South Carolina Living September 2022

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grittynitty-The Grist mills offer a glimpse into the past SC RECIPE Handheld meat pies SC SCENE Buc-ee’s arrives 2022SEPTEMBER

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12 ENERGY NEWS The wild side of electric co-ops Serving members in remote rural communities requires co-ops to peacefully coexist with wildlife.


14 SC HandheldRECIPE meat pies

On National Good Neighbor Day (Sept. 28)—or any day this month—join in the cooperative spirit and help your neighbors, friends and family with these do-it-yourself energy-saving tips.

38 HUMOR ME Jan Goodall at your service Jan A. Igoe discovers that living on a coastal golf course provides ample opportunity to observe the human condition. 16 All roads lead to Buc-ee’s

Family traditions run deep at Suber’s Corn Mill in Greer. Owner Jim Suber is a fourth generation miller, carrying on the business his great-grandfather began more than 150 years ago. Photo by Milton Morris.

grittynitty-The Grist mills offer a glimpse into the Handheldpastmeat pies Buc-ee’s arrives

The much-loved, mega-sized travel center and its diehard fans arrive in South Carolina. Brisket, anyone? 21 Grinding it out Explore the South Carolina grist mills that keep the old stone-ground traditions alive with every bag of grits, flour and cornmeal. ept

Meat pies were originally a way to provide quick meals to workers in coal mines, factories and fields. Today, we eat them because they are delicious. Learn to make your favorite pies at home with Chef Belinda’s recipes.

10 ENERGY Q&A Help a neighbor save energy

Looking back on 17 years of progress and transformation brought to you by South Carolina’s electric cooperatives.


8 NewDIALOGUEman, new picture

34 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 35 MARKETPLACE 36 SC TheGARDENERanisesage blues Explore the violet/indigo end of the color spectrum with this herbaceous perennial that grows up to 5 feet tall.

THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS VOLUME 76 • NUMBER 9 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in more than 600,000 homes and businesses and published monthly except in December by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. 808 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC Email: letters@scliving.coopFax: (803) 796Tel: (803) 9262903331756064 EDITOR Keith Tel: (803) 739Phillips Email: Keith.Phillips@ecsc.org3040 FIELD EDITOR Josh Crotzer PUBLICATION COORDINATOR Raphael Ofendo Reyes ART DIRECTOR Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER Trevor Bauknight PRODUCTION Andrew Chapman WEB EDITOR Chase Toler COPY EDITORS Jennifer Jas, Jim Poindexter CONTRIBUTORS Miranda Boutelle, Mike Couick, Hastings Hensel, Jan A. Igoe, L.A. Jackson, Belinda Smith-Sullivan, Paul Wesslund PUBLISHER Lou Green ADVERTISING Mary Tel: (803) 739Watts Email: ads@scliving.coop5074 NATIONAL REPRESENTATION American MainStreet Publications Tel: (512) 441 5200 Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor. 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 2022. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor. 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. ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: $5.94 members, $8 nonmembers Member of the AMP network reaching more than 9 million homes and businesses 2022 | sept 21 FALL WINTER&TRAVELISSUE

4 CO-OP NEWS Updates from your cooperative 6 AGENDA Learn how the race to make better, cheaper and smaller batteries is helping utilities integrate renewable energy sources into the power grid.

SC | agenda

Batteries are booming

Growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is fueling the drive for better, cheaper and smaller batteries. Auto manufacturers around the world plan to spend more than half a trillion dollars on electric vehicles and batteries in the next eight years. The Kansas City Assembly Plant shown here is Ford’s first U.S. plant to assemble both batteries and electric vehicles.

And don’t miss this month’s feature on operating grist mills, starting on Page 21.


The U.S. Energy Information Admin istration (EIA) reports that utility-scale battery capacity jumped 35% in 2020 and has tripled in the past five years. The agency predicts that by 2023, elec tric utilities will have 10 times the bat tery capacity they had in 2019. Much of that increase comes from battery sys tems located near large solar projects.

Jamaican meat patties If the variety of Chef Belinda’s handheld meat pie recipes on Page 14 whets your appetite for more, find her take on spicy Jamaican meat patties only at


Utility-scale battery systems, like the Tesla Megapack, can smooth out voltage and frequency differences that affect power quality. These systems also help integrate intermittent renewable energy sources into the power grid by storing excess solar and wind energy produced during the day and making it available for use at night.

IF THE STATUS OF YOUR smartphone battery occupies a large share of your daily thoughts, just wait the battery boom is Innovatorscoming.are racing to make batter ies that are cheaper, better and smaller. Some are even developing washable and bendable batteries to heat your gloves or be sewn into athletic wear to help track your exercise routine. The booming electric vehicle market is fuel ing dramatic advancements in battery technology, and electric utilities are using massive battery systems to make power delivery more reliable.


Analysts say the value of the world battery market already exceeds $100 bil lion, and they project it will grow more than 10% annually over the next five years. In the U.S. alone, 13 electric vehi cle battery manufacturing plants are ex pected to open in the next five years.

FORD By 2023, electric utilities are predicted to have 10 times the battery capacity they had in 2019.

And the best news of all? This cycle of innovation is cutting battery costs for consumers. The price of the most popu lar type of rechargeable battery is down more than 90% from what it was just 10 years ago. PAUL WESSLUND TESLA

Large battery storage systems, like the Tesla Megapack shown here, help utilities improve the efficiency and reliability of the nation’s electric grid.

Give me that old-time religion Join the faithful who gather at Indian Field Methodist Campground near St. George each fall to continue the timehonored tradition of camp meetings. See all the photos and read the history of week-long revivals in South Carolina at


Restoring a classic Built in 1861 and abandoned in the 1950s, historic Jones Mill near Fountain Inn is getting a new lease on life, thanks to a $1.6 million restoration effort. Read the story at

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SC | dialogue

Those eyes had not seen South Carolina’s cooperatives respond to catastrophic weather events like Hurricane Matthew and the Thousand Year Flood. Lineworkers were not only restoring power to their cooperatives’ members but help ing to do the same in other cooperative territories. Member service representatives were not only reassuring anxious members but were gathering food and supplies for neighbors in need.Those shoulders had not yet been covered by the distinc tive red jacket worn by 185 World War II veterans and their guardians (like me) during the Honor Flights the electric cooperatives sponsored so that those heroes could visit the national memorial constructed in their honor.

That nose had not been probed for evidence of COVID (I’m still negative, thankfully) when our world changed, and co-ops changed with it. Across the state, co-ops adeptly adjusted their policies and practices to protect the employees and members, even revo lutionizing their previously festivallike annual meetings into drive-thru affairs. We made similar transitions with our statewide pro grams like Washington Youth Tour and the Cooperative Youth Summit. Since the high school students selected by the electric cooperatives couldn’t go on those trips, we designed a once-in-a-lifetime virtual experience that involved national and state leaders and an innovative podcast challenge for theThosestudents.spectacles had not yet magnified the countless letters and emails I’ve received from many of you over the years expressing your appreciation for your co-op. Nor had they enlarged the words of Dr. Lacy Ford and Jared Bailey in the recent publication of the book Empowering Communities, a history of how electric cooperatives transformed South Carolina.InJuly, a new photograph was taken to use with this column. I’m not a photographer, but I think a wider lens was used. If you compare the two closely, you may notice that my crooked smile is a little wider as well. That’s the least of the transformations that can happen to a person in 17 years working for South Carolina’s electric cooperatives.

