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SC FE ATURE

NOAA’s global explorers spread scientific goodwill HUMOR ME

JUNE 2019

We can’t out‑weird Florida


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e t firs er v ore t s r fir ver fore THE MAGAZINE FOR ver COOPERATIVE MEMBERS VOLUME 73 • NUMBER 6 rst (ISSNr 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) e in more than 595,000 homes and businesses and published rev Read 16 Global explorers monthly in December by t ElectricexceptCooperatives s r fi The From its home port in Charleston, the NOAA of South verCarolina, Inc. e 808 Knox Abbott Drive research ship Ronald H. Brown sails the r fo Cayce, tSC 29033 s world to explore the ocean depths. r r e er fiTel: (803) 926‑3175 Fax: (803) 796‑6064 v Email: letters@scliving.coop re 4 CO-OP NEWS t foKeith Phillips Updates from your cooperative r AGENDA Tel: (803) 739‑3040 e 6 ev Email: Keith.Phillips@ecsc.org Take control of your summer energy bills with expert tips t Allread from our energy efficiency experts. firs Walter r e v 10 DIALOGUE ore Travist Ward By the numbers s r Sharri Harris Wolfgang Lessons from a seventh-grade math teacher just might show fi r er v South Carolina how to solve our problems with Santee Cooper. e forSusan Collins 11 LEGISLATIVE REPORT Andrew Chapman New law updates co-op governance r ve Chase Toler Members can expect more information and greater transparency from South Carolina’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives under st Jennifer Jas new legislation signed by Gov. Henry McMaster in May. r eveL. Kim Welborn 12 ENERGY Q&A tLauraCouick, Araujo, Michael Banks, April Coker Blake, Energy-saving apps and devices Hardesty, Derrill Holly, firs Mike r L.A.AbeJackson, Take a look at the high-tech tools consumers can use to Jan A. Igoe, Patrick Keegan, e v Novak, Sydney Patterson, manage and reduce energy use. oreDavid Susan Hill Smith, Belinda Smith-Sullivan, tThiessen, Amy Trainum s Brad r SMART CHOICE 14 er er fiLoueGreen Make Dad’s day v r On Father’s Day, how will you say thanks to the man who t foMary Watts taught you how to ride a bike, parallel park and stand up to rTel: (803) 739‑5074 bullies? May we suggest these Dad-friendly gifts? eve Email: ads@scliving.coop STORIES 21 t MainStreet Publications rs American Grace under fire Tel: (800) 626‑1181 r e v Learn why parents can’t say enough nice things about e advertisements are not endorsements r Paid bytany electric cooperative or this Darlington County Public School bus driver Bernadine Reed. s If you encounter a difficulty r r fir publication. with ane advertisement, inform the Editor. RECIPE 2 2 v e Summer entree salads r Please send to your o f local co-op. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 Who wants to sweat over a hot stove this summer? to Address Change, c/o the address above. r r Maintain your cool with these light and refreshing entree e e v Periodicals evpostage paid at Columbia, S.C., salads that will satisfy any appetite. andradditional mailing offices. o f st 27 TRAVELS The Electric Cooperatives ofrSouth Carolina, Inc. No portion of e On top of the world v Carolina Living may be reproduced e South A new observation platform atop Sassafras Mountain puts without permission of the Editor. t South Carolina’s highest peak into beautiful new perspective. is brought to you firs by e yourrmember-owned, taxpaying, v 30 SC OUTSIDE electric cooperative to orenot-for-profit inform you about your cooperative, wise In full bloom st use and the faces and places renergy fi For two spectacular weeks each summer, the dove fields at York that identifyrthe Palmetto State. Electric r e are South Carolina’s — and e cooperatives v County’s Draper Wildlife Management Area explode with acre e r network. after acre of giant, yellow sunflowers. Come see it for yourself. t fo America’s — largest utility$5.72 members, GARDENER r $8 nonmembers 3 2 ve The other basils Our gardening expert shows you how to liven your rs t r landscape and your favorite meals with different varieties e of this edible ornamental. rev t s 34 MARKETPLACE fir er v 36 CALENDAR fore st 38 HUMOR ME r fi Invasive tolls and toxic toads r r e eve Try as we might, South Carolina will never out-weird Florida. or f t s r eve

2019 | june

EDITOR

FIELD EDITOR

PUBLICATION COORDINATOR ART DIRECTOR DESIGNER

PRODUCTION

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CONTRIBUTORS

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

Salad days

o m ot rh Cool entrees fo

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

FRO M TO P: M IC SM ITH; K A REN H ERM A N N; A M Y TR A I N U M

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ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS:

SC FE ATURE

NOAA’s global explorers spread scientific goodwill HUMOR ME

JUNE 2019

We can’t out‑weird Florida

Keep your cool and satisfy your appetite this summer with Chef Belinda SmithSullivan’s tomato watermelon salad. Photo by Gina Moore.


SC | agenda We expect summers in South Carolina to be hot, hot, hot, and most of us do all we can to keep our homes as comfortable as possible when the temperatures start climbing. Use these tips to stay cool this summer without driving up your power bills. Window coverings can help. Blinds or shades can deflect intense sunlight, and draperies lined with a thermal radiant barrier can block up to 95 percent of sunlight and 100 percent of ultraviolet rays.

p Ceiling fans help keep us cool during the summer, but that benefit completely disappears when we leave the room. Turn fans off in unoccupied rooms to save energy. u Energy-intensive

activities like laundry can increase heat and humidity inside your home. Try timeshifting these types of chores to off-peak hours, when energy demand is lower.

STE V E BU ISS I N N E

Spin up the savings with ceiling fans. The evaporative effect of circulating air blowing across our skin makes us more comfortable. Running a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner creates a wind-chill effect inside your home, so you can comfortably set your thermostat 3 to 5 degrees higher. For maximum cooling effect, be sure your fan spins counterclockwise in order to push the airflow downward. Just be sure to turn the fan off when you’re not in the room.

FA N: STEFA N SCHW EI HO FER

Take control of high summer bills

Change those filters. HVAC filters have a lot to do with

airflow through your heating and cooling systems. Dirty filters restrict circulation through your returns, requiring your cooling system to work harder. If you can see dirt in a filter, it’s likely 50 percent clogged. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on replacing disposable filters or cleaning permanent ones. If you’ve got pets, consider checking them more frequently.

Put off some household chores. You can save money and electricity by time-shifting some of the most energy-intensive activities away from peak energy use periods that occur during the hottest hours of the day. Cooking, doing laundry and using power tools can increase both heat and humidity inside your home, making it harder to reach or maintain a comfortable temperature. —DERRILL HOLLY

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.

Avoid placing items like lamps and televisions near your airconditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the A/C to run longer than necessary. SOURCE: ENERGY.GOV

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

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

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


ONLY ON SCLiving.coop Homemade blue cheese dressing When you see how easy it is to make your own flavorful salad dressings, you may never again buy the bottled stuff. Watch Chef Belinda’s latest how-to video at SCLiving.coop/food/ chefbelinda.

L AU R A A R AUJO

When your kitchen remodeling job is complete, there’s only one thing left to do—invite friends and family over and enjoy a good meal in the shiny new heart of your home.

Tips for remodeling kitchens The contemporary kitchen is the epicenter of domestic activity, a place for cooking, eating and entertaining. If yours could use a cosmetic upgrade—or maybe a complete o ­ verhaul​​​—consider these tips from Elle H-Millard, industry relations manager for the National Kitchen and Bath Association. IT ALL STARTS WITH DESIGN “If you’re looking to move walls, plumbing, HVAC or change the footprint of the space, a designer is advisable,” H-Millard says. “Designers have knowledge about functionality and safety in the kitchen, and their ­expertise will prevent you from having to redo a project. A certified designer will save you money in the long run.” CONSIDER SMART APPLIANCES Smart appliances with wireless connections can be controlled remotely from the homeowner’s smartphone. They are designed with energy savings in mind, but they do cost more upfront. “Smart appliances might really be worth the investment, but with the higher price point, you may pick a couple key appliances during a remodel,” she says.

