne, used to roam these woods and river banks with their two children. Their three grandchildren growing up in Nichols do so today. “I just found this piece of clay pipe,” says Devers, from his Nichols Farm Supply office, where his desk is littered with arrowheads, fossils and sharks’ teeth. “Look at this grinding stone. I couldn’t sleep after finding this.” A growing and varied collection of area artifacts, including farm equipment, housed at the farm supply business has turned it into an unofficial museum. Devers says he has more and hopes to one day organize it in the warehouse 22


Outdoor lovers have plenty to love in Nichols, which sits in the Y formed by the merging Little Pee Dee and Lumber rivers in the northeast corner of Marion County. Spencer Johnson, 5, plays in the Lumber River.

Nichols Data FOUNDED: 1896 NAMED FOR:

Averette B. Nichols

SIZE: 1.4 square miles POPULATION: 408 (2000 Census) MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME: $41,597 LOCAL CO-OPS: Horry and Pee Dee

electric cooperatives

across the street, where his father, James M. Devers, Jr., started the supply business in 1946. Devers’ love of the land may be fueled by family history, especially his mother’s side. His great-great-grandfather, Averette B. Nichols, came to the area as a planter and merchant in 1830 when it was known as Floydville. After Nichols’ death in 1896, the town was renamed in his honor for the role he played in convincing the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad to lay rails there, the catalyst for its growth. Turpentine and cypress lumbering were the earliest forms of industry followed by tobacco farming. Averette B. Nichols, Jr., built the first tobacco warehouses in Marion County. In spite of nearby Mullins overtaking the market in 1928, the Nichols family grew in its position as farmers and land owners, having significant influence on the town’s progress. Nichols experienced its most stable period between 1940 and 1980.

Small and true

Jimmy Devers with a cypress dugout canoe at Nichols Farm Supply, where antique farm implements, pot-bellied stoves, rocking chairs and a checkerboard hark back to a different time.


As the fourth generation of the family that started Battle Oil Company, Lawson Battle isn’t new to Nichols, but he is new to the office of mayor. “I decided to run because I felt some things needed changing. Small steps, all leading in the right direction, will bring about change that will lead to opportunity,” says Battle, who has been in office 18 months. “I love this town. Everybody knows everybody, you can still borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor, and it’s safe to walk at night.” That’s especially true since Battle has accomplished one of his main objectives: 24-hour police protection. Now his focus is on keeping this major beach traffic thoroughfare looking its best, which plays into improving efforts to attract new businesses and keep current ones. For example, the mayor says he is pleased that the Carolina Eastern fertilizer company has decided to retain its Nichols office. Tiller CPA & Associates has taken up residence across the street from First Citizens Bank, originally the Bank of Nichols chartered 1911, and the refurbished Town Hall. Lighthouse Restaurant on the outskirts of town began serving customers in February, and their across-thehighway neighbor, Clay’s Meat Market, hopes to open by mid-year. “I believe we’ll see Dollar General build here,” adds Battle. Nichols’ historic icon, Little Pee Dee Lodge, is in need of someone who can put the time and effort into making it the popular place it once was.

Mayor Lawson Battle, right, considers establishing 24-hour police protection in Nichols a step in the right direction. Robert Bullard, left, is the town’s police chief.

Simple Farm Produce Stand offers an assortment of garden-fresh vegetables, ending in the fall with pumpkins and chrysanthemums. It’s all grown locally by Wayne Skipper and his mother, Mary. Simple Farm is among almost 1,400 Horry Electric Cooperative members served in the Nichols District. As the fourth largest of the 20 South Carolina co-ops, it’s number one in meter growth, totaling a membership of 64,000. Johnny Shelley represents the Nichols District as one of nine on the board of trustees. (Pee Dee Electric Cooperative also

courtesy Franklin Morgan

Simple Farm life

Nichols natives appreciate the small community atmosphere enjoyed while growing up in the area. In this 1965 photo, “my first-grade class is getting ready to board a train to ride up to Whiteville, N.C.,” says South Carolina Living field editor Walter Allread, kneeling in front of the girl in the dark skirt. The Nichols depot no longer exists. See more photos from Walter’s trip home in a photo album on the South Carolina Living page on Facebook.   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Nichols Directory GETTING THERE

Located at the junction of Highways 9 and 76 in the northeast corner of Marion County.