MIKE COUICK President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina

New man, new picture

That chin had not yet stuck out with pride when Gov. Nikki Haley signed landmark renewable energy legislation or when Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law new standards of cooperative governance and transparency, both of which our electric cooperatives had a hand in constructing. I’ve also stood a little taller as our cooperatives have reached out to their communities to enhance their members’ quality of life by supporting charities, local students and teachers, senior citizens and others in need.

Couick the Younger becomes, 17 years on, Couick the Elder.


I HAVE A CONFESSION. The smiling face you’ve enjoyed next to this mes sage each month isn’t me. It used to be, but not anymore. When I see that fella, I see someone different than I amThenow.person in that picture 17 years ago was a father of a 3-yearold, 5-year-old and a 15-year-old. Now, I’m a grandfather of a 1-year-old. I’m sure many of you can recognize the stark difference in those roles. But an account of my personal journey since that photo was taken might best be left for another column. That guy had just begun his journey in the electric cooperative movement and had not yet experi enced what would become some of the most important parts of his life. He had yet to work alongside policymakers and energy industry leaders on a groundbreaking study about the impact energy efficiency has on homes and generation demand. A co-op idea born in S.C. providing loan funds through coop eratives to make thousands of homes more energy efficient grew into the national Rural Energy Savings Program Act.

Help a neighbor save energy

SC | energy Q&A

I’m a firm believer that saving energy helps the environment as well as the pocketbook. So, how can I help others improve their energy savings at home?

On National Good Neighbor Day (Sept. 28) or any day this month join in the cooperative spirit and help your neighbors, friends and family save at home with these do-it-yourself energysaving tips.

Operating your system without a filter allows dirt and dust in the system to go directly to the heating and cooling com ponents, which can damage the system and necessitate costly repairs.

MIRANDA BOUTELLE is the director of operations and customer engagement at Efficiency Services Group in Oregon, a cooperatively owned energy efficiency company. She also writes on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.



Share energy-saving programs. Information is a great way to help, and it’s free. Look into programs your co-op offers and share that information with your neighbor. Don’t forget to check the U.S. Department of Energy for federal tax credits for upgrades.

Remove the window AC for the winter. By removing the unit before wintertime, the window can close prop erly. This prevents heat from escap ing and wasting energy. It also keeps the room more comfortable. Window AC units are heavy and awkward, so this project is best done with a buddy. Get that person to commit to helping put the unit back next spring.

A Helping people feels good. Supporting community is sewn into the fabric of your electric co-op, which is guided by the Seven Cooperative Principles that put the needs of members first.

Adjust the water heater. Check the water heater and set it to 120 degrees. Use a kitchen thermometer to test the water temperature. At the faucet near est the water heater, turn on only the hot water and wait until it gets hot. Let the hot water run into a glass and place a kitchen thermometer in it. Wait until it registers the highest temperature. If the water heater is set too high, you can save energy by lowering the setting. Keep outdoor units clear. Clean brush and debris from around the air condi tioner or heat pump. If leaves or brush pile up around the outdoor unit of a heat pump or air-conditioning system, it can reduce the airflow, making the system work harder than it should. That uses more energy and can reduce the life of the unit.

Open the dampers. Register damp ers allow heated and cooled air to prop erly circulate throughout the home. If you have a central air heating or cool ing system, dampers should be left open. The idea that closing registers saves energy is a common misconception. If furniture is on top of dampers, move it to a new permanent spot so it does not block air flow.

Change lightbulbs. Prioritize changing lights that are used the most, such as in candescent porch lights left on all night.

GOOD DEEDS + ENERGY SAVINGS u Offer to clean up leaves and debris around your neighbor’s air conditioner or heat pump to keep the system running efficiently. u Remove window AC units before cold weather returns to help prevent heat from escaping. u Test the water heater temperature using a kitchen thermometer. If it is over 120 degrees, lower the heat setting.

LEDs use about 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Some neighbors can’t climb step stools or ladders, so help them out if you are able. Be sure to check for overhead power lines when using ladders outside.


Swap the filter. Furnace filters should be checked regularly and replaced when they are dirty. Simply writing down the dimensions of the furnace filter can help your neighbor, who can pick up a pack of new ones in the store or order online. If you find a really dirty furnace filter, don’t remove it until you have a replacement.

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A co-op bucket truck hoisted Neubauer, 8-foot-long fiberglass hot stick in hand, to meet the bear. The bear tucked his face under his front arm, covering his eyes.

A more direct interest between co-ops and wildlife comes in the form of pro tecting birds from high-voltage equip ment, both for the birds’ safety and to keep animal electrocutions from causing power

BY PAUL WESSLUND ONE MONDAY MORNING LAST SUMMER, a young male brown bear climbed to the top of an electric co-op utility pole in Arizona presumably to see what he couldButsee.when two co-op employees spot ted the creature, they knew it was noth ing to joke about. His arms were draped between the crosspieces, paws resting on the pole’s neutral conductor, head next to an energized 7,200-volt line. “If he touched it, he would have been dead,” said one of the workers.

Animals are everywhere Animal encounters are nothing new for electric co-ops. Getting their start in the 1930s to serve rural areas that had no electricity, co-ops have always been close to the land and its creatures. From bears to butterflies and sheep to seabirds, electric co-ops have a track record of showing they understand the importance of caring for wildlife.

Grazing under solar panels

Janelle Lemen, regulatory director for environmental policy at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), describes how co-ops across the country take actions like building nesting platforms for ospreys and fal cons, and modifying electrical struc tures to reduce potential electrocutions of birds. Co-ops have coordinated those efforts nationwide though NRECA’s membership, since 1989, in an orga nization called the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee.

“Alright, little bear. Time to get off this pole,” Neubauer encouraged. The bear nipped and grabbed at the stick, but Neubauer finally nudged him down, where he ran off into the desert.

Co-ops also regularly work with other state, local and federal wildlife agencies to come up with the best ways to coexist with wildlife, Lemen says. “Electric co-ops have a long history of implemen ting conservation efforts to benefit America’s wildlife and other natural resources.”Onepart of that history is an annual week-long Pollinator Power Party. Co-ops know a lot of us love butterflies and bees and that both are essential to the eco systems that pollinate plants. So, several electric co-ops have become part of a group called the Pollinator Partnership to increase awareness of bee and butter fly habitats.

PAUL WESSLUND writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives.


Among its conclusions: “Sheep have often proven to be the best tenants of the land. Horses can be picky about what they eat, cows are large and require a lot of space, and goats tend to chew on wires and climb on panels.”

So, they de-energized the line and called in 18-year co-op veteran Werner Neubauer. It wasn’t his first rodeo, er, animal rescue. He’d also saved cats, rac coons and even a bobcat.

