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DARLINGTON

TRADITIONS South Carolina’s historic raceway celebrates 65 fast and furious years

AUGUST 2014

SC TR AV E L S

Waterfalls by horseback HUMOR ME

A fish out of water


It’s not just anyone’s place.

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Imagine the possibilities with Kubota’s BX Series – America’s top-selling sub-compact tractor for over a decade. www.kubota.com

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THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Vol. 68 • No. 8 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in more than 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 Email: letters@scliving.coop EDITOR

Keith Phillips ASSISTANT EDITOR

Diane Veto Parham FIELD EDITOR

Walter Allread PUBLICATION COORDINATOR

Pam Martin

ART DIRECTOR

Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

Susan Collins PRODUCTION

Andrew Chapman Van O’Cain COPY EDITOR

FEATURE

12 Fast times at Darlington Raceway Go behind the scenes of this year’s Southern 500 as Darlington Raceway celebrates 65 fast and furious years.

Carro ll foster

WEB EDITOR

August 2014 • Volume 68, Number 8

Susan Scott Soyars Contributors

Becky Billingsley, Mike Couick, Monica Dutcher, Tim Hanson, B. Denise Hawkins, Carrie Hirsch, Jan A. Igoe, Charles Joyner, Mark Quinn, Susan Hill Smith, S. Cory Tanner Publisher

Lou Green Advertising

Mary Watts Tel: (803) 739-5074 Email: ads@scliving.coop 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.

Cooperative news

6 ON THE AGENDA

Mosey on over to Edgefield’s Lazy J Arena for the Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo. Plus: Expert advice to keep your cool in the kitchen—even on the hottest summer day.

POWER USER DIALOGUE

10 Playing the long game

Putting the interests of our members first allows South Carolina’s electric cooperatives to build a brighter future.

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

Meet Dick Flood, the singing environmentalist better known throughout the South as Okefenokee Joe. TR AVELS

20 Waterfalls on horseback

Tough week at the office? Maybe it’s time to saddle up and hit the trail to explore some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Carolinas. RECIPE

22 Summertime supper Beth’s baked fish Orange-almond salad Grandma Harriger’s peach custard pie Cinnamon avocado

24 Stretch your growing season

20

August is the perfect month to sow cool-season crops. HUMOR ME

30 Plenty of fishermen TRADITIONS South Carolina’s historic raceway celebrates 65 fast and furious years

AUGUST 2014

SC TR AV E LS

Waterfalls by horseback HUMOR ME

A fish out of water

NASCAR pit crews spring into action during the 2014 Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Photo by Carroll Foster.

With a little help from her friends and an online dating site, humor columnist Jan Igoe reenters the dating scene after a 40-year hiatus. What could possibly go wrong?

26 MARKETPLACE 28 SC EVENTS

22

A rt S hot P hoto / iStock

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

STORIES

19 Okefenokee Joe

GARDENER

DARLINGTON

Printed on recycled paper

SC LIFE

Mic Smith

© COPYRIGHT 201 4. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor.

4 CO-OP CONNECTION


On the Agenda

Highlights TOP PICK FOR KIDS

Cou rtes y of Not us Spor ts

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

AUGUST 12–17 | AUGUST 27–SEPTEMBER 1 | SEPTEMBER 13

Wheeling around the Upstate

n America’s best track cyclists come to Rock Hill’s Giordana

Velodrome Aug. 12–17 to pedal into contention for the 2016 Olympics. The USA Cycling Elite National Track Championships showcase incredible speed and bike handling in fast-paced daily races.

For details, visit giordanavelodrome.com or call (803) 326-2453. n “The Super Bowl of para-cycling” brings 450 athletes from more than

AUGUST 23

Summerfest

Kids can have a ball at Summerfest—a giant water ball, that is. After walking on water in inflatable balls, they’ll find bungee jumping, a climbing wall, the Little Blue Choo-Choo and more kid-sized fun at downtown York’s annual festival. New this year: BMX stunt teams performing aerial acrobatics for young fans. York Electric Cooperative is a festival sponsor. For details, visit yorksummerfest.com or call (803) 684-2590.

45 countries to the Millennium Campus in Greenville Aug. 27–Sept. 1 to compete in the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships. Athletes vie in road and track events, on cycles adapted to their disabilities. It’s the first time the U.S. has hosted the world championships in 16 years. Visit greenvillesc2014.com/default.aspx or call (864) 467-5751. n Upstate Forever promises cyclists of all skill levels

spectacular views on its annual Preservation Ride Sept. 13. Choose from 20-, 40- or 75-mile rides through the scenic rolling hills and farm country of Spartanburg County.

Visit upstateforever.org/2014-preservation-ride or call (864) 250-0500.

AUGUST 22–23

Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo

SEPTEMBER 4–7

All this jazz

Stars twinkling over both Aiken and Columbia will shine down on a “salute to the divas of jazz” during the 10th annual Jazz Under the Stars festival. South Carolina’s own ambassador of jazz, Skipp Pearson, and his guests will perform Thursday at the Willcox Hotel in Aiken, then again on the State House lawn in Columbia on Friday and Saturday evenings. Come early for swing dance lessons; stay late for after-parties at Le Café Jazz at Columbia’s Finlay Park. For details, visit skpfoundation.org or call (803) 400-1879.

6

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop

Spills and thrills are part of the fun when world-champion cowboys and cowgirls compete in this annual Edgefield rodeo at Lazy J Arena. Some of the country’s best ropers, steer wrestlers, saddle bronc riders, barrel racers and bull riders—not to mention clowns—put on a show worth watching in this IPRA-sanctioned event. For details, visit sandyoaksprorodeo.org or call (803) 637-5369.


Email COMMENTS, QUESTIONS AND Story suggestions TO LETTERS@SCLIVING.COOP

Youth Tour

A ‘capitol’ week in Washington, D.C. brings together more than 1,600 talented, ambitious young people from across the country for a week that develops their leadership skills. This year, South Carolina’s electric cooperatives sent their largest contingent to date—64 rising high-school seniors. “It’s pretty cool being around so many other kids who have big goals for the future,” says Brent Towery, a student at Socastee High School and a member of Horry

Photos by Mar k Quinn

Each June, the Washington Youth Tour

The Soda Pop Co-op helped Youth Tour students beat the high “tourist prices” of drinks and snacks in Washington, D.C. From left to right are Sarah‑Ellen Floyd, Kate Brady, Emily Scircle and Brent Towery.

