South Carolina Living July 2021

Page 1


blood Slither into the wild scene at Edisto Serpentarium

JULY 2021


Let them eat steak HUMOR ME

Flipping coins

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Old Way


Read in more than 600,000 homes and businesses and published monthly except in December by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. 808 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC 29033

2021 |july

Tel: (803) 926‑3175 Fax: (803) 796‑6064 Email: EDITOR

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

Josh Crotzer


Travis Ward


Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

Camille Stewart PRODUCTION

Andrew Chapman

14 Cold-blooded fun


Chase Toler


Slither into the reptilian world of the Edisto Serpentarium for hands-on education about South Carolina’s fascinating wildlife.

Trevor Bauknight, Jennifer Jas, Jim Poindexter CONTRIBUTORS

Michael Banks, Abby Berry, Mike Couick, Hastings Hensel, Jan A. Igoe, L.A. Jackson, Sydney Patterson, Belinda Smith-Sullivan PUBLISHER

Lou Green


Updates from your cooperative


Mary Watts Tel: (803) 739‑5074 Email:


Follow these tips for cleaner clothes and lower utility bills.


American MainStreet Publications Tel: (512) 441‑5200 Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor.

We may not have realized it then, but those first-job experiences teach lasting lessons about innovation in the workplace.

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.

© COPYRIGHT 2021. The Electric Cooperatives 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.


$8 nonmembers

$5.72 members,

10 RECIPE Steak night

Good news: With just a few culinary tricks, you can create a “steak night” at home that rivals your favorite restaurant.

12 SC STORIES Sharing the story

Dawn Dawson-House, executive director of the WeGOJA Foundation, has big plans for sharing South Carolina’s African American heritage sites with the world.

18 MARKETPLACE 19 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 20 GARDENER Savoring squash blossoms


Believe it or not: Before squash plants bear fruit, they produce bright yellow flowers that are edible and tasty.

22 Member of the AMP network reaching more than 9 million homes and businesses


Don’t buy islands with cash

Before we start, let us make one thing perfectly clear: When it comes to money, you shouldn’t listen to Jan A. Igoe—unless you need a good laugh.


In cold blood Slither into the wild scene at Edisto Serpentarium




8 DIALOGUE Lessons from my first job

Let them eat steak HUMOR ME

Flipping coins

At the Edisto Serpentarium, a humble, harmless king snake helps educate families on the fascinating snakes and reptiles that call South Carolina home. Photo by Mic Smith.

SC | agenda YOUR CLOTHES WASHER AND DRYER account for a significant portion of energy consumption from major appliances, and let’s face it—­laundry is no one’s favorite chore. Make the most of your laundry energy with these tips from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Wash with cold water. Switching from warm water to cold water can cut energy use by more than half. By using a cold-water ­detergent, you can still achieve a brilliant clean. Wash full loads when possible. Your washing machine will use the

same amount of energy no matter the size of the clothes load, so fill it up if you can.

Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle in the washer. This

setting will remove more moisture before drying, reducing your drying time and the extra wear on clothing.

Dry heavier cottons separately. Loads will dry faster and more evenly if you separate heavier cottons like linens and towels from your lightweight clothing. Clean the lint filter after each drying cycle. If you use dryer sheets,

remember to scrub the filter once a month with a toothbrush to remove excess buildup. —ABBY BERRY

Don’t keep your refrigerator too cold. The Depart­ment of Energy recommends a temperature setting of 35 to 38 degrees for the fresh food compartment and zero degrees for the freezer. SOURCE: ENERGY.GOV 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


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Turn up the heat this summer R E A D E R R E P LY T R AV E L S W E E P S TA K E S

Register below, or online at YES! Enter me in the drawing for a $100 gift card. Name Address City State/ZIP Email* Phone* My electric cooperative is:

South Carolina Living, RRTS, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033 or Entries must be received by July 31, 2021, to be eligible. *Winner will be contacted to verify mailing address.


