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February 2015 Priceless

afternoon knows what the morning never suspected. The

– Robert Frost

MURRELLS INLET 843.357.1700 MOUNT PLEASANT 843.571.2446 C H D I N T E R I O R S . C O M

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Volume 14, Issue 2


who’s who Publisher


Delores Blount

Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant


Leslie Moore

Account Executives Amanda Kennedy-Colie Erica Schneider Gay Stackhouse




Art Director Taylor Nelson

Photography Director Patrick Sullivan

Graphic Artists Stephanie Holman Scott Konradt


Stacie Sapochak




Administrative & Creative Coordinator Celia Wester

Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy

Featured Conversations at the End of the Road: Clayton and the Frozen Food Caper by Phil La Borie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Good Attitude Never Goes Out of Style by Vallory Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Browsing Through Time by Nina Guilbeau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Southern Snaps by Connie Barnard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Fifteen Forever by Mary Ann Crimi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 From Fashionista to Iron Butt-ress by Deb Gasque . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Making Peace with 40 by Diane Stark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Sometimes It Just Adds Up by Beth Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Sasee Kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Birthday Matters by Erin Spatz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

In This Issue A Life of Flavor: Angelo Antonucci, Angelo’s Steak & Pasta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Read It! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Timeless & Fit: Dr. Kevin Sattele, Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetics Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Timeless Style: Marla Nelson, Carma The Salon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 A Life Reinvented: Sue Brunson, Finding Blue Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Fashion Forecast: Identifying Your Signature Style: Mommy Chic by Whitley Hamlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 February Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


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. For subscription info, visit see page 33. 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 © 2015. 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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Pen & Brush readers’ comments RE: “The Finer Things in Life,” by Kim Seeley Wonderful Kim! “The finer things in life are truly all around us. We just need to open our minds and our hearts, along with our eyes, to see them.” So

beautifully stated!

– Stormie

letter from the editor Nothing I thought about aging when I was young has proven to be correct. Nothing. As I journey through my 50s, I keep waiting to “feel” older…and it just hasn’t happened (thank goodness). By this age, I thought I would have life completely figured out…that hasn’t happened either. What I have found is that the small things bother me less and I am much more mindful and appreciative of even the tiniest blessings. Maybe we take the whole “aging” thing a little too seriously? I’ve certainly noticed many times that the most compelling woman in a room is rarely the youngest or the most beautiful, but rather the one who is kind and quick to laugh; the one who appears comfortable in her own skin – no matter her age. I am fortunate to know many timeless women who’ve proven that age is just a number. One, writer Connie Barnard, has been contributing essays and interviews to Sasee since the very first issue. Connie’s work is always insightful and fun to read – mirroring her kind, easy-going personality. For personal reasons, Connie must take a leave of absence from contributing to Sasee; one that we hope is very brief. All of us at Sasee are so grateful for her work through the years – this wonderful writer has helped shape Sasee into the magazine so many of you love reading today. Here’s to you, Connie!

RE: “Living on the Edge,” by Rose Ann Sinay Another great story. It almost made me want to join you for volleyball…You have a special way with words, and I love to read your stories. – Betsy Imagine my surprise (and delight) to see Sasee review my second book this month, Life is Short, So Read This Fast! Thank you, Nicole McManus, for such a generous and touching review! – Ann RE: “The Evolution of Womanhood,” by Susan DeBow Such delightful truths Susan! I appreciate the touch of humor, been there too! – Stormie

Cover Artist Tina Peterson Twirl, by Tina Peterson Growing up in a home where her parents loved and collected a wide variety of art, Tina Petersen began creating her own work very early. Working predominately in oil, she is inspired by color, light, movement and the small, sweet, humorous moments of everyday life. Tina lives in Northern California, with her husband, daughters, dogs and a big lazy cat. She paints every day and has her artwork in private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. To see more of the artist’s work, visit her website,; Etsy Shop, or email her at

we’d love to hear from you! Love what you’re reading? You can reach us by: Have suggestions? mail: P.O. Box 1389 Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 Let us know! phone: 843.626.8911 email: web:


A Life of Flavor

Angelo Antonucci: Angelo’s Steak & Pasta


Tell us a little about yourself I was raised in Steubenville, Ohio, the home of Dean Martin, who actually worked for my father, and my grandfather was Mr. Martin’s Cub Scout leader. I have a large signed poster of Mr. Martin, signed by him to my father, hanging near the entrance to Angelo’s. I graduated from Adrian College in Michigan with a BS in Biology – I wanted to be a doctor, but after I finished college, I decided I didn’t want to go to school for another seven or eight years! In 1980, I decided to move to Myrtle Beach and open a restaurant. My father owned a popular meatball and Italian sausage sandwich shop while I was growing up, and I loved the business. I had visited the area during the height of summer, thinking there were so many people here that business should be great. When I opened my restaurant in the dead of winter it was quite a shock! I am married and have four children, two from my previous marriage. The older two are 32 (daughter) and 29 (son). They both live in Tampa, Florida, and are doing well. My two younger daughters are 16 and 18 and attend Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach. We live in Prestwick Country Club. What is your secret to a Timeless Life? God, my faith, fitness and diet – I lift weights and ride my bike daily. My diet is sensible and healthy, focusing on lean protein and vegetables. My friend and chef, Steve Straka, who moved here with me from Ohio and supported me through building my business, passed away from diabetes in 2009. I wouldn’t have made it to where I am now without him. His portrait and chef jacket hang in the restaurant, along with a collage of his photos. How did you celebrate your last milestone birthday? [laughing] I was working! My birthday is on July 26th, the middle of the summer and a very busy time for the restaurant. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done lately? One of my passions is scuba diving, and now my daughter loves it too. A few years ago, we vacationed in Cancun, and dived in the Underwater Caves there, and on another vacation we did a shark dive with 6-8 foot sharks swimming all around us.

“God, my faith, fitness and diet…”

Tell us about Angelo’s Steak and Pasta. My first restaurant was Angelo’s Sandwiches and Deli, but in 1980 that type of food wasn’t a big hit in Myrtle Beach. I quickly changed my menu, and we became Angelo’s Steak & Pasta. Our first night open, we had an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner for $2.99 and had to close the restaurant early because we ran out of food! Hurricane Hugo destroyed that original building, and we then moved two blocks away from our current location. This building became available in 2012. After remodeling, it seats 420, and there is an all you can eat Italian buffet, along with a menu of Italian favorites created fresh to order from scratch. Probably about 50% of my business is steaks – they are delicious! Angelo’s Steak &Pasta is located at 2311 South Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. For more information, call 843-626-2800.


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Virginia Ross’ life has been turned upside down. Now living on her beloved boat, Chaucer, she is determined to document all of her husband’s assets in order to have a fair divorce settlement. (It is the least she deserves after discovering his affair.) However, when she returns home to her boat she is greeted by the shocking news of her soon-to-be-ex’s death. Now under suspicion as a person of interest, Virginia must learn to balance her new life with the help of her old friends. Along the way, she stumbles across some horrifying details that may connect her husband’s case to some unsolved mysteries. As she tries to make sense of everything, Virginia’s own life becomes hazardous, and she must guard her own safety. Waterline gives readers of every genre something to appreciate – the suspense of the murder plot, the details of boat life, some

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romance, and even a feisty, adorable cat. Huntsinger weaves multiple incidents and storylines into one fascinating page turner. Readers who enjoy suspense stories with a hint of romance will devour this book. The story seamlessly envelops the beautiful South Carolina coast and the rich history of its culture in a contemporary mystery. Beginning with unique quotes that foreshadow Virginia’s twisted life, this book flows quickly. Readers will be swept up in the author’s passion about boats, South Carolina and historical reenactments. Before reading this book, I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth Robertson Huntsinger. She mentioned that Waterline was the first in a series, and after reading it, I am excited to read the next one. This story took me by surprise at first, due to the deviation from the ghost stories this author is known for, but I tore through her book quickly! Full of intrigue and mischief this story will have readers talking for a long time.