CREATE A BUDGET As a general rule, a complete kitchen remodel will cost twice as much as the car in the home­owner’s driveway, H-Millard says. She also recommends setting aside an additional 20 percent contingency fund. SET YOUR SCHEDULE Work with contractors and your designer to create a realistic project schedule and be prepared to adjust your daily schedule. “A remodel will cause massive destruction in your home,” H-Millard says. “There may be a dumpster in your driveway and boxes in your garage. This can be annoying and frustrating to the homeowner, so it’s important to take this into account when planning for a project.” —LAURA ARAUJO

Picking perfect produce When shopping for produce, select vegetables that are green, firm and blemish-free. From avocados to turnip greens, Chef Belinda shows you how to select the freshest, best-tasting veggies. Learn her secrets in this video found only at SCLiving.coop/food/chefbelinda.

Is winning $100 on your summer bucket list? June 21 is officially the first day of summer. To help you get out there and make the most of long, lazy, sun-drenched days, we’re offering the chance to win a $100 Visa gift card in our Reader Reply Travel Sweepstakes. We’ll draw one winner’s name at random from all eligible entries received by June 30, 2019, so don’t delay. Register online at SCLiving.coop/reader-reply.

Like us on Facebook If you love living in South Carolina as much as we do, like and follow us on Facebook, where we celebrate all that’s great about the Palmetto State. Join the fun at facebook.com/SouthCarolinaLiving.

CORRECTION

In our April cover feature, “South Carolina’s Civil Rights Trail,” we incorrectly spelled the name of Willie McCleod, one of the surviving members of the Friendship 9 group that in 1961 staged a sit-in protest at a Rock Hill lunch counter. For more on the historic protest, visit friendship9.org.

SCLIVING.COOP  | JUNE 2019  |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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SC   agenda HIGHLIGHTS JUNE 16–JULY 15

DRAGONBOAT RACE DAY JUNE 22

What better way to symbolize the strength of cancer survivors than mighty dragons? For the ninth year, Beaufort dragonboats will race their way across the Beaufort River at Waterfront Park, crewed by teams of cancer survivors, their loved ones and their caretakers. Post-race, the paddlers and the public can enjoy food, fun and fellowship and learn more about the fight against cancer. SOUTHEASTERN PIANO FESTIVAL

(843) 743-4477; dragonboat-raceday.com/wp

JUNE 16–23

Once the majority of the college students vanish for the summer from the University of South Carolina campus, a younger set of hand-selected students fill the School of Music. Twenty pre-college pianists, some of the best in the country, take part in a rigorous training program where the grand finale is the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. This highly regarded musical feast is a chance to peer behind the velvet curtain to see rising stars, piano prodigies and established pianists put on stunning performances that are open to the public. (803) 777-1209; sepf.music.sc.edu COLUMBIA FASHION WEEK JUNE 19–22

Move over Milan. Step aside New York. Columbia’s own fashion week takes center stage this month, showcasing the work and style of local artists whose medium is wearable art. With a week’s worth of dramatic runway shows, parties, award ceremonies and educational panels to choose from, there’s something for everyone from the fashion-minded to the merely curious.

SOUTH CAROLINA AG + ART TOUR JUNE 1–30

Each weekend throughout the month of June, a new section of the state is highlighted on the Ag + Art tour, a free, self-guided celebration of all things arty and agricultural. The tours kick off on June 1–2 in Newberry County, Spartanburg County and eastern York County. The next weekend, June 8–9, features Kershaw County and western York County. June 15–16 focuses in on Fairfield County, before the fun heads to Chester County, Chesterfield County, Lancaster County and Union County on June 22–23. The tour wraps up in Richland County on June 29–30. Pick your region, mark your calendar, and come see all the great things that happen when farming and art combine. (803) 981-3021; agandarttour.com

columbiafashionweek.com CHAUTAUQUA: HISTORY COMES ALIVE! JUNE 14–23

Chautauqua is quite a long word to describe the interactive theater that brings history to life. Greenville’s annual summer gathering of Chautauqua storytellers will do just that in 30 shows featuring the life and times of Alexander Hamilton and his women, Andrew Jackson, Jackie Kennedy and Malcolm X (portrayed by Darrick Johnson, right). These interactive presentations take place over two weekends in multiple venues. Most of the shows are free for attendees and all are family-friendly. (864) 244-1499; greenvillechautauqua.org

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

GET MORE

For more happenings, turn to our Calendar on Page 36, and see expanded festivals and events coverage on SCLiving.coop.


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SC   dialogue

By the numbers VERNA FEWELL.

Hearing that name can still make me sit up straight and search for the nearest blackboard. Mrs. Fewell was my s­ eventh-grade math teacher, a nononsense, experienced instructor who ran her classroom with the discipline and e­ fficiency of a drill sergeant. Mrs. Fewell’s love of numbers and word problems would provide a good lesson now as South Carolina explores what to do with state-owned utility Santee Cooper and its massive nuclear construction failure debt. In the fall of 1971, I was a talkative 11-year-old with a friend, Bobby Love, sitting beside me in her classroom. I had very little interest in tackling Mrs. Fewell’s word problems, that marriage of numbers and prose requiring more focus than rote application of multiplication or division tables. On my second six-weeks report card—the old version where grades were entered by hand and required a parent’s signature prior to being returned to the teacher—she neatly penned in a conduct grade of “F” for fair, and then she kicked it up a notch by circling it with a red pen. Bobby got the same treatment. Our mothers were both teachers akin to Mrs. Fewell who did not countenance anything less than full student engagement. I boarded the bus for home considering my options: 1) running away, 2) blaming it on Bobby or 3) forging my dad’s signature. The first two options were unappealing, and I was certain that Verna Fewell was a handwriting expert. I gave in and showed the report card to my mother. She called Bobby’s mom, and they both delivered a common verdict: Mrs. Fewell was a great teacher, what she was teaching was essential, and we needed to embrace word problems because life is a series of word problems. They were right. I didn’t become an Isaac Newton, but I did come to believe that numbers were a gateway to a reasoned discussion of complex challenges. Absent numbers, conversations about the impact of climate change, the societal cost of our opiate pandemic, the long-term consequences of a failing foster care system, and the opportunity cost of crumbling infrastructure are little more than emotionally charged screaming matches. Plugging in numbers gives policymakers a framework to consider the effects of deciding or failing to decide. The beauty of numbers in these complex word problems is the reassurance

FINAL EXAM: 2019

Solve for ratepayer relief

billion + interest & ( $4 debt ( other costs ) ) 2 million South Carolinians

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

= rates?

that we do not have to be bound to a single equation. Multiple models can be run with results being scored and compared. Still, numbers are guides, not gods. In the closing hours of this year’s legislative session, our General Assembly embraced a search for an answer to one of our state’s most complicated word problems—what to do to shield ratepayers from Santee Cooper’s multibillion-dollar stake in the failed nuclear construction project at Jenkinsville. We all should be grateful that policymakers are open to a numbers-based approach on three options for Santee Cooper’s future: 1) selling Santee Cooper to a buyer offering the best deal to the state and to all ratepayers, 2) hiring an outside company to manage Santee Cooper with an aim of achieving similar value to the state and Santee Cooper’s ratepayers or 3) internal reform at Santee Cooper bringing comparable value to the state and all ratepayers. This word problem is complex. A host of variables means that working the problem will require full engagement. I am certain that our state is up to this challenge. Somewhere, Verna Fewell is on the edge of cracking a smile and saying in that husky voice that could strike fear in an 11-year-old, “OK, folks, we’ve studied this. You can solve it. Keep your eyes on your own paper. Show all your work. Good luck.”

