Cheers to Fall!

Leave Behind Cola Town’s Heat with Refreshing Cocktail Recipes 

By Helen Clay

Toast the change of seasons with creative cocktails that compliment the cooling temperatures of fall. The last summer heat still lingers, yet fall breezes begin circulating the city, bringing with them a fresh new batch of seasonal cocktails. Make sure to check out the CMM October article featuring martinis for fall as a counterpart to the drink selections below.

This cocktail selection combines intriguing and exciting flavors to creating refreshing drinks for fall festivities. Expand your beverage menu by experimenting with these enticing concoctions. After all, it is 5 o’clock somewhere…

The Forbidden Apple

3 dashes Angostura bitters

1/2 ounce Grand Marnier

1 ounce Calvados

4 ounces Champagne

Add the first three ingredients to a Champagne flute and top with the Champagne. Garnish with an orange twist.

Courtesy of liquor.com

Marmalade Whisky Sour

2 1/2 ounces bourbon

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

3/4 ounce Simple Syrup

1 teaspoon orange marmalade

1 dash of orange bitters

1 orange twist

Ice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the orange twist and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to dissolve the marmalade. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange twist.

Courtesy of foodandwine.com

Cider Sangria

6 cups green seedless grapes

4 kiwis, peed and thinly sliced into rounds

8 small apples, such as lady apples or crab apples, thinly sliced, stems and seeds removed

1 bottle (750 milliliters) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

1 quart apple cider

1 cup apple brandy, such as Calvados

Freeze half of the grapes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place remaining grapes in a large pitcher with kiwis and apples. Stir in wine, cider, and brandy. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours and up to 24 hours. Partially fill drinking glasses with frozen grapes and fill with sangria. Frozen grapes replace ice cubes, keeping the sangria cold without watering it down.

Courtesy of marthastewartweddings.com 

Rhubarb & Rosemary

1 1/2 ounce Gin

1/2 ounce Aperol

1 drop orange flower water

1 ounce Rhubarb Purée (recipe included)

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water)

1 sprig fresh rosemary

Raspberries

Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a tall glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with two fresh raspberries and a sprig of rosemary.

Rhubarb Purée

6 rhubarb stalks, chopped into 1-inch pieces

3/4 cup sugar

6 strawberries, stems removed

Place the rhubarb and sugar in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until rhubarb starts to fall apart. Add the strawberries and purée in a blender until smooth. Pass through a strainer and store in a closed container in the refrigerator.

Courtesy of liquor.com

Cranberry-Pomegranate Lime Cocktail

1/2 cup cranberry-pomegranate juice

2 shots of Vodka

1 lime juice and zest

8 mint sprigs

Ice

Fill two small cocktail glasses with ice, then pour in 1/4 cup (or more) of cranberry-pomegranate juice. In a cocktail shaker, mix 2 shots of Vodka with ice, 6 mint springs, lime zest, and lime juice. Shake to combine. Pour the mixture over the cranberry-pomegranate juice. You can choose to stir the cranberry-pomegranate juice with the mixture, or leave the drink as separate layers. Top with extra mint leaves.

Courtesy of thevintagemixer.com

From the Editor: October 2017

Autumnal Attractions

By Margaret Clay

I just love October. The burnt fall hues, the cooler breezes, boots, scarves, smart jackets, and yes, even the pumpkin spice craze … I eagerly anticipate it all.

It is also a big month for deer hunters as the “rut” reaches its peak. Read “Hiding in Plain Sight” on page 60 to learn all about the newest trends in hunting attire as well as the history behind the traditional sporting wardrobe. Thankfully, one faster-growing component for the hunting fashion industry is an expanding female repository. I spent many a hunt growing up with a spare pair of my father’s camo pants comically synched around my waist with a belt. It was a look made complete by three pairs of thick, wool socks so that I could increase my odds of walking in the enormous, male-sized boots at the end of my waders. According to Lucy Mahon, I was not alone.

However, having all the latest techy gear might, in reality, not make you look any less ridiculous! Read Tom Ryan’s humorous take on the Southern hunter on page 22 to see the category in which you — or your spouse — may fall.    

For those opposed to making themselves mosquito bait as the sun sets and who would rather spend their evenings sipping a cocktail, read “A Capital City Twist” on page 42 to learn about the history of the martini and spice up your own bartending skills with some local, award-winning recipes.

