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THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Vol. 68 • No. 6 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in more than 470,000 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) 926-3 1 75 Fax:  (803) 796-6064 Email: letters@scliving.coop EDITOR

Keith Phillips ASSISTANT EDITOR

Diane Veto Parham FIELD EDITOR

Walter Allread PUBLICATION COORDINATOR

Pam Martin

ART DIRECTOR

June 2014 • Volume 68, Number 6

FEATURE

16 Show time Christian entertainment takes center stage at Fort Mill’s NarroWay Theatre. Katie Clark McFry prepares for her role as a demon in NarroWay Theatre’s Lord of Light.

Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

Susan Collins

4 CO-OP CONNECTION

PRODUCTION

Cooperative news

Andrew Chapman WEB EDITOR

COPY EDITOR

Susan Scott Soyars Contributors

Becky Billingsley, Mike Couick, Jim Dulley, Whit Gibbons, Stephanie Green, Carrie Hirsch, Carole Howell, Jan A. Igoe, Charles Joyner, Susan Hill Smith, S. Cory Tanner Publisher

Lou Green

6 ON THE AGENDA

Get ready for summer peach festivals. Plus: Hurricane season starts this month. Are you prepared?

POWER USER DIALOGUE

Advertising

Mary Watts Tel: (803) 739-5074 Email: ads@scliving.coop National Representation

National Country Market Tel:  (800) NCM-1181

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 201 4. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor.

ENERGY Q&A

12 Installing a geothermal

heat pump

They cost more to install, but geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. SMART CHOICE

14 Tools of the trade

Starting a home-improvement project? Make sure you have the right tools for the job.

22

SCENE

22 Snakes alive!

A summer field guide to South Carolina’s intriguing venomous reptiles. GARDENER

26 Simple seed-saving solutions

Enjoy your favorite heirloom fruits and vegetables year after year with these seed-saving tips. TR AVELS

28 For the love of tea

Tour the Charleston Tea Plantation and learn the secrets hidden at America’s only commercial tea garden.

28

RECIPE

SHOW

SC SC E N E

Snakes alive! HUMOR ME

Coughing up for scans

Tim Henderson plays Ezekiel in a performance at NarroWay Theatre, a nonprofit Christian playhouse in Fort Mill. Photo by Mic Smith.

Steak salad with corn and tomatoes Grilled ratatouille medley Grilled chicken Caesar salad Peaches ’n’ cream backyard BBQ HUMOR ME

38 To $can or not to scan

Jan A. Igoe on the delicate art of negotiating better rates for health-care services.

34 MARKETPLACE 36 SC EVENTS

26 S. Cory Tanner

Member of the NCM network of publications, reaching more than 7 million homes and businesses

Discover how a Summerville teen’s backyard gardening project grew into a national nonprofit organi­zation that feeds the hungry.

30 Hot off the grill

ON WITH THE Christian theater takes center stage in Fort Mill

Printed on recycled paper

STORIES

21 Gardening for good

Mic Smith

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING 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.

Learn how South Carolina’s electric cooperatives reduced work-related accidents by 75 percent.

SC LIFE

J.D. Willson

Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor.

10 Putting safety first

Mic Smith

Van O’Cain


On the Agenda For a listing p m co lete s, see of Event 6 page 3

Highlights

TOP PICK FOR KIDS

JUNE 28

Riverfest

Here’s a slimy yet satisfying way to celebrate summer: Plunge into the Jell-O Jump at Conway’s Riverfest. Whether divers emerge with one of the hidden balls or simply covered in goo, everybody wins. Other kidsized fun includes pony rides, inflatables and face painting, and the whole family will enjoy the patriotic golf cart parade, lighted nighttime boat parade on the Waccamaw River, and fireworks extravaganza. For details, visit conwayscchamber.com or call (843) 248-2273.

JUNE 13–22

Chautauqua History Alive

Got a burning question you’d love to ask Harry Truman or Clara Barton? Here’s your chance. Historical interpreters portraying Truman, Barton, Robert Smalls and Patrick Henry will perform for and interact with audiences in more than 25 free shows at this 10-day festival in Greenville and surrounding areas. Leonard Bernstein fans will enjoy the music, stories and conversations in a special workshop focused on the composer/conductor. For details, visit greenvillechautauqua.org or call (864) 244-1499.

JUNE 19–21

S.C. Festival of Flowers

Greenwood’s in bloom for its annual flowerfest, and the not-to-be-missed focal point is the uptown array of living sculptures—​41 topiaries shaped like a mama elephant and her baby, roaring tiger, safari Jeep, and more, plus two new designs that debut this year. If you like wine with your art, mark your calendar for the Friday evening Topiaries and Tastings Wine Walk. Catch a “Flower Power” session with PBS horticulturist Joe Lamp’l on Saturday. For details, visit scfestivalofflowers.org or call (864) 223-8411, ext. 232.

Ag + Art Tour

Summer is the perfect time to feel warm and fuzzy about peaches, and that’s the plan in Edgefield and Lexington counties. Trenton holds its 44th annual Ridge Peach Festival on June 21 in its Town Park, with plenty of fresh peaches, plus peach preserves, jams, jellies and ice cream, and day-long entertainment. Lexington County’s 56th Peach Festival is a Fourth of July celebration in Gilbert Community Park that promises peachy treats and a fireworks finale.

Sample art and agriculture side by side as you wend your way through Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster and York counties on a free, selfguided tour of farms and artisans. With 48 farms and farmers markets—each with a visual or musical artist doing demonstrations on site—the event has grown to be the largest free farm tour in the nation. Plan to buy fresh produce and original artworks to take home.

For details, visit lexingtoncountypeachfestival.com or call (803) 892-5207; ridgepeachfestival.com or call (803) 275-9487.

For details, visit agandarttouryc.com or call (800) 968-5909.

JUNE 21 and JULY 4

Peach parties

6

JUNE 21–22

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop


Email COMMENTS, QUESTIONS AND Story suggestions TO LETTERS@SCLIVING.COOP

Hunley update

A nice, long soak Researchers seeking to solve the mystery of the Civil

Mic Smith

War submarine H.L. Hunley are one step closer to uncovering the vessel’s last remaining secrets. Conservation of the 40-foot submarine entered a new phase in May when workers replaced the water inside the Hunley’s 76,000-gallon conservation tank with a sodium hydroxide solution. The chemical bath The Hunley inside the 76,000-gallon conservation tank will loosen the hard layer of sand, shell and of the Warren Lasch Conservation Center. DEEp sECRETs corrosion that formed during 136 years on the seafloor off Sullivan’s Island. Within months, The eventual goal of the Deep secrets For more conservators will begin chiseling away this outer project is to stabilize the information on the Hunley and the conservation shell and expose the iron hull and interior surwreck and put it on display project, read the article “Deep in a North Charleston faces of the sub for the first time since 1864. secrets” online at SCLiving.coop. museum, but that outcome “Losing an artifact as historically important as is still years away. Removing the conthe Hunley is simply not an option,” says Nestor Gonzalez, assistant director of Clemson University’s Warren Lasch cretion will take about a year, and scientists estimate it will Conservation Center. “Conserving something this large and take another five to seven years of soaking in the chemical complex has never been done before, and it took years of solution to extract all the corrosive salts from the metal. planning to get us to this point.” In the meantime, visitors are still welcome to tour the The fate of the hand-cranked vessel, the first submaWarren Lasch Conservation Center and see the Hunley inside its conservation tank during weekend tours offered rine to sink an enemy ship in combat, has been a matter on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from of speculation since it vanished after a successful mission noon to 5 p.m. against the USS Housatonic on the night of Feb. 17, 1864. Divers found the Confederate sub intact and buried on the For more information, contact Friends of the Hunley at (843) 743-4865, seafloor in 1995, launching an unprecedented archaeologiext. 10, or visit hunley.org. cal conservation project. Solving the mystery of the H.L. Hunley

SC Sto r i e S

Dwelling in the past

SC tr av e l S

Secrets of the Maya

Humor me

February 2013

Kicking the bucket list

Are you ready for hurricane season?

