FROM THE EDITOR

Margaret Clay for From the Editor

Heritage and History

BY Margaret Clay

On rainy days as a child, I would sometimes amuse myself by looking through the old family books in my parents’ library in search of the earliest copyright date in the house. The patinaed, worn leather of 19th century spines filled with delicate, foxed pages acted like a time machine on my senses and whirled me back through the ages as I wondered whose fingers had graced these same pages for the first time. Old books still hold for me a kind of magic, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about them and their proper care from experts like David Hodges featured in Aïda Rogers’ article on page 46.

Like most children, I also grew up with a fascination for ghost stories, though I was limited in my permitted exposure to them (my mother was too smart to risk her sleep to my inevitable nightmares). The tradition of ghost stories crosses all cultures, and South Carolinians show no exception in exhibiting humanity’s intrinsic delight in the macabre. For an entertaining sampling of our local and statewide spectral legends to stimulate your Halloween spirit, read Janet Scouten’s article on page 42.

Another article in this issue highlighting history and traditions is Deena Bouknight’s story about the St. Paul Campground tent revival that has been taking place every October since 1880, timed for a celebration of the harvest. This week of fellowship and worship was established by Little Salem A.M.E. Church, and fifth generation descendants still carry on their forefathers’ practice of song, prayer, laughter, and good food to this day. Read more about their inspiring heritage on page 64.

Lastly, Susan Slack shares the exotic traditions of fermenting food from all around the world, hearkening back to as early as the Stone Age. While the Korean dish of kimchi is perhaps what first comes to mind (and indeed, she has provided a fantastic recipe!), most people unwittingly consume fermented food every day, from sourdough bread to yogurt, olives, or even hot sauce. Learn how to harness safely the hitherto unwanted kitchen guests of mold, bacteria, and fungus for a surprisingly appetizing and healthy cuisine from across the globe on page 98.

Whatever your family history and heritage, we wish you a very festive (and traditional!) October.

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WALK for Palmetto Health Breast Center

Don pink and participate

By Deena C. Bouknight

Every fall, a sea of pink parades through Columbia. Hundreds, in fact, will participate in this year’s 28th annual Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, 5K and 10K, held Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Each year’s event helps fund equipment, technology, and/or supplies needed for the Palmetto Health Breast Center at Richland. Proceeds from this event stay in the greater Columbia community to help fund an Upright Stereotactic Breast Biopsy room, with 3D mammography technology as well as educational materials, breast bears, and post-mastectomy camisoles. So far, nearly $9.5 million has been raised through this event for Palmetto Health Breast Center. 

The event will begin and end at Spirit Communications Park, 1640 Freed Drive in Columbia.  Register at WalkForLifeColumbia.org. Registration includes a bright pink cotton t-shirt for walkers and a bright pink performance shirt for runners. Breast cancer survivors will receive a commemorative pink hat.

Nearly 40,000 mammograms are performed annually at Palmetto Health Breast Center. One of last year’s event speakers, Adrienne Wright, first learned she had cancer in her late 20s after she had a mammogram. She was treated at Palmetto Health Breast Center and not only partipcates in the October event, but also encourages women to schedule annual mammograms.

To learn more, visit WalkForLifeColumbia.org.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

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I Scream, You Scream

I absolutely love fly fishing. For this sea loving lady, saltwater fly fishing is particularly exciting. Thus, I was quite keen on every aspect of the outstanding article Oliver Hartner wrote on the subject for this issue.

As I read Oliver’s descriptions about Columbians who have the opportunity to fish on a regular basis, I could only smile — with a twinge of envy. And then I wondered if such regular pursuits might not, once and for all, help me overcome my weird, if not embarrassing, reaction when I hook a large fish. And that is I scream. I mean the kind of scream that has caused grown men on boats with me to drop their rods. I always think my last scream is just that, my last scream. I delude myself into thinking I’ve moved past that out of body reaction that puts Henry, my husband, into hysterics and startles my three daughters, every time.

Some years ago, I went on a trip to Belize with my dear friend, Jenny Walker, to fly fish for bonefish. We arrived at Turneffe Island and met Dubs, our guide for the next few days. Jenny poked me in my side. “Should you tell him that you scream?”

