Page 1

Bright Energy-Saving


Cost effective and simple ways to improve your home

S .C . Sto r i e s

Taking wing S .C . Sc e n e

Medical volunteers

Humor Me

May 2011

Still Daddy’s little girl

THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Vol. 65 • No. 5 (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 Tel:  (803) 926-3 1 75 Fax:  (803) 796-6064 Email: EDITOR

Keith Phillips FIELD EDITOR


May 2011 • Volume 65, Number 5

16 Energy upgrades that pay

Two of the state’s top energy-efficiency experts offer tips and advice on low-cost home improvements that can lower your utility bills and boost the comfort of your home. They also weigh in on the do-it-yourself potential of each project and which jobs you should leave to the pros. 4 CO-OP CONNECTION


Cooperative news




21 The bird man

Pam Martin

Sharri Harris Wolfgang Susan Collins PRODUCTION

Andrew Chapman WEB EDITOR


Susan Scott Soyars CONTRIBUTORS

Becky Billingsley, Mike Couick, Jim Dulley, Tim Hanson, Carrie B. Hirsch, Jan A. Igoe, Charles Joyner, Sally Mahan, Terry Massey, Jenny Maxwell, Marc Rapport, Brian Sloboda Publisher


Tel:  (800) 984-0887 Dan Covell Email: Keegan Covell Email: 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. ADDRESS CHANGES: Please send

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

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


Great texting tomatoes! The S.C. Farmer’s Market has a high-tech way to let you know when fresh produce arrives. Plus: Butterflies invade Columbia’s Edventure museum and a reader sounds off on the first shot of the Civil War.


10 Smart investing

Federal loans issued by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) help co-ops “keep the lights on” and ultimately put money back into the U.S. Treasury.

Staffed by retired and volunteer medical professionals, Hilton Head Island’s VIM Clinic offers the best health care money can’t buy. TRAVELS

28 Play with a purpose

For the pre-kindergarten set, Rock Hill’s Main Street Children’s Museum is all fun and games.


30 Escape to Bulls Island

Learn how window screens and whole-house fans can help lower your power bill. SMART CHOICE

14 Personal care technology

Stay healthy, feel great and look your best with these handy fitness and beauty gadgets.

It’s only a 30-minute ferry ride to the heart of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, but it might as well be a 1,000-year trip back in time. RECIPES

31 Overnight recipes

for Mother’s Day

Overnight oatmeal muffins Overnight grape salad Overnight stuffed peppers Chef’s Choice

32 French cooking in the Lowcountry

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. SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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


22 The doctor will see you now



12 Cut your cooling costs

© COPYRIGHT 201 1. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor.


The Fat Hen on Johns Island serves up a tasty blend of classic French cuisine and Lowcountry favorites, all made with fresh, local ingredients. HUMOR ME

38 The great sushi heist On the Cover: Improve the efficiency of your home with eight simple, lowcost projects. Photo montage by Sharri Wolfgang

Bright EnErgy-Saving


Cost effective and simple ways to improve your home

S .C . Sto r i e S

Taking wing S .C . SC e n e

Medical volunteers

Humor me

Still Daddy’s little girl May 2011

Printed on recycled paper

Falconer Mitch Brantley enjoys every second he spends hunting with his red-tailed hawk, Mad Max, but don’t call what he does a hobby.

The generation gap gets a little wider when father and daughter fail to see eye-to-eye on everything from burning bras and pilfered condiments to ill-gotten Internet access.



On the Agenda For a listing p m co lete s, see of Event 6 page 3



MAY 5–7; MAY 12–15

Fishing with the big boys and girls

South Carolina anglers can take no small measure of pride in the fact that our home waters will host two professional fishing tournaments in May. First up is the Lady Bass Anglers Association Tournament May 5–7 on Lake Hartwell. Proceeds benefit the Anderson Area Boys & Girls Clubs. Then the boys have their turn in the B.A.S.S. Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash May 12–15 on Lake Murray. A $100,000 top prize, ESPN coverage and an Outdoor Expo add to the fun of one of the sport’s top pro events. For details, visit or call (214) 738-7518, and ­ or call (877) BASS-USA. (877-227-7872)

Blooming Butterflies takes flight

The Blooming Butterflies exhibit opens for the season on May 7 at EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia. Dozens of trees and other plants provide the living environment for more than 20 species of butterflies. Get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures in an enclosed habitat created just for them — and their young visitors. For details, visit or call (803) 779-3100.

MAY 14

MAY 14–22

The Palmetto Patriots Ball is a red, white and blue event put on each year by the Midlands Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, an organiza­ tion of mothers of current and former military members. The ball is a fund­ raiser for efforts such as the Dorn VA Hospital’s transportation network and the Wounded Warrior Marriage Enrich­ ment Retreats. This year’s ball will fea­ture a silent auction and an address by retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré. For details, call (803) 206-6088 or visit

Gain access to 18 of the state’s most historic and treasured gardens on the annual Follow the Blooms tour sponsored by the Garden Club of South Carolina. Shown here is just one of the 2011 stops, the Bloomsbury Inn in Camden. For details, visit or email ­

Show your colors

JUNE 15–19

A ‘Moo-ving’ festival

They named the aircraft carrier after the town, so why not name a festival after the ship and honor our Greatest Generation at the same time? The first Mighty Moo Festival and Reunion was held in Cowpens in 1977, and since then, the gathering has turned into a chance to honor the veterans of the World War II carrier, USS Cowpens, nicknamed “The Mighty Moo.” Highlights include golf and ­baseball, arts and crafts, carnival rides, fireworks and a Saturday parade. For details, visit or call (864) 463-9116.




Follow the Blooms


High-tech fruits and veggies

Electrical fire safety

cu m @ kt

Want to be among the first to know about fresh tomatoes from Johns Island or peaches from the Pee Dee? Just text the word “harvest” to 313131 and the folks at State Farmers Market will send an SMS message to your cell phone whenever a tasty new crop of locally grown produce arrives. The service, called the Harvest Society (­, launched in March, in part to help introduce ­consumers to the new, 175-acre State Farmers Market complex in West Columbia. “We had more than 1,600 people sign up in the first three weeks,” says Stephen Hudson, of the S.C. Department of Agriculture. Members can expect weekly texts, with occasional special updates “if it’s something big, like the first local strawberries coming in.” The new retail and wholesale produce sheds opened for business in December 2010, and the agriculture department’s long-term plans call for making the market a destination facility, complete with a 400-seat amphitheater for concerts, a 150-seat demonstration kitchen, an RV park, greenhouses and restaurants. The complex is located at 3483 Charleston Highway in West Columbia, just off Exit 1 on Interstate 77 or Exit 115 on Interstate 26. For more information, visit or email info@­ —Marc Rapport

The number one priority in a fire is to escape safely. Only use a fire extinguisher if:

Tip of the Month

Electronics account for 8.1 percent of your home’s energy use. Cut costs by plugging items into a power strip, and turning the strip off when not in use. “Smart” power strips are another good opt ion—when one master device like Duraing meed r mo s whe nerair TVsum is turn con diti off, nth one it rs item cuts works such pow to oth er sele cted hardes as DVD players, -intster enseos gamt, ive. Sourc ingdo tasks conene solergy suc s and h as lau ndr y y e: U.S. Departm ent of Energ and dish

washing during off-peak energy demand hours, usually in the early mornin g or later evening. S

CL To-Do List

Home impro vement stor Our cover st ies

ory cost home im this month profiles eight low pr your energy bi ovements that can help lo wer lls and make your home m comfortable (s ore ee Put down the page 16). Now it’s your tu rn hammer, pick up a pen and . tell us about your latest ho m project, what e improvemen yo t out—for bett u did and how it turned er, or for wor se. We’ll com our favorites pile and ru Send your stor n them in a future issue. ie s to Home Improv Stories, South ement C Abbott Drive, arolina Living, 808 Knox Cayce, SC 2903 to letters@sc 3, or email th livin em include a phot Don’t forget to o, too. The de is June 1. Sorry, ad photos cannot line for entries be returned.