NOAA

Even though the 2013 hurricane season proved to be mild, forecasters are predicting an about-face for 2014. Global Weather Oscillations (GWO), a leading hurricane and climatecycle prediction company, predicts 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes this year between June and November, with peak activity likely from mid-August to late October. Are you prepared for a busy storm season? If not, here are a few tips to get you started. Before the storm:

During the storm:

and plan. Communicate the plan with your family. n Learn your community hurricane evacuation routes. n Know the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you prepare for the storm surge and any tidal flooding. n Secure your home. Cover all windows with either storm shutters or boards, clear loose and clogged rain gutters, and bring all outdoor furniture indoors.

information. n Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, keep the refrigerator thermostat on the coldest setting and keep the doors closed.

n Put together an emergency kit

n Listen to the radio or TV for

After the storm:

n Keep away from loose or

dangling power lines, and report them immediately to your local electric cooperative. Always assume a downed power line is carrying a lethal charge of electricity, and stay well away.

n Drive only if necessary, and

avoid flooded roads. Watch out for fallen objects, downed power lines and weakened bridges. n Never use a generator inside your home or garage where deadly levels of carbon monoxide can build up quickly. Use generators to power specific appliances. Do not connect a generator to your home’s wiring or you may create dangerous conditions for the crews working to restore power.

 energy

efficiencytip  

When replacing incandescent bulbs from ­recessed light fixtures, use energy-efficient bulbs that are rated for that purpose. For example, the heat buildup in downlights will significantly shorten the life of spiral CFLs. Source: Department of Energy

Hurricane warnings For more tips on storm safety, read

the article “Preparing for the worst” online at SCLiving.coop.

scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

7


Email COMMENTS, QUESTIONS AND Story suggestions TO LETTERS@SCLIVING.COOP

On the Agenda O n ly o n

Carpenter formally approved for Medal of Honor

SCLiving.coop

BONUS VIDEO

It’s official: Retired Marine Kyle Carpenter will receive the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony scheduled for June 19. Carpenter was nominated for the military’s highest commendation for his actions during a Taliban grenade attack in Afghanistan on Nov. 21, 2010. While manning a security post at a remote patrol base in the Helmand Province, Carpenter smothered the grenade with his body in an attempt Gamecock Warrior For to save his friend and fellow Marine, more on Kyle Carpenter’s Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio. amazing story, read “Gamecock The explosion blew away most Warrior” online at SCLiving.coop. of Carpenter’s jaw and teeth, destroyed his right eye and caused massive trauma to his right arm. He nearly died twice during the next 24 hours as triage medics and doctors raced to keep him alive and patch his body back together. After 40-plus surgeries, countless hours of physical therapy and more than two years in the hospital, Carpenter medically retired from the Marine Corps in July 2013. Now a University of South Carolina freshman, Carpenter understands the enormous responsibility that comes with the commendation. “The light is on me right now, but I’m hoping what happened to me will help remind people that things like this happen every day and people don’t see it,” he says. “I’ll uphold its reputation and what it means to the best of my ability. I’ll try to make the people who got it before me proud, and I’ll wear it for my buddies who didn’t make it back.”

Jonathan Sharpe

BONUS ARTICLE

Mic Smith

Snakes alive! Wildlife biologist Whit Gibbons introduces us to two of South Carolina’s most venomous snakes.

Come slither. Learn more about our state’s intriguing reptiles and what to do if you see a snake in the wild.

INTERACTIVE FEATURES Cooking up cash. Got a recipe you’d like to share with our readers? Use the handy online form at SCLiving.coop/food/recipes to submit your best original dish. If we publish it, we’ll send you a $10 BI-LO gift card. Get our free newsletter. Sign up today for our email news­ letter and get the latest stories, recipes, photos, videos and contest invitations from South Carolina Living delivered right to your inbox.

Like us on Facebook Our Facebook page celebrates all that’s great about living in South Carolina. Join the conversation and share your photos at facebook.com/SouthCarolinaLiving.

S.C.RAMBLE!

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.

By Charles Joyner, See Answer ON Page 35

Match Boxes Solve these multiplication problems and write your answers in the box tops, one digit to each box. Then match boxes to spell out the name of a Calhoun County town.

Minor

3

0

5

1

4

6

9

2

t

n

u

o

r

l

s

e

2

2

E

E

A

Reader Reply contest winner Congratulations to Rachelle Gilmore of Santee, winner of April’s Reader Reply contest: two nights at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. 8

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

AM Major

Minor

PM Major

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

Minor

AM Major

Minor

PM Major

July 1 3:22 8:22 10:22 3:07 2 4:07 9:07 10:52 3:37 3 10:07 5:22 4:22 11:22 4 11:52 6:22 5:07 12:07 5 — 7:37 2:07 6:07 6 12:52 8:37 7:37 3:52 7 1:37 9:22 9:07 4:52 8 2:37 10:22 10:22 5:52 9 3:22 11:07 11:07 6:22 10 4:22 11:37 12:07 7:07 11 — 5:07 7:37 12:22 12 12:52 5:52 8:22 1:07 13 1:37 6:52 8:52 1:52 14 2:22 7:37 9:37 2:37 15 3:22 8:37 10:07 3:07 16 9:37 4:07 10:37 3:52


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9


Dialogue

Putting safety first The lineworkers who keep your electric

Mike Couick

President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina

10

c­ ooperative humming 24 hours a day, seven days a week are special breed. On good days, they face the risk of serious injury and even death from energized power lines, heavy equipment and careless motorists. On bad days, such as those following major storms, they also battle the elements and the fatigue of extended shifts as crews work round-the-clock to restore electric service to co-op members. Keeping lineworkers safe has been a priority for South Carolina’s electric co-ops since the first crews began stringing lines across rural South Carolina some 75 years ago. After all, your employees have never been a nameless, faceless workforce—they have always been your friends, neighbors and relatives. They are, in every sense of the word, family. A little more than a year ago, we issued a challenge to our co-ops: To mark the 75th anniversary of cooperatives in South Carolina, could they reduce loss-time accidents among employees by 75 percent at 75 percent of our co-ops. To say this goal was ambitious would be an understatement, but our co-ops all embraced this renewed emphasis on safety. One year later, I am pleased to report that as of May 1, 2014, we achieved our goal, reducing the number of loss-time accidents from 28 the previous year to just seven. This unprecedented safety drive was spearheaded by Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training at The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, but the credit for the results goes to every co-op employee who went the extra mile to ensure safer working conditions. “Reducing the number of accidents by this magnitude tells us something important: Co-op employees committed themselves to this program 100 percent,” Carter says. “There’s no way we would have reached this goal unless every co-op made safety its top priority. This was a total team effort across the state.” Prospects for a successful “75 by 75 for 75” campaign faced a serious obstacle in the

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

immediate aftermath of February’s devastating winter storm. Some service areas endured historic damage, more than the destruction caused by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and South Carolina co-op crews logged more than 500,000 work-hours in extremely dangerous conditions. Another 300,000 work-hours were logged by out‑of-state crews.

‘Reducing the number of accidents by this magnitude tells us something important: Co-op employees committed themselves to this program 100 percent.’ —Todd Carter, vice president of loss control and training, ECSC

“To maintain the safety goal after one of the most destructive storms in a generation is amazing to me,” Carter says. “So many things can go wrong in those situations. The fact that the safety goal survived the storm is a testament to the dedication of our employees.” While the year-long challenge period is up, the heightened culture of safety it inspired will continue among cooperatives as we work to maintain and improve 70,000 miles of distribution line running through all 46 counties of the state. Our mission has always been to provide affordable, reliable electricity to members, but as we’ve reminded ourselves during this campaign, the most important way we serve our communities is making sure our employees get home safe at the end of every workday.


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EnergyQ&A

BY jim Dulley

Installing a geothermal heat pump

Q A

I have an old propane furnace and central air conditioner in my home. I was thinking of replacing them with a geothermal heat pump. What do I need to know?

James Dulley

GetMore The following companies offer geothermal heat pump systems: Climate Master, (877) 436-6263, climatemaster.com Econar GeoSystems, (800) 432-6627, gogogeo.com Hydro-Temp, (800) 382-3113, hydro-temp.com WaterFurnace, (800) 436-7283, waterfurnace.com

12

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

WaterFurnace

A geothermal heat pump is an extremely efficient way to heat and cool your home with a single unit, but the cost of installing the system is much higher than the cost of installing a traditional air-source heat pump, and not every home has the proper soil needed to make geothermal a viable option. Geothermal heat pumps use liquid-filled piping buried underground in place of the outdoor condenser unit found on air-source heat pumps. Since the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature year-round, this is an extremely efficient way to disperse heat in the summer and absorb heat in the winter, provided your lot has the appropriate space and terrain. During winter, the heating output of a geothermal system does not drop as it gets colder outdoors, and homeowners rarely have to rely on the expensive backup electric resistance heating, but the real efficiency advantages are seen in the summer. In cooling mode, geoThis variable-speed geothermal heat pump thermal heat pumps have an energy uses a desuperheater efficiency ratio (EER) as high as 41. to trap waste heat and This is more than twice as efficient as assist the traditional water heater. the best new air-source heat pumps and central air conditioners. The natural efficiency of a geothermal heat pump can be enhanced by upgrading to high-end variable-speed compressors and blowers that allow the system to respond to thermostat settings for maximum comfort. By constantly varying the heating or cooling output and blower speeds,

Ground loops exchange heat with the ground. These examples show a long, horizontal ground loop placed in a 5-foot-deep trench (above) and several 150-foot-deep holes drilled into the ground. A certified loop installer can determine your system’s best configuration based on factors including lot size and geology.

these systems can run in longer, slower and quieter cycles to achieve desired temperature and humidity levels. The next step down in comfort and efficiency is a model with a two-stage compressor. Most of the time, it runs at the lower output speed. When it cannot efficiently heat or cool your house to the desired thermostat setting, it automatically switches to the higher speed. Another option to consider if you decide to install a geothermal system is a desuperheater. This upgrade traps waste heat and diverts it to your water heater, lowering your utility bills even more. Even though the installed cost of a geothermal heat pump system is much higher—the total cost will vary depending on the type of ground loop needed—there is a 30-percent federal tax credit available on systems installed by the end of 2016. Homeowners who can afford the upfront costs of a geothermal system can also expect to make back the price difference through energy savings over the life of the unit. Send questions to Energy Q&A, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, email energyqa@scliving.coop or fax (803) 739-3041.


