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April 2020

A flower blossoms for its own joy. -Oscar Wilde-




Independent Living Assisted Living | Memory Care

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Fall in love with Portside! 901 Portside Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 843-999-2494 Quality senior living for those who have reached the age of fifty-five for independent living sixty-two for assisted living/memory care.

April 2020

“Just the Two of Us”

Contents Volume 19, Issue 4

About the Cover: Dam Domido started to paint intuitively from an early age. Her passion for drawing and colors gave birth to her vocation as an artist painter. As a young adult, she worked on her technique in various workshops, including classes at the École des Beaux Art de Paris, and the Académie de Grasse. She works with several mediums, sometimes mixing them according to her inspiration. Her series of female portraits underlines a certain vision of women through a series of colorful works, with heightened sensitivity. Her works describe mysterious, glamorous, sensual, dreamy, romantic women. Today, her work is essentially turned towards lyrical and chromatic abstraction, with always the same search for a liberated subjectivity, built on exalted feelings, where the color and the rhythm of each key release the creative energy of the artist. To see more of Dam Domido’s work you can visit: Also on Instagram:

4 :: :: April 2020


Sasee April Calendar


As Cool as Can Be, by Rose Ann Sinay


Book Chat: Susan Beckham Zurenda on Bells for Eli, by Leslie Moore


Read It! Reviews by Nicole McManus


Ditch Tinder and Find The One, by Simone Angel


A Tale of Two Weddings, by Jeffery Cohen


Selecting the Wedding Gown is Just the Beginning By Lindsey Nowak, The Edit Collective


Harriet Charles: A Life of Roots and Blooms, by Leslie Moore


Everlasting Love, by Diane DeVaughn Stokes


Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer by Candice Adelle Photography


24th Annual Blessing of the Inlet: A Community Celebration by Leslie Moore


Captain Everette “Chimmitt” Silver: Murrells Inlet Mariner by Leslie Moore


My Love Affair with the Tomato, by Mari Wallace

Dr. Horowitz Receives Dual Diplomate Status in Sleep! The Carolina Center for Advanced Dentistry and Advanced Sleep and Breathing Centers is proud to announce that Dr. Jeff Horowitz has now received diplomate status in the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. This is Dr. Horowitz’s second award in sleep, having been an instructor and diplomate of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy. What this means for our patients, is that they can expect unsurpassed care and knowledge in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. If you or a loved one snore, have sleep apnea, or can’t tolerate CPAP, Give us a call today!

At the Carolina Center for Advanced Dentistry,

We Are Way More Than Just A Dental Office!

Advancing the Art and Science of Dentistry through Education.

Jeffrey W. Horowitz, DMD, FAGD Cara Coleman Lawson, DMD Martin Bockler, DMD Shawna Collins, DMD

Accepting New Patients

Treatment of sleep apnea WITHOUT C-PAP!

2 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU! Murrells Inlet 822B Inlet Square Dr. 843-397-5337

Conway 1515 9th Ave. 843-248-3843

from the Editor

Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor Leslie Moore Account Executives Stacy Danosky Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse Art Director Patrick Sullivan I love wedding vows, whether a couple uses the traditional, timehonored phrases or writes their own promises to love, honor and cherish. Words have so much power, and the actual process of writing them amplifies their significance. Who isn’t moved by heartfelt, loving promises given in shaky voices to a room of caring family and friends? In college, I had to use the brick and mortar library for research (yes, I’m that old), and no matter what I went in to do, I took the time to stop by the sturdy, wooden stand that held the OED, or Oxford English Dictionary to look up a word or just open it to a random page and read about the origins of the words we use every day. Each word we so casually use has a long history and a variety of meanings. What this wonderful book doesn’t emphasize, however, is the impact words may have on the ones who hear them. In love, friendship or business; in casual conversation or formal speech, I believe it is so important to think about the impact of our words, both written and spoken, and to give kindness a place in our message. All of us have so much more in common than we have differences. I hope you enjoy our story on the upcoming Blessing of the Inlet and our interview with a boat captain who talks about life as a commercial fisherman. There’s a lot to love in this issue! May our words lift your spirits and brighten your day.

Contributing Photographer Palm Photography Candice Adelle Photography Contributing Writers Candice Schneider Lindsey Nowak Web Developer Scott Konradt Accounting Gail Knowles 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 © 2020. 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.

6 :: :: April 2020

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April April 3-4 Low Country Herb Society Spring Garden Festival 8am-5pm Inlet Culinary Gardens or find them on Facebook

April 16-25 S.O.S. Spring Safari North Myrtle Beach various venues parade on last Saturday at 1pm 843-280-5570

April 3-5 Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival Burroughs and Chapin Pavilion Place, Myrtle Beach

April 17-18 Harbour Nights 7pm both nights 17-Blazin’Keys 18-Catalinas Front St. Georgetown $20 at or $25 at the door

April 4-5 Seacoast Artist Guild Art in Common Spring Festival 9am-5pm Valor Park Market Common 413-586-2273 April 8 - September 12 Bruce Munro at Brookgreen Gardens: Southern Light Wed.-Sat., 7-10pm adults $25, kids 4-12 $15 843-235-6000 April 11-13 Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am events at House of Blues tourney at The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort on Monday 8:30am 843- 343-7451 April 15 Pottery and Pluff Mud North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve 11am- 1pm, $5 843-904-9017

April 18 Indie Market on Laurel 10am-4pm Laurel St., Conway April 20-25 Singing in the Sun Gospel Music Event Myrtle Beach Convention Center April 23 - June 7 Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild Juried Art Exhibition Art Museum of Myrtle Beach 843-238-2510 April 24 - May 3 Horry County Fair Myrtle Beach Speedway April 25 Woodsong Porch & Art Stroll 10am-2pm Village of Woodsong Shallotte, NC

April 25 Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival Grand Park, Market Common 9am-4pm April 25-26 Art in the Park 10am-4pm Valor Park, Market Common 843-446-3830 April 25 Tour de Plantersville 10, 25 & 40 mile cycling event kickoff 7:30am festival 9am-2pm 843-240-0534 April 25 Taste of the Coast at The House of Blues 11am-4pm 843-272-8163, April 25 Plantacular Sale Brookgreen Gardens 843-235-6000 April 28 Moveable Feast Therese Fowler discusses A Good Neighborhood 11 am, $30 Litchfield Country Club 843-235-9600 May 1 Lowcountry Garden Party 12-3pm Litchfield Plantation Luncheon, $85 843-626-8911

Some events listed may have been postponed or canceled. Please check with event organizer for updates. 8 :: :: April 2020

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As Cool as Can Be by Rose Ann Sinay

“They’re so cute. I hope you and I are like that when we get old,” I heard the young woman with a New York accent whisper to her companion. After a brief silence, he laughed and replied, “Sure we will.” It was obvious he was into the here-and-now, not thirty years into the future. It didn’t surprise me; it’s more of a female thing to forecast her destiny in a moment of daydreaming clarity.

the only ones doing it – holding hands. I hadn’t really thought about it. It was something we frequently did when walking together. Secretly, I thought it was romantic, but I was also suspicious that it was my husband’s way of making me walk faster. Weebles popped into my mind – little round bottomed dolls the kids used to play with. Did we look like Weebles attached together so we didn’t fall down?

I looked around us to see this sweet old couple. There was no one nearby walking the deck of the cruise ship I could apply the conversation to. Suddenly, it occurred to me that the couple might have been talking about us.

I was miffed. Old? Mature, maybe, but not old. And cute – like little kids playing grownups! Really? My husband and I had evidently entered the dichotomy zone.