Sign up today for our July Reader Reply Travel Sweepstakes and your chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Use the mail-in form or visit We’ll draw the name of one lucky winner from all eligible entries received by July 31, 2021. By entering, you may receive messages from these great sponsors, and you agree to join the South Carolina Living email list. j Alpine Helen, White County, Ga. j Cheraw Visitors Bureau j City of York, Summerfest j Discover Upcountry Carolina Association j South Carolina Living magazine

Register online at 6


15 10:07 5:22 11:37 4:37 16 — 6:22 12:07 12:07 17 — 7:37 6:37 2:22 18 12:52 8:37 8:22 4:22 19 1:37 9:37 9:52 5:22 20 2:37 10:22 10:52 6:22 21 3:22 11:22 11:37 6:52 22 — 4:22 7:37 12:07 23 — 5:22 8:07 12:52 24 1:07 6:07 8:52 1:37 25 1:52 6:52 9:22 2:07 26 2:22 7:37 9:52 2:37 27 3:07 8:22 10:22 3:22 28 4:07 9:07 10:52 3:52 29 10:07 5:07 4:07 11:07 30 11:52 6:07 4:37 11:37 31 — 7:22 3:07 12:07

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SC   dialogue

Lessons from my first job with some of our staff, we began sharing first-job anecdotes. As you would expect, there were fast-food gigs and various positions at grocery stores and restaurants. Our chief financial officer jumped right into her future with a job at the local bank. No matter the position or the length of tenure—a few of my colleagues lasted less than a week at the drive-thru window—the stories were all told with smiles. Like many of my peers, I had jobs before I had a job—feeding cows and horses, baling hay, doing laundry. They were called chores. But that first job, where I worked for someone else, provided an understanding of the workplace and how to adapt to it. It was in the kitchen of a Shriner’s Club on the shore of Lake Wylie. The club hosted a lunch buffet every Sunday. We’d begin at 6 a.m. and wouldn’t be done until 4 p.m. that afternoon. The workplace education there was prolific. I learned things like just how much grease can accumulate in a kitchen and how to operate a deep-fat fryer. And how flouring the chicken made sweeping the floor a frequent necessity. It was constant motion. The only chance to stop was when the customers wanted to chat. They were interested in me as an individual and what I thought of the job. They even shared their own first-job experiences. My next job took me out of the kitchen to the 15 acres of grass that needed mowing each week. I’d start early in the morning on Monday and get to the last patch on Friday afternoon. By that time, however, where I’d started was often ready to be cut again. It certainly built strong legs and a strong back, but also a sense of patience. Constant work is just that—constant. It is never-ending, but it is valuable. As I watched my own children encounter the workplace, I learned new lessons. One of the biggest mistakes I made as a parent was guessing what career paths my children would choose. I thought I knew what would make them happy and fulfilled. For my eldest daughter, who is now 31, I predicted that working in public policy would suit her. I found out that, instead, she was good at selling shoes. She got a job at a local women’s RECENTLY, DURING A LUNCH


President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina



Just because technology has given us the capabilities to work wherever and whenever, doesn’t mean we should. shoe store and became their highest seller by the time she was 18. Public policy did not interest her, selling shoes did, and she is still in sales to this day. I learned that you can’t take what you like in a workplace and overlay it onto everybody else. It’s a lesson I’m still learning with my younger children. Instead of programming them for the future I see, I try to listen to what they are interested in. After all, they are going to be in a very different workplace than what I’ve experienced during most of my career. That is an evolution that we’ve all seen happen before our eyes during the COVID-19 pandemic. If nothing else, it taught us to be innovative. We’ve not only changed how we work but also how we judge work being done. It reminded us that we need a separation between work and life. Just because technology has given us the capabilities to work wherever and whenever, doesn’t mean we should. Cooperatives have been really good about making sure the work gets done and your power stays on. When it was necessary and when they could, portions of our staff worked from home. Line crews adjusted operation strategies to protect one another. Safety standards and practices never wavered, despite the obstacle of COVID-19. But cooperatives also make sure their employees experience the quality of life they are working so hard to provide for their members. Change is as constant as growing grass and our need for safe, reliable and affordable electricity. Cooperatives will continue to adapt and innovate to improve the quality of life for our communities and our employees.

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SC   recipe


Nothing a great can compare to going out for t bu l, steakhouse mea rtaink the family ente that treat can brea st a few od news: With ju ment budget. Go teak night” u can create a “s culinary tricks, yo rite any of your favo at home that rivals re tu add your signa ­restaurants. Just to complete salad and sides as the fe t!


