May Play Dates Learn to bait a hook.
Buy a new bathing suit. Float. Wear gold nail polish. Get a spray tan all over. Have a Kahlua milkshake for dinner. Do the limbo.
for a Slip ’N Slide. Make guacamole in a molcajete. Throw a bocci party with seriously good prizes. Any excuse for a piñata! Befriend the owner of a gardenia bush.
House-sit for a pool owner.
Get a buzz cut, and dye it platinum. New summer-colored sheets! Remember firstgrade finger painting?
—you’re still allowed to do it! Secretly scatter sunflower seeds all around town. Have a tailgating party to watch the full moon rise.
u n d e r
Let the grass grow y o u r
f e e t . Cover art by Diana Marye Huff/The July Group
“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” Dr. Seuss
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Let’s have a
Vagina Dialogue! So you’re pregnant, now what? This month, we continue with your questions about pregnancy: Q. I am currently in my 6th month of pregnancy and I am now leaking urine when I sneeze or
laugh. I feel like I’m always in the bathroom! What’s going on??? -Embarrassed in Greenville.
A. Dear Embarrassed, You’re not alone! As embarrassing as this can be, this is very common
during pregnancy. The increasing weight of the baby as it grows puts pressure on the bladder and also stretches out the pelvic floor causing decreased ability for your muscles to contract as they normally would. Leakage of urine is also considered normal 6 weeks to 3 months after your baby is born, but should resolve by then. If this problem doesn’t resolve, it is a sign of pelvic floor weakness and may need to be addressed with Physical Therapy.
Q. My entire bottom area is really swollen and it hurts, what can I do to make it feel better down there? A. Swelling in the pelvic floor/vagina area can be normal especially in the 3rd trimester as the
baby is getting ready to come. Performing pelvic floor exercises (KEGELs) is important to help decrease swelling and promote better circulation in the entire area. You may also try sitting on some frozen vegetables or ice which may help also. Good luck and hang in there! The baby will be here soon and in your arms to make all this pain a distant memory. Our Women’s Health Program is available to be of benefit to you during your pregnancy. Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org
Offering South Carolina’s only Board Certified Women’s Health Specialists
1.877.677.6294 ext.3 • www.proaxistherapy.com
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about skirt! Publisher Nikki Hardin email@example.com
Greenville Editor Sheril Bennett Turner firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacy Appel ..............................................................................................15
National Art Director Caitilin McPhillips email@example.com
Mothers & Daughters Tracey and Kate Herlong ................................................................16
Director of Sales Angela Filler firstname.lastname@example.org
Mothers & Daughters Veronica Heuser and Tiffany Kuechenmeister......................18
Sales Executive Kathryn Barmore email@example.com
Mothers & Daughters
Graphic Designer Shelli H. Rutland
Leslie Provence and Elizabeth McMillian.................................20
Cracking Wise on Autism
John Fowler 864.380.6682 firstname.lastname@example.org
Liane Kupferberg Carter .................................................................27
Sheril Bennett Turner Sales 864.357.3669 FAX: 864.751.2815
sheMAIL 1708-C Augusta ST. #335 Greenville, SC 29605
subscribe! For a one-year Subscription (12 issues), send a $35 check to: skirt!Greenville 1708-C Augusta ST. #335 Greenville, SC 29605
ineveryissue From the Publisher/Editor...................................................................8 Letters..............................................................................................................9 Calendar......................................................................................................10
Skirt of the Month................................................................................12
all about women... their work, play, families, creativity, style, health and wealth, bodies and souls. skirt! is an attitude...spirited, independent, outspoken, serious, playful and irreverent, sometimes controversial, always passionate.
He’s So Original with Clinton Jarrett.........................................22 Products.......................................................................................................25 skirt! Alerts/Brava/It’s a Shame...................................................28 Girl Power with Brownie Troop 2638......................................30
skirt! is published monthly and distributed free throughout the greater Greenville area. skirt! reserves the right to refuse to sell space for any advertisement the staff deems inappropriate for the publication. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. Letters to the editor are welcome, but may be edited due to space limitations. Press releases must be received by the 1st of the month for the following month’s issue. All content of this magazine, including without limitation the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content, as well as the selection, coordination and arrangement thereof, is Copyright © 2010, Morris Publishing Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this magazine may be copied or reprinted without the express written permission of the publisher. SKIRT!® is a registered trademark of Morris Publishing Group, LLC.
24/7 with Linda Bennett....................................................................32 Browse..........................................................................................................33 Planet Nikki................................................................................................34
may [ the friends and family issue ]
from the publisher
cover artist Diana Marye Huff attended the Art Center College of Design and the School of Visual Arts. She began her career in New York as a fashion illustrator for Bloomingdale’s, Vogue, Tif-
got news? Let us know what’s on your mind, respond to an article, or give us info on an upcoming event.
and pattern design, she
leases to sheril.turner@skirt. com, or mail to skirt! Greenville, Greenville, SC 29605.
then expanded her work to include package design, book
Our guidelines for
wrapping paper design. Most
writers and artists are available online at skirt.com. Submit artwork or essays via e-mail to submissions@
recently, she has returned to school to study oil painting. Ms. Huff says, “As an illustrator you always want to challenge yourself and keep your work relevant in an ever-changing marketplace.”