My husband’s grayish white hair framed the red and blue of his Red Sox hat that hid the bald spot smack at the crown of his head. His white, knobby chicken legs, once tanned, hairy and sculpted with thick muscle, stuck out in sharp contrast with his navy blue golf shorts. I, on the other hand, had hidden my graying tresses with a youthful L’Oreal Champagne Blonde (shade 8½ A). What was my give away? Maybe, the filmy shawl with the three quarter sleeves covering my summer shift stuck out like medieval armor in a sea of scanty tank tops and short shorts. I surveyed the area again looking for “cute and old” when I realized “the tell.” We were 10 :: :: April 2020

I watched the couple while they ordered drinks at the bar. They looked to be in their late thirties, still athletic but seasoned. They possessed that controlled freedom that emanates from professional couples with no children. For a moment, I was envious, and then, I couldn’t imagine that kind of life for me. I grabbed a froufrou drink and went back to our cabin complete with a balcony to view the ocean, soaring birds and majestic mountains in the distance. But, instead of enjoying the bucket list display, I sat in front of the tiny closet trying to decide what to wear for dinner. What could I do to update our look from old/cute to experienced/ cool? I pulled out a new bathing suit that I had no intentions of wearing.

I had purchased it as a last minute thought for the trip. One must have a bathing suit on a cruise. Knowing that I would never wear it, I had been emboldened to purchase a daring, low cut turquoise and brown number with iron clad support. Silver flecks salted the sleek fabric. It said “party” or at the very least “I’m not dead, yet.” It could definitely serve the dual purpose as a fancy top paired with my gauzy brown pants. My silvered rimmed turquoise necklace and bangle bracelets would be the perfect finishing touch. I was glad I’d remembered to dig out the metallic sandals for this trip. I flipped through my husband’s slacks finding his newest dress pair. Not comfortable enough for golf, they were perfect for a night out on the town (boat). I selected one of his few shirts with no golf course insignia and placed them out on the bed alongside his jacket. He wouldn’t notice the significance of my choices. He would be happy to wear clean jeans and a sports shirt every day and submitted to whatever I picked out for special occasions. Dressed and ready to reveal the “inner” me, I sat outside on the balcony chair. The cool breeze felt wonderful against my neck and bare arms (a rare and daring sensation). I laughed at the foolishness I’d obsessed over for the past hour. Silly, but in the end, a little spice wouldn’t hurt anything. Maybe it was a good thing to see yourself as others do. I could go back to my comfortable clothes tomorrow; tonight I was the me of my thirties – okay – forties. Familiar voices drifted up carried by the slight wind. I strained to see the deck. The couple from New York

stood next to the railing not moving, seeming to enjoy the majestic scene in front of them. Good for them, I thought feeling magnanimous. At that very moment, they turned to face opposite directions. Their cell phones were glued to their ears. They both took steps in the opposite direction, laughing into their phones, more animated than I’d seen them all afternoon.

Shades & Draperies S I N C E

1 9 8 0

Ha! I thought wickedly. They will never be “cute!” “Hey,” my husband said stepping out of the room dressed and shaven. My heart skipped a little as I looked at my handsome husband in his dinner attire. He whistled when he saw the silver flecks dancing around my low cut neckline. He held out his hand to take mine. I took it and held on tight. We were almost out the door when I hesitated. I reached back into the room and grabbed the filmy shawl off the hook. I put it over my arms and tied it with a flourish in front of the deep V.

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Two Ways to Register: 843-395-4402 DEADLINE: FRIDAY, APRIL 17

You Must Register and Attend Open House to Claim Your Pie

Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer newly relocated to Connecticut. She continues to write about moments worth remembering, graciously provided by family and friends.

Better Every Day! | 843-395-4402 :: April 2020 :: 11

Please Join

us for the

7th a nnua l

Low Country Garden Party An Elegant Garden Party Luncheon

Live Painting • Silent & Live Auction • And much more...

D ate

to be

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Litchfield Plantation


Tickets $85

Call 843-626-8911 Ext. 701 to reserve tables of 8, 10 or 12 Visit to purchase individual tickets Catered by Get Carried Away Catering All proceeds will benefit the

Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art and the Kathryn Bryan Metts Scholarship Fund

Dress is Plantation Casual – flats and hats are encouraged

800 Front Street, Georgetown, SC 29440 Mon-Fri 10:00-5:30 • Sat 10:00-5:00

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Book Chat: Susan Beckham Zurenda on Bells for Eli by Leslie Moore

I believe most of us carry a story inside that needs to be written down, a story that leaves readers lingering on the final page with a feeling of sadness mixed with satisfaction that all of us who love books understand. Susan Zurenda has such a story – one that stayed with her through her happy, busy years as a teacher, mother, wife and now book publicist with Magic Time Literary Publicity. The difference between Susan and the rest of us, is she brought her story to life in the enchanting novel, Bells for Eli. “I wrote a short story that won the South Carolina Fiction Project Award that was the genesis for the novel. I always wanted to flesh it out, but when I was teaching and raising children and caring for ailing parents, I didn’t have big blocks of time to write,” Susan Photo by: Anna Beckham told me as we talked about her new novel. “My first cousin, the tragic accident that shaped their Danny, swallowed Red Devil lye left lives. in a Coke bottle when he was three,” the first-time novelist said, continuing With positive reviews already with the story that inspired Bells for Eli. published in Publishers Weekly and “Back then, they used the lye to blow Chapter 16, Susan’s novel is well on its up balloons. It was Danny’s birthday. I way. “A lot of things that happen in wanted to explore how an incident like the book world are a result of skillful that, just one misstep, can change the marketing, but not these journals. I’m entire trajectory of a life and the lives very honored,” she shared as we began of those around him.” Susan added to chat about her new novel. that Danny was a little older and lived several states away, but the story of his The day we spoke, Susan was accident was one she heard growing preparing to leave for her first book up. Eli and Danny’s only similarity is tour as the author, not the author’s 14 :: :: April 2020

publicist, and I asked her to tell me about it. “I am excited and a little nervous about the book tour.” Laughing a little, she continued, “I taught school for 33 years, so I am accustomed to being in front of people. The difference is my high school and college students were captive audiences. Now I come charged with the responsibility of keeping my audiences interested!” This busy writer will appear at over 50 events in eight states during her tour. Her husband, while retired, still teaches part time at Converse and Methodist Colleges in Spartanburg, so he won’t be joining her at every stop, but will be present for one very special event. When she arrives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Susan is looking forward to a private party given for her by the two first cousins to whom Bells for Eli is dedicated. “These are Danny’s sisters,” Susan explained. “My book is in the category of literary fiction so a number of people have asked me what I want readers to take away from the book; what do I want them to think about when they finish?” Susan began when I asked her about the motivation behind her writing. “F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a letter to Ernest Hemingway that reads, ‘The purpose of a work of fiction is to appeal to the lingering aftereffects in the reader’s

mind.’ That’s my purpose. I hope my characters’ lives might resonate with readers after the novel ends.” “We’re living in a time where books have become the thing – there are so many book clubs, and so many books being written.” As we ended our chat, Susan added, “Almost everyone I know is in a book club. News programs, like the Today Show, have book recommendations, and I believe all of the media personalities promoting books have something to do with the popularity of reading. It’s a great thing they’re doing.” After the tour is over, Susan will return home to Spartanburg, and resume her everyday life. “Our children are grown, but we have two Boston terriers that we treat like children,” she told me laughing. And, in the evenings, while most of us are engrossed in the latest episode of our favorite television show, Susan will probably be reading. “I don’t really watch television, except for Jeopardy. I think it’s because when the children were little, and I was teaching, there was never enough time, and that’s the one thing I thought I could easily give up.” Books are, and will continue to be, Susan’s passion. “It’s fun to be a part of the book world.” Meet Susan on May 7th, when she will speak at Coffee with the Authors, in the North Myrtle Beach Library at 10am. Later that day, at 2pm, she will give a presentation at the Books and Bites event at My Sister’s Books in Pawley’s Island. On August 18, Susan will return to the Grand Strand to speak and sign books at Bookends in North Myrtle Beach.