Our photo essay in this issue features many of the beautiful photographs Robert Clark shared with us from his statewide travels to South Carolina’s historic cemeteries. October leads up to All Saints Day, the church’s annual remembrance and celebration of the lives of those who have died in the past year, and Robert’s stunning photographs capture the sublime beauty of these memorials, starting on page 76.

While Oct. 31 is best known and celebrated today as Halloween, “All Hallows Eve” (the eve of All Saints Day) is also the anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses on the church doors at Wittenberg, and this year marks the quincentenary of that decisive moment that forever changed the course of history. Read Tom Smith’s article on page 34 to learn more about this controversial figure who was not only a theologian but also a brilliant composer and, more than 200 years later, a powerful inspiration to Bach.

We hope you enjoy these and the other articles in this issue!

From the Editor: September 2017

Cultivating Character

Coach Muschamp defines the attributes of an effective leader

The coming of September marks the last tastes of summer relished over Labor Day, the return to “the routine,” the first hints of the refreshing fall weather to come, and the start of football. USC fans have much to look forward to as Coach Will Muschamp leads the Gamecocks in his second full season. 

While projections and statistics are abundant, we at CMM wanted to step back from the field and take a peek behind the scenes at what the normal, daily routine looks like for the Muschamps. To learn about how Carol and Will met, what Will sees as the greatest challenges he has faced, and how their family feels about life in Columbia, read Aïda Rogers’ article on page 54. 

I also took the opportunity to ask Coach Muschamp about his views on effective leadership. Leadership for him starts with exemplifying the positive character traits he hopes to grow in his players. “There are a lot of roles that are involved in wearing the head coach’s hat,” he says. “For my players to see me not just in the role of their coach, but also in the other roles of a husband and a father here in Columbia is really important. I try to really embrace that so I can show them how it is done the right way. I think that example should speak for itself.”

In Coach Muschamp’s experience, his father, Larry, was that strong mentor in his life who taught him how to lead and whose legacy he strives to carry on through his relationships with his players. “My father was a great story teller, a great teacher, a great husband, a great father, and a great example for me growing up. In our society today, the father figure is absent from a lot of households, and as a coach, I love that responsibility to be part of that role for a young man who hasn’t had a positive male influence in his life.”

Will hopes that his example from the top will cultivate a community of players who can together achieve greatness both on and off the field. While all of the leaders on his team have the commonality of experience and the contribution of peak talent to the team, some lead quietly while others do so more vociferously in making a positive impact on their teammates. Similarly, as a coach, Will makes it his job to reach players individually in their differences, finding unique “buttons” to push causing each one to tick. 

“Some are what I call self-starters and don’t need a lot of instruction to be motivated, whereas others need constructive criticism every now and again. There is a key to every young man, and it is my job as their coach to find that key and within that to have them understand that the team always comes first, and they have to earn anything they get. With that selfless model of unity over the self, great things can happen.” 

Well said, Coach, and good luck this season! 

Accolades and Reopenings for Richland Library

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Columbia’s local library receives prestigious national medal and renovates the Cooper Branch

By Helen Clay

Summertime offers new opportunities for reading as kids complete summer reading requirements and adults craft literature lists of their own, hoping to relax with new novels during family vacations or downtime. While submersing yourself in a new story is entertaining, the process of choosing which book will become your companion for the next few weeks is equally exciting. Will you revisit historical events, experience thrillers, or re-read your favorite classic?

In Columbia, we are lucky to have a vast book collection at our fingertips through Richland Library. Richland library boasts of an extensive collection that fulfills every reader’s needs — novels, historical fiction, children’s literature, biographies, primary resources, and more! Last year, the Richland Libraries received more than two million visits, a number that does not include the numerous programs Richland Library brings to Cola Town in different venues. Richland Library’s dedication to the local community and its impressive book selection garnered the library a prestigious honor as the winner of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This award is the nation’s highest award given to museums and libraries for service and dedication to their community. We have all reaped benefits as residents of the Midlands from Richland Library’s civic service, and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine joins the community in congratulating them on this elite honor!

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After a nearly $3 million renovation, Richland Library Cooper Branch reopens its doors to the public.

