South Carolina Living November/December 2022

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Let’s dance S.C. square dancers keep the old traditions alive and kicking SC RECIPE Flourless desserts HUMOR ME When rhinos fly NOV/DEC 2022 SEE PAGE 6 DISCOUNTTICKETOFFER!




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The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc.

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need to know about the 2022 Touchstone

Cooperatives Bowl and our Mr. Football reader

South Carolina’s






14 Dance the night away

South Carolina square dancers hit the floor to keep one of America’s oldest social traditions alive and kicking.


Crystal Truesdell and Pat Gorman of the Camden Hi‑Steppers square dancing club cut loose on the dance floor. Photo by Milton Morris.


2022|nov•dec FROM TOP: MILTON MORRIS; TRAVIS BELL; GINA MOORE Let’s dance S.C. square dancers keep the old traditions alive and kicking Flourless desserts When rhinos fly U
6 10 4 CO-OP NEWS Updates from your cooperative 6 AGENDA
poll. 8 DIALOGUE Innovation for all
edge research that promises a brighter energy future. 10 RECIPE Flourless desserts
a holiday meal for a large gathering is difficult, especially if there are food allergies to consider. Try
gluten-free dessert options that everyone can enjoy. 12 SC STORIES Music
Zach Lemhouse plays his fiddle for guests at Historic Brattonsville, there’s more to the story than just toe tapping tunes. 19 MARKETPLACE 22 HUMOR ME When rhinos fly Our humor columnist discovers that while we may not always understand the scientific method, we can get a good laugh from it.
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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.
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WHEN: Dec. 10, 2022. Kickoff at noon.

WHERE: Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, 705 33rd Avenue North, Myrtle Beach.

TICKETS: Online tickets $25 at tickets. At the stadium, tickets will cost $30 each.

DON’T MISS: The 2022 Mr. Football award—the state’s highest honor for prep athletes—will be presented during halftime.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: From 5:30 to 9 p.m. on the Friday before the game, 88 top players from the Class of 2024 will show their athletic talents in the Joanne Langfitt Junior Showcase. Players will be organized into teams and compete based on position and skill set. Events include 7-on-7s, a truck pull, and a bench press competition. The showcase is free and open to the public.

Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl kicks off Dec. 10

Save $5 on advance-purchase tickets

THE STATE’S TOP HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYERS will face off one last time this season in the 2022 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 10. The annual north-south game, organized by the S.C. Athletic Coaches Association, takes place at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach with a noon kickoff.

The game recognizes 88 student-athletes from across the state, not just for their athletic ability but for their character on and off the field. These young men develop a true spirit of camaraderie throughout the week leading up to the big game honing their skills and developing friendships that last a lifetime.


Happy holidays!

The staff and contributors of South Carolina Living hope you enjoy this combined November/December issue of your co-op magazine. We’ll be back in your mailbox in January, but in the meantime, stay in touch with us at, where you’ll find:

BONUS RECIPES. Look for Chef Belinda Smith Sullivan’s best new recipes, including this delicious flourless chocolate cake, and a comprehensive guide to some of her classic holiday dishes from previous years. You’ll find it all at

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS. Don’t miss a single minute of holiday festivals and events. We’ll be posting a roundup of fun things to do under the headline “Holiday happenings” on the homepage all season long.

SC GARDENER. Colder weather doesn’t stop our gardening col umnist. Enjoy the latest columns from L.A. Jackson and his tips for managing holiday gift plants and advice on gearing up for next spring. You’ll find his SC Gardener columns under the “Home & Garden” tab at

Mr. Football reader poll

Advance-purchase tickets are now available online at for $25. At the stadium, tickets will cost $30 each. Fans in attendance at the game will also see the halftime presentation of the 2022 Mr. Football award. Seven players are in contention for the prestigious honor rec ognizing the state’s top athlete of the year.

Visit this month to cast your vote for the high school athlete most deserving of the 2022 Mr. Football award. The poll closes Dec. 1.

OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTER. Stay in touch over the holidays and all year long when you sign up for our monthly newsletter. Register at and we’ll deliver all the best stuff right to your inbox.

Take care and God bless.


Innovation for all

BENEFITING ALL SOUTH CAROLINIANS that’s a principle that is foundational for the co-op-supported research happening at the Strategic Approaches to the Generation of Electricity (SAGE), a SmartState Center in the University of South Carolina’s College of Engineering and Computing.