‘Youth Tour is one of the greatest outreach tools our co-ops have.’ Electric Cooperative. “After the first day of the trip, it’s like we had all known each other forever.” Begun in 1964, Washington Youth Tour celebrated a 50-year anniversary this June. More than 50,000 students nationwide have made the trip since the program’s founding. “Youth Tour is one of the greatest outreach tools our co-ops have,” says Van O’Cain, South Carolina’s Youth Tour coordinator. “We’re not just sending students on a trip to Washington, D.C., we’re building lifelong relationships with them.” Throughout the tour, students gain a deeper understanding of American history by visiting monuments, memorials and museums. They also learn about the importance of public service in meetings with the members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation. “Be relentless in pursuit of your goals,” Sen. Tim Scott told the students on the front steps of the U.S. Capitol building. “It may be one of you standing here as a senator one day.” To help students better understand the cooperative business model, the Soda Pop Co-op formed on the first day of the trip. Chaperones and students each paid a $1 membership fee to join the cooperative, which provided drinks and snacks at affordable prices. Students elected a board of directors to oversee the co-op and appointed a manager and assistant manager to run it. “We saw street vendors selling water for $5 a bottle,” said Sarah-Ellen Floyd, a member of the Soda Pop Co-op’s board of directors. “Forming the co-op allowed us to sell water for 50 cents, and we still made a small profit.” Each co-op member earned a $7 capital credit payment by the end of Youth Tour. Instead of pocketing the money, the students donated $350 of the proceeds to Team Crosley—a scholarship fund created on behalf of a Kansas Youth Tour student who lost her father to cancer.

The students posed for pictures with Sen. Tim Scott (left) and Sen. Lindsey Graham on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

energy efficiency tip  

Before lowering the thermostat on a hot summer day, try cooling off with a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans make the room feel 4 degrees cooler, and they use less energy than the AC unit, so you can save money and stay comfortable. Source: U.S. Department of Energy

—mark quinn

scliving.coop   | August 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

7


On the Agenda O n ly o n

Stay cool in the kitchen

SCLiving.coop

Hot summer days are a fact of life

in South Carolina, but the heat doesn’t have to keep you out of the kitchen. Don’t limit your summer dining options to salads, cold sandwiches and whatever you can cook on the backyard grill. With these handy tips, you can make your family’s favorite meals, save on your utility bills and keep the house comfortably cool. n Nuke it. Your microwave oven is the most efficient way to cook single food items without the heat of a traditional oven. It uses less electricity, and it can cut cooking time in half.

Bonus Articles In hot water: Read this month’s Energy Q&A column for smart tips to keep your water heater operating at peak efficiency. Study buddies: College life just got easier, thanks to the 11 must-have gadgets in this month’s Smart Choice column. Yes, it’s required reading. No, there will not be a quiz.

n Reach for small appliances.

Bonus Videos

Milton Morris

‘Old Black Bear’: Dick Flood, the “singing ­environ­mentalist” better known as Okefenokee Joe, performs one of his classic tunes in our exclusive video.

Carroll foster

Like us on Facebook Our Facebook page celebrates all that’s great about living in South Carolina. Join the conversation and share your photos at facebook.com/SouthCarolinaLiving.

S.C.RAMBLE! By Charles Joyner, See Answer ON Page 27

Unscrambl’t! When asked for a large handkerchief, the clerk couldn’t resist replying, “_ _ _ , _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .” d c b e c r u l c am n u a s u a a u b Use the capital letters in the code key below to fill in the blanks above. ABDEHNOSVWY means u nsc r a mbl e d

8

GONE FISHIN’ The Vektor 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 PM Minor Major Minor Major

n Regulate the dish­ washer. When your

s­ ummer meal is done and it’s time for cleanup, it’s fine to run the dishwasher. Did you know that it uses less water than washing dishes by hand? You can save even more money and energy by removing the dishes after the wash cycle and letting them air-dry.

n Watch the clock.

Take advan­tage of the lower temperatures in the early morning and late evening. These are the best times to cook, bake, turn on the stove and run the dishwasher. n Use fans. Ceiling fans can be useful in the kitchen. Even running a ceiling fan in an adjoining dining area will help circulate the air and keep you more comfortable while you cook. For maximum cooling, consider installing a whole-house fan or attic fan to keep the hot air moving up and out of your house. —b. denise hawkins

Letters to the editor Let us know what’s on your

mind by clicking on the Contact Us link at SCLiving.coop. All letters received are subject to editing before publication.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop

August

Whirlpool

Darlington stripes: Watch rookie drivers get humbled by the “track too tough to tame” and enjoy other Southern 500 weekend highlights. Videos courtesy of NASCAR.

Don’t forget about some of summer’s best go-to kitchen appliances: toaster ovens, slow cookers and pressure cookers. These handy appliances use less energy and generate less heat than a standard oven.

17 — 6:52 3:37 18 — 8:22 8:52 19 1:22 9:22 10:07 20 2:37 10:07 10:52 21 3:37 10:52 11:22 22 4:37 11:22 11:52 23 5:07 11:52 12:22 24 — 5:52 7:07 25 — 6:22 7:22 26 1:07 7:07 7:37 27 1:37 7:37 8:07 28 8:22 2:07 2:22 29 9:07 2:52 2:37 30 9:52 3:22 3:07 31 11:22 4:22 3:52