1. Please ask me to bring wine instead of food to a potluck dinner. You will be sad and possibly poisoned otherwise. 2. I want to want a dog, and when I reach that point, I’ll find one on my own. Instead of suggesting breeds I might like, you should focus your efforts on guys I might like. Are you saving the single men you know for a rainy day?
1708-C Augusta St. #335,
We are always looking for new writers and artists.
illustration, and card and
Notes to my Friends:
Send letters or press re-
fany, and Nieman Marcus. Known for her line work
the friends and family issue
skirt.com. Check out our website at skirt.com for giveaways, essays, and other extras that aren’t in the print edition.
distribute Need additional copies of skirt!?
3. If, in a rash unguarded moment, I ask you to critique something I’ve written, the right response is, “Oh my god, I wish I had your talent.” Don’t say, “That’s interesting,” or I might kill myself. 4. On the other hand, be honest about whether you really like my haircut. Sort of. 5. I won’t be getting up at 7am on Saturday to go to yard sales with you (unless I’m out of my right mind on pain pills for a root canal or something). 6. If I start to complain about my weight, please tell me to shut up. 7. Your secrets are safe with me because I probably won’t remember them the next day. 8. I get carried away by passing enthusiasms. For instance, if I try to talk you into going on a month-long pilgrimage by foot to Santiago de Compostela, just wait it out until I move on to the next Idea of the Month. Because I always think I like to hike, but really I like to have hiked. 9. No, once and for all, I don’t want to go bowling. 10. I could not live without you!
If you would like to have copies of skirt! in your business, give us a call.
from the editor At one point in time, my childhood home was filled with orangey-red shag carpet so thick and bright that no dirt showed; if a toy was dropped, it was never found. I still tease my mom about that carpet, but it always reminds me of how colorful and fearless she was. All throughout my childhood, my mom was involved in everything I did, from baton twirling to basketball to scouting, but one of my most vivid memories was of her coaching my little league cheerleading squad. I had mighty visions of being a cheerleader, and those visions had a lot to do with the cute skirted uniforms. However, that year my mom decided to change it up—bright green pantsuits with bellbottom pants and a tunic top. Can you say Gumby…? I don’t remember it mattering much at all because my mom made everything so much fun. Today, as she approaches seventy, my mom remains colorful, fearless and fun. She’s also beautiful, full of life and the most selfless person I know. The absolute best thing about my mom, though, is that she’s my mom. Happy Mother’s Day to Linda Bennett, my mom and this month’s 24/7.
❉ skirt .c
skir t. c
! s u is
❉ skirt .
IMPORT FURNITURE The Shops &
I have read every single issue of skirt! and always find nuggets of particular interest
websites, cover artwork and quotes
Thanks to skirt! for providing teenagers, like myself, with all kinds of information. I can promise I wonâ€™t miss another issue. My mom has been bringing home skirt! for months. I really never paid
(Iâ€™m an inveterate collector of quotes!).
(behind Barnes & Noble, next to Ulta)
I started clipping these pieces and then realized I had just as well save the entire issue! BTW I probably should mention that I am almost 70 and definitely feel a lot younger after reading skirt! Sharon Larkins-Pederson Richmond,VA
I love skirt! magazine. Itâ€™s like a book you canâ€™t put down. I am one of the many who anxiously await the next issue. Hats off to you and your talented staff. Cindy Davis Richmond,VA
it much attention but last month I decided to read it. I loved it! I know
I started reading skirt! when a friend
you can hear my mom now saying â€œI
that goes to school with me was in
told you so.â€? I read about the blog
the magazine as your â€œGirl Powerâ€?
that the lady was doing where she was
last year. Now I pick up the magazine
giving away $100 a day and so I wrote
every month. Iâ€™m hooked! As a teenage
to her. Not only did she include the
woman, I totally love your pieces on girls
Reagan High School CARE Club in her
my age. There arenâ€™t many magazines at
blog, she also sent the club a check
the coffee shop that are made for me to
for $100. The CARE Clubâ€™s mission is to
enjoy. Thanks for remembering us young
raise breast cancer awareness at our
girls are women, too!
school. Thanks to skirt! for providing
Jenny Hanson Germantown,TN
teenagers, like myself, with all kinds of information. I can promise I wonâ€™t miss another issue. MacKenzie Kiger Winston-Salem, NC
Hey, I recognize that cute eco-stationary with the pup on it. Thanks for making it a â€œwe loveâ€? in the April issue.
