South Carolina Living January 2019

Page 1


Mascots rule Learn what it takes to be your school’s No. 1 fan



Last of the wild places SC RECIPE

Halftime snacks


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THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS VOLUME 73 • NUMBER 1 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in more than 595,000 homes and businesses and published monthly except in December by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. 808 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC 29033 Tel: (803) 926‑3175 Fax: (803) 796‑6064 Email:

2019 | jan 16 Wearing the mask Step inside the spirited, yet secretive, world of South Carolina’s beloved college mascots.


Keith Phillips Tel: (803) 739‑3040 Email: FIELD EDITOR

Updates from your cooperative


Travis Ward


Apply now for the 2019 Jenny Ballard Opportunity Scholarship program.


Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

10 DIALOGUE The briar patch was a good teacher

Susan Collins PRODUCTION

With patience and a commitment to serving our members, South Carolina’s electric cooperatives will work through any challenge.

Andrew Chapman WEB EDITOR



April Coker Blake, Mike Couick, James Dulley, Tim Hanson, Hastings Hensel, Jan A. Igoe, L.A. Jackson, Kaley Lockwood, David Novak, Sydney Patterson, Susan Hill Smith, Belinda Smith-Sullivan, Carol J.G. Ward PUBLISHER

Lou Green

12 ENERGY Q&A Rolling up energy savings Boost comfort and reduce energy use when you insulate or replace leaky, inefficient garage doors.

14 SMART CHOICE Beat the chill Does your house or workplace feel like a meat locker? Fight back against the chill with these gadgets that will warm up those bones to toasty bliss.


Mary Watts Tel: (803) 739‑5074 Email: NATIONAL REPRESENTATION

American MainStreet Publications Tel: (800) 626‑1181 Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor.

21 STORIES Man of musical talents Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative member Josh Johnson masters the art of old-time music on banjo and fiddle.


ADDRESS CHANGES: Please send to your

local co-op. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Address Change, c/o the address above. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, S.C., and additional mailing offices.


of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor. is brought to you by your member-owned, taxpaying, not-for-profit electric cooperative to inform you about your cooperative, wise energy use and the faces and places that identify the Palmetto State. Electric cooperatives are South Carolina’s — and America’s — largest utility network.


$5.72 members,

$8 nonmembers



The last of the wild places Explore the untamed islands of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

© COPYRIGHT 2019. The Electric Cooperatives


Strolling down memory lane Building a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to their town was a labor of love for the residents of Elloree.



Halftime snacks Spend more time watching the playoffs and less time worrying about halftime snacks with these recipes that can be prepped the day before and finished on game day.




Fight camellia petal blight Don’t let the unsightly brown spots of this fungal disease ruin your landscape.

34 36 38 Member of the AMP network reaching more than 9 million homes and businesses


Beauty and the beast Humor columnist Jan A. Igoe takes us on an aroundthe-world journey to beauty pageants for four- and eight-legged contestants. PHOTOS, FRO M TO P : M IC SM ITH; W E ATH ER LY M E A DORS; G I N A MOORE

Mascots rule Learn what it takes to be your school’s No. 1 fan SC SCE NE JANUARY 2019




Walter Allread

Last of the wild places SC RECIPE

Halftime snacks

Learn what it’s like to be the No. 1 fan for South Carolina’s leading universities. Photos by Mic Smith.

SC | agenda

Are electric airplanes ready for takeoff? It sounds like something out of science fiction, but an aviation startup backed by Boeing and JetBlue is betting that passengers will soon be traveling in fully electric passenger aircraft. As the first step to achieving that goal, Zunum Aero expects to roll out a 12-passenger, hybrid-electric plane by 2022. The ZA-10’s turbine engines will burn fuel to reach altitude and cruising speed, then switch to efficient electric propulsion powered by battery banks in the wings. The first generation of planes will be designed to fly short distances between regional airports, but as battery storage improves, the company predicts that hybrid planes will be able to travel 1,000 miles or more. Private aviation company JetSuite Inc. is scheduled to take delivery of the first ZA-10 hybrid aircraft, which is designed

to offer a maximum cruisTurbine engines that can burn fuel on takeoff ing speed of 340 and climb, but switch to electric power for mph, a range of more efficient cruising, could save 40 to more than 700 miles 80 percent on fuel costs. ZU N U M A ERO and a cruising altitude of 25,000 feet. According to the Zunum website, the company’s goal is to provide cost- and fuel-efficient regional travel options to 13,500 small airports in the United States, saving passengers time and money by avoiding congestion at major hubs and lowering fuel costs. For more information, visit —KALEY LOCKWOOD

An outlet for energy savings


ThinkEco’s “modlet” (or modern outlet).

offer built-in surge protection. Smart plugs come with simple instructions to download an accompanying app



Do high power bills have you ­searching for an affordable way to reduce your energy use? If you answered yes, then look no further than energy-saving outlets or “smart plugs.” These next-generation sockets are easy to install and work seamlessly with your smartphone to reduce the energy drain created by common consumer electronics. As a handy side benefit, they also

that links the outlet to your home’s Wi-Fi signal. A few clicks and you’ll have the ability to fully shut down the electrical currents to your “energy vampire” devices such as televisions, DVD players and video gaming consoles—­appliances that consume electricity even when switched off. Curbing this “phantom load” can save the average household about $200 per year. Not a bad return on investment for a DIY home improvement you can purchase and install for $10 to $20 an outlet. —KALEY LOCKWOOD

ONLY ON Make your own pita chips

Apply now for 2019 WIRE scholarships

The deadline for applications is June 1, 2019. Recipients will receive scholarships for the Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 semester, with funds paid to the college or university. Mail or fax your application to Peggy Dantzler, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, 808 Knox Abbott Dr., Cayce, SC 29033; fax (803) 739-3055.

Nothing goes better with hummus (or any dip of your choice) than homemade pita chips. Chef Belinda shows you how it’s done in her latest how-to video at chefbelinda.

Seafood and a C-note


Women returning to school to earn college degrees may now apply for financial assistance from the 2019 Jenny Ballard Opportunity Scholarship program. Sponsored by Women Involved in Rural Electrification (WIRE), a service organization associated with South Carolina’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives, the scholarship is a one-time award based on financial need and personal goals. In 2018, Angela Hance, a Tri‑County Electric Cooperative member, received a $1,000 scholarship. A single mom working as a fiscal technician for the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, she is taking online courses from Limestone College to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and has long-term plans to earn an MBA. Another 2018 winner, Ebony Angela Hance Young, a member of Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative, received a $2,500 scholarship to attend Columbia College, where she is majoring in social work. A single mother of four children, she founded a mentoring program for middle and high school students in Irmo, and volunteers as a guardian ad litem, advocating for children in family court. She aspires to ultiEbony Young mately earn a law degree and practice family law. Application forms for the 2019 WIRE scholarship are available at your local electric cooperative and as a PDF download at Applicants for the program must: u Be a member of a South Carolina electric cooperative. u Have graduated from high school or earned a GED at least 10 years ago. u Be accepted into an accredited S.C. college or university. u Demonstrate financial need and clear academic goals.

South Carolina Living and the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival are joining together to help you celebrate S.C. seafood. Sign up today for our Reader Reply Travel Sweepstakes and your chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and a Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival Special Events package, which includes two tickets to the festival, Celebrity Guest Chef Master Class Series, Pig Pickin’ & Oyster Roast, VIP Lounge access and the festival’s Seafood Sunday Brunch. One lucky winner will be drawn at random from entries received by Jan. 31. Register online at

GONE FISHIN’ The Vektor Fish & Game Forecast provides feeding and ­migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour. Minor peaks, ½ hour before and after. Minor

AM Major


PM Major

JANUARY 16 8:31 17 9:31 18 10:31 19 11:16 20 — 21 7:31 22 8:01 23 8:46 24 9:16 25 10:01 26 3:46 27 4:16 28 2:16 29 7:16 30 9:01 31 10:01


AM Major


PM Major

FEBRUARY 4:01 4:46 5:31 6:16 6:46 12:16 1:01 1:46 2:16 3:01 10:31 11:01 11:46 4:16 5:01 5:31

1:46 2:31 3:16 4:16 12:01 12:31 1:16 2:16 3:01 9:46 11:31 — — 12:46 1:46 2:31

9:16 10:01 10:46 11:31 5:01 5:46 6:31 7:31 8:31 4:16 5:31 7:01 8:16 9:01 9:46 10:31