Andrew Chapman

Energy Efficiency

About 28,600 home electrical fires occur during a typical year, leading to $1.1 billion in property losses. Faulty electrical outlets and old wiring are the main causes of electrical fires, as are damaged cords, plugs, switches, and light fixtures.


Not all fire extinguishers are alike. Only a Class C extinguisher can be used on an electrical fire. Remember the word PASS:


By Charles Joyner, See Answer ON Page 35

Word Play To go from CALHOUN to CHESTER, you must drop a letter, change a letter or add a letter in each step. Letters may be rearranged in any step. Use the clues to find the right word. C A L H O U N _ _ _ _ _ _ Set a boat in the water _ _ _ _ _ _ Coco, for one _ _ _ _ _ _ To become different _ _ _ _ _ _ The Light Brigade did it _ _ _ _ _ _ Follows a “shot” “ _ _ _ _ _ _!” Exclamation preceding a “shot” C H E S T E R

The fire department has been called. Everyone has exited the building. The fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing. The room is not filled with smoke.


ull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. im low. Point the nozzle toward the base of the fire. queeze the lever slowly and evenly. weep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Remember: Know when to go. Make sure you have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.



On the Agenda turned about and departed. I believe that the story of the first shot fired by The Citadel cadets needs to be told as well as the story of the first battle. Your readers can find out more about the historic role the cadets played in the events of the war at ­​​citadel‑history. H.H. “Hank” Johnson, Hilton Head

Crying fowl


A shot across the bow

Over the years, South Carolina Living has provided readers interesting and educational information, including the most recent article, “On the trail of

Write SCL Letters to the editor We love hearing from our readers. Tell us what you think about this issue, send us story suggestions or just let us know what’s on your mind by writing to Letters, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033. You can also email us at or send a note by fax to (803) 796-6064. All letters received are subject to editing before publication.

history” by Marc Rapport, on page 21 of the April issue. The story accurately states that the first round against Fort Sumter was fired on April 12, 1861, by mortars at Ft. Johnson, and that this marked the first battle of the Civil War. Battles are fought when both sides engage and exchange fire, which they did. However, the first shot of the war occurred on January 9, 1861, and was fired from a cannon battery on Morris Island. The battery was manned by cadets of The Citadel who fired on the steamship Star of the West, which was attempting to resupply the federal troops garrisoned at Fort Sumter. The cadets put one shot across the bow of the vessel, and kept up their fire until the captain

Jan A. Igoe

This illustration of cadets from The Citadel firing on Star of the West appeared in Harper’s Weekly magazine on January 26, 1861.

I realize that your article (“The perils of pampered poultry,” SC Humor Me, March 2011) is supposed to be humorous, but for those of us who are very concerned about the way our food is being produced, it was really insulting. The way an animal is treated has a direct connection to the nutrients it provides to us. In buying or raising free-range chicken eggs, we eliminate the possibility of getting eggs that are going to be recalled for salmonella. We also get eggs from healthy chickens with a good diet that are much higher in nutrients than eggs laid by chickens that are caged and never allowed to move their

entire life, fed unbelievably poor diets and therefore produce less nutritious eggs. I raise free-range chickens and have never experienced the things in your article. My chickens do not lay their eggs while they are roosting. They lay their eggs in laying boxes, and sometimes accidently in the straw. They never, ever scream, growl or resort to cannibalism—nor do they peck us. I would appreciate it if you would do a little more research before publishing such a ridiculously inaccurate article. susan nickey, walhalla

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. AM Major


PM Major

— 5:37 1:22 6:07 2:07 6:52 2:52 7:22 3:52 8:07 5:07 8:52 6:37 10:07 8:07 1:22 8:52 1:52 2:22 9:37 2:52 10:07 3:22 10:37 3:52 11:07 4:22 11:37 — 4:52

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

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

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

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



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Smart investing For 75 years, a key to helping electric co-ops “keep the lights on”

Mike Couick

President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina


in less populated areas of the state and our nation has been the availability of federal loan funds through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). To date, RUS loans have helped electric co-ops invest more than $140 billion in critical power infrastructure throughout the nation, and with electric co-ops anticipating $66.1 billion in capital needs over the next five years and $140.8 billion over the next decade, the RUS still has a vital role to play in our nation’s energy future. As Congress recognized more than seven decades ago, a safe, reliable and affordable supply of power is a linchpin to economic growth and job creation, but RUS loans, like many government programs, are under scrutiny as politicians in Washington, D.C., begin to ask hard questions about how the federal government spends our tax dollars. Given the current political climate, here’s a fact that you and I need to make sure doesn’t get lost in the debate: RUS loans are a pretty good deal for Uncle Sam, too. Co-ops have a long track record of repaying loans on time, and based on the current average interest rate of 4.70 percent (compared to the government’s cost of borrowing at 4.08 percent), RUS loans actually make money for the U.S. Treasury—approximately $63 million over the past two years alone. Compare that to the very real cost of federal assistance for other electric utilities. Some utilities include in their consumers’ rates presumed tax liabilities, but they retain part of the money through investment tax credits and accelerated depreciation rules, giving them essentially an interest-free loan. Other utilities can issue tax-exempt bonds, costing the federal government tax revenue. RUS loans help drive our economy, they help keep electricity service to rural areas affordable, and they put money back into the federal government’s coffers. Sounds like a pretty smart investment of tax dollars to me.


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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.

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Cut your cooling costs


My home has a lot of windows and on sunny summer days my air conditioner struggles to keep the house cool. Are there ways to reduce the heat transfer through the glass? Whole-house fans, like this Tamarack model with insulated motorized doors, provide the most comfort when temperatures outside are cooler than inside.



Direct and indirect heat from windows and doors does increase the temperature inside your house significantly. Even the most energy-efficient models don’t insulate as well as a typical house wall. Awnings can help, but for windows exposed to direct sunlight, consider installing sun-control window screens like the SunScreen panels from Phifer ( The mesh is a dense weave of strong, dark-colored polymers that can block more than half of the sun’s heat before it hits your window pane, but you can still see through the screening so visibility isn’t impaired. —Jim Dulley

Screens mounted outside windows, like this SunScreen panel, can block more than half of the sun’s heat from reaching the pane.



How do whole-house fans work and can they help reduce my ­air‑conditioning bill?

Prior to the wide-scale a­ doption of air conditioning, many people used open windows and fans to ventilate and cool their homes. This method still works, and in certain conditions, a whole-house fan can help cut your energy bills by working in conjunction with your air-­conditioning system. A whole-house fan is a powerful blower (think of a bathroom vent fan on steroids) mounted in the ceiling that pulls hot air from living spaces into the attic where it’s pushed outside through soffit vents. This creates negative pressure inside the home and draws cooler air in through open windows and doors. Of course, a whole-house fan only works if the outside air is cooler than the air inside your home, which is why you’ll want to run it at night and only during cooler seasons. When conditions are right, the advantage of using a whole-house fan is that it also cools walls, floors and ceilings


and this can delay the start up of your ­air‑conditioning system until later in the day. Equipment costs for a whole-house fan range from $150 to $350, and they cost roughly 1 cent to 5 cents per hour to operate (compared to 8 cents to 20 cents per hour for an air conditioner). Professional installation is recommended. The seals must be tight in order for the system to work, and the fan needs to be properly sized—it should be powerful enough to change the air in a home 30 to 60 times an hour. There are some drawbacks. Wholehouse fans are not recommended for anyone with severe allergies or breathing problems because windows must remain open for the system to work. The fans can be noisy, especially at higher speeds. And in the winter, you’ll need to place a cover over the fan to keep warm air from leaking into the attic. —Brian Sloboda Send questions to Energy Q&A, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce SC 29033, email or fax (803) 739‑3041.