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Dialogue

Playing the long game that affordable and reliable power is always there when we need it. We walk into a room and flip a switch, and the lights come on. We have that luxury because 75 years ago, some forward-thinking South Carolinians banded together to form the state’s first not-for-profit electric cooperatives. Bringing electricity to our homes and businesses was an important shortterm objective in the 1930s, but those co-op pioneers were doing more than planting poles and stringing wire. They were building a new way to empower their communities. To use a sports metaphor, they were playing the long game. Today, South Carolina’s 20 member-owned cooperatives operate the state’s largest utility network—70,000 miles of line serving some 1.5 million people in all 46 counties. Delivering electricity remains our daily work, but true to our roots, co-ops continue to work for a brighter Palmetto State future in ways you might not expect. Co-ops are uniquely capable of doing so by virtue of our members-first business model. We don’t answer to Wall Street or corporate bondholders. Our only bottom line is our members’ interests. That’s why many South Carolina co-ops offer community-assistance programs such as Operation Round Up. Co-op members can elect to round up monthly electricity bills to the next dollar, with the difference going to fund community needs. This powerful idea started in South Carolina 25 years ago and has spread nationwide as a living testament to the cooperative difference. (Editor’s note: Look for a full report on Operation Round Up’s 25th anniversary in the October issue.) Our member-service focus is why we created the South Carolina Power Team, a joint project with Santee Cooper to entice new businesses to the Palmetto State. Creating jobs does more than generate new paychecks; it strengthens our schools, churches and communities, and that has a positive ripple effect across generations. A proven legacy of looking out for members’ interests is an important distinction when we deal with lawmakers and regulators coming to terms with a changing energy landscape in America. It allows us to serve as honest brokers of information and gives us the credibility to bring competing stakeholders together for the common good. Case in point: Co-op representatives, speaking on your behalf, were instrumental in crafting a new state law on distributed energy resources that will level the playing field and benefit all South Carolinians for decades to come. Another example of the co-op difference in action is our campaign to reduce work-related injuries. In the course of a year, we reduced loss-time accidents by 75 percent at 75 percent of our co-ops. That’s a wonderful accomplishment in its own right, but instituting a heightened culture of safety—that’s playing the long game. Such efforts might appear unrelated to electricity distribution, but they are power­ful examples of the co-op difference. Ultimately, success in these initiatives can be credited to our ability to walk the walk and live up to our core philosophy. As consumers of electricity, we take it for granted

Mike Couick

President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina

10

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop


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Fast times at

Darlington Raceway


The track ‘too tough to tame’ celebrates 65 years of high-speed thrills BY TIM HANSON | Photos by Carroll foster

Tim Hanson

Donald Paul’s heart is pumping wildly as he crawls out the passenger window of Brian Vickers’ number 55 race car. Clad in padded jumpsuit and crash helmet, the 59-year-old NASCAR fan from Elgin had just completed three exhilarating laps around the legendary Darlington Raceway, known among stock car fans as the track “too tough to tame.” It had been Paul’s lifelong dream to hurtle around the same track as NASCAR’s racing greats—Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts. Now, in the middle of Darlington’s Southern 500 weekend and the track’s 65th-anniversary commemoration, he had done just that. At speeds topping 140 mph, Paul experienced the ruthless forces that tug on a driver’s body and watched the track wall pass by in a blur just outside his passenger window. “I’ve always enjoyed going fast,” says Paul, who won his unforgettable ride on a $5 scratch-off lottery ticket. “Now I really know what drivers go through out there.” Paul is among legions of racing fans who make the annual pilgrimage here to cheer on favorite drivers and be part of Darlington history. Fans hold this track—one of the oldest on the NASCAR circuit—in such high esteem that the mere suggestion that it might one day fade from use provokes genuine unease. “I think there would be a deep hole if NASCAR ever did away with this track,” says race fan Robin Grover of Wilmington, N.C. “It’s been here for so long, and it has such a following. ... And we hear rumors all the time.”

Brasington III—has the original deed for the land. The document shows that Brasington traded $30,805 in raceway stock for 123 acres of cotton and tobacco farmland. The seller, Sherman Ramsey, had one condition written into the deal— a provision that would literally shape the track’s future. “There was a minnow pond and a farmhouse on that piece of ground,” says Brasington. “There was a tenant farmer living there, and Mr. Ramsey said that as long as that man was alive, the farmhouse must stay. And he didn’t want the pond disturbed either.” Brasington wanted his track to be more than a mile long to qualify as a super speedway. To miss that minnow pond, he had to make one end of the track narrower than the other. “That was not the original plan,” Brasington says. “My granddad wanted to make a symmetrical oval track. But it just turned out to be one of those great mistakes that ends

On May 30, 1932, a young man named Harold Brasington sat in the grand­stand at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. An enthusiastic racing fan, he had traveled from Darlington to watch the 20th running of the Indianapolis 500. For almost five hours, the open-wheeled cars zoomed around the track at more than 100 mph. Only 14 cars finished the grueling race. This incredible test of endurance— for both man and machine—inspired Brasington to build his own racetrack in South Carolina. In a collection of family photos, race programs and other memorabilia, Harold Brasington’s grandson—Harold

Courtesy of Darlington raceway

The legend begins

Donald Paul of Elgin lived out his NASCAR fantasy during the Bojangles Southern 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway (above left). The cars that ran in the first Southern 500 were genuine “stock” cars, some put into service right off the showroom floor. scliving.coop   | August 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

13


Reporters mob driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. on pit row after his qualifying run for the Southern 500 (above). A different kind of grilling takes center stage on the infield where NASCAR fans camp in style for the duration of three-day race weekends (right).

up being something cool. Now, that egg shape is legendary and is a part of the track’s charm—or a curse, depending on which driver you talk to.” Nine thousand tickets were printed for the first Southern 500 race on Labor Day weekend in 1950, but more than double that number crammed into the grandstand, swarmed over the infield and lined the edges of the newly paved asphalt track. So many people showed up that ticket takers filled 5-gallon buckets and large peach baskets with cash. When the checkered flag dropped, Johnny Mantz took first place by driving his black 1950 Plymouth at an average speed of 75 mph. He walked away with $10,510 in prize money and a spot in NASCAR history.

‘Home away from home’

Tim Hanson

It is the day of the big race—the 2014 Bojangles Southern 500—and David Granger of Timmonsville is up early to walk the track with dozens of other fans in a Darlington prerace tradition. During the track walk, fans are allowed to trudge up the steeply banked turns and even sign their names on the concrete walls. Granger has been coming to Darlington since 1971,

Driver Danica Patrick stands for the national anthem at the start of the 2014 Southern 500 (above). Patrick ran her first race at Darlington in 2012 and has brought new fans to the male-dominated sport of stock car racing. Front-row grandstand seats put fans close enough to the action to smell the ethanol fumes and burning rubber as the pack thunders by (right).