1 10:46 2 11:16 3 11:46 4 7:01 5 7:31 6 7:46 7 8:16 8 8:31 9 8:46 10 2:46 11 3:16 12 12:01 13 2:46 14 8:16 15 9:31 16 10:16

6:01 6:16 6:46 12:01 12:31 12:46 1:16 1:46 2:16 9:16 9:46 10:16 11:31 4:01 4:46 5:16

3:16 11:01 4:01 11:31 — 4:46 12:16 5:16 12:46 6:01 1:16 6:31 1:46 7:16 2:31 8:01 8:46 3:16 10:01 4:01 — 5:01 — 6:31 — 7:46 12:46 8:46 2:16 9:46 3:16 10:31






The acoustics of the McCelvey Center auditorium in York County make it a perfect venue for the Southern Sound Series, a handpicked lineup of top bluegrass acts. The series begins Jan. 12 with the all-star band The Travelin’ McCourys (pictured), winners of the 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association award for best instrumental group. New for the 2019 concert series: Vittles & Fiddles, pre-show festivals featuring a food truck and live music on the McCelvey Center lawn. Tickets are available online for all shows in the series, including The Gibson Brothers on Feb. 15 and The SteelDrivers on March 9, before mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull closes the series on April 13. (803) 909‑7242;


Celebrate traditional Gullah food, art, music and stories during the month-long Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration. The fun starts with the open party on Jan. 31 at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, and continues throughout February with educational seminars, concerts and cooking demonstrations. See the festival website for a complete list of events and venues. (843) 255‑7304;


There is no cooler way to support the Special Olympics in South Carolina than the Myrtle Beach Polar Plunge, where warm-hearted people jump into a very cold ocean. Anyone willing to see how cold the Atlantic can be in February is welcome to register to raise money, take the plunge, and get the T-shirt to prove it. A record $97,000 was raised by the 2018 plungers, and organizers hope to bring that number into the six-digit range with this year’s icy splash. (843) 446‑5820;


Charleston’s Lowcountry Oyster Festival claims to be the biggest event of its kind, and they’re serving up 80,000 pounds of oysters to prove it. Grab your knife and gloves and head over to Boone Hall Plantation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to claim your share and groove to the live music of The Distinguished Gentlemen. Come hungry if you plan to demonstrate your expertise in the oyster shucking and eating contests. General admission tickets ($17.50 in advance; $25 at the gate) and VIP passes can be purchased online.


Step back in time to the Revolutionary War at Lake City’s American Heritage Festival, hosted by Graham’s Historic Farm. Roam through an 18th-century village complete with a town crier, blacksmith, woodworker, musket maker and military encampments. Between educational seminars on the battles that happened in nearby Eutaw Springs, enjoy cannon-firing demonstrations, battle reenactments and a colonial-style dance. Admission for the weekend is $10. Kids under 5 get in for free. (904) 200‑1232;


For more happenings this month, turn to our Calendar on Page 36, and see expanded festivals and events coverage on



HuNGEr rEAds tHE MorNING pApEr, too.


1 IN 6 AMErIcANs struGGlEs WItH HuNGEr.


Hunger is closer than you think. reach out to your local food bank for ways to do your part. Visit today.

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SC   dialogue

The briar patch was a good teacher AS A YOUNG BOY, I WOULD SOMETIMES GO BIRD


President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina


(quail) hunting with my granddad, dad and brother. It was a special time to be outdoors, tramping across broom straw fields covered by heavy frost, watching my grandfather’s pointers and setters work the field in search of a covey. I once got so caught up in the hunt that I walked myself right into the middle of a briar patch, and I mean a real briar patch, not rose bushes or even blackberry vines. I mean saw briars. Folks at the Clemson Extension Service tell me they are formally known as Smilax bona-nox, or saw greenbriers. All I know is they could flat rip through my Levi’s. (I didn’t have real hunting pants faced with canvas.) There is nothing like finding yourself in a briar patch to help you focus on what is truly important. I learned that neither running nor panicking was the solution. Slowing down, focusing on the next right step and, maybe, even asking for help were the answers. When I got out, I didn’t curse the briar patch—it was there, and I walked into it—I was just grateful to be out. There’s a point to my briar patch reflections as we go into the new year. South Carolina’s electric cooperatives found themselves in the middle of a briar patch in 2018. I am not talking about the financial fallout from the collapse of the joint SCANA-Santee Cooper nuclear project in Fairfield County. You can look for an article on that topic in next month’s magazine. This month’s briar patch topic—covered extensively in the news media—grows out of governance issues at Tri-County Electric Cooperative in St. Matthews. For the moment, allow me to put aside the events at Tri-County and the admirable and successful effort by the cooperative’s members to reclaim their cooperative. I want to tell you instead about the other cooperatives in the state and what they did at the moment they collectively found themselves in a briar patch. It was a briar patch where the news media, some members of the General Assembly and a few local cooperative members asked if Tri-County was just a glitch or an indicator of a broader governance challenge among South Carolina’s 19 other electric cooperatives.


That question hurt. Many cooperative board members and employees have invested decades in “walking the walk” of what we call the Cooperative Difference—providing great service and value through organizations where control is vested in the local membership. They did not curse the briar patch, however. They slowed down and focused on the important, next right thing to do. They met as local boards to assess whether their local governance structures—established by bylaws created or amended only by vote of the members—were effective and, perhaps just as important, “modern.” Did their current bylaws lay out clear and fair processes for a member to run for their board? Could the membership easily access information about the board’s meetings and compensation? Could members identify and understand the links between their local cooperatives and other state and national organizations formed to deliver a locally governed service— but with the economic benefits of shared services costing less because they were provided on a state or national scale? Our cooperatives have begun to share their conclusions with your local legislative delegations and the General Assembly as a whole. More updates will be needed as bylaws are presented to cooperative members for approval. Electric cooperatives are local, community-based and independent, resulting in each being unique. As they update you—their members—and the General Assembly, the old saying about how “one size does not fit all” will also apply to the cooperatives. But they have worked together to get out of the briar patch for the past eight months, and they will continue to prove that your cooperative is your cooperative. Has been and always will be. Happy New Year!


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SC   energy Q&A

Rolling up energy savings BY JAMES DULLEY


t Insulating an existing

I do woodworking projects in my garage, and this winter I’m feeling the cold more than usual from the uninsulated roll-up door. What should I look for in a new, efficient door?

garage door is an easy DIY project. After clips are stuck to the garage door, the fiberglass batts are pressed over the clips and secured in place.



Garage doors made of insulated steel or fiberglass offer the highest insulation value.

Of these, the insulated steel or fiberglass offers the highest insulation value. If you prefer the appearance of wood but want higher efficiency, select a clad insulated steel garage door. A half-inchthick polymer coating is applied over the exterior steel skin for efficient insulation, but authentic wood grain is molded into the surface so it looks identical to stained wood. A two-inch-thick door with the polymer coating provides R-20 insulation. Another attractive option is an embossed, simulated-wood finish providing R-18 insulation. A very popular garage door style today is a simulated swing-open carriage type. It still rolls up like a typical panel garage door, but from the street it appears the two doors swing open on hinges. These attracGET MORE tive doors often have some The following companies offer efficient garage doors: type of decorative glass across the top panel for aesthetics Amarr Garage Doors, (800) 503-3667, and for natural light in the Clopay, (800) 225-6729, garage. Overhead Door, (800) 929-1277, An insulated steel door is Raynor Garage Doors, (800) 472-9667; probably the most affordable option. The foam inside the Wayne-Dalton, (800) 827-3667, door can be either preformed


q This simulated carriage-style garage door has a steel skin with a thermal break, foam insulation and double-pane glass.