MIKE COUICK

President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina


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SC   legislative report

New law updates co-op governance BY LOU GREEN

GOV. HENRY MCMASTER SIGNED L ­ EGISLATION

PH OTOS BY TR AV IS B E LL

on May 17 that revises rules that govern e­ lectric cooperatives, increasing transparency to co-op members and adding limited government oversight. Legislators chose not to impose prescriptions on such things as who can be elected to governing boards, how often boards can meet or board compensation, leaving those decisions to cooperative members. Instead, the new law requires co-ops to make more information available to the members, who are both owners and customers of the utilities. “The new law is an important recognition that good governance starts with an informed membership, not with government directives,” says Doug Reeves, who was chairman of the state association of electric cooperatives when the issues arose. “The best cure for what ails democracy is sunshine. Then, let the owners of these private businesses take it from there.” Reeves, who called together co-op leaders last year to address the issues, is chairman of Edisto Electric Cooperative’s board of trustees. The signing ceremony took place one year to the day from the Tri-County Electric Cooperative annual meeting that was the catalyst for the co-ops’ self-examination and the ­legislative initiative. When Tri-County members complained about election improprieties at the co-op’s May 17, 2018, annual meeting, news reports revealed numerous questionable practices. News coverage, lawsuits and special membership meetings followed, where members ousted the entire board, elected a new board and approved a new set of organization bylaws. In response to the issues uncovered at Tri-County Electric, Reeves called together the state’s 20 co-op board chairs, their attorneys and CEOs—known as the Governance Task Force— to address the issues head-on and explore what co-ops could do to reassure members. In the 12 months since the controversial Tri-County Electric annual meeting, co-ops worked with legislators to craft a law that would preserve the independence of electric cooperatives while ensuring members had access to the information they need to govern their co-ops. Co-ops will now give members advance notice of board meetings and make meeting minutes available. Voting periods

Surrounded by representatives of South Carolina’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives, Gov. Henry McMaster signs governance legislation requiring co-ops to make more information available to the members, who are both owners and customers of the utilities.

for board members will be extended. Board compensation will be published online for members. The Office of Regulatory Staff will be authorized to examine co-ops’ adherence to their bylaws and the law. State Rep. Russell Ott, the author of the legislation, praised the co-ops’ willingness to address the issues. “I believe this model, the cooperative model, is the best we could possibly have,” says Ott. “It’s the one closest to the people.” Some co-op leaders still view the new law as imperfect, but there is little doubt that it provides cooperatives with a clear path forward and one that should be applauded by consumermembers across the state. “None of us would have wished for the experiences of the past year, but we can still celebrate this achievement,” says Berl Davis, current chairman of the state association and the CEO of Palmetto Electric Cooperative. Gov. McMaster praised the joint effort among cooperatives and legislators. “We’re very proud of our people, proud of this state and proud of this legislation,” McMaster says. “It took some doing. It answers a lot of questions—accountability, openness, transparency—and it’ll make things better for everyone.” GET MORE Visit the “Featured Videos” section of SCLiving.coop for coverage of the signing ceremony, including comments by co-op leaders, legislators and Gov. Henry McMaster.

SCLIVING.COOP  | JUNE 2019  |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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SC   energy Q&A KA ROL

KA

BY PATRICK KEEGAN AND BRAD THIESSEN

Q

The JouleBug app (far left) makes saving energy fun while teaching along the way. Apps like EnergyCost (left) show how much common household items cost you each month. More advanced (and more expensive) smart thermostats like the Ecobee4 (below) work with sensors that detect when someone is in a room and adjust the temperature accordingly.

It seems like I’m always hearing about some new device or app that will save energy, but I wonder if they’re worth the time and money. I want to learn about simple ways I can use technology to save energy. Any advice on where I should start looking?

A

12

efforts on the opportunities that will save the most energy. Smart thermostats are another easy way to cut energy use and track energy savings. These devices connect to the internet and their own smartphone apps through your home’s Wi-Fi and could shave $50 off your energy bill every year. Most fall within the $100 to $250 range, so you’ll see a return on the investment in a few short years. If you’re in the market for a smart thermostat, look for models with learning capability. A learning thermostat will figure out your habits and adapt. This is probably the best way to make the most of a smart thermostat’s energy-saving potential. Smart thermostats capable of geo­ fencing can detect when you leave home and return, and adjust the temperature up or down so energy isn’t being wasted when you’re gone, but the house is perfectly comfortable when you return. Other convenience features that we like: remote room sensors and voice control. Before you buy, learn what you can about the functionality of the smart thermostat’s app. And take a look at how easy it is to program the thermostat unit directly. Finally, consider the installation.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

COU RTESY O F ECO B EE

Every new piece of technology seems to come with a lot of promise, doesn’t it? Then we have to find out for ourselves if it lives up to the hype. There are several energy apps available today that are free, easy to use, effective and available for both Android and iOS devices. Here are a few products we recommend. Our favorite smartphone app is JouleBug. The app helps you make changes and build ongoing energy-­ saving habits. You collect points for each energy efficient move you make inside the home, on your daily commute and in daily life. It’s designed as a competition among friends and can help you and your family create an energy efficient household together. The app also includes fun, educational videos and links to helpful articles. There are several energy cost calculator apps that help you identify where you use the energy most in your home. You can enter how many hours a day you use each appliance or electronic device (some have a drop-down menu of typical household items) and the rate you’re paying for power, which you can find on your energy bill. The app creates a total operating cost for that specific device. How much is that hallway chandelier costing you every month, and how much would you save by turning it off for an additional hour each day? How about that second freezer or the big-screen TV? The answers aren’t exact, but they will give you a better idea of your overall energy use and help you focus your

INA GR ABOWS

Energy-saving apps and devices

Some models are more difficult to install and may require rewiring. Smart outlets and light switches are a relatively new technology, and we think there is potential in this emerging idea. Hub-based systems like the Currant Dual Smart Outlet and the Philips Hue smart lighting system are highly rated and cost about $200 or more for eight to 10 smart outlets or light switches. That’s a pretty big investment, so we recommend using an energy cost calculator app first to decide if it’s worth the additional cost. We hope these reviews will be helpful as you consider smart technology that promotes energy efficiency. Don’t forget to check with your local electric cooperative for additional programs and services designed to help you save on your energy bills each and every month. Send questions to Energy Q&A, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, or email energyqa@scliving.coop.


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SC   smart choice

Make Dad’s day On Father’s Day, how will you say thanks to the man who taught you how to ride a bike, parallel park and stand up to bullies? May we suggest these Dad-friendly gifts? BY DAVID NOVAK

GO FISH

Take Dad’s guesswork out of fishing with the GoFish Cam, a wireless underwater HD video camera that sits on a fishing line and reveals all the underwater action. The fish won’t stand a chance! $240. (832) 709‑8377; gofishcam.com.

SHIP SHAPE

If there’s anything the old man loves more than spending time on his boat, it’s watching televised sports. With the KVH TracVision TV-1 satellite antenna, he can enjoy the best of both worlds. Ideal for coastal cruising or use on inland waterways, this compact unit will fit most any size vessel. $2,700. (401) 847‑3327; kvh.com.

HEADS UP!

Smart watches are so 2018. If your dad likes to stay on the cutting edge of technology, look into Focals, ­custom-​ built smart glasses with a transparent, holographic display that only the wearer can see. Focals let you view/ respond to texts, get turn-by-turn directions, check the weather, request an Uber, and more—all without pulling you away from what’s in front of you. $600. bynorth.com.

SHOW TIME

Pop has invested a lot of time and love into his home theater system. Help him take it to the next level with Epson’s Home Cinema 5050UB 4K PRO-UHD projector. This baby offers a top-end 4K experience with an astonishing 2,600 lumens, tons of color and dynamic contrast so his favorite movies will be displayed the way they’re meant to be seen. $3,000. (800) 463‑7766; epson.com.

TOTAL CONTROL

Dad can be in total control of every electronic device in the house with the Logitech Harmony Elite universal remote. It works with traditional IR-controlled devices as well as smart home devices so you can turn down lights when it’s time to watch a movie. $350. (646) 454‑3200; logitech.com.

GYM DANDY

The Mayo Clinic declares that “sitting is the new smoking.” As a result, standing desks have become quite the hot ticket. The VersaDesk Power Lift Standing Desk and the company’s Seated Desk Cycle can help Dad burn calories while he works. Desk $799, Seated Desk Cycle $124. (800) 465‑1660; versadesk.com. 14

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

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


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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP


NOAA’s flagship calls Charleston its home port, even though it’s rarely home BY SUSAN HILL SMITH | PHOTOS BY MIC SMITH

THE RIGHT CHOICE Capt. Dan Simon’s decision 20 years ago to pass up corporate life for the NOAA Corps is rewarded by spectacular views from the bridge of the Ron Brown.