As Richland Library continues its work throughout our community, the organization celebrates yet another milestone in 2017… the GRAND REOPENING of the Richland Library Cooper Branch! After a nearly $3 million renovation, the Copper Branch is flinging open its doors to the public once again. The project included a reconfiguration and renovation of the existing 10,000 square foot structure and a new addition of 1,000 square feet. The branch now includes an expanded children’s area, the addition of two “Makerspaces” (an area that provides hardware supplies, software, and electronics for people to gather to create and learn), a quiet reading room, and a covered book drop.

Richland Library Cooper Branch invites you and your family to come celebrate the grand reopening from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19. Come experience the charm of this local library and make new summer memories with your children. My fondest childhood excursions involved a trip to the Richland Library Cooper Branch with my shiny new library card in hand, eager with the anticipation of stuffing my bag full of wonderful literary treasures… It was almost better than Christmas.

Don’t miss your chance to view the newly renovated Richland Library Cooper Branch tomorrow morning! What will be next on your summer reading list?

Richland Library Cooper Branch GRAND REOPENING

Date: July 19, 2017

Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location:  5317 Trenholm Rd, Columbia, SC 29206

 

 

 

Boating Day!

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Plan Ahead for a Primo Day

By Deena C. Bouknight

With a 78-square-mile lake nearby and the coast within a few hours’ drive, there are thousands of boating enthusiasts within the Midlands. A day of boating is tons of fun! Simply allot some time for a little pre-planning.

Avoid throwing a bunch of stuff in bags and coolers the morning of. Make a list, depending on number of people, activities, length of time, etc. To make the boat trip even more enjoyable and memorable, pack some interesting items that are not typically used and consumed at home. Some suggestions are these:

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– GoPro! Film candid videos, as well as activities such as skiing, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing

– Bluetooth speakers and a festive summertime playlist for dancing or impromptu karaoke

– Several floaties… especially if boating on a lake. (There are easy-to-store items called Lazy Bunz, water mats that hold lots of people, and even an inflatable slide for the side of a boat)

– Bag of books

– Food that is easy to eat with fingers or minimal disposable utensils and packs easily in a cooler. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Individual layered salads (fruit or veggie) in plastic cups with lids
  2. A sealable snack tray of cheeses, deli meats, fruit, and cut veggies
  3. Chips and salsa; wrap sandwiches; barbecue on rolls
  4. Baked or fried chicken; and, a tub of cole slaw.

Plus, containers of pre-made salads, such as chicken, egg, tuna, or shrimp, are easy to keep in a cooler and can be eaten on bread, with lettuce, or with crackers. Many restaurants in town sell these salads in varying sized containers. For dessert, bring a range of cookies that will not easily melt or crumble, which will make it easier to keep your boat deck clean!

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Have plenty of individual water bottles, but also diverse and interesting drinks. Make easy to consume drinks that are disposable (pack a giant trash bag the night before). Cut up lemons, limes, and orange slices and store them in a sealable bag so that they can be added to any beverage for a refreshing twist.

A quality cooler, even though pricey, is worth its weight in gold on a boat. No one wants to drink warm beverages or eat food that is sopping from melted ice.

Don’t forget… sunscreen! Avoid frying on the boat all day by making sure a bag with plenty of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses is on hand.

Boating is loads of fun, but can also be hazardous – especially during summer months when waterways are congested and temperatures soar.  Not to worry. The goal is fun! Just be prepared with a properly stocked ditch bag.

A ditch bag is a compact floating bag designed to hold critical items boaters may need in case of an emergency. Instead of just sticking items here, there, and everywhere on a boat, a ditch bag keeps necessities together to grab and go. Plus, a ditch bag is reassuring to boat owners and passengers alike; emergencies are prepared for, even if they never come.

There are several ditch bag do’s to consider:

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  • Start with a real ditch bag – not any ol’ freebee logo bag will suffice. It needs to float, and have plenty of pockets and storage compartment to keep items organized. It should also seal well. A fully-loaded bag should not sink or take on any water. It should also be a bright color and feature reflective tape. Reflective tape can be purchased separately and attached if necessary. Plus, an adequate ditch bag will have a tether and a clip so that it will not float away.
  • Invest in a quality radio beacon, which alerts the Coast Guard of the boat’s GPS position, especially if planning outings in the ocean.
  • Long-lasting lights, such as clip-on strobes and/or flashlights
  • Flares and/or chemical glow sticks
  • A hand-held GPS device
  • A whistle or other noise-making devices
  • Drinking water pouches that store flat
  • Emergency food rations, most important if boating in the ocean
  • Duck tape
  • Knife
  • First-aid kit.