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



Conversations at the End of the Road: Clayton and the Frozen Food Caper by Phil La Borie

Our street here in Murrells Inlet ends at The Great Salt Marsh. If you haven’t been a visitor to the Marsh, I strongly recommend it. It’s just amazing. I love the vast openness that stretches north and south for miles with the Grand Strand beaches in the distance. I often ride my bike to a vacant lot at the edge of the Marsh and sit and read or watch the herons, egrets, hawks, ducks, assorted other wading birds and Fiddler Crabs go about their business. My reading often times leads to me closing my book with the intention of meditating, which after a brief period usually results in my falling asleep. So, I was sound asleep in my beat up blue folding chair one day, when I felt a sudden cold wetness just below my knee followed by what felt like a rough tongue licking my kneecap. As you might imagine, that sensation got my attention in a hurry. My eyes popped open to reveal an ancient dog staring somewhat mournfully at me. Just as our eyes made contact, an older woman standing next to my chair announced, “Well, I don’t think that Clayton will be with us for that much longer.” Assuming that she was referring to her dog, I asked, “How old is Clayton?” She replied, “Well, we’re not all that sure, somewhere around twelve or thirteen. He’s been with us quite a spell.” Meanwhile, Clayton, complete with a gray muzzle, rheumy eyes and wobbly legs, had tired of addressing my knee and was busily rooting through the Cord Grass (Spartina alterniflora), sending the Fiddler Crabs scuttling off in every direction. Despite his advanced age, he was conducting a very thorough and vigorous investigation complete with a number of deep “woofs.” I then ventured to say, “Dogs are certainly great companions.” “Yes they are,” my visitor replied. “They don’t ask for much. Just feed ‘em, pet ’em, let ’em run around some, get involved in a little romance from time to time, and they’re happy with their lot in life. You know, folks could learn a lot from dogs.” “That’s true.” I said. “Yeah,” she replied, “a whole lot. World might be a better place it we minded our manners and behaved like dogs. Well, at least most of the time.” To keep the peace, I didn’t bring up the subject of knee licking and how that fit into the recommended dog behavior way of life. I watched Clayton go about his detective business for a little while longer and then asked, “Uh, by the way, how did Clayton come to be called Clayton? That’s not a usual name for a dog.” “No, it’s not,” she said. “We named him after my brother. Clayton, my brother that is, was always chasing after the girls when he was younger, and Clayton here was pretty much the same. Even when he was a pup, he’d take off


after some lady dog or other. Lord, how could he run. So we named him Clayton.” Then she added, “He’s also got a police record you know.” “Your brother?” “No, no, not him; this Clayton.” “Oh, really?” I said. “Sad, but true,” she said. Before I could ask about the circumstances that led to his arrest, she filled me in. “Truth is, the police picked him up down the road in the grocery.” “You’re kidding,” I said. “Nope,” she responded. “Caught him red-handed in the frozen food aisle. I had to go and bail him out.” “Must have been embarrassing.” “Sure was.” A silence then ensued. A soft breeze came up, and the sun beat down. Then, just to be neighborly, I asked, “Well, uh, how’s the other Clayton doing?” “Oh, you mean my brother?” “Hmmm, hmm.” “Well, he’s getting on in years as well as this Clayton. Gonna be in his mid-eighties soon.” “Gee, that’s great,” I said. “Yep,” she said, “Got himself a new girlfriend too! She’s teaching him how to dance the Carolina Shag!” “That’s a pretty strenuous dance, isn’t it? I asked. “Oh, I’m sure he’ll manage it all right.” With that, she called to Clayton (the dog, that is), and went on her way. Phil is a recent transplant to the Grand I couldn’t help but Strand; in a former life he was a think of the old adage, “You Connecticut Yankee with a long history as can’t teach an old dog…” a writer/creative director in the ad biz. He Says who? can be reached at

Phil La Borie


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Timeless & Fit

Dr. Kevin Sattele:

Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetics Center


Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in Murrells Inlet and graduated from Socastee High School. After four years in the Air Force, I moved to Florence and attended Frances Marion University. After graduation I spent 7 years in Columbia while I was completing medical school and residency. I met my wife, Lori, in Florence, and we moved back there after I completed my medical training. We have three children; Justin is 28, Lauren is 17 and Jenna is 13. The youngest has five more years until she finishes high school and then we’ll probably spend more time at the beach! I love surfing, diving, riding four wheelers and motorcycles. I also enjoy camping with family and friends. We frequently camp at a place in Georgia that has hundreds of miles of dirt bike trails, a shooting range and more. It’s a lot of fun. What is your secret to a Timeless Life? It may not be a secret, but spending quality time with my family and friends is important. Also, I want what I do to be creative, helpful and to have a positive impact on others. How did you celebrate your last milestone birthday? My wife gave me a surprise party at the beach with family and a couple of close friends. We have always loved the beach and now it is fun to relax and have fun with my kids. I still love to surf as often as I can and it is especially fun to be able to do this with my children. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done lately? We went to Key West in August to dive for lobster. And, not too long ago we vacationed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and rode snow mobiles about 90 miles to Yellowstone and back. The trip was very cold but it was absolutely beautiful and well worth the effort. Tell us about your Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetics Center. I am board certified in Internal Medicine and initially began practice in Florence as an internist. I also offered chronic wound care at the Wound Center for nine years. Several office patients wanted to try Botox for migraines, so I completed training in Esthetics. Many of our esthetic patients were asking for help with weight loss and body shaping so we created the Rapid Weight Loss program. Due to the success and ease of our program, this quickly evolved into a full time practice.

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We’ve worked with over 8,000 patients in the past eight years and offer education and training, as well as medications and injections to help with weight loss. Many of the things people have learned about dieting in the past are wrong. Our plan focuses on real foods, there are no meal replacements required, and you can do this anywhere. It works every time. I’ve had patients reduce or eliminate medications for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and more. Losing the extra weight and eating a healthy diet will change your life. Patients can come in for a free consultation to determine their goals and develop a specialized plan. They can start the very same day if they like. Most patients say it’s the easiest and best thing they’ve ever done for themselves. Dr. Sattele’s Rapid Weight Loss & Esthetics Center is located at 1006 6th Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach. He also has two other locations in Florence and Hartsville and a new location in Murrells Inlet which will be open this month. For more information, call 843-407-3124 or visit


Did you know that being overweight can put you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke and hypertension?

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This month's Rapid Weight Loss Success Stories: I woke up one morning with tingling in my right leg and with burning and numbness in my feet and toes and that really scared me. I kept seeing the billboards in several areas in Myrtle Beach about Rapid Weight Loss and Dr. Kevin Sattele. I decided to make an appointment and after 3 1/2 months I’ve lost 63 lbs! My blood pressure is Size 22 to a size 10 lower than its’ ever been Lost 63 lbs. and my blood sugar is lower. My medical doctor was so amazed with my weight loss and my medical report numbers showed such great improvement that he took me off all of my diabetic and blood pressure medicines, which was a blessing because there were so many side effects I had to deal with daily. I feel like a new person, someone that has been let out of a cage, so grateful, I feel like someone that was given a second chance to life and Rapid Weight Lose did this for me. Thank you Dr Sattele and Nurses for your support and encouragement!

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and my depression had gotten worse. At that time my doctor informed me that I was at high risk for a heart attack or stroke, which was really scary. I knew I had to do something for my health and happiness. I became so skeptical of all the diet plans out there, until I saw my niece for the first time in a while, she had lost so much weight, looked wonSize 18 to a size 4 derful, and had a glow of Lost 80 lbs. happiness about her. I approached her and learned that she did it with the help of Dr. Sattele at the Rapid Weight Loss Center in Florence, SC. I’m extremely happy with my results. I’ve lost around 80 lbs. and I’m now at my goal weight of 134 lbs. My health is better, my Blood Pressure and Cholesterol is lower. I was overwhelmed with happiness during my first shopping experience when I realized I had gone from a size 18 to a size 4 pants and shirts from a size XXX large to a small. It was a magical moment for me and the employees there made me feel so special and proud of myself. I want to thank Dr. Sattele and his staff for giving me the strength and wisdom to live a healthier, happier life.