Skirt steak is a very thin cut of beef that comes from the plate—between the brisket and the flank area—of the cow. Cook quickly over high heat, and serve medium-rare to medium. This cut is traditionally used for fajitas. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce Juice of one lime 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon cumin 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ fresh jalapeno, chopped ¼ cup chopped cilantro 1 skirt steak (or flank steak), about 1½ pounds Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large, sweet onion, halved and sliced 3 bell peppers of various colors, stemmed and sliced into strips Corn tortillas Guacamole, optional Pico de gallo, optional (recipe follows)

In a small bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro. Place steak in a shallow dish and coat with marinade and let sit for at least an hour at room temperature. Preheat grill to high. Wipe the marinade off the meat and season with salt and pepper. Grill steak on preheated grill 3–4 minutes per side for mediumrare. Remove from grill, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Saute onions and peppers until tender, about 5 minutes. Slice the steak across the grain at an angle for very thin slices. Move sauteed vegetables to one side of the skillet and place sliced meat on the other side. Serve directly from the skillet with corn tortillas, guacamole and pico de gallo. PICO DE GALLO MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

4 plum tomatoes, finely chopped 1 white onion, finely chopped 2–3 jalapenos, small diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic Juice of two limes ½ cup chopped cilantro Kosher salt

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight. How to warm tortillas. Place tortillas on a plate—five at a time—covered with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 30–60 seconds. Keep in a basket or tortilla warmer lined and covered with a large napkin—preferably cloth—until used. CHEF’S TIPS




Substitute beef cuts. If unable to find the exact steaks mentioned in these recipes, your butcher will be able to recommend cuts with comparable flavor and quality.






Flank steak is cut from the abdominal muscle of the cow. It can be cooked in a variety of ways—grilled, broiled and pan-seared. It is best cooked and served rare to medium.

2 pounds sirloin, cut into 2-inch pieces ¼ cup dark beer 2 tablespoons tamari sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar 4 10-inch wooden skewers

Kosher salt Fresh ground black pepper Olive oil Chimichurri sauce, bought or homemade (recipe follows)

Place sirloin pieces into a zip-close plastic bag. In a small measuring cup, add beer, tamari and brown sugar and stir to thoroughly combine. Pour over meat, seal and refrigerate until ready to grill or at least 30 minutes. When ready to grill, remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. In a large, flat bowl or baking dish, soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using. Preheat grill to medium-high. Season meat with salt and pepper and place on skewers. When grill is hot, wipe with olive oil using a brush or oilsoaked towel. Grill skewers for 5 minutes per side, rotating 45 degrees every 2½ minutes (to get “cross” grill marks) until temperature on meat thermometer reaches 130 degrees for medium-rare. Remove and let rest 5–10 minutes before serving. Plate and serve with chimichurri sauce. CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

cup olive oil ½ 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar ½ cup chopped parsley

1 small serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped 1 teaspoon dried oregano Kosher salt Fresh ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 24 hours.

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1 flank steak, butterflied Steak seasoning or salt and pepper 2 cups fresh baby spinach 4–6 slices provolone cheese (enough to cover) or 1–2 cups grated 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 pound mushrooms, sliced, sauteed and cooled ½ cup fresh oregano leaves (or thyme, basil, rosemary) 1 –2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F. To butterfly steak, use a filet/boning knife to make a lengthwise cut horizontally through the steak to within a half-inch of the opposite side. Open like a book, cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet (or bottom of a cast-iron skillet) until even in thickness. Remove plastic wrap. Season inside of steak. Cover to within 1 inch all around with spinach, cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms and oregano. Roll up with grain running lengthwise. Tie entire roll with kitchen twine about 1 inch apart. Season outside of steak. In a large cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. When hot, sear the stuffed steak on all sides until charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer, in skillet, to oven to finish cooking. Bake 25–30 minutes for medium-rare (130 F on an instant-read thermometer). Let rest 5–10 minutes before cutting. Remove twine before serving.


Also called butler’s steak, the flat iron is cut from the shoulder of the animal and is very flavorful. This cut is great for marinating and grilling. 3 large cloves garlic, 1 flat iron steak minced Kosher salt 3 scallions, chopped Fresh ground black 2 bay leaves, broken pepper into pieces 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 lemons, sliced thin

In a glass baking dish, season the steak all over with salt and pepper and rub with the olive oil. Cover the steak with the garlic, scallions, bay leaves and lemons—putting lemons under the steak as well. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator at least an hour before grilling. Preheat grill. Scrape off the seasonings and grill over high heat until medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5–10 minutes. Slice across the grain to serve.