The wild side of electric co-ops

From left: A curious bear near Bradley Lake Hydro in Alaska checks in on workers during a dam Manyinspection.electricco-ops across the U.S. have established pollinator gardens and habitats to help butterflies, bees and other essential pollinators thrive. As solar energy use grows across the country, several co-ops are getting the grass under photovoltaic panels trimmed by sheep

Co-opsoutages.inseveral states have built platforms to keep ospreys and other birds from nesting on power lines. An electric co-op in Hawaii has even experi mented with a laser fence system to keep seabirds from colliding with power lines. And it’s not always the co-ops protect ing animals. Sometimes the critters help out the co-ops. As solar energy use grows across the country, some co-ops are getting the grass under photovoltaic panels trimmed by sheep. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a study called Solar Sheep and Voltaic Veggies: Uniting Solar Power and Agriculture.

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On a floured surface, roll out pastry to ¼-inch thick. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut into 5-inch rounds or desired shape. Place 2 3 tablespoons of filling on one side of dough, leaving about ½ inch along the edge. Using a pastry brush or fingers, brush water along the edge of the dough. Fold the blank side over on top of the filling and crimp the edges to seal. Place on a large platter lined with parchment paper. Set a rack on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Heat 2 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet, over medium heat. Working in batches, fry meat pies until they are golden brown, turning as needed, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined rack. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm. Alternately, bake in a 400 F oven for 20 25 minutes until golden brown.


¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 cup unsalted beef stock 1 tablespoon hot sauce 4 pastry crusts (homemade or Vegetablestore-bought)oil,for

3 large garlic cloves, blackFreshmincedgroundpepper

CHEF’S TIP Lean into beef. Use 90/10 (extra lean) ground beef when possible. It has less fat and prevents the pastry from getting soggy. If using 80/20 beef, drain excess fat before adding veggies.

What’s cooking at Jamaican meat crazy! Need a crowdpleasing finger food? Spice up the party with Chef Belinda’s Jamaican meat patties.



Handheld meat pies

SOUTHERN-STYLE MEAT PIES MAKES ABOUT 16 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 pound very lean ground beef (90/10 ratio) ½ pound ground pork 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 scallions (green onions), chopped ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped 2 celery ribs, finely Kosherchoppedsalt

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Crumble beef and pork into skillet and cook until all pink is gone, 5 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add onions, scallions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cook until vegetables are soft, another 5 7 minutes. Add flour and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add crumbled sausage and cook until lightly browned, 8 10 minutes. Add bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeno, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook until vegetables are soft. Sprinkle with flour and add water; stir to combine and bring to a simmer for 1 2 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Allow to cool. On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry about half its thickness. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut into as many 4-inch rounds as possible. Roll up the remaining dough and cut into additional rounds. Scoop 2 tablespoons of filling on top of half the rounds, leaving about ½ inch along the edge. Using a pastry brush or fingers, brush water along the edge of the dough. Place the remaining rounds on top and crimp edges to seal. Bake for 15 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm. Mini meat pies were originally a healthy, inexpensive and convenient way to provide nourishment to workers in coal mines, factories, fields and the railroads during the day until they could return home to their families for a heartier meal. Known by various names in different regions of the country, handheld pies have forged a way as a “fast food” icon enjoyed everywhere, any time of the day.

Love the leftovers. Whenever you have leftover meats—beef, chicken, pork roast— make meat pies that you can bake, freeze and reheat for a future road trip, hike, picnic or lunch. Pies can be stored for up to two months in the freezer. Reheat frozen pies at 350 F for 20 minutes or until bubbling. Size of meat pies. Depending on the size of your pastry cutter, your yield may vary. Leftover filling can be refrigerated up to 4 days.

BARBECUE CHICKEN HAND PIES MAKES ABOUT 16 PIES 8 ounces chicken, cooked and shredded ¼ cup barbecue sauce 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese Pastry dough (homemade or store-bought) 1 large egg, optional Preheat oven to 400 F. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, barbecue sauce and cheese. On a floured surface, roll out pastry to ¼-inch thick. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut into 4-inch rounds or desired shape. Place 1 2 tablespoons of filling on one side of dough, leaving about ½ inch along the edge. Using a pastry brush or fingers, brush water along the edge of the dough. Fold the blank side over on top of the filling and crimp the edges to seal. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. If desired, in a small bowl, whisk egg and brush on top of pies (or leave plain). Bake 15 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm. BY SMITH-SULLIVANBELINDA

CAJUN MEAT PIES MAKES 12 2 packages frozen puff pastry 2 vegetabletablespoonsoil 1 pound crumbledfromsausage,andouilleremovedcasingand 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 red bell choppedpepper, 1 onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 1 Worcestershiretablespoon sauce 1 teaspoon dried thyme Kosher salt Fresh ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 alltablespoonspurposeflour ½ cup grated cheddar

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Well, not just any gas station.

I HAVE ONLY EVER STOOD IN LINE for a store to open once, and that was when I was in high school and wanted The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a video game released on Black Friday in 1998. I waited with hundreds of other people before dawn in the parking lot of the Westgate Mall in Spartanburg, but by the time I made it into the store, the game was already gone.

AllBucleadroadsto-ee’sThemuch-lovedtravelcenteranditsdiehardfansarriveinSouthCarolinaBYHASTINGSHENSELPHOTOSBYMILTONMORRIS 16 SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING |  SEPTEMBER 2022  | SCLIVING.COOP

Prickly Pear Cactus Jams. Buc ee’s Dill Pork Rinds. Buc-ee’s Pickled Quail Eggs. Buc ee’s Chocolate Rocks. Buc-ee’s hunting and fishing supplies, Christmas gifts, kids’ toys, beachwear andYoucookbooks.nameit, and you’re likely to see it and want to buy it, and almost all of it is embla ee’s logo a smiling bucktoothed beaver in a red ballcap with the brim flipped up.

“Buc-ee’s is like Walmart and Disney World had a baby.”

“We love Buc-ee’s. Actually, we’ve never been, but we love the idea of it.”

Or, I should say, the Buc-ee’s fanatics. Janice Crocco of Florence has never been to a Buc-ee’s, but she owns tons of Buc-ee’s memorabilia (sweatshirts, coffee mugs, T-shirts) given to her by her son who lives in Texas, and she’s second in line because she wouldn’t miss the opening of Buc-ee’s in her hometown for the world.

Those would be the words of Lucy Peacock, Hannah Clark and Olivia Giammona, who have joined their friend Julianna Gray as the first customers in line at the first-ever South Carolina Buc-ee’s, a 53,000-square-foot travel center that inspires the kind of fandom normally reserved for rock bands. They are all college students, all out here in match ing pastel jumpers, and all giddy about what’s waiting for them inside the store.

And then there’s third-in-line Zoë Jenkins of Andrews, who celebrated her fifth birthday party with Buc-ee’s cake and Buc-ee’s gift bags, and in her six years on this earth has been to every Buc-ee’s in Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

“Are y’all ready?” District Operations Manager Josh uu

So even I am surprised when I find myself, at 5 a.m. one Monday morning in May, waiting for the grand open ing of a gas station off of I-95 in Florence.