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Personal care technology HEALTHY HARDWARE

POCKET PROTECTOR Using motion sensors like the ones in Nintendo Wii systems, the Fitbit Tracker is a finger-size gadget you keep in your pocket or clip to your clothing to measure physical activity and sleep patterns. Then you upload the data to a website to find out how many calories you’re burning and gain insight into your overall health. $100.

DOMINATING DIABETES Keeping tabs on your blood sugar can be time-consuming and aggravating, but these days there are electronic monitors like the Bionime Rightest GM 300 that make testing less painful. This model has a large display screen and an ergonomic design making it easy for anyone to use. With a $33 accessory it can be hooked to your PC for more advanced data tracking. Free with purchase of 200 test strips; use coupon code FREE834890. (877) 241-9002;



A FOOT UP Seems like there’s never a good shiatsu massage therapist around when you need one, but the Homedics Therapist Select Shiatsu Foot Massager is a handy fill-in. It has a set of independently moving massage heads under each foot, and with the flip of a toe you can turn on a nifty heat feature. $40. (800) 466-3342;

SKIN DEEP The rechargable Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System blasts away dirt while gently massaging, softening and smoothing facial and décolletage skin in one minute. Bonus: This hand-held beauty tool is waterproof for use in the shower or tub. $149. (888) 525-2747;

BACKING OFF Back pain is no match for the Medi‑Rub Massager. This industrialstrength therapeutic tool weighs in at a hefty 5 pounds and operates at 3,500 rpm on the high speed; 2,800 rpm on low. $260. (800) 370‑6977; DELUXE PAMPERING Who hasn’t sat in a massage chair at the mall and dreamed of having one in her living room? The AcuTouch 9500 Massage Chair with remote control is a Cadillac for couch potatoes offering targeted 5-minute massages, heat for your back and sensors that detect where you need stress relief. Warning: You may never leave home again. $5,400. (800) 404-0975; 14

HEART HEALTHY If you need to monitor your heart rate but don’t want to constantly visit the doctor to do it, the Fingertip Heart Rate Monitor is the answer. It clips to your finger to provide EKG readings and blood oxygen saturation measurements. It’s tiny enough to stow in a purse or pocket, but has an LED screen with big, easy-to-read numbers. $100. hammacher. com; (800) 321-1484.


power FLOSSING If you want to put your best face forward, dental health is critical. The Waterpik Ultra Sonic Water Flosser powers off plaque with a water or mouthwash jet of up to 90 psi, but is gentle enough for use around crowns, veneers and other oral hardware. The orthodontic tip makes it a great flossing option for people with braces, so now anyone can have a fresh-from-the-dentist smile. $55. (800) 525-2774; BEARD GEAR You’ll make a smooth move if you buy a Braun Series 7-790 Pulsonic Shaving System. Three cutting elements erase long and short hairs at the same time without painful pulling. The unit is also fully washable—just rinse it under the tap to keep it in top performance mode. $215. (800) 378-4786;

Mathis Plumbing, Heating, Cooling (864) 229-7117   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


You probably know all the good reasons to make your house more energy efficient: Lower your bills. Reduce the demand for new power plants. Save the planet. What you may not know is where to begin, what you can afford and which energy-efficiency improvements will make the biggest difference. With the help of two South Carolina energy experts, we’ve come up with eight affordable projects that will help you lower power bills and make your home more comfortable. Michael Smith is manager of energy programs for Central Electric Power Cooperative, which provides the electricity distributed by your local co-op. An electrical engineer, he’s been monitoring the data from

cooperative‑backed energyefficiency projects like Help My House to uncover the improvements that offer the most bang for the buck here in South Carolina. Jay Bell is program manager for the Energy Conservation Corps, a project of The Sustainability Institute. The Energy Conservation Corps provides energyefficiency improvements for low-income housing. The typical budget for the whole house is $1,000. The Sustainability Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Charleston, also teaches energyefficiency workshops for do-it-yourself homeowners across the state. We asked Smith and Bell to evaluate the savings potential of these budgetfriendly projects and rate the do-ityourself (DIY) potential.

Energy upgrades that Eight low-cost home improvement projects that can lower your bills and boost the comfort of your home BY JENNY MAXWELL



CONDUCT A COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY AUDIT Cost: $200–$350 DIY potential: None. Homeowners can discover obvious problems, but lack the equipment to make a wholehouse assessment. Though a comprehensive, professional energy audit can cost as much as $350, both experts recommended this as your first and best step if you’re considering any major efficiency improvements. “You don’t want to indiscriminately start replacing things,” Smith says. “When you start with an audit, the money you spend after that is right on target.” Auditors have special training and use tools such as An infrared image blower doors, duct blasters, infrared cameras and gas reveals heat leaking, detectors that reveal problems you can’t see. Blower especially at windows. door tests are commonplace in energy audits because they measure how much air leaks from your home. Duct blasters test the air tightness of forced-air systems, and infrared scanning, which is usually done in the winter, allows an auditor to literally see where and how much heat is leaking out of your home. Auditors also have the expertise to help homeowners set priorities, make budgets and sort through improvement options. Smith recommends that you look for an auditor with either Building Performance Institute (BPI) or Home Energy Rating System (HERS) certificates, and be aware of any affiliations the auditor may have. For example, an energy auditor associated with an insulation contractor might be more inclined to recommend adding insulation. To enhance the DIY potential of any upgrades recommended by the audit, Smith suggests you follow the auditor as he or she inspects your house. “The auditor can give you a pretty good idea of whether you can handle the improvements yourself.” Learn more: Visit for a link to a list of auditors compiled by the S.C. Energy Office.

Adjustable frame Temporary covering

Air pressure gauge


Testing efficiency with a blower door Many home energy audits involve use of a special diagnostic tool called a blower door. The device confirms the air tightness of a home by drawing out air with a massive fan mounted on an exterior door. The drop in interior pressure causes outside air to rush in through areas like inefficient window seals. Source: U.S. Department of Energy; Photo: The Energy Conservatory

CAULK WINDOWS AND FILL GAPS Cost: $150–$200 DIY potential: Easy. Though Bell and Smith say it’s best to use a professional energy audit to find all of the air leaks in your home, they agree that any obvious holes and cracks scream for immediate attention. “Look for dark areas around cracks because that’s a sign of air flow,” Smith says. He also points out that caulking and filling gaps should come before adding insulation or other, high-priced improvements. “People know they need to add more insulation in attics, but they don’t fix air leaks. It’s easier to fix the leaks first, because the insulation gets in the way.” Or as Bell tells homeowners, “Let’s stop the bleeding first. For the money, you can do a lot more with a tube of caulk than you can with high-end applications.” To fix leaks, apply caulk or spray foam according to the label directions. Spray foam should be used on large openings, but be careful: the foam expands and could damage weak wood or lose brick. When purchasing caulk, pay careful attention to whether it is rated for interior or exterior use and whether you can paint over it. Learn more: Visit to watch the video “Stopping Air Infiltration.”   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Energy upgrades that pay

REPLACE TRADITIONAL LIGHTBULBS WITH CFLs Cost: About $2 per bulb DIY potential: About as DIY-friendly as it gets! Perhaps you’ve already replaced a burned-out incandescent with a squiggly compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL), but both Smith and Bell say don’t wait. If you go ahead and replace all your high-use bulbs with CFLs now, you’ll be making a smart investment. The operative words are “high-use.” Bell points out that you won’t see much of a return if you replace a bulb in a fixture you rarely use, the light in a closet for example. But Smith says the savings in high-use areas make it worth ditching incandescents for compact fluorescents this weekend. “A 100-watt bulb burning five hours each day costs about $18 a year to operate,” Smith says. “The CFL equivalent would cost about $4.50.” Despite the savings potential of compact fluorescent lightbulbs, many people are slow to install them. Common complaints include: Quality of light: CFLs are improving and many can provide light on par with incandescent bulbs. The key to finding the light quality you want is the Kelvin (K) rating, a number that indicates the warmth of light. A low number means the light appears more yellow. A higher number means a bluer or whiter light. CFLs with a 2,700–3,000K