Web extra Watch rookie drivers earn their “Darlington stripe” and catch race weekend highlights courtesy of official NASCAR videos at SCLiving.coop. 14

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop


buying a coveted infield space and camping with friends out David Gilliland (bottom right) takes a pace car around the course to demonstrate the of a Chevy van packed with enough grub to feed an army. intricacies of the egg-shaped track. Running close “We’ve got several coolers filled with beverages, three to the wall can earn a driver his “Darlington stripe” different kinds of grills and plenty of food,” he says. “On (center right) or give a race-winning advantage. Thursday, we cooked steak and potatoes. Last night, we had This year’s Southern 500 winner Kevin Harvick, in the number 4 car, ran high against the wall to pass pork loins and pork chops and green beans. Today’s menu Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final lap (above). is chicken leg quarters and ribs and hot dogs and ham­ burgers. … It really is a home away from home.” friendly banter about favorite drivers. In the old days, Darlington’s infield was a pretty rough Once the races begin, the giveplace. Fistfights were frequent, and excessive consumpand-take between fans becomes tion of adult beverages was the order of the day. There was ­pointless as the bone-rattling roar of cars drowns out coneven a jail on the infield where a magistrate versation. Most people wear earplugs to would dispense swift justice. dull the sound, but if you are anywhere Da rli n g to n fa st fac t s “Every kind of vice and bad thing under close to the track, you can feel the vibrathe sun has occurred there,” Brasington tion. The smell of fuel and rubber mixes says. “When I was a youngster—maybe 10 with grill smoke and hangs in the night air. or 11 years old—my granddad would drive First race Earning the Darlington stripe out there to talk with some of the old-­ timers. …For my own safety, he would During races, drivers jockey for position as Diagram make me sit in the car while he talked they hurtle through the turns and down of the with these men. And then we’d go the straightaways at speeds approaching egg-shaped Length in miles home and watch the race on TV.” 200 mph. Every race at Darlington sees at track Since then, race weekends have least one driver brush the track wall, scrapevolved into a family-oriented event. ing paint off the passenger side and Filled with RVs and tents, the grassy infield leaving behind a “Darlington stripe.” takes on a friendly, summer-camp atmo“Most tracks in NASCAR are a mileTime in seconds for and-a-half long ‘cookie-cutter tracks,’ and sphere where mothers push babies in strollfastest lap on record they are fairly easy for a driver,” says ers while kids toss footballs, ride scooters (184.145 mph), set by motor sports journalist Hunter Thomas. “At and walk dogs. driver Aric Almirola Darlington, you’re right up there on those “There are all kinds of great people (below) on April 11, 2014. steep banks right against the wall. So, as a here,” says fan Vince Reidy of Anderson. driver you either love it or you hate it.” “You can stop at anyone’s motor home on David Gilliland is one of those NASCAR the infield, and they’ll sit there and talk drivers who loves Darlington. Just hours with you or show you the grill they’re before the beginning of the 2014 Southern cooking on or offer you a beverage.” 500, he slips behind the wheel of a Ford Some infield visitors show up in conFusion EcoBoost sedan and treats journalverted school buses fitted with rooftop spectator platforms. Others arrive in pricey ists ­covering the race to a couple of laps motor homes. But regardless of their accomaround the track. For more information: darlingtonraceway.com “Darlington is a tough place,” Gilliland modations, all fans can eventually be found says as he punches the accelerator and the sitting outside in lawn chairs, engaged in

1950

1.366

26.705

scliving.coop   | August 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

15


‘Gentlemen, start your engines’

During his 17 years as prerace director at Darlington Raceway, Tom Kinard introduced beauty queens, politicians, Hollywood actors and NASCAR legends to the raceway crowd. But nothing was as exciting to the longtime radio personality as the day he started the nearly rained-out 1993 Southern 500. “It is a day I’ll never forget,” says Kinard, manager of communications for Pee Dee Electric Cooperative. “I was in the press box, and Les Richter, who was the vice president of operations for NASCAR, called,” Kinard recalls. “I answered the phone and he said, ‘OK, let’s get ’em started right now!’” When Kinard told him that the man slated to start the race was not there, Richter replied, “We don’t have time to wait on him—you do it.” With tens of thousands of anxious NASCAR fans awaiting the familiar words, Kinard turned to the microphone and, in his wonderful baritone voice, said, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” Today, more than 20 years later, he is still captivated by the memory. “Even now, when I just said those words,” he says, “I had a chill go up and down my back.” —tim hanson

Court esy of Tom Kinard

As Darlington’s prerace director from 1989 to 2004, Tom Kinard got to meet plenty of celebrities, including Dale “The Intimidator” Earnhardt.

Web extra Read more of Tom Kinard’s Darlington memories in an exclusive bonus article at SCLiving.coop. 16

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop

Races are often won or lost in the pits where crew chiefs keep the cars in peak operating condition. Kevin Harvick’s pit crew erupts with excitement as their driver takes the checkered flag at the 2014 Southern 500. After a team prayer, it was time to celebrate on victory lane.

car seems to float up the steep embankment of turn one. He picks his line through the second turn before going full throttle on the straightaway. Gilliland’s passengers hold on tight as he closes in on 110 mph. “We run right up by the wall,” he explains in a matterof-fact voice, easing off a bit on the throttle and moving into turns three and four, the narrow end of the track near Ramsey’s Pond. “The closer you get to the wall, the more grip there is until, obviously, you hit the wall—and I’ve ­definitely done that.” Gilliland, who likens coming out of those tight turns to being “shot out of a cannon,” holds the car just inches from the concrete barrier, then hits the gas to roar past the start/ finish line in front of Wallace Grandstand. That evening, the California native successfully pilots his number 38 Ford through the main event, finishing 28th out of 43 drivers. Kevin Harvick takes first place, edging out Dale Earnhardt Jr., who takes second, and Jimmie Johnson, who finishes third.

‘The last of the old tracks’

This year’s Southern 500 saw more than 90 percent of its 60,000-plus grandstand seats sell out, as well as every infield camping spot. Darlington Raceway president Chip Wile says that bodes well for the track’s future and should help ease fears of many fans that Darlington might disappear from the NASCAR circuit. Wile says the International Speedway Corporation— the company that owns Darlington Raceway—has invested nearly $80 million in track infrastructure over the last decade and has plans for more upgrades, including massive video boards and a remodeled infield, that will usher the track into the 2020s. “This is the last of the old tracks,” says Wile. “Rocking­ ham is gone. North Wilkesboro is gone. We’re it. And NASCAR understands the significance of this racetrack​— not only the history, but for the future of the sport.”