Before you invest in a new garage door, inspect your existing one. If it is in relatively good condition and there are no significant drafts coming from the joints between the panels, consider installing a garage door insulation kit. Some do-it-yourself kits increase the insulation value by R-8. A typical kit includes vinyl-backed fiberglass insulation batts, retaining clips and tape. Cut the batts to fit the door panels and apply strips of doublesided tape on two spots on each panel. Stick the retaining clips on the tape and push the insulation over them. A top clip snaps over each retaining clip to hold the insulation securely in place. As a final step, put one-quarter-inch adhesive-backed foam weather stripping in the joints. Installing insulation will also reduce outdoor noise, and it may even reduce lighting costs as the exposed white vinyl backing reflects a lot of light, creating a brighter workspace for your woodworking projects. If you decide that you need a new garage door, there are several options. The most common garage door materials are wood, insulated steel, insulated fiberglass and aluminum with glass panels.

rigid polystyrene or foamed-in-place urethane. The urethane foam has a higher insulation level, but even an inexpensive 1 3/8-inch-thick door with rigid polystyrene still provides R-6 insulation. If you have children, look for tightsealing, pinch-resistant panels. The edges are designed to push a finger out of the panel joints as the door closes. Also select a door with an interlocking panel joint design, which creates a tight, long air path to minimize leakage. If you want glass in the garage door for natural lighting, select double-pane, insulated glass. Send questions to Energy Q&A, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, or email


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SC   smart choice

Beat the chill Does your house or workplace feel like a meat locker? Fight back against the chill with these gadgets that will warm up those bones to toasty bliss.  BY DAVID NOVAK


If you love winter sports, then you know that snow and sleet can soak your gloves, hat and boots, and wearing them all day is miserable. The DryGuy Force Dry DX can dry them lickety-split using heated forced air. It also eliminates odors. $80. (888) 330‑9452;


What’s the first thing we reach for when we’re cold? That’s right—coffee! The Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition is like having your own coffeehouse. Brew your favorite coffee, latte, espresso or frothy cappuccino with any K-Cup pod. $170. (866) 901‑2739;


Poor circulation, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome—all these conditions worsen with cold hands. The ValueRays EZ-DPI Heated Mouse warms key points of the palm, spreading radiant heat, boosting circulation and reducing swelling. $30. (760) 298‑1327;


Forget layering. Just wear Milwaukee Tool’s new M12 Heated AXIS Jacket, designed to protect from the cold. Powered by RedLithium battery technology, it uses carbon fiber to distribute three levels of heat to the chest, back and shoulders. Battery sold separately. $169. (800) 729‑3878;


Heat up your home this winter and add a personal flair with the LUX KONO Smart thermostat. Personalize using Decor-snap covers, and control KONO using Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant or the LUX App. Set weekly temperature schedules to lighten your utility bill with this Energy Star-rated device. $153. (856) 234‑8803;

Tech journalist David Novak is editor of Prices and availability are subject to change. Inclusion in this column is not an endorsement by South Carolina Living or any S.C. electric cooperative.




Let’s be honest. Space heaters aren’t the most attractive appliances in a home. Dr. Heater changes the design stereotype with their Nightstand Heater, a whole-room infrared heater that blends efficient heat with furniture-grade modern design. Use it as an attractive nightstand or an extra living room end table. $160. (800) 317‑1688;

EMPOWERING VISION With our low-cost, reliable electricity and choice industrial sites, Santee Cooper is working with the South Carolina Power Team to help new businesses picture a better future – and to power South Carolina toward Brighter Tomorrows, Today. •



It’s a superhero scenario for a college student. With a quick costume change, you transform into the most popular character on campus, and on game day, the attention amplifies exponentially. The home team crowd adores you, allowing you to channel the energy of tens of thousands of fans in a powerful way. Yet when you slip out of the ­stadium’s glare and out of your alter ego, you fade into the world of an everyday student, sharing your secret with only a small trusted circle. For students behind the state’s best-known college mascots—The Tiger at Clemson University and Cocky at University of South Carolina—that’s their reality until graduation day when they delight in a big reveal. Beloved but incredibly busy throughout the calendar year, they devote much of their college experience to this magical endeavor, while also committing to the mystery. “They give their whole body and soul to being a mascot and doing their part to promote school spirit and community service,” says John Seketa, who put together the anthology Clemson Through the Eyes of The Tiger after he coordinated the university’s mascot program from 1986 to 2012. “And they do it on a drop of a dime.”

Showing off USC On a Friday afternoon in early October, Cocky swaggers through USC’s downtown Columbia campus with the last class change before Family Weekend. Passersby on Greene Street can’t help but smile, even gush at everyone’s favorite Gamecock. The high-fives are endless. “Whaaat’s up, Cocky?” one asks as if he’s calling to a ­fraternity brother. Sophomore Philicia Thompson asks Cocky to pose with a group of students headed to a service project. “It’s great for Instagram,” she explains after the snap. “Mom loves it. It’s

The spirited, secretive world of college mascots BY SUSAN HILL SMITH PHOTOS BY MIC SMITH

what makes you feel like a Carolinian.” The mascot heads toward Melton Observatory to show off the Cocky statue USC installed in September 2017. Cocky has a big presence, and his bronze statue is beyond lifesized, measuring 6 feet, 5 inches high, even as it shows the mascot sitting down on a bench. The statue includes a stack of books—a nod to Cocky’s Reading Express, the mascot’s literacy campaign—and a reminder that the bird’s backstory is one of a USC student who can’t bring himself to graduate. Cocky uses only gestures to point out the statue. He never speaks in public, but USC’s mascot code provides leeway for Cocky to be interviewed privately by journalists while staying in character. Later, when tucked away in a room at USC’s Visitor Center, he explains that when he isn’t busy with Gamecock sports, community appearances, college classwork and simply “being awesome,” he visits elementary school students across the state. “I really hope to inspire them to pick up a book and read.” The pioneering creation of Cocky’s Reading Express in 2005 sparked other colleges to start their own mascot-­centered charities, and Cocky has earned national respect in other ways. For two years after the character emerged in 1980, Cocky served as the mascot of the College World Series. He has since won scores of mascot titles at cheer competitions. Yet his most visible pursuit is firing up Carolina football crowds.



A rainstorm delays the game but doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm during a matchup against Missouri.

On Family Weekend, Cocky’s mom and dad show up to share in the fun.

Working Williams-Brice Stadium Cocky has his work cut out for him the next day with USC’s face-off against University of Missouri, which turns out to be one of the wilder games in recent Carolina history. Word is out that first-string quarterback Jake Bentley won’t play due to injuries, and those who care about wins have concerns. Three hours ahead of the noon start, Cocky greets a growing garnet-and-black crowd at Gamecock Park, across the street from the 80,250-seat stadium. One moment he’s leading the USC marching band on the lawn. The next, he’s at the family tailgate, where freshman Reaghan Briggs recalls another happy run-in with him: “Cocky’s the best,” she says. “He sat next to me at a volleyball game, and it’s the only reason I stayed.” Many are tickled to see the characters of Mama and Papa Cocky join him on Family Weekend. Heidi Askew says she fell in love with Cocky as soon as she met him at Admitted Students Day with her son, who is now a freshman. “That was the first USC picture we took—of him and Cocky—and it’s on his dorm room desk.” With the start of each home game, the stadium’s eyes fixate on Cocky as the feisty rooster emerges from a smoky magic box, a salute to USC’s storied 1984 “Black Magic” football season. After the “2001” theme song ends, a piercing “Cacaw” crows through the loudspeakers, and the Missouri game begins. Cocky bounds toward the north end zone and student section, where he spends most of his time. He will do whatever he can to galvanize Gamecock momentum, not knowing how much endurance will be required as near-90-degree temps in Columbia twist into rain, two lightning delays and game clock glitches. The rain also helps reverse a sluggish first half, and Carolina grabs shining moments under quarterback Michael Scarnecchia in his first career start. Fans who last into the afternoon’s fourth and fifth hours have a blast twirling their dripping white towels to the melodic thumping of the USC anthem “Sandstorm” as dancing Cocky commands. Behind 34–35 in the last few minutes, the Gamecocks drive 18


to the zone as Cocky alternately rallies spectators and clutches his beak with worry. A 33-yard field goal seals the win for USC with two seconds left. Once the jubilation simmers down, the mascot falls in line with the football team as they glad-hand fans, with Cocky just behind the hero quarterback.

Hanging with the Clemson family When Clemson prepares for the University of Louisville home game a month later in November in the Upstate, the question isn’t who will win, but how high Clemson will run the score on the Cardinals. Each time Clemson puts points up, The Tiger matches his team’s score with a corresponding number of pushups. That tradition dates back to the late 1970s, while the official push-up board The Tiger uses lists the names of past mascots dating back to the 1950s. Those kinds of connections to the past are important to Clemson junior Jess Lloyd, whose grandfather got his diploma here in 1957. Wearing a Death Valley T-shirt, the third-generation Clemson student grabs a selfie with The Tiger when she spots him outside the library the Friday before the game. Her family is so steeped in love for the university that a cousin’s orangeand-purple wedding included an appearance by The Tiger, and another cousin took a turn in college playing Tiger Cub, the kid-friendly sidekick introduced in 1993. Lloyd serves on the Student Advisory Board for IPTAY, the school’s athletic fundraising arm, which stood for “I Pay Ten a Year” when created in 1934. To her, the mascot embodies Clemson’s strengths. “That spirit of determination and pride, it resonates a lot with The Tiger.” For the student portraying The Tiger, the connection he feels to the “all-in” Clemson family makes it all worthwhile. “You get to meet the people that make the Clemson community,” he says later, once he has changed out of his costume and into street clothes.

