Category Archives: Lifestyles

Honoring our fallen heroes

Community honors local soldiers killed in Vietnam War

By Perry Gravely
For The Courier

PICKENS — Local soldiers killed in the Vietnam War are still being honored throughout the community more than 50 years after their deaths.

According to the Pickens County War Memorial at the Courthouse, 33 soldiers from Pickens County were killed in Vietnam. Their friends and families continue to honor these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, including community memorial services held recently for two Pickens natives — Ephriam Rutledge “Rut” Liles II and Charles Johnson Jr.

Ephriam Rutledge ‘Rut’ Liles II

At a recent ceremony for the dedication of a memorial garden, members of the Pickens community stood at rapt attention while Boy Scouts from Troop 51 saluted the American flag as it was lowered to half-mast to the sound of a fiddle rendering taps from its strings in honor of Liles. A sizeable crowd had gathered to celebrate the life of a native son of Pickens whom friends and family called “Rut” and the dedication of a memorial garden at the Troop 51 Scout Hut where Rut was an Eagle Scout.

Rut, who was known for his wonderful smile, made a major impact until his life was cut short when his helicopter was shot down during a reconnaissance mission in the Phuoc Long Province of South Vietnam on July 4, 1969. Several of his old friends spoke at the dedication ceremony and described Rut as an “all-American boy,” a true American hero and the embodiment of a Boy Scout Law. These friends still gather each year to celebrate his birthday more than 50 years after his death.

Rut was born in Pickens on May 13, 1947, to Rut and Mary Liles. His sister, Mary Liles Gravely, still remembers the many football games played in their front yard on Glassy Mountain Street and Rut’s passion for the outdoors and sports. At Pickens High School, he played football among other sports and was an active member of Boy Scout Troop

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The evolution and many faces of Christmas

Many people prepare for the arrival of Christmas months in advance. The first traces of wrapping paper and decorations arrive in stores as early as September, transforming the holiday into a much more secular celebration than its modest Christian beginnings.

Despite Christmas being an important date in the lives of today’s Christians, the holiday failed to gain prominent status until relatively recently. Research indicates that as late as the 19th century, Christmas was not even a legal holiday requiring a day off from work. That’s why 19th century readers of the classic Christmas tale, “A Christmas Carol,” were not shocked at Bob Cratchit having to work on Christmas Day. The United States

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Tidbits to put you in the holiday spirit

The holiday season has arrived, and millions of people across the globe will be celebrating Christmas with their families and friends. The following are some interesting tidbits to share with your loved ones this holiday season.

• Each year, more than three billion Christmas cards are sent in the United States alone.

• In 350 AD, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birth of

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Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus

In 1897, Manhattan 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper, asking a question that was on the minds of curious youngsters of her day, just as it continues to be today: “Is there a Santa Claus?”

One of the paper’s editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, took the opportunity to craft an eloquent and moving response that still inspires hope and faith more than a century later. The editorial — originally printed in the Sept. 21, 1897 edition of The Sun — is known as the most reprinted editorial ever to run in any English-language newspaper. It appears in its entirety below.

We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

“Dear Editor—

“I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

“Virginia O’Hanlon

“115 West Ninety Fifth Street”

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think

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‘Where my heart is’

Easley artist’s new show at county museum gives glimpse into life in local mill villages

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter


A local native who has been called “the Grandma Moses of the mill village” has a new show at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History.

Easley resident Judy Young has been an artist for more than 40 years, but for the past 25 years or so she

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Local squad 1-1 after first days of Senior League World Series

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The 2019 Senior League World Series is off and running, and for the local S.C. District 1 team it has been an emotional roller coaster thus far.

District 1 opened up play Saturday against Naamans Little League from Wilmington, Del., representing the Eastern U.S. Naamans opened up play in the top of the first, picking up one run following a number of errors by the home team. Things continued to go wrong for District 1 in the second, as Deuce Rzucidlo drove in two more runs on a double to put Naamans up 3-0.

Just when things seemed as if they couldn’t get any worse, the Eastern champs added five more runs in the third to give them a seemingly insurmountable 8-0 lead. The teams traded outs through the top of the fifth until the host team finally got things going in the bottom of the inning.

Andrew Dent opened the inning with a double before being driven home by the next batter, Chip Jenkins, to get District 1 its first run of

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Simply the best

Youth baseball players converge on Easley to decide world champion

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The Senior League World Series, which pits the best 13- to 16-year-old baseball players from around the world against each other, is descending upon Pickens County once again.

The tournament, which is in its third year in Easley, will feature six international teams and six U.S. teams and will kick off Saturday at the J.B. “Red” Owens Complex.

The tournament’s championship game is set for a 2:30 p.m. first pitch Aug. 3 and is scheduled to be televised on ESPN2.

As of press time Tuesday, the international division’s qualifiers had all been chosen, while all United States division teams remained

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From the heart

YouTube channel gives flea market pickers online ‘shrine’

When you write a column called “Mountain Rhythms,” you can’t pass up a story like this: “Old-time Flea Market pickers live forever in the cloud.”

Old-time pickers happen to be one of my great interests in life — partly because I’ve become one of them myself. And the group that gathers every Wednesday morning to entertain bargain hunters at the Pickens Flea Market has become, like the Rolling Stones, an institution.

But it’s an institution that, sadly, is fading slowly away. At least that’s the way Chris DeJong felt

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TCTC students’ NCLEX scores surpass state, national rates

PENDLETON — Tri-County Technical College’s recent associate degree nursing graduates earned a 92.59 first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX).

Their performance on the exam surpassed both state and national pass rates.

According to the National Council State Board of Nursing, the state pass rate is 92.42 and the national average is 89.27.

Following May graduation, 54 first-time candidates took the computerized licensure exam, which tests a graduate’s basic nursing knowledge and decision-making ability on commonly encountered health-care situations. Graduates of Tri-County’s RN program

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Making memorable family moments

Educational activities ideal for making memories together

Family Features

ducational activities and plans that allow kids to flex their brain muscles in fun and creative ways can be ideal ways to spend family time that makes lasting memories.

While children typically gain invaluable knowledge and experience in the classroom, purposeful activities done outside of that setting can help encourage kids to keep learning and make family moments more enjoyable for everyone involved.

From planning trips that celebrate animals and the great outdoors to rainy day activities at home that inspire creative expression, these ideas can produce some family moments worth remembering.

1. Go on a scavenger hunt. From native species of plants, animals and insects to neighborhood landmarks, there are plenty of interesting things that can be found right in your own backyard. Organize a scavenger hunt and work together in teams of family members to search for each item on the list, then do more research on the things you found once you return home. For a real challenge, expand your hunt to the city limits of your hometown and make a day trip of the adventure.

2. Hang out with wildlife. Learn about different species of animals, how to help protect them and the importance of eco-friendly everyday practices by visiting a destination like an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited zoo or aquarium. You can explore the challenges facing endangered species, discover how community programs are spurring positive

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