Sasee Magazine - September 2022

Page 1

September 2022



-Helen Keller


“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”


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“There’s No ‘I’ in Team” September 2022 Contents Volume 21, Issue 9

8 About the Cover Artist: Born in Astana, Elena Filatov discovered her passion for colors at an early age. During her design and art studies associated with studies of classical music, she was able to expand her skills and develop her individual style. She puts her heart and soul into each of her colorful and detailed works of art: “My paintings are the mirror of my soul. I take the viewer on a visually powerful journey of fond memories, wishes, and dreams,” says the artist. The artist and designer lives and works in Germany. She finds support and security in her family who inspire her. To find and order her artwork: or

4 :: :: September 2022

Brow Repair by Patti Wade


Theater = Teamwork by Diane DeVaughn Stokes


Kelly Moore: It Takes a Village by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson


Hurricane Hockey by Erika Hoffman


The Great Disconnect by Deirdre Garr


Sasee September Calendar


Sasee Gets Personal with Diane Morgan: Cocora Home Décor & More

from the Editor There certainly never is an “I” in team, but I learned early on how “I” personally affect my teammates and the role I play within the team that’s created. As a baton twirler, I joined the local competition team when I was seven and as I advanced, I naturally became very (too) proud. My coach sat me down and explained that this sport is not just about one individual – it is only truly successful if we are all team players. (What? You mean the world doesn’t revolve around moi?) All jokes aside, the way my coach handled the situation helped me realize that life really is all about building camaraderie. After this new perspective, I found a new love for twirling and the art of teaching it. I was finally able to take on captain roles during my middle and high school years and even had my own students I would teach. My baton twirling coach, Laura Card, was the kind of mentor and teacher that every athlete or performer dreams of having. The kind that pushes you but also supports you. The kind that motivates you to continue when you want to give up. The kind that strives to make you a better you, on and off the stage/field. She also instilled the importance of time management, problem solving, and positive communication. The best teachers provide advice that can last a lifetime.

Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor Sarah Elaine Hawkinson Account Executives Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse Art Director Patrick Sullivan Contributing Photographer Chasing the Light Photography Web Developer Scott Konradt Accounting Gail Knowles

My time as a Clemson University majorette was an astronomically different environment, but the fundamental life skills I learned from Coach Laura served me incredibly well. After my freshman year, our “Tiger Twirler” team doubled in size. We heavily relied on one another for success as we choreographed, critiqued, and worked hard together. We genuinely enjoyed helping each other learn and creating harmony within our team.

Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Suzette Rogers

I’m forever grateful to grow up with the kind of coach who understands that they are not only guiding you to be the best at your craft, but also inspiring you to be the best human being.

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. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication. Copyright © 2022. 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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Brow Repair by Patti Wade

Between plucking when younger and menopause fallout, what’s left of my eyebrows changed overnight from a dark blonde to blondish white. In other words, you can’t see them. My eyelids and forehead merged without warning and the result was not pretty. Hello, eyebrow pencil. The biggest problem with painting on my eyebrows is sweat. Unlike women who beautifully glisten and glow with heat and exertion, my perspiration is more of a pressure hose pushing eyebrows and mascara in a wet, southerly route. If I’m lucky, the dark rivulets stop under my eyes, leaving uneven black spots. It’s rather shocking when I find them on my upper lip, chin, or chest. Several years back after a vigorous time on the dance floor with friends at a local eatery, I headed to the ladies’ room. While washing my hands, I was horrified to find my exuberant gyrations to sounds of the ‘70s left my face fully pressure washed with no trace of residue, not even a hint of an eyebrow. Lip, chin, and chest check confirmed the truth... my face was the equivalent of nakey. Not one who has ever carried makeup, I searched through my purse and found a black ink pen which I was entirely prepared to use when someone bumped against my hip. “Use this, honey.” The husky voice and tiny stature belonged to a lady with brilliant blue hair cut short around her ears and teased on top. Other than that, she was purple and red. Purple eyeshadow, red cheeks, red lipstick, red nails, purple silk blouse, bejeweled belt, red slacks, and shoes. She pressed an inch and half long, much-used black eyeliner pencil into my hand. “I always have it handy for when mine rub off. Go ahead, it’s okay.” I thanked her and we chatted while I tried to ever so gently create brows with what went on like a dark grease pencil. Because of my abundant glisten and glow, I’d have to dab with tissue and make a little line, then dab again, and press harder. As the sweet Purple Lady instructed me on technique, my friend, Barb, walked in, stopped in her tracks, eyes wide, and said, “Whatcha doing there?” She immediately fell in with Purple Lady and critiqued the squiggles and nothing-like-an-eyebrow shape I had achieved. 8 :: :: September 2022