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13


SmartChoice

By Becky BILLINGSLEY

ome Tackling a h ject? ro p t n improveme r proper fo lls Success ca ht and the rig preparation . b jo e tools for th

Tools of the trade

SPEED BUILD Ready for action? Your new shed, tree house or deck shapes up fast with a Paslode CF325 Li-ion Cordless Framing Nailer. It drives up to three nails per second and delivers 6,000 nails per battery charge. $399. (800) 466-3337; homedepot.com.

GET IT DONE CRAFTY CUTTING When the devil is in the details, the Dremel MS20-01 Moto-Saw Kit makes precision cuts simpler. Use it on its base as a scroll saw, or detach it to use as a portable motorized coping saw. The kit comes with 10 blades that can cut wood, laminate, PVC, Plexiglas or even thin metal. $99. (800) 935-1340; cporotarytools.com.

VERSA-TOOL It sands, it scrapes, it polishes, it trims, it cuts. With 29 attachments, what can’t the 12-volt Rockwell Oscillating Tool Kit do? This cordless multi-tool comes with two batteries, a 30-minute charger, five saw attachments and 20 sandpaper pads to keep your projects powering forward. $101. (866) 639-9320; vminnovations.com.

SUCK IT UP

THE PRESSURE’S ON

DOWN WITH DUST Construction debris doesn’t stand a chance against the Bosch Dust Extraction 9-gallon Vacuum Automatic Cleaner. A handy tool-activation port triggers the vacuum to suck up the byproducts while you cut, drill or sand. $599. (800) 242-4424; ohiopowertool.com.

COOL TOOL Once you’ve given the car a good wash in the driveway, blast stubborn stains off the cement itself with the Karcher X-Series Water-Cooled Electric Pressure Washer. Pumping 1.4 gallons per minute at 2,000 PSI, it includes a Dirtblaster rotary spray wand that powers grunge off bricks, concrete, stone and metal. $300. (800) 221-0516; northerntool.com.

RUGGED PORTABILITY Rough terrain won’t bother the sturdy, wheeled Ridgid 31693 Wet/Dry Vac. It can suction about a gallon of water per second with its 6.5-horsepower motor and store up to 16 gallons. The three-layer filter traps even fine drywall dust. $203. (877) 640-1208; build.com.

QUICK CLEANUP Here’s a cleaning tool that’s going places— the Vacmaster VP205 Portable Wet/ Dry Vacuum. Designed to be portable for small jobs, like cleaning car carpets, sucking up dirt from a tipped planter, or removing pet hair from a sofa, it can also blow up pool toys and inflatable beds. $30. (800) 549-4505; sears.com. 14

POWER SURGE The brushless motor in the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Cordless Hammer Drill/Driver Kit runs cool and quiet and delivers up to 350 inch-pounds of peak torque in a lightweight package. The kit includes two battery packs, so your projects don’t have to wait for a recharge. $190. (800) 221-0516; northerntool.com.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

TURBO WASH Check pressure washing off the to-do list quickly with a Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer that boosts power up to 50 percent with its turbo nozzle. It delivers a cleaning force at 1,700 PSI and 1.2 gallons per minute. At that rate, the back deck, lawn furniture and grill will be clean in no time. $159. (800) 466-3337; homedepot.com.

DURABLE WORKHORSE The Pressure-Pro Professional 1,500-PSI Pressure Washer provides quiet strength and tackles tough jobs with ceramic components in an aircraft-aluminum frame. Five quick-connect nozzles let you shape the spray, and you can adjust the pressure as needed. $900. (866) 618-9274; pressurewashersdirect.com.


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Show Smoke billows from a dark pit at stage right, wrapped in an eerie, red glow. A menacing aura hovers over the stage, where demons crawl up from the depths of hell to do battle with God’s angels. Bursts of pyrotechnic flames erupt in the shadowy fringes of the theater. Swords clang and clash, bodies fall, and a chorus of celestial warriors boldly sings out Jesus’ triumph over the grave. Music booms through the theater, vibrating rows of seats where an audience roots for good to defeat evil. Their cheers and applause greet a white-robed Jesus, who strides downstage and pumps a victorious fist in the air. Not your typical Easter drama, but the action‑packed Lord of Light is an annual favorite at Fort Mill’s NarroWay Theatre. Nearly every weekend of the year, NarroWay stages original, Broadway-style musicals, themed with a Christian message and presented with all the pizzazz its cast and crew can muster. Busloads of church groups, senior citizen groups and other tourists roll in, filling the 334-seat theater—some 25,000 visitors a year, from at least 38 other states and several other countries. And yet plenty of folks closer to home, on daily commutes or on their way to nearby 16

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

mega-park Carowinds, drive right past the modest little theater without even noticing it—leaving NarroWay with the frustrating distinction, after 17 years in business, of being one of South Carolina’s best-kept secrets.

NarroWay style

Among the handful of Christian theater companies across the U.S., the nonprofit NarroWay Productions has its own unique personality. The grandly scaled shows are all original, created by writer/director Rebecca Martin and scored by composer/conductor Yvonne “Birdie” Clark, NarroWay’s founders. They call their productions “the Broadway of Christian entertainment,” but some of what they offer is unlikely to be found in Big Apple theaters. Audiences here get dinner with their shows, themed to suit the play: ribs when the story involves Adam and Eve; fried chicken, cornbread and cobbler for a tale set in rural Tennessee; a traditional turkey dinner


w time Behind the scenes at NarroWay Productions BY DIANE VETO PARHAM Photography by Mic Smith

at Christmas shows. The all-volunteer cast serves meals and cleans up before scurrying backstage to don ­costumes while Martin and Clark personally greet their audience. Audience participation is invited. Performers leave the stage to weave among the crowd. Depending on the show, they may welcome you to share communion or dance to the “Tennessee Waltz.” Every production features at least one live animal, well trained and cared for in a barn behind the theater. A camel, a horse, and a menagerie of goats, pigs, sheep and donkeys live together peaceably. “We don’t have a lion,” Clark jokes, “but if we did, the lion would lie down with the lambs.” Biblical concepts recur in their stories: Sin and hell are harsh realities, but heaven is just as real. God loves you. Scripture is pertinent in your life. But most shows revolve around common human experiences—death, Cory Hussman of Charlotte plays the angel Gabriel, doing battle with Satan (Ericka Ross) and his demons in a climactic scene from Lord of Light. The show focuses on the three days between Jesus’ death and resurrection.

grief, infidelity, guilt, discrimination, love. Historical settings include 1920s Tennessee, post-WWII America, the Civil Rights era. “People think they’re going to get hit over the head with the Bible,” NarroWay’s director of marketing, Nathan Ramsay, says. “But you don’t have to be a Christian to see it. If you’ve never heard the Bible before, you can come and see a great show and learn about love and forgiveness.”

Professional volunteers

Picky. Sticklers. Persnickety. Perfectionists. These words come up often when people talk about the shows Martin and Clark produce. Martin adheres to the theory that it’s not practice that makes perfect; it’s perfect practice that makes perfect. scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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Show t im e

Yvonne “Birdie” Clark conducts the musical elements of NarroWay’s shows, while partner Rebecca Martin writes the scripts and directs. Assisting in the control booth are volunteer Skylar Noblezada (far left) and theater manager Lora McCoy (far right).

“You better not think a miracle will happen and God will give you the words at the last minute,” Martin warns her rehearsing cast. “It’s never happened yet.” From her perch in the control booth, Clark deftly runs the sound console and monitors 30 live mics on stage, softly singing along as she conducts each song, miming the performers’ hand gestures, her well-orchestrated soundtrack resonating through the theater. Nearby, Martin mouths the actors’ lines and scrutinizes every movement on stage. She maintains a running online chat with the stage manager to correct anything that goes amiss during a show. A set piece is out of place; fix it before someone trips. Mic number three is fading;

change the batteries first chance you get. Stage manager Russ Cratty of Fort Mill says that attention to detail “runs downhill—we all get nitpicky, too!” “We don’t call ourselves volunteers,” says cast member Jeff Romano of Fort Mill. “We are volunteers who are professionally trained, because Rebecca and Birdie demand quality.” Martin readily admits a quest for excellence in every cast member, be they 8 or 80, whether they are performing on stage or delivering dinner trays. “The cast and staff have no motivation to be here other than to serve and love and show the love of God,” Martin says. “The only pay they will get is a smile from the audience who appreciates what they have done or knowing they pleased God.” It’s a big commitment of time and energy for people who work or go to school all week, then spend weeknights in rehearsals and weekends in shows, memorizing songs, lines and choreography—and serve the meals, mop floors and clean toilets at the theater. “Rebecca says entertainment is changing the world, and we’re doing our best to change entertainment—that’s a powerful thing for me,” Romano says. When he gets tired and wonders why he’s doing this, he reminds himself, “Oh, yeah, we’re trying to change the world.”

Behind the scenes

Tim Henderson of Catawba, S.C., serves dinner to the audience before filling multiple roles in Lord of Light, including Ezekiel in Act 1 and a remorseful prisoner of hell in Act 2.