NICHOLS FARM SUPPLY 521 Nichols Street • (843) 526-2105 is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s an “unofficial” museum where visitors may view the owners’ collection of antique farm equipment, bottles, arrowheads and pottery. SIMPLE FARM PRODUCE & FALL MUMS Junction of Highways 76 and 9 • (843) 392-5129 is open April through October, selling locally grown, seasonal produce, all-natural lye soap (also available by mail order) and McLeod Farms peaches. Hours may vary but typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PINELAND GOLF COURSE & COUNTRY CLUB 5050 Country Club Court • (843) 526-2175 is open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Rates range from $20 to $28 with weekday discounts for senior citizens. A snack bar serves simple lunch fare and breakfast on Saturdays.


LIGHTHOUSE RESTAURANT 420 Highway 76 • (843) 526-2060 opened in February. Owner Joel Norman comes by his love of the business honestly. His parents, Faye and the late Worth Norman, owned as many as 10 restaurants, but their first was in Nichols. The Lighthouse serves steak, chicken, barbeque and seafood, including an oyster bar,


Good eats include the hot meals at Paul’s Fish Market. Owner Geraldine Mason Ford cranks up the stove for three meals a day.

Tuesday through Sunday. Saturday hours include a breakfast buffet starting at 6 a.m. PAUL’S FISH MARKET 404 Highway 76 • (843) 5263474 has been serving breakfast, lunch and supper Monday through Saturday for 10 years. Dine in, take out, have it delivered or buy it fresh and cook it yourself. NICHOLS GRILL 102 E. Railroad Avenue • (843) 526-2642 offers down-home cooking Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

serves several hundred members in the Nichols area.) An active member of Horry Electric’s Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE), Mary Skipper served as president in 2008. The community service organization donates items to area nursing homes and the Waccamaw Youth Center, organizes school supply drives, and awards a $1,500 scholarship for a local senior to attend either Coastal Carolina University or Horry-Georgetown

Nichols sits along a major thoroughfare to Myrtle Beach, so town leaders and landscaping workers, including Jason Griggs, above, keep it looking its best, which they hope will also help grow businesses.



Custom Homes

Built On Your Land


$ The Worthington w/ 2-Car Garage

build & price your dream home online at

LockridgeHomes .com The Nichols Public Library, begun in 1953 with the help of the American Legion Auxiliary, is now part of Marion County’s library system.

The Sylvia

The Anniston

The Buckingham 28

Technical College. “It feels good to be involved in something like WIRE,” says Mary. “You can donate an inexpensive item, but it’s priceless to the one who needs it.”




The Kendall

The Woodbridge



Roots of harmony

The heart of the people of Nichols is evident in the community’s accomplishments. In 1953, the American Legion Auxiliary spearheaded the drive to start a library. Still open today, it is now part of the county library system. A new county park provides a venue for recreation league ball games and encourages fitness on a paved walking and exercise course. The establishment of Centennial Park on Nichols Street was part of the town’s centennial celebration in 1996. The park was designed by Butch Pace, whose plans were chosen over those submitted by professional designers. Pace in 1967 joined his father, Averette Burney Pace, at Pace Pharmacy, a business his father started in 1936. He continues to provide the kind of service on which his father built the business. Milkshakes, hand-dipped ice cream and a gift shop haven’t hurt, either. For the centennial celebration, Pace wrote The Hymn of Nichols, which was performed by a combined choir representing five local churches. The words express hometown pride that’s felt by most: For those whose paths have far to roam, forever Nichols be your home. 


