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January 2018

The beginning is always today.

-Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley-

January 2018 Volume 17, Issue 1

8 10 12 15 16 18 20 22 26

A Dime for Your Thoughts by Christy Heitger-Ewing Read It A Tribute to My Friend by Rose Ann Sinay Sasee Asks an Expert Retiring? Now What? By Linda Ketron Embracing my Gray Hair by Anna Riley Hot Dogs for Lunch by Melissa Face Sasee Asks an Expert MB Plastic Surgery by Dr. Ralph Cozart Smarter than You Think by Diane Stark Pearls by Marilyn A. Gelman

30 32

Personal Passion by Diane DeVaughn Stokes

33 34 36 38 40 41

Becky Ransome Armed with Umbrellas by Leslie Moore

Sasee Asks an Expert Boxing and Parkinson’s disease by Nikki Shaffer

Sasee Chats with John Kenny, Author of A Very Special Family The Lady Marine by Phil La Borie Teaching is Teaching by Erika Hoffman Sasee Kids Parenting 911: Navigating your Teen and Pre-Teen’s World Sasee January Calendar

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letter from the editor

Cover Artist Eleanor, by Abigail Behrens

It’s January dear readers! A month of new beginnings and cozy sweaters and (finally) time for reading good books. But January isn’t most people’s favorite month, even though I believe it should be. I love January for many reasons – the first is that it’s my son’s birthday month. I received one of the two most precious gifts of my life in January – how can I not love this magical month? Next, for those of us who live here, it is quieter. A bundled-up walk on the beach will reap many treasures not found in July – beautiful shells and some of the most spectacular sunrises of the year. And that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? This is the month. As much as I love spending time with family and friends celebrating the holidays, January is definitely more relaxing. If I come home in the evening and put my PJs on by 5:30 pm, it’s perfectly acceptable right? And, while I’m lounging in my comfiest PJs, not only will I read, I can also catch up on all my favorite television shows that I missed during the whirlwind of November and December. January is also a wonderful month for reflection. I’m not one to make a lot of resolutions, the oneday-at-a-time approach has always worked better for me, but I do spend more time journaling and planning when the warm sunshine isn’t calling me outside. Gratitude and appreciation are my keys to making January shine – even when the weather isn’t the best, and there’s nothing special to do. I wish you a beautiful January. And, as always, I am so appreciative of your continued support of Sasee. We are here because of you!

The beginning is always today. 6

-Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley-

Abigail Behrens is a 16 year old Murrells Inlet local who attends The Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology as an advanced art major. She knew she had a passion for art from a very young age and began taking lessons at age 9, which eventually sparked a huge interest in painting. Abigail has taken several lessons from artists around the Grand Strand to develop the fundamentals needed for successful works of art. Along the way, she has also adapted her own style, focusing a lot on portraiture, cityscapes, and the New York City theme. Abigail is also an accomplished pianist and vocalist. The arts have come rather naturally to her from a very young age, and she is so happy to have her work recognized not only on the Sasee cover, but also in various state competitions and the Burroughs and Chapin Museum. Other works of hers can be found on her website:

who’s who Publisher Delores Blount

Art Director Patrick Sullivan

Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant

Photographer & Graphic Artist Aubrey Glendinning

Editor Leslie Moore

Web Developer Scott Konradt

Senior Account Executive Celia Wester

Accounting Sophia McCallister

Account Executives Stacy Danosky Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse

Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Suzette Rogers

PO Box 1389, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 fax 843-626-6452 • phone 843-626-8911 • • Sasee is published monthly and distributed free along the Grand Strand. Letters to the editor are welcome, but could be edited for length. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication. Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material, in part or in whole, prepared by Strand Media Group, Inc. and appearing within this publication is strictly prohibited. Title “Sasee” is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

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A Dime for your Thoughts by Christy Heitger-Ewing

“Where are you, Mom?” I whispered into the wind. “I need to feel you, but I don’t know where to find you.”

As I waited for the opening ceremony to begin, I felt a light tap on my shoulder.

My mother and I were best friends. She understood me in a way no one else ever could. She comforted me no matter how heavy the world seemed at any given moment. Her hug, hearty laugh and tasty homemade honey wheat bread were all sprinkles of magic that lit up my world and made it worth living. So when my precious mom slid into the depths of clinical depression – a vicious monster that snuffed out her life, for a good long while I felt like my own life was snuffed out, too. Flattened by grief, I struggled to breathe, to move, to function. As the months passed, I took baby steps forward, but an insatiable emptiness still consumed me. I wanted to feel her presence so that I could inhale a moment of peace. But try as I might, her presence wasn’t there.

“Hi. I’m Deb,” a 50-something bubbly brunette said. “Is this your first Overnight?”

One day I came across the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), an organization that raises awareness about suicide prevention programs. Each year they hold an overnight event in which participants walk 18 miles through the night to represent the darkness those feel who are suffering with clinical depression. This Out of the Darkness walk starts at sunset and concludes at the break of dawn to signify the importance of bringing the stigma of mental illness out of the dark so that those suffering can feel safe seeking help. “Maybe if I do this walk, I’ll connect with Mom,” I thought. Plus, it would be a chance to meet others who had lost a loved one to suicide. Several months later, armed with my decorated luminary bag that was covered with photos of me and Mom, I flew across the country to participate in the walk. At registration, participants dropped their luminaries with the AFSP staff, who, during the night, lit them and set them out along the path to the finish line. Participants then reunite with their luminary at the event’s completion. I envisioned returning from the walk, finding Mom’s luminary, kneeling beside it and feeling an immediate connection. That’s what I wanted. 8 That’s why I came.

“Yeah,” I replied, reaching out my hand. “I’m Christy.” “Are you walking alone?” she asked. I nodded. I must have looked like a lost puppy. “Why don’t you join me?” she offered. As Deb and I ticked off the miles, we exchanged stories about our losses. I learned that Deb’s daughter, Liz, had taken her life five years earlier when she was just 18. I told her about Mom and how much she meant to me. Deb had lost her only daughter. I had lost my only mother. We bonded over shared grief. At mile marker 6, the skies opened up, as did our hearts. “Mom and I were so close,” I told Deb. “When she died, I lost my confidant.” “It was the same with me and Liz,” Deb said. “Life forever changed.” “Do you still feel her with you?” I asked. “Yeah,” Deb replied. “How so? Do you get signs from her that indicate she’s trying to communicate with you?” “I do. Have you ever heard of Dimes from Heaven?” I shook my head. “Finding dimes is a common sign from a spirit that shows validation that we’re on the right path. It’s their way of saying, ‘Hey, I’m still here!’” Deb

explained. “I find dimes all the time now, and I never did before Lizzie died.” We continued our waterlogged journey, dodging mud puddles and navigating slippery streets. Around 3:30 a.m., we wearily crossed the finish line, drenched and exhausted. Within a few minutes, Deb found her daughter’s luminary, but I couldn’t locate Mom’s. The bags were smeared, streaked and soggy from the rain, but I still wanted to find Mom’s and clutch it to my chest. My feet ached and my back stiffened. Nevertheless, I kept searching. I hadn’t flown 2,300 miles and walked for eight straight hours with nagging plantar fasciitis pain to be denied the emotional release of reconnecting with my mom. After 30 minutes of hunting, however, hope waned. “The staff must not have set it out,” I whimpered, angry, frustrated and heartbroken. I needed my mom. Where was my mom? “I give up,” I mumbled as I hugged Deb goodbye. “I know you’re upset, but I promise your mom is with you. I just know it,” Deb said. Tears streamed down my face. Defeated, deflated and depressed, I started the lone walk back to my hotel room with red burning eyes. I wiped my cheeks with the sleeve of my jacket and prepared to cross the deserted road when suddenly I noticed something shiny lying in it. I squinted to make out the object, then gasped when I realized what it was. There, glistening in the streetlight, was a shiny wet dime. I picked up the coin, ice cold from the rain, and pressed it to my cheek. I had found her. I could feel her. I clutched the dime to my chest and inhaled deeply. Then, melting into the moment, I exhaled into a glorious moment of peace.