I started clipping these pieces and then realized I had just as well save the entire issue!
4HE 3HOPS AT 'REENRIDGE s 7OODRUFF s WWW4RADE2OUTE)M
via Twitter (@GreenwearD) gretchenandgrace.com
I saw your tweet looking for moms and daughters to profile for the May issue. That sounds great! I would like to recommend an interesting pair. The mother is Tracey Herlong and her daughterâ€™s name is Kate. Tracey works at Greenville Hospital System in the Physician Relations department, and Kate goes to school at Augusta Circle Elementary School. Karen Potter Greenville Hospital System
[ed. Note: Donâ€™t miss Tracey and Kate in this monthâ€™s issue! And follow us on Twitter at @skirtgreenville to see when we can feature you!]
Have an opinion? Email email@example.com. All letters to the editor must include the writerâ€™s name and city/state.
The Undateable book might be a graduation gift for the college-bound guy on your list that he’ll actually want to study.
With a rich history of providing family fun for all ages, the 26th annual Village Hospital Greer Family Fest has something for everyone! greerchamber.com
M A Y C h A l l e n g e
Since their inception in Athens, Georgia in 1986, Widespread Panic has risen to elite status among American jam bands. Come check them out! bilocenter.com
Join some of the area’s hottest chefs and wine aficionados for Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® Greenville, a benefit for Loaves & Fishes and Project Host/Soup Kitchen. tasteofthenation.org/Greenville Pe a c e C e n t e r Check out this month’s lineup at the Peace Center for performances by Riverdance, Grammy-winner Sharon Isbin, Calder Quartet, The SC Governor’s School for Arts, and even Menopause the Musical. peacecenter.org Sundays Get a slice of South American life—and great early bird specials—Sunday 5-6pm at Rio Grille, a Brazilian Steakhouse. riogrille.com
Mondays It’s Maniac Monday at Rhythm & Brews in Greer! Enjoy 50 cents wings, $6 pitchers and Blues with Kidman Riddle. rhythmbrews.com
New studies suggest that women need an hour of moderate exercise daily to avoid gaining weight.
The Potential Youth Foundation/Sid Wilson Foundation presents Coaches 4 Character “Young Ladies Night” at 7pm featuring USC Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Three Time Olympic Gold Medalist Dawn Staley. potentialyouthfoundation.com
We d n e s d a y s Watch your favorite classic movies under the stars every Wednesday in May during the Rogers Stereo Moonlight Movie Series at the Bowater Amphitheater. greenvillesc.gov Come enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Lunchtime Live! when the free concert series returns for a second season at Greer City Park. cityofgreer.org
• TRAVEL TIP •
We hesitate to tell you about El Cosmico trailer park in Marfa, TX, because then we might not be able to get a reservation at one of their unspeakably cool vintage trailers. Why not just buy the tshirt instead and leave the fun to us? elcosmico.com
Download an artist-designed desktop wallpaper calendar for your computer from the Design*Sponge website. April’s was by Karen Combs of Nama Rococo. Find May 2010 at designspongeonline.com/dswallpapers.
1-2 Capture nature at the Shutterbugs Nature Photography Workshop at Chimney Rock Park with noted WNC. chimneyrockpark.com
Thursdays Shag on downtown every Thursday for the best in beach music when the new season of Larkin’s Rhythm on the River begins May 13. Proceeds benefit local charities. rhythmontheriver.com
Artisphere, the International Arts Festival of Greenville, presents a diverse menu of experiences that center around the arts, both visual and performing, at both indoor and outdoor venues. artisphere.us
Book Lunch Well-known authors are ready to meet, eat and read with you at Book Your Lunch. Ann B. Ross, Karen White and Mindy Friddle are in town this month. bookyourlunch.com
20-23 The Upstate Shakespeare Festival presents the magic of Shakespeare and other classic plays in an outdoor setting in Falls Park. It runs Thursday through Sunday weekly. Call for the current schedule. upstate shakespearefestival.org Thursdays Greer’s Moonlight Movies series begins in May and will offer outdoor films every Thursday on a giant 20-foot inflatable screen in the middle of the City Park amphitheater. cityofgreer.org
13th of Paris is a wonderful romantic comedy with healthy doses of magical realism! warehousetheatre.com They’re fast, they’re funny, and they’re only eight dollars. Don’t miss A Two Night Stand, GLT’s alternative studio series. greenvillelittletheatre.org
OPA! It’s food, fun and entertainment at The Greek Festival at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Greenville. stgeorgegreenville.org/ greekfestival.html
Adopt a duck and watch it race down the river at the 2010 Reedy River Duck Derby to benefit local charities. greenvilleeveningrotary. org/read.htm
No fireplace mantel to create a little altar? Rescue a small abandoned drawer, decorate it, put picture wire on the back and hang it up. Add statues, photos and ephemera to create a tiny sacred space.