Upstate (864) 881-1568

Midlands (706) 680-6568

L o w Country ( 8 4 3 ) 8 79-8661

I’d like free information on cremation. Name _______________________________ Address _____________________________ City _________________________________ State _________________Zip____________ Phone _______________________________ No cost or obligation   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




The Challenge Course at Sesqui program are church groups, civic clubs, businesses and industries, and county, state and federal government agencies. To make these programs convenient for groups, The Challenge Course is a full-service facility that also offers overnight accommodations, conference and meeting facilities and catering and lunch plans. The course is set amidst the beauty of Sesquicentennial State Park, or Sesqui, as it’s more commonly known locally. The state park, 1,419 acres in Richland County, was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and evidence of the CCC’s craftsmanship can still be seen today in the distinctive white stone blocks that mark the front gate. Located in the middle of the Sand­ hills region, Sesqui features a 30-acre lake surrounded by trails and picnic areas. The park is used frequently for family reunions and group campouts. Some of the activities enjoyed by visitors to the park include fishing, canoeing and kayaking, bird-watching, hiking, mountain biking and camping. A new

Greg Lucas

The first thing that you notice about programs at The Challenge Course at Sesquicentennial State Park in Columbia is that everyone seems to have a smile on his or her face. Can learning really be this much fun? Apparently so. Participants in The Challenge Course work as a team to walk cable ropes and negotiate obstacles and balance elements, activities that are challenging but not risky. The main philosophy behind The Challenge Course is that people learn most effectively through experiences, rather than in the classroom—the programs, located in the natural beauty of a state park, transform groups of individuals into productive, successful teams. Skills targeted for improvement by The Challenge Course include team building, communications, integrity, trust, creative thinking and decision-making. Among the many organizations that could benefit from The Challenge Course’s leadership development

dog park is available at Sesqui, a 2-acre fenced-in area for dogs to run off-leash. Sesqui is also a Discover Carolina Site, which provides curriculum-based science education programs for South Carolina school children. For more information on Sesqui­ centennial State Park, located at 9564 Two Notch Road in Columbia, visit state-park/469 or call the park at (803) 788-2706. Months of operation for The Challenge Course are March through June, and September through November. To learn more about The Challenge Course, including packages and pricing, visit thechallengecourse. com or call (803) 734-0212. 


May winners Use a spoon and scrape the scales off the fish. The spoon controls the scales and keeps them from going all over. Fish scaled

Helen L. Jones, Tamassee

Ant douser The latest cure for fire ants that I have found is to use a bottle of club soda to pour on the mound. No need to use the whole bottle; you can usually do two to three mounds. Brenda Smith, Murrells Inlet

Berry clever To save your strawberries from being eaten by birds, paint a few pebbles red with inexpensive nail polish and put them in your strawberry bed. The birds will peck at them and lose interest. When your strawberries ripen and turn red, the birds will leave them alone! Lisa Ivers, Conway



Send us tips!

We welcome a new sponsor to the Outdoor Tips Contest— the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, (843) 525-1865. Readers whose original tips are published will receive a copy of Wild Fare & Wise Words, a collection of recipes and writing from the great outdoors. The private, nonprofit fund supports the conservation of wildlife, marine and other natural resources in South Carolina. It has donated almost $2.5 million to S.C. Department of Natural Resources for projects not fundable by taxpayers and has awarded almost $300,000 in scholarships to students attending S.C. institutions studying the sciences, journalism and other fields. For more information, visit h­ Send entries with name and mailing address to: ­ Outdoor Tips, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033 or

SCGardener By Bob Polomski


How can I maintain an organic lawn?

Unlike conventional lawn care, which involves synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic lawn care uses organic or naturally derived products to fertilize the lawn and cultural and biological techniques to manage pests. This natural approach has the added long-term benefit of building healthy soil, which creates favorable growing conditions for the lawn grasses and soil-dwelling inhabitants. First, set realistic goals for your lawn. Decide on the level of lawn quality you want and the amount of time and money you’re willing to spend to achieve that look. A healthy lawn is likely to have some weeds or insect pests, but it will also have beneficial insects and other organisms that help keep pests under control. Then, follow these approaches to establish and maintain a healthy, attractive organic lawn. l Grow lawn grasses adapted to your region and to your management style. l Feed your lawn with organic fertilizers derived from natural organic sources, such as composted animal manure or cottonseed meal. l Mow properly with a sharp mower blade adjusted to the proper height for your grass. Also, leave the clippings on the lawn. l Use cultural and biological controls to manage pests. Most importantly, work with nature to create a healthy, well-­ managed lawn that resists weed invasions and insect and disease attacks. Learn more about organic lawn care in Home Lawn Management in South Carolina (EC 687;, winner of the 2009 State Notable Documents award, conferred by the S.C. State Library.   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



By Pat Robertson

Snakes are big attraction at Edisto Island Serpentarium

A camouflaged emerald tree boa and alligators await your visit at Edisto Island Serpentarium.