Barb dug through her tiny shoulder purse and offered her brown eyeliner pencil to go better with my hair color. When we tried to remove the grease pencil, however, it smeared and broadened so I now had a cross between thick Groucho Marx brows and Bert of Sesame Street’s unibrow. Water didn’t help and neither did the horrible pink soap from the dispenser. Barb and Purple Lady were showing mild panic when another woman walked in, took one look at us, and said, “I’ll be right back.” She returned with a luggage-sized turquoise handbag and pulled out a package. “Makeup removers.” She pressed them into Barb’s hand and went into a stall, returning after her hand-washing. All three set to work on my eyebrow dilemma. By the time I had something akin to eyebrows to separate my forehead from my eyes we’d talked about makeup, men, kids, politics, religion, and recipes. Purple Lady’s name was Annette; she had moved here from Michigan, and this was her third husband. Carrie, aka Makeup Remover Wipe Lady, worked part-time at Sephora, recently remarried, attended a non-denominational church, and was out celebrating her son’s twenty-third birthday. Barb and I chimed in with a few of our own details to round it out. Thanks to these helpful and resourceful ladies, I walked out of that bathroom with my shoulders back and head held high sporting my new brows, feeling good but determined not to dance or sweat the rest of the evening! Though I do pack my own eyebrow repair kit now, I may never actually use it. The teamwork and camaraderie of chance-met women pitching in on an eyebrow repair mission is far too wonderful to forgo.

Patti Wade has published articles and short stories since big hair was the rage. Cat lady, dog momma, and grandmother, she lives in the “dry heat” of Phoenix, Arizona.

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Theater = Teamwork by Diane DeVaughn Stokes

From the moment I saw my first theatrical production at eight years old, which was at the Broadway show Oklahoma in The Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, I knew I wanted to be “Ado Annie.” Lucky for me, I finally got to do that part when I was fifty years old, where I had to be the oldest “Ado Annie” in the history of the American Theater! There’s nothing like a live production to give you an adrenaline rush. You never know what’s going to happen and something always does. Yes, of course, someone might forget their lines and you have to cover for them to get the script back on track. But that’s nothing compared to some of the things I have experienced. Once during Pippin, the side door was locked where the Leading Player (who was my husband, Chuck) was to enter, and I was left on stage making up lines until someone on the crew realized what was going on and went to unlock the door. Or how about Mame, when I was sitting on a wooden cutout of a moon singing about the man on the moon, but as I got off of it to continue singing front and center, my costume got stuck on the corner of the moon and whipped back up and hit me in the face. Did I bleed? You bet I did. Blood was gushing everywhere, but I kept singing and using my sleeve to wipe the blood away, as my little nephew in the show pulled off his tie and handed it to me to absorb the blood. Talk about thinking fast. After the show, audience members said the blood looked so real! They thought it was part of the comedy. A freaky thing happened in the dressing room during Bye Bye Birdie. A lovely and talented Waccamaw High School student named Sarah played the “Ann Margaret” role. However, throughout rehearsals, she was never in the dressing room with me at the same time. Either I was on stage or Sarah was on stage. So, when I rushed into the dressing room to change my costume on opening night, she was there saying, “Help me. My earring is stuck in my pantyhose!” I know you are thinking the same thing I was thinking, how could this happen? But it was then that I could see she had a pierced belly button and the waistband got stuck to her naval ring as she was trying to get her stockings off and her bobby socks on. I grabbed scissors from my make-up case and with one swift cut, she was free to finish getting dressed while some 12 :: :: September 2022