These steak tips come from the sirloin cuts of beef—both roasts and steaks. They are perfect for skewering and grilling or sauteing. Beer is used in this recipe as a tenderizer. Root beer or ginger ale will also do the trick.





SC   stories

Sharing the story As a child growing up in the Lowcountry, Dawn Dawson-House enjoyed learning about the exploits of African American history makers, including South Carolina civil rights leader Rev. Joseph DeLaine and Robert Smalls, a former slave who represented the Palmetto State for five terms in Congress. Those lessons were learned at the family dinner table as well as at church and other social gatherings around her hometown. “The community of Beaufort won’t let you forget that African American history is important,” Dawson-House says. “Our teachers, our families, our festivals and events, you were surrounded by African American heritage. I found it interesting because it spoke to us.” Since January, Dawson-House has been the executive director of the WeGOJA Foundation, a nonprofit working to document and promote African American heritage sites throughout South Carolina. Pronounced we-GO-juh, the name is an acronym of principled words from the Yoruba and Wolof languages spoken by the people of western Africa who were brought to the Carolina colony and enslaved. That work is done through historical markers, listings on the National Register of Historic Places and entries in The Green Book of South Carolina online travel guide ( Teacher guides are provided for instructors, and a Family Reunion Toolkit was launched in April to encourage the large number of African American families who gather in South Carolina to incorporate historic site visits in their weekends. Dawson-House, who spent nearly 25 years in public relations for the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, believes there’s no time like the present to embrace the stories of our past. “The more we can share the story, the more we can convert interest into advocacy, and advocacy into activism, we can start telling our true story better,” she says. “It’s not just for tourism, but for the public’s full understanding and appreciation of history.” —MICHAEL BANKS PHOTO BY MILTON MORRIS



Dawn Dawson-House She recently accepted the job of executive director at the WeGOJA Foundation ( after a long career in communications with the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. ALMA MATER: Graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1985 with a degree in journalism. “I thought I was going to be the next Oprah Winfrey, but got out into the real world and realized I couldn’t pay rent.” FAVORITE STATE PARK: Landsford Canal State Park in Catawba with its “gently tumbling” whitewater and fields of rocky shoals spider lilies. “It’s a beautiful sight.” TIME TO UNWIND: Dawson-House enjoys Mexican food and spending time with friends and family. She and her husband of 26 years, William House, who works with the S.C. Attorney General’s office, are planning a train trip through the Canadian countryside. CLAIM TO FAME:

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CRUCIAL TO OUR ECOSYSTEM Snakes like this nonvenomous rat snake are found throughout South Carolina and help keep rodents under control.



a copper­head wrapped around a snake hook in his right, unfazed zookeeper Blake Milburn continues his educational snake talk at the Edisto Serpentarium by spitting out wisdom about venom. Many people believe the best way to tell a nonvenomous snake from a venomous one is to stare into the snake’s eyes. It’s not a safe or a foolproof method, but as a general rule of thumb, nonvenomous snakes have round pupils and venomous snakes have vertical pupils “like a cat’s eyes,” he says. “But I don’t suggest you get that close to a snake if you don’t know what it is.” More than 50 snake-obsessed and wide-eyed kids and their parents burst into laughter. Milburn’s talk seems to confirm a universal truth—not much else in the world, with the possible exception of animation and sugar, can quite capture a kid’s attention like a snake. When it’s question and answer time, the kids, brimming with inquisitiveness, nod excitedly as their hands shoot up in the air. The first one called on points out a caterpillar inching its way along a railing where the harmless corn snake now rests. “My money’s on the snake,” Milburn jokes, and the crowd erupts into even more laughter. In fact, it’s that exact blend of education and good humor that’s at the cold-blooded heart of the Edisto Serpentarium, the only facility in South Carolina dedicated exclusively to reptiles—the snakes, lizards, alligators and crocodiles that fill us with equal parts awe and fear, but which it turns out are essential to our livelihoods. “Snakes are very important to our ecosystem,” says the Serpentarium’s head zookeeper, Jessica Clamp McNeill. “They

EWWWWWW! Elsie Newton, 11, from Isle of Palms, gamely displays a ball python.