The Undateable book might be a graduation gift for the collegebound guy on your list that he’ll actually want to study.
Use of the condom was first noted in published literature in the early 1500s.
Don’t miss the 3rd Annual Lure of the Dragons Festival at Lake Lure! lureofthedragons.org
The Greenville County Youth Orchestra presents Romantic Landscapes. gcyo.net Show support for those who fight for our country at the 2010 Armed Forces Day Parade and Celebration in downtown Greenville. greenvillearmedforcesday
Don’t miss the New Balance Girls on the Run 5K, 1 Mile Fun Run, & Kids 100 Yard Dash at the CUICAR campus. ghs.org/girlsontherun
The probability of a woman giving birth to a girl instead of a boy increases significantly the nearer the mother lives to the equator. 28-29
Enjoy all the colors, tastes, sights and sounds evocative of clan life in the wild Highlands of Scotland at the Greater Greenville Scottish Games & Highland Festival. greenvillegames.org
Freedom Weekend Aloft includes hot air balloons, Amphitheater Concerts, National Disc Dog national qualifier, Expanded Family Fun Zone with live entertainment and interactive activities, and much more! freedomweekendaloft.org
“I say that half your life is spent trying to get out of a small town and the other half trying to get back to one.” Kelly Cutrone 10
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The Children’s Museum
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Donor Egg Registry of the South • Greenville, SC and Charlotte, NC
I loved her, I couldn’t help it.
friend Isabelle’s younger sister was born in the back of a taxicab. Her mother, Nan, never managed to get it together to leave in time for the hospital, one of a string of events for which Isabelle has never forgiven her mother. It’s true that Nan is scatterbrained in many regards; as the wife of one university professor, then another, she was more inclined to spend the afternoons of Isabelle’s childhood arguing about abortion rights with her friends or discussing early French literature than filling the gas tank or rushing home before the children returned from elementary school. Isabelle maintains a lengthy mental list of her mother’s transgressions. As the years elapsed, I heard all of them several times over. We met when we were just 21, working at a tiny ceramics shop we had enjoyed as customers but found intolerable once employed. Over hurried lunches and breaks at the juice bar around the corner, an alliance was forged, each of us taking comfort in recounting the most recent injustices suffered at the hands of our cruel employer. Lunches became Saturday night dinners with Isabelle and her boyfriend, followed by summer day trips to Monterey or Stinson Beach, and a couple of years later, I’d earned front row seats for myself and my date at their wedding in Napa. Conversations with Isabelle almost always wound back to her complaints about her mother, her mother’s boyfriends, and the eccentric Spanish professor who was now her stepfather. Still bitter, my friend told me of special birthdays that passed unnoticed when they were small, or how Nan had flirted with Isabelle’s high school teacher, ostensibly to help her get a better grade. Her mother forgot piano recitals, allowances, field trips and lunches. Years later, she even upstaged Isabelle at her wedding reception by drinking too much and tickling the groom’s father while he was dancing with his new daughter-in-law for the first time. I learned of Nan’s tendency to buy any useless, expensive or tasteless item from a door-to-door salesman the moment he’d ensnared her in personal conversation, as compulsive as the way Isabelle worked herself into a tizzy categorizing her mother’s faults. I heard about Nan’s penchant for purchasing her friends’ ghastly paintings when invited to exhibit openings, which might have struck me as charming if I weren’t privy to Isabelle’s fury at all the squandered money.