College students, from left, Olivia Giammona, Julianna Gray, Hannah Clark and Lucy Peacock succeed in their quest to be first in line and first to check out.

“I’m from Florence, and this kind of thing just doesn’t happen. So, whenever I found out, I was like, ‘I have to go to Buc-ee’s. I have to be the first customer.’ And we are. And I’m going in, and I’m grabbing Beaver Nuggets.”

What’s inside? The weird and the wonderful. Buc Texas Brisket. Buc-ee’s Wall of Jerky. Buc Nuggets. Buc-ee’s bow ties. Buc-ee’s tumblers. Buc-ee’s

“I always say, ‘If you can’t find it at Buc-ee’s, you probably That would be John Graber, the store’s general manager who, by 5:30 a.m. on opening day, is high-fiving a line of customers that has backed up beneath the giant inflatable Buc-ee the Beaver towering over more than 100 gas pumps. The actual mascot is out here today, too, dancing and smil ing his bucktoothed smile for pictures with the Buc-ee’s fans.

Other fans wear old Buc-ee’s tie-dyed T-shirts and pajama pants like true Buc-ee’s groupies. Many have taken off

District Operations Manager Josh Smith welcomes opening-day early birds with a complimentary T-shirt.

Buc-ee the Mascot greets super fan Janice Crocco of Florence who is among the dozens lined up before dawn awaiting the grand opening of South Carolina’s first Buc-ee’s.

p National BBQ champion Randy Pauley, above center, who developed Buc-ee’s acclaimed brisket recipe, poses with just a few of the 300 associates employed at the Florence travel center. q Tempting food options and lots of Buc-ee’s branded merchandise stand between the 100 gas pumps and the restrooms voted No. 1 in Cintas America’s Best Bathroom Contest.


For many fanatics, Buc-ee’s is a destination, but today I’m on my way across the state. I have no shortage of options for pitstops, but I hold it until Buc-ee’s. I want to see if the novelty has worn off if the bathrooms are still as clean and the smiles are still as bright.

All this is the brainchild of a man named Arch “Beaver” Aplin, who opened the first Buc ee’s in 1982 with co-founder Don Wasek in Lake Jackson, Texas. The original stores were traditional-sized affairs, but everything is bigger in Texas, so Buc ee’s just kept on growing. As of this writing, there are 54 other mega-sized travel centers in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee. Additional locations are planned for Colorado, Mississippi and Missouri, and a second South Carolina location, near Anderson, is expected to open in 2025.

“Our people have told me that this was the best class we’ve ever had. Incredible employees,” Aplin says in his deep Texas drawl. “They’re doing a wonderful job.”

“Come back and see us now,” the cashier says with a happy grin, and I tell her I will.

AND I DO. NOT EVEN A WEEK LATER, I’m back at Buc-ee’s.

Texan Arch “Beaver” Aplin, brainchild behind and co-founder of the Buc-ee’s chain, shares ribbon cutting duties at the new Florence travel center with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

“It’s layers of flavor,” he says, describing but not divulging the secrets of his culinary creation. “It’s not just one. It’s salt, pepper, garlic, smoke, a little bit of sweet. So, it’s layer after layer after layer, and juicy. It’s gotta be juicy.”

slogans: “Holding it till Buc-ee’s. If you know, you know.”

A crowd gathers round. Buc-ee’s, after all, is big news in Florence, bringing some 300 new jobs that pay $18 to $22 an hour with benefits including paid time off and a 401(k).

Like almost all Buc-ee’s employees, Pauley speaks with both the polish of a company man and the enthusiasm of a company fan. But he’s not kidding. Biting into the bris ket taco, I do indeed savor the layers of flavor, and then I top it off with the sweet dessert-like crunch of some Beaver Nuggets. A bona fide Buc-ee’s breakfast of champions. Then it’s on to (and into) the bathrooms voted No. 1 in Cintas America’s Best Bathroom Contest. And let me tell you, these bathrooms live up to their reputation spacious and impeccably clean, with stall walls that go all the way to the floor. I suddenly understand one of the Buc-ee’s T-shirt

On my way back to the highway, I see the beaver smiling at me from his high perch on the Buc-ee’s sign, as if he knows what I must now confess: I am a Buc-ee’s convert. And I will be coming back soon.

Today, I’m after the two most iconic Buc-ee’s items: their brisket and their bathrooms. I start with the brisket, the recipe of national BBQ champion Randy Pauley. He’s here today in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots with his chef’s knife sheathed to his belt-buckled jeans.

The employees have been training for weeks, learning the Buc-ee’s brand of hospitality. Buc-ee’s founder Aplin himself is on hand, having arrived in Texas-style: fedora, mirrored shades, crisp blazer.

GET THERE Buc-ee’s is located at 3390 N. Williston Road in Florence. That’s Exit 170 off I-95. The store and gas pumps are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. For more information on the rapidly expanding chain of mega-sized convenience stores, visit


After all the pomp and ceremony, I go back inside to beat the crowds to my second helping of brisket. Brisket taco for break fast, brisket sandwich for lunch. Why the Buc-not? Then I get some fire starter and some sunglasses cords, too, because I’d forgotten I needed these items until I saw them. Without even thinking about it, I’m on something of a Buc-ee’s shopping spree.

A LITTLE BEFORE 10 A.M., the governor shows up. There is ribbon to be cut. There are speeches to be given and hands to be shook.

This time, I gas up at the pumps (easy pay, rapid flow) and try the cherry jerky (sweet, chewy) and a kolache (doughy Czech pastry). Despite the fact that there are more people inside than there were at the grand opening, I don’t see so much as a single crumb on the floor or a stain in the bathrooms.

Smith finally cries, “What are you waiting for? Go!”We go. Through the doors, into the bright lights, among the aromas of sugar and slowcooked meat. The college girls beeline it for the Beaver Nuggets (think deep-fried Corn Pops) and succeed in going down into the record books as the first paying customers at the Florence Buc-ee’s. Smiling workers, all wearing red Buc-ee’s T-shirts tucked neatly into khaki pants, cheer us on: “Welcome to Buc-ee’s! Welcome to Buc-ee’s!”

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Simplicity, it has been said, is the ulti mate form of sophistication. We are told over and over to keep things simple pure and simple. Less, they say, is Nowheremore.does such wisdom ring truer than at a grist mill. At a grist mill, nothing is complex about the opera tion. A stone wheel, often powered by a waterwheel, turns on an axle against another stone wheel, pummeling corn into the fine grain of cornmeal or the coarser grain of grits. And that’s pretty much it. It’s a far cry from engineered flavors or the meat less “meat” churned out of modern food labs, and anyone who’s tasted freshly ground grits or cornmeal will tell you that, just like fish right off the hook or tomatoes right off the homegrown vine, stone-ground corn is as good as it gets. Although most rural communities once had a miller, there are only a few grist mills still grinding away in South Carolina. In search of authentic grits and cornmeal, I set off on a road trip to three water-powered Upstate mills. At each stop, I learned something else about simplicity. A grist mill operates the old and simple way because, well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And when you do things the old and simple way passed down generation after genera tion it means you have a story to tell.