Depending on the level of recreational boating and location, there are other items boating specialists recommend for a ditch bag. And, what is in the ditch bag does not discount what else should be on the boat for safety purposes, such as plenty of life jackets and a bucket or some sort of bailing device or pump. If a boating novice, it is a smart idea to consult with a local marina and other boating veterans to learn additional ditch-bag and general safety suggestions.

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It is better to be safe than sorry and invest in a well-planned ditch bag that will hopefully never be used.  A primo day of boating enjoyment awaits with just a little forethought and organization. Anchors aweigh!

 

 

Retreat … Without Going Far

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Three Local Inns Provide Unique Experiences 

By Deena C. Bouknight

We may think of staying at a bed and breakfast only when out of town – at some historic destination in another state or perhaps while in the Carolina mountains. Yet, some in Columbia are beginning to seek solace at nearby bed and breakfast inns for one-night or weekend retreats. Although there are several in and around the capitol city, three distinct inns are spotlighted here: Chesnut Cottage, Old McCaskill’s Farm, and Whispering Willows.

Pastoral Old McCaskill’s Farm

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Old McCaskill’s Farm is a farm-to-table bed and breakfast.

The farm-to-table philosophy is alive and well at this bed and breakfast just a few miles from the heart of Camden. Contractor for renovations and historical properties, Lee McCaskill and his farmer wife Kathy rebuilt their home in 2008 after a catastrophic fire. Yet, it was rebuilt to look like a four-over-four plantation style home that has existed on the property for 100-plus years. Various woods, architectural details, accessories, and functional items are actually old finds that have been refurbished. Few elements are shiny new and modern. A few years ago, the couple decided they wanted to share their home and opened the four rooms upstairs to the public.

School children were already taking regular tours of the farm, and their daughter, Ashley Robinson, has been serving a Friday farm-to-table, first-come-first-serve lunch with about 80 percent of selected menu items grown or raised directly on the farm.

Those who stay at Old McCaskill are assured an authentic working farm experience – but without actually getting hands dirty. Kathy will often pop up from picking vegetables in the wide garden, while Ashley is busy canning foods. Guests can rock on the second floor expansive covered porch and admire a pastoral scene dotted with sheep and sometimes lambs. There is a wine bar and mini fridge in the wide hall/sitting area that four spacious bedrooms upstairs share. Each area is a treasure trove of antiques and artifacts.

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The Old McCaskill’s Farm shop features tasty preserves.

Guests can also visit the animals, or shop in the on-site store, which includes blankets woven from a portion of the wool from the McCaskill’s sheep as well as farm and/or local meats, eggs, preserves, jellies, and cheeses. Hand-made soaps are also available for purchase.

Warming in the dutch oven for guests each morning are such specialties as homemade pecan and cinnamon French toast casserole and farm raised, brown-sugar sea-salt cured, nitrate-free bacon; or, another favorite is the special quiches made from the eggs collected on the farm.

Each room is $125 nightly. Rooms are named The Horse Paddock, The Honeymoon Suite, The Colonial, and The Swamp Fox, in honor of local Revolutionary War hero, Francis Marion.

Located just off Interstate 20, Old McCaskill’s Farm is only a few miles from historic a Camden, which boasts many unique shops, restaurants, antique/consignment stores, and a first-rate independent bookseller that attracts best-selling and local authors. Plus, Camden is equestrian country with a full calendar of equestrian events and activities open to the public. Driving in the opposite direction, yet still within a few minutes of the Farm, is the upscale Mill Pond Steakhouse dining experience.

                Location: 377 Cantey Lane in Rembert

                Phone Number: 803-432-9537

                Website: http://www.oldmccaskillsfarm.com.

Historic Chesnut Cottage Bed and Breakfast

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Chestnut Cottage is a historic Bed & Breakfast in the heart of downtown Columbia.