Please join us for a New England Style Clam & Lobster Bake To Benefit St. Christopher’s Children

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 • 5:00 to 8:00pm Litchfield by the Sea Beach House Reservations are $65.00 per person Appetizers • Clam & Lobster Bake • Fried Chicken • Dessert • Wine & Beer Music • Wine Pull • 50/50 • Space is limited to the first 100 reservations Tickets available at

14323 Ocean Hwy, Unit 4143 Pawleys Island, SC 29585 (843) 235-8002

For more information, visit Some events listed may have been postponed or canceled. Please check with event organizer for updates. :: April 2020 :: 15

–Read It!–

Spring is in the air, new books are coming out, and there are book tours galore! These three authors have several events planned in our area, so make sure to check with your local bookstores and libraries to see when your favorite authors will be in town.

Feels Like Falling, by Kristy Woodson Harvey

In less than a year, Gray has lost her mother, sister, and husband... for various reasons. All she wants is a quiet summer with her best friend, but when she accidentally gets the new girl fired, her guilty conscience pushes her to invite the stranger home. Diana left her home and boyfriend behind to start a fresh life. She accepts Gray’s invitation for a place to stay, but she never expects to form a friendship with her. As they each try to put the pieces of the past behind them, they will realize dreams change but sisterhoods last forever. Kristy Woodson Harvey is one of my favorite authors. I stumbled upon her book, Dear Carolina, several years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. In Feels Like Falling, she returns to writing a stand-alone story, perfect for a day at the beach.

Bells for Eli, by Susan Beckham Zurenda

Eli and his cousin have a picturesque childhood in a small town in South Carolina. However, one tragic day leaves Eli horribly disfigured. Despite his cousin’s best intentions, Eli is bullied every single day. Will Eli be able to focus on the positive or will the pain be too much? I have worked with Susan Zurenda for several years, as she works with a publicity team for several of my favorite authors. This was my first time reading her work, however, and I really enjoyed it. I was transported back in time with this powerful coming of age novel. I think readers everywhere will be looking forward to reading more from her in the future. Note: See Sasee’s interview with Susan in this issue

The Antidote for Everything, by Kimmery Martin

Georgia loves her job as a urologist in Charleston, South Carolina, and she loves her best friend, Jonah, a fellow doctor. However, while she is on vacation she learns about Jonah’s firing and the new rule denying treatment to transgender patients. Will Georgia find a way to show the world that everyone deserves access to healthcare? Or will she find herself in worse trouble? This is the first time I have read anything by Kimmery Martin, but it most definitely won’t be the last. This poignant tale brings to light many issues in today’s society. The cover art is absolutely incredible. I am currently on the hunt for her previous novel, and I look forward to reading it soon. This is a definite must read and perfect for reading groups.

Reviews by Nicole McManus Nicole 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. 16 :: :: April 2020

Celebrate Love all Year Round!

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Ditch Tinder and Find “The One” by Simone Angel

“So how come you and your husband are still together?” The chit chat around us stopped instantly. My old school friends, all of whom were now divorced mothers, stopped what they were doing and turned to me. And I, in turn, looked at each of them. How was it possible that such beautiful, funny and talented women were all divorced? And how come my husband and I were still so happy after 24 years together? I answered as honestly as I could. “We are a team. We are good at managing our life together.” They looked at me with puzzled and (was I seeing that right?) disappointed expressions. I guess that this was not the answer they had expected. But then, what did they expect? That I would say something soppy like, “He’s my soul mate,” or even, “I knew the minute that I met him that he was ‘The One?’” Maybe I had to explain myself better. “Say you fall for a guy because he’s a good dancer. Eventually, you don’t go out dancing that much anymore. Or, he cracks great jokes. At some point you have heard them all. Or he looks really hot. One day, he may get a beer belly, he may go bald. Those early attractions are all fleeting.” 18 :: :: April 2020

My friends gazed off into the distance, maybe thinking back to what attracted them to their exes. “So what made you pick your husband then?” one of them asked. “He seemed like home-baked bread to me,” I answered, “Good-looking bread, but in an honest, solid, good-for-you, and what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda way.” The chatter picked back up again as my friends shared that their exes definitely did not fit the “honest” or “good-for-you” labels. They mentioned “fixer-uppers” and “bad boys.” Maybe they had hoped to fix these guys? Some mentioned that they had fallen for their exes because of looks or because they seemed a bit dangerous and exciting. Now, I’m not saying that I have never fallen into that trap or that I haven’t dated these “dangerous” men before. But who wants the future father of their child to be “dangerous?” I think this is the problem. As people are looking for a life partner, they just follow their feelings. And a sexy, dangerous person will stir up all kinds of emotions and feelings in us. That does not mean that he or she should, therefore, be the person that we date! Or marry! Or have kids with! Maybe the emotion that overtakes us – butterflies in our stomachs, the electricity that we feel – is simply pure adrenaline? We all know that adrenaline (our fight or flight response) gets released when we are under threat. Therefore, we may think that our body says “This is The One!” when in reality it may be saying, “Danger, danger, run!” We often bypass the good guys (or girls) in our lives and go for the ones that make the adrenaline course through our bodies.

So should we settle for a life without excitement or butterflies? No, not at all. But, maybe, experiencing those feelings for someone who is essentially a stranger is not the best indicator of whether or not that stranger is the right person for us as a life partner. We may fall for a good-looking face, snazzy chat-up lines, a six-pack, or a sharp dresser – and think that we are falling for “the main course” when, in reality we are reacting to “the trimmings” of a person. These trimmings change over time. The main course is someone’s deeper character traits. Is he or she honest? Is there empathy? What about dedication and commitment? Or the way he or she views life? Those are the things we are left with eventually; the deeper essence of a person. So ask yourself the question: If I can pick one person to be on a team with, would he or she be that one? My friends all agreed that they were never really “a team” with their exes, and that it had never occurred to them; the importance of being a team. Maybe it’s time to ditch Tinder swiping. Instead, focus on how safe you feel with someone, how much you admire them and the life they have built (or are building) for themselves, how much you feel respected and “seen” by them, and how well your different character traits complement each other. It’s all about putting a team together. The most successful teams are often the ones where those with different talents are combined. I was physically attracted to my husband when I first met him, but it was a calmer attraction than I had known before. There was no adrenaline overload, no panicked feelings, and no obsession. Instead, I felt warmth and a curiosity to learn more about him. That attraction has only increased over

time. We continue to discover more of each other and deepen our love with each discovery that we make. My husband gave me the nicest compliment recently. He said that he found me more beautiful today than I was all those years ago. But as he said it, I saw him think. Because, logically, we both knew that I looked better twenty years ago. Still, I knew exactly what he meant. He said, “You are somehow more...more…” and I finished his sentence for him, “you.” His eyes lit up. “Yes! That’s it! You are more you.”

Give new life to household batteries.

And that sums it all up. When your relationship is based on the essence of someone, not on the superficial, not on the “outer trimmings,” then the love only gets deeper over time. Then the butterflies can come. Oh, they don’t flutter manically or obsessively but flutter they do; in a steady and everstrengthening way. And with each passing day, year, and decade you come to realize that you have actually ended up sharing your life with The One.