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SC Life

Stories

Okefenokee Joe

Dick Flood Age:

81

Salley, where he’s a member of Aiken Electric Cooperative Singing environmentalist Claim to fame: Wrote “Trouble’s Back in Town,” one of the most popular country music songs of 1962 Personal motto: The golden rule of nature: If you don’t need it, leave it Lives in:

Milton Morris

Occupation:

Going to Dick Flood’s house is like embarking on a backcountry adventure. As the long driveway curves through the trees and the brush, the earthy aromas of plants and soil intensify. It’s rural, it’s quiet, and “Okefenokee Joe” wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s how Flood has best been known since venturing into the Okefenokee Swamp four decades ago after an exhilarating run in the spotlight of the 1950s and 1960s country music scene. Flood wrote hit songs, played the Grand Ole Opry and performed regularly on CBS’s Jimmy Dean Show before taking a break from the music business. His life changed when he became a park ranger, working and living in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. “Every living thing out there minds its own business. It’s the secret to the technology of the earth,” says Flood. “It’s an intricate system of checks and balances; there’s so much beauty, and no one human being will be able to comprehend it all.” Performing as Okefenokee Joe, Flood has carved out a niche as the South’s singing environmentalist. He celebrates the beauty of nature with his raw, folksy music and interactive wildlife presentations given at zoos, schools, museums and fairs across the Southeast. Flood says utilizing his talents to promote awareness of plants and animals is a fulfilling second career. He is not Tim McGraw or Willie Nelson. He is Okefenokee Joe—and Dick Flood wouldn’t have it any other way. —Monica Dutcher

Web Extras Watch Dick Flood

perform “Old Black Bear” in our exclusive video at SCLiving.coop. For information about a new album featuring his top country music songs, visit okefenokeejoe.com.

scliving.coop   | August 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

19


SCTravels

BY SUSAN HILL SMITH | PHOTOS BY MIC SMITH

Waterfalls on horseback We drive into the rising sun on S.C.

Highway 11 and pass by majestic Table Rock Mountain, knowing that we are in for a special treat. A few moments later, we stop at a roadside motel in Pickens, where our guide is waiting for us with his horse trailer. “Y’all ready to hit the road?” Rhett Leonard asks with a handshake and a grin. My husband and I follow him past Pumpkintown, where Leonard lives and cares for his 25 horses, and eventually past Caesar’s Head State Park, where the mountain road really starts to twist. As we cross the North Carolina state line, a sign welcomes

Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative member Rhett Leonard (right) enjoys sharing his favorite waterfalls with guests. Horse-friendly trails make it easy to travel to Triple Falls (top), which was featured in the movie The Hunger Games.

GetThere Rhett Leonard’s Upstate horse farm is in Pumpkintown, where he matches people with horses before leading them to equestrian trails in South Carolina and North Carolina. He is a member of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. Availability: Tours must be scheduled in advance. Costs: Rates depend on the length of the ride and number of riders. Limitations: No more than six guests per tour. Riders ages 10 and up are welcome. Details: See horsebackwaterfalltours.com. Call (864) 918-1020 or email rhettleonard@juno.com.

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us to Transylvania County: Land of the Waterfalls, and that’s not an oversell. There are 250 in this county, and Leonard is taking us to a few of his favorites as part of his Horseback Waterfall Tours. Once we park, he introduces us to our rides: Bo and GiGi, both Tennessee walking horses. “Y’all are getting two of my easiest horses,” he promises as he saddles them up. In fact, they are rescue horses, once seriously underweight, that Leonard brought back to health with perseverance and TLC. With Leonard and his horse, Rusty,

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop

leading the way, we enter North Carolina’s DuPont State Recreational Forest and its equestrian-friendly trails. As we ride toward Triple Falls, the whir of the water grows louder. Leonard explains that waterfalls have fascinated him since he was a boy. Likewise, horseback riding is a favorite pastime. He has been happy to combine the two and share the experience with others. “It’s just a great way to get people out in nature and enjoy God’s creation,” he says. Triple Falls does not disappoint us when we arrive at the overlook and dismount. The white-capped stone ledges of the falls look like three giant steps, the last turning a corner like a winding staircase. Featured in the sweeping movie The Last of the Mohicans and more recently The Hunger Games, the three cascades reportedly drop a total of 120 feet. “Isn’t this beautiful?” Leonard asks, and we can tell that it’s still an emotional sight for him. On North Carolina tours, Leonard usually takes guests to Triple Falls, High Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, all of which are connected by the Little River. Horseback tours closer to home in South Carolina include a six-hour trip to see Lake Jocassee from Jumping Off Rock, where riders might catch a glimpse of nesting falcons. He started the waterfall tours two years ago, but with the cost of hauling horses, the tours are more of a stressreliever for him than a moneymaker. He just finished a tough week with his same-day courier businesses, so he’s glad to be out on this breezy Saturday in spring. “I don’t know of anything that can slow you down more than riding a horse or listening to a waterfall.”


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Recipe

EDITED BY CArrie Hirsch

BETH’S BAKED FISH MAKES 4 SMALL SERVINGS

1 pound filleted flounder, snapper, catfish or bluefish 1 medium onion, chopped medium or sliced into rings ½ cup black olives, sliced 2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour cream Sea salt and pepper, to taste

William P. Edwards / iStock

ORANGE-ALMOND SALAD SERVES 6–8

NINA GRAY, PROSPERITY

In a screw-top jar, combine oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and almond extract. Shake until sugar and salt dissolve. Chill. At serving time, combine spinach leaves, oranges, celery and green onions in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with almonds. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.

William P. Edwards / iStock

¼ cup vegetable oil 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 tablespoons cider vinegar ¼ teaspoon salt J teaspoon almond extract 6 cups fresh spinach leaves or spring mix 3 medium oranges, peeled, sliced and halved crosswise 1 cup celery, thinly sliced (about 2 stalks) 2 tablespoons green onions, sliced N cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place fish fillets, onion, black olives and butter in a lightly buttered medium casserole dish, and bake 12–14 minutes, uncovered, or until fish is done. Remove fillets from oven, then turn oven off. To make the sauce, pour off any pan drippings into a small bowl, then whisk in sour cream and mayonnaise. Pour sauce over the fish and return to the warm oven, covered, until ready to serve.

ANITA GAUGLER, MYRTLE BEACH

W h at Õ s C oo k i n g i n

Turn your original recipes into cash!