With complete confidence, “No,” I replied. “I don’t scream any more. Maybe we should tell him you won’t wade fish in water deeper than your knees because you’re scared of barracudas.” We both decided to keep our secrets to ourselves. The first day out, we fished on Dub’s 20-foot boat and caught one- and two-pound bonefish. All was safe. Jenny didn’t have to wade fish, and the smaller bones, while still quite feisty, didn’t prompt any outburst from me.

The next day we went for the big boys, wading up to schools of bones with fins barely poking out of the water that looked like miniature sailboats in a regatta. Jenny, an excellent fisherman, hooked a large one on her first try, a solid 8-pound bonefish. The only problem was, as she stood in clear blue water up to her thighs, she wanted Dubs and me to track her fish and yell directions while she watched the surrounding waters for some man-eating barracuda that her bonefish in distress might attract. I wanted to enjoy poking fun at her, but it was short lived when Dubs said he, too, was terrified of barracudas. We celebrated when Jenny landed her trophy with all 10 fingers and toes intact!

Now it was my turn. As Dubs did with Jenny, he stood right beside me to guide my casting. That part went well, but every time I had a strike, I snatched the fly out of the fish’s mouth. I tried to remain calm and set the hook, but fish after fish, I kept missing. I cast again and Dubs, in his kindness, saddled up closer to me with his cheek only inches from mine as we leaned over my line. Strip, strip, strip. Another fish hit.

“Steady,” Dubs said, still cheek to cheek. Remaining momentarily calm, I hooked the fish with a short tug of my line, the fish took off like a freight train, and then it happened. That bloodcurdling scream came bubbling out with no restraint. It swirled around Dub’s head and lifted straight up to the heavens. Certain that his worst nightmare of a Godzilla barracuda coming to eat him alive, Dubs took off high stepping it across the thigh deep water to get to his skiff. Jenny was no help as she was doubled over, struggling to breathe in her fits of laughter.

After a few moments, I settled into fighting this amazing fish; Jenny motioned for Dubs to come help me land it; and, finally, I too caught a nice bonefish that I still enjoy reliving.

As you turn to page 84, I hope the opening shot of the redfish swirling on top of the surface gives you a moment of awe — wondering just what it might be like to hook into an exciting fight for a short while, giving you a memory for a lifetime.

And if you give a little grunt or maybe a yelp when you hook a fish, think of me.

Emily Clay

 

 

 

EX LIBRIS ONLINE – THE LAST BALLAD

A new story about the old textile mill era

By Deena C. Bouknight

9780062313119-2From 1899 to 1996, cotton goods were in production at Olympia Mill in Columbia, one of four cotton mills in Columbia. At one time, it was the largest cotton mill in the world under one roof.

The South was home to dozens of cotton mills before cheaper labor and resources became readily available outside the United States. Many small but once-thriving towns throughout southeastern states eventually quieted, or became forsaken vestiges. While the mill town flourished, so did a distinct way of life and culture. Wilmington, North Carolina-based author, Wiley Cash, who is also writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina – Asheville, captures the fortitude of the everyday mill worker in his new novel, The Last Ballad.

The main setting is Gaston County, near Charlotte, in the 1920s, but the primary character Ella May Wiggins works in “the countless mills in both Carolinas.” When she arrives in Gaston County, described as running “on textiles,” there is another reference to the importance of the mills as a way of life for many Southerners: “Everyone across North Carolina, perhaps everyone in the South, knew this about the place that had come to be known as ‘the City of Spindles.’”

Ella May represents countless women of the time. Her parents died, she married young, immediately began having children, and was whisked away from her hometown by a husband who thought mill life would secure them. Yet, he decides that moonshine distribution and carousing are better for him than mill work, so she is left toiling grueling hours for a paltry income.