It’s easy to recycle alkaline and rechargeable batteries in Horry County. Take your household alkaline and rechargeable batteries to any one of the 24 Horry County Recycling & Convenience Centers. For the location of a center near you, call (843) 347-1651 or visit

Simone Angel

was a singer and MTV Europe VJ from 1990-1999. Together with her husband, Andy, she now owns a jungle lodge in Belize, called The Belize Jungle Dome. She homeschools their two children and is currently writing a book about her time in the world of showbiz.

Rechargeable batteries also can be dropped off at Lowe’s, Home Depot and other retailers. To find collection sites near you, visit

Protecting Tomorrow’s Environment Today. (843) 347-1651


FUNDED BY :: April 2020 :: 19

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"Just the Two of Us"

A Tale of Two Weddings by Jeffery Cohen

My kid brother had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, met a girl, and after a three month, whirlwind courtship, decided to get married. Since neither family had much in the way of money, everyone realized the wedding would have to be modest, yet festive. It was agreed that it would be a church wedding, the reception to follow at the local American Legion hall. With a date set for October, my brother went out to a nearby farm and bought a carload of pumpkins which he used to create centerpieces, placing one on each table, and adding an arrangement of dried flowers around them. The night before the big day, the wedding party happily strung white crepe paper from every beam and cornice, transforming the drab rented hall into a fall fairyland. Following the ceremony at the church, nearly a hundred guests arrived at the hall while a local band’s tunes welcomed them inside. There was a bottle of rye and a bottle of scotch on every table, kegs of beer were tapped, and a hearty buffet was laid out on a long table supplied by a neighborhood caterer. All the usual traditions were followed. After the couple danced their first dance together, the bride danced with her father to the tune of “Daddy’s Little Girl,” then my brother joined in and danced with my mom. The best man toasted the couple, there were choruses of “The Bride Cuts the Cake,” 22 :: :: April 2020

and then the newlyweds playfully shoved smears of frosting into each other’s mouths. Folks ate and drank. They laughed and danced until the wee hours of the morning when the bride finally tossed her bouquet, the groom threw the garter, and the happy couple spirited off, leaving an exhausted crowd wildly applauding behind. That night, back at home, as we were getting undressed, I said to my wife, “Good time, huh?” My wife collapsed on the bed, a grin on her face. “Now that was a wedding!” The following year, I received an invitation to a cousin’s wedding. The family of his bride-to-be owned a nationwide chain of restaurants and  was quite wealthy. It was announced that the wedding would be held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, black tie required. Confused, I wondered why they were asking people to wear black ties. It wasn’t a funeral. That’s when my father informed me that black tie meant a tuxedo. Everyone in the family agreed. This would be the wedding not to be missed. Operating on a limited budget, my wife spent weeks searching every dress shop in the state until she found a beautifully exotic purple gown buried in the back of a rack of sale goods in one store. Me? I headed to my favorite thrift shop where I had my pick of a half dozen tuxedos. In the sleeve of the one I liked best I found a price tag for five dollars which made me like it even more. So, I was all set, except for a bow tie to go with the monkey suit. As it turned out, I wound up spending more money on a bow tie than I did for the tuxedo! The evening of the wedding felt like opening night at the Academy Awards. One after the other, we watched

limousines pull up to the entrance of the Plaza. Nattily dressed men accompanied bejeweled women in shimmering gowns. A string quartet played softly in the background as we followed red-carpeted stairs into a gold-gilded lobby. Huge crystal chandeliers sparkled above us, ornate chairs lined the walls between bunches of potted palms. We followed the crowd into a chapel-like room where the wedding vows would be exchanged. A garden of pastel-tinted flowers of every variety filled the place as we took our seats. Violinists played as the couple made their entrance. The bride was elegant, the groom handsome, the ceremony simple, and then it was on to the reception. We were led into a huge room that housed a table that Louis XIV could have presided over. An array of seafood was displayed – amber-colored, whole smoked white fish, piles of pink salmon, herrings in cream and wine sauces, mountains of shrimp cascading over silver platters. As guests shuffled food onto delicate china, bubbling champagne in crystal glasses was passed around. With plates piled high, we found our table. We ate, we ate... and then we ate some more. I took a deep breath, smiled at my wife and said, “That was the best meal I’ve ever had. I couldn’t eat another bite.” That’s when we heard the announcement. “Please find your way to your table. Dinner is about to be served.” I turned to my wife, puzzled. “I thought this WAS dinner!” As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. A multi-course meal was served over many hours, accompanied by more silverware than I knew what to do with. When sorbet was brought between one of the courses to cleanse our palettes, my wife jokingly whispered, “I hope

this is dessert. I don’t think I can eat much more.” A couple or two attempted to squeeze in a dance around the serving of food and the non-stop entertainment. Somewhere between the veal chops and the Angus tenderloin, a singer crooned. In between the serving of the Cornish hen and the lamb loins, a comedian who had made appearances on late night shows like Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, did his act.


In between performances, a vocalist came to each table offering to fill a personal request. “Can I favor you with a song?” He smiled. One of my smart-alecky cousins sitting next to me said, “Do you know Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hundred and Fifteenth Dream?’” “Ahhh...I’m not sure I know that one. How about ‘Moon River?’ ‘That’s Amoré?’ ‘The Shadow of Your Smile?’” My cousin smiled slyly. “How about ‘In-A-Gadda-Davida,’ by Iron Butterfly?” “I’ll have to think about that one and I’ll get back to you.” The singer bowed and happily drifted off to the next table. The food, the champagne, the entertainment, went on and on. To be honest, as chic and as grand as the night was, after a while it all began to be a blur. The evening felt like it might never end. By the time they got around to serving the crème brulee and the passion fruit and mascarpone, we were exhausted.

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That night, back at home, as I climbed out of my tux, my wife slipping off her gown, I said, “Good time, huh?” “Yeah, it was,” she sighed. “But...” “Not as good as my brother’s?” I added. She grinned, thinking back. “Now, that was a wedding!”

Jeffery Cohen

Freelance writer and newspaper columnist, Jeffery Cohen, has written for Sasee, Lifetime and Read, Learn, Write. He’s won awards in Women-On-Writing Contest, Vocabula’s Well Written Contest, National League of American Pen Women’s’ Keats Competition, Southern California Genealogy Competition, and Writer’s Weekly writing contest.

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Selecting the Wedding Gown is Just the Beginning By Lindsey Nowak, The Edit Collective

©Rachel Red Photography

When selecting a wedding gown, a bride normally chooses a design that appeals to her style: what she likes, what she doesn’t, how she wants her guests to see and remember her, how she wants to feel when she looks back at her photos from the day in 20, 30, even 40 years from now. It’s a decision that brides often put a lot of thought and stock into–and rightfully so. But selecting the wedding gown is just the beginning. As a bridal stylist, I am a huge fan of finding creative ways to incorporate my client’s personal style into the overall wedding weekend attire–from the welcome parties to the reception to the farewell brunch. I’ve found that a well thought out “style plan” for the weekend is the perfect way to highlight her personality and conjure a connective thread throughout the various events. Through thoughtful fashion, we inject a cohesive, polished, and perfectly personal touch into the entire weekend. 24 :: :: April 2020

©Gayle Brooker Photography

I work with brides of all fashion tastes. Some are super traditional, some more boho chic, some very fashion forward. But all have one thing in common: they want their wedding attire to be a true reflection of themselves and their personality. There is no rule book–a bride can use her wedding events to really showcase who she is as a person and all the various sides of her personality. If the ceremony and wedding gown are super traditional, we look for an opportunity to change into a reception outfit that highlights another aspect of herself. Yes, the idea of an outfit change has been popular throughout the last decade, but today’s brides are more creative than ever. One of my brides recently slipped into a pant suit for her reception. Her wedding design had more masculine touches to it and she feels her best in a killer suit so she went for it and rocked it.