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Christy Heitger-Ewing

is an award-winning writer and columnist who pens human interest stories for national, regional and local magazines, has contributed to over a dozen anthologies and is the author of Cabin Glory: Amusing Tales of Time Spent at the Family Retreat ( She lives in Indiana with her husband, two sons and two cats.


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–Read It!– Nicole Says…Read

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry


by Maya Angelou Review by Nicole McManus

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Maya Angelou was an amazing wordsmith. Not only was she an incredible author and actress, she truly believed in equality and overcoming history. Over the past several decades, there have been numerous collections of her work. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry was published. This hardback book has ribbed pages that add a bit of vintage texture while you read and is broken down into sections, giving readers a journey through her remarkable life. Previously unpublished poems, like the one written for the 2008 Olympics, are included in this book, and my two personal favorites, “Still I Rise” and “Phenomenal Woman” are also featured in this version. Readers will quickly become entranced in each poem as the words come alive, and they will be able to “hear” Maya Angelou’s voice. This is the perfect book, not only for fans of Maya Angelou’s work, but also to inspire a new generation. Welcome 2018! Over the years, I have shared incredible books with all of you, ranging from fiction to biography, from children’s to history, even a few cooking and gardening books. The one genre that I

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have not reviewed for Sasee is poetry. If you are in our Sasee Facebook Book Club, you will know that there are very few author collections that I covet. I was truly blessed, when my Mom gave me this book for my birthday last year. As you might be able to tell, I believe in a well-balanced reading diet, and I enjoy discovering treasures in a wide variety of genres. Some of the best books to read are the hardest to review… and this book is no exception! No matter who you are, the life you have lived or what you believe in, Maya Angelou’s words will seep into your soul. Her words will inspire, heal, and comfort you. I keep this book on my nightstand in order to read my favorite poems for either motivation or reflection. So if you are looking for a powerful, inspiring book to begin the New Year, I highly recommend this title.

Nicole McManus

loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at ARIESGRLREVIEW.COM.


A Tribute to My Friend by Rose Ann Sinay

My cell phone rang, but I ignored it. We were moving, and I had a room full of belongings to separate, pack or trash. Trying to distance emotional connections to “things” was hard for me. Somehow, I could attach a good memory or a special person with each of my possessions. I didn’t want to give up my links to my past. Frustrated and cranky, I didn’t want to talk “nice” to anyone. Finally, with six boxes safely taped shut and placed in my car, I called it quits. Any longer and I might be tempted to go through those containers one more time, and besides, I had a phone call to return. I sank into my chair and scrolled through the phone screen with all its unopened messages. A notification informed me that I had a new voice mail, but the box was full. I needed to delete; there was no more room (story of my life). It wasn’t much of a threat since I never listened to the recordings. It was easier to just return the call. The messages sat frozen in time. I promptly deleted several old messages. Then I saw the one from Sandy S. dated five months earlier. I stopped, my heart dropped and tears filled my eyes. Sandy S., my dear friend, a no-nonsense, tell-itlike-it-is pal. I had the tendency to sugar coat the uncomfortable and complain about it later. Sandy, on the other hand, didn’t mince words and didn’t tolerate my occasional whining. “Let it go,” she’d insist – and I did. I like to think I made her laugh and look at life in a less black and white way. “The gray area is always more interesting,” I told her. I made her listen to my proud


grandmother prattle and look at baby pictures until she couldn’t take it anymore. But, she was the one that helped me through the excruciatingly long heart surgery of my youngest granddaughter. She never offered useless platitudes or meaningless promises. She was just there. It was what I needed. As writers, we critiqued each others work, and when Sandy made a comment, I listened. Likewise, when I made a suggestion, she valued my input. We helped each other to become better listeners, better storytellers and better writers. Our friendship was based on trust and respect, and despite our opposite personalities, we really liked each other. I stared at the number. Hearing her voice again would be strange, hard, emotional. I finally clicked on her name and put the phone to my ear. I listened to Sandy’s words. It was nothing important, she’d said. She’d read a great book; seen a cheesy action movie; asked how our visit up north had been; and wanted to meet for lunch. She missed me – not sappy, not sentimental – just matter of fact. I played it over and over as if hearing her voice would bring her back. When my friend learned that she had cancer, she was surprised more than anything. There was no drama, no “why me?” moments. She took action – flying to Chicago, her second home, for a second opinion. She accepted the final diagnosis, but she never lost hope. She dared me to dance around the disease. She talked about her cancer as a condition of being. Unlike her gray hair, she couldn’t rinse it away and neither could I. There was a list of what she would do if she kicked the malignancy and a list of what she needed to do if she didn’t. “It is what it is,” she said. Sandy stayed in Chicago in her downtown condo close to restaurants, stores and (her favorite) the library. She walked more in a day then I did in a week. She woke to her beautiful view of Lake Michigan and enjoyed the convenience of being in the city. And then, of course, there was the close proximity to a good hospital. She regretted that there might not be time to do the items on her bucket list. One of her biggest wishes was a trip to Ireland – a trip I can’t imagine taking by myself, never mind while battling a terrible disease. But Sandy realized it was now or never. She checked that item off her list. Of course, she did. It was Sandy.

Both of us had books in progress. When we got stuck and couldn’t move forward, we would make up final chapters, silly over-the top endings in the hopes something would break our respective writer’s block. The silliness was difficult for her, but she did it well. If nothing else we blew off some frustration, and as Sandy put it, we could move on. Sandy has already written her final exit chapter, but I think she would have liked this short character profile I’ve written for her. I arrived late as usual. As usual, she had been on time – early probably. She sat straight, no sign of a curve in her thin back and shoulders. Her long legs were primly crossed at the ankle. One hand was wrapped around a cup of hot tea. If the water had not been hot enough, she would have already sent it back. I could see the steam rising over her hand. There was a slight irritation on her face as her finger tapped the face of her watch. “Sorry,” I said as I approached the table ready to offer a plethora of excuses. She waved her hand at me. “Traffic? Doctor’s appointment? You stubbed your toe? Sit down. I have a new chapter.” Her smile reached her eyes and it lit up the entire room. I miss my friend. I’d love to have one more conversation with her, one more lunch, one more story. There’s a void without her. She had the power to make an imprint so deep; I don’t need “something” to connect me with her. It just is. Rest in peace, Sandy.

Rose Ann Sinay

is a freelance writer newly relocated to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. She continues to write about moments worth remembering, graciously provided by family and friends.



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Retiring? Now What? By Linda Ketron

As a veteran generalist, I thought it strange to be asked for my “expert” thoughts on retirement, because I am so NOT retired. Even though I did, rather publicly, jump through all the retirement protocol in 2015, in order to receive my South Carolina pension for leading the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CCU for more than a decade. Closing that door in great shape and in good hands allowed me to expand all my other interests (see below!). But if you are about to retire and don’t have a series of pursuits that you’ve been chomping at the bit to undertake, I have three suggestions: • Take some short courses at OLLI ( Taste of OLLI is in early January and gives you a sampling of all that is offered in the coming semester; you just might find an avocation to pursue – painting, photography, stained glass, memoir writing, tai chi. Or attend the free programming at the library (lectures, demonstrations, classic and foreign films, live music) – learning keeps you vital and engaged (; • Stop by “Know the Neck, Come Connect” Volunteer Fair at the Waccamaw Library on Friday, February 9, 9 am-2 pm to check out all the local nonprofits’ needs and opportunities – giving of yourself and your talents has so many rewards; and by all means, • Read. Read. Read. Why not start with Amy Webb’s Stones at the Crossing, a valuable lesson in living fully and appreciating the milestones on your path before some life-threatening crisis forces your hand.