The Last Ballad’s omniscient narrator describes Ella May witnessing a gruesome machine accident at the mill; coming home exhausted only to care for sickly children watched daily by her 11-year-old and perpetually needing food, clothing, and other basics. But the main point of the story is Ella May’s courage to join the highly controversial National Textile Workers Union – considered communistic and anti-American by many (especially mill owners) at the time. Ella May desired a standard wage to get herself and her brood of four (and another on the way) out of poverty’s grasp.

Though relatively uneducated, Ella May understands innately the concept of fairness. She also recognizes condescension. She is a responsible, committed worker but occasionally has to ask for a shift off to tend to sickness suffered by one of her children. Her boss’s uncaring and unsympathetic attitude is the impetus she needs to challenge mill authority and way of life. She knows she could be fired for even thinking of joining a union, but union organizers are convincing.

The book gets its name from Ella May’s simple song, scrawled in pencil on a scrap of paper, about joining a union for the sake of children and their futures. When she is asked to deliver the song during the rally, she shrinks. But remembering her wage of $9 a week for six full work days, she reconsiders. What results is a beautiful ballad with convicting lyrics that not only spellbinds the audience, but garners media attention. She visited the rally to learn more about the union but instantly becomes the face of the union. “Ella’s senses awakened to the noise coming from the crowds: people cheered, whistled and pointed, called her name and chanted union slogans.”

The Last Ballad is both beautifully tragic and interestingly historic. It lauds mill workers from a bygone industrial era while at the same time spotlighting dynamics and conflicts between the weighty influence of paternal mill possessors and the sometimes overzealous ideals of union organizers.

Hop On! Hop Off!

IMG_14845-970x545.jpgThe Comet (a.k.a. Soda Cap Connector) is covenient way to peruse Columbia

By Deena C. Bouknight

Have you seen the buses around town painted retro blue with pink accents? This is Columbia’s novel transit system aimed at moving from tired to trendy with regard to public in-city transportation. Whether visiting the capital city for the first time, getting a feel for the area’s main roads and routes, commuting to work or school, or enjoying time at one of the many restaurants, shops, or sites, The Comet – also known as Soda Cap Connector – offers a comfortable and enjoyable ride.

The nickname, Soda Cap Connector, comes from the play on “cola town” as the shortened name for Columbia. And then there is the Soda City market, which has become a hub of activity every Saturday on Main Street. Included in The Comet’s logo design is a starBusSign that represents the stars on the South Carolina State House capitol building. Throughout town are large soda cap shaped signs, painted the same retro blue as The Comet buses, that tout the Soda Cap Connector logo; these signs indicate transit stops, and underneath is listed information about where the bus is scheduled to stop next.

Besides clean, comfortable, air-conditioned or heated (depending on weather), and graphically appealing, The Comet offers users real-time bus locators through its app, which can be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet. Users also have access to free WiFi, and there is space for bikes. Plus, catchthecomet.org has easy-to-understand information on how to read the schedule and find the best route.

The Comet stops at such points of interest as the South Carolina State Museum, the University of South Carolina, the Columbia Museum of Art, Five Points, area universities, and more. An entire route takes about 20 minutes, with stops every few minutes. Passengers can pick up colorful maps that include routes and times.

Prices are from $1.50 for a one-time regular fare to $3.00 to ride all day. A 31-day pass is $40.00. Half-priced passes are available to those who qualify; criteria includes disabilities, veterans, seniors over 65, and those on Medicare. (Anyone interested in a half pass must make an appointment at the Lowell C. Spires Jr. Regional Transit Authority at 3613 Lucius Road.) And, children 15 years old and younger ride The Comet for free.

To pay a fare, either have exact change when entering The Comet or purchases passes at the customer service desk of the North Main Piggly Wiggly grocery store. Other options include buying tickets at the Transit Center on the corner of Sumter and Laurel Street or on the Catch the COMET smartphone app.

Touted on The Comet website is this statement: “It’s out with the old and in with the new. And when we say new, we mean everything. Just see for yourself. The totally new COMET. It’s gonna be one heck of a ride.”

 

 

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: JULY/AUGUST 2018

Let Them Eat Cake

By Margaret Clay

It is always exciting when we begin production on one of our biannual bridal issues. Everyone loves pouring over the beautiful photography, marveling at the creative choices expressive of the bride and groom, and reading the heartwarming story of their romance.