Growing up near Salley in Orangeburg County, Heyward and Ted Clamp were much like Willie Metcalf in Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology who said he talked with animals— “even toads and snakes—Anything that had an eye to look into.” “We grew up normal boys, squirrel hunting and so forth,” said Heyward Clamp. “But when you live out in the country, there ain’t much to play with but them old snakes.” When Heyward found books on snakes in the school library, he and Ted read them avidly, learning how to identify individual snakes and how to tell venomous snakes from non-­ venomous ones. “When Ted and I were in high school, we built a snake pit in our backyard, 25 to 30 feet across. We put a little stream in there and put in bushes to make a natural habitat, and then we put the snakes we caught in there.” The snakepit became a local attraction, Clamp said. “There were always a lot of people in the backyard to look at the snakes and alligators we caught.” The brothers’ fascination with snakes took them all over the continent and to exotic locales to capture snakes, providing a lifetime of adventure which eventually

Photos: Edisto Island Serpentarium



Edisto Island Serpentarium is on S.C. 174, 18 miles east of U.S. 17 toward Edisto Beach, on left. Hours: Open April 29 through Labor Day. Call (843) 869-1171 or visit


evolved into the Edisto Island Serpentarium. “Ted has been in the construction business all his life and one day he decided, why not make a commercial venture out of our hobby? So we opened the Serpentarium on Edisto Island in 1999,” Clamp said. As the first true serpentarium in South Carolina, the facility is dedicated to the recognition, preservation and study of the intriguing world of reptiles. Four daily shows feature professional speakers handling both venomous and non-venomous snakes of South Carolina, explaining the value of these reptiles to the environment. Visitors can also watch several daily feedings of alligators in two separate ponds and view a variety of turtles basking in a natural habitat. But the main feature is the variety of snakes in the outdoor gardens where visitors can observe from behind a safe barrier. “We have two large outdoor walled enclosures for the snakes,” Clamp said. “You look over a low wall to watch the snakes in a natural habitat. They are moving, climbing trees and swimming in the streams. You can look up and see snakes in the trees above you.” When weather permits, the Clamp brothers leave the serpentarium for their favorite ­pastime—​snake hunting, scouring the South Carolina Lowcountry for venomous snakes, especially the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. “We extract the venom from the Eastern ­diamondbacks from our area. Their venom has a component that diamondbacks in other parts of the country don’t have,” Clamp said. The venom is sent to a lab that processes it into a powder which then goes to another lab that produces the antivenin serum used to treat snakebites, something the Clamps have a keen interest in since both have been bitten several times. But that never suppressed their passion for hunting snakes. “It’s the most exciting kind of hunting there is to us. We are not deer hunters or turkey hunters. We don’t shoot anything, but we sure get a thrill out of finding a big rattlesnake and catching him,” Clamp said. 

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Send coupon to: South Carolina Living,

1040 Corley Mill Rd., Lexington, SC 29072 or

Entries must be received by May 1 to be eligible for drawing. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Selections do not affect your chance of winning giveaway.   | May 2010   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



Mother’s Day treats AW Evans

Dishes Mom will love

Garlic and Clove Roasted Halibut Fillet with Braised Lentils

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Serves 4

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided 1 cup all-purpose flour 7 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa powder, divided 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup milk 1⁄3 cup butter (or margarine), melted 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed 1 ¼ cups hot water 1 cup whipped cream

For the lentils:

Rita Jacobs

Mother’s Day Cranberry Fizz Serves 16 (½ cup each)

4 cups chilled cranberry juice cocktail 1 cup chilled grapefruit juice 1 cup chilled orange juice ½ cup granulated sugar 2 cups chilled ginger ale

In large, nonmetal pitcher or punch bowl, mix all juices and sugar until well blended; just before serving stir in ginger ale. Vickie Roberts, Rock Hill

We welcome all types of recipes for all seasons: appetizers, salads, main courses, side dishes, desserts and beverages. Selected original recipes win $10 and a shot at winning the outof-print Best-of-Living in South Carolina cookbook. Send recipes to South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, by e-mail to or by fax to (803) 739-3041.