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Linda’s “retirement” includes Friends of the Waccamaw Library (now 28 years of active participation); Bike the Neck (after 24 years, nearing completion of 16 miles of the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway from Murrells Inlet to Pawleys Island); Art Works (now beginning its 21st year of exhibiting local artists); The Moveable Feast (celebrating 20 years in January of weekly literary luncheons); CLASS (Community Learning About Special Subjects) which continues to offer unique personal growth experiences; CLASS Publishing Division (11 titles in four years); and the Kimbel Concert Series (8 concerts in two years). To find out what’s going on in all these areas, visit or sign up for the Friends of Waccamaw Library’s Community Connector, a bi-monthly digital newsletter, by sending your e-dress.

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Embracing My Gray Hair by Anna Riley

“No!” a few friends quickly responded when I asked them their thoughts on growing out my gray hair. It is safe to say that they did not like the idea at first. But my independent, determined nature led me to continue talking about gray hair, and eventually my friends caught on that I made the decision to stop dyeing my roots despite what they thought! (Though it is nice to have people rooting for you – no pun intended.) So why not do this? I thought. If I wasn’t happy with the results, I could always dye my hair again. I began looking on Pinterest at gray hair styles for women. Some women were all gray and some had highlights, lowlights or both blended in with gray. Some even had a streak or two of purple or pink, and I realized this process could actually be FUN! Thus, embracing my gray hair began. I decided to go with this transition during the summer and experiment with a partial foil process for my hair. My hair stylist and colorist both were open to working with me on this transformation. The plan was to see if I would be happy with this new look and add some highlights and lowlights. I could save some money by cutting down on the frequent root touch-ups that came about every five weeks, to foiling my hair every few MONTHS. I felt so free after making this major decision. Do you sometimes feel that way after finally deciding on something? I was looking forward to more freedom from hair care. The first step to get there was to trim off most of the dyed hair. At this point, my roots had been dyed about two months prior. My hair was pretty much a variety of colors including natural gray shades and dark blonde dyed ends. After this cut, just a small amount of the “box-dyed” ends were left on some of the tips and much more gray shades were prominent. Four days after the cut came the partial foiling. This was an exciting moment for me. My stylist did a great job blending in highlights and lowlights with the gray shades in my hair. Later, we may experiment with a different color or two. Sounds like fun to me. I’ve been freed from the bondage of dyeing my roots, and it is a great feeling. What is even more exciting is that I’ve received more hair compliments than I ever did before this gray hair journey. I am so happy with my decision and I absolutely LOVE my hair. Of course, my 96½-year-old mother thought that I would look too old. She continues to color her hair, though she can no longer bend back at the hair salon sink in her assisted living home, and now we are using a root touch up for her. If I should be lucky enough to live to my 90s, I will not have this concern. Another plus to embracing my gray. The most important opinion of all is our own, don’t you think? We have to like ourselves and be happy with who we are and what we want! The compliments are very much appreciated, but are much more significant when we are happy with ourselves first. Instead of dyeing my roots, I’m staying rooted in the universe by following my heart and free spirit. Stay happy with yourself, be your best you, and embrace your decision, whatever it may be.

Anna Riley

is a mom of two lovely, adult daughters. She embraces her age and encourages others to as well. Her kindness shines through daily blog posts at


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Hot Dogs for Lunch by Melissa Face

We were in the mood for hot dogs and chips. I picked Laney up from preschool, took her to the playground and the library, and asked her what she wanted for lunch. “I would like a hot dog!” Laney shouted. “And plain chips! Not the ones that are too hot in my mouth.” She was talking about the barbecue, and that was all they had on the counter of the local restaurant just down the road from her school. She asked me to buy them anyway. Laney and I sat across from one another and ate our hot dogs and chips. They were simple and delicious and exactly what my 3-year-old wanted. A lady sat down at a table next to ours and began eating her meal. “Those glasses sure are cute,” she told Delaney. “Thanks,” Laney said. The lady asked if they were an accessory or if she had impaired vision, and I explained that Laney is near-sighted and has an astigmatism. “Well, they look great on her,” the lady emphasized. I agreed. “My baby has Asperger’s,” she told me. “He’s in school now and doing really well because I got him started in p rog rams early.”

I commended her for being such a strong advocate for her child and told her that I used to work with students with disabilities. “He’s actually my grandbaby,” she said. “I thought I was done raising babies.” She sighed and took a bite from her hot dog. “But what are you supposed to do when your daughter walks away from her own child?” I just listened and took another bite of my hot dog. “To her, it’s like she just asked me to watch her purse while she went to the bathroom. No different, really.” She leaned her forehead against her palm and told me more about her family. “My grandbaby’s in kindergarten now and he doesn’t like the lunch, so I just feed him when he gets home, or I buy him a lunchable. He knows what he wants and has a pretty strong sense of self.” We commiserated about picky eating habits and strong personalities. I knew exactly what she was dealing with in that respect. “And my daughter has missed it all – the milestones, birthdays, Christmases. I don’t know how it doesn’t kill her soul. You know? It would kill your soul, wouldn’t it?” I told her it would, and I meant it. I know exactly how fortunate I am to be there for the major events in my children’s lives. I am grateful to have every afternoon, evening and weekend with them, and I really appreciate my special weekday lunch dates with Laney. Today she chose hot dogs. Laney and I finished our lunch and moved on to dessert. At some point during our conversation, another customer anonymously paid for Laney’s ice cream. We indulged and continued talking with our new friend. “I lost a baby to SIDS years ago,” she confided. “It’s one of the most painful things you can imagine. I thought I had maxed out on my share of suffering, then my


son committed suicide a few years ago. You may have heard of him. He was a decorated soldier from Prince George.” She pulled out a memorial poster from her purse. It was covered in pictures of him from high school and his time in the military. I told her that I never taught him, but some of my friends probably had. He was such a handsome and intelligent man, and he had achieved so much in such a short time.

Laney and I pulled out of our parking space and waved goodbye to our new friend, a lady I bonded with because of our beliefs on raising children and treating people with kindness. Our similarities far outweighed our differences, and I was so glad I had been there to listen to her story, the things she needed to say. It turned out I was the perfect person to hear it all. Thank goodness Laney chose hot dogs.

I told her how sorry I was, and we chatted more about grief, pain and loss. We both questioned how so many people go through life untouched by tragedy, yet others have to suffer endlessly. We talked about staying positive, working hard and being grateful for the people we still have. “My grandbaby is half white and half black,” she continued. “He asked me where he fit in at school – if he fit with the black children or the white children. I told him he fit in with all of them because he’s a human.” We both said we wished more people thought the way we do, and the world would be a better, safer place if they did. When it was time to leave the restaurant, I wiped ice cream off Laney’s mouth and we all walked outside together. I told the lady how nice it was chatting with her and it was a lunch I wouldn’t soon forget.