eat lots of things that need their population to be regulated— mice and rats, in particular. Snakes eat those things that can cause humans to get sick.” “But the other reason it’s important to have a knowledge of snakes is because there’s a lot of research when it comes to venom. They have been studying venom for years and years now for medical purposes. We’re big on that here.” She cites the fact that cottonmouth venom was once used to clot blood for hemophiliacs, and that all antivenom used to treat snake bites comes from the venom itself. She relates these snake-facts while standing in the middle of the Tropical Atrium—a perpetually toasty room that houses local venomous snakes (copperheads, cottonmouths, canebrake rattlesnakes, etc.), local nonvenomous snakes (corn snakes, black racers, etc.) and exotic species not found in South Carolina (Mojave rattle­ snakes, ball pythons, reticulated pythons, etc.). It’s the first uu

“ We’re trying to make sure people know why all these creatures are here and why they need to stay here.” — J ESSICA CLAMP MCNEILL, HEAD ZOOKEEPER (LEFT)




CHARMING THE CROWD Zookeeper Blake Milburn enthralls visitors during an educational talk at the Edisto Serpentarium.

Each day, the facility hosts special event programming, such as venom extractions, snake talks and alligator feedings. separate. They call it the rule of old world versus new world.” Indeed, if there’s one thing Jessica Clamp McNeill knows, it’s snakes. McNeill’s father and uncle—Teddy and Heyward Clamp—opened the Edisto Serpentarium to the public in 1999 when they moved to Edisto from Salley to start a conDISTANT COUSINS Snakes share struction business and brought their love of the serpentine the Edisto with them. Serpentarium “Heyward was the snake guy, and Teddy was an alligator with other reptiles guy, and they wanted to educate people on what they loved,” such as alligators and this bearded she says of how they started the “family business” and built dragon. the entire facility themselves. “It was just their passion and their thing. There’s no way to recreate the knowledge unless they share it, and I just happened to be the kid lucky enough to receive it.” stop visitors can peruse after paying admission in the gift shop, Each day, the facility hosts special event programming, and for most kids, it’s like stepping into a dream world. such as venom extractions, snake talks and alligator feedings. “What’s that?” asks one kid, pointing to a huge snake In fact, as she prepares for another lounging in a human-made river inside demonstration in which kids have the the atrium. GET THERE ultimate chance to hold an alligator for “That’s a green anaconda,” McNeill photographs, she says, “The more people answers. The Edisto Serpentarium is located at we can expand to and come see us and “Is it real?” 1374 Highway 174 in Edisto Island. our cool snakes, the better we are for “Everything you see in there is HOURS: Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday—Saturday. Spring and fall season the future. Because we’re also trying to real.” hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, make sure people know why all these “Is it alive?” Fridays and Saturdays. creatures are here and why they need to “Yep,” she laughs. Then sensing ADMISSION: $16.50 for adults and $12.50 stay here.” another education opportunity, she for children ages 4–12. Kids 3 and under Over by the king cobra tank, she strikes: “The green anaconda is a are free. adds, “A lot of people are afraid of species of boa. But we can’t put DETAILS: Visit or snakes and afraid of alligators, but to pythons in here because they don’t live call (843) 869-1171 for showtimes and more have an understanding of the cool stuff in the same part of the world, so they information. they’re around for? It’s awesome.” don’t get along. You have to keep them 16



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JULY 15–AUG 31  SC   calendar

Upstate JU LY

15  Opening Reception: Formation,

Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg. (864) 582‑7616. 21  Simpsonville Summer Music Series & Food Truck Rodeo: James Radford Band, CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 967‑9526, ext. 307 or 23  White Claw Concerts: St. Paul & the Broken Bones, TD Stage at the Peace Center, Greenville. (864) 467‑3000 or 28  Simpsonville Summer Music Series & Food Truck Rodeo: Chocolate Chip & Co., CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 967‑9526, ext. 307 or AU G U ST