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

In the lobby, today’s audience mills around the gift shop, waiting for the show to begin. In the kitchen, dinner plates are getting final touches. On stage, cast and crew have gathered briefly to swap stories from yesterday’s show—funny mishaps, special moments with audience members. It’s their time to share faith and encouragement, to laugh and refocus. One actor says his family has come to see today’s show;


‘You never know who it’s going to touch, but it happens every show.’ —Cast member Jeff Romano

Hope Phelps of Charlotte applies Ericka Ross’ Satan makeup (above, top). Phelps and her family are frequent participants at NarroWay, performing on stage and helping behind the scenes. The brightly colored creation scene features a parade of plants and animals, including Adaiah Paul as the lion (orange costume, above). Below, the cast performs “By Faith” in the final scene of The Gospel According to Tennessee, NarroWay’s current production.

Ken Rice

he hopes the message will mean something to them. Martin leads a prayer for this day’s audience, this performance: Whatever happens, may it be part of God’s agenda. Then they open the doors, welcome their audience and begin serving them dinner. Act 1 unfolds. In the dark wings, behind a black curtain, a small cluster of young children, dressed as monkeys, waits quietly for their cue to scamper up the aisles, into the audience, whooping and chattering. Standing watch over them is Adaiah Paul, dressed as a lion. She leans down to whisper: “Now, this is our last show. Go out there and do your very best.” Paul’s 11-year-old son, Isaiah, is also in this scene, a colorful depiction of the creation story in black light, with a choreographed parade of God’s creatures. Adaiah has just a few minutes to play John Phillips of Fort Mill takes a victory lap as out her lion role, rush backJesus after conquering stage to change into a black death in Lord of Light. leotard, and reemerge as the head of a giant, slithering snake in the Garden of Eden scene that follows. Not due on stage until Act 2, Ericka Ross (“Satan”) hangs out backstage with John Phillips (“Jesus”), wiping down dinner trays. They are still in street clothes, although Ross’ face is painted in demonic fashion. “Yeah, I’m just washing dishes with Jesus, talking about our time together in heaven, what went wrong up there,” she jokes. Ross is an actor by profession in the Charlotte area but volunteers with NarroWay. Her own faith journey is stronger, she says, after performing on this S.C. stage. “In this industry, there are not a lot of people of faith,” says Ross, who also portrays a teenage boy in NarroWay’s summer production, The Gospel According to Tennessee. That show’s theme of withstanding life’s trials and reveling in its joys resonates with her. “Am I the best Christian? No. Do I have faith? Yes. Do I want to get back up when I fall? Yes!” she says. “NarroWay has helped me feel that fire.” l l

scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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Show t im e

‘When we look down on the stage now, we literally see an answer to prayer.’ —Rebecca Martin

‘A great trick of God’ Depending on your point of view,

­NarroWay Productions’ birth and journey have been either a series of happy accidents or a divinely guided plan. Its founders and directors, Rebecca Martin and Yvonne “Birdie” Clark, maintain they have taken one small, prayerful step at a time, never with a grand vision to guide them. “People say, ‘What great faith you had to do that,’” Martin says. “I say this was a great trick of God, because we are as stupid as the day is long.” Clark nods in agreement. “We truly personify the saying that God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” In the beginning, Martin and Clark were destined to dislike each other. Hailing from rival high schools, they met as freshmen at

Rebecca Martin (left) and Birdie Clark have been best friends and ministry partners for more than 35 years.

East Tennessee State University—Martin, the bubbly sorority girl, and Clark, the band musician with a rebellious streak. “You could not get more opposite,” Martin, an animated storyteller, says. “No way she would ever want to be friends with me. But something in me said—I know now it was God—said ‘Befriend her.’” Before the end of their first semester, Martin had led Clark to Christianity. From then on, their friendship and future ­together were cemented. They finished at ETSU in 1977 with degrees in journalism and theater (Martin) and music (Clark) and a vague sense that God was steering them toward ministry. Together, they enrolled at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

‘The coolest ministry’

The theater itself, once a gambling hall on a stretch of highway nicknamed “Fort Vegas,” was transformed after Martin and Clark bought it in 2004 as a permanent home.

GetThere NarroWay Theatre and Conference Center is located at the intersection of U.S. 21 and S.C. 51, about ½ mile south of exit 90 off I-77 in Fort Mill. Upcoming shows: The Gospel According to Tennessee, through Aug. 2 (closed July 4–5); The 4th Cross, Aug. 9 through Oct. 25 (closed Aug. 29–30); The Real Christmas Story, Nov. 1 through Dec. 21. Events by appointment: NarroWay will schedule off-site shows, on-site Biblical “field trips” for children, mystery theater shows, and behind-the-scenes Experiential Tours for groups. Details: Visit narroway.net or call (803) 802-2300.

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

Doors soon opened. Martin’s sister and brother-in-law, Teresa and Joe Brown, were serving a church in Cumberland, Ky., five hours away from the seminary. They asked Martin and Clark to work with the church’s youth on weekends. “We began then to build a ministry around musical theater,” Martin says. Their first show drew so many people, they couldn’t fit them all in the church. As their ministry grew—Martin ­creating scripts, Clark writing and arranging the music—they started taking shows on the road, packing audiences in at campgrounds, amphitheaters, an old movie theater. “People would tell us that their husband or father or whoever wouldn’t darken the door of a church,” Clark says. “But outside a church setting, it was less threatening.” In 1996, Teresa Brown, then living in Charlotte, shared a divinely inspired impression that Martin and Clark should look at the ­dilapidated amphitheater at the defunct Heritage USA theme park in Fort Mill. Generous donations of labor and funds from family and supporters helped NarroWay open its first show there in 1997; that was home until the move to their ­current site in 2004. Before moving to South Carolina, Martin says, they prayed: “God, we are so scared. If you are calling us, please call people alongside us to help.” “When we look down on the stage now,” she says, “we literally see an answer to prayer.”

Now it’s common for NarroWay’s shows to transform lives. “I repent of judging others,” an anonymous audience member wrote on a comment card after seeing Lord of Light. “I repent of complaining about others. Father in Heaven, please forgive me & help me change my life.” “It’s just the coolest ministry,” Romano says. His 17-yearold son discovered the impact of the stories they tell on stage after playing the prodigal son in a show about Jesus’ parables. A man from the audience came down after the show, wrapped his son in a hug, and said, “I’ve never seen myself more clearly than at this moment.” “You never know who it’s going to touch,” Romano says, “but it happens every show.” When the show ends, the cast lingers on stage to greet audience members who want to shake hands, hug or pose for photos. One young boy looks a bit unsure about meeting “Satan” and keeps his distance. Others pick out souvenirs in the gift shop or hum tunes from the show. “You leave here with something that will last you a lifetime,” Clark says. “We let people go out with that magic.”


Stories

SC Life

Gardening for good

Katie Stagliano Age:

15

Summerville Claim to fame: Founder and chief executive gardener of Katie’s Krops Other pursuits: Competes on the swim and track teams at Pinewood Preparatory School Favorite vegetable: Eggplant (Ichiban variety) Mic Smith

Hometown:

School may be out, but 15-year-old Katie Stagliano won’t be idle this summer. As the founder and chief executive gardener of Katie’s Krops, a nonprofit organization encouraging youth to grow food for people in need, she has a busy season ahead of her. This month, she’s hosting a summer camp for young gardeners at W.P. Rawl farms in Pelion. Her first book, Katie’s Cabbage, will be published soon by the University of South Carolina Press, and she’s one of three hunger fighters profiled in a new documentary, The Starfish Throwers. Plus, the flagship Katie’s Krops garden on the grounds of Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville will still need tending. It all started with a third-grade gardening project. Stagliano was 8 when she grew a 40-pound cabbage in her family’s garden. She donated the mammoth veggie to Tri-County Family Ministries in Summerville, where it helped feed more than 200 people. Witnessing the impact of that one vegetable, she was inspired to do more. Today, Stagliano and a team of volunteer gardeners raise tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, onions, beans, sweet potatoes and blueberries in a garden the size of a football field, donating their produce to local food pantries and patients at The Charleston Cancer Center. Thanks to the support of parents John and Stacy Stagliano and corporate sponsors including BI-LO, the concept took hold and has inspired more than 80 Katie’s Krops gardens across the nation. “I never thought that when I brought my cabbage seedling home that all of this would happen,” Katie Stagliano says. “I do think this is part of my mission in life, and I want to do it for as long as I can, but it’s also about inspiring other kids to find their passion so that they can make a difference.” —stephanie green

Get More See the trailer for The Starfish Throwers at SCLiving.coop. To learn more about Katie’s Krops, visit katieskrops.com.

scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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SCScene

BY Whit Gibbons | photos by J.D. Willson

Snakes

South Carolina is home to 38 native species of snakes. Six of those species are venomous. Do the math. If you see a snake in the wild this sum­mer, chances are it’s completely harmless to humans, and even venomous snakes aren’t inter­ ested in biting you. In fact, seeing snakes in the wild should be something to celebrate. It means the local environment is healthy. As a biologist specializing in reptiles, this is the message I convey to people whose first reaction to any snake is to kill it. Killing a snake is almost always unwarranted, and the attempt is often far more dangerous to the human than it is to the snake. Most bites occur when people pick up or try to kill a reptile, and these bites can be avoided simply by allowing the snake to go on its way. Giving all snakes a wide berth while at the same time enjoying them is always the best policy, and that’s especially true for the six venomous species found in South Carolina.