Melissa Face

lives in southeastern Virginia with her husband and two children. She teaches English, writes essays, and spends a little too much time on Facebook. Email Melissa at

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Elective cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery procedures have become a big business in the United States. Often it seems there is a Cosmetic Surgeon or Med spa on every street corner offering a variety of non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery have been so commercialized that patients often forget the fact that these are actual medical procedures with real risks. The boom in office based cosmetic procedures such as fillers, Botox, non-invasive fat removal, and even major cosmetic surgeries while awake under local anesthesia has been driven in large by the lure of profit. In recent years, manufacturers of medical equipment have mass marketed nearly every member of the medical community with promises of large profits if you buy one of their machines. They will even “train” you and “certify” you in the use of their equipment. There are so many “boards,” “organizations” and “certifications,” it’s no wonder that many patients are confused. A board certified plastic surgeon has completed at least 5 to 7 years of residency training devoted to all areas of plastic surgery, to include cosmetic surgical procedures. This is over 45,000 hours of hands on instruction in the operating room. Non-plastic surgery trained cosmetic surgeons might merely attend a weekend seminar with slide presentations and little if any hands on operative instruction. Since most patients research cosmetic procedures online, anyone with a good web designer can appear to be the best trained surgeon in the world. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) oversees 24 medical specialty boards in the United States and is considered the gold standard of physician certification in the United States. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only officially accepted and recognized certification board in the United States by the ABMS as the standard for plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons must pass both the official extensive written and oral examinations under the strict Rules of the ABMS organization. Members of the American Board of Plastic Surgery (Board Certified Plastic Surgeons) are listed by name on both the ASPS and ABMS websites. Now YOU know the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon. Board certified plastic surgeons are clearly the most qualified to perform cosmetic surgery safely and effectively with years of hands on training in residency in the operating room. Any other doctor can call himself a cosmetic surgeon without adequate training. A plastic surgeon is a real cosmetic surgeon. Do your homework when considering cosmetic surgical procedures and take time to review the physician’s credentials. See the most qualified doctor – a board certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Ralph F. Cozart is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He has been in private practice in Myrtle Beach for over 19 years, and has served as the past president and treasurer for the South Carolina Society of Plastic Surgeons. Contact Dr. Cozart’s office at 843-497-7771.

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Smarter than You Think by Diane Stark

A while back, I attended a banquet to honor that year’s high school graduates. Each student was asked to share their plans for the future with the audience. Most of them announced plans to attend college or join the military. But one boy said, “I’ve just completed an online course to become a Certified Life Coach.” I looked at the lady next to me, and I could tell we were thinking the same thing. Who would hire an 18-year-old life coach? She smirked. “I guess we were all young and just starting out at one point, but having an 18-year-old accountant file your taxes seems different than making major life changes based on the advice of your 18-year-old life coach.” “I completely agree,” I said, laughing. “I want a life coach who has lived a little. If they don’t know more than I do about life, what’s the point of paying for their advice?” She nodded. “How could an 18-year-old possibly know enough to help someone our age?” Turns out, more than you think.

Last week, my own 18-year-old son showed me the spreadsheet on which he keeps his budget. Jordan is a freshman in college, and he works parttime at the university he attends. His income is small, but he’s a finance major, so he’s extremely responsible with what he does have. “I added up my scholarship money, plus the financial help that you and Dad are giving me, and subtracted that from my total tuition bill,” he explained. “I’ve got to cover the difference by either borrowing that money or saving it. I don’t want to graduate with debt, so I decided I’m going to save it.” I raised my eyebrows. The difference wasn’t a lot, but covering it would be a steep climb on his current income. Jordan nodded. “I know it won’t be easy, but I broke it down into how much I’ll need to save each week. It’s a big goal for the year, but by the week, it’s not too hard. I just need to establish good spending habits and stick to them. To meet my goal, I’ve got to save a certain amount each week, and that means taking my lunch instead of eating out. It means renting movies instead of going to the theatre. You know, having good habits and just saving where I can.” “I’m proud of you, Bud. You’re planning ahead and being super responsible.” The next day, I was thinking of Jordan’s comment about developing good spending habits. While my spending habits aren’t a problem, there are some other habits I definitely needed to work on. I want to write more consistently – like consistently enough to finish a novel in 2018. I need to develop a daily exercise habit. And I need to establish a more organized cleaning schedule if I am ever going to get a handle on the overflowing closets in our house. Those things don’t sound that difficult, except that those three things have been my New Year’s Resolutions for five years running. Every year, I’d set my goals and every year, I’d fail to achieve them. Goal-setting just didn’t seem to work for me. But maybe Jordan was onto something with this habit development idea. I googled it and found some really great advice.


Basically, the internet says not to worry about setting goals. Instead, develop daily habits that will move you toward your goals. Take weight loss as an example. Rather than setting the goal to lose 10 pounds, develop the daily habits of getting 10,000 steps, eating more veggies and drinking insane amounts of water. Don’t worry about setting a weight loss goal because those habits will help you lose weight whether you set that as your goal or not.

Don’t set arbitrary goals. Focus on establishing good habits, and you’ll achieve your goals by default. I decided to try it. So in 2018, I won’t be making my same old New Year’s Resolutions. I’m not setting the goal to write a novel, lose weight and finally get organized. Instead, I’m making only one New Year’s Resolution. To develop good habits and keep them. Like Jordan, I’ve made a spreadsheet. On it, I’ve listed some daily habits I want to establish in my life. Things like remembering to wear my FitBit, keeping a food diary each day, not watching TV until I’ve spent an hour writing, and getting rid of five unwanted items per day. My plan is to implement what the internet calls the Seinfeld method. Yes, I’m now taking productivity tips from Jerry Seinfeld, the guy most famous for starring in a show about nothing. But to be fair, this all started because I took advice from an 18-year-old. But I digress. The Seinfeld method is basically putting an X on the calendar for each day that you follow through on your desired habit. Soon, those X’s will form a chain, and you won’t want to break it. You’ll keep up on the habit so you don’t break the chain. When you keep up the habit, you’ll eventually – and naturally – meet your goal.

New Year Resolutions for Care Givers 1

Ask for and accept help. Make a list of things family and friends can help with. The next time someone asks how they can help, refer to the list.

So is 2018 going to be my year? Will these habits help me to finally meet my goals? Will this be the year I’ll actually finish my novel? Get in shape? Become an organized person and purge my home of every unwanted item?


Schedule guilt free time for yourself. Take a long nap, read a new book, schedule a massage. Do something that makes you happy!

I don’t know. But I’m going to take a cue from my son and build some good habits into my life.


Discuss your loved ones wishes, and complete the necessary paperwork to make sure those wishes are met.


Check up on your health. Don’t forget to schedule routine visits and well checks for yourself.


Learn more about community resources. There may be therapy dogs, volunteers, meal delivery, and caregiver support groups nearby.

Since I’m trying to incorporate multiple new habits, my calendar won’t have X’s on it. They’ll be more like stars with each line in a different color to symbolize each of my new habits. I’ll want to make the calendar all colorful and pretty, so I’ll try not to break the chain. Not breaking the chain equals meeting my goals.

Which brings me back to my original question: Who would hire an 18-year-old life coach? As it turns out, I think I would. Some of them are smarter than you think.

Diane Stark

is a wife and mom of five. She loves to write about her family and her faith. Her essays have been published in over 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

4612 Oleander Drive, Suite 102 Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 843-438-4905


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by Marilyn A. Gelman I have categories of pearls, maybe some real, maybe some not. There are good fakes and bad fakes, I’ve been told. I can’t tell. Monetary value is not how I order my pearls. The strands are grouped by how I got them, mostly by who passed them along to me. A bunch from Eleanor rests in a grey flannel bag. I wore them most. There are double and triple strand chokers in that bag and a long string I would tie in decorative knots. These pearls got attention from the men on the commuter train; Ellie said they might be real. She didn’t know either, nor did she care. There are white/white pearls in long white corrugated boxes – good custom stuff my mother had around. Somewhere in a plastic bag is a short real strand from a then-husband, so precious to me that I never wore them for fear of losing them. It was from Eleanor’s collection that I developed style and flair. I wore pearls to work each day, from my jeans job through my wool skirt and velvet blazer, with tights, period, then through my wool suit, silk blouse, and attaché case era. I bought little pearl earrings with my own money, all the sweeter because I didn’t need to wish them as a gift.