©Gayle Brooker Photography

Another bride wore her mother’s gown during her ceremony, but had a new gown custom made for her reception. She is an event designer and chose a patterned fabric for her brunch wedding reception to keep things light and fresh–very fitting with the time of day and the reception’s overall vibe. I encourage you to let guests see glimpses of your personality throughout the weekend. One of my brides hosted an African-inspired rehearsal dinner complete with authentic fare, and had a traditional outfit for the event made in Kenya. She selected her fabric and had a hand in the entire process; it was such a clever way to honor her heritage. A bride should look at her wedding weekend attire not as just another chance to wear white. These special events allow you to showcase through fashion exactly who you are as an individual–an important opportunity as you enter into and celebrate your marriage.

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Harriet Charles: A Life of Roots and Blooms by Leslie Moore “Sometimes I feel like my own roots go way down in the earth,” said Harriet Charles, owner of South Gate Design and lover of all growing things. Demand for her elegant, intuitive designs, and spots in her workshops keep Harriet busy – and she enjoys every minute, energized by the soil, the flowers, the sun – and her deep connection with the natural world. Harriet and her husband of 43 years, John, have three children, and she described them to me by the plants they love. “Our oldest, Julia, loves succulents, our middle child, Lillian, loves flowers and our youngest, Austin, has his apartment filled with plants.” All three children grew up in Myrtle Beach, graduated from Socastee High School, and they all now live in Atlanta. Describing her husband, Harriet simply said, “ John is a physician, loves to fly, read and is the love of my life. He supports me in everything I do.” Ironically, even though Harriet’s life is completely enveloped in flowers, that wasn’t the original plan. “I was born in Florence and raised on a farm. Obviously, planting, growing, harvesting were always topics of conversation. My dad had a TV show for farmers, ‘Southeastern Almanac.’ My mother grew vegetables and flowers, and there was never a day she didn’t have a vase of flowers on the table. My dad loved to have flowers on the table in his office. I come from people who love flowers and nature and beauty.” After high school Harriet first attended USC in Columbia, but, being young and restless, she decided to move to Washington DC where she finished college and received her Masters in speech-language pathology from George Washington University. Following graduation she worked with head injured and stroke patients in a hospital setting. After meeting and marrying John, who grew up in the military, the couple moved around while John himself was in the military and attending medical school. Harriet and John moved to Myrtle Beach 30 years ago to be closer to their families. After moving into her home in Briarcliffe Acres, Harriet spent a great deal of her free time working in the yard. “In 2000 I had a wedding reception at our house for two wonderful friends. The reception spilled out in the yard, and folks liked what they saw and asked if I could help them with their yards – that’s when I started South Gate Design.” The name and Harriet’s original logo comes from an iron gate she had made 20 years ago for her home.

family groups and even people from out of town that have seen Harriet’s work on Instagram fill her workshops. “Some are held at our family farm in Florence. I am planning the next one to be held there in May.”

“I consult with clients, tell them what will grow well in their yards, help them create a design, buy the plants, and place them where they belong. Then, either the client or their landscapers do the actual planting.” Harriet has done extensive, ongoing training through the years, but, in 2015, she attended a workshop in Washington State led by wellknown flower farmer, Erin Benzakein that inspired her to create what is now her favorite part of her work. “It was a three day workshop with a small group of 20 or so people from all over the world.” The group discussed floral industry practices, did floral design, and picked flowers from Erin’s incredible flower fields to make arrangements. “It was the most magical thing I’ve ever done in my life!” said Harriet, still excited about the experience. “We worked in a 100 year old barn, and the people who attended, and Erin’s team, were amazing. During the first floral design segment, I turned to the people near me, and said, ‘I’m going to conduct workshops.’ It’s a way to step away from what you do normally and just be creative.” I asked Harriet if participants need to have experience in floral arranging. “Absolutely not – I can teach anyone to make a pretty arrangement – no one has left with a bad arrangement yet.” Harriet’s workshops are a feast for the senses, with beautiful, tasty food and gorgeous flowers to arrange. “In the workshops I concentrate on how to make a floral arrangement – it’s a relaxing, meditative experience. It’s hard to concentrate on your to-do list when you’re working with flowers – and it’s fun!” Mothers and daughters, friends,

“Anyone can make a beautiful arrangement to enjoy at home,” Harriet told me when I asked for some flower arranging tips. “Grocery stores have beautiful flowers these days, just look for a mixed bouquet, or splurge and buy three different types of floral bouquets, each with a different flower. Better yet, go to a nursery and buy a flowering plant that you can put in the ground after you snip the blooms.” Harriet said to arrange the flowers to look like they do in a garden – a little wild and organic. “Don’t make a ball; nothing is the same height in nature. It’s okay to have something pop out of the top and trail out of the vase. And always use greenery – if you have camellias, gardenias, or azaleas in your yard, cut the greenery for your arrangement.” She added another tip – look for seasonal flowers as the focal point – roses in the summer, mums in the fall, etc. Harriet does a couple of smaller weddings each year, and shared her thoughts on planning the bride’s bouquet. “Based on the colors the bride wants to use, we then decide on the shape of the bouquet based on the bride’s body type. A small person doesn’t need to carry a large bouquet.” Harriet will ask the bride about her favorite flowers to get an idea of her focus. “I always tell them, I’ll get your flower choices if they

are available, but even if I have to make substitutions, it will still have the feel you’re looking for.” South Gate Design is not Harriet’s only business – and as you might guess, her other endeavor also involves roots and blooms. “For 30 years my three sisters and I have been in business with the founders of Forest Lake Greenhouses, Tim & Lisa King. Recently my son and nephew became involved as well. At Forest Lake Greenhouses in Florence, we grow mostly blooming plants, from poinsettias for the holidays to poppies, begonias, hydrangeas, petunias, and many more in the spring. Right now there are eight greenhouses bursting with plants.” Continuing, Harriet said, “I work at the greenhouses a few days a week now. Several times a day customers will exclaim that Forest Lake Greenhouses is their happy place! It is a joy to spend time around all the tropical plants, the succulents, the baskets of mixed flowers and all the blooming plants. It is a sight to see!” When Harriet takes her hands out of the dirt, she loves photography, taking photos of her arrangements and most anything unusual and beautiful that interests her. She’s also diligent about keeping her mind and body strong and healthy, working with a personal trainer a couple of times a week and taking yoga classes before the sun comes up. “I also love traveling – near and far. I love all types of field trips, from seeing how a cannery operates to visiting art museums. The world is a fascinating place.” I’ve always been in awe of flowers. There is an otherworldly quality to blooms, perfection in every stage of their growth. I asked Harriet, someone who works with flowers daily, to talk about her connection. “Someone asked me if I talk to the flowers – or if the flowers talk to me? I said yes to both – if you ask a flower where it belongs in an arrangement and pay attention to its structure, the flower will tell you where it’s supposed to go.” Harriet continued thoughtfully, saying, “Of course, I love beautiful, thriving, gorgeous blooms but I often keep them and watch them wither – I have a whole bowl of flowers that I’ve kept because they are so gorgeous in all phases of life. As they grow old they shrink – wither a bit and fade, but are still so lovely in an entirely different way, just like all of us.” Flowers speak to my soul. If anyone is having a bad day and gets close to nature they can have a better day,” Harriet said as we ended our chat. “Being around flowers, I don’t have many bad days but if you are feeling down, take off your shoes and go outside – there’s so much beauty there that we just rush past all the time! Slowly walk around and closely observe the details in nature. In my mind, nature has restorative powers of which we can all take advantage.” To learn more about Harriet’s work, including when her next workshop is scheduled, visit, or find her on Facebook, on Instagram @southgatedesign and also @forestlakegreenhouses.