The Tiger works the crowd before the Louisville game, both on Tiger Walk and in Death Valley.

But he admits it’s a “different take” on college social life. Many of the parties he attends are for people he doesn’t really know, and he spends much of his time at events where he can’t reveal his true self. He’s only told a dozen or so friends about his role as The Tiger, and he waited nearly two years to tell his immediate family, knowing they would have to hold themselves back from telling their friends. He is allowed to talk to the media about his experiences as long as his name is not published while he’s a student, and when given the chance, he exuberantly explains how he loves the attention, the sports and the travel. He’s from a small South Carolina town where not everyone continues their education past high school, and he hopes he’s helping young people see the possibilities of college. His favorite interactions are with kids. “It means a lot for someone to say, ‘I’m your biggest fan, Tiger.’”

Concealed in The Tiger’s “den” The conversation about sustaining the balance between stardom and anonymity strikes back up Saturday morning before the game in The Tiger’s hideout, underneath the ­stadium’s west end zone seats, where mascots suit up in a

As ROTC cadets literally offer support, The Tiger pounds out 77 pushups.

concrete corner made comfortable with a worn sectional couch. Joining The Tiger at each game is his 6-year-old nephew, Tiger Cub. Female students often play Cubby to accentuate the size difference. Recent Clemson grad Alyssa Broeker embraced the role, which she played for four years, but found the secrecy to be stressful. “It’s hard to have to come up with lies and be creative with that, but the reason why we keep it a secret is to keep the identity of the character.” Truth told, Clemson’s mascot roster has expanded in recent years to include more than one Cubby and Tiger as their duties have stretched to all sports, and demand has grown for them to attend more university and outside appearances. Having backup on game days helps, too. The characters stay highly visible hours ahead of kickoff, walking with the team to the stadium, joining the parade down Fort Hill Street and visiting the university president’s box. Then there are the pushups. Clemson’s total by the end of the Louisville game will reach 77 points. With each of the 11 touchdowns, The Tiger will have to match the team’s score in pushups, for a total of 462, a feat made harder by the heat in the suit. Switching out mascots during the game helps The Tiger meet the challenge and stay charged. In the shelter of The Tiger’s den, the mascots support one another, happy to be part of a larger “fur-ternity” with alums and other mascots across the country. “No one else can relate to the things that we go through,” says Broeker. Moments that stick with her include the rush of running down The Hill at the start of a game, and the emotion of ­hospital visits. “When you see a kid who’s 5 years old and has cancer and you’re able to put a smile on their face for five minutes, you cry in suit, and you get chill bumps.” Her boyfriend of the past two years is a previous Tiger, and she knows of other Tiger and Cubby couples, including one who got married. She’s noticed that mascots have similar personalities. “We’re all outgoing. We’re all funny. None of us take



Cubby and The Tiger rub Howard’s Rock for luck before the game.

Cocky and friends demonstrate proper “spurs up” technique.



History: When he first emerged is unclear, but the mascot anthology Clemson Through the Eyes of The Tiger points to a photo from Jan. 1, 1952, of The Tiger at the Gator Bowl. In the book, alum Roy Southerlin recalls finding the mascot suit in Clemson University’s Field House in the early 1950s and taking the role upon himself. “It was a great way to meet girls, get free meals from the training table and other freebies. Wow, what a blast!” Hallmark: Fans count on The Tiger to do sideline push-ups that correspond to Clemson’s score whenever his team puts new points up, a tradition copied from Penn State in 1977. Game day entrance: Along with football players, coaches and Clemson’s cannoneer, The Tiger and Cubby share the privilege of rubbing Howard’s Rock for luck before they run down The Hill and onto the field—a ritual since 1967 that Sports Illustrated recently ranked No. 1 in its top 25 entrances in college football. Giving: Connected by their tiger mascots, Clemson, Auburn, Louisiana State and University of Missouri have teamed up with Tigers Always (, a campaign to save real‑life tigers from extinction.

History: Before Cocky, University of South Carolina had Big Spur, a 7-foot-tall fighting rooster that appeared in the 1970s. Big Spur’s unwieldy costume led Cocky to be hatched at the 1980 homecoming game, but football fans resisted, so Big Spur lingered during a transition period, and the newcomer covered women’s sports as “Superchick.” Ultimately, Cocky endeared himself to fans, taking over as USC’s firststring mascot by the 1982 football season, according to an account from My Carolina Alumni Association with the first Cocky, John Routh. Hallmark: “Spurs Up” has become a Gamecock fan phrase embraced by Head Football Coach Will Muschamp, and Cocky often does the corresponding hand sign, which is like a hang loose “shaka” with the thumb and pinky up. Game day entrance: Cocky’s “Black Magic” opening serves as a focal point of what TV sports commentator Brent Musburger called “one of the grandest openings in all of college football,” with the bird busting out of a magic box to the booms of the “2001: Space Odyssey” as fireworks go off and players storm the field. Giving: Created by USC students, Cocky’s Reading Express literacy program takes the mascot to elementary schools across the state and has since handed out nearly 130,000 books in 13 years.

Mascot faceoff

USC President Harris Pastides to the tune of “2001.” He danced through countless basketball halftimes and countless birthdays and wedding receptions across the state. If he was Graduation day exposure “in suit,” he gave 110 percent, knowing he was a symbol of the university. While their roles demand selflessness, mascots at Clemson “It can be pretty intense,” admits Fowler, now 27 and and USC dream of graduation when they can show the world working in marketing in Spartanburg. “It was one of the most what they’ve really been up to in college. rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, that’s for sure.” At Clemson, their furry orange costume sleeves show At commencement he started incognito, walking from the under their gowns, their paws emerging with a thumbs up. stands in a slow line of other soon-to-be grads. Only when At Carolina, their Cocky feet give their secret identity away. he hit the arena floor did others notice the flop of his yellow Hunter Fowler clearly remembers his commencement at feet. The whispers grew louder as he approached the stage, USC’s Colonial Life Arena in December 2013 as his years in and when he received a hug, not a handthe Cocky world came to a close. COMMAND PERFORMANCES Cocky, The Tiger He dialed the volume to ­deafening shake, from the university president, it and Tiger Cub are available for community levels in 2010 when USC’s football team seemed like everyone in the arena was and private events, including weddings. Make upset No. 1-ranked Alabama, and he cheering—this time not for a character, requests online at or punctuated business presentations by but for him. ourselves seriously. I’m not saying you have to be that way to be a mascot, but it’s kind of a common theme.”




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Man of musical talents Old-time music—the kind Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative member Josh Johnson prefers to play on both banjo and fiddle—might as well be called long-time music. Because to master it takes, well, a really long time. “You spend about three to five years learning to play the fiddle,” Johnson says. “You pretty much don’t take it outside the house during that time period. Then you spend the next five years learning how to play like another fiddle player. You sort of branch out from there.” Branching out is something Johnson knows about. Growing up in the Upstate, he played classical guitar as a teenager. In his 20s, he switched to playing clawhammer banjo, a style in which you curve your hand and strike the strings with your index fingernail. In his 30s, he picked up the fiddle. Johnson travels to various old-time music contests throughout the Southeast exhibiting his skills on both instruments. At the 2018 Old Time Fiddling Convention, he won the Old Time Banjo competition and finished third in the Old Time Fiddle competition—the highest-place finish by a South Carolinian. “When I play contests, I always try to play tunes that I know came from South Carolina,” he says, citing tunes like “Rhubarb” by Vernon Riddle and “The Hammett Grove Waltz,” titled after a Spartanburg County community. To win competitions, Johnson says, “You have to be technically robust, proficient in the music, and historically accurate, as well as be knowledgeable about the music and able to execute it cleanly.” But he also thinks of competitions as reunions, where he can catch up with old friends and maybe pick up new tunes. “Taking home a trophy and cash prize,” he says, “is just the icing on the cake.” —HASTINGS HENSEL | PHOTO BY MILTON MORRIS

Josh Johnson AGE:


