Top: Pictured at Clemson University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service last month at the Brooks Center on campus are, More »
Easley Police Department Officer Tay Brinston introduced his new partner, Lou, to city council members on Monday night. Lou is More »
It’s not enough to say we have X number of homeless veterans on the street. Before there can be real solutions, we have to know why those veterans are out there, and specifically what they need. The Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups (aka CHALENG) is organized to bring together all those who can work to remove barriers for those homeless veterans.
CHALENG has two goals: pair Department of Veterans Affairs service providers with those in the civilian community, and conduct surveys to identify the real needs of homeless veterans. Previous surveys have allowed the VA to pinpoint and then create programs to fill specific needs. A 2015 CHALENG survey of over 6,000 participants showed the following:
• Needs that are generally being met for homeless veterans included medical services, testing for TB and HIV, services for psychiatric problems, substance-abuse treatment and case management.
• The top two unmet needs were the same for both male and female veterans, with housing for registered sex offenders being first on the list, followed by child care.
• Legal issues — hurdles that many veterans can’t overcome on their own and the VA can’t provide — include preventing an eviction, credit counseling, having a discharge upgraded, dealing with outstanding warrants and fines, child support and restoring a drivers license.
• Veterans between the ages of 45-60 provided the bulge in the bell curve, with their numbers exceeding half the total.
CHALENG has been able to bring together help from services for veterans families, dental programs, Housing and Urban Development housing help and legal programs.
If you’re a veteran who is at risk of being homeless or needs services, there is help. Veterans and families can call 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) to get VA services. You also can call the closest VA Medical Center. Don’t wait until your situation is dire. Address it early and ask for help.
(c) 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.
Brooke and Andrew are visiting this week from Arkansas.
They’re 8 and 10 now and interested in everything on the farm, including Dixie, our black mare. She enjoys a shower when it’s hot. They all like to have their feet washed off.
Andrew also learned how to gather eggs out from under hens who are sitting on the nest. The white hens are not a problem, so egg removal from their nests was a smooth operation. However, one of the Dominecker hens has some personal issues and tries to peck anyone who wants her eggs. Andrew has been pecked twice, but is valiant and gathered 15 eggs yesterday.
Brooke has learned how to make homemade peach ice cream with an egg custard base. She mashed the peaches up with the potato masher and stirred everything together. She’s got it down pat, knows to layer the ice and ice cream salt in the churn and we believe could now do it on her own.
This morning, early, she ran out and picked blueberries and then helped make blueberry pancakes.
She’s a natural born cook.
Last night we planned to have fried okra, which the children have never had.
So Fowler brought them a paur of plastic gloves and they sat next to me at the counter, each with their own chopping board and small knife, and proceeded to carefully chop the okra up for frying.
It’s child labor, but as Grandmama always said, “If they can walk, they can work.”
She would be proud of these great-grandchildren. They are a credit to the family.
It will be another busy day.
Tomorrow they will dig up potatoes and help make French fries for supper.
They didn’t realize that potatoes grow underground, but now they know. So tomorrow they will perform the entire cycle of making French fries all the way from the dirt to the table.
It’s a win-win situation for us all.
It’s amazing how much help small hands can be.
If we need something. one of the children can run and get it before I can get out of a chair. Today we plan to hunt horseshoes.
My brother and Fowler will hide them, and we will have a team competition.
Last year Brooke and Andrew were the champions. Perhaps this year Laura and I can do better, but they are very difficult to find.
It will develop our character to lose gracefully if they retain their championship. But it would be thrilling to be the victors.
We’ll know shortly.
After that, Andrew is going fishing and the ladies are going to Greenville before the heat makes it unbearable to visit downtown.
Advice to the newest generation
Here’s something for the newest generation to think on. Always follow your dreams, for if you give up on them you will never be happy.
It’s far better to try and fail than to never try and wonder for the rest of your life what might have been. Don’t spend your time on the way to the grave saying, “if only.”
Expect resistance, for everyone who dares to dream gets it.
There are always the two ones — ones as in, there is always one in every crowd, and one monkey doesn’t stop the show.