Send us recipes!


In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Do not brown garlic. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, oregano and lentils. Simmer uncovered on medium-low and allow the lentils to become tender, about 15–20 ­minutes. Add small amounts of more chicken stock if needed. Finish by stirring in the basil and spinach leaves. For the fish:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 3⁄4 cup sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt. Blend in milk, melted butter and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour batter in greased and floured 8" x 8" x 2" pan. In small bowl, combine remaining ½ cup sugar, brown sugar and remaining 4 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle mixture over batter. Pour hot water over top (do not stir). Bake 40 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 15 minutes. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream. Betty Miller, Lexington

4 halibut portions, 6 ounces each 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1⁄8 teaspoon ground clove 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon paprika 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 ounce dry white wine ½ teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, make a rub consisting of the oil, clove, cumin, paprika and garlic. Smear all over fish. Place fish in a non-stick pan with lime juice and wine. Roast 10–15 minutes or until done, depending on thickness of the fish. Salt (optional). Lenny Giarratano, Executive Chef, Moss Creek Plantation, Bluffton


More great recipes online at

Matt Brennan

About submitting recipes Entries must include your name and mailing address. When writing recipes, please specify ingredient measurements. Instead of “one can” or “two packages,” specify “one 12-ounce can” or “two 8-ounce packages.” Please note the number of servings or yield. Recipes are not tested.

2 teaspoons olive oil ½ cup yellow onion, chopped 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, chopped ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 cup tomatoes, chopped 2 cups lightly salted chicken stock ½ teaspoon dry oregano 1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed 6 fresh basil leaves, ripped by hand 9 ounces baby spinach leaves

Serves 12

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By Carrie B. Hirsch

French cuisine, Lowcountry style to cook, but offering cooking classes is one way Chef Eric Masson has cultivated a loyal following. Teaching requires patience, organization and a desire to share the skills acquired during his career in some of the world’s top restaurants. The chef’s Brentwood Restaurant and Wine Bistro is in Little River, nestled in the far eastern corner of South Carolina. “We have lots of regulars from Horry and Brunswick counties, and customers come

Not every chef can teach novices

The Brentwood Restaurant and Wine Bistro 4269 Luck Avenue Little River, SC 29566 (843) 249-2601 Monday through Saturday 4:30 p.m.–close Late-night dining at The Wine Bistro

Chef Masson will be participating in the inaugural Coastal Uncorked Food and Wine Festival May 16–23. For details, visit 

from Myrtle Beach as well. They come to cooking class on a regular basis. I get to know them, and they get to know me,” he says. Hands-on classes include how to prepare meats, fish, soups and stews, pastas and desserts. Masson also offers sessions on classic French techniques, including knife skills. A native of Brittany, France, Masson earned two culinary school degrees, then honed his skills in restaurants in London and Paris. In Paris, he met his wife Kimberlee, an American. Together, they opened a restaurant in Amsterdam, New York. On a trip to Myrtle Beach, they were charmed by The Brentwood’s 1910 Victorian-style house, so in 2007, they took over the restaurant in Little River. “We are two restaurants in one,” Masson explains. “The

Chocolate Fondant Cake

1 pound butter 1 ½ pounds chocolate chips 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 3 tablespoons flour 5 eggs 9-inch round cake pan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt chocolate chips and butter over a double boiler. Incorporate cocoa and flour. Mix in eggs one by one. Mix vigorously until it thickens, using an electric mixer or sturdy whisk. Pour the mixture in a nonstick 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for two hours in the refrigerator. Serve warm with crème Anglaise or raspberry sauce and a flute of Champagne. Bon appétit! Serves 8.



white-tablecloth main dining room offers an extensive menu. There’s also a four-course, price-fixed menu. Upstairs in The Wine Bistro, we’re introducing small plates in the $5 to $9 range —French comfort food at a comfortable price.” Whether you dine upstairs or down, Masson recommends you save room for dessert, made at the restaurant from scratch. “Our crème brûlée has won several contests, and our flambé is made with Grand Marnier. The chocolate fondant—a bittersweet chocolate cake—is low in sugar and is great for people who love a firm ­texture on the outside and gooey one on the inside,” Masson says, insisting, “A chocolate fanatic must try this!” of Hilton Head has broad experience in the culinary arts.