Often I thought of my teen years when I was obsessed by crooked stocking seams, and my twenties, when I had the luxury of mascara worries. I watch television commercials and think of the blessing of worrying about dry skin or toe nail fungus. I suppose these years have hardened me even more than the stages before when I was a commuting single mom or a daughter who could not take time off to care for her dying mother. Once again, I am inching into the world. But the pearls just don’t fit. I cannot put them on. Recently a friend (named Pearl, really) sent me a surprise gift of delicate, brilliant diamond earrings. I’m planning to buy a pendant, at a discount of course. Now, I AM DIAMOND!

I wore pearls to visits to independent medical examiners who denied my disabling injury. I wore pearls as far as the changing rooms in the hospital radiation center. I wore pearls with turtlenecks; I wore pearls with flannel robes. I was strung together by pearls. The end of my pearl period slipped by without notice. I know I wore them to brain injury advocacy events and speeches, and on the Amtrak train for a trip to speak at a congressional task force meeting. I wore pearls to my son’s funeral. I wore them when I got my driver’s license again.


I know I have not worn the earrings or any pearls since September 2011. There’s never been time. I wore hospital gowns and a PICC line for months of hospitalization and rehab, three rounds of it in three years. I wore flannel nightgowns and a barrette for my overgrown unruly hair for months of in-home care upon my returns.

Marilyn A. Gelman

has been published in anthologies, newspapers, and both online and print journals, including The New York Times, Modern Romances, and Cup of Comfort books.

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Dr. Eric Heiden: A Life of Excellence by Leslie Moore

Photography means more to this artist than picturesque landscapes and family memories. “It was a calling,” he began. “I use photography to help me be more sensitive to my surroundings and observe things that most people overlook. Photography is a reflection of one’s creativity.” Dr. Heiden founded the Pee Dee Photographic Society in 1951 in Florence, and his name is well known in regional artistic circles. Locally, he is a member of Seacoast Artist Guild, and his work is displayed at the guild’s gallery in Market Common. Even though Dr. Heiden has photographed scenes from some of the most beautiful places in the world, one of his favorite photo shoots occurred in the mid-1970s in Murrells Inlet, where he fished and played growing up. “At the end of the old government pier was a small bait stand where everyone bought bait to use on the pier,” Dr. Heiden remembers. “I kept seeing an old man in his little boat and became curious about him.” Captain Bill Hickman was a recluse who lived in his small boat and used money from bait sales to support himself. He had family in the area, but refused help, preferring his solitary existence. “People were a little nervous around Captain Bill,” Dr. Heiden continued. “Sometimes he would throw clam shells at people who bothered him. I wanted to photograph him so there would be a record of this remarkable man’s existence, but I wasn’t sure he would let me!” The day Dr. Heiden approached Captain Bill about photographing him, the crusty old hermit at first flatly refused. Finally he agreed to the photo shoot if Dr. Heiden would bring him Cuban cigars and beer! “I didn’t know where to get the cigars, but a friend of mine helped me obtain a few. I took them and bought the beer, and when

Originally from the small South Carolina town, Lake City, Dr. Eric Heiden practiced dentistry for 54 years – the first 48 in Florence, and the last six in nearby Summerville. For most, thousands of happy patients would be enough, but Dr. Heiden is also Captain Heiden, a U.S. Coast Guard certified boat captain and fishing guide who still, at 82 years old, leads groups on fishing expeditions in Costa Rica. He is also a well known photographer and artist whose work is on display and for sale at several locations in the area. His lengthy list of awards and accomplishments are awe inspiring. Today, he and his wife, Rosa Lee, live in Pawleys Island, but are far from the typical retired couple. “I guess living in Pawleys Island is as close to God as I’ll ever get,” said Dr. Heiden laughing.


come back and take over his practice,” Dr. Heiden remembers. He did return, and through work and the love of his three daughters, Mindy, Stacy and Robin, began to live and love again. Dr. Heiden’s strength of character and lifelong commitment to excellence began when he was a boy and growing up in Lake City. “We were one of the very few Jewish families in the area,” he told me. “And we were definitely discriminated against. I had to be the best at everything in order to achieve my goals.” These experiences led Dr. Heiden not only to excellence, but to a variety of philanthropic pursuits – he was a Dixie Youth Baseball Coach for over 30 years and has mentored many young artists. In 1972, Dr. Heiden was honored by the S.C. Jaycees with the Distinguished Service Award for his volunteer efforts, an award that was shared by Clebe McClary and Congressman Butler Derrick. I went back Captain Bill was shocked!” The resulting photographs are the only memories of this Murrells Inlet legend and treasured by his friends and family. A part of the series is on display in the Sea Coast Gallery in Market Common. Eric Heiden is one of those rare individuals who is passionate about life and excels at everything he sets out to do. A lifelong fisherman, Dr. Heiden has been Captain Heiden, a U.S. Coast Guard certified boat captain and an Eagle Claw Pro Staff Team member for decades. For years, one of his dreams was to be recognized in the Eagle Claw catalogue. “One day I received a phone call from a member of the Eagle Claw staff. They were in Georgetown and wanted to have lunch. I agreed and after the meal, they said they wanted to award me the first ever Eagle Claw Pro Staffer of the Year!” Dr. Heiden and his then fiancée, Rosa Lee, travelled to Colorado to accept the award and, yes, his dream came true – a photo of him holding a red snapper now appears in every Eagle Claw catalogue distributed worldwide. Life hasn’t always been perfect for this outgoing gentleman. Rosa Lee is his second wife, and after he lost his wife of 54 years, Bari, Dr. Heiden went into a deep depression and ran away from life for over a year. “A dentist I knew from Summerville called me to

Today, at 82, Eric Heiden is as passionate as ever about his artistic pursuits. “My wife and I try to be sensitive to everything we see as we walk through life.” One of the most recent additions to his art are beautifully preserved oyster shells and whelks that the couple finds on local beaches. These gorgeous art pieces are now available for sale in the Brookgreen Gardens Gift Shop. “When you develop a hobby and become good enough to be recognized for it, that’s amazing.” Local resident Peggy Stokes and her husband Dr. J Stokes have known Dr. Heiden for many years; they both lived in Florence and retired to our area. “If there is anything Eric wants to do he does it and does it well,” said Peggy. “He’s a very talented man.” Peggy and Dr. Heiden’s first wife, Bari, were good friends and spent many years working together developing the Cultural Council of Georgetown County. With a charter boat tour to Costa Rica planned for 2018 and applications pending at several prominent art shows, there is no sign of Dr. Heiden slowing down. “When you do good things, somewhere along the line good things happen.”


Personal Passion by Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Say it three times; I LOVE ME! I LOVE ME! I LOVE ME! It’s not being cocky or conceited or pompous. It’s something very few people ever get right! The first step in any relationship is to love you. It’s not being selfish or self centered. It’s like building a house. That relationship must be built on a strong foundation. And that foundation is you. One of the Ten Commandments is to love your neighbor as thyself. But most people have never learned to love themselves. They have never taken time to discover who they are, and they are too busy taking care of everyone else and worrying about what others think to get to know and love the person they truly are inside and out. I was once given a little card that I kept in my wallet for the longest time until it finally fell apart that read, “I am great ‘cause God don’t make no junk!” Think back to that friend who drags you down. They talk about other people and show pleasure in gossip. They try to control you and make you think their way and resent you if you did not go along with them. Maybe your politics are different from theirs. Well, if you did not speak up and hold your ground, perhaps it’s because you do not love yourself enough. Don’t your opinion and feelings matter? This is not a real friend. I have had to walk away from several of these people in my life over the years. It was painful, but it had to be done, and I have never looked back. How I wish I had learned this lesson earlier, as I had many boyfriends in high school and college who tried to control me. Thank goodness I had a strong mom who instilled in me a unique sense of pride in who I am, and how not to put up with any crap. (Even though I put up with a lot of it along the way before the message set in!) Had she not reminded me how to speak up for myself, and respect myself above all else, I might have stayed in these destructive relationships. Sadly, I was drawn into several poor choices early on, but at least I was smart enough to finally get out. There is a poem by Frederick Perls that I learned in college that has stayed in my heart. Perhaps you too will remember it!