poor soul on stage was adlibbing lines until she appeared. Barnum was obviously about the life of PT Barnum the circus guru, a part that Chuck played perfectly. He had to learn to walk on stilts so that when he was on stage with the supposedly mini Tom Thumb, he looked tall and Tom looked small. As Chuck appeared stage right singing his heart out, one of his stilts started to waver and he gracefully held onto the curtains until the scene ended with two roustabouts helping him down as the stage faded to black. Again, the audience roared with laughter and thought it was part of the show but it was not. Yet, it added great comic relief. It’s not often you get to do a show twice, and play the same characters, fifteen years apart. Well, that’s what Chuck and I did in Guys And Dolls, playing the forever-engaged Nathan and Adelaide. One night, a cast member showed up stoned out of his mind. In the opening number, he was screwing up the words of the song and acting obnoxious and we all knew there was trouble in River City. (Okay, that line is from The Music Man, but it seemed to fit.) Afterward, the director came backstage and grabbed the culprit and told him to go home and never come back. Meanwhile, the entire cast had to figure out how to cover the guy’s part for the rest of the performance. Stressful for sure but great teamwork as the show must go on! In Hello Dolly, I had my most embarrassing moment, when the skirt of my two-piece bridal gown came tumbling down as I twirled around during the final song. And the lyric I sang was “Wow, wow, wow fellas. Look at the old girl now, fellas,” as Chuck who played “Horace” held my skirt up. Thank goodness I had a body suit on. But speaking of bodysuits, my very favorite show was I Do! I Do! My real husband, Chuck, played my stage husband. And because there were only two cast members, we were both always on stage throughout the entire production, even singing while changing clothes behind a decorative screen. But make no mistake; the crew helped us behind those screens throughout the show. We could not have done it without them. Nevertheless, during the ten-minute intermission, I rushed to the bathroom, pulled up my dress, and forgot to unsnap the crotch of my body suit. What a mess, but fortunately, there was a blow dryer in the Green Room which came in very handy! Our young high school

Great Team = Great Care crew said they would never forget that sight! This show sold out eight nights and won the South Carolina Theater Association competition in 2000, with a request from theater management to repeat the show two months later. It was an absolute joy as we aged from twenty to eighty on stage night after night, portraying “Michael” and “Agnes” as they marry, celebrated their honeymoon, had children, handled some rough times, and finally moved to a retirement home. It was the most emotional and poignant show ever. There’s nothing like LIVE Theater. You bond and become family with the cast and crew, and if you have done a great job with your performance, the audience becomes part of the family in the process too. Collaboration, cooperation, TEAMWORK personified.

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Diane DeVaughn Stokes is the co-owner of Stages Video Productions in Myrtle Beach and Host and Producer for the TV show “Inside Out” on HTC. Diane and her husband Chuck share passions for theater, travel, and scuba diving. She is the author of “Floating On Air - A Broadcasting Love Affair.”

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Kelly Moore: It Takes a Village by Sarah Elaine Hawkinson

In an attempt to escape their current situation in Detroit, Michigan, Kelly and her birth mother moved to Aynor, South Carolina, when Kelly was twelve. As soon as they arrived, Kelly got involved in sports (basketball, softball, and volleyball) to escape her reality of a poor home life. Kelly’s upbringing was certainly unstable, but unfortunately, not a rare situation. She never met her birth father, and her birth mother was a substance abuser. Kelly clarified, “When you see that lifestyle as a young girl, you go one of two ways. I made the decision that I did not want to go down that path!” Moving to Aynor was Kelly’s saving grace. She had the best experiences with her teachers and coaches: “They saw what was going on, that I was the kid without lunch or was waiting to be picked up. And of course, when you are that age, your whole identity is to fit in, so I didn’t want my friends to know. My coaches would discretely bring an extra sandwich or ask me to get them something from the vending machine and tell me to get one too. I didn’t understand until later on, that was their way of providing for me. That’s just one example, I also had coaches hire me to babysit so that I could have money for food and things that were not always a given for me.” Kelly’s volleyball teammate, Linsey, lived near Kelly and would pick her up for school and events. Lindsay’s parents, Glen and Deborah Hughes became very aware of Kelly’s home situation and made the ultimate decision of adopting Kelly. “I know it’s not an easy decision to share your family with someone else.” Kelly continued, “I truly believe that you learn what a sense of family and community is through others. They collectively made a difference with how I heard the world and how I wanted to live in it.” 16 :: :: September 2022

When it was time for Kelly to go to college, she craved that sense of belonging again. She majored in recreation and sports management at Coastal Carolina University. Because athletics was where she found a home, she felt like it was her calling to be an example for another child to find their way. She did not play any sports her freshman year, but she got involved around campus through clubs, student government, and as a tour guide. Through student government, she met a male cheerleader, who happened to date a high school friend of Kelly’s. Knowing of her athletic background, he encouraged her to join the squad. Her first thought was, “Me, in a skirt, jumping up and down? You can’t be serious?” He invited her to a practice where he showed off his skills and when he looked at Kelly and said, “bet you can’t do this,” that was exactly the ammo Kelly needed to fire her up. They showed her a side of cheer that was athletic, competitive, and extremely team-oriented. The adrenaline kicked in. She worked all summer with them and made the team the next year. During her first couple of basketball games, when she was supposed to be yelling cheers, she found herself so into the game, that she was actually yelling at the refs about bad plays and calls. Although the coach had to settle her down, she also realized that cheer was another outlet for her to still be a part of other sports she loved. Due to her unwavering motivation, she still wanted to be a better cheerleader. She worked out a deal where she would go to the gym early to clean it in trade for tumbling lessons. It was a whole new sense of challenge and it became another passion of hers. “Becoming a cheerleader at CCU was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Kelly explained, “It led me to my first job, doing marketing and promotions on the mic at games and