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Calendar    of Events

May Please call ahead before attending events. For entry guidelines, access


7–28 • Historical Morgan House & Textile Exhibit, Upstate Visual Arts, Greenville. (864) 669-8282. 18 • Langston Hughes Chautauqua Discussion, Hughes Main Library, Greenville. (864) 244-1499. 20–24 • Greenwood Music Festival, Greenwood. (917) 376-1937. 21–22 • Ware Shoals Catfish Feastival, Ware Shoals. (864) 456-7664. 22 • Mountain Creek Trail Hike: Reading the Woods, Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville. (864) 244-5565. 22 • Foothills 5K and the Beat Goes On, Westminster. (864) 882-8796. 22 • Golf Fore Life, Furman Golf Club, Greenville. 1-800-462-0755. 28–29 • Power from the Past, Antique Farm, Spartanburg. (864) 427-3889. 28–29 • Arts on the Alley, Seneca. (864) 888-1110. 28-29 • Plum Hollow Alternative Bluegrass Festival, Plum Hollow Farm, Campobello. (864) 680-0225. 28–31 • Freedom Weekend Aloft, Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 399-9481. 29 • Tri-County 5K Race — Run for the Health of It!, Tri-County Technical College Anderson Campus, Anderson. (864) 646-1507. June

8–21 • Keowee Chamber Music Festival, Greenville. (864) 624-9693. 12 • Clover Scottish Games, Clover Memorial Stadium, Clover. (803) 631-5410. 12 • War and Games, Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, Clinton. (864) 938-0100. 12 • Newry Folk Festival, Historic Newry Mill, Newry. (864) 638-2224. 12 • Palmetto Bank Sunrise Run, Simpsonville. (864) 271-0092.



Daily • Horseback riding, Forrest Trails, Enoree. (864) 918-3469. By Appointment • Museum, Abbeville. (864) 459-4600. Daily • Artist Co-op, Laurens. (864) 575-3020. Daily • Arts Council, Greenville. (864) 467-3132. Daily • Arts Council, Union. (864) 429-2817. Daily • Museum of Art, Greenville. (864) 271-7570. Daily • Museum of Art, Arts Center, Spartanburg. (864) 583-2776. Daily • Senior Activities, Easley. (864) 295-2136. Daily • Trail Rides, Easley. (864) 898-0043. Daily • Volunteer, Botanical Garden, Clemson. (864) 656-3405. Fridays • Bluegrass Music and Square Dancing, Oconee State Park. (864) 638-5353. Weekly • Laurens County Museum, Laurens. (864) 681-0670.


13–16 • “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Sumter Little Theatre, Sumter. (803) 775-2150. 15 • Indoor Garage Sale, Sumter County Exhibition Center, Sumter. (803) 436-2270. 15 • McConnells Antique Engine & Tractor Show, McConnells. (803) 230-4126. 20 • YC Magazine Exhibition Reception, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill. (803) 328-2787. 21 • Fridays at the Terrace Concert Series, Sumter. (803) 436-2640. 22 • Going the Extra Mile 5K, Harbison West Elementary School, Columbia. (803) 749-9298. 22–30 • Palmetto Pro Open, Palmetto Tennis Center, Sumter. (803) 436-2640.

24 • South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia. (803) 779-0905. 27 • Mystery Big Band Artist, Community Performance Center, Rock Hill. (803) 328-2787. 27 • Glenn Miller Orchestra, Community Performance Center, Rock Hill. (803) 328-2787.