South Carolina grist mills keep the old stone-ground traditions alive

The machinery inside Timm’s Mill has passed the test of time with flying colors and still cranks out grits and cornmeal the old-fashioned way.



“If you don’t want that in your grits, run them in cold water,” advises Linda Suber, Jim Suber’s wife and Bryan Suber’s mother. “My mother-in-law used to say, ‘Swim it off!’”

Jim Suber is a fourth generation miller in Greer. He’s been using this granite grindstone for 60 years and only an inch has been worn off. Linda Suber keeps an eye on the scale as she fills a bag with grits.

STEPPING INTO SUBER’S Corn Mill on a Saturday when they are grinding corn is indeed like stepping back in time. A thin layer of cornmeal dusts everything in sight the wooden floorboards, the grindstone, the sifter, the flour mixer, the rocking chair, the fishing pictures hanging on the wall, the whirring box fan in the window, the cast-iron wood stove, even the miller himself, Jim Suber.

me how long they run,” Suber says about the 18-inch granite wheel at the heart of the works. “I said, ‘That’s 18-inch rock. I’ve been running it 60 years, and I wore only an inch off of it.’”

Although the family business only grinds and sells to the public on Saturdays, they also sell their grits to local res taurants and farmers markets. And they still have loyal cus tomers, like Greer resident Carl Dunham, who comes every weekend.“It’sthe only place you can get real cornmeal,” Dunham says. “It’s the real thing. It’s an institution. Not a quantity business, but a quality business because it’s a family business.”

For self-rising flour, they mix the cornmeal with baking powder, baking soda and salt. For grits, they keep the bran in.

Suber’s son, Bryan, who works at the mill on Saturdays as a fifth-generation miller because he “can’t get away from it,” feeds 50-pound bags of corn into a bin. The corn is conveyed by metal cups to the grindstone, which is adjusted according to the desired product. For cornmeal, they sift off the bran, which is the tough but nutritious outer layer of corn, and save it to feed livestock.

“I believe it’s gonna start,” Suber says with a sly grin when I walk in just after 9 a.m. It’s an obvious joke because it the mill has been starting up for 150Suberyears. whose great-grandfather James Suber started a grist mill and whiskey still on the same branch of the Enoree River, Princess Creek pulls a lever that opens the gates on the top of the hill. Water comes coursing down the creek, under the railroad tracks, and turns the waterwheel that powers the “Someonemill.asked

Suber’s Corn Mill is located at 2002 Suber Mill Road in Greer and open to the public on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For details, call (864) 430 3675 or visit

NESTLED IN A SHADED COVE of gently rolling hills between Anderson and Pendleton, Timm’s Mill is a labor of love for gastroenterologist David Wortham, who bought the property in 2001 and began a two-year restoration project.

These days, he grinds corn and sells to the public on Wednesdays, and he ships to various restaurants in the area, including the famous Clemson barbe cue joint, The Smokin’ Pig. He also holds an annual Christmas party open to the public; it’s a celebration of the community that’s helped Timm’s Mill endure as one of the last functioning grist mills in the state.

For David Wortham, second from left, the mill is a gathering place for family, friends and customers, who look forward to the annual Christmas party. The holiday gathering is Wortham’s way of saying thanks to the community for their support of the mill restoration project. Wortham purchased the property in 2001 because he “didn’t want to see the mill go away.” The waterwheel had to be lifted out with a crane to be refabricated during the two-year restoration project.


Wortham tells me that there was a Timm’s Mill as far back as 1780, a mile up Six and Twenty Creek from its current location. After a series of moves and setbacks, the mill ceased operations in 1970.

Timm’s Mill

And, as a gastroenterologist, he’s quick to point out something else: “Grits are good for your gut,” he says. “And you can quote me on that!”

Like a justifiably proud father, Wortham is quick to point out two unusual things about his waterwheel, made by the famous Fitz Water Wheel Company.

“I didn’t want to see the mill go away,” Wortham says, opening up a photo album with before-and-after pictures. They had to lift the waterwheel out with a crane to have it refabricated. “So, I started researching mills and realized there were not many remaining. There are very few. You can put them on one hand. And I had this standing building, and I had this vision that one day we could maybe restore it and make it work again.”

For one, it is set at about a 20-degree angle from the building so that the shafts and pulleys run parallel to the floor joists. Two, it has an internal ring gear.

If it all sounds a bit technical, it’s because such specialized knowledge is neces sary in the world of mill restoration. In fact, Wortham points to the serendipitous fact that the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM) happened to host its annual meeting in nearby Clemson the year that he started his project.

He says, “We got a lot of exposure to different people,” who helped him learn the milling trade. One of the former millers at Hagood Mill even came down and took him through the process. “I’ve been blessed by some very kind, generous friends.”

Timm’s Mill is located at 150 Timms Mill Road in Pendleton. Although the mill is open most Wednesdays, visitors are encouraged to call or email ahead. (864) 261 3366, For more information, visit



ON THE THIRD SATURDAY OF EVERY MONTH, Hagood Mill Historic Site comes alive with musicians, quilters, black smiths, families touring the prehistoric petroglyphs museum and vendors selling everything from tacos to handmade leather goods, but the heart of this Pickens County park is and always has been the historic grist mill.

Truly, it feels like a beating heart inside the restored wooden structure built atop a foundation of creek rocks, what with all the wheels wheeling and pumps pumping and pulleys pulling and chutes chuting. And all of it is powered by the picturesque waterwheel out back on Hagood Branch.

While they also mill wheat, rye, oats, barley and millet for sale on the first floor of the mill, old-fashioned yellow grits are the most popular item, and for good reason. They provide a literal taste of old South Carolina.

“Whatvisitors.anopportunity to have something that old and that unique, to be able to run it, and for people to come see it and also buy the products that you’re making,” Warner says.

Hagood Mill Historic Site

During every third Saturday event, volunteers under head miller Alan Warner make sure the whole operation runs just as it would have 100 years ago. They repair belts and pulleys, keep everything clean, and heft 50-pound bags of corn into the hopper while narrating the history of the mill to inter ested

FOR MORE ON HAGOOD MILL, see these stories at Hagood Mill: Crafting a legacy—Watch the 2016 renovation of Hagood Mill’s historic waterwheel in this Pickens County Tourism video. Hagood Mill Keeps History Alive—Join us on a walkthrough of the petroglyphs museum and the Third Saturday Folklife Festivals. Hagood coarseness.dependinggroundseparatessifter,managesBelow,milltovolunteersdependsMillonkeepthegrinding.amillerthewhichcornon


RESTORING JONES MILL—Built in 1861 and abandoned in the 1950s, historic Jones Mill near Fountain Inn is getting a new lease on life, thanks to a $1.6 million restoration effort. Read the story at

Hagood Mill Historic Site is located at 138 Hagood Mill Road in Pickens and operates every third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more on the park and its other attractions, call (864) 898 2936 or visit