SAGE is one of 51 SmartState Centers established by the General Assembly at USC, Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina to research and create new technologies that can drive economic growth in the state. The focus of SAGE is to look into new ways to solve pressing issues that face the power industry and power consumers.

Over a decade ago, South Carolina’s electric cooperatives partnered with Santee Cooper to fund SAGE’s endowed chair. By investing and participating in the initiative, we wanted to ensure that innovations were not only good for the univer sity and the economy, but also good for the people of South Carolina. I had the privilege of serving on an advisory board and collaborating with Michael Amiridis, then the dean of the college of engineering, to recruit a leader for the SAGE project.

As Dean Amiridis conducted interviews, he always came back to the analogy of a three-legged stool. The chair of the program had to be committed to research that 1) was good for the university and its students, 2) had practical applica tions and 3) was good for people here in South Carolina.

In Dr. Jochen Lauterbach, a chemical engineer who assumed the endowed chair position in 2010, we found some one who thought about energy solutions globally and in new ways. He and his team are integrating traditional genera tion methods with new technologies that can provide cleaner, more sustainable ways to generate and store electricity. They are collaborating with Santee Cooper to use biomass waste from an Upstate logging company as an alternative fuel to coal. They have also developed a technology for the U.S. mil itary that allows troops to use jet fuel in fuel cells for silent power generation in their vehicles.

Jochen Lauterbach is leading the SAGE initiative at University of South Carolina, developing innovative technologies that will provide practical applications as well as benefit the university and state.

Michael Amiridis, who previously served as the dean of the college of engineering at USC then chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago, recently returned to South Carolina to serve as USC’s 30th president.

One of the most promising solutions under development is a way to store energy from renewables through a chemi cal most of us have under our kitchen sink ammonia. Liquid ammonia is a very efficient way to store hydrogen, a fuel that will play an important part in our energy future. SAGE is developing a process that makes it easier to use renew able energy, such as solar, to manufacture ammonia. With machine-learning algorithms, they are also discovering new, low-cost materials that then release pure hydrogen from the ammonia when it is needed for fuel cells or hydrogen com bustion engines.

Lauterbach and SAGE are working on other innovations as well, including nano technologies and surface polymers, proj ects that fall outside the scope of energy. But they continue to focus on the end goal helping the people of South Carolina thrive.

I want to thank Jochen Lauterbach for continuing to work toward that vision. I also want to welcome back Michael Amiridis in his new role as president of my alma mater.

Michael, let’s get back to work using that three-legged stool as our model.

SC | dialogue
One of the most promising energy solutions under development is a way to store energy from renewables through a chemical most of us have under our kitchen sink—ammonia.

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Flourless desserts



4 large navel oranges

4 large eggs, room temperature

8 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup sugar

3 cups almond meal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¾ cup sugar

powder. Add blended orange mixture and vanilla. Mix until well blended, but do not overmix. Pour on top of orange slices in the cake pan and bake for 45 50 minutes or until golden brown on top. Check with a cake tester. If still wet in the middle, continue baking and check every 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for 15 minutes while you make the orange syrup.



1¾ cups heavy cream

1¼ teaspoon plain gelatin

2 tablespoons sugar Pinch, kosher salt

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1 teaspoon coffee or vanilla extract

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped Shaved chocolate, for garnish Ground chocolate, for garnish

Coat four 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray. Pour ¼ cup cream into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let stand for 10 15 minutes until softened. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water and stir until gelatin dissolves.

Into a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add remaining cream, sugar and salt and bring just to a boil—but not boiling. Stir in espresso and coffee or vanilla extract. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until well blended.

Pour mixture through a fine sieve or strainer into a large measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or overnight. Serve in the ramekins or invert onto individual serving dishes. For easier removal, dip the ramekins into a bowl of hot water for about 5 seconds. Garnish with shaved chocolate pieces and sprinkle with ground chocolate.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place 2 oranges, unpeeled, in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes until tender. Drain and cool. Cut each orange into large pieces and set aside. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Peel another orange and thinly slice. Cover the bottom of the cake pan with the orange slices in your desired pattern.

Into the bowl of a large blender, add chopped oranges, eggs and dates. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, almond meal and baking

In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine the ¾ cup sugar and juice from the remaining orange. Cook, stirring for 2 3 minutes, or until sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens.