it helped me become very confident with speaking in front of others.” Cheer also led her to her first position as a coach at the end of her senior year. “The current coach left, and I happily stepped in. Being a coach brought all of the things I love and stand for together. Coaches have this unique ability to see what is going on in an athlete’s life. I loved being able to be that person for others – to be able to teach and give the same grace I was given.” After four years of coaching at CCU, Kelly decided that she wanted to lead a team to win a National Championship. She went to the mecca of cheer, Texas, for the opportunity to learn further about her craft and make great connections to the cheer athletic world. James Madison University was shifting its focus and wanted a top-level spirit program. She was recommended, got the position, and found another great home there. She was able to achieve her master’s degree in sport and recreation leadership and after her first year of coaching, her cheer team placed eleventh. During her second season, their captain passed away suddenly. They decided to dedicate the season to him and his memory. Kelly illustrated, “Winning wasn’t even the goal anymore, it was just to be a beacon for a human and to work hard together as a team to be the best for each other. We trained hard and ended up winning the National Championship title. I know he would have been so proud!”

entire philosophy in life is to be able to help others the way she was helped so that they can make the right connections and be successful with their passions as well. It’s no surprise that when the CAF Executive Director position became available in 2021, Kelly embraced the new opportunity to continue her philanthropic work. When I asked Kelly if there was any advice from a specific coach or teacher that stood out to her, she replied, “There was never only one, it truly took a village. If I were to take sections of my life, there are so many who invested interest in me as a human that have made me who I am today. I am incredibly thankful for everyone who showed me compassion through little acts of kindness because they all added up and got me here.” Kelly’s early childhood showed her a life she knew she didn’t want to duplicate and her adoptive family guided her to understand her passion and life mission. For Kelly and so many others, a home is not bricks-and-mortar, it’s a feeling of safety and belonging. Athletics and teamwork are what brought her a family. Kelly stated, “Some people say I had a difficult upbringing, but I like to think of it as a perspective and an opportunity to help others grow!”

In 2016, The Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF) came calling and Kelly could not resist returning to her first home. She explained, “Coastal is my heart! It’s where I developed as a human and where I started my career. I was excited to start a new chapter and take on the challenge of growing the CAF. The idea of working for the foundation was a perfect next step because it gave me a place where I could use my passion of being a voice for someone who doesn’t have one.” While the CAF provides the ability to financially help the athletics program by raising money, Kelly viewed it as a way to raise awareness of how important a donor’s impact is on a student’s overall life. Because Kelly lived a childhood in and out of homes and wondered where her next meal would come from, she can explain first-hand how donating money is more than a scholarship, it’s about supporting someone’s chance to make themselves better. At first, Kelly’s responsibilities were to grow the foundation and run the gala, but she also created a new program for student ambassadors. This initiative led her to the role of Director of Development where she oversaw the implementation process of the new suites and premium seating areas. The student ambassador program allows the students to work the games as they meet and interact with donors as well as take a class that teaches them the art of personal communication and life management skills. Kelly’s :: September 2022 :: 17

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Hurricane Hockey by Erika Hoffman

What do I like about hockey? It brings all the rival basketball fans together under one roof! Whether you’re a rabid Carolina Tar Heel, a Cameron Crazy Duke Blue Devil, or a howling wolf packer of NC State allegiance, y’all will wear red, black, and white when gathered under one dome pulling for the Carolina Hurricanes. Not only do the collegiate loyalties take a back seat but also the differences in backgrounds. You see white-collar guys seated next to blue-collar guys, and they’re all hollering for some Canadian or Finnish fellow with an unpronounceable name. That’s another thing I like–the worldliness of it. These players aren’t from the hamlet down the road or from a state a car ride away. In the arena hang flags representing the origins of the players, a Czech flag is blowing next to a Maple Leaf. I like to watch the warm-ups before the game begins. I like to look at the huge TV screens featuring the different players as they don their masks. A handsomer group you won’t find, even in Hollywood! I used to picture hockey players as toothless, scarred, with askew noses and lopsided faces. No longer. The etiquette is a bit intimidating, at first, in that you cannot leave your seat for a potty break when the puck is in play. And when you want to go to the restroom, it seems as if the puck is always in play. I had to get used to the screaming at the refs, as I am not prone to do that, but I understand that a poor call by a ref can mean certain defeat for your team. When teams go into overtime, it’s the first score in that net that wins the game so if a team has just been penalized by an erroneous call and has one fewer man than their opponents, it’s a major disadvantage and most likely a game changer! 20 :: :: September 2022