Linda K. from Myrtle Beach

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A Good Attitude Never Goes Out of Style by Vallory Jones

I’ve been waiting on this day for thirty years. And believe me, it’s taken patience, commitment and optimism. Although widely known in my circle of friends for my positive outlook, I must admit that, at times, even I doubted it would ever come to pass. Then last week, and out of nowhere, I caught something familiar from the corner of my eye. Too good to be true, at first I thought it was my imagination. I broke into a full sprint across the department store, unable to hide my delight. And right there, hanging in all their glory, nestled between the knee socks and the winter scarves, was the most beautiful pair of black leg warmers I’d ever seen. Inside I was doing cartwheels, but after catching sight of a few women standing nearby, I managed to maintain my cool exterior. They were mostly chatting with each other and trying on shoes, and in all my excitement, it seemed odd to me that none of them seemed equally enamored at this find. In fact, it was as if they hadn’t even noticed this goldmine at all – an entire wall of legwarmers! A flood of memories swept over me – all of which included my favorite baby blue leg warmers from the early ’80s. A time when big hair was cherished, leotards and tights were the preferred exercise apparel, and I was young. I grabbed several pairs, as though I somehow expected there to be a mad dash at any second, and clutching them to my chest, I grinned. The seventh grader inside of me begged permission to scream, “Attention everyone, but the leg warmers are BACK!” While the 43 year-old me said nothing. Yes, indeed, I’ve been waiting on this day for thirty years. My favorite clothing trend has finally returned, so this morning I put those leg warmers on over my skinny jeans and confidently left the house. When I reached work, I practically skipped down the hallway wearing my precious find. I continued toward my classroom, strutting around in those legwarmers like a peacock proudly displaying her feathers. I sat down at my desk, admired them for probably the fifteenth time, and slipped into deep thought about all the years that have passed since I first remembered wearing them. Which, of course, conjured up some uncomfortable feelings. Okay, so I admit that lately I’ve been feeling a bit like an old shoe. And, don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to be said for old shoes, of course. Mine are tried and true – comfortable and broken in favorites – but gone are the days when I considered myself more like a pair of strappy stilettos. Lately, when I walk past a mirror and catch a glimpse of my reflection, I think, “Who are you?” The woman staring back at me looks more like a loafer than the black, sexy, peep-toed stiletto I remember. A former high heel with toe-pinching capability, I’m now a comfy, scuffed loafer, dulled by the passing years. And things. Lots of things. The failed relationships and the scars left behind from staying in it just a little too long. The personal disappointments. And my all-time favorite, the cancer. After that last one, I noticed a few extra wrinkles, the loss of the “luster” I once possessed, and a little more wear-and-tear than I’d anticipated. If I’m completely hon-


est, however, I’m often reminded that I’ve earned these battle scars and that they tell their own story of beauty and resilience. Back in my younger leg warmer days, I may have possessed a more youthful, outward beauty, but I didn’t have the finesse to handle heartbreak, the stamina to deal with long-term illness, and while I certainly didn’t exhibit the crow’s feet, I didn’t own the strength that this face proudly displays either. After sitting here wrestling with thoughts of my aging face, I cursed my beloved leg warmers for beginning this inner dialogue. But then again, I was having, perhaps, the epiphany I so desperately needed. Maybe the girl staring from the mirror isn’t as weathered as she is “seasoned.” I’ve come to realize that a few gray hairs and fine lines do not an ugly woman make. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to throw out my wrinkle cream anytime soon. And I’m certainly holding onto my hair color. But true beauty is timeless. And it’s more about being the best me in this moment than the best me that ever was. So, back to the leg warmers. A pathetic attempt to cling to my youth? Nah. Just a stroll down memory lane to a place where things were simpler. For just a moment, they transported me back to a time of zero responsibility, zero stress and yes, even zero wrinkles, but where I’ve been and what I’ve walked through has formed the person I see before me, and I must say, after thinking about it this morning, I wear it well. All vanity aside, the Val Jones, a freelance writer from Austin, woman peering at me from out Texas, teaches middle school English and of that mirror is older, yes, but is a breast cancer survivor. Founder of she’s smarter, more balanced Victorious Val & the Breast Cancer and still quite vibrant. Crusaders – a community of encourageTrends come and go, ment and kindness – she helps women but a good attitude never goes through the emotional ups and downs of out of style. cancer. Her work has appeared in Coping with Cancer, Sasee and multiple editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Val Jones

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Browsing Through Time by Nina Guilbeau

I’ve always been an excessively private person. A trait, whether a blessing or a curse, that I got from my mother. The thing is I don’t know if I was born craving privacy or if Mom taught me that I needed it like I do food and water. I never questioned her philosophy, but rather embraced it with so much gusto that “exposing myself” through writing has been, at times, a little bit of a struggle for me. I remember how she adorned every window with heavy, room-darkening drapes. Now I think it was because they gave her the power to shut out the outside world – their decorative value was simply a bonus. “You never know who’s watching,” she would say before closing the blinds, the inside sheer curtains, then the heavy drapes across the big front window and finally double checking for gaps. My mother had definitely rubbed off on me, but thankfully, so had my father. Where my mother was tightly closed off from everyone, my dad, well, he was more of an open book. I suppose he had to be in order to record, travel and perform with greats such as Ray Charles, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra. His trumpet solos were part of his daily work life. So for him, in great contrast to my mother, he knew that almost always, everybody was watching. Although I can’t truly sum it up in just a few words, I would guess that my dad’s motto was something like “entertain or be entertained” or perhaps “life is meant to be lived!” At home he was the highlight of every social gathering, telling jokes and funny stories. However, even though he could brilliantly capture an audience, the one thing I admired most about him was his easy going attitude. He was unencumbered with life’s emotional baggage because he knew how to forgive, to be honest and to love without conditions. It saddens me a little when I think about how much time I lost with my father while growing up. He was often away traveling, performing or in a recording studio somewhere, which he explained as a simple, “Daddy has to go to work.” At times I was able to go with him, but by browsing the Internet (which ironically is the least private invention in modern times), I’ve been given a front row seat to see much of what I missed. Through the Ray Charles online museum I have discovered pictures of him in so many different places and eras. Getting off the bus in Paris, France, with other Ray Charles band members, in a publicity still on the Dinah Shore Show, on the cover of Mimosa, a Belgium magazine from the ’60s and hearing someone call out to him in the darkness of the stage before the lights came up to start a show in Spain. “You ready, Phil?” “Yeah” I couldn’t help but smile hearing my Dad’s casual reply, as everyone waited for him. After all it was only a sold out venue of a show being taped for broadcast on television later. It reminded me of the many times he told me about the movie screening of Shake Rattle & Rock! when, as a member of the Big Joe Turner band, he played during a scene at a dance. He didn’t talk about the movie; he talked about how great his trumpet looked when he saw it on the big screen. He used to make me giggle as he would go on and on about how big and impressive and shiny his horn looked. He spoke with the pride of parents watching their children


at their first recital. Even though this scene was etched in my imagination, I was happy when I found the movie online and got a chance to see the scene for myself. He had passed away by the time I stumbled across the video, but I’ve watched it many times with a smile on my face. Also while browsing the internet I’ve come across pictures and videos showing the face and movements of my father as a younger man. Those images only somewhat match the images in my little girl memories that have honestly begun to fade from my middle-aged mind. I’ve even come across a portrait of my father that an artist drew from his picture on the inside cover of a ’70s album. That inspired me to dig up the original album cover and compare the artist’s remarkable rendition. Sometimes I see and hear my father play solos on shows he did before I was even born. It’s like I have the ability to get a glimpse, in new and unexpected ways, of the part of my father’s life that I missed. I am happy that my children can share in this and am equally hopeful that my grandchildren will as well. It’s a unique way to be able to remember, celebrate and, yes, miss him throughout time. Since he passed away, I share things about him with others, but of course, I keep special memories shielded in my heart and reserved just for me. Thanks to my mother, I still long for privacy, but I am glad that because of my father’s influence, I have learned to find a reasonable balance. “You never know who’s watching,” I often tell Nina Guilbeau is a BellaOnline editor and the myself thinking of my video book review hostess for mother, but then, thinkShe is the author of God Doesn’t Love Us All the ing of my father I add, Same, the Sister’s Trilogy and short stories in “Well, if I’m doing it right, anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul. probably everybody.”

Nina Guilbeau

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Marla Nelson: Carma The Salon


Tell us a little about yourself I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and moved here in 1993 – Myrtle Beach is my home. My husband, Carl, and I were married on April 12th of last year, so I’m still a newlywed! Carl is originally from New York and is a sales manager at Coastal Cadillac. We actually met online. Our wedding was held on the beach at 67th Avenue – “our” beach. There were about 80 people at the ceremony, and we had lots of other people on the beach cheering us on! It was wonderful. I’ve worked in salons since I was sixteen years old; it’s what I’ve always wanted to do as my career. Carma The Salon is my fourth salon in Myrtle Beach. What is your secret to a Timeless Life? Happiness, peace within and a balance between home and work life – I’m very grounded spiritually and laughter is a big part of my life. Just smile and be happy! How did you celebrate your last milestone birthday? It was amazing! I spent my 40th birthday in Las Vegas at the top of Mandalay Bay. Las Vegas is one of my favorite places; I’ve visited several times for educational seminars – my last salon was even named after Las Vegas. We saw several shows, but Beatles LOVE by Cirque Du Soleil was my favorite. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done lately? Getting married and opening a business within a 10 day span last April! Carl’s sister jokingly nicknamed us “Carma,” combining Carl and Marla; and when we needed a name for my salon, it was the perfect choice. Carl actually proposed at the salon while it was under construction, and Carma The Salon opened April 4th, and we were married on the 12th. It was crazy, but it worked out perfectly! Tell us about Carma The Salon. For us, it’s 100% about customer service through building relationships with our clients and education, both for us and for our clients. We are a color-based salon and offer free consultations with me or our other two stylists, Carrie and Laura. All of us are seasoned stylists who put our clients first, delivering the best possible service and creating long and short term goals with our clients regarding their style and color.