27–30 • Sumter Iris Festival, Swan Lake Gardens, Sumter. (803) 436-2640. 27-30 • Lone Star Barbecue & Mercantile Hoe Down, Santee. (803) 854-2000. 29 • Anniversary of Buford’s Defeat, Andrew Jackson State Park. (803) 285-3344. 29 • Flopeye Fish Festival, Great Falls. (803) 482-6029. 29 • Summer Fun Horseshoe Tournament, Marion Davis Park, Newberry. (803) 936-2542. 29–30 • Pieces of the Past Farming Practices, Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg. (803) 222-3209. June

4–6 • Colonial Times “Under the Crown,” North Augusta Living History Park, North Augusta. (803) 279-7560. 5 • Fort Mill Thunder Car Show, Walter Elisha Park, Fort Mill. (803) 320-3193. 5 • Peach Tree 23 Yard Sale, Hwy. 23, BatesburgLeesville. (803) 685-7810. 5 • Ribs and Renaissance, Eau Claire Town Square, Columbia. (803) 454-0088. 10 • Sumter @ Six Outdoor Concert Series, Brody Pavilion, Sumter. (803) 436-2640. 10–12 • Party in the Pines, Whitmire. (803) 694-3797.


12 • Elloree Merchants Second Saturday Sidewalk Sale, Elloree. (803) 535-9522. 12 • The African-American Experience at Redcliffe, Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, Beech Island. (803) 827-1473. 12 • Jr. Farmer Day, Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg. (803) 222-3209.

29 • Drink Small “The Blues Doctor,” Home Team BBQ, Charleston. (803) 254-2123. 29 • Edisto Beach Fire Department Fish Fry, Lions Club, Edisto Island. (843) 296-4092. 30 • Drink Small “The Blues Doctor,” Pawleys Island Tavern, Pawleys Island. (803) 254-2123.


4–5 • Sun Fun Festival, Myrtle Beach. (843) 626-7444. 5 • Lowcountry Splash, Hobcaw Yacht Club, Mt. Pleasant. (843) 884-7880. 5 • Taste of Jasper, Jasper. (843) 717-1615. 5–6 • Folly Beach Wahine Classic, Folly Beach. (843) 343-4047. 5–6 • Pee Dee Air and Show Festival, Florence Regional Airport, Florence. (843) 669-5001.

Fridays • Big Screen Fridays at the House, Sumter Opera House, Sumter. (803) 436-2640. Fridays • Main Street Marketplace, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia. (803) 779-4005. Daily through May 29 • Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina, SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, Columbia. (803) 737-8095.



15 • Back to Nature Celebration, Edisto Island. (843) 296-4092. 16 • Legacy Live Oak Dedication and Conservation Celebration, Edisto Island. (843) 296-4092. 16–23 • Coastal Uncorked, Myrtle Beach. (843) 916-2000. 20 • Taste of Hartsville, Kalmia Gardens of Coker College, Hartsville. (843) 332-6401. 22 • Building the Adventure, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site. (843) 852-4200. 23–26 • Veterans Golf Classic, Myrtle Beach. (843) 477-8833. 28–30 • Gullah Festival, Waterfront Park, Beaufort. (843) 525-0628. 28–31 • Military Appreciation Days, Myrtle Beach. (843) 918-1188. 28–June 13 • Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston. (843) 579-3100. 28–June 13 • Piccolo Spoleto, Charleston. (843) 724-3705. 28 • Drink Small “The Blues Doctor,” Mad River Bar & Grill, Charleston. (803) 254-2123.

7–8 • Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival, Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park, Mount Pleasant. (843) 884-9910. 12 • Canoe / Kayak Tour of the Hampton Waterways, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site. (843) 546-9361. 12 • From Seeds to Shillings: Growing Wealth at Charles Towne, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site. (843) 852-4200. Ongoing

Daily • Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline, The Palace Theater, Myrtle Beach. (843) 448-0558. Daily • Day in the Life of a Sailor, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200. Daily, except Sundays • Atalaya Tour, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Daily, except Mondays • Hampton Plantation Mansion Tours, McClellanville. (843) 546-9361.