He could have taken a cushy, ­conventional job working in a private-sector lab in Pennsylvania after he finished his ­master’s degree in environmental studies. But he chose adventure instead, signing up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps for a career that has already taken him to the ends of the Earth. These days, Capt. Dan Simon serves as commander of NOAA’s largest oceanographic research vessel, the Ronald H. Brown, which calls the port of Charleston home, even though it spends months and even years at sea, often oceans away from South Carolina. And sometimes when he looks out on the horizon, he thinks back to the job he turned down, and remembers the window overlooking a highway in what would have been his office. “The view from the (ship’s) bridge is amazing,” the 44-year-old commander says with a smile while leading a tour of the Ron Brown as it’s docked at the old Navy base in North Charleston during a travel break earlier this year. “I made the right choice.” For Simon, that choice goes beyond the view and the exciting unpredictability of what might happen next on the high seas, where the ship might collide with monsoons, hurricanes and even modern-day pirates. His main purpose is enabling NOAA’s critical research and data collection to further the understanding of oceans,

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GLOBAL EXPLORERS

DATA UP ABOVE In the hydro lab, scientists Dave Munro (left) and Denis Pierrot set up an instrument to measure atmospheric CO2.

fisheries, global weather and climate—all hot topics these days. “I enjoy being a part of the science,” the commander says. “I love NOAA’s mission.”

Around the world and back

18

quarters in Maryland, actually joined the Ron Brown a month before he took over, just in time for a landmark cruise of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea that allowed exploration of a “rarely studied region” by the United States. “The last time there had been a comprehensive survey of the ocean in that area was 1995,” Simon says. In fact, the ship discovered a previously uncharted undersea mountain by surprise while there. One of the Ron Brown’s primary objectives in that sector was placement of three new data buoys to be maintained by the Indian government, helping fill in gaps in climate data with global implications, for example, shedding light on the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which leads to extreme weather in the U.S. Afterward, the ship docked in Goa for a colloquium of scientists from the U.S. and India, and invited school­ children on board for tours. During that cruise, the ship at times braved 13-foot monsoon waves and otherwise steered through waters known for pirates, at one point sounding the alarm for a potential attack while more than 200 miles off the Maldives. Simon recalls spotting the oncoming vessel, which looked from a distance like a fast attack boat. Multiple attempts to hail the suspicious vessel went unanswered as it got closer, ultimately coming within 100 feet of the NOAA ship, by Simon’s estimates. But by that point, the 50- to 60-foot boat appeared to be more of a fishing operation, and by the motions of the

“When I talk about the last year—what did we accomplish? Scientific goodwill is a big part of it.” —CAPT. DAN SIMON

In March 2017, the Ronald H. Brown wrapped up a record-­setting deployment for a NOAA ship of 1,347 days—more than three years and nine months away from Charleston. With that voyage, the ship participated in a multi-agency rapid response mission to observe the 2015–16 El Niño weather phenomenon, took water measurements from the Arctic to the Antarctic and surveyed 353,975 square miles of seafloor to map the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf, including a Pacific Ocean project near Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll. Slightly less than a year later, in February 2018, the ship headed back out for what might seem like a quick spin by comparison, returning home to Charleston in mid-­October. In fact, the ship circled the globe in 243 days, traveling a total of 44,289 miles, while packing in research and activities that led the crew to ports of call in South Africa, the tropical Seychelles islands, India, Australia and Hawaii. “When I talk about the last year—what did we accomplish? Scientific goodwill is a big part of it,” says Simon, who assumed the role of commander in June 2018, around the midpoint of the voyage. Simon, whose previous assignment was at NOAA head­ SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

DATA DOWN BELOW CTD (conduc­ tivity, temperature and depth) instrumentation can collect data from depths down to 500 meters.


HOME ON THE SEA Civilian mariner and occasional Goose Creek resident Reggie Williams is one of two crew members who have sailed with the Ron Brown since its commissioning in 1997.

FAST FACTS:

A global-class oceanographic and atmospheric research platform operated by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations under the U.S. Department of Commerce. HOME PORT:

sailors on board, it seemed they were only looking for food or smokes. The crew of the Ron Brown outwardly ignored them, while getting ready for the possibility of hostile action. Eventually, though, the smaller boat went on its way. “We were prepared for it,” Simon recalls, “but that didn’t make it any less tense.”

Never-ending science During any voyage, the ship turns into a beehive of aroundthe-clock activity as everyone strives to maximize the hardto-come-by research and exploration opportunities afforded by a rare global-class research operation like the Ron Brown. There’s room on board for 60. That breaks down to 30 scientists and 30 crew members, including six commissioned NOAA Corps officers, like Simon, who direct the operation with support from the NOAA civilian mariners, like Reggie Williams, a Berkeley Electric Cooperative member who has made Goose Creek his home on shore in recent years. After leaving the U.S. Navy, Williams joined NOAA in 1991, and has served on the Ron Brown since 1997, the year it was commissioned, making him one of two “plank owners” still on board. “It’s an old nautical reference,” Capt. Simon explains. “When somebody was there when the ship was built, they could pick their plank to sleep on at night.” During his service as a civilian mariner, Williams has handled a variety of jobs, including operating the crane that places and retrieves buoys that measure ocean and atmospheric conditions. “I believe everything we do on the ship, or

Ronald H. Brown

Charleston.

NAMESAKE: Department of Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown, champion of the NOAA fleet, who was killed in a 1996 government airplane crash. Prior to his death, the ship was expected to be named Researcher. COMMISSIONED: July 19, 1997, in a Charleston ceremony that also memorialized the commerce secretary.

NOAA’s largest vessel is 274 feet in length, with a breadth of 53 feet. Displaces 3,250 tons when fully loaded.

DIMENSIONS:

POWER: Two 3,000-horsepower propulsion motors can drive the ship to 15 knots. Cruising speed, 11 knots. MAXIMUM COMPLEMENT:

30 commissioned officers/crew and

30 scientists. SCIENCE LABS: Five with nearly 4,000 square feet of dedicated space and additional space on deck to support up to nine laboratory vans. ENDURANCE:

60 days without refueling.

any other ship, is important,” he says. His travels also allowed him the opportunity to meet his wife in Chile, where the Ron Brown used to visit regularly as part of its work maintaining a buoy off the coast there. Tending to large data buoys that are typically 2 meters in diameter with dozens of attached instruments is a common task for the Ron Brown; removing and replacing one buoy can be an all-day event. “What takes so long is putting all the lines and the instrumentation below it because the instrumentation goes down to 500 meters,” the captain explains. “It’s a lot

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GLOBAL EXPLORERS

“This year we are based out of Charleston. … We’re pretty excited about it. It’s kind of a rarity.” —CAPT. DAN SIMON

of work by a lot of people to get one of these things into the water or take it out of the water.” Another important endeavor for NOAA crews is ­assisting scientists in mapping the seafloor, a specialty of Associate Professor of Geology Leslie Sautter at the College of Charleston. She recalls taking four students on a two-week mapping cruise on the Ron Brown in 2009. “We mapped from Charleston all the way up to Nova Scotia along the Continental Shelf edge,” she explains. Ultimately, three of the students went on to work with NOAA, including her son, who now monitors changes to coral reefs. “His first experience was on the Ron Brown.” Sautter leads BEAMS, an innovative College of Charleston undergrad program designed to develop a qualified workforce of ocean surveyors. Less than 5 percent of the planet’s deep sea floor has been mapped in great detail, she explains. That makes exploration opportunities on NOAA ships like the Ron Brown and the Nancy Foster, which is also homeported in Charleston, invaluable. “The NOAA vessels are very critical in understanding our own planet.”

A year with extra Charleston time Once described in Stars and Stripes as “the military for geeks,” NOAA Corps celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. It is one of the nation’s seven uniformed services, and also the smallest with a total of 300 officers and no enlisted personnel. The ranking structure is the same as the Navy and the Coast Guard. NOAA Corps officers typically cycle through assignments that put them to sea for two years and on land for three. Capt. Simon started his NOAA career at the age of 25 and spent much of his first assignment on NOAA ship Miller Freeman in Alaskan waters surveying fisheries. Other early 20

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

NOAA endeavors took him to labs and projects in the South Pacific, Greenland and Antarctica, where he spent a frigid 13 months at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. In more recent years, he served as associate operations director for Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, and as commanding officer of the NOAA ship Hi’ialakai, based out of Hawaii. He got to know South Carolina’s Lowcountry when he served as executive officer of the Nancy Foster from 2008–10 and was glad he could call Charleston his home port again when he left NOAA headquarters last year to become captain of the Ron Brown. His wife and two elementary-school-age sons actually ­relocated to the area ahead of him, greeting him when the Ron Brown returned home one night in October, the boys waiting in pajamas at the dock. In 2019, the Ron Brown is taking relatively short trips from Charleston, for example, a five-week mission off the western coast of Africa to deploy four buoys that will help with hurricane forecasting, followed by a retooling to use the famous Jason ROV—a remotely operated vehicle for underwater terrain. While the Jason ROV may be best known for its role in locating famous shipwrecks like the Titanic, the Ron Brown is using it for a project looking at deep sea corals along the shelf of the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia. The ship will also undergo repairs this year, allowing the crew more time in their home port. As much as he enjoys his NOAA adventures, Simon is making the most of extra family time as he plans for the November departure of what looks to be an eight-month voyage. “This year we are based out of Charleston, and that doesn’t happen too often,” he says. “We’re pretty excited about it. It’s kind of a rarity.”