SCRecipe

Send us your original recipes—appetizers, salads, main courses, side dishes, desserts and beverages—almost anything goes. Be sure to specify ingredient measurements. For each one of your recipes Instead of “one can” or “two packages,” specify “one 12-ounce can” or “two 8-ounce we publish, we’ll send you a packages.” Note the number of servings or yield. Entries must be original, and they $10 BI-LO gift card. must include your name, mailing address and phone number. Submit • online at SCLiving.coop • email to recipe@scliving.coop • mail to Recipe, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033 22

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop


Michael Phillips / iStock

CINNAMON AVOCADO SERVES 4

2 ripe avocados Honey Ground cinnamon

Wash and rinse avocados. Cut in half and remove pits. Drizzle insides with honey, and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Scoop out bites with spoon. DOROTHY GLENN, LAURENS

GRANDMA HARRIGER’S PEACH CUSTARD PIE SERVES 6–8

4 eggs, beaten ¾ cup granulated sugar 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 4–5 ripe, medium peaches, peeled and sliced 1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, unbaked 1 tablespoon butter

JANET HOAGLIN, HILTON HEAD ISLAND

Michael Phillips / iStock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, sugar and flour until well incorporated. Fold sliced peaches into egg mixture and pour into pie crust. Dot with butter. Bake on cookie sheet for 1 hour or until the top turns a light golden brown.

scliving.coop   | August 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

23


SCGardener

BY S. CORY TANNER

Stretch your growing season a relatively small space, so I’m always looking for ways to get more out of my home vegetable plot. One of my favorite techniques is making the growing season last longer. Fall can actually be our most productive season in South Carolina, with optimal temperatures (warm days and cool nights) for many crops. The air is less humid, so plants face fewer disease problems. Less appealing is the fact that a fall garden needs to be prepared and planted in the hottest part of the summer, August. Cool-season crops—Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, collards, turnips, beets—should be planted between mid-July and September 1. You can start cole crops as transplants or sow them directly in the garden. Root crops generally perform best when direct sown. Making sure those seeds and seedlings don’t dry out is critical for ­summer-planted, cool-season crops. On a hot, sunny day, your seeds and transplants may need watering twice a day. Here’s a trick I learned from a farmer some years ago to protect small seeds sown directly in the garden. After you sow and water them in, cover each row with a piece of lumber. This holds moisture in the row and prevents soil crusting. It also keeps the soil around the seeds from getting excessively hot during germination. Obviously, you’ll need to remove the boards after a couple days to allow the new seedlings to emerge and get sunlight. Remove the boards in the early evening to allow any emerging seedlings to adapt to the rising sun the following morning. I’ve had good success with summer-seeded crops using this technique. Another simple season-extension idea I encourage vegetable gardeners My garden area occupies

photos by S. Cory Tanner

24

Row covers, secured over a raised bed, can provide double duty by shading seedlings from harsh summer sun and protecting crops from winter cold and winds.

to try is row covers. These spunbonded polypropylene fabrics come in multiple sizes. You can install them over individual rows or even entire blocks of garden space. Lightweight row covers are porous, letting light, water and air pass through, so you can leave them over a planting throughout the day or for extended periods without causing excessive heat buildup or blocking rain. Covers can be simply draped over a planting, but I prefer to prop them above the crop with homemade or store-bought wire supports. Row covers serve double duty in season extension: They protect tender seedlings of summer-sown, cool-season crops from the intense August sun, and they are equally helpful in frost protection in later months. You can get a jump on fall planting by using row covers to shade cool-­season crops that can’t take latesummer heat, like lettuce, carrots and beets. Standard row covers provide

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop

about 15 percent shade, and because the fabric is white, it reflects sunlight instead of trapping it as heat. Leave the ends of the row covers open for cross-ventilation, which will allow for cooling and reduce disease-­inducing humidity under the cover. Once daytime temperatures drop below 80 degrees, you can remove the covers or leave them on for frost protection on semi-hardy vegetables. For frost protection, secure your row-cover edges to the soil with sod staples, rocks, sandbags or lumber to seal in heat and prevent them from blowing away. This way the material will hold in soil heat, giving a slight greenhouse effect of 2 to 4 degrees F. That may not seem like much, but it can make a big difference in guarding crops against cold winds. Give these strategies a try to keep your garden busy and productive right through the fall.  is an area horticulture agent and Master Gardener c­ oordinator for Clemson Extension based in Green­ville County. Contact him at shannt@clemson.edu.

S. CORY TANNER


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Calendar  of Events Go to SCLiving.coop for more information and for guidelines on submitting your event. Please confirm information before attending events.

UPSTATE AUGUST

16 • Rolling Waterwheel Gospel Revue, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 22–23 • Spring Water Festival, Mineral Spring Park, Williamston. (864) 847-7473, ext. 7. 22–24 • SHE: The Upstate Women’s Show, TD Convention Center, Greenville. (864) 250-9713. 23 • City Street Band, Pickens Amphitheater, Pickens. (864) 878-6421. 23 • Beach Ball, Hartness Estate, Greenville. (864) 467-3000. 23 • Flight of the Dove, Presbyterian College, Clinton. (864) 833-6287. 23 • Mutt Strut, Greenville Technical College Swamp Rabbit Trail, Greenville. (864) 242-3626. 28–Sept. 1 • UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships, Millennium Campus, Greenville. (864) 467-2726. 29 • Midnight Flight, Anderson Area YMCA, Anderson. (864) 716-6809. 30 • Soteria 5K, Furman University, Greenville. (864) 272-0681. 30–31 • Dacusville Farm Show, 3147 Earls Bridge Road, Easley. (864) 423-3239. SEPTEMBER

5–7 and 12–14 • “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Easley Foothills Playhouse, Easley. (864) 855-1817. 5–6 • South Carolina Apple Festival, downtown, Westminster. (864) 647-7223. 6 • Launch of “The World of Readers: The Tom Johnson Art Collection,” Pickens County Museum of Art & History, Pickens. (864) 898-5963. 12–13 • Preview Gala and 20x20 Invitational Clay Exhibit & Sale, ARTS Center of Clemson, Clemson. (864) 633-5051. 12–13 • Uniquely Union Festival, downtown, Union. (864) 319-1315. 13 • Upstate Forever’s Preservation Bicycle Ride, Strawberry Hill USA, Chesnee. (864) 327-0090. 13 • Music on the Mountain, Table Rock State Park, Pickens. (864) 878-9813. ONGOING

Daily • Art Gallery at the Fran Hanson Discovery Center, South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson. (864) 656-3405. Mondays through Fridays, Sept. 12– Oct. 10 • “Any Way You Wanna Shake It: An Artful Investigation of Salt & Pepper Sets,” ARTS Center of Clemson, Clemson. (864) 633-5051. Tuesdays through Saturdays through October • Walnut Grove Plantation Public Tours, Walnut Grove Plantation, Roebuck. (864) 576-6546.