“When we talk to people, we’re also explaining how to cook them,” Warner says. “There is a difference between stone ground and manufactured grits. We’re taking the whole kernel of corn and grinding it. What you get is a product that includes the germ, and the germ has all the oils and nutri ents in it and that’s what gives it a unique taste.”

u Visitors swarm the grist mill’s grounds every third Saturday for a festival that offers craft and museum.park’sanddemonstrationsmillingtoursofthepetroglyphs

GUIDETRAVELWINTER&FALL YOUR STARTSHISTORYHERE.TheGatewaytotheLibertyTrail. 301 College Drive, Gaffney, SC | | 864-489-3988 Begin your journey to explore the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution at the Cherokee County Museum, the upstate gateway to the South Carolina Liberty Trail. A ninety-foot mural tells the story of the people, places, and events that shaped the outcome of the war, including the role played by African Americans and women. Walk or drive to nearby sites, including Cowpens National Battlefield and Kings Mountain National Military Park, both a part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, and don’t miss the Rev War Exhibit Hall at the Gaffney Visitors Center. Where will your journey take you? Download The Liberty Trail App Scan to Learn More • October 14th & 15th Ghost Stories, Storytelling Festival & Liar’s Competition • November 18th & 19th Native American Celebration-Selugadu • December 17th Celtic Christmas • February 18th, 2023 Deep Winter Blues • March 18th, 2023 Kid’s Fest!!! Come experience the cultural history, folklife and unique people that make Pickens County such a special place to visit. Step back In Time *Partially funded by ATAX dollars, South Carolina Arts Commission & South Arts SCLIVING.COOP | SEPTEMBER 2022 | SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING 25

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GUIDETRAVELWINTER&FALLThe Union County Historical Society in collaboration with the South Carolina Sestercentennial Commission Presents The Battle of Blackstock’s Farm Living History & Reenactment Program October 14 – 16, 2022 163 Old Buncombe Road, Union, SC 29379 Free Admission • Donations Appreciated For more information contact Cathryn Smith (Union County Museum) uncomus@bellsouth.net864.429.5081 Come learn & Honor Union County’s Revolutionary War History! SCLIVING.COOP | SEPTEMBER 2022 | SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING 29

GUIDETRAVELWINTER&FALL Sassafras Festival Western Carolina State Fair Aiken County Fairgrounds, SC Hook & Cook Festival Branchville, South Carolina Raylrode Daze Festivul 54th Annual September 22-24, 2022 Thur, Sept 22: Pep Rally Fri, Sept 23: Local Entertainment Band & DJ Sat, Sept 24: Parade, 11 Entertainmentam by Vinyl Daze Arts & Crafts Can Can Pelican’sFoodEntertainmentGirlsTrucksandSnoballs Games all Weekend Long Live RideBandstheCal Smoak Special Ride the Mechanical Bull Western Gun Fights RaylrodeDazeFestivul.comFindusonFacebook TimelessExperiencesResort Other Fun September 15th 17th G e o r g i a M o u n t a i n F a i r g r o u n d s . c o m Arts & Craft s Carniva R des Fun Demonstrations and Music Performances! estival The Oak Ridge Boys Saturday October 8th Ash ey McBryde Saturday October 5th Featuring The BEST of award winning traditional Country, Bluegrass & Gospel music! The Line Up U S BNavy and Craig Morgan Lonestar R cky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder The Singing Contractors Riders In The Sky Bradley Walker Primitive Quartet October 22nd 38 Special Appalachian Brew, Stew, & Que Festival October 22nd Br ngs you great craft breweries from Georgia North Carolina South Caro ina & A abama! November 9th ZZ TOP 30 SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING |  SEPTEMBER 2022  | SCLIVING.COOP

GUIDETRAVELWINTER&FALL december 2022 01 // aaron tippin 04 // the nutcracker 09 // christmas with the celts 10 // it's a wonderful life radio 11 // ernie hasse + the signature sound 16 // tupelo honey: van morrison tribute 17 // riders in the sky September 2022 10 // ROCK THE TOWER: DANCING DREAM ABBA TRIBUTE 11 // ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION 15 // the KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS 16 // SWINGIN' MEDALLIONS 23 // marty stuart 24 // rick alviti: elvis tribute 30 // malpass brothers the tnutcracker he nutcracker The Elvis TImperials he Elvis Imperials with terry wblackwood ith terry blackwood Ruben RStuddard uben Studdard the Kentucky tHeadhunters he Kentucky Headhunters 803 276 6264 | NewberryOperaHouse com | All sales are final Tickets On Sale Now! And Much More! October 2022 02 // abilene: neo classic quartet 07 // the elvis imperials 09 // who hijacked my fairytale? 14 // night fever: Bee gees tribute 16 // Peach state opera: Operatizers! 18 // sanctified by javon johnson 20 // warehouse theatre: romeo & juliet 21 // cravin' melon 27 // hank lives!: Hank Sr Tribute 28 // silent disco: halloween outdoors 29 // summoning spirits with peter boie November 2022 03 // appalachian road show 04 // the karens comedy 05 // gaelic storm 06 // jukebox saturday night 10 // 3 redneck tenors 11 // thunderstruck: ac/dc tribute 13 // dailey & vincent 18 // Colajazz: christmas (Free) 19 // black jacket symphony 20 // ruben studdard Aaron Atippin aron tippin Atlanta rhythm ASection tlanta rhythm Section Summoning Spirits Swith ummoning Spirits with Peter PBoie eter Boie Gaelic GStorm aelic Storm marty stuart m& arty stuart & His Fabulous HSuperlatives is Fabulous Superlatives Saturday, November 12th Doko Meadows Park, Blythewood, SC 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Official Ceremony 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Rain or Shine to Honor our Veterans 7th Annual Family Event Program • Military Exhibits • Vintage Military Vehicles • Purple Heart Town • Quilt of Valor • Food Trucks • Veterans Resources Sponsored by the Blythewood Historical Society and the Town of Blythewood 171 Langford Road, Blythewood, SC Pack your bags for the 17th Annual SC Jazz Festival Head to Cheraw October 13th and 15th to celebrate Dizzy Gillespie’s 105th Birthday! Jazz musicians and artists converge on Cheraw for a weekend with over 20 live performances! For more information head to orSCJazzfestival.comcall888.537.0014 SCLIVING.COOP | SEPTEMBER 2022 | SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING 31

GUIDETRAVELWINTER&FALL Follow TheOystertheto18th BLUFFTONHISTORICANNUALARTS&SEAFOODFESTIVAL Oct 15-23, 2022 A week-long event with plenty of activities, the festival showcases locally harvested seafood and delicious Low Country cuisine while highlighting the rich history and culture of the area. It all culminates with a juried fine art show. Come be a part of excitementthe Where more than imaginations run wild! EudoraFarms 219 Salem Ln, Salley, SouthAikenBeautifulCarolina.County OPEN MONDAY THROUGH SUNDAY Check our website for updated seasonal hours It’s history with a little season. Check out what’s ahead from the Fort Mill History Museum. Visit FMHM.ORG for more information Museum Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 107 Clebourne St, Fort Mill, SC 803.802.3646 Project assisted by the Town of Fort Mill & York County Accommodations Tax Grants. Join us for the 6th Annual Lanterns and Legends Walking Tour for the Month of October each Thursday, Friday and Saturday Fort Mill History Museum Presents the 6th Annual Historic Homes Tour on December 10th Lanterns and Legends Walking Tour Historic Homes Tours 32 SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING |  SEPTEMBER 2022  | SCLIVING.COOP