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SC   stories

Grace under fire

Bernadine Reed AGE:

49.

Darlington. Reed was honored as a local hero for getting 40 grade-school children safely off her burning school bus after a car rearended the vehicle. IF A MOVIE IS EVER MADE: Who should play her? “Queen Latifah,” she says with a laugh. NERVES OF STEEL: Reed admits to being “a little bit adventurous.” She wants to go bungee jumping, likes to climb trees, and might try skydiving. “I want to jump out of an airplane, at least one time.” IN THE FAMILY: Reed’s 27-year-old daughter, Shantee Jacobs, also plans to become a school bus driver. HOME TURF:

CLAIM TO FAME:

Two years ago, Bernadine Reed, who grew up in tiny Dovesville, left the noise and chaos of Baltimore, Maryland, to return to the peace and quiet of small-town life in rural South Carolina. But on one winter morning earlier this year, Reed suddenly found herself in a life-and-death situation, trying to calm and corral 40 panicked firstthrough fifth-graders as smoke filled Darlington Public School Bus No. 3071. “I told everybody, ‘We have to get off this bus now,’” Reed recalls. A car had slammed into the back of the bus after Reed had stopped at a railroad crossing. Reed was able to guide the children, who were all crying and upset, out of the bus and to a nearby field. While flames consumed the vehicle, Reed was able to reach her supervisor and then called each child’s parents to let them know they were safe. “Everybody looks at this as me being a hero. I tell them, ‘I’m just a mother that got 40 kids off a bus. That’s all,’” Reed says. Reed attributes her ability to stay calm to the intensive training she received from Darlington County School District. When the accident happened, she had only been a driver for 45 days, but she has lots of experience caring for children. “I’ve been around children all my life,” says Reed, who worked as a special needs educator and also ran her own daycare in Maryland. She has a passion for her “babies,” which is what she calls the children who ride her bus. “All my kids love me. They call me ‘Miss BeeBee,’ ” she says. “I think kids are just drawn to me. I’m like a magnet for kids and they listen to me. They know they’re on Miss BeeBee’s bus and Miss BeeBee don’t play. We are on this bus to get to school and home, safe and sound.” —MICHAEL BANKS | PHOTO BY MILTON MORRIS

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21


Summer entree salads

MICHAE L PHI LLIPS

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP


r e s

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SC   recipe

Who wants to sweat over a hot stove during the summer? Maintain your cool by incorporating some of these light and refreshing entree salads into your summer recipe box. The abundance of vegetables and fruits available makes it easy to adapt these recipes so you never have to duplicate—unless you want to. BY BELINDA SMITH-SULLIVAN

Cobb salad SERVES 4

DRESSING

K A REN H ERM A N N

Kosher salt Black pepper, freshly ground 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh-squeezed ¼ cup olive oil SALAD

4 cups mixed spring lettuce 2 Roma tomatoes, quartered 2 avocados, pitted and sliced or cubed 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded 4–5 strips bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, vinegar and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Set aside. Cover the bottom of a large bowl or serving platter with lettuce. Add tomatoes, avocados, chicken, bacon and eggs. Sprinkle blue cheese on top. Drizzle with salad dressing and serve. CHEF’S TIP To prevent cut-up avocados from browning, immediately coat the pieces with fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

Mediterranean tuna salad SERVES 4

DRESSING

SALAD

Kosher salt Black pepper, freshly ground 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh-squeezed 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons chopped shallots ¼ cup olive oil

2 heads bibb or butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces ½ pound green beans, steamed 1 pound new potatoes, quartered and steamed 1 cup grape tomatoes 2 large slicing tomatoes, cut into wedges 3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered ¼ cup Kalamata olives ½ red onion, thinly sliced 2–3 five-ounce cans tuna, drained

In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and shallots. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Set aside. Cover the bottom of a large bowl or serving platter with lettuce. Add beans, potatoes, tomatoes and eggs. Sprinkle olives and onions on top and add tuna. Drizzle with salad dressing and serve.

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SC   recipe

What’s cooking at

SCLiving.coop HOMEMADE BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

How to store vegetables

When you see how easy it is to make your own flavorful salad dressings, you may never again buy the bottled stuff. Watch Chef Belinda’s latest how-to video at SCLiving.coop/food/chefbelinda.

Whether you grow your own vegetables, get them from local farmers, or buy them from a supermarket, you need to know how to store them to keep them fresher longer.

Greens should be washed in lots of water before storing—but not running water. Fill the sink with water, swish the greens and let the dirt sink to the bottom.

PICKING PERFECT PRODUCE When

shopping for produce, select vegetables that are green, firm and blemish free. From avocados to turnip greens, Chef Belinda shows you the secrets for selecting the freshest, best-tasting veggies in this video found only at SCLiving.coop/food/chefbelinda. BONUS SALAD RECIPES Need even more

Remove any ties or rubber bands on vegetable bunches. The closer they are wrapped, the faster they rot.

G I N A MOORE

salad recipes? Look for these delicious combinations at SCLiving.coop/food/recipes.

Stone fruits (except cherries), melons, mangoes, apples, pears, avocados and tomatoes will continue to ripen if left on the counter.

Chicken-strawberry-spinach salad Summer-sweet strawberries and grilled chicken top a fresh, green salad, perfect for warm-weather dining.

B E LI N DA SM ITH -SU LLI VA N

Trim off the leafy tops of vegetables like carrots and beets, but leave an inch of stem to prevent them from drying out. Don’t store any vegetables in airtight plastic bags—poke holes in the bags to keep air circulating.

Bell peppers, grapes, citrus fruit and berries will start to deteriorate if left on the counter.

Soft herbs, such as basil, and soft produce, like mushrooms and berries, shouldn’t be washed until just before used—water speeds deterioration.

W I LLI A M P. EDWA RDS

Apple and walnut salad with lemon vinaigrette Try crispy slices of Gala apples, toasted walnuts and shaved Parmesan on a bed of salad greens.

Vegetables and fruits should be stored separately. The ethylene emitted by ripening fruit can damage vegetables.

Orange-almond salad Keep your taste buds and your waistline happy with this crisp summer salad.

Bananas will speed the ripening of nearby fruits and vegetables. Store them separately, unless you want the bananas to help ripen other produce. —BELINDA SMITH-SULLIVAN

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP


Chicken Caesar salad SERVES 4

DRESSING

Kosher salt Black pepper, freshly ground ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh-squeezed 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, optional 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ½ cup garlic olive oil (or 1 large garlic clove, minced, added to oil)

Homemade croutons Cut day-old crusty bread into cubes and toss with enough olive oil to coat. Add Italian seasoning; toss again. Spread bread crumbs on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 F until brown, 10–12 minutes.

SALAD

2 small heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces Black pepper, freshly ground 1½ cups seasoned croutons, store‑bought or homemade 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced 2–3 sliced anchovies per serving, optional Lemon wedges, for garnish

In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, lemon juice, anchovy paste, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.

G INA MOORE

Into a large salad bowl, add lettuce and pepper and toss lightly. Add croutons, half of Parmesan, and drizzle with half of salad dressing; toss until lettuce and croutons are coated. To serve, divide salad among individual plates and top with chicken slices and anchovies. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, drizzle with remaining dressing, and garnish with lemon wedge.

SCLIVING.COOP  | JUNE 2019  |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

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SC   recipe

Tomato watermelon salad SERVES 4

DRESSING

Kosher salt Black pepper, freshly ground 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons honey ¼ cup olive oil 3–4 mint leaves, sliced or torn SALAD

3–4 cups arugula or baby spinach 1 pint cherry tomatoes 1 small watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes ½ English cucumber, halved and sliced thick ½ red onion, thinly sliced 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, vinegar and honey. Gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add mint. Set aside. G I N A MOORE

Into a large salad bowl, add arugula, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber and onions. Sprinkle with salad dressing and toss lightly. Sprinkle feta on top and serve.