28

Tuesdays through Sundays, through Aug. 31 • Maps Alive! Spartanburg Regional History Museum, Spartanburg. (864) 596-3501. Wednesdays through Sundays, through Sept. 21 • “The Content of Our Character: From States Rights to Civil Rights,” Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville. (864) 271-7570. Wednesdays through Sundays • Carolina Foothills Artisan Center Landrum Inaugural Season, 214 Rutherford St., Landrum. (864) 461-3050. Thursdays through October • Jazz on the Alley, Ram Cat Alley, Seneca. (864) 885-2700. Fridays through Sept. 26 • Heritage Main Street Fridays, NOMA Square, Greenville. (864) 467-5741. Fridays • Oolenoy Bluegrass Jam Session, 5301 Dacusville Highway, Pumpkintown. (864) 637-9217. Third Saturdays • Seay House free admission, 106 Darby Road, Spartanburg. (864) 596-3501. Saturdays and Sundays • Historic Building Tour, Oconee Station State Historic Site, Walhalla. (864) 638-0079. Sundays • Sundays Unplugged, Zimmerli Plaza, Spartanburg. (864) 542-2787.

MIDLANDS AUGUST

20 and 22 • “The Black Man…Complex,” Trustus Theatre, Columbia. (803) 254-9732. 21 and 23 • The Restoration’s “Constance,” Trustus Theatre, Columbia. (803) 254-9732. 22 • Miss Clarendon Scholarship Luncheon, Manning United Methodist Church, Manning. (803) 435-8477. 22–23 • Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo, Lazy J Arena, Edgefield. (803) 637-5369. 22–23 • Main Street Latin Festival, 1400 Main St., Columbia. (803) 939-0360. 23 • Jailbreak Escape Urban Challenge Run, Lexington County Sheriff’s Dept., Lexington. (803) 799-4786. 23 • Summerfest, downtown, York. (803) 684-2590. 24 • FEST 24, Trustus Theatre, Columbia. (803) 254-9732. 29–31 • Bluegrass & Country Music Festival, Lone Star BBQ, Santee. (803) 854-2000. 30 • Patriot Day Golf Tournament, Players Golf Club, Manning. (803) 478-2500. 30 • Meals on Wheels 5K, Crooked Creek Park, Chapin. (803) 345-6181. 30 • Eutawville 5K Family Fun Run/ Walk and Music Festival, downtown, Eutawville. (803) 378-8701.

25–29 • World Amateur Handicap Championship, multiple golf courses, Myrtle Beach. (800) 833-8798. 29–30 • Edisto Beach Music & Shag Fest, Bay Creek Park, Edisto Island. (843) 869-3867. 29–30 • Beach, Boogie and BBQ Festival, Grand Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 626-7444. 30 • Introductory Tour, Hobcaw Barony, Georgetown. (843) 546-4623. SEPTEMBER

Living History Historic slave interpreters depict

African American life on the Bratton plantation during “By the Sweat of Our Brows” Sept. 13 at Historic Brattonsville in McConnells.

30 • International Triathlon and Sprint Triathlon, Langley Pond, Burnettown. (803) 642-7559. SEPTEMBER

1 • Labor Day Festival and Parade, downtown, Chapin. (803) 345-1100. 4 • Labor of Love 2014, First Baptist Church Rock Hill, Rock Hill. (803) 329-1500. 6 • Battle of Eutaw Springs commemoration, Church of the Epiphany and Battle Monument Park, Eutawville. (803) 823-2824. 6 • Butts and Bluegrass BBQ Festival, Community Park Drive, Clover. (704) 214-2892. 7 • Grandparents Day and Owl Book Club, Main Street Children’s Museum, Rock Hill. (803) 327-6400. 9 • Carolina Stargazing, Settlemyre Planetarium, Rock Hill. (803) 329-2121. 13 • Martha’s Market, Union United Methodist Church, Columbia. (803) 781-3013. 13 • “By the Sweat of Our Brows,” Historic Brattonsville, McConnells. (803) 684-2327. 13 • Ferns & Fossils Family Day, Museum of York County, Rock Hill. (803) 329-2121. 13 • Black Men of South Carolina Rally and Family Festival, Finlay Park, Columbia. (803) 661-0802. ONGOING

Daily through Labor Day • “The Life and Art of Addie Sims: A Look into Her World Virtual Exhibition,” scmuseum. org/addiesims/addiesims.html, S.C. State Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4942. Daily through Sept. 14 • “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice,” EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia. (803) 779-3100. Daily through Feb. 1 • “South Carolina Unearthed,” S.C. State Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4921. Daily • Self-guided Rose Garden Walks, Edisto Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg. (800) 545-6153.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop

Mondays through Saturdays, through Aug. 30 • “Hidden Treasures: Rediscovering McKissick Museum’s Natural History Collection,” Columbia. (803) 777-7251. Tuesdays through Sundays through Aug. 31 • “Daryl Triveri’s Fantastic Animals: Selections from the Vogel Collection,” Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia. (803) 799-2810. Tuesdays through Sundays • Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, Camden. (803) 432-9841. Tuesdays through Sundays • Expanded Civil War Exhibit, S.C. State Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4921. Tuesdays through Sundays • “Dinosaurs: A Bite Out of Time,” S.C. State Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4921.

LOWCOUNTRY AUGUST

15 • Dog Days of Summer Sunset Party, Oyster Factory Park, Bluffton. (843) 757-8520. 15–17 • Gullah Geechee Heritage Festival, C.B. Berry Community and Historical Center, Little River. (843) 399-5889. 16 • Big Kahuna Fishing Tournament, Folly Beach Fishing Pier, Folly Beach. (843) 795-4386. 20 • Creature Feature: Sharks, North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 427-7668. 20 • Early Morning Bird Walk, Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel. (843) 795-4386. 20 and 30 • Fireworks, Second Avenue Pier, Myrtle Beach. (843) 626-8480. 21 • Pups, Yups and Food Trucks, Palmetto Island County Park, Mount Pleasant. (843) 795-4386. 22 • Special Needs Prom, Bees Landing Recreation Center, Charleston. (843) 795-4386. 23 • Race for the ARK, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Summerville. (843) 832-2357. 24 • Bulls Island Beach Drop, Garris Landing, Awendaw. (843) 881-4582.