15–18 The Penguin Project: The Aristocats Kids, Greenwood Community Theatre, Greenwood. (864) 229‑5704 16 Spartanburg Greek Festival, Spartanburg.downtown,(864) 585‑5961

23 Autumnfest at the Market, Greenville State Farmers Market, Greenville. (864) 244‑4023 Our mobile-friendly site lists even more festivals, shows and events. You’ll also find instructions on submitting your event. Please confirm information with the hosting event before attending. SC | calendar SEPT 15–OCT 30 Anthony Gagliardi Captain-Team USA Learn more about this once is a lifetime event that is fun for the whole family! Championship on US soil. Held on Lake Murray, SC Oct. 16 22, 2022! Lake Murray, South Carolina #TopSouthernDestination Youth Angling Day Oct. 16 | 11-3 PM | Columbia Canal Weigh in Concert w/ Cody Webb Oct. 21 | 4 PM | Dreher Island State Park Bring the kids out to meet a real bass fishing pro and PAW Patrol's Skye & Marshall. Watch the weigh in on the MLF stage followed by a Country Music concert. Come hungry, there will be food trucks & vendors 34 SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING |  SEPTEMBER 2022  | SCLIVING.COOP

17–18 Sooie. Mauldin’s Annual BBQ Cook-off, Mauldin Cultural Center, Mauldin. (864) 335‑4862 or

20–24 South Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair, The F.A.R.M. Center, Seneca. (864) 723‑0698 or

OCTOBER 1 Ridge Runner Corvettes Car Show, Embassy Suites Golf Resort & Conference Center,

2 Hispanic Heritage Festival, Fluor Field, Greenville. (864) 402‑4207 or 6–8 Albino Skunk Music Festival, The Skunk Farm,



15–18 euphoria, multiple venues, Greenville. (864) 617‑0231 or


17–18 South Carolina Fiddling Convention, Hagood Mill Historic Site, Pickens. (864) 898‑2936 or 17–18 September Campout, Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill. (803) 547‑4575 or

Spartanburg Soaring!, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 542‑2787 or 11–16 Piedmont Interstate Fair, Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds, Spartanburg. (864) 582‑7042 or 21–23 The Walhalla Oktoberfest, Sertoma Field,

23–Oct. 2 Mauldin Theatre Company presents I Wanna Rock!, Mauldin Cultural Center, Mauldin. (864) 335‑4862 Midlands SEPTEMBER 15 “The Hunt is On” Southern Decoy Carvers, Aiken Center for the Arts. (803) 641‑9094 or 16 Aiken Master Gardener Association presents “Randy’s Gardening Medley, Stop and Smell the Mint,” Millbrook Baptist Church, Aiken. (803) 508‑7739 or 22–25 Raylrode Daze Festivul, downtown, Branchville. (803) 682‑0124 or 23–24 Irmo Okra Strut Festival, downtown, Irmo. (803) 781‑7050 or 24 Holistic Wellness Fair, H.O. Weeks Center, 30–Oct. 9 Chapin Theatre Company presents Farce of Nature, Firehouse Theatre at American Legion Post 193, Chapin. (803) 404‑0015 or 6–8 Ridge Spring Harvest Festival, downtown, Ridge Spring. (803) 685‑5511 6–9 United States Disc Golf Championship, Winthrop University, Rock Hill. 12–23 South Carolina State Fair, South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Columbia. (803) 799‑3387 or 13–15 South Carolina Jazz Festival, multiple locations, Cheraw.

8 Charleston Oktoberfest, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Charleston. (843) 723‑1611 or

24 MFBG Beerfest, Moore Farms Botanical Garden, Lake City. (843) 356‑9500 or

15–23 Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival, Historic District, Bluffton.

21 Becoming Catawba: Catawba Indian Women and Nation-Building, USC Lancaster Native American Studies Center, Lancaster. (803) 313‑7172.

22 Lake Wylie Lutheran Church Quilters Exhibition and Craft Fair, Lake Wylie Lutheran Church, Lake Wylie. (803) 548‑5489 or

17 Wild Side, Kaminski House, Georgetown. (843) 527‑0078 or

8 Evening Wine Walk, Moore Farms Botanical Garden, Lake City. (843) 210‑7592 or

29 Camp-And-Treat, Lee State Park, Bishopville. (803) 428‑5307.

17 Aynor Harvest Hoe-Down Festival, Aynor Town Park, Aynor. (843) 358‑1074 or

15–16 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, Front Street, Georgetown. (843) 520‑0111 or


Lowcountry SEPTEMBER 15–25 Society of Stranders Fall Migration, multiple venues, Myrtle Beach.

8 15th Annual Second Chance Animal Shelter’s Golf Outing, The Players Course at Wyboo Golf Club, Manning. (803) 473‑7075.

17 Cuban Carnival featuring the Buena Vista Legacy Band, Charleston Music Hall, Charleston. (843) 641‑0011 or

14–15 Hardeeville Festival on Main, Main Street, Hardeeville. (843) 784‑2231 or

OCTOBER 1 Bluegrass Music Concert, Grand Old Post Office, Darlington. (843) 339‑1691 or

15 Piecing Together the Past with Archeology, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852‑4200.

1 Goose Creek Fall Festival, Marguerite H. Brown Municipal Center, Goose Creek. (843) 569‑4242 or

24 Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival, Heyward House, Bluffton.

24 Irish Italian International Festival, Main St., North Myrtle Beach. (843) 280‑5570 or

9 Summerville Italian Feast, Hutchinson Square, Summerville.

22 Italian Heritage Festival, Coastal Discovery Museum at Historic Honey Horn, Hilton Head. (843) 415‑5560 or

24 Yoga and Healing Arts Festival, downtown, Hartsville.

7–9 Edisto Blackwater Boogie, Givhans Ferry State Park, Ridgeville. (843) 873‑0692.