Mama said,

EAT MORE GREENS Creamy Clemson Blue Cheese Bacon Burgers Servings: 8

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Regular Wedge $6.77 while quantities last Order at clemsonbluecheese.com

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SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

In a medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp; add onions and cook until onions are golden brown, stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, Clemson Blue Cheese, parsley, and pepper. Stir in bacon and onions. Arrange burgers on buns, and top with mixture of Clemson Blue Cheese, bacon and onion. From Tastes of Clemson Blue Cheese, available on Amazon


|

SC   travels

On top of the world BY ABE HARDESTY | PHOTOS BY MATTHEW FRANKLIN CARTER

EIGHT TIMES, HEYWARD DOUGLASS

has hiked the 77-mile Foothills Trail from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park. Along the way, he crossed Sassafras Mountain, always wondering what the view might offer if it weren’t covered by a thick bonnet of trees. “It was frustrating. You could go out on those rocks right over there,” Douglass says, pointing to a spot on the western corner of South Carolina’s tallest peak, “and there were a few little cubbyholes; you could get a glimpse here and there, but it wasn’t much.” A better view was offered on the eastern slope of the peak, where a fire tower once gave adventurous climbers a small viewing window just above the tree line. But the tower was removed in 1993. “A lot of people cried when they took that down,” says Douglass, now the executive director of the Foothills Trail Conservancy. He’s been hiking in the western corner of the state since graduating from Clemson 48 years ago, which made the April dedication of a new

A new attraction offers expansive views from the highest point in South Carolina observation platform atop 3,553-foot Sassafras Mountain a long-awaited treat. “We’ve been trying to get them to build a new fire tower ever since that one was taken down,” Douglass says on the day the new tower was officially unveiled. “Thank goodness we didn’t get that done—they might not have built this.” The platform, 21 miles north of Pickens, is in a remote location but easily accessible by car. From U.S. 178 in the Rocky Bottom community, visitors can make the five-mile drive up F. Van Clayton Memorial Highway to a parking lot that is only about 50 yards from the platform where a spectacular view awaits. The 44-foot-wide platform rests on the North Carolina border and offers inspiring views of North Carolina’s 6,000foot Pisgah Mountain to the north and Georgia’s Currahee Mountain to the

Mark Hall, the S.C. DNR biologist and forester who manages the Sassafras Mountain site, first pitched the idea of a 360-degree viewing platform on the state’s highest peak in 2004. On a clear day, visitors now have an unrivaled view of South Carolina’s 32,000-acre Jocassee Gorges, North Carolina’s Pisgah Mountain and Georgia’s Currahee Mountain.

south. Hartwell, Keowee and Jocassee Lakes, as well as most of South Carolina’s tallest mountains, are part of the silent scenery below. The breath-grabbing views are just what wildlife biologist Mark Hall dreamed about 15 years ago, when he took the observation post idea to

SCLIVING.COOP  | JUNE 2019  |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

27


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SC   travels

GET THERE

Visitors can access the new viewing platform on the Foothills Trail from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park, or follow F. Van Clayton Memorial Highway until it ends at the site’s gravel parking lot. Either way, the view is worth the trip.

The $1.1 million tower was financed with public funds and private donations. Access is free and open to visitors 365 days a year. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources colleagues. Hall, a 24-year DNR veteran who serves as land manager of the 32,000acre Jocassee Gorges, knew that the trees on Sassafras were not valuable (timber had once been logged extensively in the area), but views of the state’s scenic western corner would be. He first pitched the idea of tree reduction and a viewing station in 2004, seven years after the state bought most of those acres from Duke Energy. But additional purchases had to be made, some of it involving six acres in North Carolina. 28

The property acquisitions made the project seem unlikely at times. And with no water lines on the mountain, the task of building a concrete structure at the top of a narrow, twisting road presented major problems. “Getting things up the hill was the biggest problem,” Lazar Construction CEO Ken Hicks says of a 16-month construction period that included record rainfall and three snowstorms. “It’s a steep grade, and we had a lot of days when we couldn’t move anything because of the (persistent) rain.” The $1.1 million platform was financed

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

Sassafras Tower is located 21 miles north of Pickens. From U.S. 178 in the Rocky Bottom community, follow F. Van Clayton Memorial Highway five miles until it ends at the parking lot. HOURS: Open year-round. The tower can be accessed one hour before official sunrise until one hour after official sunset. Alcohol, ATVs, skateboards and camping on the site are not permitted. ADMISSION: Free. DETAILS: For more information, see the websites of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (dnr.sc.gov), the Foothills Trail Conservancy (foothillstrail.org), and Visit Pickens County (visitpickenscounty.com).

with public funds and private donations. Access is free and the site is open to visitors 365 days a year. Remote or not, the unusual view is likely to bring visitors. North Carolina native Peter Barr, part of a Highpointers Club whose quest is reaching the high points of every state (he’s made it to 40), says visitors who hiked to the Sassafras summit in the past would not recognize the new setting. “The view into North Carolina from the tower is particularly stunning,” Barr says. The view puts South Carolina on par with several southeastern states—including North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama—that offer platforms at their highest points. The tower is expected to spur more general interest in the Jocassee Gorges, which, in 2012, was included in National Geographic magazine’s list of “50 of the World’s Last Great Places.” Yet thanks to the rugged terrain and remote setting, the area remains a relative secret, even to South Carolina residents. South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan is among those who believe the tower will change that. “This will be an education spot for students, and it will bring people to Pickens County,” Duncan says. “I’ve always called South Carolina ‘God’s Country.’ And from up here, there’s no question that it is.”


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Experience our outside market every 3rd Saturday, 9am-1pm in beautiful downtown Cheraw.

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July 4: Independence Day Celebration July 13 & 14: The Battle of Huck’s Defeat 803.684.2327 • Events at chmuseums.org 1444 Brattonsville Rd. McConnells, SC 29726

Visit us on Cheraw.com

For a free Visitor’s Guide, call 888.537.0014

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SC   outside

In full bloom TEXT AND PHOTOS BY AMY TRAINUM

BLINK AND YOU MIGHT MISS IT.

For two glorious weeks each summer, the fields of Draper Wildlife Management Area in York County put on a spectacular show—acre after acre of shoulder-high, giant yellow sunflowers reaching toward a boundless sky. Visitors from across the Carolinas flock here to lose themselves in a Crayola-colored spectacle and snap countless “you’re never going to believe where I am” selfies. Located just down the road from Historic Brattonsville in McConnells, Draper Wildlife Management Area is operated by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as habitat for small game and a public hunting ground. The 806-acre property includes three stocked fishing ponds and trails for hiking and

GET THERE Draper Wildlife Management Area is located at 1080 Brattonsville Road near McConnells, about 10 miles south of downtown York. A sign directs visitors down a dirt lane to a small parking area. The smaller youth dove field is a 5-minute walk through the right gate; the larger adult field is a 10-minute walk through the left gate, but worth the hike, Hook says. “That’s our biggest field and it usually gets the most visitors. It’s pretty stunning.” HOURS: Open year-round from dawn to dusk. ADMISSION: Free. IF YOU GO: “It’s not a park,” Hook says. “There are no facilities, public restrooms or anything along those lines.” DETAILS: For more information, call (864) 427-5140.

30

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

bird watching. It also hosts seasonal hunts for rabbit, turkey, quail and dove, says DNR wildlife biologist Andrew F. Hook, who oversees the property. To ensure the tract’s two dove fields have a ready supply of edible seed, Hook supervises a massive planting of sunflowers each April, timed to produce a bumper crop of colorful flowering stalks approximately 110 days later, sometime around July 4. “Our goal is not to grow the sunflowers for people to come out and get a good Instagram photo, it’s specifically for the benefit of the doves and the hunting public,” he says. “Natural resource technicians work hard to ensure these dove fields are in top condition. When they get so many compliments about how good the sunflowers and the fields look, it’s certainly an added benefit.” Exactly when the 24 acres of flowers will hit their peak this year depends on several factors, including temperature and rainfall, but the goal is always to plant the sunflowers late enough in spring to ensure plenty of seed in time for the opening of dove hunting season on Labor Day weekend. Updates on the 2019 peak bloom may be posted at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website (dnr.sc.gov), as well as the agency’s Facebook page (facebook.com/lifesbetteroutdoors) and Instagram channel (instagram.com/scdnr). And if you decide to visit this year, Hook asks that you take care to protect the environment. “It is meant to be a wild area, so please, leave it as you found it,” he says. “Don’t leave any trash and obviously don’t remove any of the flowers.”