What’s watt Power consumption comparisons of equivalent lighting (in watts)

Incandescent Halogen CFL LED 100 W 70–72 W 23–26 W N/A 75 W 53 W 18–20 W N/A 60 W 43 W 13–15 W 12 W 40 W 28–29 W 10–11 W 8–9 W Source: National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Enlighten America



rating produce a soft, white light on par with incandescent bulbs. CFLs with 3,500–4,100K will produce a whiter, brighter light, and CFLs in the 5,000–6,500K range will produce a light quality similar to outdoor light. For more information on finding the right CFL for different lighting applications, see the free buyer’s guide to CFLs online at Concerns about mercury: CFLs are made of glass tubing containing about 4 milligrams of mercury. Although this isn’t much—classic thermometers contain 500 milligrams— the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that consumers take precautions if a CFL breaks, since mercury vapors may pose health risks (see below). The agency also recommends that consumers always recycle CFLs by depositing intact bulbs in the appropriate recycling bins provided by many home improvement centers. Learn more: Get more information on the EPA’s most recent guidelines for the safe handling and recycling of CFLs at

Cleaning up a broken CFL

A CFL’s glass tubing contains about 4 milligrams of mercury. While this isn’t much, consumers should still take precautions if a CFL breaks. 1. Ventilate the room, then wait 5 to 10 minutes. 2. Scoop up powder and glass fragments using stiff paper or cardboard. Seal in a plastic bag. 3. Use duct tape to pick up any fragments or powder. 4. Immediately place all materials used to clean up and the plastic bag in an outdoor trash container. Remember to wash your hands. 5. Not all recycling centers accept broken CFLs. Check with your local and/or state waste authority for disposal requirements, or visit To learn more visit Source: Electrical Safety Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency


Products such as the Battic Door, right, and the Attic Tent, below, help minimize air leakage through ceiling openings.

Cost: $10 per door DIY potential: Fairly easy, with common materials found at home improvement or hardware stores. “I always ask, ‘Can you see light around your door?’ If you can, then you need to do something,” Smith says. He recommends you check for gaps around all edges of the door and inspect the rubber seal on the threshold. Decide what you need, measure, then go to your local store for options to fill the gaps. Many types of weather stripping are peel-and-stick and can be cut to size with everyday scissors. If weather stripping doesn’t solve the problem, it may be necessary to adjust or replace the door hardware to ensure a proper seal. Strike plates, hinges and threshold plates all wear over time and affect how well the door closes against the sealing surfaces. Many newer thresholds are adjustable—look for three or four screws which allow you to move the section immediately under the door up or down to improve the fit. Learn more: Visit for the bonus article “Energy Q&A: Make your doors energy efficient.”


Sealing doors and ceiling fans both contribute to more comfortable and energyefficient homes.

DIY potential: Fairly easy to add a pre-made attic tent. You’ll need tools and some skills for make-your-own versions. Homeowners frequently insulate the attic but overlook one of the largest openings in their ceiling—the attic door. Ready-toinstall attic tents can be put in place by most homeowners with little effort. For those who are handy and want to save money, it’s possible to insulate the door with a few tools and basic supplies. Learn more: Download DIY instructions for sealing an attic door at

INSTALL REVERSIBLE CEILING FANS Cost: $100 and up DIY potential: Easy to challenging depending on circumstances and your skills. You may be better off hiring a pro. Reversible ceiling fans are inexpensive to operate and can make your home more comfortable yearround. In summer, moving air feels cooler on your skin, so you can put off using your air conditioner or be comfortable with a slightly higher thermostat setting. In winter, ceiling fans can pull warm air down from the ceiling helping to distribute it evenly throughout the room.

The catch? Ceiling fans are only a good investment if you use them, Bell says. “With a lot of improvements, behavioral changes are a big part of it. You can invest in ceiling fans, but if you don’t use them properly, you don’t see the return.” Here’s how to properly use ceiling fans yearround: In summer, run fans on medium, blowing air down. In winter, run fans on low, blowing the air up. And remember the fan is there to make you feel more comfortable. Turn it off when you leave the room, or you’re just wasting electricity. Learn more: Visit to watch the video “Ceiling Fan Savings.”   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Energy upgrades that pay

INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT Cost: $100 plus installation Programmable thermostats set up to accommodate both your daily and weekly schedules can provide big savings. Honeywell

DIY potential: Experienced DIY homeowners may be able to handle this, but proper installation is vital. Consider hiring a pro.

Saving resources The Sustainability Institute: Contact them to request an energy efficiency workshop in your community and to learn more about Energy Conservation Corps grants to improve home weatherization. South Carolina Energy Office: Provides information on finding a certified energy auditor, news about tax incentives and rebates and tips for saving energy. U.S. Department of Energy/Efficiency & Renewable Energy: A great resource for homeowners seeking tools and information, including a do-it-yourself home energy audit and tips for hiring a pro. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina: Offers “101 Ways to Save,” a free guide to energy-saving changes you can make for little or no money. Download a copy at Click on the blue Energy Center tab and scroll down to Energy Tips.

This is another case in which behavior is as important as the equipment you add. Programmable thermostats enhance your home’s energy efficiency only when set and used properly, and as with most things in life, timing is everything. The idea is to run heating and cooling systems more conservatively when you’re not home, but to have them heat or cool the house to a comfortable level by the time you walk in the door. To realize significant energy savings you’ll need the flexibility to dial the system back by 10 to 15 degrees at least eight hours a day—when you’re at work, for example, or while you’re sleeping. Smith recommends installation by an HVAC professional who can help you understand how the thermostat will work with your home’s heating and cooling unit. Programmable thermostats may not be the best choice for heat pumps, for example, which work most efficiently at moderate settings, especially in winter. You probably won’t see any savings if an improperly installed or programmed thermostat causes the emergency heat strips to come on at the wrong time, he says. For maximum efficiency, your thermostat should be situated on an interior wall, about 5 feet above the floor and away from heating and cooling vents and other drafty places, such as doors and windows. Also keep it away from skylights, direct sunlight or lamps. If your thermostat is not properly situated, consider having an electrician move it to a better location. Learn more: Visit to watch the video “Setting Your Programmable Thermostat.”

SEAL DUCTWORK Cost: Varies by home and project, but significant improvements can be made for $500 or less. DIY potential: Easy to challenging.

It turns out that scrapbooking is a better use for duct tape than sealing ducts. Paint-on resin works well, though.

One of the quickest ways to improve the efficiency of any central heating and cooling system is to seal the ductwork. As much as 20 percent of the air you paid good money to heat or cool can be lost to leaks, and the simple act of closing those leaks can save you up to $177 a year. Smith recommends twice-a-year maintenance on heating and air systems, including inspection of the ductwork, and says he’s rarely seen a home where the ducts couldn’t use some TLC. “This is mostly labor to fix, and the returns can be pretty amazing,” he says. Any HVAC contractor can repair or replace ductwork in short order, but if you’re the DIY sort, check any exposed seams and look for insulation that is dirty or discolored, indicating that leaking air has been moving through it. Apply a proper duct sealant—a paint-on resin like Mastic is the best choice, though foil tape or aerosol sealant may do in a pinch. Ironically, this is one project where you cannot count on the famously versatile duct tape to do the job. Learn more: Visit to watch the video “Air Sealing Your Ductwork.”