Patina on the Alley Art and Gift Gallery
Representing over fifty local and regional Artists I was prepared to be appalled the first time I went with Isabelle to her parents’ home one long-ago Easter morning. When Nan came shyly to the ivy-covered gate to let us in, I was struck immediately by the contrast between the two women: the daughter, a striking, compact brunette in sneakers, vest and tidy jeans, the mother, a tall, tattered-looking blonde, all elbows and knees and messy chignon. She had pale cheeks and worried blue eyes above a flimsy embroidered blouse too short for her arms. She didn’t look like anyone’s mother, not even her own. Gracious but distracted, Nan accidentally handed me a china cup of coffee she’d been drinking from instead of a fresh one and led me on a quick tour of the backyard before resuming the project she’d begun just before we arrived. Nan was hiding candy and presents for all of us—Isabelle, her sister, the boyfriends, the professor—in the branches of a magnolia tree. Now she climbed up and down a rickety ladder, overflowing basket in hand, interrupting herself mid-way up to call out to her husband to please turn on the oven and then held us captive with one marvelous story after another. I loved her, I couldn’t help it. This was Isabelle’s wicked mother? She seemed more like Pippi Longstocking in the middle of a grand adventure. She spent so long tying things into the tree or exclaiming over blossoms that Isabelle and I, desperate for brunch, finally climbed up to finish the job. We ended up hiding every chocolate egg we were supposed to search for later. I could sense Isabelle fuming behind her sunglasses. Brunch was served on the patio outside. I eyed Nan from across the table, fascinated. Funny and poetic, dreamily unsure of herself, she seemed not quite of this earth. As she filled their plates to overflowing, I saw how she loved Isabelle and her youngest daughter, Martha, how she couldn’t take her eyes off them, incredulous at the accomplished young women they’d become. The food appeared in erratic order, not quite a coherent meal. But it was delicious, despite the fact that she only remembered the orange-scented French toast she’d made after we were done, and had to wrap it in foil and plead with us to take it home. Her shyness lessened, Nan enfolded me in a bear hug and invited me to visit again with Isabelle, or just by myself if I felt like it. I waited months before seeing her on my own, not comfortable with any show of disloyalty to my friend Isabelle or to her anger toward her mother. But I ran into Nan on occasion in the market or at Isabelle’s parties, and I accepted her invitations at last. Traitor that I was, I began to stop by frequently, drawn by Nan’s depth and kindness, the loneliness behind her smile. She never spoke ill of Isabelle, nor did she compromise her girls’ privacy during our long conversations. I wondered whether she even mentioned our visits to her daughter. The two barely seemed related. When I thought of Isabelle and her mom, it was like comparing a day laborer with a wood nymph. Isabelle, practical and punctual, maintained a schedule so rigidly enforced it might shame a military general. Coffee dates with her in recent years were scheduled within ridiculous parameters, commencing at 3:11, ending abruptly at 4:08, so she could fit me in between yoga class and her son’s soccer game. I felt exhausted and ignored after an entire afternoon with my old friend, the crown princess of multitasking, watching her braise Peking duck while organizing a surprise party by phone, watering the herb pots and tossing a load of delicates in and out of the dryer. My guilty secret was that I much preferred wandering around town with Nan over the course of a day in a kind of pleasant fog, making our way from shop to shop in search of a cheese she remembered tasting once in Marseilles. Isabelle called me over the holidays, outraged that her mother forgot to pick up her grandchildren as promised—the afternoon simply slipped by Nan while she was searching for an antique gold watch fob for her daughter on the other side of the city. I couldn’t even find it in my heart to commiserate. Last year the frayed rope of my connection with Isabelle finally gave way. We were both annoyed by the other. I was weary of the diatribes against Nan and so many others, weary of hearing about all the thorns in Isabelle’s imperfect life. She seemed to thrive on each disappointment, recounting with relish the frailties of those around her, her teachers, neighbors, her own husband. Disgusted by my apparent lack of sympathy, she stopped calling. I don’t know if I will see her mother again, though I recognize now that she is the better friend. Will it be too awkward or painful for her to visit with me now that Isabelle and I have gone separate ways? Who can say where the loyalties actually lie: old friend with old friend, daughter aligned with mother, or kindred spirit with kindred spirit? I picture Nan balancing atop the ladder where I first saw her—trying so hard to tie each bow perfectly, blossoms falling into her hair, her eyes full of light. Stacy Appel is an award-winning writer in California whose work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and other publications. She has also written for National Public Radio. She is a contributor to the book You Know You’re a Writer When…. Contact Stacy at WordWork101@aol.com.
Handcrafted Copper Leaf and Agate Stone Necklace and Handcrafted Copper Web Bracelet
Handcrafted Sterling Silver, Amber and Carnelian Stone with a 100 year old Afghan Medallion
114 Historic Ram Cat Alley | Seneca, SC 29678 864.888.1110 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mothers & daughters
Tracey and Kate Herlong There seems to be a whole lot of giggling going on whenever Tracey and Kate get together to play. Between bouts of trampoline jumping, horseback riding and dress-up pretending, the two take a time-out for pedicures and grand ice creams. Adding to the fun, the girls recently acquired a new special playmate. “A delicious, yummy cockapoo named Sam,” explains Tracey. Read more at greenville.skirt.com. Tracey on her daughter: “Kate is rock solid; she is the treasure of my life. She can make me laugh like no other person and can bring me to tears in a skinny minute. Kate is her own unique person which I admire and love.” Kate on her mom: “I am glad God chose my mommy to be my mommy. She can even run in high heels!” Photo by John Fowler
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Mothers & daughters
Veronica Heuser and Tiffany Kuechenmeister Making jewelry is one passion that this crafty pair shares. “When we get together, it usually involves trips to a craft store where we spend way too much time staring at rows and rows of beads,” Tiffany laughs. “Maybe someday Tiffany will be sewing, too,” adds Veronica. “Right now when she asks me to teach her, I always end up making it!” Read more at greenville.skirt.com. Veronica on her daughter: “Tiffany is a very loving and sensitive person, a jewel in my heart. She’s really a daddy’s girl, but I think I’m starting to see myself in her.” Tiffany on her mom: “I may not be a mother, but now that I’m a nanny, I have a tiny realization of how underappreciated mothers are. Moms are Superheroes, especially my mom!” Photo by John Fowler