R E A D E R R E P LY T R AV E L S W E E P S TA K E S

Is winning $100 on your bucket list? Summer is finally here! June 21 is officially the first day of summer, and we’re ready to start crossing off items on our summer vacation bucket list! To help you get out there and make the most of long, lazy, sun-drenched days, we’re offering the chance to win a $100 Visa gift card in our Reader Reply Travel Sweepstakes. We’ll draw one winner’s name at random from all eligible entries received by June 30, 2019, so don’t delay. Mail in the form below or register online at SCLiving.coop/reader-reply.

R E A D E R R E P LY T R AV E L S W E E P S TA K E S

Register below or online at SCLiving.coop/reader-reply YES! Enter me in the drawing for a $100 Visa gift card. Name

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Address City State/ZIP Email* Phone

South Carolina Living, RRTS, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033 or travel@SCLiving.coop. Entries must be received by June 30, 2019, to be eligible. *Winner will be notified by email.

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SC   gardener

JUNE IN THE GARDEN n If you weed the old-fashioned way by hand, remember the best way to prevent even more weeds is to pull the pesky plants before they develop seed heads.

The other basils BY L.A. JACKSON

n Dry, hot weather can cause blossom drop on peppers, so during long spells of arid conditions, maintain mulch layers, irrigate regularly and even mist the plants’ foliage once or twice a day with water.

L . A . JACKSO N

TIP OF THE MONTH Pumpkins started from seed this month should mature into hauntingly handsome jack-o-lanterns just in time for October’s annual spookfest. Grow the plants in well-worked, heavily amended soil in a sunny location, and water when the rains don’t come. Keep the vines thickly mulched with compost, and add either a commercial time-release fertilizer at planting time or a diluted natural fertilizer such as fish emulsion or compost tea at least once a month. For more symmetrical shapes, gently shift the bases of pumpkins’ contact with the ground once a week. Want to go big? For bragging-size Halloween pumpkins, after the plants set fruit, reduce the number of pumpkins to two or three per vine.

32

SWEET BASIL IS A COMMON HERB

grown by gardeners, but there are many other basil selections, and some of them are quite pretty—so much so that they should be considered ornamental as well as edible. Need examples? Thai basil. With green leaves supported on purple stems and topped by small sprites of equally purple blossoms, this is a handsome herb. Growing to about 18 inches tall, it is a candidate to grab attention on the front of any annual flower bed. For munching purposes, Thai basil’s spicy, anise-like flavor makes it a must in many Asian dishes. Siam Queen is the typical Thai basil cultivar found in garden centers. Cinnamon basil. If you like the appearance of Thai basil, but prefer a heftier visual impact, pick cinnamon basil, which looks similar with purple-ish stems and flowers but stretches upwards to 30 inches tall, making it a possibility for the back of an ornamental border. True to its name, this basil has a taste comparable to cinnamon, and it is a popular addition to Asian and Italian recipes as well as fruit dishes. Cardinal basil. Want even bolder? Going to the next flower-power level, in addition to also having red stems and a 30-inch reach to the sky, cardinal basil sports impressive reddish-­purple blooms that are large enough to fool

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

Purple Ruffles basil holds its own visually with a bright variegated beautyberry.

unsuspecting gardeners into thinking they just passed a spicy-scented celosia. This basil will certainly add more glam to any ornamental border, but give it a try in indoor cut arrangements, too. In the kitchen, cardinal basil’s tangy leaves are perfect for pestos, soups and Italian dishes. Purple Ruffles basil. Any plant bed will benefit visually from this dark basil, as it will poke playful, shadowy holes in landscapes usually dominated by botanical green. Growing to 18 inches high or more, it can create impressive swaths of deep purple to help make brightly colored flowers and dazzling variegated foliage pop even more. Purple Ruffles tends to have a milder flavor than other basils, making it a tasty possibility for sandwiches or salads. Also, its dusky leaves can be used to put a catchy purple tint in bottles of herb vinegar. Most of these double-duty basils can possibly be found locally as starter plants with some searching, but seeds of all these beauties are available for sale online—and basil is very easy to start from seed. L.A. JACKSON is the former editor of Carolina Gardener magazine. Contact him at lajackson1@gmail.com.

L . A . JACKSO N

n Flea beetles love a simmering summer, and they also love boring holes in eggplant leaves, so watch for these pinhead-sized pests. Contact insecticides can be used, but draping the plants with lightweight row cover fabric is a nonchemical, effective way to deter these unwanted insects. Row covers are also a good way to prevent stink bugs from marring maturing tomatoes.


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PALMETTO STATE   marketplace

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SC   calendar JUNE 14 – JULY 15

Upstate JU NE

14–23  History Alive Chautauqua

June Festival, multiple venues, Greenville, Spartanburg, Fountain Inn, Travelers Rest, Pelzer. (864) 244‑1499. 15  Family Fishing Clinic, Table Rock State Park, Pickens. (864) 878‑9813. 15  Kid’s Day at Musgrove Mill, Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, Clinton. (864) 938‑0100. 15  SC Rangers Living History Day, Cowpens National Battlefield, Gaffney. (864) 461‑2828. 20–21  Upstate Women in Leadership Conference, Converse College, Spartanburg. (864) 596‑9640. 21  Third Friday SUP and Kayak Paddling Tours, Table Rock State Park, Pickens. (864) 878‑9813. 22  Clan Destiny Circus, Pumpkintown Mountain Opry, Pickens. (864) 836‑8141. 22–23  Ag + Art Tour, multiple farms and venues, Union County. (864) 427‑1530. 27  Free Art Movie: Helvetica, Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg. (864) 582‑7616. 28–29  South Carolina Festival of Stars, Main and Saluda streets, Ninety Six. (864) 543‑3396. 29  Freedom Blast, Greer City Park, Greer. rdavis@cityofgreer.org. 4  Red, White and Blue Festival,

downtown, Greenville. (864) 232‑2273. 6  Celebration of Freedom, Cowpens National Battlefield, Gaffney. (864) 461‑2828. 11–13  South Carolina Festival of Discovery, Main Street, Greenwood. (864) 942‑8448. 12  Music at McKinney Featuring Noah Guthrie, McKinney Park Amphitheater, Woodruff. (864) 542‑2787. 12  Third Friday SUP and Kayak Paddling Tours, Table Rock State Park, Pickens. (864) 878‑9813. 12–20  The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spartanburg Little Theatre, Spartanburg. (864) 585‑8278. 14  Bastille Days Greenville, Southern Wesleyan University, Central. (414) 526‑4601. O NG O I N G

Every other Wednesday  Music Sandwiched In, Spartanburg County Public Library, Spartanburg. (864) 948‑9020. Third Thursdays  ArtWalk, downtown cultural district, Spartanburg. (864) 582‑7616.

Lowcountry

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.

Twenty of the country’s most talented pre-college pianists demonstrate their skills during the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, June 16–23. Fridays  Starry Nights, Roper

Mountain Science Center, Greenville. (864) 355‑8900.

Midlands J UNE

JU LY

36

SCLiving.coop/calendar

14–15  Greater Tuna, Fort Mill

Community Playhouse, Fort Mill. (803) 548‑8102. 14–23  Hampton County Watermelon Festival, multiple venues, Hampton. (803) 943‑2181. 15  Ridge Peach Festival, downtown, Trenton. ridgepeachfestival@gmail.com. 15  Shrimp & Grits Fest, DoubleTree by Hilton, Columbia. info@columbiafoodtours.com. 15  Stars Under the Stars movie night: The Sandlot, Lake Warren State Park, Hampton. (803) 943‑5051. 15–16  Ag + Art Tour, multiple farms and venues, Fairfield County. (803) 635‑4242. 16  Twilight Paddling, Chester State Park, Chester. (803) 385‑2680. 16–23  Southeastern Piano Festival, multiple venues, Columbia. (803) 777‑1209. 17  Hopelands Concert Series: Savannah River Stringband, Hopelands Gardens, Aiken. (803) 642‑7631. 17–21  Sailing Camp, Columbia Sailing Club on Lake Murray, Columbia. (803) 764‑6065.