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Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday 6am-6pm Sunday 6am-1pm email: :: April 2020 :: 29

Everlasting Love by Diane DeVaughn Stokes Soapbox! Yes, if you don’t want to hear it, turn away now. But don’t worry it’s not about politics. I’ve steered away from that topic like a hot potato, as folks are getting ugly with each other. It’s tearing our country, family and friends apart. However, I am equally ticked off about something else! Just as we are coming into a big season of something borrowed, something blue, lovers tying the knot, and others renewing their vows after decades of committed togetherness, how can anyone in their right mind think that The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are good healthy TV viewing? Oh yeah, I have watched it to see what all the hype is about, and not just one episode. I’ve watched an entire season, and I’ll admit, both shows suck you in like an opioid drug and may be just as dangerous. No one, at any age, especially the teenagers who watch it most, can possibly believe that true love can magically happen in just a few short weeks, with cameras constantly in your face, time restraints to get to know each other, producers telling you what to do, and dozens of singles competing for the attention of “one singular sensation!” They say it isn’t scripted, but let me tell you, I know television. Those producers meet constantly with the cast and direct them on the right path to draw in viewers. Maybe a good cry 30 :: :: April 2020

is suggested. Maybe it’s a fight with another contestant. Or, how about the jilted lover back home? We have seen it all. Some of my favorite episodes featured the parents back home having ruffled feathers about meeting the top contenders and actually saying they don’t approve of any of this. Amen and thank goodness there are still some sane family members left in the world who know this is so very wrong. You may see lots of 30 year olds in the audience on “after the final rose” night, but guess who really watches? It’s the younger kids that are growing up to think this is the way love should be. I am appalled listening to my own nieces talk to their friends about it. They see jealousy and backstabbing as okay to win over the one you love. Both shows seem to condone jumping into bed with someone tonight and a different one tomorrow night. Say what you want. Call me a prude. But this is morally wrong, and how do you explain that to a ten, twelve, or even sixteen year old kid? I’ve tried. They don’t understand that this is a made-for-TV show that has advertisers coming out of the woodwork to be a part of it. Therefore, the producers must command attention by making every single promo and episode sexually solicitous. And if you thought The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are bad, The Bachelor in Paradise is worse. I hate the messages these programs portray to our youth. I’d rather kids watch Naked and Afraid where two naked folks are stranded in a dangerous location without food and water and use their survival skills and instincts to complete an adventure in the wild. Yes, I know it’s another nauseating reality show, but at least it’s not delivering the wrong

message about life’s greatest treasure… everlasting love. We all know the hardest part about a relationship is making it last. Everyone is giddy, gushy and googly-eyed in the beginning, but if both parties don’t grow in the same direction with the same mutual respect, honoring the vows they both made to each other, they are headed for divorce. A marriage, much like a building, must be built on solid ground. I’m glad I grew up in a time when TV featured great role models who had loving and supportive marriages: Ozzie and Harriet, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, Make Room for Daddy, and The Donna Reed Show to name a few. There may not have been any rose ceremonies, but even as a kid I knew that the spouses on these programs had the magic spark that I wanted to have in my marriage someday. Luckily, I have it. And I hope those Bachelor and Bachelorette fans will get wise and find it someday too.

Diane DeVaughn Stokes Diane is the host and producer for “Inside Out” as seen on HTC TV Channel 4, and serves as a commercial spokesperson for several local businesses. She and her husband Chuck own Stages Video productions in Myrtle Beach and share passions for food, theater, travel and scuba diving. They own three four legged kids that they adore!

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Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer by Candice Adelle Photography Choosing the right photographer for your wedding day is a BIG deal. After your wedding day is done, the only things you’ll have left are your memories and your photos, so you want to make sure that the photographer you choose is the right choice for you!

32 :: :: April 2020

Here are 5 tips to help you find the best photographer for your big day! Do Your Research Plan by searching potential photographers on their Facebook, Instagram and website. Dig deeper when choosing and ask to see full galleries of wedding days from start to finish.  Do you like the posing styles, edits, and the overall story of the wedding day? Meet Before Booking The one person that you’ll spend most of your time with on your wedding day is your photographer.  They are with you through the entire day documenting some of the most special moments of your life.  It’s really important that you like them! Before meeting be sure you have a list of questions ready and don’t be afraid to ask them.  Take this time to really get to know each other.  Do an Engagement Session While these sessions are great for having extra photos for your wedding website and those snapshots before you’re officially married, this session is really wonderful to get to know your photographer and to get comfortable in front of the camera. This is truly a great test run so you can make sure that you have a strong  connection with your photographer.

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Plan Your Budget Wedding photography is not a place to price shop if quality images and experience are important to you. This is probably not the place where you want to find a “deal.” Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll want to remember for years and years to come.  So, when it comes to budgeting, if photography is important to you, make sure to make it a priority from the beginning! Have Fun The last and most important tip is to have fun with the process.  Finding a great photographer doesn’t have to be stressful. Just be open and clear about your expectations for your wedding day and you will most certainly find the perfect photographer for you!

Photography courtesy of Magnolia Photography • Staging by Gigi Noelle Events • Lighting by MC Sound, Light and Video

Kaminski House Museum 1003 Front Street, Georgetown, SC 843.546.7706 • :: April 2020 :: 33

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” ~Psalm 133:1~

24th Annual Blessing of the Inlet: A Community Celebration by Leslie Moore The above Bible verse is one chosen by this year’s Blessing of the Inlet committee to symbolize the meaning of this popular annual event. Sidney Williams, one of a team of volunteers with Belin Memorial United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet, spent a few minutes chatting with Sasee about this year’s iconic festival. “This year’s focus is on the blessing. The blessing service will be held at 11:30am in front of the cross that sits on the inlet.” Sidney went on to say there will be crafters and children’s events, including a petting zoo – and food! “The entertainment this year will be The Harbor, our praise band that plays at our modern contemporary service and our sanctuary choir – the music will be performed on the church steps and grounds.” The money raised on May 2nd is donated to local charities – even the food vendors donate a portion of their proceeds. “The fish fry proceeds go to St. James High School band and the restaurants choose their own charity for donation.” Senior Pastor, Reverend Will Malambri, will preside over his very first blessing this year. “I moved here from Florence last June, and in May it became known that my family and I were moving to Murrells Inlet so I could become one of the pastors at Belin Memorial. The day after the [2019] Blessing 34 :: :: April 2020

of the Inlet several of the members of the church where I was serving came up to me, very excitedly, and said, ‘Do you know how to bless an inlet? You’re going to have to next year.’ They had seen coverage on the news and were very interested.” Rev. Malambri went on to say that Reverend Walter Cantwell, Belin Memorial’s Associate Pastor, would guide him on the procedures this year and talked a bit about the changes, including putting the focus of the service at the seawall cross. “This will bring us to the edge of the inlet and give everyone there the beautiful backdrop of what God has given us in that unique and special body of water. As I think about our blessing it, I think of this being a time to give thanks for the beauty of the water and the joy and nourishment it provides. I think of us asking for guidance as we try to be the best stewards we can be of the beautiful creation in which we live. I think of praying for safety for those who enter the inlet, or use it to enter the ocean and protection from the storms that can come through it. Ultimately, what we’re doing is thanking God for the inlet and asking God’s ongoing blessing on it.” This eloquent pastor also stressed that the literal inlet also represents the heart of the Murrells Inlet community. “Whether they are taking in the Marsh Walk, enjoying the

fresh seafood, part of one of the many festivals, or joining us for worship, we want their experience blessed by the scenery, setting, and people they encounter. Murrells Inlet is such a uniquely beautiful place that, as God said to Abraham in Genesis, I want us to recognize that we are blessed to be a blessing. I hope the Blessing of the Inlet helps us recognize our blessings, give thanks for them, and be careful stewards of them.” Rev. Cantwell is also excited for the 2020 blessing. “What makes the Blessing of the Inlet special is the reason behind the event. To facilitate a day of faith, food, and Christian fellowship, Belin Memorial welcomes all of its neighbors to join them on the first Saturday of May.” “The Blessing of the Inlet provides our community with a moment to gather as one before the tourists arrive a few days later for Bike Week and before the constant stream of vacationers make their way to the Grand Strand,” Rev. Cantwell continued. “One of my favorite experiences from last year occurred during lunch. As I made my way to sit down under the tent with my delicious seafood plate in hand, the wonderful sound of laughter greeted me. Neighbors were enjoying each other’s company. For that moment in time, we were all united in our shared appreciation of God’s beautiful creation.”