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Mothers & daughters
Leslie Provence and Elizabeth McMillian Leslie is the owner of a gift store and a Realtor, her daughter Elizabeth—a School for the Arts Development Coordinator and opera singer. Together they share a love for their community through their work as members of the Junior League of Greenville. A typical mother-daughter pair, they share a fondness for another endeavor, as well. “We shop very well together,” laughs Elizabeth. Read more at greenville.skirt.com. Leslie on her daughter: “Elizabeth has the kindest spirit and the voice of an angel. She always sees the best in people, has a loving heart and has a very strong faith.” Elizabeth on her mom: “My mom is my guide in life, my confidant, my role model. She is quite an extraordinary woman, and I only hope to be as graceful a mother as she.” Photo by John Fowler
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HE’S SO ORIGINAL
Clinton Jarrett Is a Big Kid at Heart! Clinton had only been the General Manager at Palmetto Prep for a few months when the predominately female staff dared him to don a skirt for skirt!. Unfazed and secure in his masculinity, this daddy to daughters Ady and Jena showed off his playful side to the schoolchildren’s delight. In addition to working on making Palmetto Prep the premier international private school in the Upstate, Clinton is also involved in The First Tee, a program that brings golf to inner-city children. “It’s really important to me to make a difference in the lives of kids,” he says. In his downtime, you might find Clinton playing sports or watching a little TV. “I love Desperate Housewives. I’ve watched every single episode!” Clinton admits with a sheepish grin. What do you love about skirt! magazine? “I think skirt! is a well-written magazine. I love learning about all that is going on in the Upstate.” How do you feel wearing a skirt? “Manly! I prefer tea-length skirts, because I feel they best showcase my well-defined legs.” Photo by John Fowler
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“There are two kinds of days...bad days and good days that haven’t gone bad yet.” Liane Kupferberg Carter
Cracking Wise on Autism
“We’re trying new medication for Jake,” my friend Lauren tells me. Her son, like mine, has autism and seizures. “We saw bad side effects on that one,” I warn. “I know. The doctor told me Jake might even have hallucinations. So I said, ‘Really? How would we be able to tell?’” We both crack up. We convulse with hysterical laughter. This is what passes for funny in the Land of Autism. Gallows humor. Our personal shorthand. It’s how we cope. When Lauren’s son Jake and my son Mickey are hospitalized at the same time for video EEG monitoring, Lauren and I arrange for the boys to share a room at N.Y.U. Medical Center. Mickey slugs any technician who tries to come near him. But by day’s end, both boys wear identical sets of 32 electrodes, glued—with great difficulty—to their scalps. Lauren and I get to share their room for five days too. We collect sheets from the nearby linen closet, make beds out of reclining chairs. We sleep in our clothes. Take turns taking showers down the hall in a cold, tight stall with a warm trickle. After several days of this, I turn to her and announce:“The spa services here suck.” “There are two kinds of days,” our friend Alison says. “Bad days and good days that haven’t gone bad yet.” And there are often exhausting days, when it feels like too much effort to talk to anyone, because I just don’t want to have to explain what it’s like living with autism. That’s when I call Lauren. “Rupert Isaacson took his autistic son, Rowan, on a trip to Mongolia to ride horses and seek the help of shamans two years ago. His new book, The Horse Boy, tells the story of their journey.” “Gee. If only we’d known,” she says. “Yeah,” I say. “Maybe witch doctors are the way to go. Do you think Blue Cross would cover that?” We saw shamans too, in the beginning. Only they called themselves Alternative Therapists, or Holistic Healers. That’s what desperate parents do after the diagnosis. You follow all the prescribed therapies, of course, but pursue every other treatment you can find. You try them all. Crazy diets. Pancreatic enzymes. Epsom salt baths. You deplete your savings on expensive and unproven treatments. Woo-woo stuff. There’s a whole cottage industry of people who sell hope. Snake-oil salesmen, each one dangling the carrot of Cure de Jour. Over the years you learn to temper hope with reason. And along the way, if you are lucky, you find fellow travelers. Wise-cracking mothers who become your lifelines. Together you strip mine the lonely landscape for gold nuggets of humor. The joking insulates you against the despair. There’s a New Yorker cartoon I love: two women are sitting in a bar. One says to the other, “Talk to me. You have wounds. I have salt.” “I just read a book that claims you can heal autism by swimming with the dolphins,” reports Lauren. “I’m thinking of pitching a book of my own: How I Cured My Child of Autism by Swimming With Galapagos Turtles.” “Or maybe you should call it The Turtle Cure Diet: How to Coax Your Autistic Kid Out of His Shell?” We groan. The truth, of course, is that we all feel that no matter how much we have done, there will never be enough we can do for our children. The therapists say euphemistically that our children have “challenging behaviors.” They’re quirky. Cracking jokes about it may be our version of whistling past the graveyard, but it also feels rich and restorative. Edgy humor keeps us afloat. It’s a form of hard-earned bravery. We are riding in Miriam’s van. Her son James likes to issue driving directions. “We have arrived at our destination,” he says in a robotic voice. “You think he can make a career being the voice of G.P.S.?” Miriam asks. ‘When am I going to drive?” Jake asks Lauren. She doesn’t miss a beat. “When you’re 50,” she says. Lauren emails a story on the AP wire. “Is Facebook addictive?” the article asks. “A British scientist says all that time online could be changing how the brain functions—shortening attention span, even contributing to autism.” “Is that so?” I reply. “But last week some researchers in Seattle insisted it was all the television kids watch on rainy days.” “It wasn’t Tv,” Miriam points out. “They blamed autism on the rain.” “Did you see that new study? The headline said, ‘Autism Moms Have Stress Similar to Combat Soldiers.’” “Someone spent money to study that? They could’ve just asked us.” Miriam laughs. “Ladies, we need uniforms. With merit badges. Then we could just say, whoa, learned that already. See here? I got this one in Guadalcanal.” Yes. That’s us. We are veterans of the Autism War.