Pumpkintown. Winner of the 2018 South Carolina Old Time Banjo competition; third-place finisher in the 2018 fiddle competition. DAY JOB: IT engineer for Windstream Communications. JUST HIS STYLE: Johnson plays clawhammer banjo, a style different from the three-finger picking “roll” style common in bluegrass. NIGHT GIGGING: Johnson also plays fiddle in a local bluegrass band, Mountain Bridge. “I love performing,” he says. “I keep a day job to keep playing music because music only pays for itself.” CO-OP AFFILIATION: Member of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. HOME TURF:





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Last of

the wild


Explore the untamed islands of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TIM HANSON

It is dark out here on Boneyard Beach, maybe an hour before sunrise on this mild October morning on Bulls Island. But the sky is clear, and someone in our group points out Orion’s Belt, the three stars which for centuries have been a tool for celestial navigation and a visual anchor for amateur astronomers. “You are going to witness the greatest show on earth,” boat captain Chris Crolley told his 33 passengers as he piloted the ferry Caretta through the darkness from the South Carolina mainland to this largest and most popular of the four main islands in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Onshore, the visitors spread out and pick their way along the beach by flashlight, stepping around some of the hundreds of sun-bleached, skeleton-like remains of cedar and oak and pine that stretch for three miles along the northeast end of the island. At one time, this whole area was a dense forest, but over the decades, powerful storms and rising sea levels have eaten away at the edges of the island and ravaged its population of trees. Every now and then, one of us stoops to pluck a ­seashell or a sand dollar or some other curiosity of nature from the beach as the pre-dawn surf rolls onto the shore. Meanwhile, out there in the dark, 1,000 American alligators hunker down in the island’s swamps. Other creatures, too—black fox, bobcats, deer, cottonmouths, nearly 300 species of birds— have found sanctuary here, and when visitors to Bulls Island 22


spy one of them, it is a special, thrilling moment indeed. Several years ago, on my first visit to Bulls Island, I was alone walking a trail between Mills and Summerhouse roads when I spotted a large alligator (I can state with complete confidence that he was no shorter than 10 feet in length) sunning himself on the banks of Upper Summer­house Pond. I had seen these animals on ­numerous ­occasions at places

Boneyard Beach is a stark, mesmerizing testament to the forces of nature.

Meanwhile, out there in the dark, 1,000 American alligators hunker down in the island’s swamps. Other creatures, too— black fox, bobcats, deer, cottonmouths, nearly 300 species of birds—have found sanctuary here. other than Bulls Island, but there was something about the wildness of this place, the stillness of the morning and the fact that we were there alone together that made the encounter something I will always remember. And now, back here on the island once again for a sunrise stroll, the eastern sky is gradually stripping away the darkness. Gnats and mosquitoes bounce off my headlamp. A wave breaks and washes over the tops of my boots. Finally, the sun

peeks over the horizon and sheds light on yet another day here at one of the last truly wild places in South Carolina. Had it not been for New York broker Gayer Dominick, there is no telling what would have become of Bulls Island. A onetime director of Bank of America and Shell Oil Company, he purchased the island in 1925 so that he could have his own private hunting preserve. He held on to the property for more than a decade and then in 1936 transferred ownership of the island to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. That agency, in turn, added the island to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, established four years earlier as a sanctuary for migratory birds. Today, the refuge comprises more than 66,000 acres—nearly half of it a Class I ­wilderness area—and stretches for 22 miles along the coast between Georgetown and Charleston. Bulls Island remains the most visited of the four islands. A ferry from the mainland operates several days a week most of




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the year, and a network of trails and roads provides ample opportunities for hikers and birdwatchers to explore the island. From the dock, visitors can embark on a nearly six-mile hike that will take them to Boneyard Beach, while a longer eightmile trek will allow for additional sights and experiences. But either path will doubtlessly yield encounters with plants and animals they would be hard-pressed to find on the mainland. There are at least two designated wildlife viewing platforms on the island, one overlooking Upper Summerhouse Pond—a 65-acre body of water that is one of 10 impoundments on the island—and a second one on Jacks Creek, just about a half-mile from the remains of an old fort that dates back to the 17th century when pirates plied their dark trade along the coast. While camping is not allowed, a limited number of people each month are permitted to stay overnight on the island. For a fee that includes transportation, lodging and meals, they spend two nights at Dominick House—built by and named after Gayer Dominick, of course—and are led by a registered guide on several hikes over a period of three days. The opportunity to stay on Bulls Island is a rare one and reservations fill quickly, often up to a year in advance. Two other main islands in the refuge, Raccoon Key and Cape Island, are seldom visited, although the latter is a significant nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles, and wildlife biologists make numerous trips there during nesting season when mother turtles lumber ashore to lay their eggs. In fact, the refuge as a whole sees more nesting loggerheads than anywhere else along the coast, besides Florida. The fourth island in the refuge is Lighthouse Island, the site of two decommissioned lighthouses that for decades helped alert ships to the area’s shallow, treacherous waters. The first lighthouse was built in 1827 but, standing at just 65 feet, it proved to be less than effective, and shipwrecks that

“ My dad said, ‘I want you to see this because that light is going to be turned off forever.’ ” —THOMAS W. GRAHAM III, LIFELONG McCLELLANVILLE RESIDENT AND HISTORIC PRESERVATIONIST



p Visitors come ashore on Lighthouse Island. Each island in the wildlife reserve offers a unique adventure. u The threat of

venomous snakes lurking in the brush is a persuasive reason for visitors to stay on the path to the older lighthouse.

had plagued the area for decades continued unabated. A second lighthouse was constructed in the mid-1850s and stood nearly 100 feet higher than the first. Equipped with a massive Fresnel lens, the light could be seen nearly 20 miles away and subsequently, the number of shipwrecks in the area steeply declined. To service the lighthouse, employees and their families lived on the island. It was, by all indications, a solitary existence, the only link to the mainland being a ferry that adults used to transport supplies and for children to attend school. As the years passed and ship navigation systems became more sophisticated, the need for lighthouses eventually declined, and the one on Lighthouse Island shone for the last time in the summer of 1947. Thomas W. Graham III, a lifelong resident of McClellanville, was just a child at the time, but he still remembers his father walking with him to the end of a road in their town and pointing to the light eight miles offshore. The elder Graham owned a hardware store in town and was close friends with most, if not all, of the people who worked on Lighthouse Island. The storekeeper knew he was witnessing the end of an era, something that had been so important to him and to many others over the years, and he

A second lighthouse was constructed in the mid-1850s and stood nearly 100 feet higher than the first. Its light could be seen nearly 20 miles away. wanted his son to be a part of the moment. “There was just this tiny light on the horizon,” Graham, 76, told me on an April 2018 trip to Lighthouse Island. “My dad said, ‘I want you to see this because that light is going to be turned off forever.’ ” These days, Graham accompanies visitors to Lighthouse Island during trips staged four times each year. Wearing calf-high, brown rubber boots, a fawn-colored shirt and a ball cap that reads “Jamaica ’62,” the retired expert on historic preservation answers questions about the lighthouse during the hour-long ferry ride from McClellanville to the island. Once the boat leaves the mainland, it makes its way along Clubhouse Creek until it reaches Muddy Bay. We see bottlenose dolphins and brown pelicans, blue herons and dozens of white The original lighthouse, built in 1827, was replaced 30 years later by a taller, brighter beacon great egrets, patiently standing out there among that marked the coastline for passing ships until it was put out of service in 1947. the spartina grass looking for fish. As we move forward, Oyster Bay is on our right and Horsehead Island is on our left. Capt. William Christensen, the 154-foot structure leans slightly to the west. And on the who is piloting the craft, notes that Muddy Bay is a notoriinside, we see how that west wall, at one time pure white, has been stained reddish-brown after decades of rain blowing in ously low body of water that is impossible to navigate during and draining residue from the rusting infrastructure down the low tide. inside of the wall. When we leave the bay altogether and turn into the And the big Fresnel lens that shone brightly for so many Romain River, Lighthouse Island is on our right, and it is not years and guided sailors through the area, helping them to get long until the two lighthouses come into view. home safely to their families and friends? There is no boat dock on the island and so we walk down Vandals destroyed that, too. a ramp and through several yards of soft pluff mud. We had been warned earlier in the day during a briefing at Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center in Awendaw that The morning sun is well clear of the horizon now and those we should avoid wearing sandals because they could easily of us who traveled to Bulls Island to witness the sunrise become stuck in the mud, leaving a visitor barefoot for the head back to the ferry that brought us here. We cast one last duration of the trip. look at the beach and its strange, forlorn landscape of fallen Ranger Patricia Midgett also warns us to beware of venommaritime trees, and at the relentless pounding of the waves, great and small, upon the shore—a reminder of constant ous snakes, including water moccasins. “Stay on the path,” she says. “We are in the wilderness.” change. Graham leads many in the group up a path to the tallest Robert S. Young, an expert in shorelines at Western lighthouse. There are, he tells us, about 250,000 bricks in the Carolina University, told me some months earlier that all that tower and 212 steps, although the lower section is missing and wave action, along with rising sea levels, is actually transformit is no longer possible to climb to the top of the structure. ing the geography of the area. From outside, we see where vandals had years ago broken “It is really amazing how dynamic those small ribbons of windows at the top of the lighthouse and we can see, too, how barrier islands are,” says Young, director of the university’s SCLIVING.COOP  | JANUARY 2019  |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