I do my thing and you do your thing I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you And I am I And if by chance we find each other, It’s beautiful! And it really is beautiful when you find a really great friend or soul mate, or best of all, spouse who feels that same way. It’s magical. In order for them to learn how to love you, you have to be able to love you. There’s nothing selfish about self-love. So enter the New Year my friends, working on loving yourself more. Treat yourself to a spa day. Do more of the things you love. Spend more time with those you love. Concentrate on your passion for you! “It’s your cup. Fill it up.” “Find the beauty within and let it soar.” And one more catch phrase I love – “This is NOT a dress rehearsal.” It’s opening night and the STAR is YOU!

Diane DeVaughn Stokes

is the President of Stages Video Productions, Host and Producer for TV show “Inside Out” on HTC, and EASY Radio Host weekdays noon to 3pm. Her passions include food, travel and theater. You can reach her at

South Myrtle Beach 843-626-7272 Myrtle Beach (Kings Rd) 843-839-1777 North Myrtle Beach 843-280-3222

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Boxing and Parkinson’s disease

by Nikki Shaffer BS Psychology, AFPA Certified Personal Trainer I’ve always loved boxing and kick boxing, and a few years ago I learned how much this type of movement can help Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder that affects about 1.5 million U.S. citizens. Nerve damage causes a drop in dopamine, resulting in tremors, slowness of movement, A flexed posture, postural instability and rigidity. The brain and body are not communicating. Non-contact boxing is the perfect example of an exercise program that can reduce these symptoms. It’s a full body workout and tests agility, focus, handeye coordination and it’s a great stress reliever. A boxer’s training program gets them ready for their opponent – but the opponent is Parkinson’s.

W ords I nspired S ecrets H eld

Boxing is almost like a fitness crossword puzzle. Not only are you learning coordination, reaction time, footwork, focus and concentration, you are getting fit as a result. You’re learning an art form and getting better in every aspect of life – in addition to getting fit. I have many clients that don’t have Parkinson’s, but have similar problems that are reduced by using boxing therapy. Jack (pictured) was my first personal training client that suffered from Parkinson’s disease. After years of functional training, we introduced boxing a little over a year ago. As a result, he walks faster, runs stairs, kills the agility ladder and his tremors are almost nonexistent. In our area, most people with Parkinson’s go to one of several doctors at MUSC in Charleston. When one of the doctors found out what we were doing, she started telling other patients. To accommodate more people, Fitness Edge has started a Saturday class, from 12:301:30 pm, specifically for Parkinson’s patients – and you don’t have to be a member of the gym to attend. Contact us for pricing. We are the only class like this between Mount Pleasant and Wilmington, North Carolina. To minimize the initial investment, I provide all of the equipment until you see if it helps you.

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Research has indicated if we catch Parkinson’s in the early years and start boxing training, the onset of symptoms is delayed. Regardless of the stage you are in when you start, boxing training has proven to benefit most patients with Parkinson’s, reducing and even reversing specific symptoms such as balance and tremors ( Nikki Shaffer is an AFPA certified personal trainer with nearly a decade of experience and has been with Fitness Edge in Murrells Inlet for five years. Boxing, kick boxing and functional training are her specialties. Nikki was a finalist for Best of Beach in 2016 and 2017, and was awarded Readers’ Choice Top Personal Trainer in 2017. To learn more call 843-318-5322.

Becky Ransome - Armed with Umbrellas by Leslie Moore

Becky Ransome, like many local residents, moved to Pawleys Island from Ohio when her husband retired from Honda two years ago. But, retirement was not Becky’s plan. “I am ready for my next season,” she said laughing. “My husband’s work took him to Japan for a total of nine years,” Becky began. “The first time, our children were in 4th and 8th grades.” The second time the couple was transferred to Japan, only their son went with them – their daughter remained in the States to attend college. These first times overseas Becky had to move with the children closer to their international school, living basically as a single parent even though her husband visited every weekend. “I learned a lot about myself,” Becky remembers. While in Japan, Becky was busy and involved – she trained as a massage therapist and made many friends, working to help other women transition to life overseas. When Becky returned home, her daughter had graduated from college, and her son was finishing high school. After her daughter’s wedding, the Ransomes were again invited to go to Japan. “This time it was a different location, and I kind of liked that. I couldn’t work because I was there on my husband’s Visa, but I did work with other women, making the connection between the Japanese women and other expatriates.” Becky started a once a month meeting where the women would go out and have a meal together and ended up with more than 20 women in her group. “I love networking and believe we all have something to offer and can benefit from other’s experience. I like to bring people together and see how we can help each other.” Becky happened to hear a young missionary speak about her time in Africa working with AIDS patients. The young woman was overwhelmed and prayed for guidance. The next morning it was raining, and she invited a few people to share her umbrella as they waited to be driven back to her work. It was then she realized she couldn’t help everyone, but she could help those “under her umbrella.” Taking this message and making it her own, Becky began encouraging others “under her umbrella” in 2006. “I’ve been working with people for many years – from teaching life skills to youth to women’s retreats on a variety of topics.” In May of 2017 “Armed with Umbrellas” officially became an LLC, after much encouragement from friends and family. This will be the second year Becky leads the popular Armed with Umbrellas conference that explores embracing life’s changes. “Women come and bring their umbrellas and carry it with them Friday night, and throughout Saturday’s activities. During the banquet the umbrella “toting” will be explained,” Becky said. “We will learn about ourselves by looking at who we are and how we are equipped to serve. What does it look like to walk with others? How do we deal with transitions in our lives?”

The event will be held on February 2nd and 3rd at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club. “There will be a popcorn palooza and a Chico’s fashion show on Friday night,” Becky told me excitedly. “And lots of activities on Saturday.” Becky has arranged for wonderful music and fun for the women involved. “I was given a ceremonial tea umbrella in Japan, and I always speak under it – I have a collection of umbrellas and will be using them throughout the conference.” “This is such a transitional community,” Becky said as we ended our chat. “Moving to a new area is not easy. We forget how important one-on-one friendships are – there are a lot of lonely people out there that have so much to offer.” Open your potential at Armed with Umbrellas on February 2nd and 3rd at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club. Hours are Friday 6:30-9pm and Saturday 9:30am-7:30pm. Registration is $99.00 at or email Becky at


Sasee Chats with John Kenny, Author of A Very Special Family

Meet John at one of January’s 20 th Anniversary Moveable Feasts “After I moved to Georgetown, I began taking all the creative writing classes offered by OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institue),” John began. “Initially, I co-authored a book about moving south and soon became involved in several writing projects while beginning research on this book.” John also read the work of a Clemson University student, who did her Master’s thesis on the history of Lebanese immigrants in Greenville, South Carolina – her work was instrumental in helping this budding author learn how to cover this fascinating topic. Unfortunately, the student passed away before they had a chance to meet. Through OLLI, John met Dwight McInville, director of the Georgetown County Library System, who was also interested in the history of Lebanese immigrants in Georgetown. With the help of a grant from the SC Arts Commission, the library has compiled oral histories and photographs and will unveil the project in May. “The four Joseph brothers began a family that has done great things, not only in Georgetown County, but the entire state of South Carolina,” John said. Today, there are more than a dozen South Carolina dentists descended from the Josephs and the list of family businesses in Georgetown is too long to include here. “It’s a classic American immigration story,” John told me as we concluded our chat. “At a point in history where there is so much negativity surrounding immigrants, it’s easy to forget what they bring to the community and to our country.” Author John Kenny found writing through the love of his wife, Mary Lou, and her remarkable (and very large) extended family that began with four Lebanese immigrants that came to this country in 1900. Born in New York City, John practiced law in Washington DC until moving to the area six years ago to care for Mary Lou’s mother. Throughout his 25 year marriage, John attended large Joseph family reunions, and was always impressed with the dedication of the older generation to documenting and preserving the family history.


