Category Archives: Lifestyles

Celebration of champions

Thousands of fans lined College Avenue in downtown Clemson and the streets of the Clemson University campus on Saturday morning as a parade led the 2019 College Football Playoff champion Tigers to Memorial Stadium for a celebration of the team’s second national title in three seasons. The Tigers took down top-ranked Alabama 44-16 in the championship game on Jan. 7 to give Clemson its third national crown in program history. Asked about the atmosphere during the parade by an Upstate TV news station, head coach Dabo Swinney responded, “It’s surreal. Can’t wait to do it again.”

Photos courtesy


Six Mile cloggers audition for ‘America’s Got Talent’

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

SIX MILE — A local clogging team is hoping to show off its talents nationwide.

The team included nine members of the studio’s Footloose team.

HotFoot Studios owner Sharon Finley said Footloose, the studio’s senior team, took part in auditions for “America’s Got Talent” in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 15.

“We participated first in Pickens County’s Got Talent,” Finley said.

Pickens County’s Got Talent  was held as part of the county’s “Blue Ribbon Birthday Bash” sesquicentennial celebration Oct. 6 in Easley.

“We competed in Pickens County’s Got Talent,” Finley said. “We won.”

Because of its success, the team was invited to audition for the 14th season of the popular television show, expected to begin later this year on NBC.

“We got what’s called a front of the line pass,” Finley said. “It was really fun and a great opportunity for us.”

A hostess met the team and guided them around the proceedings, she said.

“We learned a lot about behind the scenes of ‘America’s Got Talent,’” Finley said. “We even performed for the entertainers there. We were made to feel really special. It was a great day for us. We had a great time.”

The team will learn sometime between now and March 1 if they’ll be going

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The Jocassee Gorges of today

Bountiful fishing and stellar natural resource management

By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr.

Special to The Courier

Part one of this article attempted to describe Duke Energy’s Keowee-Toxaway Project that dammed the rivers of the Jocassee Gorges, and   resulted in lakes Keowee and Jocassee. That massive project was just underway for the 100th birthday of Pickens County in 1968. Part 2 will view things after the project was completed.


I remember vividly what happened on tributaries of Lake Jocassee soon after the lake filled and trout were stocked. Each of the rivers already had big trout. However, the hydroelectric process began to entrain fish, and the cannibalistic nature of huge trout soon began a phenomenon that produced really huge fish. When water from Lake Keowee was pumped backward and upstream into Jocassee, many fish would be entrained and belched out in Jocassee around the water intakes. Monstrous trout would cruise around the intakes waiting for fish morsels.

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Pickens County at 150

Local professor and outdoorsman

reflects on a century and a half

By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr.

Special to The Courier

I can’t believe it! Has it really been 50 years since we celebrated the centennial birthday of Pickens County in 1968? I remember the old tie I wore for a picture. I remember the long beards the men grew, and the long dresses with bonnets that the women wore. The year 1968 really sticks in my memory, because the gigantic Keowee-Toxaway Project had started developing lakes Keowee and Jocassee. I think that I could make a good argument that nothing has affected the physical features of Pickens County more for millions of years, much less for 50 years, than that massive earth-changing project.

Looking Back to the Keowee-Toxaway Project

People first heard of the Keowee-Toxaway Project of Duke Power when it was announced at Clemson University. The announcement was made Jan. 2, 1965, by W.B. McGuire, president of Duke Energy. My fiancée, Elaine Kowalski, and I were in college in Kentucky, and were planning to marry after that sophomore year. It was not until 1966 that we got the word that

Above: Tom and Elaine Cloer pose with baby Tom III at the 1968 Pickens County centennial celebration.
Top left: The building of Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station, pictured in this early artist rendering, marked a major turning point in the history of Pickens County.
Top right: Tom Cloer and his father, Carl T. Cloer Sr., speak at the Pickens sawmill, which was built “to accommodate the treasures of timber to be removed for the gargantuan Keowee-Toxaway Project,” according to the author.
Top: Tom Cloer fly fishes in the Jocassee Gorges, one of the great natural features of Pickens County that dates back much, much farther than the county’s 150-year history.

the big steam band-saw mill that controlled our lives was to stop producing lumber on the bank of Stinking Creek, Tenn.