SC Life

SCStories The bird man

Mitch Brantley enjoys every second he spends pursuing the 4,000-year-old sport of falconry, but don’t call it a hobby. “This isn’t like bowling or golf, where at the end of the season you put everything away,” he says. “It’s a 365-day-a-year commitment. This is a living creature. When you take it out of the wild, you have a responsibility to take care of it.” One of only a handful of falconers in South Carolina, Brantley enjoys the demands of the sport, which include studying up on birds of prey, passing a written test and apprenticing under more experienced falconers just to become licensed. He’s currently working toward the sport’s highest ranking—master falconer—a process that takes a minimum of seven years. During hunting seasons, Brantley takes his red-tailed hawk, Mad Max, into the field as often as possible where they work together to hunt small game including squirrels and rabbits. The bird is released and soars overhead while Brantley walks the ground, flushing out prey. “It’s a matter of just being out there enjoying nature,” he says. “And it’s a matter of being part of something wild that can, if it wants to, leave at any time and never come back.” — Tim Hanson

Mitch Brantley 50 Mullins Occupation: Gardener at Coker College; retired Florence firefighter Little-known fact: Holds a Blue Belt in the Korean martial art of tae kwon do Age:

milton morris


To learn more about the sport, visit the South Carolina Falconry Association’s page on You can also watch our exclusive online video of Brantley and Mad Max at   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



BY Sally Mahan | Photos by Milton Morris

The doctor will It all started with a simple act of kindness.

Dr. Jack McConnell was driving on Hilton Head Island one rainy day when he stopped and offered a ride to a man walking alongside the muddy road. While driving him to a work site, the doctor learned that the man had a pregnant wife. McConnell asked him if he and his family

were getting health care. The answer was no, they had no insurance. McConnell was surprised to learn that thousands of his fellow islanders lacked insurance. Despite Hilton Head’s reputation as a wealthy retirement community, it’s also home to thousands of tourism and service-sector workers who

VIM founder Dr. Jack McConnell doesn’t actively practice anymore, but occasionally drops by the original VIM clinic in Hilton Head to say hello.



see you now don’t earn benefits and often lack access to care. The doctor, who was born in the coal-mining town of Crumpler, W.Va., harkened back to his childhood. Every night at the dinner table, his minister father would ask his children, “What have you done for someone today?” McConnell had been a biomedical researcher at Johnson & Johnson, where he directed the development of Tylenol, created the first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system, and helped draft federal legislation that led to the creation of the Human Genome Project. He and his wife retired to Hilton Head in 1989, where he intended to spend his days golfing, but after picking up the man in the rain in 1992, he had a new plan: recruit retired and practicing health care professionals to start a free clinic. Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) opened its doors on Hilton Head in 1993, and McConnell’s clubs stayed in the garage. Today, there are 85 VIM clinics operating in 25 states, including 10 in South Carolina—all of them offering free, first-rate health care to patients in need. “I thought I’d start one clinic and go back to playing golf,” he jokes. “That didn’t work out so well.”

Volunteers in Medicine offers the best health care money can’t buy

Walk-ins welcome

On most mornings, the line starts forming at the Hilton Head clinic about 8 a.m. There are seniors, young couples and parents with little ones waiting to sign in. During a typical morning clinic session, the staff will see more than 50 walk-in patients and another 60 to 80 patients who have appointments. The clinic primarily serves the working poor. To be treated at the Hilton Head clinic, patients must live or work on Hilton Head or Daufuskie islands and family income must be less than 200 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines. Income and residency verification are required. None of

After the clinic’s doors open at 8:30 a.m., a constant stream of clients arrives throughout the morning. Each patient is seen by one or more of a cadre of nurses and doctors, like RN Cherie Hellman, who checks Dwight Heyward’s blood pressure.   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



Lay volunteers are briefed before the clinic’s doors open. They will welcome 110 to 130 patients during a typical morning.

Get more online Visit for more resources including: l A directory of free health clinics in South Carolina, including those operated by VIM and other organizations l A list of free and low-cost health resources helping low-income families with prescription medications, dental care and vision needs.

the almost 15,000 patients treated annually are charged a fee, though many contribute what they can to the donation jar in the reception area. When the clinic doors open at 8:30 a.m., the 30-seat reception area fills up quickly as doctors, nurses and volunteers get to work. Soon, the hallways, exam rooms, blood lab, dental clinic, pharmacy, X-ray room and an outpatient surgery center are abuzz with the nonstop activity one might expect from a small hospital. Over the years, the mission has shifted from acute care to managing wellness, says Dr. Frank Bowen, the executive medical director. For example, the clinic now has a women’s program

Dr. Frank Bowen, executive medical director of VIM, believes “Just because a person is poor does not mean that they can’t be healthy.”



that focuses on mammograms, pap smears and other preventative diagnostics. To date, the program has performed about 2,500 mammograms and detected 20 cases of breast cancer. All but one survived. “We started out largely as an ‘I’m sick’ walk-in clinic,” Bowen says. “But we’re moving toward being a ‘That’s where I’ll go to stay healthy’ clinic. Just because a person is poor does not mean that they can’t be healthy.”

Healing hands

The Hilton Head clinic boasts an impressive roster of more than 100 volunteer doctors representing 23 specialties. They include a diabetes expert who taught at Harvard University, an orthopedist who taught at Yale University, doctors from Johns Hopkins University, and doctors who worked at Mayo Clinics around the country. “We even have a doctor who practices in Chicago in a hospital emergency room who drives here once a month to volunteer,” Bowen says. Dr. James Breen, an obstetrics and gynecology doctor who volunteers at the clinic, counts himself as blessed to practice at VIM. “It’s selfish in a way,” he says. “I think it’s actually more beneficial to our doctors than to our patients. You’ve dedicated your life to medicine and then you’re just expected to retire. I am so thankful that I get to do the things I love to do.” In addition to the M.D.s, there are more than 90 volunteer nurses, 20 mental health counselors, 30 dentists and 300 lay volunteers who help out at the clinic. All told, volunteers contribute

“May we have eyes to see those rendered invisible and excluded, open arms and hearts to reach out and include them, healing hands to touch their lives with love, and in the process, heal ourselves.”

Dr. Ross Mackay conducts a follow-up visit with Tawanda Robinson who is nursing a foot injury.

—Volunteers in Medicine vision statement

more than 51,000 hours of labor per year. Even with all the free labor, it’s not cheap to run a free medical clinic, Bowen says. VIM relies on donors, grants and local fundraising to meet its $1.8 million annual budget. Donations are tax deductible, and 89 cents for every dollar donated goes directly to patient care. The clinic also stretches those funds with the help of the Hilton Head community. Local churches provide rides to and from the clinic, and grateful patients help clean and maintain the building. Even private health-care providers pitch in. In September 2010, Hilton Head Hospital donated $75,000 and agreed to support the clinic with advanced medical and surgical procedures, but hard economic times have created a budget shortfall, and the need for service continues to grow. “We’re almost a victim of our own success,” Bowen says. “We’re looking at ways that we can save money and ways that we can generate more funds.” The one option that’s not on the table: “We’re not going to cut the number of patients we see.”

Culture of caring

In South Carolina, there are now a total of 10 clinics operating on the VIM model, including The Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County, the Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic of Laurens County in Clinton, the Palmetto Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in Rock Hill and the Free Medical Clinics in Columbia, Johns Island, Newberry, Taylors and Woodruff. As this issue went to press, the state’s newest VIM clinic—serving Bluffton and Jasper

Supporting S.C. VIM clinics In addition to volunteers, South Carolina’s VIM clinics can use your financial support. For information on how you can help, contact your local clinic. Aiken: Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County,

(803) 226-0630

Bluffton: Bluffton/Jasper VIM, (843) 706-7090, (scheduled to open April 29)

Clinton: Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic of Laurens

County, (864) 833-0017

Columbia: The Free Medical Clinic, (803) 765-1503 Hilton Head: VIM Clinic, (843) 681-6612, Johns Island: Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic, (843) 266‑9800, Newberry: Free Medical Clinic of Newberry County,

(803) 276-6665,

Rock Hill: Palmetto Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, (803) 366-6337, Taylors: Taylors Free Medical Clinic, (864) 244-1134 Woodruff: Woodruff Free Medical Clinic, (864) 476-8067

For a list of all VIM clinics in the country, or to support the national VIM Clinic Alliance, call (802) 651-0112 or visit   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



The Hilton Head clinic provides treatment at no cost to almost 15,000 patients a year who meet residency and income requirements. The Volunteers in Medicine vision statement is stenciled on the wall of the triage room.