6–8 Gopher Hill Festival, downtown, Ridgeland. (843) 258‑4008 or

24 Getting Saucy BBQ Sauce Competition, Firefly Distillery, North Charleston.

17 Lowcountry Reptiles, Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage, Ridgeland. (843) 284‑9227 or

20–22 Conway Ghost Walk, downtown, Conway. (843) 248‑6260 or

8–9 Little River Shrimp Fest, Historic Little River Waterfront, Little River. (843) 249‑6604 or

To advertise, please go to or email EASTERN STORAGEHORSEHAYBUILDINGSBARNSBARNSGARAGES!Hurricane Upgrade E of I-95 • Fully Insured • #1 Metal • Custom Sizes 4/12 roof pitch • Engineered trusses • Local codes/freight may affect prices building*Customshown.Callforpricing. We love to hear from our readers. Comments? Story idea? Tell us what’s on your mind by clicking on the Contact Us link at PALMETTO STATE | market place Steel Mobile Home Roofing Contact us at 800.633.8969 or Leaks? High energy bill? Roof rumble? Mobile Home Roofover Systems Since 1983 Readers turn to South Carolina Living to find fun things to do and great places to go in South Carolina and our neighboring states. Attract your next visitors with an ad in South Carolina Living! Contact Mary Watts at (803) 739 Learn more at the Advertise link on “Whereshouldwegothisweekend?” 21 Aiken Master Gardener Association Lunch Box Series: “Planting Bulbs,” Millbrook Baptist Church, Aiken.


n It’s peony planting time! Place tubers in a well-prepared planting area that basks in the early morning light but, to prevent the beautiful blooms from fading too quickly, also provides some sun-relieving shade during the afternoon scorch.

n Spring-flowering bulbs will soon be showing up at garden centers, and if you want the best displays next year, pay more to get more. “Bargain” bulbs are usually smaller and won’t put on grand flower shows. The best blooming results will come from larger bulbs, which are normally more expensive, but the results are worth it.


A double bonus: while deer ignore this plant, butterflies, bees andcan’thummingbirdsresistit.

SING THE BLUES Gardening friends will be blue with envy at your colorful anise sage blossoms.


BOTANICALLY KNOWN AS Salvia guaranitica, anise sage so named for its scented leaves brings a tough ness many salvias are known for to just about any garden party, along with the desirable ability to flaunt flow ers from spring until the first autumn frosts. An herba ceous perennial that, depending on the cultivar, can reach 3 to 5 feet tall, it will show off impres sive stalks of small, conical blooms visu ally residing in the violet/indigo end of the spectrum, with some cultivars even flirting with true blue.Like for most perennials, fall is a fine time to plant anise sage. Placed in a well-draining area that receives about six hours of sun a day and, at least for its first year in the garden, watered well when the rains don’t cooperate, this blooming beauty can easily settle into its no-fuss-no-muss mode in almost any landscape setting. And a double bonus: while deer ignore this plant, butterflies, bees and hummingbirds can’t resist it. As far as particular cultivars, for me, Black and Blue goes to the head of the class. It has been a popular pick for years, and for good reason each pretty blue bloom emerges from a midnight black calyx, making for a visual pop to remember. The recent hybrid introduc tion Amistad is a similar sight sensation, except its flowers are dipped deep into a dusky purple. As a softer contrast, Argentine Skies has green calyxes typi cal of most anise sages, but its flowers blush in a modest lightManyblue. other anise sage cultivars are available to gar deners, meaning the three I men tioned are just the tip of a pretty ice berg. Various selec tions can probably be found at your local garden centers, but anise sage is also an easy find if you prefer to let your fingers do the walking on the Regretfully,Web. sticking to truth in jour nalism, I do have to admit that the leaves of my anise sage plants, when rubbed, at least to me, don’t really smell similar to the anise cookies I devoured by the handful as a kid so I can’t really cast my vote in favor of the name connection. Maybe it’s just my nose being a notch or two off, but rather than sing the blues, I enjoy the blues (and the indigos and the violets) of these steadfast plants that depend ably doll up my landscape with beau tiful blooms through the long growing season.  L.A. JACKSON is the former editor of Carolina Gardener magazine. Contact him at

SNAP SHOTS Take pictures of this year’s growing season to help guide you to an even better garden next year.


The anise sage blues

TIP OF THE MONTH Before the garden slips into its annual fall fade, grab a digital camera and unleash your inner Ansel Adams. Shoot like a tourist in Rome—in other words, take a ton of closeups and wide-angle shots to record the many aspects of your personal plant world. Such captured moments will give you a visual record of how your garden did this year, which could be an able aid in planning for future growing seasons. As a bonus, studying these “happy snappies” before next spring’s planting frenzy will also help prevent you from accidentally digging up any herbaceous perennials that die back to the ground over the winter.

LATELY, YOU’VE PROBABLY noticed that despite the technological magic that can deliver the entirety of human knowledge directly to our thirsty brains, cer tain Homo sapiens have managed to remain stupid. (I won’t name names since space is limited.) But so far, no vaccine has successfully prevented us from getting dumber.Irecently encountered a couple of golfers who des perately need that vaccine. Since I’ve been living on a golf course for a decade, I’ve become sort of a freelance expert on the species. I study golfers the way Jane Goodall studied apes and occasionally witness antics so bizarre they defy description. But I’ll try. There are some no-frills facilities adja cent to my house. Granted, they are about a half-step above a Porta Potty, but they still count as my personal out houses which should be a bonus when it’s time to sell. Plus, they guarantee daily entertainment.Likeyesterday, when I saw two older guys, who didn’t really seem like the leaping type, suddenly start jump ing around, emitting the high-pitched squeals of preteen girls at a Bangtan Boys concert. (Think Backstreet Boys, butAnyhow,Korean.)they were swinging their drivers like maniacs but were nowhere near the tee. I couldn’t see exactly what inspired the chaos over the hedge sepa rating us, but they were happy to share as they zipped away on their cart.

Problem solved. Not every female has experienced the thrill of exposing herself to a venomous reptile (unless they were dating), but thanks to these brave gentle men, they’ll have that opportunity.

The Wilton Tennis Club thought it would be jolly good fun to get dogs to replace the ball kids at Wimbledon. Brits love dogs as much as tennis. So, assum ing no squirrels crash the gate, it’s a swell idea,Wrong.right?I could have told them this idea was doomed, but oddly enough, no one ever asks me. Yes, dogs are fast. They can fly over the net like it’s a speed bump and evade obstacles like Kalon Barnes running a Carolina Panther blitz. But return ing the ball may not be a particularly high priority to theHistorically,dog. canines have been torn between their instinct to chase bouncing yellow prey and their reluctance to relin quish it. Sure, you might find the ball dog in a docile mood, willing to surrender the ball. Or you may be waiting until next month. Just don’t make any plans.

JAN A. IGOE devotes her time to document ing golfers in the wild and taming her dogs, who have made off with more than a few golf balls that made the mistake of landing in her yard. Write to her at

There’s also the matter of a dog’s attention span, which can put a hyperactive 3-year-old to shame. If the dog decides it’s time to curl up with that juicy tennis ball and take a nap, no fourth-set tiebreaker is going to stop him. But don’t lose hope. A mar athon game of keep-away could easily be next. On the off chance that the dog does return the ball in a timely fashion, there’s the matter of slobber. Try serving an ace with 5 pounds of industrial glue on your racket. The rule book doesn’t cover that contingency. Yet. Now, if tennis ever gets a halftime show, the ball dog idea would rock. And in case any brave men decide to leave the dogs in the ladies’ room, there would be less screaming.

SC | humor me


Jan Goodall at your service

“We found an enormous snake in the men’s room. We didn’t know if it was poi sonous, so we shoved it into the ladies’ room.”

Next up, great brains in tennis. No snakes, just misguided furry logic.

Historically, canines have been torn between their instinct to chase bouncing yellow prey and their reluctance to relinquish it.


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