I like the team spirit of hockey. No one can grandstand. Folks enjoy the fights. Not unlike reality TV and gladiator days of yore, there remains something exciting about witnessing spontaneous tempests. Me, I like hot dogs, pretzels, and Canadian beer. I like the loudness of the spectacle and the various activities they have for us spectators during breaks. I like the thumping music and the big screen with cameras zooming in on common folks in the stands, especially on enthusiastic tots bopping to the beat. I relish the family fun aspect. I like to watch the Zamboni reglaze the ice. I even like the coolness of the temperature which feels like winter–while daffodils bloom outside in sunny Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Ladies Clothing, Jewelry, Accessories and Gifts! :: September 2022 :: 21

The Great Disconnect by Deirdre Garr

Summers in the 1980s and 90s seemed so much longer than the summers of today. I wish I could replicate those summers for my son so that he could feel the length of a summer’s day and not lose those precious hours to technology. But his summers are framed by unlimited access: cell phone, Xbox, iPad, computer, Kids Messenger–you name it. Life revolves around what can be done with the click of a button. He is totally connected and yet disconnected at the same time. He can’t imagine life without technology. I try to tell him what it was like. My sister and I were dropped off at my grandparents and taken anywhere and everywhere they wanted to go. Yard sales. Macy’s. The farmer’s market. But we definitely had to be home before The Young and the Restless aired. Those were my mom’s parents. If we went to my dad’s parents, we swam in their in-ground pool–after Y&R, of course. Both of my grandmothers loved that soap. When I recall these summers, my memories are always intertwined with Y&R, road trips, and a pool. My sister and I had very little to do during the summer, but our days were full. Time seemed to be suspended: we had all the time in the world. I guess this is why I am ready to break any and all types of schedules during the summer. My husband–who is also a teacher–and I argue about the benefits of keeping a schedule. He prefers consistency. He still goes to sleep and wakes up at the same time. To him, my approach becomes a free-for-all, which is a bad habit to break once summer ends. And to me, this freedom is a reminder that summer can’t be contained. Before we know it, August arrives, unannounced. Growing up, school started after Labor Day. Back-to-school ads arrived sometime in August by way of flyers in the mail. My grandmother took us shopping for clothes at local stores: sometimes to the mall and sometimes to a big outlet center in Reading, Pennsylvania. I never really enjoyed shopping for clothes. I looked forward to the food court where ice cream or soft pretzels were on the menu. (note to self: that may have been a bribe!) But there was something special about those outings. The endless rows of clothes, the assortment of bags piled high in the car, and the neatly folded and matched outfits in closets meant that a new season was upon us. Anticipation was in the air. Those outings marked the beginning of our 22 :: :: September 2022

“goodbye” to summer, that long-lost friend we would wait so long to see again. Now, time seems to run on one continuum, and summer is absorbed by it. The anticipation has no chance to build. We are reminded that time is ticking no matter where we click. The endless online shopping options and the ability to “click and go” are hard to ignore. We live in a world that is always connected. My son is not immune to this either. As parents and teachers, we now worry about “the summer slide,” those gaps in learning that develop when kids disconnect over summer. He does (mostly) daily schoolwork to retain the knowledge he learned over the previous year. Naturally, this is all completed on the computer! We often connect to tech as a way to disconnect, which can become a free-for-all, especially during the summer. And even I have to admit: I do like a good Netflix series to binge watch. While I can’t replicate the summers of the past, I want to feel the anticipation of new things to come. I want to slow down time just a bit. I don’t want my summer to be consumed by the screen. So, anything that can be done sans technology–sign me up! And I admit, that is a difficult task. But I have discovered that back-to-school shopping may not be so bad after all. It may no longer be an all-in-one-day extravaganza, but I still go out to shop. And I take my son with me–even if he is kicking and screaming. The ability to pick and choose the items that will start our new year creates the anticipation I miss and that I hope my son can feel, which is something that can’t be achieved with the click of a button.

Deirdre Garr Johns

resides in South Carolina with her family. She is a teacher and a writer. Her poetry and non-fiction are inspired by people, places, and nature and have appeared in several magazines. Her website is


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