“…and laughter is a big part of my life.”

We will be happy to schedule late appointments for busy moms or anyone who can’t get here during our regular hours. Please stop by and have a cup of coffee and check us out!

Carma The Salon is located at 5105 North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, and is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 am-7 pm, and Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Call 843-945-9412 or visit for more information or to book an appointment.


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Lake City: New Life for a Small Town

by Connie Barnard

Just a few years ago, Lake City looked like one of

many sleepy former farm towns along the coastal plain. That’s because it was. Settled by Scots-Irish in 1736, the little hamlet was originally named Graham’s Crossroads for a farmer who owned the land around the country roads that intersected to connect Kingstree to Cheraw and Georgetown to Camden. Over the next century, a rail line came to town and the newly incorporated Lake City flourished as a national truck farming center for strawberries, green beans and later tobacco. Then, after World War II, automated labor, corporate agriculture and the decline of tobacco forever changed the face of life in the rural South, leaving hundreds of small towns doomed in its wake. Vestiges of their classic charm linger, but jobs remain scarce and young families often choose to live in larger, livelier population centers. Fortunately, however, the little town of Lake City was not doomed forever. After nodding off for a few years, it is awakening to new levels of energy and vitality, thanks to caring residents and the remarkable patronage of a hometown girl. Darla Moore’s story is the stuff of modern legend. Readers may recognize her as one of two female members of the Augusta National Golf Club, along with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Many, however,


might not know that Moore grew up on a six generation family-owned farm outside Lake City, which she still calls home today. Darla graduated from Lake City High School and the University of South Carolina before receiving an MBA from George Washington University in 1981. Moore then took a position with Chemical Bank in New York City where she quickly succeeded in making millions for the bank, specializing in taking over bankrupt companies and making them profitable. In 1991 she married Richard Rainwater and later went to work for his firm, Rainwater, Inc. By 1998 Fortune magazine had named her one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. As amazing as this success story is, Darla Moore’s benevolence is equally legendary; particularly as it relates to South Carolina, her home community and the local causes she supports both financially and personally. She has donated millions to the University of South Carolina, whose School of Business bears her name. In 2002 Darla and her husband Richard also made a significant donation to Clemson University’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education, named for her father, a 1949 alumnus who was a teacher, coach and principal in Lake City. The gift to Clemson initiated several programs including the Moore Scholars Program which assists teachers in help-

ing underprivileged and under-served students achieve their full potential, providing summer arts and digital media programs for middle school students and cultural immersion experiences for Clemson education majors through home stays in blighted urban and rural sections of the state. She also funded similar programs at USC and Claflin University. Darla Moore has worked hard as well to sustain and honor the memory of Lake City native, Dr. Ron McNair, the pioneering astronaut killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. The second AfricanAmerican to enter space, McNair earned a Ph.D. in physics at MIT and participated in groundbreaking research in the field of lasers. The Ronald E. McNair Life History

Center, located next to his gravesite in Lake City, serves to inspire young people to explore space. Moore’s efforts also led to the creation of the McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation at USC. Friends who have known Darla all her life say they are amazed but not surprised by her success. Described in one national magazine as “The Toughest Babe in the Business,” Moore’s competitive zeal could be attributed to her father, the athlete and coach who trained his daughter to be relentless in her drive for excellence in everything she undertook. From her mother, a teacher, came Darla’s natural aptitude for academics and music. One friend said, “If Darla had chosen to go in another direction, she could easily have been just as successful as a concert pianist.” All who know her say perhaps the most remarkable thing about her is that she has remained unchanged,

holding on to her rich South Carolina drawl, surprising sense of humor, even a love of fast cars. For years she and her husband enjoyed cruising in his modified 1957 Chevy, the fastest street car in the world, which Darla has referred to as “the thrill of my life.” Though she owns several homes, Moore has spent most of the last ten years living in Lake City in the spacious residence she built directly behind her grandparents’ simple historic farmhouse. One lifelong friend, Jenny Cockfield Johnson, says, “A lot of folks who grow up in small Southern towns move away to big cities and never return except for occasional visits to relatives. After many years in New York, Darla returned to the land she

loves and made it her home.” Drawing on her innate reverence for the land, particularly the preservation and propagation of Southern heritage plants including Southern magnolias, camellias, live oaks and jonquils, in 2002 Moore set aside 50 acres of the family farm to establish the Moore Farms Botanical Garden. Designed to promote research and education in horticulture, agriculture, and forestry, the garden is not open to the public on a daily basis but provides tours by appointment and sponsors garden days throughout the year, including an annual spring daffodil festival. Moore also wanted to help bring new life to the downtrodden little town. A small core group of energetic, motivated residents formed the Lake City Partnership Council with the goal of finding a viable way to put Lake City back on the map. Karen Fowler, who co-founded and served as the group’s first executive director, says, “We all knew


Karen Fowler that we needed more than just some pretty new buildings. We needed businesses for the buildings and a way to get people to come here. Without an engaged community to sustain it, it wouldn’t work.” Over time, the idea developed to use art as the game changer by turning existing businesses into art galleries. In January 2012, the vision of ArtFields was born. Now in its third year, the nationally acclaimed ten day art competition features live music, dancing, Southern food, art from 12 states and cash prizes for winners, including a $50,000 top prize.

Since 2013 eight new businesses have opened in downtown Lake City. Five have owners under 30 years old. One of these, the historic Bean Market, serves as a community meeting and event venue, as well as a farmer’s market every Thursday from early spring through December. There is also a newly opened boutique hotel and restaurant and a charming Village Green. Historic buildings are being restored with a renewed energy and enthusiasm. Lake City’s revitalization continues to be a work in progress as it deals with challenges faced by all small rural communities. However, thanks to the generosity of a local girl who chose to come back home and the dedication of its residents, the little town’s future is once again bright with opportunity.

We did it! We put Lake City on the map.

Looking back at the festival’s success and the town’s resurgence, Fowler says from the start their greatest challenge was convincing the local community that it could work. An old tobacco warehouse became the hub from which they worked one on one to get to know their “local assets:” the mattress dealer, the barbershop, the drug store. Over time 36 businesses committed to be ArtField venues. Karen says, “Early in 2013, it happened. The community came together. Then art came to Lake City.” The festival’s logo, created by a local graphic arts student, depicts a stylized dandelion – the perfect symbol for dreaming big, making a wish, spreading the seeds. In January of 2014, CNN published an article entitled “50 States, 50 Spots.” It named ArtFields as the number one spot for South Carolina. With understandable pride Karen Fowler says, “We did it! We put Lake City on the map.”


ArtFields 2015 will be held April 24-May 2. Details are available at and The town of Lake City is located 65 miles west of Myrtle Beach on SC Highway 378.

Connie Barnard Connie Barnard traveled the world as a military wife and taught high school and college composition for over 30 years. She has been a regular contributor to Sasee since its first issue in 2002.

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Fifteen Forever by Mary Ann Crimi

My grandmother was a beautiful woman. I think she might have had some wrinkles, but I really didn’t notice. She used to call me up on my birthday and say, “Wait a minute, honey,” and then start playing “Happy Birthday” on her organ – an instrument that could add a bossa nova beat if she was feeling Caribbean or pop into a polka if she had pirogues cooking on the stove. I went to visit her when she was 98 years young, and we talked about all the astounding inventions that had occurred in her lifetime: electric lights, washing machines, airplanes, the TV remote, ATMs, the Internet – and deodorant! I asked her if she wished she had gone somewhere she’d never been or done something she hadn’t had a chance to do. She said, “I wish I had learned to ride a bicycle.” When my Gram was a girl in the first decade of the nineteen hundreds she said very few young ladies rode bicycles. Polite society deemed the activity not proper for girls, nor was it easy when women’s pants suits and skorts had yet to be invented. I told her even without cycling skills she was amazing and looked gorgeous. I said I wish I had inherited a few of her beauty genes. I thought I was too fat and too tall. I thought my eyes were too close together, and my legs would look better holding up the crossbar of a fence. She said to me, “You look beautiful. All young people are beautiful.” At that time I didn’t feel too young. Somehow while she was getting to be 98, I was getting to be 48. “Gram,” I said, “you don’t look or act like your 98.” She said, “Honey, I still feel 15 in my head.” I think I know what she means. In my head I am capable of just about anything. I think I can still master the yoga headstand. I still think I am going to write a best seller. I still think I can paint the garage – by myself. If I wanted to. I could mow the lawn without getting winded, I could master Mah Jong, I could walk the Great Wall of China, and I could make a par in golf. If I really wanted to. I could even dance all night to a swing band. Not long ago I heard a band swing. I attended a concert series which included a tribute to the King of Swing, a Benny Goodman cover band. That evening the musicians recreated a 1938 Carnegie Hall Event. In that year Gram would have been 40 years old. My dad would be a cocky 16 and my mom a starry-eyed 13. My parents hadn’t even met yet. I am sure they listened to swing music on the radio. Benny Goodman, though, seems like ancient history to me. Although I didn’t recognize the numbers, I enjoyed listening to the music and watching the aged hipsters in the audience as they chair danced, snapping their fingers and bouncing their heads.