Meet John and learn more about this fascinating family at The Moveable Feast on January 12th. While you are there, stop and congratulate founder Linda Ketron on the 20th Anniversary of this beloved event. In partnership with Litchfield Books’ owner Vickie Crafton, a growing list of very-good-company-to-join-for-lunch is scheduled weekly. The Moveable Feast is considered one of the premier book tour events in the South, with authors of local, regional and national note participating over the two decades of its growing popularity.

The Moveable Feast is held at area restaurants throughout the year on Fridays, 11 am - 1 pm. On occasion, an author’s book tour schedule is accommodated with a mid-week Moveable Feast. Each feast is $30 with a $5 rebate if the featured book is purchased at the event. For schedules and reservations, call 843-235-9600 or

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The Lady Marine by Phil La Borie

I was gassing up my car not too long ago when I happened to notice another car in the station with a plate on the front that read: LADY MARINE. The car’s occupant, a tall, stately and very business-like young lady, was busily filling up her vehicle as well. I got her attention and asked, “Excuse me Ma’am, are you in the Corps?” She seemed a little taken aback by my question, as in; had I noticed her license plate, but then with a good deal of forgiveness and pride, she said, “Yessir.” “Thank you for your service,” I replied. I can’t say that she blushed, but I will say that she was clearly pleased to have been recognized. I never served in the Marines, but I did serve for six years in the Army Reserve during the height of the Viet Nam war. Our unit was never called up to serve on full-time active duty in the war zone, but we were next in line to move out. Fortunately, my time in the Reserve came to an end before that could take place. In those days (the 1960s), No one would have even thought it possible to have females command troops, let alone serve in forward combat positions. But, male relatives, friends and neighbors from my hometown did serve in Viet Nam. Some with fervor and distinction, some just putting their time in and hoping to come home in one piece. Sad to say, some never did come back and a number of others that did return were terribly changed both physically and mentally. I still get teary when I visit the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington and run my hand over the names of the fallen that I knew. Some never got into combat and were killed in training accidents, others saw 36 and heard things that they never

wanted to talk about. Whoever said war is no joke was sadly right. The Wall says it all. These days, I hear about the many accomplishments by women who are serving in our armed forces right now. They, as well as their male counterparts are to be commended for their service and more importantly, to be thanked for the grueling regimen they endure, the dangers they are exposed to, and the sacrifices they are willing to make. I think the Lady Marine that I met would be happy to know that those of us who depend on them to keep us safe and secure here at home are thankful for their service. So, might I ask you for a favor? The next time you see a member of any of our armed services who is currently on active duty, whether male or female, please thank them for their service. That goes for those who have retired from active duty as well. It doesn’t take much, just a simple “Thank you.”

Than k You!

I’m betting that it will mean a lot to them, and I know that you’ll feel better for your effort. At least I do.

Phil La Borie

is an award-winning writer/artist based in Garden City, South Carolina. His work has been published in AdWeek, The Kaiser-Permanente Journal, Westworld Magazine and online at Phil is the 2015 winner of the Alice Conger Patterson Award offered through the Emrys Foundation. He can be reached at

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Teaching is Teaching by Erika Hoffman

At 22, I took the teacher examination, received my certificate and sought a job in public schools. For ten years, I plied my trade in suburban New Jersey; urban Atlanta; and rural North Carolina.

a nudist on weekends, hanging out at nudist camps. “I’d never guess that!” didn’t seem appropriate. My jaw fell open as I nodded, trying not to picture it.

Whether the kids were rich or poor, from educated parents or high school dropouts, white or black, I found certain types in each class: the rebel, the teacher pleaser, the attention grabber, the cynic, the clown and the conscientious learner.

My students were of that age when your mailbox receives multiple warnings from the government about signing up for Medicare. Yet, two, un-creased, fresh faces beamed at me. The fact that they were in their mid- twenties was pretty dang quirky in itself. Both were Asian, married to grad students and taking my class to improve their writing skills. When I told the baby boomers I needed an assistant to take attendance, it was the young Korean gal whose hand shot up.

Decades later, I returned to the classroom teaching older adults. My course? “Writing the Personal Essay.” What’s surprised me about this gig? I’ve discovered the exact same types! Like in yesteryear, that first day I dressed for success, wearing heels and a skirt. I remembered how teens gave teachers the once-over, scrutinizing a pendant’s gemstones or a shirt’s miniature logo while not heeding a word said about homework, grades or exams. I didn’t want to sabotage a first impression by dressing too casually. Yet, when the senior adults sauntered in wearing jeans and sneakers, like teens, I felt I’d overdressed. To gauge the class, I asked questions. By a show of hands, they’d answer me. I inquired if anyone had ever submitted to Chicken Soup for the Soul or other anthologies. No hands. I asked if anyone had ever been paid for something they’d written. No hands. Had anybody published anything, at all? Of twelve students, one lone palm rose haltingly up. “No money for it,” she said. Next, I urged them to introduce themselves by telling us something about their careers or families and by relating one quirky fact that no one would guess. Some surprised me with answers like: “I do Improv.” Or “I was born in a town called Possum Neck.” After each disclosure, I commented: “Wow!” or “I’d never guess that!” I smilingly gave my rejoinders until one perfectly ordinary woman revealed she was

Writing the

By the second class, two elders had dropped, including the nudist. I was disappointed. I was certain her tales about tails would be eye-opening. Because my blurb in the bulletin stated they’d be scribbling their minimemoirs each week, I didn’t feel bad giving them an assignment that first class, which might have caused the exodus of the two. Caveat emptor! They’d been warned! On the other hand, I felt bewildered adults hadn’t read the curriculum synopsis before plunking down their money. So, I mused once more about how much older folks resemble teens – teens never believe the teacher either when she promises homework! The third meeting we received a new student, who switched classes because she didn’t like the instructor in the class she’d enrolled in first; I thought, “Uh oh!” When I called out the names of partners I’d paired together to critique each other’s work, she questioned, “Why can’t we choose our own partner?” Like in days of yore, I’d reasons for my pairings. I wasn’t going to place the married couple together nor was I going to put the foreign students together. I’d thought through who could help whom the most and matched them accordingly. Addressing my balking student, I said Sinatra-like, “Because I want to do it my way.”

Personal Essay


She persisted, “I am a teacher and…” I smiled. “I can tell.” Then, I advised it was time for a break, and I exited for a gulp of water. Again, I reminded myself every class has a know-it-all who wants to challenge a teacher’s authority, no matter how aged the mentor and how long-in-the-tooth the trainee! Each week, I prepared a lesson. Each week, I had them review each other’s work. Each week, I requested they email me their drafts, which I edited and returned with suggestions. As the classes continued, they grew in confidence as writers and grew in their warmth toward me. We jelled as a class with a unified mission after a lesson on humor. Each brought in a column they deemed funny; we laughed as we discussed why it amused us. I lent them books, like Bird by Bird, On Writing, or Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Inspiration for Writers. Their assignment: To read, analyze and present their findings to the class. Now, they were discussing, participating and having a voice in making the class their own. Moreover, they were submitting their personal essays to publications. After ten weeks, my students expressed gratitude for the class, an interest in continuing to write, and a request to keep in touch with me and each other.