Despite its location on Hampton Street, just a few blocks from Main Street in downtown Columbia, Chesnut Cottage was not burned by General William Tecumsah Sherman’s men in February 1865. Mary Boykin Chesnut, who resided in the home at that time but “escaped” just prior to the Union army’s presence in the then-Confederate state, documented her eye-witness account of the Civil War years in her extensive and vividly descriptive diary. A Diary From Dixie was first published in 1905 and has since undergone several editions. The house, which was spared the burning that destroyed homes just one block away, is steeped in history. Mary’s husband was United States Senator James Chesnut Jr., while her father, Stephen Decatur Miller, was former governor of South Carolina. James became an aid to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who gave his last speech to Columbia from the porch of their cottage in October 1864.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 2.00.29 PMThe cottage was built in circa 1850 and was Mary’s home off and on just toward the end of the war. Even though much of the south struggled during Reconstruction, Mary’s home was a residence until the 1960s when it was converted into offices for a physician. Diane and Gale Garrett purchased the cottage and turned it into a bed and breakfast in 1991. Diane passed in 1996, but Gale still owns the property; he remarried and assists his wife, Sherwood, on a regular basis.

More than 150 years later, the Chesnut Cottage is on the National Registry of Historic Places and still welcomes politicians as well as everyday citizens and history buffs alike. In fact, Gale says guests expect antebellum and Civil War history as part of their experience. Century-plus-old bottles and jugs found in the dirt around the property are on display as is a 19th century drawing/map of downtown Columbia. About half the guests are staycation locals, but the cottage has also drawn some from as far away as Australia, China, Europe, and South America. Plus, there are plenty of local and out-of-town regulars. Spring and fall see the most activity.

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Guests enjoy a hearty breakfast in their rooms or in the home’s dining area.

As a bed and breakfast, the cottage provides five rooms decorated in antebellum period antiques. Three are named for the historic figures that once graced the cottage’s interiors: Mary Boykin Chesnut Room, General James Chesnut Room, and President Jefferson Davis Room. The other two rooms are named the Carriage House Bridal Suite and the Carriage House Suite. Even though the home is replete with Civil War artifacts and a library, there are plenty of modern amenities to enable guests to rest comfortably. Some include luxurious linens and robes, private baths with whirlpool tubs, and ample breakfasts either in the room or in the home’s dining room in the company of other guests. There is also high speed internet access and televisions in each room. Prices for rooms range from $159 to $179.

The Chesnuts did not have any children, but children and pets are allowed at the Chesnut Cottage Bed and Breakfast “if well behaved”.

Within walking distance of the cottage, guests have access to dozens of restaurants, cooking classes at Let’s Cook Culinary Studio, distinct shops such as The Mast Farm General Store and NEST, and even the Columbia Art Museum. Plus, on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. is the increasingly popular Soda City Market on Main Street.

Says Gale, “Very few people take time to be tourists in their own town … take time to see the Capitol and area plantations.” For exercise and weather permitting, there is the popular Riverwalk and the Riverbanks Zoo.

                Location: 1718 Hampton Street in Columbia

                Phone Number: 803-256-1718

               Website: http://www.chesnutcottage.com.

Serene Whispering Willows

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Whispering Willows Bed & Breakfast is a place of quiet and calm.

The peace that pervades this property, just two miles off Hwy 77 at the Ridgeway exit – 29 miles outside Columbia – is evident in the natural pastures and pine groves that line the half-mile driveway to the inn. Situated on a knoll overlooking a hardwood forest where there is a winding trail along a slow-moving stream, is a relatively new home planned specifically as a place of refuge. According to Grace Prichard, who is innkeeper with her husband Bob, the comment most often given about the home is that it is “castle-like”.

The Prichards have been contemplating a sort of respite center for the entirety of their 40-year marriage. Soon after marriage, although they were living on the cliché shoestring, they received a missionary couple whom they welcomed in and proceeded to serve a completely made-from-scratch peach pie. Grace says the experience of enjoying food and fellowship in their tight, but cozy home, instilled in them a desire for ministry through hospitality. In many ways, over the years of him working as a microbiologist and her as a teacher at a Ben Lippen School, as well as raising and parenting four children, Grace and Bob ran an unofficial bed and breakfast.

Then they stayed at a real bed and breakfast in 2003 in the mountains for an anniversary weekend. The ambiance and soothing music provided a serene respite for the couple. They knew they wanted to provide the same for guests in their own bed and breakfast one day. They found 23 acres of land in Fairfield County, just a few miles from Ridgeway’s idyllic and historic main street – with the “famous” Laura’s Tea Room and a hardware store that takes visitors back 100 years as they enter. They spent many months clearing land and building what would serve as home for them, gathering place for their children and families, and rejuvenating getaway for anyone in need of rest and solitude.