5–6 • Make Us One Dance Conference, Kingdom Life International Church, Florence. (843) 615-6232. 6 • South Carolina’s Largest Garage Sale, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach. (843) 918-1225. 6 • Cooper River Challenge Pier Tournament, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. (843) 795-4386. 8–10 • South Carolina International Trade Conference, Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms. (843) 460-5016. 11 • “Lost Myrtle Beach” author talk, Socastee Library, Myrtle Beach. (843) 215-4700. 11–14 • Yemassee Shrimp Festival, downtown, Yemassee. (843) 589-2120. 12–14 • Mayor’s Cup Men’s Amateur Championship, Whispering Pines Golf Course, Myrtle Beach. (843) 918-2305. 12–21 • SOS Fall Migration, multiple locations, North Myrtle Beach. (803) 366-5506. 13 • Coastal Island Horse Show, Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, Johns Island. (843) 795-4386. ONGOING

Daily, except major holidays • Parris Island Museum, Beaufort. (843) 228-2166. Daily through Nov. 1 • “ToyTime” giant folk toy exhibit, North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 427-7668. Daily through December • “Finding Freedom’s Home: Archaeology at Mitchelville,” Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island. (843) 689-6767. Mondays through October • Coastal Kayaking, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Tuesdays through Sundays, through Sept. 14 • “Claire Farrell: A is for Art,” Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-2510. First and fourth Thursdays through September • Music on Main, Main Street and Horseshoe, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 280-5570. Saturdays through August 30 • State Park Secrets, Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-0874. Saturdays • History, Nature and Music Programs, Horry County Museum, Conway. (843) 915-5320.


SCHumorMe

By Jan A. Igoe

Plenty of fishermen So there I was, 27 years and

two kids into a reasonably un-tumultuous marriage, when a hot new Harley Softail Classic whizzed by with my girlfriend on the front—and my husband on the back. Make that ex-husband. Make that ex-girlfriend. Divorce is no fun. Or should I say “conscious uncoupling,” like Gwyneth Paltrow and what’s his name? There is a key difference. To get divorced, you need a lawyer. To get uncoupled, you probably call a plumber. Whatever you call it, recovery has several phases. First you cry, scream, punch walls and pray someone will pull the spear out of your gut. But guess what? That’s the easy part. The hard part comes later, when helpful friends decide it’s time to get your profile on Plenty of Fish. “My daughter’s on that. It’s a dating site,” I said. “What would I do there?” My friends did a group eye roll and grabbed my computer. “You’re going on a date,” they assured me. Something I haven’t done in four decades. “It hasn’t changed much. Now you’ll be talking about prostates instead of proms. That’s all,” said Katie, who met the last three loves of her life online. I started wishing the spear-in-the-gut phase had lasted a little longer. Before I could protest, my friends were picking victims. “These guys all look like my dad,” I said. “That’s OK,” Jeanne said happily. “You look like your mom.” We started browsing through available men, when I realized how the site got its name. In eight out of 10 profile photos, the men were proudly displaying large fish. “Do they want a girlfriend or a trout?” I asked my experts, who continued to ignore me. “Look! Here’s someone. Financially secure, likes to cuddle and loves dogs,” Katie said. “You’re meeting him at the community pool, and he’ll bring the wine.” Wait … what? 30

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   August 2014  |  scliving.coop

The next afternoon, I was looking for that pool when a man wearing three days’ worth of stubble and a paintspattered tank top flagged me down. It was my date. And the pool was in his backyard. “Are you Jan?” he asked. I hadn’t been this frightened since my neighbor’s kid brought his tarantula over to meet me. Taking a deep breath, I weighed my options. 1. Disavow all knowledge of English: “Me no Jan. Que pasa, et vous? Aloha.” 2. Floor it. My Honda could have me in another state in 20 minutes. 3. Relax. Assume that people are inherently good, but keep a firm grip on the pepper spray in my pocket. The guy seemed harmless enough, so I followed him out back to sit by the pool. He poured me a glass of wine. This wasn’t so bad. I could do this. Then he shared some highlights of his last colonoscopy. I was about to dive into the wine when my date changed the subject. “I swim naked. That’s cool, right?” His words reached my brain at the exact moment my lips reached the glass. When I looked up, his tank top was gone—along with his swim trunks. One glance at my naked date and wine started spluttering out my nose. I was hysterical, crying, choking, doubled over and gasping for breath. No matter how I tried, the laughter kept coming. Post escape, I called my dating experts to thank them. No big deal, they said. One nudist doesn’t represent all ­dating-kind. They were ready to find me another date, but I knew what to say. “Me no Jan. Que pasa, et vous? Aloha.”  is a newly single writer who didn’t find out she was an adrenaline junkie until she started dating again. She’s decided to take up hang gliding instead. Write her at HumorMe@SCLiving.coop.

JAN IGOE


STEM Workshop for K-8 Teachers

Energyandthe Environment

A FREE half-day session for K-8 teachers featuring lessons and activities aligned to state education standards and ready for use with your students Fall 2014 Workshops

September 13

Aiken Electric

Aiken

Fairfield Electric Blythewood

September 20

Pee Dee Electric

Darlington

Santee Electric Kingstree

September 27 October 11

Horry Electric

Conway

Newberry Electric

Newberry

Palmetto Electric Hardeeville

October 18

Berkeley Electric

Old Santee Canal Park

Black River Electric Workshop attendees will receive ✷ 4 credit renewal points ✷ Access to grade-

appropriate lessons and activities ✷ Lunch

Sumter

For more details or to register, visit the “Upcoming Events” section of

www.enlightensc.org


There are 42,000 miles of highway in South Carolina. 5,618 of those miles have been adopted by businesses, groups and individuals.

Help us keep South Carolina beautiful. Adopt a Highway. Visit PalmettoPride.org or call 1-877-725-7733 for more information.

Adopt A Highway

2700 Middleburg Drive, Suite 216 | Columbia SC 29204 | 877-725-7733 | PalmettoPride.org

South Carolina Living - August 2014  
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