Turn the cake onto a serving dish so orange slices are on top. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Using a skewer, poke holes in the cake and spoon the syrup over cake.

CHEF’S TIP In this recipe, I specifically recommend using navel oranges because they do not contain seeds. You can use other varieties of oranges, just remember to remove the seeds before adding to the batter.

What’s cooking at

SC | recipe
Planning a holiday meal for a large gathering is difficult, especially if there are allergies to consider. Here are some gluten-free dessert options that all members of your family can enjoy.
MORE DESSERTS THAT DELIGHT Chef Belinda’s chocolate cake and caramel flan are two more flourless treats that everyone can enjoy! Find the recipes exclusively at

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Zach Lemhouse

CLAIM TO FAME: Fiddle player with a set list that dates back to the American Revolution.

DAY JOB: Staff historian for the Culture and Heritage Museums of York County (CHM) and director of the Southern Revolutionary War Institute, a research library dedicated to oft forgotten battles of the Southern Campaign during the American Revolution.


FIDDLE OR VIOLIN?: “A violin has strings; a fiddle has strangs,” Lemhouse jokes. “There’s no difference.”

ON HIS BOOKSHELF: Between books on the American Revolution, education theories and scores of sheet music, you’ll find several comic books. “I’m more of a DC fan than a Marvel fan. Especially Batman.”

Music and history

When Zach Lemhouse plays the music of the 18th and 19th centuries for visitors at Historic Brattonsville, it’s more than just the notes of a bygone era that fill the space. He’s hoping his passion for history and love of learning ring through loud and clear.

As the son of two teachers in the Clover public school district, family vacations usually included historic sites across the state. That fostered an interest in the past, and after graduating from Winthrop University, he followed his parents into education, teaching history to middle school students for five years before joining the staff at CHM.

Musically, the 32 year old Lemhouse started taking violin lessons when he was 7 after seeing a fiddle player in an “old time band” perform traditional gospel tunes at a Sunday camp meeting.

“I saw it and fell in love with it,” says Lemhouse, who learned by playing classical music and, about 20 years ago, started playing Scottish and Irish folk songs alongside his mentor, Nash Lyle. Each summer, he also teaches at the Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling in North Carolina.

“I’m an educator,” he says. “I may not be in the classroom anymore, but I’m a teacher. To effectively transfer knowledge from one person to another, that’s what I did in the classroom and, absolutely, that’s what I’m doing at Brattonsville.”

GET MORE In addition to performances at Historic Brattonsville, Lemhouse is also a member of three Bluegrass bands: the WBT Briarhoppers (established in 1934 and inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2020), the Whippoorwill String Band, and the Cottonwood Bluegrass Band.

SC | stories

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IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT at the Brookland Baptist Banquet & Convention Center, on the second night of the South Carolina Square and Round Dance Convention, and beneath the chande liers of Exhibition Hall F, a man in a blue suit and a black cowboy hat is sing ing karaoke to the familiar tune “Come Sail Away” from prog-rock band Styx.

“Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me,” he sings during each chorus, but then, instead of the usual lyrics for the verses, he begins half-speaking, half-singing in time to the music. If you listen closely, he is telling the danc ers on the dance floor exactly what to do, for he is their caller.

“There’s three rules of square dancing that are never sup posed to be broken,” says longtime dancer Barbara Lassiter of Charleston’s Belles and Beaus dance club. “One, is listen to the caller. Two, is listen to the caller. Three? Listen to the caller. There should be no talking in the square because the caller is the one in charge.”

“Circle left,” the caller sings, and the dancers hold hands and walk left in a circle. “Allemande,” he says, and the couples grab each other’s left arms and swing around. “Promenade,” he sings, “Now swing, now slide through” and they promenade and swing and slide through their prairie skirts twirling, their suede shoes gliding along the wood floor, their hands clapping on the downbeats.

They are not, however, competing. Nor are they trying to perform a synchronized dance. They are participating instead in one of the oldest forms of group dance in the United States a tradition that may be disappearing but that square dancers all over the state are trying to keep alive.

“It’s not just the exercise we get,” says Pat Gorman of Camden’s Hi-Steppers, who has been square dancing for 25 years. “It’s the fun, the fellowship. It’s learning about people and caring about people.”