Called Whispering Willows – and it is, indeed, a place of quiet and calm – there are five rooms: The Remnant, The Blessing, The Sparrow, The Refuge, and The Radiant. Or, guests can rent the whole house. A substantial made-from-scratch breakfast is served at a guest-selected time in the room, or guests can sit in the sunlit dining room or on the wide decks, weather permitting.

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Guests eat a made-from-scratch breakfast in the sunlit dining room or the decks.

Grace explains why she chose Whispering Willows: “I had always loved weeping willow trees, as they seemed to be reaching out and down for all, carefully desiring to embrace those weary ones sitting under their branches. I was also mindful of the fact that God often uses a gentle whisper to touch hearts…Thus, the name Whispering Willows was born.”

For those truly desiring out-of-town serenity without having to travel far, Whispering Willows is a place of reflection and renewal, points out Grace. She explains that it is more ministry than business.  The couple has to charge to maintain the property, but prices are kept low, from $75-$120, to allow most anyone to enjoy and recharge. Plus, there are no distractions, such as Wi-Fi or televisions. There is also no smoking or alcohol permitted; however, guests talk, read, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, sleep, write, and walk the trails that meander along a stream, through woods, and along pastures.

For dinner, there are a few local spots, including Old Town Hall Restaurant and Pub and Windmill. Shops attract customers from as far away as Charlotte due to the fact that downtown Ridgeway was the site of a historic depot and is on the route of the old Charlotte highway before Interstate 77 was constructed.

                Location: 2402 East Peach Road in Ridgeway

                Phone Number: 803-608-3280

                Website: http://www.whisperingwillowsbandb.com

SIDEBAR: Where Else?

To learn more about other bed and breakfast inns in the Columbia metropolitan and surrounding areas, visit www.tripadvisor.com as well as other hospitality sites. Each is distinct regarding number of rooms, pricing, services, and ambiance. Some also offer full-house and/or grounds’ rental for special events.

Lighten Up!

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Visit Spartanburg before next March for an interactive art experience

By Deena C. Bouknight

Since it is often difficult to attract non-artsy types inside museums, the Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM) came up with a unique way to bring art literally street level for anyone to enjoy. Lighten Up Spartanburg! involves 28 giant fiberglass light bulbs that were distributed to 36 artists as a blank canvas, so to speak, so they could spend three months transforming them into distinct works of art. Since the unveiling of the light bulb art in downtown Spartanburg, tens of thousands have had a chance to view the art – if not in person then on the museum’s free, easy-to-use tour app, which offers an interactive GPS location map as well as audio recording of each artists explaining the meaning and inspiration of each giant light bulb art.

Mat Duncan, curator of collections at SAM, explained why it was important to offer this art to the public: “We looked around Spartanburg and felt local artists, artists from the Southeast, were conspicuously absent from public spaces. There was plenty of public art, but it had all been done by people from New York, Europe, and so on. We conceived of Lighten Up Spartanburg! as a way for our local artists’ voices to be heard.  And now that they’re in the interactive tour app, that’s literal as well as figurative.”

The project is sponsored by local businesses, and Mat, as well as others, is hopeful that this project will help put the Southeast on the map regarding quality, creative art forms.

So far, more than 60 percent of users of the art app have been from South Carolina. The other significant interest has come from North Carolina and Georgia, yet there have been users in California, New York, and other states. Since Spartanburg is just off Interstate 26, stopping off to see the light bulbs is doable for many traveling up and down the highway.

The interactive tour app is available at artbulbs.oncell.com. On the app, glimpse everything from the light bulb that looks like a giant cactus, by artist Kathy Wofford, to one called “I Breathe” by artist Denise Torrance, who considers her light bulb art a colorful silk mosaic expression of womanhood. There is a light bulb made to resemble a hot air balloon, while another features a pastoral mountain scene within. Each is unique; on display is a myriad of different mediums.

carey_edited-18Lighten Up Spartanburg! ends March 1, 2018. Until then, take a phone or tablet to Spartanburg and find and learn about artistic expressions in outdoor light bulb art that span from the serious to whimsical. Plus, enjoy getting to know the city as there are installations in City Center, Downtown, and Greater Spartanburg.

For more information, visit spartanburgartmuseum.org/publicart.