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“The Blessing ceremony itself is always quite special,” Rev. Cantwell said as we ended our chat. “In that moment you feel the warmth of God’s love being poured out on our community. It truly is a blessing to be present.” Join this year’s Masters of Ceremonies Ed Piotrowski, Chief Meteorologist, with WPDE15, and Nicole Boone, News Anchor at WBTW, at the Blessing of the Inlet on Saturday, May 2nd, from 9am-3pm. For more information, visit

9415 Highway 17 Bypass Murrells Inlet, SC 843.668.2500 The Palmettos Assisted Living & Memory Care is an affiliate of the NHC Family :: April 2020 :: 35

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South Myrtle Beach 843-626-7272 Myrtle Beach (Kings Rd) 843-839-1777 North Myrtle Beach 843-280-3222 Garden City 843-357-6400 Socastee 843-293-7272 Conway 843-347-7272

Our pets are such an important part of our lives. Send us a photo (jpg only) of you and your beloved pet – and tell us why they are “Near & Dear” to you and your family. You both may be featured in Sasee’s special pet section coming in May. Email your photo in jpg format, along with a sentence or two about your special furbaby, to by March 31st.

LampLighter Lamp Repair, Restoration and Creation

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Repairs We can repair almost all lamps and chandeliers. Sometimes even while you wait! We’ve got a huge supply of lamp parts for expert and fast lamp repair.

Restorations We can make your old lighting fixtures look new again! We are experts at chandelier restoration, along with lamp repair and the ability to restore other light/electrical fixtures.

Creations You’ll be surprised at what we can make a lamp out of - all you have to do is ask! We can make lamps from vases, urns, bottles and more.

Paul Sciurba (formerly at Lamp Niche) (843) 299-0083 / (843) 907-4301 727 Wachesaw Road • Murrells Inlet

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Socialitemi :: April 2020 :: 37

Captain Everette “Chimmitt” Silver: Murrells Inlet Mariner by Leslie Moore


he day I met Captain Everette “Chimmitt” Silver, he was preparing to leave Murrells Inlet with his crew for four days at sea, working as commercial fishermen, in the 42 foot Judge, Wicked Tuna. Captain Silver took a break from his work, and shared a little about his life at sea from the cozy cabin of the boat. “Everyone calls me Chimmitt,” he told me with a smile, explaining that it was his childhood nickname.

The Wicked Tuna is a comfortable boat, boasting high tech equipment, a well appointed stateroom with a television for the captain and another, smaller stateroom with bunks for the crew. There’s a decently-sized bathroom with a shower and basic cooking facilities with a small refrigerator. The cabin where we talked also has a television and comfortable seats. Most importantly, this boat has the latest safety features to help protect captain and crew from the many things that can go wrong when you are 80 miles offshore – and vulnerable to everchanging weather (think 50 foot rogue waves), massive cargo ships looming 20 stories above the sea, and inevitable human error. 38 :: :: April 2020

I asked Chimmitt how Murrells Inlet’s commercial fishing fleet had changed through the years and he told me, “Now we have nine boats going out of Murrells Inlet – when I started we had more than 30, we were the largest commercial fishing point on the East Coast.” One of Chimmitt’s first jobs was working as a crew member for Captain Hoss Johnson, one of Murrells Inlet’s legendary sea captains, on the New Inlet Princess, a head boat designed for day fishing trips. “We’re headed out for a four day trip, if the weather is good we may stay out eight days,” Chimmitt told me as he began to talk about the realities of commercial fishing. “Last trip (also four days) we caught 2500 pounds of fish – vermillion snapper and greater amberjack. We can’t fish for grouper from January 1-May 1.” Regulations determining what fishermen are allowed to catch, and when, are supported by the majority of commercial fishermen, and Chimmitt told me he knows these laws have brought grouper back to our waters in larger numbers. “This trip we’re going about 80 miles offshore,” Chimmitt continued. “Most of the time we fish on the continental shelf, which is about 50-60 miles out.” The captain then explained how the huge reels on the back of the boat worked, the largest used for ball fishing, a difficult way of fishing requiring all hands to execute, but brings in a lot of fish. The success or failure of the trip depends entirely on the skill of the captain – he must know where to fish,

when to move and which fishing style to use in each situation. And if they don’t catch fish, no one gets paid. Chimmitt has battled many nor’easters, gales and tropical storms – in one nor’easter off of our coast, he was forced to hold the boat on course, alone, for 17 hours straight, only to end up six miles back from the direction he was heading – but he and his two young, inexperienced crew members lived to fish another day, a testament to the expertise of the captain. “We just say our prayers and go to sleep,” Chimmitt told me frankly, when I asked him if they stand watch at night. “We’re anchored and leave the anchor light on – legally we have the right of way. But, more and more 1,000 footers [cargo ships] are out there, and it’s easy for them to miss us.” The captain then told me a couple of stories of what can happen on the open sea. “The Still Crazy 1, captained by a friend of mine, was hit by a ship off of North Myrtle Beach,” he began. “It was February, freezing, blowing a gale with 15 foot seas. They were asleep and the ship hit them. When they ran up to see what had happened, the entire back of the ship was gone – the ship had cut the boat in half.” With a faraway look in his eyes, Chimmitt said the crew had only a minute or so to get in the life rafts. They made it, but couldn’t reach the emergency beacon. Luckily, the beacons are now equipped to go off automatically if they hit the water. “The Coast Guard was notified and sent out a ‘pan pan’ to every boat nearby, a signal that a boat is in distress. A large ship found them, but because of the weather couldn’t get them in the boat. The guys were actually sucked under the ship while it was trying to rescue them,

which my buddy said shot them out like a tube of toothpaste, breaking his ribs.” By this time, I’m on the edge of my seat, but luckily, there’s a happy ending. A Coast Guard helicopter finally came, tried to get the shipwrecked crew, but one of them shot a flare, trying to help their rescuers see better. Unfortunately, it blinded the helicopter crew who were wearing infrared glasses, and by the time they recovered, they were low on fuel and had to abort the mission. Finally, after flying to Myrtle Beach and refueling, they were able to bring the stranded fishermen to safety. Another captain friend of Chimmett’s was fishing off of Frying Pan Shoals, which is also known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, when a gale began to blow, and a 50 foot rogue wave came out of nowhere, flipping the boat upside down. The crew was knocked unconscious, but two of the three crew members regained consciousness below deck where they were sleeping, and fortunately they were in an air pocket, and able to help themselves. “One guy was able to get to the life raft, but the shock caused him to have a heart attack, and the other got in an emergency suit” Tragically, the other crew member was above deck when the accident happened and went down with the ship, which quickly sank. The two survivors were found by a Lithuanian ship that was off course due to the storm. “They pulled up the one guy who’d had a heart attack in the life raft, but they had to pull the guy in the suit up with a rope around