Wanted: Volunteer dentists The South Carolina Dental Association needs volunteers for its 2011 Dental Access Days, Aug. 25–27 at the Florence Civic Center. The annual event provides free care for indigent patients, and the 2010 event in Greenville attracted more than 2,000 patients. To make a donation or volunteer, visit and click on “Community.”


County—was scheduled to open April 29. The core principle of all VIM clinics is a “Culture of Caring,” which posits that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and

respect, but by offering preventative care to uninsured, free clinics like VIM and low-cost Community Health Centers (see sidebar below) also save taxpayers millions. It costs about $68 to treat a patient in a free clinic, according to the South Carolina Free Clinic Association. The cost of the same care in a hospital emergency room: $1,600. Now consider that 760,000 South Carolinians​ —approximately 1 in 4 of the state’s residents— don’t have health care, according to U.S. Census data. And with a struggling economy, demand for free and low-cost health care is growing in South Carolina and across the nation, says Amy Hamlin, executive director of the national VIM Clinic Alliance. “There is a huge surge in demand right now,” she says. “People are working for less money or have lost their jobs. But at every clinic, we see the local communities respond with caring and compassion.” On Hilton Head Island, Dr. McConnell is now fully retired and no longer involved in the day-today operations of the clinic that started it all, but he still visits from time to time to greet patients and thank the staff and volunteers who continue the tradition of kindness and caring. “There is a huge need for something like this,” McConnell says. “We need more people to step up and say, ‘We can help you. We will help you.’ ”

Community Health Centers For the many people who don’t qualify for services at free clinics but still can’t afford health insurance, South Carolina’s non-profit Community Health Centers (CHCs) are the next best thing. CHCs are community-based, nonprofit organizations that provide a variety of clinical services. They accept Medicaid, Medicare and most health insurance, but they also treat uninsured patients who pay for services on a sliding-scale based on income. Operating under the umbrella of South Carolina Primary Health Care (SCPHA), there are more than 20 CHC organizations offering services at 184 clinics throughout the state. CHCs also receive funds from the federal government, says Todd Shifflet, director of community development at CareSouth, a CHC serving the Pee Dee region. “But even with those funds, there really is never enough because the need is so great and continues to grow every year,” he says. For information on South Carolina’s CHCs and their clinic locations, visit or call (800) 438-3895. —Sally Mahan


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BY marc Rapport

Play with a purpose Sail a ship, ride the rails, climb into a tree house, dress up like a pirate Photos: Main Street Children’s Museum

the interactive exhibits of Rock Hill’s new Main Street Children’s Museum are an exciting indoor playground where they (and their imaginations) can run wild, but savvy parents, teachers and museum officials know there’s a hidden educational purpose behind all the fun and games. A partnership between the City of Rock Hill, York County and the Culture & Heritage Museums (CHM), the colorful new facility opened in December 2010 and aims to nurture the developmental skills of pre-school kids, says Owen Glendening, deputy director of interpretation for CHM. “The early childhood educators here have told us that our community needs a place for creative play to help our children be better prepared for school,” he says.

To young kids,

GetThere Location:

133 East Main St., Rock Hill

Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday.


$5 per person; under age 1 is free. CHM members pay $3 per person. Pre‑registered groups pay $3 per person.




(803) 329-2121,


Housed in the former People’s National Bank in downtown Rock Hill, the museum manages to carry out its educational mission with a sense of fun. Even the classic interior features like the bank’s stately marble columns have been incorporated into the displays. The massive old vault, for example, is now the dress-up room. The exhibits are all targeted to children ages 6 and under, though parents and older ­siblings are welcome, too. All displays are interactive and permanent, because “young children like sameness. It’s a comfort to them to come back time and again to the same environment,” Glendening says. “Because they’re growing and developing, that same safe environment ­provides them a changing experience, letting them do ­different things and using their new skills as they mature.” If the museum has a certain “pop” to it, that’s because it’s based on the artwork of the late Vernon Grant, the nationally renowned illustrator and Rock Hill native perhaps best known for his creation of Snap, Crackle and Pop, the characters on the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies box. Grant’s heirs donated a large collection of his illustrations to CHM and local children chose various scenes as inspirations for the new museum’s main exhibits, including a ship, a railroad, a treehouse and small houses in the shapes of a pumpkin and a castle.



The Swamp is Calling Pristine... Untouched... Wild... 1000-yr.-old Cypress trees and native wildlife abound. Nature Center and gift shop. $1.00 Off Adult Admission w/coupon Take I-26E from Columbia to exit 177 or I-26W from Charleston to exit 187, Follow “BEIDLER FOREST” signs. 336 Sanctuary Road, Harleyville, SC 29448

843-462-2150   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




Escape to Bulls Island and instant satellite communications, it’s often difficult to truly get away from it all—unless, of course, you head to Bulls Island, a 1.5-by-6-mile spit of sand and saltmarsh just off the coast of Awendaw. The 30-minute ferry ride to the largest of the four barrier islands in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge might as well be a 1,000-year trip back in time. And in this case, the journey really is part of the destination. Boat captains take the scenic route and don’t mind a detour to make sure passengers get an up-close view of dolphins hunting in the estuaries or of orange-billed oystercatchers combing the mud for mollusks. “It’s a one-of-a-kind place,” says Chris Crowley, captain of the Island Cat and owner of Coastal Expeditions, the guide service that transports kayakers, backpackers, ­birdwatchers and beachcombers to Bulls

In the age of cell phones

Bulls Island is home to ’gators in its freshwater interior, and birds like this American oystercatcher closer to shore.

GetThere Take U.S. Highway 17 to Awendaw (22 miles north of Charleston) and follow signs to Garris Landing. Ferry service to the island runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, departing at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and returning at noon and 4 p.m. The cost is $30 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Coastal Expeditions at (843) 884-7684 or via email at For more information on touring the island, visit For details on the history of Bulls Island and more information on the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, visit


Island for day-long visits. “It probably would be developed if it wasn’t so hard to get to.” The interior of the island ­features 16 miles of hiking trails and enough freshwater creeks and ponds to support a wide range of flora and fauna, including oak, cedar and palmetto trees and alligators, bobcats and white-tail deer. Bulls Island was even home to a successful red wolf conservation and breeding project until 2005, when the animals were relocated to Alligator River Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. There’s also a 7-mile stretch of beach that serves as South Carolina’s


largest loggerhead turtle nesting area. It’s teeming with a variety of shells, sand dollars, sharks’ teeth and ­starfish—perfect for beachcombers. Photographers won’t want to miss Boneyard Beach on the north end of the island, so named for the twisted fallen trees that have been bleached white by the sun and salt water. Tidal creeks flow through the island, providing a scenic playground for kayakers, but for bird watchers there’s no better perch than the wildlife observation tower. It provides a panoramic view of the salt marshes that are home to more than 277 species of birds, including egrets, herons, eagles and hawks. Birding is what drew Pete and Bess Roche of Chicago to Bulls Island. “I Googled ‘bird watching’ and ‘South Carolina’ and it popped up,” says Pete Roche. “I’m glad we found it. It’s a beautiful place.”

Edited by Carrie Hirsch

Overnight recipes for Mother’s Day

Karen Hermann / iStockphoto


Overnight Grape Salad serves 12

Overnight Oatmeal Muffins makes 24 muffins

1 cup regular oats 2 cups low-fat buttermilk 1  O cups whole wheat flour ¾ cup brown sugar, packed (or ½ cup Splenda brown sugar blend) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, lightly beaten O cup dried blueberries, cranberries or chopped apricots ½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine oats and buttermilk, cover and refrigerate overnight. This allows the oats to absorb the buttermilk for a creamy texture. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the buttermilk mixture into a large bowl, then add the flour, sugar, oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Fold in fruit and nuts. Spoon ¼ cup batter portions into 24-cup baking tin coated with cooking spray or lined with muffin holders. Bake for 15 minutes, or until baked through. Remove muffins from baking tin and place on wire rack to cool. jody nyers, conway

Send us recipes! We welcome recipes for all seasons: appetizers, salads, main courses, side dishes, desserts and beverages. Selected original recipes win a $10 BI-LO gift card.