 

 

From the Editor: July/August 2017

THE GREAT DEBATE

TO USE, OR NOT TO USE, THE OXFORD COMMA

This past March, a $10 million lawsuit hinged on the absence of the Oxford comma (the last comma in a series). The state of Maine requires that all employees who work more than 40 hours per week must be paid overtime, with a few exceptions. These exceptions were stated as workers involved in “the canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of perishable foods.” A Maine milkman named Chris O’Connor realized that it was ambiguous as to whether the overtime exclusion applied to workers who just packed perishable foods for shipment or distribution or whether it was intended also to be applied to those who just distributed perishable foods. The judge agreed that it was indeed ambiguous and therefore 75 milk distributors were awarded a total of $10 million in unpaid overtime.

As pedantic as it may seem, the use – or lack thereof – of the Oxford comma is a subject of fierce debate among self-proclaimed grammar nerds, writers, journalists, and publishers alike. I distinctly remember being taught about this grammatical controversy in eighth grade and immediately taking a side in favor of the contended comma. Perhaps in some instances it is, as critics argue, redundant, but in so many cases, it is needed. For example, without the comma, the sentence “I would like to invite my cousins, Katie and Sarah” becomes ambiguous as to whether I am inviting my cousins named Katie and Sarah, or whether I want to invite my cousins plus two other people named Katie and Sarah.

We at CMM primarily, though not fully, follow the Associated Press Stylebook, which is the usage guide created to standardize mass communications in the press. It would shock you to know how many tweaks and changes are made on a yearly basis. In an article title, for example, only prepositions longer than four letters are capitalized one year, while the next year four-letter prepositions, such as “with,” must also be capitalized. AP recently deemed the use of “their” as an acceptable singular gender-ambiguous possessive pronoun. While this has always been considered wrong in proper English, everyone uses it in “their” speech since the English language does not have a proper pronoun of this nature, and “his or her” is exceedingly awkward. So in the absence of creating a new word, I applaud the much needed acceptance of this usage of “their.”

In light of its necessity, thus proven by the Maine milkman’s lawsuit (as well as my eighth grade sworn allegiance), we at CMM are now diverging from AP on this particular point and will be henceforth in league with the controversial comma.

Sincerely,

Margaret Clay

 

From the Editor: June 2017

Summertime Samplings

Cool foods for hot months 

June marks the beginning of summer with long days, no school, family vacations and fresh cuisine. It’s the season for colorful vegetables, among which squash emerges as a delicious, locally available option packed with numerous medicinal benefits and rich flavor. Read about how to buy, plant, tend and cook this perennial favorite in Helen Dennis’ “mini” on page 22.

Summer is also a wonderful time to bring more of the tropics into your kitchen. On page 28, explore Susan Slack’s Jamaican recipes for zesty flavors of the Caribbean that will brighten your supper plate this season. And for the perfect setting to enjoy these culinary delights, what better place than outside with crickets chirping as dusk envelops the sky? Find out how locals are taking their cooking en plein air and view some of Columbia’s most beautiful outdoor kitchens on page 54.

One of my favorite childhood summer memories is of making ice cream as a family on the front porch. We would take turns pouring the rock salt over the ice and churning the canister within the bucket, turns which corresponded to reverse birth-order as the ice cream thickened, hardened and became more difficult to churn throughout the 30-minute ordeal!

When the ice cream was finally finished, we pulled out the dasher and raced onto the lawn to keep from dripping ice cream on the porch. My two sisters and I would gather around the ice cream laden dasher, licking it like a bunch of puppies as it dripped into the grass and onto our bare toes. Meanwhile, Mom served our individual portions out of the canister into bowls. We then sat in rocking chairs under the hum of overhead fans and tried to strike the delicate balance of eating the ice cream quickly enough so that it didn’t return to its former liquid state in the sweltering summer heat, but not so hastily as to give ourselves a brain freeze.

Ice cream dates back to 16th century England, so it should come as no surprise that making the refreshing delicacy in the summer was a tradition quickly incorporated in the warmer New World. Records show that during the summer of 1790, President George Washington spent approximately $200 on this favorite treat. On page 48, read Melissa Andrews’ article for recipes and instructions on how you can implement the ritual of churning Southern ice cream into your family afternoons this summer. I highly recommend you experiment and even come up with your personalized, unique flavor variations.

And don’t forget to lick the dasher!

Sincerely,

Margaret Clay