After the last bow, loud applause brought the performers back for the encore, a song introduced as “Sing, Sing, Sing.” I was surprised. I recognized the first notes, and I was transported: Benny’s clarinet starts wailing. Harry James picks up the trumpet, plumps his lips, blows and the elephants come out. I close my eyes and, no kidding, I see mops and brooms jitterbugging with each other, trees sway and clack their coconuts, and then Gene Krupka thumps the tom-tom drums, low and earthy and insistent, and the monkeys are swinging and twirling their tails. I am up out of my chair and waving my arms over my head in wild abandon – whatever wild abandon is, but I am abandon-ly wild – my long brown hair swings like palm fronds around me, and I fling – yes, I fling from corner to corner. The natives materialize from the border of the wilds in yellow and red-patterned dashikis, and they, too, toss themselves left and right and to the winds, as we all start hooting and hollering and tooting and yodeling, and across the cacophony. In my time warp my mother shrieks, “Turn it down!” I slump in my seat because I am not in the Congo at all, and I am not even in front of a TV cartoon made in the 1950s, but I am here in Row E, Seat 5, behind a gray-headed man sedately bobbing his head in tiny nods to the beat, and I am so discreet in my toe tapping that no one has noticed that on some days I am a still a Deadhead Dancer with Stevie Nicks scarves floating out from my spinning shoulders, and on other days I am a head-banging hard rocker using a vacuum cleaner hose as a microphone to accompany the Boss as he rasps out lyrics over Clarence Clemons’ sax – when I am home alone. And just like my Gram, I am always 15 in my head.

Mary Ann Crimi

Mary Ann Crimi has been writing since first grade but only recently has found time to revise. Retired and rested, she now meets her muse in coffee shops, at the beach, and on the porch on the border of North and South Carolina.


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From Fashionista to Iron Butt-ress by Deb Gasque

How ridiculous do the two words “fashionista” and “motorcycle” look in a sentence together? A decade ago, my answer would have been, “Extremely ridiculous.” But, today, they are words that fit into the sentence that describes my life: “Hi, my name is Debbie, a sassy 46-year old wife and mom, and I am a fashionista who loves to ride a motorcycle.” And, there you go. If you would have told me 10 years ago, or anyone who knew me then, that I would be riding a motorcycle today, we all would have laughed. Hard. In your face. Back in those days, I was most interested in pairing the correct pocketbook with the fabulous pair of stilettos on my perfectly pedicured feet in combination with the jewelry and couture outfits that filled my two large closets. “Fashionista” was my label. And, although I have notably down-sized my “collection” of all things fashion, I still find great pleasure in selecting my work outfits each week with great prowess…including my beloved pairs of stilettos. Fashion is still my passion…and now, consequently, so is motorcycling. So, how does a fashionista get caught up in a world of two wheels? It’s completely my husband’s fault. Not long after we started dating, he took me on my first long-distance ride on his motorcycle to the North Carolina mountains. Pure excitement! It was a whole new world for me overflowing with adventure. Following my maiden voyage, I rode passenger, or “pillion,” for many miles across many states, and even a few trips into Canada. I not only “got” the long-distance motorcycling world, but also embraced it with my whole being. At some point, I decided I wanted to pilot my own ride (also meaning more room to pack my girly stuff). So, after two years of my husband’s astute teaching methods and then a weekend at a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course, I became a fullylicensed motorcyclist in 2009. Five years later, after racking up several thousand miles and traveling through 14 states on my two BMW motorcycles (always packed with sassy clothes and shoes, makeup and a curling iron), I decided it was time to up-the-ante and face the biggest challenge of my life – I set my sights on a membership into the “Iron Butt Association.” Believe me, when I told my husband what I wanted to do, his eyes popped out of his head. The Iron Butt Association, deemed “World’s Toughest Motorcycle Riders,” is an organization with 50,000+ members “dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding.” The only way to become a member of this group of “tough and seasoned riders” is to complete and fully document a sponsored Iron Butt Association ride. In my research of this organization, I found that male IBA members far outnumber female IBA members. That was all I needed to know…it was at that moment that I was overwhelmed with the passion to complete a “Saddle Sore 1000,” thus earning my membership into this organization of mostly men. The Iron Butt Association’s “Saddle Sore 1000” is a fully-documented ride of 1,000 miles in 24 hours. Yes, on a motorcycle. On July 23, 2014, at approximately 10 am, I saddled up on my trusty


two-wheeled steed (1994 BMW R1100 RS) and began the ride that I had prepared seven months for…a ride that would, in the end, change my life forever. That day, I, along with my husband (aka – support team, mechanic, photographer and best friend) started the “Saddle Sore 1000” in Asheville, North Carolina, and traveled through Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and into Madison, Wisconsin, where we took a 4-hour break in a hotel to sleep, shower and prepare for the last 260 miles to the finish line. At 4:15 am, on July 24, I was back in the saddle with a limitless amount of willpower and a belly full of Starbucks. I watched the sun rise that morning over the sleepy landscape of Wisconsin’s farmland, and at that moment, I realized that this journey was not just about earning my membership into the Iron Butt Association – this journey was about personal strength, courage, faith and shedding the skin of fear. I savored every remaining mile into St. Paul, Minnesota, that morning, knowing that each mile that ticked on my trip meter represented a stronger, more courageous, faith-filled, fearless me. I, indeed, finished the ride, all 1,000 miles plus 60 more, and have received my big award and all the goodies that go along with it. This “Fashionista” is now an official “Iron Butt-ress!” After completing the Iron Butt ride and attending the annual BMW International Rally in St. Paul, Minnesota, we went on to explore South Dakota (including Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument and Custer State Park), and then took the long way home, all on back roads. I can attest that it is off the beaten path, in the little towns forgotten by the creation of Interstates that the people are most friendly, the landscape is truly more beautiful, and peace of mind really does exist…especially when you are enjoying it on two wheels. In the end, the tally for this epic adventure was: 2 wheels, 12 days, 13 states, 4,279 miles and a fearless 46-year old whose life has been forever changed. So, until the Deb Gasque, Conway resident and proud mom next 2-wheeled epic of a recent USC graduate, works with her husadventure is planned, it’s band, Bill, in his business. She was born and back to the office and raised in Utah, but has been a resident of the back into the stilettos… area since 1996. Deb, an avid motorcyclist, loves holding up an Iron Butt, to travel and enjoys writing about her advenof course. tures, and in fact just started a blog to share her stories with the world.