As children, when my sisters and I were lucky enough to accompany our parents to a wedding, the topic that consumed our eager anticipation was always the wedding cake. The ceremony would surely be lovely, the flowers beautiful, and the first dance charming, but we viewed everything as building to an ultimate climax — the cutting of the cake. Would it be the traditional “wedding cake” vanilla flavor? Almond? Perhaps a hint of lemon? And most importantly, would it have the sugary, almost crunchy icing?

Helen, my youngest sister, perfected the art of scoring the most icing possible per slice. She was a petite child and would wait in the wings as the caterer cut and served a tier of the cake. When they reached the end, she would slip in and secure the last piece, a veritable sheet of icing.

This penchant for capturing enviable slices of wedding cake seems to stem from a genetic predisposition. At my parents’ wedding in 1984, they set down the premier slice to enjoy the interlocked sip of champagne first. When they turned back to feed each other their first bites, the plate had disappeared without a trace. It was only when they received their photography back two months later that they apprehended the culprit — in the photo of their celebratory champagne toast, while everyone’s attention was diverted on the happy couple, my then 3-year-old cousin was captured peeping around the skirt of the table with arm outstretched, her fingers gripping the plate.

Young girls have long held wedding cake as a special object of desire. The tradition of their taking a piece home to sleep on (and thereby dream of their future husbands) dates back to the 17th century. Another favorite, time-honored tradition is that of preserving the top tier for the first anniversary celebration. This originates from the 19th century custom of saving it for the first child’s christening, but later, when couples began waiting to start their families, evolved into an anniversary festivity. My mother was so enamored with the concept of wedding cake on their anniversary that she decided to make it a yearly tradition and for years would order a small, one-tiered cake from Parkland Bakery.

Whether you have a wedding-filled calendar this summer or not, vicariously enjoy the beautiful celebrations featured on pages 40 and 54 in this issue while looking forward to your next opportunity for wedding cake!

Summer Runnin’

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Beat the heat

By Deena C. Bouknight

Just because summer months are the most arduous in Columbia – temperature wise – does not mean runners must resign running shoes to a box under the bed. Although mild weather in fall, winter, and spring is ideal, summer can have its rewards. The key is to run smartly.

These are some basic tips:

– Avoid, if possible, the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

– Wear light, loose clothing to reflect heat and allow for sweat evaporation.

– Wear a sunscreen with 45 SPF or higher.

– Stay hydrated; a few glasses of water before running is advised and then carry a bottle or wear a hydration pack and sip at least every 15-20 minutes.

– Make sure electrolyte and salt intake is replenished.

– Run on shaded trails if possible.

– Check weather advisories to learn if there are any particular issues regarding air endurance-exercise-female-40751pollution or excessively high humidity, for example.

– Pay attention to any dizziness, faintness, or nausea during and after running. Consult a physician if it continues after hydration and replenishment of electrolytes and salt.

If there are any respiratory or heart conditions, or if medications are taken, consult a physician to learn if summer running is a good idea.

 

Run With Others

athletes-cardio-dirt-road-34495.jpgIf the summer heat wave de-motivates, there are running groups to encourage. Local ones include:

– Columbia Running Club

– Females in Action

– F3 Midlands (guys only)

– Fleet Feet Running

– Team Utopia South

– Strictly Running

Check out running sites to learn of any summer events that will truly inspire. For example, Strictly Running hosts its Hot Summer Night 5K August 4th at 7 p.m. and offers to runners all kinds of summer fresh fruit for refreshment.

Running Paths

Visit mapmyrun.com for a host of running paths – including the distance for each. Everything from a mile to 15 miles is routed. Two most popular paths are the Riverwalk and Timmerman Trail. The main entrance to the Cayce / West Columbia Riverwalk is located at the intersection of Axtell Drive and Naples Avenue. You can also access the park at the intersection of State Street and Lucas Street. It meanders on stable footing for 8 miles in one direction and runs from Gervais Street to Knox Abbott Drive. There is also access at Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, just off Huger Street. The Timmerman Trail, a little over 6 miles, can be accessed from the 12th Street Extension at SCANA Parkway or after the Cayce Tennis Center at the 12,000 Year History Trailhead. Timmerman Trail is well maintained, has plenty of shade, and much of it is located next to streams, creeks, and swamps.