his chest. He had gotten way too much water in his suit putting it on and the weight caused his ribs to break, but he survived.” Chimmitt continued telling me stories of near misses and tragedies, making me wonder why in the world anyone would want to do this job. “It’s all I’ve ever done,” he began. “It’s a lifestyle. I work 180-200 days a year and have time off when I get back.” When Chimmitt is on shore, he spends most of his time with his 19 year old son, Charlie and 11 year old daughter, Cape. “Charlie is either going to Clemson or USC,” Chimmitt said proudly. “Right now, he’s leaning toward Clemson.” Fishing has taken Chimmitt around the world – he has worked in South America, Alaska and up and down the Gulf coast. He’s also lived in Hawaii, but didn’t fish commercially there. Once, he even captained a multi-million dollar yacht in the Bahamas. He has also dived for fish – shooting hog snapper and grouper 150 feet below the surface. “I was stung by a lion fish once,” he told me with a laugh. “It stings like you can’t imagine for two and a half hours!” “I owned my own boat before I started working for Wicked Tuna,” Chimmitt told me. “Now it’s nearly impossible for a small commercial fisherman to own and operate his own boat because of the cost of permits, new regulations and the sometimes limited availability

of fish.” Wicked Tuna, the restaurant, uses some of the fish Chimmitt brings in for the restaurant, nearly all of it in the busy season. “They sell what they can’t use.” Continuing, he said, “We all do everything we can to abide by the regulations and keep this a sustainable fishery.” “I’m clean and sober now,” Chimmitt began, addressing the drug and alcohol problems that plague his industry. “It’s a feat to be in the fishing business and not drink and do drugs, but I did it,” he told me. “I live in a houseboat on the Waccamaw River – it’s so peaceful, there’s no one back there, except the otters, gators and owls. I also love to surf when I can and that keeps me grounded.” “I’ll work the rest of my life,” Chimmitt told me when I asked if he ever considered retirement. “My ultimate goal is to do a little hand line fishing off of Nicaragua for my retirement job.” Right now, Captain Silver is healthy and able to work hard, but he knows this could change. “This work is hard on your body – there are not a lot of us anymore. I’m going to stick it out for as long as I can – get my kids through college.” Stop by Wicked Tuna where Captain Silver’s photo hangs in the restaurant. And, please, support our hardworking fishermen by buying local seafood! :: April 2020 :: 39

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My Love Affair with the Tomato by Mari Wallace Someone once said, “Gardening is cheaper than therapy...and you get tomatoes.” I think that pretty much sums up why I do it – all those hours spent digging, weeding, feeding, composting, pruning, watering – losing myself in these chores, enjoying the great outdoors...and then the reward: those sweet, juicy tomatoes. I call myself a transplanted New Yorker (the gardening pun is intentional), having moved to England many years ago. It was when my English husband, Alan, and I relocated to the Sussex countryside that the gardening bug bit me. Americans would say I’ve developed a green thumb; the Brits say I have green fingers. But as far as I’m concerned, I happily use both of my hands and all of the digits on them to make things grow. Although my mother was a keen gardener, she was only interested in flowers, never vegetables. Alan introduced me to the joy that comes from growing things you can eat. This is when my love affair with the tomato began. It’s also when I started calling it a “to-mah-to” – echoing those delightful Gershwin lyrics from the Astaire/ Roger’s movie, Shall We Dance, “You say to-mah-to and I say to-may-to.” I always knew that tomatoes were nutritious. The list is long – vitamins 42 :: :: April 2020

A, C, E and K, plus potassium and dietary fiber. They’re low in cholesterol and calories, too, and their sweetness satisfies a candy craving. I didn’t need any more convincing than that. Tomatoes were on the very top of my list when Alan created a vegetable bed in our garden. Unfortunately, because English summers are very variable, with weeks that are often cool and cloudy, not all of the tomatoes ripened by the fall, which was very disappointing. Not to be defeated by the vagaries of English weather, Alan built a greenhouse so that I could successfully grow many varieties of tomato. These have included, over the years, Shirley, Moneymaker, Gardeners Delight, Beefsteak, Alicante, Sungold... But it was a totally serendipitous purchase of a tomato plant called Luciebell that further ensured my love affair with the tomato. I came upon it in a very unlikely place – a large store that’s rather like Walmart. These Luciebell tomatoes proved to be just wonderful – petite (so easy to pop into one’s mouth) and super sweet. As a good garden guru, I scooped out some seeds from a couple of my Luciebells, dried and stored them, ready for planting the next spring. This has been my annual ritual, with great results. I find the history of the tomato fascinating. They originated in South America. The Aztecs and Incas cultivated them as early as 700 A.D. The Aztecs gave them the name tomatl which the Spanish, who conquered and settled in Latin America, changed to tomate...from which we get tomato. Even now, wild ones can be found in the Andes. During colonial times, people shunned tomatoes because, as members of the same family as deadly nightshade, they were thought to be poisonous. However, it’s been documented that

Thomas Jefferson grew them, and his daughters and granddaughters used them in recipes such as gumbo soup. When the tomato was introduced to Europeans, there was again controversy about its possible toxicity. The reality was that the upper classes ate off pewter plates, which had a high lead content. The tomato’s natural acidity would leach into the lead and result in sickness and even death. In contrast, poorer people, who could only afford wooden plates if any plates at all, had no problems with the tomato. The turning point was the “invention” of the pizza in Naples in 1880 which made the tomato popular in Europe as well as America. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that each of us consumes close to 20 pounds of fresh tomatoes each year. In making it their state vegetable, the residents of New Jersey have given the tomato the status it deserves. In Arkansas, it’s not only the state vegetable but also the state fruit. Yes, the tomato is technically a fruit because it develops from the fertilized ovary of a flower and has seeds. I read somewhere that “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” We have friends – though, perhaps, they’re now ex-friends – whose names are Phil and Sue. When we invited them to dinner for the first time, I phoned in advance to ask if there was anything they were allergic to or particularly disliked. No allergies, but Sue told me she disliked salad, and Phil disliked fish. Very straightforward – or so I thought. I planned the menu accordingly. Our appetizer was bruschetta containing garlic, basil and tomatoes – all from our garden. The main dish was chicken with rice. Accompaniments were French climbing beans and home-made

ratatouille – with garlic, basil, onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes – again, everything from our garden. When I served the appetizer, Phil asked, “Is there garlic in this?” “Yes, of course,” I replied. “It’s Italian...and the garlic is from our garden,” I added proudly. “Sorry, but I don’t eat anything with garlic.” I was crestfallen. And then annoyed. They’d told me about the fish and the salad, but why not the garlic? “And I’m afraid I don’t eat tomatoes,” Sue chimed in. Somehow I’d assumed that her antipathy to salad was aimed at those flavorless chunks of lettuce – not flavorfull tomatoes. So, naturally, when I served the main course, neither of them would touch the ratatouille, because of the garlic and the tomatoes. When it came to the dessert, I held my breath. I’d made sherbet with our home-grown strawberries and baked a New York-style cheesecake. At least they didn’t spring on me that they were lactose intolerant! They were profuse in their thanks when they left later that evening but I was not a happy bunny. Rest assured, Sue and Phil’s rejection of the tomato had not fazed me in the least.

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Sasee Magazine - April 2020  

"Just the Two of Us"

Sasee Magazine - April 2020  

"Just the Two of Us"

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