A sum m

h Ca e r fie ld g u i d e to So ut

i ro l

intr s ’ a n

iguing ve nomous

r e ptil

es

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

n northern copperhead A. c. mokasen n southern copperhead A. c. contortrix n northern and southern copperheads

Copperhead Scientific name:

Agkistrodon contortrix

ID tips: n Solid, coppery shading on the head. n Dark, hourglass-shaped bands on a light-

brown body.

n Baby copperheads have the same

characteristics, along with a yellowish or green-colored tail. Adult size: 2–3 feet; maximum over 4 feet

size

baby typical maximum

0' 2' 4'

Copperheads are found across the entire state and in virtually all habitats with the exception of aquatic areas. Their secretive nature, extraordinary camouflage and mostly nocturnal behavior make them hard to spot. Without question, copperheads will see far more people this summer than people will see copperheads. Agkistrodon contortrix is the least dangerous of the large venomous snakes in South Carolina due to a limited supply of venom and a reduced potency. In one study, copperheads delivered only half as much venom as cottonmouths, and their venom was only half as power­ful drop for drop. This does not mean that a copper­head bite is harmless. Like any venomous snakebite, it should be treated by a doctor immediately (see “When trouble strikes,” p. 24). When copperheads strike at people, they often do so with mouths open and at a distance much too far to be effective. Biologists presume this behavior to be a warning and not a serious attempt to bite.


n eastern cottonmouth A. p. piscivorus n Florida cottonmouth A. p. conanti n eastern and Florida cottonmouths

Eastern Coral Snake Scientific name:

Cottonmouth aka Water Moccasin Scientific name:

Agkistrodon piscivorus

ID tips: n Wide, dark bands across an olive-colored

body, though some adults may appear solid brown or black. n Babies are brightly banded with yellowtipped tails and are often mistaken for juvenile copperheads. n Cotton-white mouth lining. Adult size: 2–4 feet; maximum over 5 feet

size

baby typical

ID tips: n A beautifully colored snake with alternating

red, yellow and black rings that encircle the body entirely. n The front of the head is black followed by a wide yellow ring, then a wide black ring. n Red rings on the body touch yellow rings. Adult size: 1½–2 feet; maximum 4 feet

size

baby typical maximum

0' 2' 4'

maximum

0' 3' 6'

The cottonmouth is the most common venomous snake around water. The bite of a cottonmouth can be fatal, but the snake’s aggressiveness is more smoke than fire. When cornered, they open their mouths, showing a cotton-white lining, vibrate their tails and give off a musky smell, but biting a person is a last resort. Studies conducted at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken have shown that the vast majority of cottonmouth bites occur when people pick them up, and they almost never bite when someone simply steps near them. A cottonmouth will often emit a distinctive odor when disturbed, even when the perceived threat is several feet away. Your initial hint of a nearby cottonmouth might be what some people describe as a cucumber smell. Should you suddenly detect a strong, musky odor in a swampy area, pause and look carefully for a cottonmouth. It’s easy to confuse harmless watersnakes for cottonmouths. Nonvenomous watersnakes can grow large and present the arrow-shaped head that many people associate with cottonmouths. Sadly, this bluff has a downside. Many watersnakes are needlessly killed by people who think they have eliminated a cottonmouth.

Micrurus fulvius

A relative of the cobra, coral snakes inject potent venom that can kill an adult human. In South Carolina, coral snakes are small, rare and unlikely to bite a person unless picked up. Perhaps the greatest danger is to children, who might be tempted to handle this brightly colored reptile. The age-old ditty “Red, yellow, kill a fellow; red, black, okay Jack” describes the distinction between the venomous coral snake and the harmless scarlet kingsnake. The rhyme refers to the coral snake’s red rings, which touch only yellow ones and are never adjacent to black. In contrast, the red rings of the scarlet kingsnake touch only black and never yellow. My advice: If you need this rhyme to distinguish between the species, you have no business picking up the Yellow never touches red on snake in the first place. the harmless scarlet kingsnake. Coral snakes inhabit most of the coastal plain, and they are generally associated with dry, sandy habitats of pine and scrub oaks. The distribution of coral snakes is spotty throughout their range, but when they do occur in an area, they are usually much more common than perceived, because they spend most of their lives underground. scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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SC Scene

W h e n t r o u bl e s t rik e s While bites are extremely rare, what should you do if an encounter with a venomous snake goes wrong? Snake expert Whit Gibbons has this advice. Don’t panic. Research conducted at the Savannah River Ecology Lab near Aiken shows that in defensive strikes against people, snakes inject venom only about half the time. That said, snake­ bite victims should always seek immediate medical treatment. “Very few people die from snakebites in South Carolina, and you’re almost certain to be OK with proper treatment,” Gibbons says. “Get to a hospital as quickly as you can, safely.” Treat the victim for shock. Snakebites hurt—a lot—and panic can set in quickly. “Stay calm,” Gibbons says. “Treat the person who has been bitten as if they are in shock, because they are going to be in shock.” Throw away your old-fashioned snakebite kit. Gibbons says doctors and herpetologists no longer recommend cutting the wound to extract venom or applying a tourniquet. “Don’t do any heroic measures on your own, get to a medical doctor and let them take care of it,” he says. “There are two things to have with you when you get bitten—a set of car keys and someone to drive you to the hospital. If you have a cell phone, call ahead and let them know you are on the way.”

Visit SCLiving.coop for bonus articles, photos and videos.

Jonathan sharpe

Snakes alive! Watch as biologist Whit Gibbons handles two of the deadliest venomous snakes in South Carolina. Warning: Don’t try this at home! How to be safe around snakes: Expert tips from the Savannah River Ecology Lab Common nonvenomous snakes: Learn to spot and enjoy more of S.C.’s intriguing reptiles

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

Scientific name:

Crotalus horridus

ID tips: n Gray or light-brown body with black

chevrons across back. n Occasional individuals are yellowish or almost black. n Tip of tail looks like black velvet, and rattles may be present. Adult size: 3–5 feet; maximum more than 6 feet

GetMore

Whit Gibbons carefully shows off a canebrake rattlesnake.

Timber Rattlesnake aka Canebrake Rattlesnake size

baby typical maximum

0' 3' 6'

Crotalus horridus, better known as the timber rattlesnake in the mountains and the canebrake rattlesnake on the coastal plain, is South Carolina’s most common and wide-ranging rattlesnake species. These big snakes are very much at home in every type of terrain from hardwood and pine forests to coastal islands. Although a terrestrial species, canebrake rattlers have been observed swimming across large rivers or lakes. During the late-summer and early-fall mating season, large male canebrake rattlesnakes are often spotted crossing rural roads in the Lowcountry. In the Upstate, timber rattlesnakes may congregate in dens from autumn to spring. Bites from a canebrake or timber rattlesnake can be extremely serious because of their potential for injecting a large quantity of venom. However, these big rattlesnakes work hard to avoid people. They rely on natural camouflage to blend in with the forest floor and will escape into a stump hole if given the chance. Recent research in South Carolina has documented that the vast majority of these snakes do not even rattle, a behavior that would only draw attention.


Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Scientific name:

Crotalus adamanteus

ID tips: n Brown body with dark diamonds bordered

in yellow or white. n White stripes in front of and behind the eye on each side of the head. Adult size: 4–6 feet; maximum 7 feet

n Carolina pigmy rattlesnake S. m. miliarius n Carolina and dusky pigmy rattlesnake S. m. barbouri size

baby

Pigmy Rattlesnake aka Ground Rattlesnake

typical

Scientific name:

maximum

ID tips: n Gray or brownish-gray body with dark

Sistrurus miliarius

blotches down the back and on each side.

0' 3' 6'

The largest and most dangerous snake in South Carolina, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake can grow up to 7 feet long. This species sports very long fangs and has the ability to inject a large quantity of highly potent venom. Bites can be fatal and should be treated at once by a doctor. The diamondback is restricted to the coastal third of the state and is most abundant in areas sparsely inhabited by people, including offshore islands. When coiled on the ground in their typical habitats, including pine stands, tall shrubs and grasses, eastern diamondbacks are very hard to spot, and I’ve seen people walk unknowingly within inches of them. Despite their ability to deliver a lethal bite, an eastern diamondback whose cover has been blown will first try to escape into a burrow or thick vegetation if given the opportunity.

n A tiny set of rattles at the end of the tail. n Babies have a yellowish tail tip and are small

enough to coil up on a silver dollar. Adult size: 1–2 feet; maximum 2½ feet

size

baby typical maximum

0' 2' 4'

The smallest rattlesnake in South Carolina, the pigmy rattler or ground rattler can still deliver a painful, venomous bite that calls for immediate medical attention but is usually not life-threatening. Pigmy rattlers are found throughout South Carolina except for the highest mountain areas in the northwest corner of the state. Their habitat can be highly variable, ranging from dry upland forests to swampy palmetto stands. They also thrive in many suburban areas where they can go undetected. Their camouflage is so effective that most people have difficulty seeing one lying on pine straw or leaves. A homeowner might not discover these little pit vipers until one crawls into the carport seeking a place to hibernate during cool fall weather.