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GET THERE For more information on Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, call the headquarters office at (843) 928‑3264, or visit and The Sewee Visitor Center, located at 5821 Highway 17 North in Awendaw, is open Wednesday–Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on major holidays. For more information, call (843) 928‑3368 or visit The ferry to Bulls Island leaves from Garris Landing at 498 Bulls Island Road, near Awendaw. During the winter, the ferry operates on Saturdays only, leaving at 10 a.m. and returning at 3 p.m. The summer schedule is more robust, with regularly scheduled trips on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Departures are at 9 a.m. and noon, with returns at noon and 4 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children between the ages of 2 and 12. For more information, contact Coastal Expeditions at (843) 884‑7684 or visit their website at

Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. He notes that the change is best seen by watching a time-lapse sequence of satellite photographs of the area taken between 1984 and 2016. “You will see some of those barrier islands completely disappear,” he says, referring to numerous small islands that populate the refuge along with its four main islands. “But even though you see some places where barrier islands collapse and disappear, new ones form, just in a different spot and maybe a little bit closer landward.” Unlike other locations in the state where eroded beaches have been replenished with millions of cubic yards of sand, beaches and the smaller barrier islands in the refuge are left to the whims of nature. Experts estimate that, throughout the refuge, as much as 25 feet of shoreline are lost each year. “I think we need these last remaining natural areas, where humans are not trying to interfere with the system directly, to remind us of how natural barrier islands and the marshes behind them function,” Young says, adding that he wishes all Americans had the opportunity to appreciate the importance of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. “I mean, there just aren’t many places like that left,” he says. “We are lucky to have it.”

Making an Impact Together in 2018 52,286 Volunteers 2,160,327.54 Pounds of Trash 3,764,982 Pounds Recycled 5,925,309.54 Total Pounds Collected $3,485,384.76 Cost Avoidance to Local Governments

2700 Middleburg Drive, Suite 216 | Columbia, SC 29204 | 877.PAL.PRDE | |




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SC   travels


Strolling down memory lane BY CAROL J.G. WARD

for their town is evident from the moment you step inside the doors of the Elloree Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, where the exhibits are filled with artifacts donated or loaned by local families. The museum got its start in 1998 when a citizen committee investigated the possibility of building it as part of downtown revitalization efforts. The town provided a building on Cleveland Street for the project. The building at one time had been a THE LOVE ELLOREE RESIDENTS HAVE

Elloree Heritage Museum and Cultural Center is located at 2714 Cleveland St. in Elloree. HOURS: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday to Saturday. ADMISSION: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students. Group rates are available; call for details. An audio tour organized by exhibit numbers is included with admission. DETAILS: (803) 897-2225;


docent Sally Jo Coulliette are appreciative of Elloree residents who scoured homes and barns for items.

car showroom and garage but was in terrible disrepair. “The roof was gone; there were trees growing inside,” says volunteer docent Sally Jo Coulliette. This didn’t deter the organizers, and the first exhibits opened in 2002. Today, a 10,000-squarefoot museum tells the stories of the town’s past with first-rate museum ­exhibits that one guest from Washington, D.C., described as “better than the Smithsonian.” Self-guided tours of the museum include audio narrations at major exhibits. The experience begins with an animatronic version of Elloree’s founder, merchant W.J. Snider, who greets visitors before sending them on a stroll down Cleveland Street—a re-creation of the town’s main thoroughfare as it appeared in the early 1900s. Creating the museum was a ­citizen-​led effort in more ways than one, Coulliette says. “Many of the items in the museum came from residents of Elloree. They found them in their barns or attics.” The bank exhibit includes part of the original tile floor, which someone found stored in a doghouse. At the general store exhibit, “the canned goods were one of the hardest things to create an authentic display for because there was no Green Giant,” she says. That problem was remedied when a stack of old labels from E.B. Shuler & Bros., an Elloree packing company, turned up in a local home. Leaving the Cleveland Street displays, visitors step into the area’s rural past. Here they can explore a rebuilt portion




u Board member Kay Lancaster and volunteer


An exhibit about early days of electrification includes the county’s first electric stove.

p Vintage labels from a local packing company adorn canned goods in the re-created general store.

of the cabin where founding father Snider was born in 1831. Volunteers dismantled the last surviving room and rebuilt it in the museum, including original logs, windows and door frames. This section of the museum also commemorates the arrival of railroad service in Elloree and the installation of the first electric lights. The museum has on display the first electric stove in the county (a Hotpoint), and an exhibit on the early days of rural electrification including vintage gear provided by Tri‑County Electric Cooperative. Turn the corner to explore cotton production in the region, including a walk through a two-story replica gin house. Inside, visitors will find a 100-year-old Connor Cotton Gin, one more piece of town history preserved thanks to the determination of volunteers, including museum board member Kay Lancaster’s late husband, Danny Dantzler. “Danny told me when they moved the gin, they put it in place backward,” Lancaster says. “When they realized what they’d done, they poured Dawn dishwashing liquid on the floor [as a lubricant], and they were able to turn it around.”


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Online at or call 800-599-0181 Find tailgate recipes inside the Tastes of Clemson Blue Cheese Cookbook, available on Amazon for $24.95.




SC   recipe


With Janu ary comes lots of football play­off exc itement. S pend more watching th time e games a nd less tim about prep e worrying aring yum my halftim e snacks fo friends an d guests. E r your verything can be pre here pped the d ay before finished on and game day with minimal eff ort.





1 4-pound beef brisket flat All-purpose seasoning 1 onion, sliced 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce (divided) 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped 24 slider buns Coleslaw Sliced pickles (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 F. Place brisket into a large baking pan and season all over with seasoning mix. With brisket fat-side up, cover with onion slices. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup barbecue sauce and chipotle peppers and sauce, and pour over brisket. Seal baking pan tightly with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 5 hours (1¼ hours per pound). Remove brisket from oven and let cool slightly before removing to a cutting board. Trim off the fat cap and slice thinly; return to baking pan and spoon sauce over the sliced meat. If sauce is not as thick as you would like it, pour sauce into a medium pan and boil on medium heat until reduced by half the amount. Stir in ½ cup additional barbecue sauce. When sauce is the desired thickness, pour over sliced brisket. Serve on slider buns with coleslaw and pickles. 30





3 avocados 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced ½ small red onion, minced 1 handful cilantro, chopped Juice of one lime Kosher salt Black pepper, freshly ground Tortilla or pita chips, for dipping

4 russet potatoes Olive oil or olive oil spray 1 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 4 to 5 strips thick, crispy bacon, crumbled 3 scallions, sliced 1 cup sour cream

Into a medium bowl, scoop out avocados and mash with a fork. Mix in jalapeno pepper, red onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with pita or tortilla chips. If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is pressed down onto the surface of the avocado mixture. This will prevent the guacamole from turning brown on top. CHEF’S TIP When working with peeled, sliced and/or chopped avocados, squeeze in lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.

What’s cooking at

MAKE YOUR OWN PITA CHIPS Nothing goes better with guacamole than homemade chips. Chef Belinda shows us how it’s done at chefbelinda


Preheat oven to 400 F. Scrub and dry potatoes and using a knife or fork, stab each one a few times. Bake for 45–60 minutes until tender. Check by softly squeezing or inserting a sharp knife. Remove from oven and let potatoes rest until cool enough to handle. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and scoop out half of the pulp. Reserve pulp for another use. Turn each half potato upside down on baking sheet and brush or spray with olive oil. Return to oven for 15–20 minutes and bake until the skins are crispy. Remove from oven and flip over. Distribute the cheese evenly among the potatoes, followed by the bacon crumbles. Increase oven temperature to “broiler” setting. Return potatoes to broiler for 3–4 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove and allow cheese to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with scallions and serve with sour cream. CHEF’S TIP What to do with the baked potato “insides” after making potato skins? Use them to make cream of potato soup, shepherd’s pie, potato pancakes or salmon croquettes.