About submitting recipes Entries must include your name, mailing address and phone number. When writing recipes, please 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. Recipes are not tested.

Send recipes to South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, by email to or by fax to (803) 739‑3041.

Mix sour cream, cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla until well blended. Fold in grapes and place in sealable container. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar and pecans together. Sprinkle over salad mixture and chill overnight. joyce hudson, rock hill

Rita Jacobs

Ina Peters

1 8-ounce container sour cream 1 8-ounce package cream cheese ½ cup granulated sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 pounds white, seedless grapes 2 pounds red, seedless grapes ½ cup brown sugar 1 cup pecans, chopped

Overnight Stuffed Peppers serves 12

8 ounces cream cheese 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½ tablespoons milk, as needed to soften 3 green or red bell peppers

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt and milk and mix well. Cut the inner top of peppers out and remove the seeds. Fill each pepper with cream cheese filling. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into wedges and serve. marilyn hershberger, due west   | may 2011   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



By Carrie Hirsch

French cooking in the Lowcountry

The Fat Hen’s Sautéed Oysters Serves 2

2 ounces shallots, minced 2 ounces white wine 6 ounces liaison (equal parts egg yolks and heavy cream) 3 ounces wild mushrooms 3 ounces country ham 2 ounces spinach 10 oysters Salt and pepper to taste 2 slices Tuscan style bread, grilled

Using a sauté pan on high heat, add the shallots and white wine. Let the wine reduce by half and add liaison, mushrooms, and country ham. When the liaison is a nape consistency, add the spinach and oysters. Sauté until the oysters are translucent, season with salt and pepper. Serve over grilled Tuscan bread.


Photos: The Fat Hen

If a Lowcountry summer could be assembled on a plate, it would take the form of chef Fred Neuville’s bone-in short ribs, cold-smoked in an apple cider broth, grilled and served with pomegranate barbecue sauce. Winter would taste a lot like the chef’s French onion soup, dressed with Gruyère. Spring and fall? Take your pick from the delectable selections at The Fat Hen on Johns Island. Located in a renovated farmhouse off Maybank Highway, the restaurant features a menu that changes with the seasons, but always offers French classics such as steak tartare, seared duck confit and

The Fat Hen coq au vin, along with Lowcountry favorites including shrimp and grits, meatloaf and crab cakes. This spring, they added new dessert offerings including pluff mudd pie and chocolate buttermilk pecan cake. It’s all served in a comfortable atmosphere with great service and affordable prices ($15–$25 for main courses), and if entering the dining room feels a bit like walking into a close friend’s home, that’s by design. “We’re a family-owned, family-run business, and we love what we do,” Neuville says. The founding chef behind some of Charleston’s favorite restaurants, including 39 Rue De Jean, COAST and Good Food Catering, Neuville moved to Johns Island with his wife, Joan, and four children in 2007 to fuse his passions for food and family. In addition to a more relaxed pace of life, the rural location provides convenient access to the freshest local ingredients. “It’s so exciting to be where we are in the farm belt, with farms growing ingredients for us such as fresh


3140 Maybank Highway Johns Island, SC 29455 asparagus, (843) 559-9090 which arrives at our door Open Monday through the same Saturday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. day it was Sunday brunch is served harvested,” from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Neuville says. Reservations are Some herbs suggested. and microgreens are grown on-site, the family raises their own chickens and the chef points with pride to his smokehouse located just out back. “We smoke everything from walnuts, to meats to cherries.” Local residents, visitors to nearby Kiawah Island and Neuville’s loyal fans from Charleston have all helped make The Fat Hen a success, and as the restaurant approaches its five-year anniversary, the chef says he still enjoys the challenge of surprising his guests with seasonal entrees and innovative food that’s memorable from the first bite to the last. “We try to make people’s meals perfect, because we are judged on the last plate,” he says.

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Calendar    of Events


16–June 9 • 32nd Annual Juried South Carolina Artists Exhibition, Pickens County Museum of Art & History, Pickens. (864) 898-5963. 19 • South Carolina Railroads with Rodger Stroup, Pickens County Museum of Art & History, Pickens. (864) 898-5963. 19–22 • BMW Charity Pro Am presented by SYNNEX Corp., Spartanburg. (864) 297-1660. 20 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, Enoree. (803) 815-4422. 20 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, Woodruff. (803) 815-4422. 20–22 • Spring Backpacking, Table Rock State Park, Pickens. (864) 878-9813. 21 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, Simpsonville. (803) 815-4422. 21 • The Enchanted Chalice Renaissance Fair, Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Greenville. (864) 271-4883. 21 • Songwriters’ Showcase, Hagood Mill Historic Site & Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 21 • Strawberry Festival, Slater Hall Park, Slater. (864) 836-1100. 21 • Split Creek Farm Spring Festival, Split Creek Farm, Anderson. (864) 287-3921. 21–22 • Annual Taste of Sautee, Sautee Village, Helen, Ga. (706) 878-0144. 27–30 • Freedom Weekend Aloft, Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 399-9481. 28 • Bavarianfest, Helen Chamber of Commerce, Helen, Ga. (706) 878-1908. 28 • Pottery Expo, McCormick Arts Council (MACK), McCormick. (864) 852-3216. 28 • Suited to Swim, Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville. (864) 5565. 28–30 • USA Pro Cycling Championships, Greenville. (864) 467-2697. JUNE

2–4 • 38th Annual HelenAtlantic Hot Air Balloon Race, Helendorf Inn, Helen, Ga. (706) 878-2271. 3–5 • Buzz in the Blue Ridge Chainsaw Extravaganza, Helen, Ga. (706) 878-9463.


9 • Keowee Chamber Music Festival, Pretty Place YMCA Camp Greenville, Greenville. (864) 624-9693. 9–11 • Landrum Quilt Show, Landrum Middle School, Landrum. (864) 895-6148. ONGOING

Daily • Trail Riding, Croft State Natural Area, Spartanburg. (864) 585-1283. Daily • Art Gallery at the Fran Hanson Discovery Center, South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson. (864) 656-3405. Daily March 31 until May 22 • Gallery Exhibit “Spring is Here,” Helen Arts & Heritage Center, Helen, Ga. (706) 878-3933. Tuesdays and Thursdays in April until Sept. 15 • Bingo, Festhalle, Helen, Ga. (706) 878-1908. Saturdays until Aug. 20 • Living History Saturdays, Ninety Six National Historic Site, Ninety Six. (864) 543-4068. Saturdays through October • Hilarious Hillbilly Massacre, Pumpkintown Opry, Pickens. (864) 836-8141.


16 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, North Augusta. (803) 815-4422. 18 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, Fort Motte/​ St. Matthews. (803) 815-4422. 18–June 17 • Aiken Artist Guild Member Art Show, Aiken Center for the Arts, Aiken. (803) 278-0709. 19 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, Winnsboro. (803) 815-4422. 21 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, Sumter. (803) 815-4422. 21 • McConnells Antique Tractor Show, McConnells Community Center, McConnells. (803) 230-4126. 21 • Children’s Day at Redcliffe Plantation, Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, Beech Island. (803) 827-1473. 25 • Follow the Blooms Garden Tour, Columbia. (803) 815-4422. 26 • Lexington County Master Gardener Volunteers Garden Tour, Lexington County. (803) 892-3162.

26–29 • Ninth Annual Bluegrass and Country Music Hoe Down, Lone Star Barbecue & Mercantile, Santee. (803) 854-2000. 27–29 • Iris Festival, Sumter Iris Gardens and Swan Lake, Sumter. (803) 436-2640. 28 • Flopeye Fish Festival, Great Falls. (803) 482-6029. 28 • Anniversary of Buford’s Defeat, Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster. (803) 285-3344.