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Liane Kupferberg Carter’s work has appeared in The New York Times, McCall’s, Parents, Child, New Parent, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, skirt! and Literary Mama. She is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post, and a 2009 winner of the Memoir Journal Prize for Memoir in Prose. skirt.com
Forget them not! On May 7 enjoy an unforgettable evening of fine foods and beverages, live entertainment, danc-
u After a Mississippi
u Reports suggest that
ing, and silent and live
high school refused to
violence against women
auctions at the 3rd An-
allow a lesbian student
in post-earthquake Haiti
nual Upstate Forget-
to wear a tuxedo to her
is on the rise. The danger
Me-Not Ball benefiting
prom and attend with her
is compounded by the
the SC Chapter of the
girlfriend as her guest,
fact that newly homeless
a US District Judge has
females are sleeping on
ruled in the girl’s favor.
the street and the police and justice systems are
Take a stance for some great causes at the BMW Charity Pro-Am on May 13-16.This is the only golf tournament on the Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a four-day better-ball competition over three courses. bmwcharitygolf.com
v Women in uniform
in tatters. In addition,
now have the same
thousands of prisoners,
rights as those of us at
home. The Department
rapists, are now at large.
of Defense has begun making the morning-after
v A Lutheran school in
pill, Plan B, available in
Wisconsin had hired a
all of its hospitals and
principal who believed
health clinics around
that “the idea that men
have authority over women is invalid.”
w To protest
John’s Lutheran Church
disagreed. At a six-hour
meeting that ended in
themselves to a Catholic
the man’s firing, women
campus statue during
weren’t even allowed
tours by prospective
up the heat on May 14
students. Students held
for the hottest night
a banner which said
w If you’re a woman in
of the year! The Fire
“Take the tape off our
China’s space program,
Ball is a fabulous black
mouths and the chains
you must meet two
tie optional, fiery hot
off our bodies.” The
school’s policies mean
being a wife and mother.
dinner benefiting Pend-
that students must go off
According to officials,
leton Place Children’s
campus for birth control.
space could harm
women’s fertility and “married women are more physically and psychologically mature.”
FEMINISTS WANTED (Share Your Voice) “I’m a Feminist Because…” Give us 50 words finishing this sentence, and you might be one of the profiles featured in the July issue of skirt!. […because I never settle for good enough…] […because I burned my bra in 1967 and never looked back…] […because I believe people can change…] […because I believe all women should have choices…]
Email your 50 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 18, 2010. Please include your full name, street address, city, state, and a daytime telephone number.
This lively group of local
Brownie Troop 2638
scouts are delighted to be lending a helping hand at the food pantry at TOTAL Ministries. In addition to community service projects, the girls also work on various “Try-It” projects involving crafts, cooking, the outdoors and personal care, enjoy camping trips and outings to plays, and learn about appropriate behavior and manners. Oh, and they also sell some really, really good cookies in
“Being a South Carolina Mountains Brownie is to Midlands Council! fun,” says Quinn. “It really brings out the inner you!” support of the Girl Scouts of
L to R: Sophia Whisnant, Mae Webster, Rachel McClintock, Quinn Filler, Grace Schroeder, Isabella Goodchild-Michelman, Emma Sandago, Sarah Grace Byers, Grace Pinkley
Photo by John Fowler
Shop live at gwynns.com.