Deb Gasque


Making Peace with 40 by Diane Stark

“Are you super excited about your birthday, Mommy?” My five-year-old son, Nathan, asked with his usual bouncy enthusiasm. But I wasn’t feeling the same level of excitement. “No, Honey, I’m not all that excited.” His eyebrows shot up. “Really? But birthdays are the best day ever. There’s presents, and cake, and parties. And presents.” “When you’re little like you, birthdays are really fun,” I said, “but when you get to be Mommy’s age, birthdays aren’t as much fun.” “Oh,” he said, nodding slowly. “Is it because you’re old?” I sighed and nodded back. “Yep, unfortunately, Mommy is getting old.” “But, Mommy, even if you are old, birthdays are still really a lot of fun. Remember the cake? And the presents?” And the cellulite? And the wrinkles? I wanted to say, but didn’t. How could I explain to my five-year-old son that for me, my birthday wasn’t about cake and presents? I was turning 40, and this year, my birthday was all about self-evaluation. What did I have to show for my 40 years on this planet? I have a terrific husband and wonderful kids, but I also have a lot of goals. Things I’d like to accomplish, but never have the time. I’m not as skinny as I should be. My house isn’t as neat as it could be. My walk-in closet has been declared a national disaster site. I still haven’t published a novel. I’m not famous. Or rich. Not to mention my aforementioned crow’s feet and cellulite. You’d think sometime in the last 40 years, I’d have found the time to dust my coffee table and establish a routine with my elliptical machine and bottle of Oil of Olay. I see women who are older than me, yet they look better. Getting older isn’t a lot of fun, although I do realize that it’s better than the only alternative. On a Saturday evening, exactly 10 days before my birthday, my husband Eric offered to take me on a date. His suggestion caught me off-guard. “We’re leaving on Friday for my birthday trip, and we won’t see the kids for a week. Wouldn’t you rather take them out tonight since we’ll be alone together all next week?” He shrugged and said our oldest son, Austin, had offered to take the kids to dinner. “So we’re free to go out, just the two of us.” “Can we go to Olive Garden?” I asked. “Will you let me choose the movie?” “Anything you want, Honey,” he said with a grin. I ran off to change clothes and unearth my stash of restaurant coupons. On the way to the restaurant, Eric said he needed to stop by his office because he forgot something. When we reached his building, he said, “Aren’t you coming in?” I shrugged. “Aren’t you just going to grab what you need?” “Just come in with me,” he said. I shrugged and followed him into the building. We ran upstairs and he grabbed the forgotten item from his desk. We headed back downstairs, and that’s when it happened.

“Surprise!” My mouth dropped open and tears filled my eyes. I turned to my husband and said, “I had no idea!” All of our friends and family were there. Instead of taking the kids to dinner, Austin had driven them to Eric’s office for the party. My sister and her family had driven five hours to be there. My brother and his wife had made the three-hour drive in separate cars because they’d just gotten a new foster child that morning, and they couldn’t fit another car seat in their van. “It means the world to me that you guys came,” I said, hugging them. “I know it’s a long drive, especially in two cars.” “Of course we came,” they said. “It’s your birthday and we love you.” My mother-in-law and sister-in-law had helped Eric with the food and the decorations, and they’d done a fabulous job. The large conference room was decorated with Happy Birthday signs and purple ribbons. The food was delicious, and my birthday cake was divine. Eric had asked the bakery to decorate the cake with the little yellow Minions from the Despicable Me movies. For the uninitiated, the Minions are these cute little creatures who work for the bad guy, who becomes a good guy in the movie. Ever since I saw the movie, I’ve longed to have a Minion of my own. They’re cute, and they do exactly what they’re told. What mom wouldn’t want one? And Eric bought me three of them. They were stuffed and hanging from the ceiling. They looked adorable, and I knew I would cherish them as a fun reminder of my 40th birthday party. The entire evening was wonderful, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I felt so special. In the car on the way home, I thanked Eric again for the party. “Were you really surprised?” “Yes, I really was. We’re going on vacation for my birthday. Who would expect a trip and a party?” Eric smiled. “I was hoping that would work in my favor.” Ten days later, I turned 40. I wasn’t any thinner, and my wrinkles didn’t magically disappear. My house wasn’t any cleaner, and I still hadn’t published my novel. But I made peace with all of those things. Because when I re-evaluated how I’d spent my 40 years, I didn’t see the unmet goals, the imperfect body and my often-cluttered house. All I saw was love. I saw a husband who loves me enough to plan a wonderful surprise party for me. I saw my parents and siblings who cared enough to drive a long distance just to be a part of the celebration. And I saw the amazing family I married into, who helped my husband make my day a special one. Diane Stark is a wife and mom of five. She I am 40, and I am loved. loves to write about her family and her And I’m OK with that. faith. Her essays have been published in over 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Diane Stark



Sometimes It Just Adds Up by Beth Wood

“16 years! Oh, wow…” “Well yeah, older is okay, but not…older older. “Geez. 58. That’s like… another generation…” Don and I began seeing each other in a roundabout kind of way. He was a personal trainer I knew from a work out program years before. I’d found him again like everyone finds everyone these days. Facebook. We’d agreed to get together for a work out on a sunny Saturday morning this past summer, decided to spend some time outdoors paddle boarding, and then followed that up with a bike ride and some lunch. The hour we’d planned had turned into six. We began working out a few times a week. A month later, we started dating. It never occurred to me to consider his age. I knew he was older. It was something I liked about him. I’d always dated older men. Ask my mom…she’d be none too thrilled to tell you that habit went back to my high school years. From my taste in music (I love everything from ’40s standards to ’60s Motown and beyond) to my taste in men, I’ve always believed I was born at least a decade late. This is who I am. But for some reason, these comments – granted from distant relatives and friends who didn’t know me that well – were getting under my skin. So I did what any sane girl would do. I Googled it. Surely there were success stories. In fact, didn’t that one writer…you know, the Eat Pray Love chick… didn’t she end up with that older guy? Wasn’t he like 20 years older than her or something? And didn’t she attraversiamo with him? Weren’t they living happily ever after? Sure! She even wrote a follow up book about marrying the man! Sure enough, a quick search of “couples + age differences” turned up pages and pages of results. Bruce Willis – oh, I love him! Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones (do they still count?), Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Oh, and one of my favorite actors, Stanley Tucci had married Felicity Blunt…20 years his junior. Surely if Hollywood could do it, I could date someone older, too. But why did I need all of these reassurances? I felt the need to tell everyone around me that it didn’t bother me at all. And the truth was, when we were together, it never crossed my mind. It was only when we were apart that I couldn’t stop calculating. The math that I had spent my entire adult life avoiding like the plague was now constantly plaguing me. When I’m 45, he’ll be…61 (no big deal). When I’m 50, he’ll be…66 (still okay). When I’m 54, he’ll be…(pause)…70. Geesh. 70. That’s kinda scary. Okay, but when I’m his age now (58), he’ll be 74. Hmmm. What about when I’m 60…It went on like this non stop. I cornered my dad one Sunday night over dinner. “How much older do


you think a guy can be for me to date?” “How much older?” he looked puzzled. “Oh, hell, I don’t know. How old are you again?” I actually had to think for a second. “Forty two.” He paused, considering. “I think an older guy is good for you.” Another pause. “55,” he said nodding. “Yeah, I think that would suit your personality. You need someone who can calm you down a bit.” I smiled. “So,” he said. “You gonna tell me how old this guy is?” “Nah, I think I’ll let you meet him first.” ‘Fair enough.” Just then a song came on over the speakers on his screened in porch. “Oh, great song! This is…um…” “A Change is Gonna Come.” “Right! Who sings this one?” “Sam Cooke.” “Right.” A few weeks later, I met Don for breakfast at a favorite local diner. We bellied up to the counter and sipped coffee, chatting about the week ahead. The owner, Mary, sat down on the stool next to us, going through paperwork. As the song changed on the music overhead I couldn’t help but tap my foot in time to the rhythm. “Oh, The Spinners!” I said withBeth M. Wood is an award-winning marout thinking, “I love this song!” keter, freelance writer and mom of three. She looked over at me, Her social media addiction pays the bills surprised. “Wow, pretty good!” and steady copywriting gigs feed her shopAfter breakfast Don ping habit. She blogs about marketing and turned to me with a serious social media at, expression. “I don’t know if we digresses about life and parenting at can date,” he said. “I think you and tweets @ might be too old for me.” a1972bmw.

Beth M. Wood

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A Life Reinvented

Sue Brunson:

Finding Blue Water


Tell us a little about yourself I am a local girl; I graduated from Myrtle Beach High School and Coastal Carolina College. I now live in my family home, that I recently renovated, and have three adult children; Lewis, 27; Christopher, 24 and Elizabeth, 21. After 4 years of teaching public middle school, my sister and I took over the family business, a well established child care center in Myrtle Beach, Wee Care Day School, and cared for our parents. Last year we closed, after 25 years, and I am now reinventing myself! In college I had gotten my WSI, Water Safety Instructor Certification, and had taught swimming as “something extra” at the day care for years – I always loved it. After 30 years of marriage and divorce, I completely changed my life, and now I teach swimming for a living. What is your secret to a Timeless Life? I’m always learning something new and am excited about life! Before my life changed, I was always saying I needed a vacation; somewhere with “blue water.” Now I know the “blue water” is just a state of mind – and I’m finding it. I see my life as a Divine Adventure! How did you celebrate your last milestone birthday? Just before my 50th birthday (I’m 53 now), I decided to start running, and ran a 5K, my first race, because Bob Harper of The Biggest Loser was coming to Myrtle Beach. I really enjoyed running and decided to train for the Myrtle Beach Marathon 5 months later. Soon after, friends talked me into getting a road bike. I had never ridden a bike with gears before– my bike had fat tires and a basket on the front. I loved it. I was already a swimmer, and soon I was doing Triathlons beginning with the CCU Triathlon, my alma mater. I’ve now done five Half Ironmen, 70.3 mile races, and one full Ironman, a 140.6 mile race. It took me over 14 hours to complete it. On March 7th, I will compete in Ironman New Zealand, a day after my 54th birthday! My boyfriend, Tim, who is also my coach, and I are travelling there and doing the race together. What a milestone that will be! The Myrtle Beach running and biking community has helped me through some very difficult times. I’ve learned to break things down into pieces if the whole is overwhelming and not to give up before the miracle happens. Running, biking and swimming have healed me emotionally, physically and spiritually. My gratitude meter is high.