South Carolina’s faithful square dancers hit the floor to keep one of America’s oldest social traditions alive

SQUARE DANCING a dance for four couples that make up a “square,” in which a caller calls out the movements arrived in America with the earliest European settlers. The dance traces its origins back to English country dances and French qua drilles, but in America, it became associated with cowboys and known as “modern western square dancing.” Hence the prairie skirts and crenellated dresses, the cowboy boots and bolo ties.

Lassiter explains that square dancing became especially popular in the early 1900s, when Henry Ford hired a caller and hosted square dances for his employees at Ford Motor Company.

“And then it spread out,” she says. “By the 1960s, it was very popular because we had classes.”

This is a familiar refrain these days among square dancers: the heyday of square dancing was “back in the day,” when it was a way to socialize in an era before technology.

“I was in the high school band, and we wanted to raise money for uniforms and such,” says Sam Rowan, of Bluffton’s Sun City Squares. “My parents said, ‘Let’s put on a square dance,’ and 200 people showed up.”

Dick Kaulback, of Firehouse Squares in Charleston, says his parents were into square dancing in the 1950s and 1960s and once were among a planeload of square dancers who flew to Europe for a dancing vacation.

But these days?

“Activity is down everywhere,” says Brad Tomlinson, a caller out of Charleston with the stage name of El Toro. “It takes more than one or two classes to learn to dance, and when COVID hit, that didn’t help the situation, either. Because all the halls were shut down. For two years, there was no dancing going.”

“Now we’re doing good to get a square together because the population has gotten older, and our children didn’t pick up the love of square dancing that we had,” says Lassiter.

Still, many folks in the square dancing community are try ing to think of ways to bring the younger generations into these dance halls. The governing body of callers, CALLERLAB, has shortened the amount of time it takes to learn the begin ner’s courses (called Mainstream), in which you learn nearly 70 movements. The dress codes aren’t strictly country-western.

ROUND OF FUN Square dancers from across the state dress up and swing away at the South Carolina Square and Round Dance Convention. Far left: Each dance is unique. Participants must know and perform anywhere from 69 to 429 moves and respond instantly to the caller’s instructions, which is why Barbara Lassiter (left) of Charleston’s Belles and Beaus dance club says, “There should be no talking in the square because the caller is the one in charge.” Right: Sam Rowan of Bluffton’s Sun City Squares twirls Linda Collins, president of the Hilton Head Oceanwaves.

“It’s not just the exercise we get. It’s the fun, the fellowship. It’s learning about people and caring about people.”

IN FASHION Causal clothes may be the norm at local club dances, but everyone brings out their finest attire for the state convention fashion show. From left, Pat Dixon and Pat Gorman represent the Camden Hi Steppers while Richard and Barbara Walker strut their stuff for Columbia’s Tanglefoots. Below: Dot Tunstall of the Lexington Star Promenaders leads writer Hastings Hensel onto the floor for his first attempt at square dancing.

Some callers are trying to use more contemporary music.

“You gotta use the music they like, and if you don’t, they ain’t coming back,” says Joe Arnold of Rock Hill. “Then you gotta show them it works.”

And how it works is this: For each dance, called a “tip,” there is a pattern call and a singing call. This could be a dance for couples who have completed the Mainstream program (69 calls) or Plus (31 extra calls). Or it could be for those who have made it all the way to Advanced 2 (181 calls) or even Challenge 3A (429 total calls).

No matter the program, you step onto the dance floor with your partner and join your square by facing inward. When the music starts and the caller begins making the call, you begin making the moves you’ve learned. To be a good square dancer, you need a good eye, a good ear, and a good memory. It’s the job of the caller to construct the dance, and all callers have their own style.

“When I’m calling, I want to see peo ple continuously move,” says Arnold, who

admits that being a caller is part-karaoke singer, part-DJ, partchoreographer, part-comedian and part-teacher. “I don’t want to see them stop. So, you have to call the next call before they’re done with the present call. And I want to see them do one thing: smile. If they’re smiling, I’ve done my job.”

AS ANY SQUARE DANCER will tell you, it’s one thing to sit on the sidelines and watch from the seats. It’s entirely another thing to get up and actually dance.

So, when Dot Tunstall beckons me (the sidelines reporter who doesn’t know a do-si-do from an allemande, much less a weave the ring from a box the gnat) onto the dance floor to be her partner, I say the only thing you can say when asked to dance: “I’d be delighted.”