“These beautiful bright Ella Vickers
sailcloth bags make me want to set sail and take flight. Caitilin McPhillips, skirt! Art Director
1 “My best friend and I discovered this Riondo Prosecco at Luna Rosa Gelato. Just add a dollop of lemon gelato and you have the perfect springtime cocktail!” Kathryn, Sales Executive
“It’s almost summertime, and the living will certainly be easier in my new comfy Adirondack chairs!” Angela, Director of Sales
“I want ALL the titles in the new Penquin Classics clothbound collection. My first acquisition was Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskill.” Nikki Hardin, skirt! Publisher
“I’m a huge fan of Greenville’s Lily Pottery (lilypottery. com).These Vintage Garden necklaces come ‘garden party ready’ in a multitude of blooming colors!” Sheril, Editor
TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN WITH...
Linda Bennett | Happy Homemaker My passion right now: Quilting Words I live by: Honesty Pays My nickname: Linie I’d like to learn to: Crochet and line dance. Favorite restaurant: Love the all-youcan-eat salad at the Olive Garden! My guilty pleasure: Eating. See above…
My secret ambition: To be a singer and dancer. My muse: Human life The oddest job I’ve held: Soda Jerk at a drugstore at 16. That’s how I met my husband, Charles. Red, white or beer? White My roller derby name would be: Red Hot Mama (‘cause I’m a redhead!)
Photo by Sheril Bennett Turner
My mother always said: Go to church. My life in 3 words or less: Blessed. One thing people don’t know about me: I played Ladies Softball in my 20s. I wish I’d known: How short life really is. Read more at greenville.skirt.com
This issue of skirt! was put together to the sounds of: Remember the Sun Pieta Brown Women and Country Jakob Dylan Home to You Po’ Girl Talking to You Talking to Me The Watson Twins
Parents and teachers, urge your daughters to subscribe to the Girls Incorporated YouTube channel for a dose of energy, empowerment and enlightenment. youtube.com/girlsincorporated
Find out how long it takes to become debt-free by calculating different monthly payment amounts and how much interest
Addie’s Way: Lessons in Cooking and Life as Learned From My Lebanese Mother
you’ll pay by just paying the minimum amount on your loans and credit cards each month. Go to CNNMoney.com and click on the Calculators link at the bottom of the page.
Michael J. Shaheen
As a loving tribute to his late mother Addie, Michael completed the Lebanese cookbook she started. Filled with lovely family recipes, dear memories and photos, the book honors a wise, tenacious and generous woman.
Enjoy If you’re a woman of a certain age, you’ll love the blog that celebrates stylish older women (and men). Recently featured in The New York Times. advancedstyle.blogspot.com
Sheril Bennett Turner, Editor
Bookmark Get the latest stats on flights across the country... arrivals, departures, delays, airport traffic and parking and more at Flight Stats. flightstats.com
Download The Lo-Mob app lets you give vintage or experimental effects to the photos you take with iPhone. Save them in high resolution and email to friends. $1.99. lo-mob.com
“...I kept thinking it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know.
California Stars Billy Bragg & Wilco Morningtime Sarah Dashew Lay Lady Lay Bob Dylan At Break of Day Bonnie “Prince” Billy Let’s Get Lost Chet Baker
Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination Phil Cousineau
As I was reading this, I kept thinking it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know. But I’ve carried it everywhere, and paging back, I can see I underlined a lot, so I guess I hadn’t learned it all that well after all. Nikki Hardin, Publisher
planetnikki [ a visual journal ]
I didn’t need another Starbucks card, but I’m a sucker for fun design, and this one made me happy.
A long-lost friend who found my blog sent me a Frida candle...I’m going to light it next time I need to summon a muse.
mixology My grandmother was an amateur self-taught painter. She took it up later in life and continued well into her 80s and even managed to make extra money in her Social Security years selling her paintings locally. I grew up loving the heavy porcelain mixing tray, the wooden palettes with multi-colored streaks making their own abstract painting, and best of all, the smell of oil paints and thinner. I’m only now realizing what a creative role model this conventional housewife was for me. My mother was a superb teacher and my aunt one of the sharpest businesswomen in town, but my grandmother was an artist. And whether she was cooking or cleaning or working on a painting, she was always perfectly turned out in housedress or skirt and blouse with stockings rolled up above her knees and respectable low-heeled pumps. I don’t think she ever got upset because she wasn’t another Grandma Moses; she was just in her true element when she picked up the brush. When I tear up a painting or drawing because it’s amateurish or I get frustrated not knowing the techniques real artists use, I need to conjure up my grandmother’s spirit—The Muse of Just Pick Up the Brush.
I recently spent a happy Sunday afternoon playing with watercolors, a calligraphy brush and sumi-e ink.
One of my blog entries was about picking one thing and doing it instead of trying to multitask. A reader turned me on to these little sticky notes from PrettyBitter.com.
Am I fascinated by maps because I’m always looking for direction in my life? The way the artists in The Map as Art (by Katharine Harmon) created or incorporated maps in their work was magical.
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Published on May 1, 2010