A brand-new sawmill was to be constructed in Pickens to accommodate the treasures of timber to be removed for the gargantuan Keowee-Toxaway Project. This would lead eventually to the damming of such national treasures as the Whitewater, Thompson, Toxaway, Horsepasture, Eastatoe and Keowee rivers in the Jocassee Goorges. Bearcamp Creek, Wright’s Creek, Laurel Fork and Mills Creek would all be backed to their highest falls. I fished them all. They had

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Making spirits bright.

The holiday season begins in late November and runs through New Year’s Day. It is marked by various gatherings of friends and family, decadent foods, cocktails, traveling, and gift exchanges. The National Retail Federation says consumers will spend an average of $967 during the holiday season. However, the joy of the holidays also is about all of the memorable experiences that tend to make the season so beloved.

With that in mind, here are 30 ways to make the holiday season that much more merry.

1. Visit with an elderly or housebound neighbor and share conversation.

2. Donate gently used toys to a children’s hospital.

3. Research the history of the holiday and share it with people you care about.

4. Make handmade Christmas tree ornaments.

5. Donate money to a charity or other good cause.

6. Encourage “pay it forward” movements in your community. Start by doing something simple like

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Think outside the box for great last-minute gift ideas

Tradition is a hallmark of the holiday season. Religious services, family gatherings and trips to see Santa Claus are just a few of the many traditions people adhere to during the holiday season.

Many holiday shoppers also adhere to the time-honored tradition of last-minute shopping. The perfect gift can sometimes prove elusive, especially as the sand in the holiday hour glass keeps dwindling. These last-minute gift ideas may be just what shoppers need to put smiles on the faces of their loved ones this holiday season.

• Books: Books are often overlooked, especially now that so many readers use e-readers. But books can be an ideal gift and especially convenient for last-minute shoppers, who can even gift e-books. For example, Amazon, which has thousands of e-books in its online library, makes it easy for shoppers to gift e-books to Kindle users, who will simply receive an email on Christmas morning informing them that their

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‘You will love every single one’

Foothills Playhouse reveals

shows for 2018-19 season

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — The Foothills Playhouse’s new executive artistic director is no stranger to the theater.

“In many ways, I feel as though I am coming home,” Will Ragland said. “As a Powdersville native, I spent much of my childhood in Easley, and my involvement in the Upstate theatre community over the past 23 years has included experience acting on this very stage.”

Ragland has spent the past two decades “building award-winning theatre groups,” including the Wildcat Players of Woodmont High, the Mustang Stage Company of Palmetto High and Mill Town Players in Pelzer.

Foothills Playhouse and Mill Town Players recently announced a merger.

“I believe in the transformative power of live theatre and what it can do for


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Cold Creations

Public invited to make their own

signature Clemson ice cream flavors

By Denise Attaway

Clemson University

CLEMSON — Clemson ice cream has been around for 100 years, and on July 28 the public will have an opportunity to become a part of this deliciously sweet tradition.

The first-ever Clemson Ice Cream Makers Day is slated for July 28 in the only place where Clemson ice cream is made — the Ice Cream Innovation Laboratory in Newman Hall and the Class of ‘55 Exchange on campus. Groups of family, friends, or both are invited to come and make their very own signature flavor of Clemson ice cream during one of three timeslots — 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Cost is $40 per group, limit 10 people per group. Youth participants should be accompanied by an adult. Registration must be done in person at the Class of ‘55 Exchange ice cream shop during normal store hours. No phone-in or online registration allowed. Store hours are 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday

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Six innovative ways to indulge in ice cream

Ice cream is a popular dessert that’s enjoyed across the globe. Blending the cold and the creamy, ice cream is an ideal treat on a hot day. According to, 87 percent of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time. While Americans may enjoy their ice cream, New Zealand consumes more ice cream than any country in the world.

Historians and foodies believe Ancient Greeks enjoyed a dessert similar to ice cream as early as the fifth century B.C. Considering ice cream has been around so long, and that many cultures have created their own take on frozen treats, from gelato to sorbet to

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Fireworks and Freedom

Pickens County residents donned their red, white and blue as local communities hosted a variety of events to celebrate America’s independence last week, with festivities in Six Mile, Central/Clemson, Easley, Liberty and Pickens. The events each featured plenty of food, music, fun and fireworks displays lighting up the night.

Photos by Rocky Nimmons, Doug Tate and Kerry Gilstrap



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