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My rebel, my class clown, my bucky student, my slacker, my teacher’s pet, my conscientious valedictorian had become part of my life. You cross paths on this temporary strut across the stage, as Willy Shakespeare put it, and sometimes you continue with them like pilgrims on a quest, and other times you part. Yet after learning together, you always take something of that person’s life with you – in your memory, and sometimes they change you. Students may be in a teacher’s debt. Yet, teachers owe them too because a class of eager learners, no matter their age, makes a difference in a teacher’s joie de vivre. Instead of spiraling into one of Dante’s nightmarish circles, she finds a skip in her pedagogical step when en route to an enthusiastic classroom. With the right atmosphere created, learning will take place, satisfaction will occur, and achievement will become a byproduct of the happy situation of the motivating teacher leading a motivated group of all types hitched to the same star.

Erika Hoffman

is thankful to share her memories, opinions on life, and love of writing with readers of Sasee. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and dachshunds but travels a lot. Sometimes, her grown kids’ places are her destination.

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Parenting 911: Navigating your Teen and Pre-Teen’s World

Local therapists who work with our children every day know that a kid’s world today is very different from the one we parents and grandparents experienced. Bullying is much more extreme and technology is king. Here are a few suggestions from local professionals to help you better understand and navigate the often challenging landscape of today’s kids.

For your children, technology is their life. It’s important to try to find ways to help them see there is more to life than their cell phones, computer and video games. Engage your child in real life activities that don’t involve the internet, such as board games, family outings to get ice cream or just a peaceful walk on the beach. Regular communication with your child’s school is very important. Many times your kid won’t tell you what’s really going on. Find someone at the school you can talk to on a regular basis. The schools really appreciate this and will welcome your involvement. Meet your child where they are – a lot of parents struggle with this one. Not every child wants to play sports or take music lessons and think their parents don’t understand them. Find out what they are interested in and meet them there. Ask them what they like. In therapy, we call this the “million dollar question.” Ask your child, “What can we do that would make you happy right now? What would that look like to you?” Let their feedback lead you.

Talk to the guidance counselor at your child’s school. They are in the schools every day and know which peer groups are having problems. Many kids are embarrassed to tell their parents about peer conflict or bullying. There is such a stigma around any type of mental health issues, but your child may need a therapist. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it doesn’t make you a bad parent. The day-to-day stress on teenagers and pre-teens is so much more than you experienced. Horry County schools have therapists on staff that can see your child during the school day. Check for services offered, and take advantage of them. Have the “drug talk” with your children. Don’t be shy. Your kids probably know more than you do and it’s very doubtful you’ll say anything they haven’t heard before. Above all, spend more time communicating with your child. Therapists hear kids say all the time that their parents don’t understand them and won’t listen. Their life is not like yours was when you were a child. Try to look at each issue from your kid’s perspective.

If you feel you need more help, call Waccamaw Mental Health at 843-347-4888 in Conway or 843-546-6107 in Georgetown. Also the Department of Social Services can guide you to an appropriate resource. Call 843-366-1600 in Horry County and 843-546-5134 in Georgetown County.


January 2018

What You See Is What You Get, exhibit by William H. Miller, at The Myrtle Beach Art Museum. For more info, call 843-238-2510 or visit


Long Bay Symphony Woodwind Quintet, 7 pm, Winyah Auditorium, Georgetown, $15. For more info, call 843-461-1342 or email


Low Country Herb Society, speaker Cathy Worley, 9:30 am, Waccamaw Library, Pawleys Island. For more info, email or find them on Facebook.


Mid-Winter SOS (Society of Shaggers), North Myrtle Beach, various events throughout the area. For more info, call 843-281-2662 or visit

12 18-20

Moveable Feast, John Kenny discusses A Very Special Family, 11 am, DeBordieu Colony Clubhouse, $30. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit Myrtle Beach Quilt Party and Vendor Extravaganza, Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center, Sunset Beach, NC. For more info, visit, call 800-624-6601 or e-mail


35th Annual 5K & 15K runs, 9 am, North Myrtle Beach. For more info, visit


Long Bay Symphony, The Three Bs, 4 pm, Myrtle Beach High School Music & Arts Center, 3302 Robert M. Grissom Pkway. For tickets or more info, call 843-448-8379 or visit


Books and Boogie, Fundraiser for Freedom Readers, 4-9 pm, Dead Dog Saloon, Murrells Inlet. Buffet dinner from 6-8 pm, $50. For more info, call 404-455-1864 or visit


Cellist, Zuill Bailey with pianist, Natasha Paremski, 7 pm, The Abbey at Pawleys Island, 96 Gathering Lane, presented by Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art. For more info, call 843-626-8911 or visit


FPC Concert Series, Jamie Barton, Met Opera Diva, First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach, 1:30 pm. For more info, call 843-448-4496 or visit

Feb. 6

Singer, Songwriter, Pianist, Matt Beilis, 7 pm, The Abbey at Pawleys Island, 96 Gathering Lane, presented by Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art. For more info, call 843-626-8911 or visit

Advertiser Index

Atlantic Dermatology.................................................................... 17 The B. Graham Interiors Collection................................................ 10 Banton Media.......................................................................... 24-25 Barbara’s Fine Gifts........................................................................ 14 Bethea Baptist Retirement Community.......................................... 14 Brightwater................................................................................. 43 Brookgreen Gardens.................................................................... 10 Bungalow 17................................................................................ 17 Calabash Tea Garden..................................................................... 11 Callahan’s of Calabash.....................................................................3 Carolina Car Care....................................................................... 15 Cariloha.........................................................................................9 The Citizens Bank.........................................................................5 Class LLC.................................................................................... 15 Coastal Luxe..................................................................................5 Designer Consignments.............................................................. 21 Dr. Grabeman...............................................................................5 Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetic Centers .................... 27 Fogarty Plumbing......................................................................... 13 Freedom Readers.......................................................................... 31 42 Good Deed Goods...................................................................... 20

Grady’s Jewelers........................................................................... 31 Horry County Solid Waste Authority............................................. 35 Hospice Care of SC..................................................................... 23 The Lakes at Litchfield..................................................................7 Long Bay Symphony................................................................... 21 Myrtle Beach Plastic Surgery....................................................... 19 Palmetto Ace............................................................................... 37 The Palmettos Assisted Living & Memory Care........................... 11 Papa John’s Pizza......................................................................... 31 Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art................................... 31,35 Pure Compounding..................................................................... 37 Rose Arbor Fabrics...................................................................... 20 Sea Island Trading Co....................................................................2 Shades and Draperies.................................................................. 39 A Silver Shack............................................................................. 14 Stuckey Brothers Furniture............................................................ 35 Thrive at Prince Creek................................................................. 17 Two Sisters with Southern Charm............................................... 37 WEZV........................................................................................ 42 WISH Candle............................................................................. 32 Women in Philanthropy................................................................ 44

Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University presents

Women’s Leadership Conference & Celebration of Inspiring Women

Conference speakers include: Barbara Pierce Bush

Humanitarian; co-founder and president, Global Health Corps

Jenna Hager

Best-selling author; correspondent, NBC’s Today; editor-at-large, Southern Living Magazine

February 5: Celebration of Inspiring Women (evening event) February 6: Women’s Leadership Conference featuring the new Women’s Health Expo sponsored by Tidelands Health

February 5-6, 2018

Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Women’s Leadership Conference and Celebration of Inspiring Women brings together women from all walks of life for two days of education, professional and personal development, and networking.

New Women’s Health Expo presented by

Tidelands Health presents the daylong expo titled “Better! Be strong. Be healthy. Be you.” at the 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference.

For sponsorship or exhibitor information, email or call 843.349.5033.

Visit to see the full list of this year’s speakers.

Sasee Magazine - January 2018  

"First Steps"

Sasee Magazine - January 2018  

"First Steps"