I’m more than a bit worried that as a newbie I will screw things up, but Gorman is quick to point out another impor tant part of square dancing.

“Some of the best times we’ve had laughing and cutting up is when you have experienced dancers who mess up,” he explains. “We laugh and carry on, knowing we’re having a ball.”

The caller promises he’ll call an easy one. It’s a classic boom-chuck song, but I can’t make out the lyrics. My eyes are on Dot, and my ears are straining toward the caller. When we start to dance, it’s all a bit dizzying and puzzling this cir cling and passing and swinging and changing partners and it occurs to me that I might be bouncing around in the square as chaotically as a pinball.

But as the caller returns us at the end of the dance to our original positions, there’s no doubt about it: I’m smiling, I’m laughing, my heart rate is up, and I have the mental satisfaction of having solved a puzzle. And I recall some thing Tomlinson told me earlier that evening.

GET THERE Interested in learning how to square dance? Local clubs across the state welcome newcomers. Find one near you at The site also has information on the 2023 S.C. Square and Round Dance State Convention, scheduled for April 28–29 at The Shield Church in Rock Hill.

“This activity was founded on fun and fellowship,” he says. “Good, clean-cut fun and fellowship.”

Dance the night away
“I want to see them do one thing: smile. If they’re smiling, I’ve done my job.”
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When rhinos fly

AS AN INTELLECTUALLY CURIOUS person, you’ve probably been wonder ing about important stuff like how many ants live on our planet. Luckily, some body counted them for us. According to, Earth is home to 20 quadrillion ants. I can person ally vouch for that number, because last weekend, half of them bit me. A battal ion of savage fire ants, undeterred by long pants and covered feet, dove into my shoes and attacked my legs, sinking their ferocious ant teeth deep into my skin. With any luck, I hope to stop itch ing by February.

Although there’s no award for ant esti mators, scientists from the University of São Paulo in Brazil scored the 2022 Ig Nobel biology prize for analyzing the sex lives of constipated scorpions. I’m sure you’ve been wondering about that, too.

For 32 years, the Igs have honored  “achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK … to spark inter est in science, medicine, and technology,” per Personally, I can appreciate science much more now that it’s not standing between me and graduation.

But let’s get back to the dating dilemma of male scorpions. When a scorpion sacrifices its tail to escape a predator, it is doomed to spend the rest of its short, bloated life on Metamucil. (I’ll spare you the details.) As they slow down, wooing a mate becomes harder. Scientists found that being pudgy and grumpy (even with a legitimate reason) doesn’t help a guy’s odds.

Last year’s transportation prize went to the team that discovered that rhinos traveling by helicopter fare best when they are upside down. FedEx and UPS aren’t vying for the major mammal busi ness, so conservationists rely on helicop ters to move rhinos away from poachers. The next time your job seems hard, remember that someone is getting paid

to coax an aggressive, 1,800-pound rhino to roll over and enjoy the ride, possibly for minimum wage.

In other work with enormous crea tures, Swedish scientist Magnus Gens captured this year’s Ig for safety engi neering. There are hundreds of mooseverses-car collisions in Sweden, and the moose are often big enough to win.

“It’s a terrible impact,” Gens told “You will see the windshield explode, and all of the glass will end up in the lap and in the face and in the torso of the passengers in the front seat. And it almost tears the roof off the car.”

Since a big part of science is repeti tion and you can’t keep hitting the same moose with the same Saab, finding ways

to moose-proof Swedish cars was difficult until Gens came up with a crash dummy. Not for the driver, but for the moose.

Gens assembled hefty red rubber plates on a gigantic frame to simulate the mammal’s body in size, shape and density. Oddly, he didn’t bother with a head. But now, test cars can drive into the headless moose at various speeds to gauge damage and eventually save lives.

These groundbreaking researchers have earned worldwide appreciation (although not from the scorpions) for their inspirational work. They each received a $10 trillion dollar bill from Zimbabwe, where many wealthy princes live. (You may have received an email from one of them.) The actual value is probably around $1.32. But that’s just my hypothesis.

JAN A. IGOE once won a science fair prize for her hamster project. It was a fluke, but she remains proud and hopes to receive her $10 trillion in time for Christmas shopping. Join the fun at And Happy Thanksgiving.

SC | humor me
The next time your job seems hard, remember that someone is getting paid to coax an aggressive, 1,800-pound rhino to roll over and enjoy the ride.
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