“The day after Ironman Florida, I got a tattoo!”

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done lately? The day after Ironman Florida, I got a tattoo! It’s the Ironman symbol in pink for breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer took my mother and some dear friends.

Tell us a little about your work as a swimming instructor I teach private swim lessons to adults and children three and over who are ready to learn to swim. From beginner swim to endurance swim, it’s all about learning how to get air and breathe while in the water. This is my life now, surrounded by blue water! I teach for Stox & Co at Litchfield Beach Resort and various pools on the Grand Strand by appointment. Contact Sue at 843-455-4130


Sasee Kids

Presidents’ Day can be more than a day off from school.

Every year on the third Monday in February, schools and businesses close to commemorate the accomplishments and lives of America’s Presidents. Generally, the day is focused on two of history’s most famous and respected Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as both of their birthdays fall within the month of February.  The following are a few fun ideas to get children interested and engaged in our country’s proud history!

Read a Book About Presidents’ Day Take a trip to the library and ask your local librarian to point you in the right direction for books about America’s historical leaders. Sasee suggests Presidents’ Day, by Anne Rockwell for younger readers.

Craft Time

Snack Time

Bring out the pens, markers, construction paper and crayons to start this fun craft! Create your own Mini George and Mini Abe using toliet paper rolls. While creating your masterpieces, talk to your children about the important works of these revered Presidents.

Help your child retrace Abraham Lincoln’s humble beginnings by building an edible log cabin! Using pretzels, graham crackers, and peanut butter for “glue” you can easily transform a history lesson into a delicious creation.

Write to the President Write a letter to the President! Your children can send their letters and drawings to: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 They may very well get a letter back!




Birthday Matters by Erin Spatz

I recently celebrated a birthday – a birthday that put me on a side of 30 that I really don’t like. It’s all about the number for me. Since numbers and I have never gotten along, it seems fitting that I am actually angry at the number. I know the sayings, “You are as young as you feel,” and, “The number shouldn’t matter.” But just when you start acting as young as you feel, there is always some twerp to remind you of the number. Even though I am not on a side of 30 I enjoy, I have noticed that I am a

people. Once I became a mom it became much easier to avoid the camera because

lot more comfortable in my own skin. It’s slightly saggier skin and has a significant

I was the one holding the camera. Moms tend to become obsessed with the cam-

amount of stretch marks. I no longer have “northern” boobs, but I have “southern”

era and their baby. Rightly so! Your baby is the cutest, smartest best baby ever! I

boobs, and I think living in the south makes that okay. In my twenties I worried if a

have boxes of pictures of the kids and Eric. Out of all those pictures the only ones I

roll showed, and I wore a ton more “shape wear.”

am in are the shots taken right after I had the baby. Which no one looks good in!

Men, if you’re not sure what shape wear is, just envision wrapping an ace

Around the time Chandler was two, I started thinking about how impor-

bandage around your arm as tightly as possible with the sole intent of making your

tant it was to have photos of us as a family – an accurate depiction of who we really

arm look smooth under your sleeve. Sounds crazy right? Well, in my twenties I

are; a family who loves God and each other. I had already attempted the “portrait

owned a lot of it. And if there is one thing that a woman cannot do in a sexy way

studio,” and let’s just say that by the time that was over I was doubting whether we

it’s put on shape wear, or take it off for that matter. Ladies, if you want to know if

actually loved each other or not! It was a hot mess of crying, sweating, wrinkly

your man is in it for the long haul, put on some shape wear in front of him and

disaster and that was just Eric, so you know the kids hated it.

then try taking it off. If he stays in the room, it’s true love. Realizing that after having four babies wreck my body, I could actually be

I wanted us to look like us: Kids with missing teeth, crazy pony tails and dirty feet; me with the not so perfect hair and minus the shape wear, and Eric look-

more comfortable with myself, is something of a mind blower. As a teenager and

ing as comfortable with the kids as he is in real life. Plus, he does have some terrify-

into my twenties I would avoid the camera like the plague, and from an early age I

ing memories of the dreaded portrait studio…I had heard about a really great local

never thought a picture of me looked good. So I started trying to not be in any pic-

photographer. I gathered all my information and presented my case to Eric. Who

ture if I could help it. I tried standing all different crazy ways, hiding behind other

grudgingly agreed to go.


You’re Sassy & Smart, Lady, you’re on top of it! Going from home to the office to the kids’ school. You get everyone else organized and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. But, what about you? If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. One simple thing you can do is know your heart health numbers.

Having a healthy heart means knowing your numbers: Total Cholesterol

<200 mg/dL

Blood Pressure

<120/80 mmHg

LDL “Bad” Cholesterol

<100 mg/dL

Fasting Glucose

<100 mg/dL

HDL “Good” Cholesterol

50 mg/dL or higher

Body Mass Index (BMI)



<150 mg/dL

Waist Circumference

<35 inches

Now, if you have no idea how to pronounce some of these, much less what they mean—don’t worry! Simply call 402-CARE for a doctor referral.

I was excited it was going to be outside, in the afternoon, after naps, per-

I no longer feel the need to avoid the camera. Or the need for shape wear,

fect. I still remember that day. Chandler, now six, was two at the time. It was one of

that stuff is crazy uncomfortable! I see my flaws and imperfections, and I kind of

the most fun days I have had with our family. I did the “mom thing” and dressed us

like them. I know where each one came from. I tease Meghan all the time that

all alike, and some of my favorite pictures are from that day.

someday she’ll be my own personal photographer. She can follow me around

We have had our photos done a couple more times since that first day with the same amazing photographer. What I have learned is that anyone can take

through household chores and car pool. Probably not the best use of her talent but I bet she’d make me look good doing it!

a picture, but to capture your family in print as they really are requires something different than just skill. Meghan, our beloved self-taught photographer and now friend, has the ability to see the broken as beautiful. She transforms the outdoors into a space as comfy as your couch. It’s not just her talent that you see in each photo, but her love of where she is and what she is doing. She came and took amazing photos of the senior girls at Teach My People, and they were more than beautiful. She also did a session with all the kids

Erin Spatz

at Teach My People. They were group photos, but each kid is clearly seen and cap-

Erin Spatz is a writer and blogger living in a quaint town called Pawleys

tured. You can tell by looking at those pictures who is quiet and shy or who is the

Island. Erin was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Palm Bay, Florida. Five

mischievous one. Eric has been fortunate enough to perform several wedding cere-

years after her first blog, Erin creatively turned her diary entries into a pub-

monies where she was the photographer. That means I get to see any of the wed-

lished book. The book entitled Who Left Me in Charge is a humorous look at

ding pictures he may be in, which is super fun! There should always be an air of

parenting and life in general

reverence, mystery and beauty in a wedding ceremony, but to be able to capture that in a photo is brilliant. I have seen her pictures of dogs at animal shelters that

Erin is married to a minister and Executive Director of Teach My People, Eric

make me want to adopt 600 new dogs! Now that’s a talent!

Spatz, and they have four children.