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3–5 • Colonial Times Under the Crown, Historic Saint Paul’s Church, North Augusta. (803) 279-7560. 4 • Peachtree 23 yard sales, SC Highway 23, Batesburg-Leesville to Modoc. (803) 637-4014. 9–11 • Party in the Pines, Whitmire. (803) 694-2018. 11 • The African-American Experience at Redcliffe, Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, Beech Island. (803) 827-1473. 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 Sundays • Living History Days, Historic Brattonsville, McConnells. (803) 684-2327. Daily, except Mondays and major holidays • Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, Camden. (803) 432-9841. Daily until July 11 • Conservation Quest, Museum of York County, Rock Hill. (803) 329-2121. Sundays • Docent-led Gallery Tour, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia. (803) 779-4005. Mondays until August 29 • Hopelands Summer Concert Series, Hopelands Gardens, Aiken. (803) 642-7650. First Thursdays until Oct. 7 • Main Street Live, Rock Hill. (803) 324-7500. Thursdays and Fridays in May and June • Midlands Master Naturalist Class, Columbia. (803) 243-1444. Fridays May 6–June 24 • Main Street Marketplace, Boyd Plaza, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia. (803) 779-4005, ext. 2042.



19 • Taste of Hartsville, Kalmia Gardens of Coker College, Hartsville. (843) 332-6401. 20 • Summerville Community Orchestra First Federal Subscription Series: Celebrate Spring, St. John the Beloved Catholic Church, Summerville. (843) 873-5339. 21 • Foxtrot Festival, Marion. (843) 430-2496. 21 • Shaggin’ on the Cooper, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. (843) 762-9946. 21 • Open Float on the Edisto River, Colleton State Park, Canadys. (843) 538-8206. 22–25 • Veteran’s Golf Classic, Crown Reef Resort, Myrtle Beach. (800) 833-8798. 27–29 • Gullah Festival, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort. (843) 525-0628. 27–June 10 • Piccolo Spoleto Early Bird Blues Series, Mad River Bar & Grille, Charleston. (843) 762-9125. 27–June 12 • Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston. (843) 579-3100. 27–June 12 • Piccolo Spoleto, Charleston. (843) 724-7305. 28 • Digging the Past Through Archaeology, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville. (843) 873-1740. JUNE

3 • Moonlight Mixer, Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, Folly Beach. (843) 795-4386. 3–4 • Sun Fun Festival, Myrtle Beach. (843) 626-7444. 4 • Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival, Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park, Mount Pleasant. (843) 884-9910. 4 • Garrison Weekend, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville. (843) 873-1740. 11 • American Pie Oldies Music Fest, La Belle Amie Vineyard, Little River. (843) 399-9463. 11 • Process of Discovery, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville. (843) 873-1740.

11 • 2nd Annual Scout Boats REEL-N-4KIDS Fishing Tournament, Summerville. (843) 875-1551, ext. 31. 11–12 • Blackwater Rendezvous, Colleton State Park, Canadys. (843) 538-8206. 16–18 • South Carolina Farmers Festival, Lake City. (843) 374-1500. 18 • Shaggin’ on the Cooper, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. (843) 762-9946. ONGOING

Daily • Trail Riding, Cheraw State Park, Cheraw. (843) 537-9656. Daily until May 21 • Hooray for Hollywood, The Palace Theater, Myrtle Beach. (843) 448-0588. Daily until June 30 • Day in the Life of a Sailor, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200. Daily except Mondays • Feeding Frenzy, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Mondays until Oct. 31 • Coastal Kayaking, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Tuesdays until May 31 • Spineless Wonders, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Tuesdays May 31–Aug. 9 • Plankton—The Ocean’s Garden and Zoo!, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Tuesdays May 31–Aug. 30 • A Crabby Experience, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Tuesdays and Thursdays until May 31 • Alligators, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Wednesdays June 1– Aug. 24 • Stingray Shuffle, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Wednesdays until Oct. 31 • Coastal Birding, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440.

The Gospel at Colonus will be performed at Spoleto Festival USA 2011, running May 27– June 12 in Charleston. Thursdays until May 31 • Secrets of the Salt Marsh, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Thursdays June 2–Aug. 11 • Litter Critters, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Thursdays June 2–Aug. 18 • Jumping Jellyfish!, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Thursdays June 2–Sept. 1 • From the Forest to the Sea, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Fridays until Aug. 12 • Tales from the Sea, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Fridays through Oct. 28 • Farmers Market Hilton Head Island, Coastal Discovery Museum at Historic Honey Horn, Hilton Head Island. (843) 422-4168. Fridays June 3–July 29 • Paint By Nature, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Fridays June 3–Sept. 2 • Seine-sational Fun!, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Saturdays until May 28 • Reptile Rap, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Saturdays until May 28 • Snakes and Reptiles, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Saturdays until May 28 • Beachcombing, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440. Saturdays June 4–Sept. 3 • Crazy Over Crabs!, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Saturdays June 4–Sept. 3 • Feeding Time, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-5325. Saturdays–Tuesdays • Mansion Tours, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, McClellanville. (843) 546-9361. Second Saturdays • Local League of Artisans Arts & Crafts Bazaar, Yesterday’s, Hartsville. (843) 498-6576. Third Saturdays until July 16 • Fears and Fortified Charles Towne: Cannon Demonstration, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200.


By Jan A. Igoe

The great sushi heist Hiding behind his living room drapes, my father adjusted his trifocals and peered up the street. He was patiently waiting for a SWAT team to swoop in and arrest me. I love visiting my dad, but he didn’t raise his children to pilfer ­condiments, incinerate their underwear and make off with the neighbor’s Internet. “You were normal before you went to school in California,” he says, as if that were two weeks ago. “They made you burn your bra. Remember?”

Actually, I think we had a dorm fire, but close enough. Dad’s memories often find themselves stranded between fact and fiction, where evidence is optional and reality is subject to revision. “I don’t eat much, so get anything you want,” Dad says as we stroll through the supermarket, our first stop when I visit. But four bananas, one box of Fiber One and two navel oranges later, he wants to know exactly how long I’ll be staying. “I’ve seen blue whales eat less.” (Dad watches Animal Planet.) Next, we cruise by the sushi bar for some of 38


“that poisonous, raw stuff.” As I put a few soy sauce packets in my jacket pocket, Dad goes pale. Him: “When did you start stealing food?” Me: “When you buy sushi, it’s free.” Him: “No judge will believe that.” Visits with my sweet, lovable dad have been getting stranger since he started naming his vegetables. For years, my father’s sole foray into farming was mowing the lawn. He never suspected that suburban dirt would support anything besides crabgrass until Social Security started sending monthly checks. Then, out of nowhere, he began harvesting zucchini and tomatoes. If “Proud Parent of a Terrific Vegetable” were a bumper sticker, Dad’s car would be wearing it. Every time I’d send photos of his grandkids, he would retaliate with 8x10 portraits of his veggies. Pretty soon they had names. Sarah, a voluptuous beefsteak tomato, was his favorite until they had some sort of falling out and she vanished under suspicious circumstances. (Dad claims she perished in a dorm fire.) Back home after the market, I plugged in my laptop to check email. The neighbors always let me borrow their wireless connection, but that worries my computer-less dad. He’s convinced this invisible signal is a finite resource, like hot water. So he’s got a mental picture of the neighbors trying to take a shower while I run around flushing all their toilets. Him: “How much are you taking? Will they have any left?” Me: “I’ll leave a dribble.” Him: “What if you break it?” Me: “Dad, I’m not a hacker.” Him: “We’ll bring them some zucchini, just in case.” As I depart with our vegetable offering, Dad eyes me suspiciously from his post behind the drapes. He’s still checking for red flashing lights and wondering if I’m wearing a bra. Jan A. Igoe is a writer and illustrator from Horry County who is blessed to have an amazing dad to keep the post office from displaying her photo. Send your thoughts to

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South Carolina Living May 2011  

South Carolina Living May 2011