PRESERVING YOUR FINE ART

cherry-pie-3384549_960_720Tips on proper care

By Virginia Newell

The fine art you own is a pleasure and an investment. A little preventive maintenance by the owner will conserve its beauty and value for many years.

Conservation is the professional term for preventive maintenance and implies protecting your fine art. Conservation starts with your knowledge about how to care for your art.

Another important term is restoration, which is treatment of fine art by a conservator. Restoration can arrest, and in many cases reverse, the negative effects of aging, accidents, and environmental damage.

Restoration is only needed when something is wrong with your art. This can mean your art is dirty, torn, desiccated, acid-paper burned, fungus infected, water damaged, or any one of many other categories of damage.

The professional conservator can be thought of as a physician for your fine art. But you must take the first steps in preventing major problems and slowing the aging process.

Basic tips to help you conserve your fine art include: 

  • Use your air conditioning/heating system to maintain a stable environment with temperatures between 63–73 degrees F and relative humidity between 45–55 percent.
  • Keep art out of drafts and away from air conditioning/heating vents and open fireplaces in use.
  • Keep art out of extended exposure to direct light, either artificial or sunlight. Hang art in shaded spots, preferably recessed.
  • Never hang art on damp walls, or store in garages or in attics.
  • Use only 100 percent cotton rag paper, which is also known as museum mounting, to mount your paper art. Only this kind of paper is acid-free. And never use pressure-sensitive tapes.
  • Consult a conservator about deacidification of paper art; this is another important step in conservation.

Protect your fine art. Follow these six steps and use a conservator when necessary.

Virginia Newell is founder and owner of ReNewell Inc. Fine Art Conservation in Columbia. A spotlight on her art restoration skills for individuals and museums, including the Columbia Museum of Art, is featured in the June 2018 issue of CMM, titled “The Art of Restoration.” 

Letter From the Editor: June 2018

d5a8128Pervading Passions

By Margaret Clay

June is such a month of pleasure. School is out, pool parties ensue, and vacations abound. In this issue, I am struck by the consuming passion and joy that has burned its way out of the hearts of local Columbians into incredible accomplishments, both as careers and as hobbies. For example, on page 34, read about how Dreher graduates Erin and Garrett Graham turned their love of summer camp into buying historic Camp Glen Arden in North Carolina. There, they continue the old traditions that have delighted young girls for generations, as well as invent their own additions.

Local celebrity Amanda McNulty fused her bubbly personality and green thumb into a delightful package that ultimately landed her as host of ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. Rather than pursue her original plans of working in diplomacy, she allowed her passion to sidetrack her into a successful and fulfilling vocation. Read about her Emmy Award-winning career and “common sense approach to gardening” on page 24.
The tedious process of fine art restoration can only be described as a labor of love. Ginny Newell combined her knowledge of art history, acumen of chemistry, and dexterity as a painter to start ReNewell, Inc. Fine Art Conservation. Now, people from across the country seek her expertise in restoring valuable artwork. Learn more about her unique talent and the process of art restoration on page 72.

Jamie Walker has traveled to Costa Rica for years in pursuit of sailfish; however, his curiosity about where they disappeared to in the summers led him to institute the Billfish Research Project, the world’s only scientific study focused on Pacific sailfish migration off the coast of Costa Rica. Take a glimpse of his gorgeous photography of these majestic fish, and learn more about the project on page 56.

Yet another growing trend for the outdoorsman is reusing closed fire towers as private nature lookouts, enjoyed for their panoramic views of wildlife and summer sunsets. Find out how to acquire your own crow’s nest retreat on page 38, and start enjoying cocktail hour on top of the world.

Others in Columbia have moved just down the road to pursue their equine passion full time on horse farms in pastoral Blythewood. Read about this bucolic community and its newest prancing residents on page 48.

No matter your passion, “take it to the max,” and enjoy!