Daily, except Mondays • Feeding Frenzy, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Mondays • Coastal Kayaking, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Tuesdays through May 31 • Spineless Wonders, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Tuesdays and Thursdays • Bingo, Lions Club, Edisto Island. (843) 296-4092. Wednesdays • Coastal Birding, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Thursdays through May 31 • Alligators, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Thursdays through May 31 • Secrets of the Salt Marsh, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Fridays • Birding at Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Saturdays • Beachcombing, Huntington Beach State Park, (843) 237-4440. Saturdays through May 31 • Snakes and Reptiles, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Saturdays through May 31 • Process of Discovery, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville. (843) 873-1740. First Saturdays • Fears that Fortified Charles Towne — Musket Demonstration, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200. Third Saturdays • Fears that Fortified Charles Towne — Cannon Demonstration, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200. Daily • Aisle Style: 150 Years of Wedding Fashion, Charleston Museum, Charleston. (843) 722-2996. Every third Saturday • Bluegrass Concert, HorryGeorgetown Technical College, Conway. (843) 457-2854.


By Jan A. Igoe

Bullwinkle gets a bad rap I never realized exercise equipment

qualified as grounds for divorce until the day I dragged an elliptical machine home from the consignment shop and parked it in the living room. Normally, when a female hunts down small prey—like a juicy designer outfit—she’ll wait until her significant other is snoring on the sofa to sneak the fresh kill past enemy lines. Once it’s safely inside her closet, she’ll cover her tracks by shredding (or, ideally, burning) price tags, receipts and store surveillance tapes—anything that might upset her mate, who already thinks she owns enough clothes and shoes to outfit a small continent of indigenous bush people. If she times it right, confrontation can be avoided until the outfit makes its public debut and her mate gives it the inaugural eyeball. Then, in the same solemn tone judges use to sentence mass murderers, he’ll ask the inevitable: “Is that new?” With the innocence of a newborn and a tinge of indignation, the female will respond: “What, this old thing?” Technically, she’s correct. It’s not new. That’s the beauty of consignment shopping for clothes. But big game, such as exercise equipment that weighs 400 pounds, stands 6-feet tall and takes three beefy guys to deliver, presents different problems. The moment the machine arrived, my husband—a man whose demeanor is usually so quiet, steady and composed, I find myself checking his pulse—erupted in a massive hissy fit (magnitude 8.5, easy). He didn’t even ask if it was new. He was too busy circling it, waving his arms and stomping. I haven’t seen teeth clenched that tight since I surprised him with our fourth dog, which was also used. 38

“What were you thinking? We have enough exercise junk to sell gym memberships,” he protested, still surveying the monster. “Hey, since it’s bigger than a moose, let’s call it Bullwinkle.” My husband had a point. The tall, curved handrails did resemble antlers rising above the sofa. And Bullwinkle seemed a trifle larger in our living room than back in the store. But that’s why bigger is better when it comes to fitness equipment. Gadgets that fold conveniently for hiding under a bed usually stay there until you sell your house. But there’s no hiding anything as bulky as Bullwinkle. It’s the elephant (or moose) in the room, silently nagging until you hop on. As for all the other exer-stuff, there are legitimate reasons they needed to be replaced: THE TOTAL GYM For nearly a week, I bounced, dipped, chinned and lunged on my Total Gym, because Christy Brinkley looked so fabulous jumping around on hers. But she never had to haul it off to a closet between workouts.


In the TV ads, I saw a teeny, Tinker Bell-sized woman dismantle her gym in three seconds flat. Maybe she had a different model, because mine never folded ­without a fight. So whenever company came by, I’d bury it under a few tons of clothes and eventually forgot to unbury it. My Total Gym is still the best ­laundry sorter I’ve ever owned. EXERCISE BIKES A few years ago, home invaders glued some poor guy to his stationary bike while they robbed him of everything, including his pants. It happened overseas and the news reports didn’t specify how long he was stuck there naked, but the pry-off procedure sounded painful. Of course, the odds of a Crazy Glue attack in South Carolina are probably remote, but why take chances? It would be much harder to glue someone to Bullwinkle. SUZANNE SOMERS’ THIGHMASTER This shouldn’t count, because it was a gift​ —​the same gift many females received from hopeful males the year Suzanne started squeezing it in commercials airing every five minutes. It didn’t appeal to me, so I showed Hubby how he could wear it as a hat. But for anyone who wants to crack walnuts with her knees, I’m sure it’s a fine piece of equipment. is a wife, mother, newspaper editor, humorist and illustrator. She lives in Horry County.

Jan A. Igoe

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South Carolina Living May 2010  

South Carolina Living May 2010

South Carolina Living May 2010  

South Carolina Living May 2010