19–22  Columbia Fashion

Week, multiple venues, Columbia. PR@columbiafashionweek.com. 21  Summer Concert Series: Robert Cray and Marc Cohn, Old Town Amphitheater, Rock Hill. (803) 329‑7090. 21–22  Children’s Chance Lake Murray Charity Run, Liberty Tap Room & Grill and race course, Irmo. (803) 254‑5996. 21–22  Juneteenth Rock Hill, multiple venues, Rock Hill. juneteenthrockhill@gmail.com. 22  Midlands Family Expo, Jamil Shrine Temple, Columbia. (843) 936‑1510. 22–23  Ag + Art Tour, multiple farms and venues, Chester County. ccl@g.clemson.edu. 22–23  Ag + Art Tour, multiple farms and venues, Chesterfield County. chesterfieldcotourism@outlook.com. 22–23  Ag + Art Tour, multiple farms and venues, Lancaster County. (803) 289‑1492. 24  Hopelands Concert Series: The Parris Island Marine Band, Hopelands Gardens, Aiken. (803) 642‑7631. 24–28  Historic Columbia Summer Camp, Robert Mills House, Columbia. (803) 252‑1770, ext. 26. 24–28  Sailing Camp, Columbia Sailing Club on Lake Murray, Columbia. (803) 764‑6065. 25  Kaleidoscope Community Storytelling, Jasmine Café and Catering, York. (803) 818‑5093.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

25–29  Miss South Carolina Pageant, Township Auditorium, Columbia. (843) 857‑9173. 27  Arts Council’s Annual Celebration, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill. (803) 328‑2787. 29  Fourth of July Celebration, Dreher Island State Park and Lake Murray, Columbia. (866) 725‑3935. 29  Pine Needle Basket Workshop, Lee State Park, Bishopville. (803) 428‑4988. 29–30  Ag + Art Tour, multiple farms and venues, Richland County. wculler@clemson.edu. JU LY

4  Lexington County Peach Festival, Gilbert Community Park, Gilbert. www.lexingtoncountypeachfestival.com. 8–12  Historic Columbia Summer Camp, Robert Mills House, Columbia. (803) 252‑1770, ext. 26. 8–12  Sailing Camp, Columbia Sailing Club on Lake Murray, Columbia. (803) 764‑6065. 11–14  The Little Mermaid, Johnson Hall at Winthrop University, Rock Hill. (704) 488‑6703. 13  Allison Creek Bluegrass Concert Series, Allison Creek Presbyterian Church, York. (803) 366‑1302. 14  AGO & Monty Bennett, St. John’s United Methodist Church, Rock Hill. (803) 327‑3113. 15–19  Sailing Camp, Columbia Sailing Club on Lake Murray, Columbia. (803) 764‑6065.

JU NE

14–15  St. Phillips Island Ranger-

Led Excursion, Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island. (843) 838‑2011. 15  Juneteenth Celebration, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head Island. (843) 255‑7301. 15  Rivertown Wine-Around, downtown, Conway. (843) 248‑6260. 19  2019 Art of Jazz Series: Richard White Trio, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston. (843) 641‑0011. 20–23  Charleston Carifest, multiple venues, Charleston. (843) 557‑6258. 22  Charleston Rum Festival, Memminger Auditorium, Charleston. (803) 240‑8401. 22  DragonBoat Race Day, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort. (843) 473‑4477. 26  Physician-Led Tour with Dr. Jeb Hallett, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston. (843) 722‑2706. 28  Fourth Friday Paddle with a Ranger, Colleton State Park, Walterboro. (843) 538-8206. JU LY

4  Firecracker 5K benefitting I Got Legs, I’On Club, Mount Pleasant. 4  Surfside Beach July 4th Celebration, Surfside Pier, Surfside Beach. (843) 650‑9548. 5  First Friday Paddle with a Ranger, Givhans Ferry State Park, Ridgeville. (843) 873‑0692. 6  Defense of a Colony, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 852‑4200. 6  To Settle a Town, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville. (843) 873-1740. 12–21  Beaufort Water Festival, Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort. (843) 524‑0600. 13  Second Saturday Paddling Trips, Colleton State Park, Walterboro. (843) 538-8206. ONGOING

Fourth Tuesdays  Wash Day, L.W. Paul Living History Farm, Conway. (843) 365‑3596. Wednesday  Arts and Crafts Market, Bay Creek Park, Edisto Island. (843) 869‑3867. First Saturdays  History in the Landscape, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, Charleston. (843) 546‑9361.


|

SC   humor me

Invasive tolls and toxic toads BY JAN A. IGOE

SO LET’S TALK ABOUT FLORIDA.

Let’s do that because it’s even hotter there than the broiler we’re roasting in, and gloating is good exercise. What do we know about the Sunshine State? Well, besides being the retirement capital of New York and birthplace of the hanging chad, Florida boasts more toll roads than anyplace else on Earth. If you find yourself on a Florida “freeway,” the best way to protect your savings is to abandon your car, walk to the next exit and stay there. A lot of strange things go on in Florida, too. You might have seen the video of a carefree woman shaving her legs in a hotel pool. The pool sign said no glass bottles or diapers, but nothing about razors and hairy appendages. Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry once described South Florida as having its own “Giant Underground Weirdness Magnet.” Even better, it has Bettina Rodriguez-Aguilera. To the best of my knowledge, she’s the only woman allegedly abducted by aliens (in second grade, she says) who ever ran for Congress. Miami obviously sets the weird bar high, but the rest of the state is trying to keep up. For starters, there’s a lot of ­confusion about drive-through windows, particularly those that don’t offer burritos. When a hungry man pulled up to order lunch at a bank window, he was arrested for DWI. There was no sign stating that the bank wasn’t Taco Bell, so he simply got confused. He probably assumed he could shave there, too. Then at a Wendy’s, another funny fellow tried to shove an alligator through the drive-up window. When you don’t have cash, you can pay with reptiles in Florida. 38

We have cute little lizards that scoot around the yard. Florida has iguanas bigger than your preschooler. I’m sorry, but the Carolinas can’t outweird Florida in the large scaly beast department, either. We have cute little lizards that scoot around the yard. Florida has iguanas bigger than your preschooler. We have adorable green tree frogs. They have gigantic, poisonous toads that are overrunning the state. We’ll return to the toads after this important question: What do you do when invasive iguanas are running amok? In Florida, you serve them with avocado and salsa. Iguana meat isn’t as popular as pizza yet, but the reptiles should still be nervous. Also known as “chicken of the trees,” iguanas are common fare in many places in South America, and Florida may be next. Trappers have started exporting the exotic meat and chefs are testing ways to tempt American palates

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |  JUNE 2019 | SCLIVING.COOP

and bypass the “yuck” factor. According to a March 2018 National Geographic article, the best ways to kill the lizards are pellet guns, decapitation and “stabbing them in the brain,” like zombies. Blunt force trauma also works, but no freezing, poisoning or drowning. (And that’s just how humane researchers are doing it.) OK, back to Florida’s poisonous toad problem. Like tourists, giant cane toads can be found all over the state, but the wart-ridden invaders seem particularly fond of the Palm Beach area for romantic interludes. Predators have zero interest in adding toxic toads to their menus, so cane toads use the extra free time not hopping for their lives to eat and multiply. Frantic Floridians have permission to annihilate any cane toad that dares to trespass on their property. Unlike iguanas, it’s OK to freeze toads as long as you smear benzocaine on their bellies before sticking them next to the popsicles. If you’re out of ointment, just refrigerate them prior to freezing. Place them in a plastic container marked “Poisonous Toad—Do Not Eat,” because anything in the fridge is fair game to most husbands. Single women can skip this step. Room-temperature giant cane toads can squirt poisonous glop from their heads, so we won’t be wolfing down toad burgers anytime soon. But look for iguana burritos at an ATM near you. is not particularly adventurous when it comes to food. She’s on a lizard-free diet, no matter who insists they taste like chicken. Write her at HumorMe@SCLiving.coop. JAN A. IGOE


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Profile for South Carolina Living

South Carolina Living June 2019  

Keep your cool and satisfy your appetite this summer with Chef Belinda Smith-Sullivan's tomato watermelon salad.

South Carolina Living June 2019  

Keep your cool and satisfy your appetite this summer with Chef Belinda Smith-Sullivan's tomato watermelon salad.

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