2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded ½ teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon paprika ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese 20 corn tortillas Olive oil or vegetable spray TOPPING

Shredded lettuce Diced tomatoes Shredded cheese Chopped green onions SAUCES

Salsa, for dipping Sour cream Guacamole

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine chicken, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, paprika, pepper flakes and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Add cheese and mix well. Place tortillas, two at a time, between damp paper towels and microwave for 25–30 seconds. On each tortilla, place a tablespoon of the chicken mixture and roll up tightly. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Continue to warm tortillas and roll up taquitos until chicken and tortillas are gone. Spray taquitos with oil spray and bake for 18–20 minutes until golden and crispy. Place on serving tray and top with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and onions. Serve with sauces.


CHEF’S TIP A good Mexican seasoning blend can be substituted for the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika and crushed red pepper in this recipe.




SC   gardener

Fight camellia petal blight

JANUARY IN THE GARDEN n Up for a little exercise on a brisk, wintry day? Turn the soil over in your annual beds. This dirt digging will expose overwintering insects to the killing cold and hungry birds.


to corrupt Charles Dickens, ’tis the best of times and possibly the worst of times. Camellias​​—​​in particular, Camellia ­japonica cultivars​​—​​will begin to bloom soon. And if the winter is mild, fewer displays will be blemished by heavy frosts or prolonged subfreezing temperatures. However, there could be trouble in paradise. Instead of enjoying pristine displays of flowers, some camellia gardeners might find blooms tainted with brown spots that grow bigger and eventually turn what could have been minor botanical masterpieces into works that can only be described as junkyard-dog ugly. This common ailment, caused by the fungus Ciborinia camelliae, is camellia petal blight. FOR CAMELLIA LOVERS,

n If squirrels have enjoyed digging in your bulb beds during the winter, spread chicken wire as a deterrent over the ground and secure (as well as hide) it with an inch or two of mulch.

TIP OF THE MONTH Dormant bareroot roses, which can be planted in the late winter, will begin to appear at local garden centers and online nurseries this month. Ideally, you should plant such roses as soon as possible, but give their roots a beneficial hydration session in a bucket of water for four to five hours before tucking the pretties-to-be into welldraining, sunny sites. Also, to prevent chemical burn to developing roots, mix into the planting hole a moderate dose of nutrient-rich organic amendments, instead of a catch-all commercial fertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10.



Proper care of bareroot rose roots at planting time can lead to some sensational summertime eye candy.

This sclerotia can remain dormant in the soil for up to five years, just waiting for the right conditions. An infected blossom turns completely brown within a matter of days, dies and falls to the ground. After death, there is life, but, in this case, it is not necessarily a good thing. At the base of infected flowers, the infringing fungus produces black, hard fruiting bodies called sclerotia that drop to the ground with the blighted blossoms. This sclerotia can remain dormant in the soil for up to five years, just waiting for the right conditions, which include high humidity, frequent rains and mild temperatures during bloom time—all of which are pretty common in our neck of the woods in late winter and early spring. Once stirred up (aspiring poets take note), sclerotia beget apothecia, which are small, mushroom-like



n Trouble could be in store for your houseplants if you are watering them straight from the tap this winter. Such chilly water can shock sensitive plants, which could, for many, result in the dropping of leaves. Allow water to warm to room temperature in a container before giving any houseplant a refreshing drink.

For the best flower displays, beat the blossombesmirching fungus that causes camellia petal blight.

structures that release tiny spores into the garden, the wind and landscapes beyond to do their dastardly damage in later years. But remedies are available. Fungi­ cides such as Captan or Mancozeb applied this month can be useful against petal blight, but there is also an effective no-cost, earth-friendly option—simply interrupt the life cycle of this funky fungus. Because development of this ­blossom-besmirching menace takes place in soil underneath camellias, break up its party by putting metal to the petals. Rake up the spent blooms as they begin to carpet the ground. Don’t compost the fallen flowers. Petal blight spores can be carried up to a mile in the wind. The best way to deal with this pestilence is to bag the petals and toss them in the trash. In the spring, winter mulch around camellias should likewise be thoroughly raked up, bagged and discarded. Then, add a layer of fresh mulch in its place, which, after it has done its summer duty, should be similarly sent off to the dump and replaced in the late fall. L.A. JACKSON is the former editor of Carolina Gardener magazine. Contact him at


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January 10 is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day.

Turn off that TV, and read South Carolina Living instead! And don’t forget to send someone special a subscription.

NOTE: Co-op members should already receive this magazine as a membership benefit.

Please make check payable to South Carolina Living and mail to P.O. Box 896568, Charlotte, NC 28289-6568. (Please allow 4 – 8 weeks.) Call (803) 926‑3175 for more information. Sorry, credit card orders not accepted.




SC   calendar JAN 9 – FEB 15

Upstate JA NUA RY

10–20  Restaurant Week South

Carolina, various restaurants, greater Greenville area. 15  Coffee with Veterans, Morningside of Seneca, Seneca. (888) 515‑3007. 15  Old Time Jam with Bob Buckingham, Stomping Grounds Coffee House and Wine Bar, Greer. (864) 801‑1555. 15  Skating on the Square, Morgan Square, Spartanburg. (864) 325‑5361. 15–21  Ice on Main, downtown, Greenville. 16  Celtic Session featuring Skeezix, Stomping Grounds Coffee House and Wine Bar, Greer. (864) 801‑1555. 16  Fayssoux McLean and Brandon Turner, Spartanburg County Public Library HQ, Spartanburg. (864) 948‑9020. 16  Greenville Jazz Collective Big Band, Chicora Alley, Greenville. (864) 232‑4100. 18–20  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 542‑2787. 19  Battle of Cowpens Anniversary Celebration, Cowpens National Battlefield, Gaffney. (864) 461‑2828. 19  Greenville News Run Downtown 5K Road Race, Main Street, Greenville. 20–21  Skating on the Big Ice, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville. (864) 241‑3800. 25  Piano Forte, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 948‑9020. 26  St. George’s Charity Oyster Roast, Civic Center of Anderson, Anderson. (864) 224‑1104. 26  Winter Bluegrass Jubilee, Pickens High School, Pickens. F EB R UA RY

2  Open House, Tour and Potluck, Seneca Treehouse Project, Seneca. (864) 710‑7584. 2  Sweetheart Charity Ball supporting Meals on Wheels of Greenville, Hyatt Regency Greenville, Greenville. (864) 233‑6565. 2–3  Chautauqua History Comes Alive: Napoleon, Wade Hampton High School, Greenville. (864) 360‑7500. 5  Old Time Jam with Bob Buckingham, Stomping Grounds Coffee House and Wine Bar, Greer. (864) 801‑1555. 6  Celtic Session featuring Skeezix, Stomping Grounds Coffee House and Wine Bar, Greer. (864) 801‑1555.

36 Our mobile-friendly site lists even more festivals, shows and events. You’ll also find instructions on submitting your event. Please confirm information with the hosting event before attending.

8  Rhonda Vincent & The Rage,

Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 948‑9020. 8–10  Upstate Outdoor Expo, TD Convention Center, Greenville. (864) 800‑3047. 13  Kela Walton, Spartanburg County Public Library, Spartanburg. (864) 948‑9020. 13  Tap House Swing, Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery, Spartanburg. (864) 541‑7379. 15–16  Seussical, Jr., Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 542‑2787. O NG O ING

Every Wednesday  Pickens

Flea Market Jam, Pickens Bargain Exchange Flea Market, Pickens. (864) 607‑3493. Every other Wednesday  Music Sandwiched In, Spartanburg County Public Library, Spartanburg. (864) 948‑9020.

Midlands JANUARY

10–20  Restaurant Week South Carolina, various restaurants, greater Columbia area. 15  Erasure Drawing with Marge Moody, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill. (803) 328‑2787. 16  Steve Tyrell, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 17–18  Travis Tritt, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 19  Jimmy Fortune, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 19  Red Shoe Run 5K or 10K, Hand Middle School, Columbia. 19–20  Winter Stamp and Postcard Show, Spring Valley High School, Columbia. (803) 309‑2534. 20  Puccini’s TOSCA, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 24  Black Jacket Symphony: Queen, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 25  Chris Potter with the Jazz Masterworks Ensemble, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. 26  Casino Royale – Annual Fundraising Gala, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill. (803) 328‑2787.