1  White Claw Concerts: Aoife O’Donovan, TD Stage at the Peace Center, Greenville. (864) 467‑3000 or 6–7  Ed Brown’s Championship Rodeo, Rodeo Grounds on South Charleston Street, Blacksburg. (864) 839‑6239 or 6–8  Mauldin Theatre Company presents: In the Mood, Mauldin Cultural Center, Mauldin. (864) 335‑4862. 11  Simpsonville Summer Music Series & Food Truck Rodeo: Luke Smith Band, CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 967‑9526, ext. 307 or 12–15  Greenville Fashion Week, Main Street and the Courtyard Marriott Village Green, Greenville. (864) 704‑7710 or 13–15  Mauldin Theatre Company presents: In the Mood, Mauldin Cultural Center, Mauldin. (864) 335‑4862. 18  Simpsonville Summer Music Series & Food Truck Rodeo: Reservoir Dogs, CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 967‑9526, ext. 307 or 19  White Claw Concerts: Tommy Emmanuel, TD Stage at the Peace Center, Greenville. (864) 467‑3000 or 25  Simpsonville Summer Music Series & Food Truck Rodeo: Randomonium, CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 967‑9526, ext. 307 or 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. 27–28  Williamston Spring Water Festival, Mineral Spring Park, Williamston. (864) 847‑7361. 28  Issaqueena’s Flight for the Fight 5K, Ponderosa Park, Six Mile. 28  BlueWay Festival, Baker Creek State Park and Lake Thurmond, McCormick. (847) 400‑7298 or



Daily, July 15 to Aug. 8

My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, Centre Stage, Greenville. (864) 380‑1178. Tuesdays through Fridays until July 28  Jones Gap & Beyond

Exhibition by Bill Jameson, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Greenville. (864) 735‑3948.

Tuesdays through Fridays until July 28  Scars, Gravity &

Paint Exhibition by Randy Akers, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Greenville. (864) 735‑3948. Wednesdays through Sept. 29

Greenville Heritage Sound Check Concert Series, Peace Center Amphitheatre, Greenville. (864) 467‑3000 or Third Thursdays  ArtWalk, downtown cultural district, Spartanburg. (864) 542‑2787. Fridays until Aug. 27  Sounds of Summer Music Series, Commerce Park, Fountain Inn. (864) 724‑8044. First Fridays  First Fridays Open Studios, Mayfair Art Studios, Spartanburg. (864) 278‑3228 or

Midlands J ULY

16  Virtual Lunch and Learn: Applying Digital Image Analysis on Lowcountry Colonoware, virtual event hosted by Native American Studies Center at University of South Carolina–Lancaster, Lancaster. (803) 313‑7172 or 27  Banksia Tour, Aiken County Historical Museum, Aiken. (803) 642‑2015.

22  Japonisme in Charleston with Curator Sara Arnold, virtual event on Facebook Live hosted by Gibbes Museum of Art, based in Charleston. (843) 722‑2706. 26  The Voices of El Shaddai, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head Island. (843) 686‑3945. 30–Aug. 1  Low Country Summer Coin Show, Exchange Park Fairgrounds, Ladson. (843) 302‑6210. 31  Isle of Palms Beach Run, The Windjammer, Isle of Palms. (843) 886‑8294.

STICKY FUN Watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests, a parade and carnival rides are among the attractions at this year’s Pageland Watermelon Festival, July 15–17. 29  Contemporary Artist-in-

Residence Alex Osborn, virtual event hosted by Native American Studies Center at University of South Carolina– Lancaster, Lancaster. (803) 313‑7172 or View at 30–31  The Black Cowboy Festival, Greenfield Farm, Rembert. (803) 499‑9658 or AU GU ST

7  Hot Summer’s Night 5K/

Fun Run, Shandon Neighborhood, Columbia. (803) 799‑4786. 12–15  2021 South Carolina Women’s Open Golf Tournament and Open Pro-Am, Cobblestone Park Golf Club, Blythewood. (843) 757‑4653 or 20–21  Henry Shelor Sumter County Boy Scouts BBQ Cookoff, American Legion Post 15 Fairgrounds, Sumter. (803) 983‑9934 or 26  Ricky Skaggs, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑5179. 26–28  Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull, virtual event, based in Columbia. 27  The Modern Gentlemen, Newberry Opera House, Newberry. (803) 276‑5179. 27–28  Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo, Lazy “J” Arena, Edgefield. (803) 637‑5369 or 28  Summerfest, downtown, York. (803) 792‑8678 or


Saturdays until Oct. 2  Fairfield

Farmers and Artisans Market, downtown, Winnsboro. (803) 369‑1078 or fairfieldfarmersandartisansmkt@ Second Saturdays  The Edgefield Market, Oakley Park Museum and other venues, Edgefield. (870) 703‑0778 or

Lowcountry JU LY

13–18  Virtual Junior Society of Stranders, virtual event, based in North Myrtle Beach. 14  Movies in Bay Creek Park, Bay Creek Park, Edisto Island. (843) 869‑3867. 15  Live After 5, downtown, Beaufort. 15  Paddle with a Ranger, Colleton State Park, Walterboro. (843) 538‑8206. 15–17  Pageland Watermelon Festival, downtown, Pageland. (843) 672‑6400. 16–25  Beaufort Water Festival, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort. (843) 524‑0600 or 21  The Art of Jazz: Matthew White and the Super Villain Jazz Band, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston. (843) 722‑2706. 21–24  Edisto Invitational Billfish Tournament, The Marina at Edisto, Edisto Beach. (843) 869‑3867.