Whit Gibbons is professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia, retired senior ecologist at

the Savannah River Ecology Lab and a research professor at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. He is author of more than a dozen books on snakes and other reptiles, including Snakes of the Southeast, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award. He is a member of Aiken Electric Cooperative. Range maps and size charts are from Snakes of the Southeast and provided courtesy of the publisher, University of Georgia Press.

scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

25


SCGardener

BY S. CORY TANNER

Photos by S. Cory Tanner

Slice the top off your tomato to reveal the seeds. Squeeze seeds from the tomato into a bowl or jar. Add an equal amount of plain water.

Cover with a breathable material (such as a paper towel) to prevent insects from getting in, and let it sit for 48 to 72 hours.

The tomato pulp will ferment, separate from the seeds and float to the surface. The clean seeds will sink to the bottom.

Rinse with clean water. Strain water and pulp from the seeds.

Clean well to remove any remaining pulp. Seeds should be clean and free of pulp. Spread on a paper towel to dry.

Simple seed-saving solutions Heirloom vegetables, with their

intricate flavors, colors and shapes, are wildly popular. Seeds saved from heirlooms, unlike hybrid varieties, produce crops similar, if not identical, to the original. Seed saving makes economic sense, too. You don’t have to purchase new seed each year, and you can keep your favorites, regardless of what’s available for purchase. I once bought seeds of an heirloom pepper called Georgia White from a local seed company. Assuming I could buy more, I didn’t bother saving seed. Later, when I tried to buy new seeds, no one had it—even the local company had lost its supply. This story has a happy ending thanks to my frugal grandfather, who saved some Georgia White seed deep in his freezer. Without those saved seeds, the variety For more vegetable may have gone extinct. seed-saving techniques, read Clemson Extension’s It happens all the time. Saving seed from fact sheet HGIC 1255 on heirloom vegetables at your homegrown heirclemson.edu/hgic. looms is fairly simple. Don’t bother saving seed from hybrid varieties or grocerystore produce. Hybrids typically won’t produce true to type; their seeds will likely give you something different from the original. Unless you know the origin of purchased produce, it’s best not to save seed—you won’t know whether it’s a hybrid, and you run the 26

The biggest enemy to stored seeds is moisture.

risk of introducing a new disease into your garden. In the garden, take care to prevent cross-pollination from wind or bees. It’s best to plant only one variety of a crop at a time. And resist the temptation to eat the biggest, best-looking tomato in your garden. That specimen may carry the best genes and should be saved for seed. The easiest plants for saving seeds are those whose seeds are in pods or husks that dry on the plant (okra, beans, peppers). Just leave them on the plant until dry but before the pods split. Then harvest the pods and let them finish drying in a cool, dry location. Once completely dry, break the pods apart to release the seeds, and clean away the chaff by sifting, shaking or winnowing. Seeds of fleshy fruits like tomatoes and cucumbers are coated in a gelatinous sac that must come off before drying. The best way to do this is by fermenting away the pulp. Cut the top off of a fully ripe tomato, and squeeze the pulp and seed into a jar. Cover the seeds with about an inch of water and set aside, out of direct sunlight. The pulp will ferment and separate from the seeds, which will settle to the bottom. Mold that forms on the water’s surface is completely normal and not harmful. Once pulp and seeds

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

Air dry in a cool, dry location, out of direct sunlight, until completely dry. Make sure you label your seeds through the process to prevent mix-ups.

are separated, in about 48 to 72 hours, pour off the mold and pulp and rinse the seeds well. Strain, then spread on a paper towel to dry at room temperature. For cucumbers and squash, let the fruit mature on the vine well beyond the point of edibility, until they are large and yellowed and their seeds have hardened. Harvest, cut in half, and scrape seeds out with a spoon. You can ferment cucumber pulp and seeds just like tomatoes. For squash, washing the seed is usually sufficient to remove any pulp. Keep all of your seeds separated by variety in well-labeled, sealed containers, stored in a cool, dry and dark place. The refrigerator works great; the freezer is even better. The biggest enemy to stored seeds is moisture. Store them with a desiccant, such as powdered milk. I save the little desiccant packets that come with packaged electronics and shoes and throw a few in my seed boxes to keep moisture down. Seeds stored this way may stay viable for two to five years, sometimes longer. is an area horticulture agent and Master Gardener coordinator for Clemson Extension based in Greenville County. Contact him at shannt@clemson.edu. S. CORY TANNER


SCTravels

BY SUSAN HILL SMITH | PHOTOS BY MIC SMITH

For the love of

tea Tea expert William Barclay Hall and a partner opened Charleston Tea Plantation in 1987, rescuing the rare garden from obscurity. As the plantation sign points out, you have to travel far to find another working tea farm.

True to the Lowcountry landscape,

Charleston Tea Plantation’s lush fields have a complicated and at times secretive past, even as the enterprise has been revived for the modern age. Visitors will see something they can’t see anywhere else in the country

GetThere The Charleston Tea Plantation is located at 6617 Maybank Highway, Wadmalaw Island. HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday–Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Closed on major holidays. ADMISSION: Free access to the grounds, factory tour and Plantation Gift Shoppe, which offers complimentary cups of American Classic Tea. Tickets for the trolley tour cost $10 for ages 12 and up, $5 for children under 12. For group reservations, contact Bryn Riley at (843) 559-0383 or briley@rcbigelow.com. DETAILS: To learn more, call (843) 559-0383 or visit charlestonteaplantation.com.

28

as they tour the 127-acre working farm, with its fragrant rows of Camellia sinensis plants, and step inside the plantation’s factory to see how harvested leaves are processed for the American Classic Tea brand. A sign in front of the fields points the way to some of the traditional tea-­ growing countries: Argentina, 4,823 miles; China, 7,320 miles; Kenya, 7,816 miles. This is “America’s only tea garden,” because attempts to transplant the valuable commodity to this continent during the 1700s and 1800s didn’t take root, except in South Carolina, and that success faded from public view until the late 1980s, when it was unearthed by third-generation tea taster William Barclay Hall. Hall launched the Charleston Tea Plantation with a partner in 1987, and he still oversees its operations after teaming up with the New Englandbased Bigelow family, specialty tea magnates who bought the plantation in 2003. The Bigelows greet visitors

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

Hall honed his expertise during a four-year tea apprenticeship in London, tasting 800 to 1,000 cups a day. during the video-guided factory tour, while trolley tour passengers learn the plantation’s history from Hall’s recorded narration. Hall is also available to conduct in-depth tours personally, when booked in advance. Originally from Canada, Hall honed his expertise during a four-year tea apprenticeship in London, tasting 800 to 1,000 cups a day. He wound up on rural Wadmalaw Island after reading a trade article about the history of tea in America and what was supposed to be the final chapter in South Carolina. But the article’s conclusion—that tea wasn’t a feasible American crop— didn’t seem right. Hall’s suspicions led


him to Summerville, where Dr. Charles Shepard grew award-winning tea on a sizeable scale at Pinehurst Tea Plantation from 1888 until his death in 1915. As Hall dug further, he learned that Shepard’s tea plants grew wild for decades and in 1963 were quietly transplanted closer to the coast for experimental research. Charleston Tea Planta­tion’s official history doesn’t explain who the researchers were, but when pressed, Hall says they were employees of Lipton Tea, and it was so “hush-hush” that they wondered how he had found the place. “That’s how I came across this and, in the end, was able to convince them to sell it,” he says. From the beginning, the Charleston Tea Plantation was set up with agritourism in mind. For example, the

Teamaker Mike Kennerly spreads leaves from the “first flush” harvest onto the oxidation bed as a tour group watches.

factory is designed so visitors— expected to exceed 65,000 this year​ —​can view all steps of the manufacturing process, then proceed to the Plantation Gift Shoppe, where they can sample flavored favorites like Rockville Raspberry and Plantation Peach in a front porch rocker. Each May, the plantation puts on the First Flush FesTEAval to celebrate the harvest of the year’s first tea growth, prized through the ages for its flavor.

Coastal South Carolina’s climate​—​​high humidity and temperatures with good rainfall​—is well-suited for growing tea, says Hall. Tea does not like soggy roots, so ditches next to the field promote good drainage. For the tea plants, it is a similar effect to growing on a hillside, which is how they typically grow elsewhere. A custom-built harvester called the Green Giant is another South Carolina innovation, requiring just one employee to harvest the flat fields. With these adaptations, Hall sees the potential for tea to be a profitable crop in the Southeast, and that’s not something he’s trying to keep secret. He grins. “I want to be the Johnny Appleseed of tea.”