26  Fastball, Newberry Opera House,

Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 27  Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. FEBR UARY

2  By Way of the Back Door,

Historic Brattonsville, McConnells. (803) 684‑2327. 2  Gaelic Storm, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 2  Pancake Breakfast for Manning Lions Club, Manning Restaurant, Manning. (803) 472‑0054. 4  Arlo Guthrie, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 7  Sam Bush, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 8  Coffee House in the Black Box, Aiken Community Playhouse, Aiken. (803) 648‑1438. 8  The Embers, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 9  By Way of the Back Door, Historic Brattonsville, McConnells. (803) 684‑2327. 9  E-Waste Recycling Collection Events, Clarendon County Administration Building, Manning. (803) 435‑9584. 9  The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 9  Stratas (mixed media) with Marcia Kort Buike, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill. (803) 328‑2787. 10  Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 12  Ink Drawing with Marge Moody, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill. (803) 328‑2787. 14  The Malpass Brothers, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. 15  2019 Southern Sound Series: The Gibson Brothers, McCelvey Center’s Lowry Family Theater, York. (803) 684‑3948. 15  Delbert McClinton, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑6264. ONGOING

Daily through Jan. 21  Founders

Holiday Ice Rink, downtown, Rock Hill. (803) 326‑3886.


Lowcountry JANUARY

9–20  Charleston Restaurant

Week, various restaurants, Charleston. (843) 958‑3636. 16  Lowcountry Dolphins, Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island. (843) 689‑6767, ext. 223. 16–20  SOS Mid-Winter Break/ Winter Workshop, Ocean Drive Beach & Golf Resort, North Myrtle Beach. (800) 438‑9590. 17  Mike Keneally Band, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence. (843) 661‑1720. 18  Art of Mixology – A Signature Cocktail Experience, Black Creek Arts Center, Hartsville. (843) 332‑6234. 18  Ballet Memphis, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head Island. (843) 686‑3945. 23  Conversation with a Civil War Soldier, Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island. (843) 689‑6767, ext. 223. 23–24  SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo, Florence Center, Florence. (864) 237‑3648. 24  Tea Is for Teddy, Colleton Museum and Farmers Market, Walterboro. (843) 549‑2303. 24–27  Charleston Jazz Festival, various venues, Charleston. (843) 641‑0011. 25  16th Annual A Night in the Valley, The College Center at Trident Technical College, North Charleston. (843) 574‑6580. 25  Literary Gibbes: A Book Club Discussion of The Death of Vishnu: A Novel, Gibbes Museum, Charleston. (843) 722‑2706, ext. 237. 25  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Tribute Band, Colleton Civic Center, Walterboro. (843) 549‑8360. 25–27  Flowertown Players’ The Red Velvet Cake War, James F. Dean Theatre, Summerville. (843) 875‑9251. 26  Hilton Head Snow Day, Shelter Cove Community Park, Hilton Head Island. (843) 681‑7273. 26  The Outlaws, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence. (843) 661‑1720. 27  Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant. (843) 853‑8000.

27–28  Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, First Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head Island. (843) 842‑2055. 31  Solve It Cyrus and The Aftermath of Math Class, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence. (843) 661‑1720. FEBR UARY

1  Gaelic Storm, USC Beaufort Center for the Arts, Beaufort. (843) 521‑4145. 1–3  Low Country Winter Coin Show, Exchange Park, Ladson. (843) 302‑6210. 1–3  Flowertown Players’ The Red Velvet Cake War, James F. Dean Theatre, Summerville. (843) 875‑9251. 1–28  23rd Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration, various venues, Hilton Head Island. (843) 255‑7303. 2  Met Opera: Carmen, USC Beaufort Center for the Arts, Beaufort. (843) 521‑4145. 2  Save the Light Half Marathon and 5K, Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier, Folly Beach. (843) 795‑4386. 2–3  The American Heritage Festival, Graham’s Historic Farm, Lake City. (904) 200‑1232. 5  Camellias, Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island. (843) 689‑6767, ext. 223. 9  2019 Cupid’s Chase Charleston, James Island County Park, Charleston. (843) 879‑3270. 9  Hilton Head Island Marathon, Half Marathon and 8K, Jarvis Creek Park, Hilton Head Island. (843) 757‑8520. 9–10  27th Annual Myrtle Beach Stamp and Postcard Show, Waccamaw Center, Myrtle Beach. (843) 347‑0087. 10–11  Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, First Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head Island. (843) 842‑2055. 11  Florence Symphony Orchestra, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence. (843) 661‑1720. 13–16  Paula Vogel’s The Oldest Profession, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence. (843) 661‑1720. 14  Beaufort Symphony Orchestra presents Light Classic Pops, Sea Island Presbyterian Church, Beaufort. (843) 812‑0183. 14–16  All Shook Up, Colleton Civic Center, Walterboro. (843) 549‑8360. 15–17  Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, multiple sites, Charleston. (843) 723‑1748. ONGOING

First Saturdays  History in the Landscape, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 546‑9361.


SC   humor me

Beauty and the beast BY JAN A. IGOE

BEAUTY, THEY SAY, IS IN THE EYE of the beholder. People magazine’s choice for “sexiest man alive” will never please every reader. No matter which beauty is crowned Miss Universe, some will protest that the bronze goddess from a distant continent got robbed by the knock-out redhead (or vice versa). It’s all a matter of personal taste, even if you are a goat. In Ramygala, Lithuania, goats have been an integral part of life since Medieval times. Every year, residents parade them through their tiny village to enter a beauty contest. Owning the most glamorous goat is a big deal in places without Netflix. The goats are gussied up in fancy clothes, so it’s a lot like an evening gown competition except the contestants don’t shave. The lucky winner might walk away with a few jars of honey or a bushel of cucumbers. But down the road just a few thousand miles, beautiful sheep are worth more than my car. Saudi Arabia is home to the Najdi sheep, which has a silky coat and an elegant head, as sheep heads go. It’s also tasty, but fortunately for the contestants, beauty trumps barbecue. The world offers pageants for just about any creature with at least four legs. Every year, the British Tarantula Society awards best-in-show honors to the worthiest arachnid. More than 30,000 tarantulas vie for the title. The winner must strike a pose to show off its impressive musculature. (If you’re picturing an eight-legged Schwarzenegger, join the club.) Points are awarded for shapely legs, appealing color and nice abs. Judges also look for spiders that are highly alert. Personally, I like lethargic spiders because they give me more time to flee. Even pigs, pigeons, cows and elephants have their own beauty contests, but no competition is quite as intense as a camel pageant. The annual camel


Last year, a dozen camels were disqualified for having their nostrils and lips enhanced with Botox, which I’m guessing wasn’t their idea. festival in Abu Dhabi celebrates all things camel, including beauty. The most beautiful camels will be very tall with long legs, well-­proportioned necks and thick eyelashes. Discriminating judges look for full lips and an ample hump. Since prize breeding stock is worth tens of thousands in U.S. dollars, owners have occasionally been caught bending a rule or two. They’ve been known to apply oil to deepen the coat and a few gallons of hair spray to keep that hump from going frizzy in the desert heat. That’s not all. Last year, a dozen camels were disqualified for having their nostrils and lips enhanced with Botox,


which I’m guessing wasn’t their idea. This creates a problem for contestants that can’t afford cosmetic fillers, not to mention the buyers who pay top dollar for the allegedly natural beauties. When the camel’s facial features shrink to normal size about three months after purchase, the buyer will realize he’s stuck with a thin-lipped, skinny-nosed camel with a frizzy hump and an expired warranty. That’s not right. In this country, we don’t think camels need plastic surgery and we don’t dress goats in Vera Wang. Nothing could be more preposterous or unnatural. Our goats wear pajamas. That way, nobody will see their undies when they’re jumping on trampolines. JAN A. IGOE is upset that camels can afford cosmetic fillers while she’s working with a Maybelline budget. Finding adorable goat pajamas on Etsy made her feel much better. Please send any small, spare goats to Thanks so much.


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ITEM 63537/64195/63852 shown

*69105520 * 69105520 LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 5/12/19*

*Original coupon only. No use on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase or without original receipt. Valid through 5/12/19.





5488 SAVE 87%



MODEL: 33079

ITEM 63094 60405/63056/63057/63150/61524 shown

*69108521 * 69108521 LIMIT 9 - Coupon valid through 5/12/19*



9 $1 69







MODEL: 262800

SAVE $ 129

ITEM 62915/60600 shown

*69110650 * 69110650 LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 5/12/19*

At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to or see store associate.