6  Paddle with a Ranger, Colleton State Park, Walterboro. (843) 538‑8206. 19  Virtual Storytime at the Gibbes, virtual event on Facebook Live hosted by Gibbes Museum of Art, based in Charleston. (843) 722‑2706. 19–22  Humanities Festival, venues to be determined, Horry County. (803) 771‑2477 or 21  Half Rubber Tournament, Isle of Palms Recreation Department, Isle of Palms. (843) 886‑8294 or 25  The Art of Jazz: Geoffrey Dean Trio, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston. (843) 722‑2706. ONGOING

Various dates through Aug. 27

Festival of Houses and Gardens, Morning History Walks, Old & Historic District, Charleston. (843) 722‑3405 or (843) 723‑1623.

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through July

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Walk, Edisto Beach State Park, Edisto Island. (843) 869‑4430.

Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 30

St. Phillips Island Excursion, Pier Nature Center at Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island. (843) 838‑2011.

Tuesdays through Sundays until Aug. 22  Mamma Mia!, Arts Center

of Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head Island. (843) 686‑3945. Wednesdays  Arts & Crafts Market, Bay Creek Park, Edisto Island. (843) 869‑3867.

Thursdays through Aug. 31

Surf Seining, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235‑8755. First Thursdays through December  Gullah Spirituals

(part of the Festival of Houses and Gardens Live Like a Local event series), Unitarian Church, Charleston. (843) 722‑3405 or (843) 723‑1623.




SC   gardener

Savoring squash blossoms

JULY IN THE GARDEN n To help prevent the proliferation of diseases and insects that thrive on the spent remnants of roses, rake up and trash any fallen flowers or foliage every week or two. Do not compost.




With proper mulching, consistent watering and the right amount of calcium, you can grow beautiful tomatoes without suffering the heartbreak of blossom end rot.

TIP OF THE MONTH Blossom-end rot—that yucky dark brown splotch on the bottom of an afflicted tomato—is the scourge of backyard growers everywhere, but can be prevented. It is caused by a calcium imbalance related to wild swings in soil moisture, so average out the ground water supply by adding a 3- to 4-inch-thick coating of mulch around plants. Also, irrigate regularly during the driest times—a maturing ’mater patch needs at least an inch of water a week. As extra insurance for unblemished fruit, check your local garden shop for commercial calciumlaced sprays specifically formulated to help stop blossom-end rot.


maturity in the strong summer sun, well-tended plants should be brimming with delectable veggies, meaning you can now reap the benefits by harvesting … and harvesting … and harvesting. Before you know it, you might be up to your neck in crookneck, straightneck, patty pan or zucchini fruit. But as much as you like squash, I’m sure you don’t want to eat it a zillion times or more a week until the first frosts of fall bite the summer vegetable garden. So, what to do? Pickle or freeze them? Give the excess away? Or, as an alternative, perhaps try a new way to savor this old garden-to-kitchen staple? Before squash plants bear fruit, they produce bright yellow flowers, which, believe it or not, are edible. And tasty. With a flavor like squash fruit but fainter, these blossoms are not strangers in fancy restaurants, being served raw in salads as well as sauteed, fried or baked for elegant side dishes. Interested? Don’t chomp on a mouthful of flowers just yet—let’s go over a few basics first, starting with insecticides. If you insist on spraying your veggies with commercial bug killers, only apply sprays that are cleared for garden edibles, and even then, try to limit their use. Also, as is common with the botanical birds and bees, squash plants have male and female flowers. The he-blooms are typically perched on extended stems, while the she-blooms nestle closer to the bases of leaf stalks. There are usually many more male flowers than female blossoms, so if you want to also maintain a consistent crop of squash fruit through the growing season, go for some of the boys first. Although overall squash production



n Continue wiping and refilling the birdbath at least once a week. Thirsty birds will appreciate it, of course, but you will, too, in a different way because the shallow bowl of an unattended birdbath is a fantastic skeeter breeder.