Red White & BOOM Region’s Patriotic Events @

SCJewel.com

scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

29


Recipe

EDITED BY CArrie Hirsch

Eddie Pierce /iStock

STEAK SALAD WITH CORN AND TOMATOES

GRILLED RATATOUILLE MEDLEY

SERVES 4

1 large eggplant (1½–2 pounds) 1 pound yellow squash (or zucchini) 1 large sweet onion 1 red bell pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 ½ fresh tomatoes, diced 2 tablespoons capers Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped 2 tablespoons lemon juice ½ cup Italian dressing, divided 1 ½ pounds flank steak 8 cups romaine lettuce, torn in pieces 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half ½ cup frozen corn, thawed ¾ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

KATHERINE PUTNAM, EFFINGHAM

30

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Cut eggplant into 1-inch-thick rounds. Halve the yellow squash lengthwise. Peel the onion, but do not trim the ends, and cut in half. Halve and seed the red bell pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and brush it on the vegetables, coating them well. Grill the vegetables, turning them often, for about 10–15 minutes or until they are tender but still hold their shape. Remove from grill. Cut eggplant into large cubes and squash into thick slices. Trim and chop the onion; dice the bell pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, then toss the vegetables with the remaining balsamic vinegar, tomato, capers, salt, black pepper, and basil or parsley. DONNA VARNER, HILTON HEAD ISLAND

S. Kumar/iStock

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon cilantro, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons Italian dressing. Pour over steak in shallow dish, then turn steak to coat both sides. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning steak after 15 minutes. Heat grill to medium heat. Discard marinade. Grill steak for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes, until it reaches medium or desired doneness. Remove steak from grill and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into thin slices. Cover a platter with lettuce; top with steak, tomatoes, corn, cheese, remaining dressing and cilantro.

SERVES 4–6


Bo

nus re Grilled cip e bacon, fr potatoes with on om Peg ions an at sclivin gy Gentry of Lex d g.coop/fo in od/recipe gton, s

Eddie Pierce /iStock

Michael Phillips/iStock

GRILLED CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD SERVES 4

1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and finely chopped 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 anchovy fillets, drained and mashed 2 cloves garlic, minced O cup olive oil ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon white vinegar 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1 cup bottled Italian dressing 1 large head romaine lettuce, trimmed and chopped ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Prepare Caesar dressing in a large bowl, starting by mixing together the hard-boiled egg and mustard. While whisking, mix in the anchovy and garlic; slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream until blended. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar until the dressing is thick and well blended. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken for 13–15 minutes, until the thickest part is no longer pink, turning once. In a shallow glass or ceramic dish, marinate the cooked chicken breasts in Italian dressing for at least 1 hour or overnight. Drain Italian dressing from the chicken and discard. Whisk the chilled Caesar dressing and reserve ¼ cup. In a large bowl, toss together romaine lettuce, grated cheese and the remaining Caesar dressing. Divide salad among four large dinner plates. Thinly slice each chicken breast and arrange slices so they overlap on the top of the salad. Drizzle the reserved dressing over the chicken. SYLVIA MORRELL, DARLINGTON

PEACHES ’N’ CREAM BACKYARD BBQ SERVES 6

¼ cup heavy cream 1 jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 cup mascarpone cheese (may substitute ¾ cup cream cheese mixed with ¼ cup sour cream) 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 3 tablespoons bourbon 6 slightly firm peaches 1 tablespoon olive oil for coating peaches Salt 6 slices of any white cake

Preheat grill to medium heat. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream with jalapeno pepper, but do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat; allow mixture to cool, then strain. In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream mixture, granulated sugar and mascarpone until stiff and fluffy. Set aside. In another small pan, heat brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of bourbon; when no more sugar crystals remain, stir in the additional bourbon. Simmer for 1 minute or until bubbly, then remove from heat; syrup will thicken slightly after it cools down. Set syrup aside. Halve peaches and discard pits. Oil and salt the cut sides very lightly. Grill peaches cut side down, just enough to mark once. Place cake slices on well-oiled grill until grill marks appear, about 30–45 seconds. Top grilled cake and peaches with whipped mascarpone and drizzle with bourbon syrup. Serve warm. CHRIS KRAUS, HILTON HEAD ISLAND

W h at Õ s C oo k i n g i n October: Cooking with game

Avid hunters can fill up a freezer quickly with venison and other game meats. What to do with that bounty? Share your recipes for deer, duck and dove meat in chilis, stews, pilaus or favorite meaty dishes. Deadline: July 1 November/December: Swapping cookies

Making holiday cookies is a fun way to celebrate the season in the kitchen, and the fresh-baked results are great gifts for friends and neighbors. Got recipes? Share the ones you like to bake and swap this time of year. Deadline: Aug. 1

SCRecipe

Turn your recipes into cash!

For each one of your original recipes we publish, we’ll send you a $10 BI-LO gift card. Send us your recipes—appetizers, salads, main courses, side dishes, desserts and beverages—almost anything goes. Be sure to specify ingredient measurements. Instead of “one can” or “two packages,” specify “one 12-ounce can” or “two 8-ounce packages.” Note the number of servings or yield. Entries must be original and must include your name, mailing address and phone number. Entries without a phone number will not be considered. Recipes may be edited for clarity and editorial style.

Submit • online at SCLiving.coop • email to recipe@scliving.coop • mail to Recipe, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033

scliving.coop   | June 2014   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

31


HISTORIC PRODUCT CONTENT LABEL The product is sold in blocks of 100 kilowatt hours (kWh). The product will be made up of the following renewable resources. Green-e Energy Certified New 2 Renewables in Green Power Landfill Methane Gas Solar

Wind TOTAL 1 2

20131 > 99%

< 1%

< 1% 100%

Generation Location

South Carolina

South Carolina

South Carolina

Exercise

The 2013 figures reflect the power resources generated and supplied for the year ending December 31, 2013.

New Renewables come from generation facilities that first began commercial operation on or after January 1, 1999.

For comparison, the current average mix of resources supplying Santee Cooper includes: Coal 51%, Nuclear 10%, Oil -.01%, Natural Gas 16%, Hydro 2%, Methane .34%, Other 20%. The average home in South Carolina uses 1,119 kWh per month. (Source: Energy Information Administration 2012) For specific information about this electricity product, contact Santee Cooper at (843) 761-8000, extension 3205, or visit www.santeecooper.com/greenpower

The Green-e Energy Program certifies that Green Power meets the minimum environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions. For more information on Green-e Energy certification requirements call 1-888-63-GREEN or visit www.green-e.org.

Education

Because of you, kids are being saved in your community.

WE’RE MORE THAN A GYM. WE’RE A CAUSE. GIVE, JOIN, VOLUNTEER, AND DO SO MUCH MORE. Ethan | at age 4 brain cancer ©2014 ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Because of you, St. Jude Children’s Research

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ymca.net/somuchmore

Hospital® shares discoveries with doctors and scientists in communities everywhere, and one child saved at St. Jude means thousands more

Because of you, there is St. Jude. Visit stjude.org to join our mission.

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35


Calendar  of Events Go to SCLiving.coop for more information and for guidelines on submitting your event. Please confirm information before attending events.

UPSTATE JUNE

13–15, 20–22 • “The Foreigner,” a Larry Shue comedy, Oconee Community Theatre, Seneca. (864) 882-1910. 13–22 • Chautauqua History Alive Festival: Rising to the Occasion, multiple locations, Greenville and Fountain Inn. (864) 244-1499. 15, 20–22 • “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” Peace Center, Greenville. (800) 888-7768. 19–21 • South Carolina Festival of Flowers, multiple locations, Greenwood. (864) 223-8411. 21 • “Celebration of Eddie Lee Bolt,” Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 21 • Living History Saturday, Ninety Six National Historic Site, Ninety Six. (864) 543-4068. 22 • “A Living Sacrifice,” Chapman Cultural Center Theater, Spartanburg. (864) 542-2787. 27–28 • S.C. Festival of Stars, Town Park, Ninety Six. (864) 543-3396. 28 • Freedom Blast, Blue Hole Recreation Area, Calhoun Falls. (864) 915-1970. JULY

4 • Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue Festival, downtown, Greenville. (864) 467-5741. 4 • Red, White & Boom, Barnet Park, Spartanburg. (864) 596-2976. 4 • 4th of July Celebration, Pickens Amphitheater, Pickens. (864) 878-0105. 4 • July 4th Celebration with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 241-3800. 10–12 • S.C. Festival of Discovery, Uptown Greenwood, Greenwood. (864) 942-8448. 10–Aug. 2 • “Shout! The Mod Musical,” Centre Stage, Greenville. (864) 233-6733. 11–20 • “Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse,” South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Greenville. (864) 235-2885. 12 • NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Easley. (864) 269-0852. ONGOING

Daily through July • “No Vacancies,” Main Street public art, Spartanburg. (864) 582-7616. Weekdays through mid-August • Summer Day Camps, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 542-2787. Tuesdays • Hub City Farmers Market, Morgan Square, Spartanburg. (864) 596-2026.

36

Tuesdays through Saturdays, June 28– Aug. 14 • Exhibits by Michael Brodeur and Keith Spencer, Pickens County Museum, Pickens. (864) 898-5963. Tuesdays through Saturdays through October • Walnut Grove Plantation Public Tours, Walnut Grove Plantation, Roebuck. (864) 576-6546. Fridays • Bluegrass Jam Session, 5301 Dacusville Highway, Pumpkintown. (864) 637-9217. Third Saturdays • Music in the Mountains, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. Sundays • Sundays Unplugged, Zimmerli Plaza, Spartanburg. (864) 542-2787.