Identifying Your Signature Style: Mommy Chic by Whitley Hamlin

Someone please tell me I am not alone. I’m married to a wonderful man, and I’m a Mom to two sweet, beautiful boys, each uniquely precocious in their own ways. I’ve got a roof over my head, shoes on my feet and a 12-year-old, sweet, beautiful, yellow lab named Macy. Don’t get me wrong, my two boys are impossibly adorable, (aren’t everyone’s children?) but they are boys. At their current ages of 6 1/2 and 3 1/2 years they are anything but calm and peaceful. Sleeping babies are peaceful like softly fragrant lavender fields blowing in the gentle breeze; the warm Mexican sun setting over the Caribbean Sea. Two wild banshee-like sounding creatures, otherwise known as precious angels; however, are not so calm and peaceful. Whether you are a mom who works outside of the home or you are a mom who is home with her children full time, the job is not one for the faint of heart. For me “keeping it all together” is most times, at best, ensuring the house doesn’t burn to the ground or maybe at the least making it through an entire day without spewing expletives through grunting teeth. The twelve year old dog is deaf. I let her out to take care of her needs, a child starts screaming from inside, I turn and the dog is gone. She has proceeded with her sniffing, and she has meandered off only God knows where. More often times than not, I don’t see her again until some yet unmet neighbor has shown up on my doorstep with her after having found her strolling across the street, completely unbothered, as cars slow to let her pass. If I’m being totally honest, a bra for the morning carpool commute or even actual daytime clothes which do not consist of wooly bedroom shoes, truly are astounding feats. And there you have it; Mommy style at its finest. Did you think I really actually had it all together? I mean why paint a picture to be something it’s not? I write the truth and nothing but the truth here at Sasee. I write for a few other publications from time to time, and I do the same there as well, but Sasee is different. When I accepted my post here, I was so excited about having a place to say exactly what I think and feel. I also have my style blog, the Queen City Style. It is the place where I do exactly what I did as a young girl. I put on my Grandmother and GreatGrandmother’s clothes, and I play dress up. I incorporate my own current pieces with those inherited. It is my understanding and belief that readers venture to the Queen City Style with a certain “what will she wear next” expectation. And so, I curate my clothes, accoutrements and accessories and display my fashion journal in pictures. Loving nothing more than pure unmitigated creative freedom, for the readers, “I Put on the Dog,” as my Grandmother would say. I affix my sunglasses, and I aim to give ‘em what they want. The Queen City Style is my stage.


In my everyday public life with the children, my personal style falls somewhere between the aforementioned former and latter. A bra, yes; often times a sports bra, but certainly nothing uncomfortable. When I’m not with clients or colleagues pursuing my dream job as a wardrobe stylist, you’ll find me during the cold weather months wearing one of two uniforms: Running tights with my cowgirl boots and a red plaid hand-me-down Pendleton coat from my Grandmother, or some variation of this with a perfectly broken in long sleeve tee shirt or tank and either fitted jeans or my trusty 1969 Gap jean jacket. My jewelry changes slightly every few years but is generally in the same genre. An assortment of thin brass bracelets, an inherited piece of precious stones and either thin calf hair bangles or a mesh cuff. My Mommy Style is intentionally nondescript. What is potentially uninspiring to others is perhaps, most simply put, Arrogantly Shabby. Certainly this is a style we all know and love! If you really truly do not have a clue what your personal style is, or perhaps conversely, defying convention with your dress isn’t your speed, we can begin this fantastic journey of fashion with baby steps. Developing a personal sense of style can begin with pinpointing a familiar genre you are instinctively drawn to and next by incorporating distinct pieces to invent your own unique look. When I

Fashion Forecast

meet with new clients for the first time, I ask them to share with me names of people whose style they admire. Think about someone whose style you are drawn to. This can be someone famous or someone in your own community. Some well known style setters of yesterday include Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Faye Dunaway, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Diana Ross, Ali MacGraw, Bianca Jagger, Diane Keaton, Debbie Harry and Madonna. From movie stars to billionaire descendants, there are a number of style setters of today whose style I admire for different reasons. Kate Moss, Kate Middleton, Ines de La Fressange, Jennifer Aniston, Nichole Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Olivia Palermo, Michelle Obama, Sara Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung and Daphne Guinness to name a few. If you don’t know who some of these leading ladies are, look them up. They will give you great inspiration. The reason these women are considered trendsetters for the fashionably advanced is because they all have a signature style. Jackie Kennedy consistently donned a well-coiffed brunette bob, often topped with a pill box hat or draped with a scarf affixed at the nape of her neck. She almost always could be found wearing a matching dress and coat of the same length, or Capri pants and flats, pearls and oversized round sunglasses. She became a trendsetter for her

exposed shoulders. What was once a fashion faux-pas in the ’60s quickly became a fashion must. She knew what she liked, and she wore it with confidence and grace. Young mom Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, turns heads across the world with her preferred attire consisting of bright solids, beautiful tailoring and neat and structured silhouettes. Kate’s look is always complete with pumps, wedges or flats, simple jewelry, clutch in hand and her signature glossy cascading brunette locks. She masterfully stays on point with the conservative appearance expected of a senior royal, though anything but dowdy. I tend to dress the part of wherever I’m going, and because I have small children and am more often rushing to get somewhere than not, I want to be comfortable and able to move with agility. My quick and easy prescription for doing that, with a sense of style, is my cowgirl boots! They easily dress an outfit up or down, they’re cute and not everyone wears them. I throw on understated but interesting pieces of jewelry, and voila! A signature look is born. When I’m with a client or in the field, on the town for date night with my husband or out with my girlfriends, I always put my best foot forward. People notice. There is nothing like a woman with good style. Not everyone has the means to buy the designer threads of a First Lady or Duchess, but we are all capable of achieving a personal sense of style, putting ourselves together or simply looking like we made the effort.

Whitley Adkins Hamlin Whitley Adkins Hamlin is a wardrobe stylist specializing in personal, editorial and commercial work, and the author of the fashion blog, the Queen City Style ( The granddaughter and great granddaughter of wardrobe stylists, Whitley has been exposed to, and collected, one of a kind wardrobe pieces since she was a young girl. As a result, Whitley both learned and taught herself the art of cultivating one of a kind looks she passes onto her clients. In her free time, Whitley is an avid runner who loves spending time with her husband and two young boys, cooking and entertaining and redecorating her house until there is nothing left to redecorate (which is never, ha!).


52889-TOH 2015 Sasee 4.4167 x 6.6944_Layout 1 1/16/15 7:47 PM Page 1

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WEZV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

The Pink Cabana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Seaside Furniture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Taylors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

The Pink Cabana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Shades & Draperies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Taz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Pounds Away. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Shop the Avenues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Treasures Jewelers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17


1 8 15 22

February 2015 2 9 16 23

3 10 17 24

4 11 18 25

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28





Winter Teas at Brookgreen Gardens,

My Inner Garden, the work of Laurie

Love Letters, Swamp Fox Players, Strand Theater, Georgetown. For tickets or more info, call 843-527-2924 or visit

Chocolate and Champagne for the Creatures, to benefit SC-CARES animal

Saturdays and Sundays, seatings at 4 pm, members $30, non-members $35, reservations are required. For more info, call 843-235-6016 or visit

7-8 Annual Myrtle Beach Stamp and Postcard Show, Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Myrtle Beach (formerly Holiday Inn West). Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. 10 am-4 pm, free admission and appraisals. For more info, call 843-347-0087 or e-mail


Rent, Theatre of the Republic, Conway. For more info, call 843-488-0821,


Blum, The Myrtle Beach Art Museum, 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach. For more info, call 843-238-3510 or visit

rescue. 5-9 pm, The Cooper House, 6011 Dick Pond Rd in Socastee, $30 per person or $50 per couple. For more info, call 843-546-7893 or visit



19 & 26

events for all ages. For more info, call 843-293-RACE or visit

Myrtle Beach Marathon Weekend,

Moveable Feast, John Lane discusses, Faye Moreland’s Widow, Kimbel’s at Wachesaw, 11 am, $25. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit

FPC Concert Series: 19th – Vadym Kholodenko, Pianist, 1 pm; 26th – A Broadway Celebration, 1 pm; First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach. For more info, call 843-448-4496 or visit




St. Michael CDA Luncheon/Fashion Show,

21st Annual Horry County Museum Quilt Gala, 10 am-4 pm, Ocean Lakes

The North Myrtle Beach Pilot Club Fashion Show, 11 am, Dunes Golf & Beach Club,

11 am-3 pm, Kimbels at Wachesaw, $30. For tickets or more info, call Sandy Hein at 843-650-3932.

Campground Recreation Center. For more info, call 843-915-5320 or visit

N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach. Tickets are $30 and include lunch & auctions. All proceeds go to local charities. For more info, call 843-399-1166.

DANCING & ROMANCING II featuring Doug LeBrecque, Debbie Gravitte, Joan Hess and Kirby Ward





SatUrday, febrUary 21, 2015 • 7:00 pm myrtle Beach High School music & Arts Center


featuring Jessica Lee, violin soloist SUNday, March 8, 2015 • 4:00 pm myrtle Beach High School music & Arts Center FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL



Be sure to check out the current issue of the



Sasee February 2015  

“A Timeless Life” Volume 14, Issue 2

Sasee February 2015  

“A Timeless Life” Volume 14, Issue 2