Who knew? Squash flowers are not only beautiful, but edible and can liven up your summer salads.

If you insist on spraying your veggies with commercial bug killers, only apply sprays that are cleared for garden edibles, and even then, try to limit their use. will be reduced, female flowers can be picked as well. To make these blooms more interesting edibles, wait until a baby squash grows to about one or two inches long on each blossom base before harvesting. Kitchen prep is pretty simple: Examine the flowers for bugs, especially bumblebees—I can’t tell you how many times I have found these buzzers blissfully asleep in blossoms—snip out any pistils or stamens tucked inside the blooms, and wash the petals. Then, let culinary creativity be your guide. I have enjoyed lightly fried squash flowers with ranch dressing as a nifty ­appetizer myself, but if you search the internet for “squash blossoms,” you will find a ton of tantalizing recipes to try! L.A. JACKSON is the former editor of Carolina Gardener magazine. Contact him at


SC   humor me

Don’t buy islands with cash BY JAN A. IGOE


tax, they would slit your nose Jack Nicholson-style. Vikings don’t offer installment plans. Next time you hear “pay through the nose,” you know who to thank. Today, there’s cryptocurrency, which lives up in the cloud beside all the data we lost. You can’t see it, touch it or put it in your wallet, but it must be a good thing because Mark Cuban and Elon Musk own tons of it. But where did it start? According to, credit goes to Satoshi Nakamoto, who may or may not actually exist. (No red flag there.) In 2009, virtual currency was born as bitcoin with no government or bank to back it. It’s strictly peer-to-­whoever understands geek speak. To me, bitcoin sounds like the best way to pay for any bridge a stranger in a plaid suit might be trying to sell you. Today, bitcoin has competitors. Musk prefers Dogecoin, which he plans to put on the moon, per his tweets. Before we get too excited about another billionaire’s ideas, let’s remember that this one named his kid “X Æ A-12.” So, that’s the history of money summarized by a cantaloupe whose checkbook remains a mathematical enigma. But I warned you not to listen to me. I would have stuck with shells.


BEFORE WE START, let me make one thing perfectly clear: When it comes to money, you shouldn’t listen to me. If you need foolproof advice on how to make the worst possible investment at the most precarious time, I’m your girl. But my brain is not wired to comprehend non-fungible tokens, blockchains and the crypto­currency I’m about to explain. Even my credit reports baffle me. My score bounces up five points one day, then dives three the next, like it hiccuped. According to Equifax, there are two reasons for this phenomenon. Things in my favor: Excellent on-time payment history. Things working against me: Late payments. Wait, you just said … and what late payments? Since the invention of autopay—which is right up there with the wheel in my book—even ­creative types with the clerical aptitude of a ­cantaloupe can’t screw it up. And did the credit wizards give me extra points for buying a Hobbit-sized house (Frodo’s, I think) and paying it off? That’s no small feat for a single writer who didn’t divorce well. But no, now they’re cranky that there are no real estate loans in my vast portfolio. I’ll bet those dumb billionaires who pay cash for their private islands don’t realize what it does to their credit. Take that, Elon. Let’s take a brief tour of high finance. In the beginning, we bartered and kept things simple. If you gave me a cow, I’d give you a daughter. That worked for millions of years. Then we had to complicate it. Enter, cowrie shells. The shells were first used as currency in 1200 B.C. They were easier to carry

Vikings don’t offer installment plans. Next time you hear “pay through the nose,” you know who to thank. than cows and much shinier. The further you were from the source of the shells, the more valuable they were. So if you owned three shells and moved to Idaho, you’d be rich. Through the centuries, we’ve used everything from deerskin to precious metals as currency. When paper money became a thing, China led the way. They even printed fortunes on the money, and the fortunes inevitably came true: “Those caught counterfeiting will be decapitated.” China wasn’t known for subtlety, but clarity is useful here. In ninth century Ireland, the Vikings were clear, too. If you didn’t pay their


JAN A. IGOE considered a career in finance, before being reminded that she has the attention span of a gnat and no left brain whatsoever. That’s OK. Mark Cuban probably can’t draw cartoons. Join us at anytime. Thanks for reading!

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