JULY

MIDLANDS JUNE

9–Aug. 16 • Summer Zoo Camps, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Columbia. (803) 779-8717. 14–22 • Hampton County Watermelon Festival, multiple locations, Hampton County. (803) 943-6856. 15 • The Return: Beatles Tribute Band, Richland Township Auditorium, Columbia. (803) 576-2350. 15–22 • Southeastern Piano Festival, USC School of Music, Columbia. (803) 251-2222. 20 • Lunch and Learn Series: A Barbarian by Any Other Name Is a Different Savage, USC-Lancaster Native American Studies Center, Lancaster. (803) 313-7063. 21 • Ridge Peach Festival, Town Park, Trenton. (803) 275-9487. 21 • Dinky’s Summerfest, 3190 Lancaster Highway, Richburg. (803) 389-2334. 21 • Southeast Crab Feast, Saluda Shoals Park, Columbia. (980) 202-1142. 21 • A Taste of Newberry, downtown, Newberry. (803) 276-4274. 21–22 • Ag + Art Tour, multiple locations in Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster and York counties. (800) 968-5909. 26 • Red Cross Auction and Lamar Dinner, Manning UMC, Manning. (803) 433-2696. 27 • The Hinson Girls Bluegrass Group, Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster. (803) 285-3344. 28 • 25th Anniversary Fireworks Celebration, Dreher Island State Park, Prosperity. (803) 781-5940. 29–July 5 • Camp Happy Days, Camp Bob Cooper, Manning. (843) 571-4336, ext. 28. JULY

4 • Lexington County Peach Festival, Gilbert Community Park, Gilbert. (803) 892-5207. 4 • Fireworks, Joe Miller Park, Elloree. (803) 897-2821.

Artistic display Two-dimensional works by oil painter Alvin Staley of Orangeburg, including Resurrection #2 (above), and pyrography artist DeWayne Sykes of Charleston will be on display through June 30 at North Charleston City Gallery.

4 • Patriotic Celebration & Fireworks, Springfield Ball Field, Springfield. (803) 258-3764. 7–11 • Creative Camp: Wizard of Oz, Weldon and Clarendon Community Complex, (803) 433-7469. 12 • Jammin’ in July Music Festival, Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, Camden. (803) 432-9841. 13 • XTerra Harbison Trail Run, Harbison State Forest, Columbia. (803) 896-8890. 13 • Family Fishing Clinic, Sesquicentennial State Park, Columbia. (803) 788-2706. ONGOING

Daily through Labor Day • “The Life and Art of Addie Sims: A Look into Her World Virtual Exhibition,” scmuseum. org/addiesims/addiesims.html, S.C. State Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4942. Daily through Sept. 14 • “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice,” EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia. (803) 779-3100. Daily • Self-guided Rose Garden Walks, Edisto Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg. (800) 545-6153. Thursdays, June 12–Aug. 14 (except Aug. 7) • Playcation Day Camps, Main Street Children’s Museum, Rock Hill. (803) 327-6400. Various days, June and July • Summer Reading Program, Harvin Clarendon County Library, Manning. (803) 435-8633.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

LOWCOUNTRY JUNE

12–15 • CariFest, Brittlebank Park, Charleston. (843) 557-6258. 14–15 • The Native Sons Salt Games, downtown, Myrtle Beach. (843) 448-0585. 15 • Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series, James Island County Park. (843) 762-8089. 20 • Moonlight Mixer, Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, Folly Beach. (843) 795-4386. 20 • Sounds of Summer Concert, McLean Park, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 280-5570. 20 and 27 • Movies under the Stars, Valor Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 839-3500. 21–22 • Art in the Park, Chapin Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 446-3830. 22 • Lowcountry Blueberry Jam and Blueberry Festival, Blue Pearl Farms, McClellanville. (843) 887-3554. 26 • Pups, Yups and Food Trucks, Palmetto Island County Park, Mount Pleasant. (843) 795-4386. 27 • Reggae Nights, James Island County Park, Charleston. (843) 795-4386. 28 • Riverfest, Riverfront Park and Marina Drive, Conway. (843) 248-2273. 28 • Carolina Day, St. Michael’s Church and White Point Garden, Charleston. (843) 723-3225, ext. 11.

4 • Red, White, and Blue on the Green, Gahagan Park, Summerville. (843) 821-7260. 4 • Boat Parade, Garden City Point to Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, Murrells Inlet. (843) 652-4236. 4 • Fireworks, Veterans Pier, Murrells Inlet. (843) 497-3450. 4 • Independence Day 8K/5K, The Market Common, Myrtle Beach. (843) 712-2618. 4 • Uncle Sam Jam, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. (843) 795-4386. 4 • Salute from the Shore Vintage Plane Parade, South Carolina coast from Cherry Grove to Hilton Head. (803) 331-8881. 6 • Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series, James Island County Park, Charleston. (843) 795-4386. 8 • Yoga under the Oaks, Legare Waring House at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852-4200. 9–19 • Bob Bell Charleston Summer Classic Horse Show, Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, Johns Island. (843) 795-4386. 10 • Bic Stand Up Paddleboard One Design Challenge, James Island County Park, Charleston. (843) 795-4386. 12 • Pier Tournament, Folly Beach Fishing Pier, Folly Beach. (843) 795-4386. 15–20 • Junior Shag Association dance events, multiple locations, North Myrtle Beach. (919) 682-4266. ONGOING

Daily through June 30 • Alvin Staley and DeWayne Sykes Art Exhibit, North Charleston City Gallery, North Charleston. (843) 740-5854. Daily through Aug. 3 • “Kent Ullberg: A Retrospective,” Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-6000. Daily through December • “Finding Freedom’s Home: Archaeology at Mitchelville,” Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island. (843) 689-6767. Mondays through October • Coastal Kayaking, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-8755. Tuesdays and Fridays through Aug. 19 • Fireworks, Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach. (843) 444-3200. Tuesdays through Sundays through Sept. 14 • “Track of the Rainbow Serpent: Australian Aboriginal Paintings of the Wolfe Creek Crater,” Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-2510. First and fourth Thursdays, June through September • Music on Main, Main Street and Horseshoe, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 280-5570. Saturdays • History, Nature and Music Programs, Horry County Museum, Conway. (843) 915-5320.


SCHumorMe

By Jan A. Igoe

To $can or not to scan when the first words out of the speaker’s mouth are “Who wants to be the colon?” My friend Zane loves to drag me to health seminars, where someone with enough medical training to be a worm farmer will cough up indisputable proof that whatever organic, overpriced miracle potion he’s hawking is guaranteed to change my life or at least cleanse my colon. This time, the proof involved pantyhose and a kiddie pool. Our host, Ken, cast a frightened bystander in the coveted role of the large intestine before she could run away. She got to hold the L’eggs over the pool like a sausage casing while the host dumped in two shopping bags of colon-­ clogging delicacies. Ken shoved some hot dogs with all the gooey trimmings into the thigh, squirted them with ketchup and sprinkled a bag of chips over the top. “We’re killing our colons,” he said, massaging the mass down the leg. Two cream-filled doughnuts and a Mountain Dew later, the toe sprung a leak and lunch exploded into the pool. “That’s it, I’m out of here,” I gagged, as Zane pursued me down the hall. “You’ll be sorry,” she yelled. “Your colon is cursed!” I don’t believe in curses, but she must have connections. Two days later, my doctor sent me for a CAT scan of my pantyhose parts. When I got to the hospital, I hadn’t had food or water for six hours and was already grouchy. Kathy, the nice check-in lady, only needed my insurance card, license, birth certificate and firstborn to get the party started. “The test costs $6,789. That’s only $5,800 with insurance,” she said happily. “We only need $1,950 today.” You know it’s going to be a fun evening

38

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   June 2014  |  scliving.coop

And I only needed an orthodontist to get my jaw back on its hinges. I’m not sure if Kathy was naturally nice or just wanted me to stop banging my head on her desk, but she hinted that the test might be cheaper somewhere else. I would have paid a few dollars more just to get it over with, but Kathy was convincing. “Call this number,” she whispered. Moments later, I had a local imaging center on the line. When you’re buying a pound of flounder, “How much?” is an acceptable question. But prices are topsecret in the medical world. No matter how I asked what the scan would cost, the guy on the phone wouldn’t budge. Me: “Can you give me an estimate?” Him: “We don’t do that.” Me: “Pretend you’re selling cars. Just tell me what the price would be before you talk to your manager.” Again, he refused to part with national secrets, so I put it another way. “Let’s say I’m a visitor from Mars who loves drinking chalk and collecting 8-by-10 glossies of her intestines. I don’t have insurance on this planet. How much?” “Self-pay is $640,” he admitted reluctantly. I made him repeat it three times so I could listen for commas, but the number didn’t have any. The hospital actually charges 10 times more for the same test. I wasn’t sure whether to thank Kathy or tell her she works for criminals. But it’s not every day a stranger saves you $5,000, so I’m sending her some hot dogs and a kiddie pool.  JAN A. IGOE writes from Horry County and tries to stay away from doctors, tests and pantyhose. Write her at HumorMe@SCLiving.coop.


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2700 Middleburg Drive216 Suite 216 | Columbia SC 29204| 800-725-7733 | PalmettoPride.org| 2700 Middleburg Drive Suite | Columbia SC 29204| 800-725-7733 | PalmettoPride.org|

South Carolina Living - June 2014  
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