Fear will destroy you if you let it. Don’t.
You never know until you try.
When you succeed, don’t take on a narcissistic complex. Be grateful for the praise of others and be humbled by it, not letting it go to your head. In other words, don’t blow and brag about your successes in life. Braggarts are a dime a dozen. You are never too old to find success. Harland Sanders was 62 when he started a restaurant in Corbin, Ky., which eventually became Kentucky Fried Chicken.
He lived, I believe, to 97 years of age.
It’s never too late. Keep dreaming, keep trying.
Don’t stop believing in yourself.
Community should be proud of PSC
I have just been amazed at the Pickens Senior Center from the first time I visited there. Having taught in Pickens County schools for 36 years, I remembered the place as the old Hagood School.
I was visiting the center because a dear senior friend kept telling me about a jam session for senior musicians. He said that the seniors enjoyed playing string instruments together and a wonderful supper was served to seniors on Tuesday nights at a minimal cost. Since my 91-year-old father loves to pick his guitar and is constantly looking for jam sessions, I took my friend up on visiting the Senior Center, even though it meant a good 40-mile round trip to get there and back.
I was so surprised to see the transformation that had occurred in the old school and all the programs, activities and things to do that were offered there for seniors. I was told that the program is basically run with volunteer help. I understand that the building and programs operate with the help of fundraisers, donations and a very small membership fee. I was told that most of the renovations or repairs had been done basically by volunteers in the community.
The people at the center explained to me that a meal was available to seniors at a minimal cost at lunch time and on the Tuesday night music jam night another minimal cost meal was available. I may add that the meals are very tasty and are a balanced nutritional meal. There was a busy group in the kitchen preparing, cooking and cleaning up.
A real team spirit and effort was evident all around the center. As I sat there eating my meal, I began to realize that this center provides not just a meal or classes, but also provides a safe, caring place for seniors to come socialize and visit their friends and neighbors. Many of the people I have met there have no children living in the area and they are lonely at times and are seeking companionship and someone to talk to.
It is so nice to have a safe, warm and friendly place for seniors to come and enjoy themselves. It makes that 40-mile round trip we make every Tuesday evening worth the effort. The Pickens community should be proud!
Anita E. Collins
Thank you to the Courier
Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and Blue Ridge Security Solutions employees recently delivered checks to all 12 of our Blue Ridge Fest-sponsored charities. We were joined by many of our corporate-sponsor representatives in making those presentatiosn. This year’s record $201,000 in net process, I’m proud to note, enabled us to leave a sizeable financial donation with each of these fine human-help agencies.
There were many ingredients that contributed to the success of this year’s charity fundraiser. Certainly one of those was the generous coverage Blue Ridge Fest received from the Pickens County Courier. The Beach Night attendance this time around was the best to date, and your promotion of the event undoubtedly helped to produce that happy result.
On behalf of Blue Ridge Fest, I want to extend my sincere thanks to you for your valuable support. You can be sure that multitudes of struggling individuals and families in this area will benefit from your involvement. I also want to add my commendation for the year-round quality job your news outlet does in serving our Upstate community.
Charles E. Dalton
Blue Ridge Electric Coop
President and CE
Thanks from local youth volleyballers
What outstanding folks we have in this area! When our 12 and under Carolina One Volleyball Team qualified for the 2016 USAV Junior Nationals in Indianapolis, and funds were needed in order to participate, we were overwhelmed with support! First of all, our team parents, led by Team Mom Lyndsay Earnhardt, stepped in, planned and organized amazing fundraisers. Our players and parents all worked hard, and the community stepped up big to the plate! I want to thank everyone who participated in our fundraiser activities, donated money, prizes and who in any way helped out the FIRE team!
The Pickens Azalea Festival organizers allowed us to set up a booth to sell raffle tickets and candy. We were also assisted by World’s Finest Chocolate. Bojangles’ gave us a percentage of sales at our Bojangles’ Night. The Pickens and Easley teams at Wal-Mart, along with Eric Butler of the Anderson Wal-Mart, allowed us to set up and collect donations. Off the Wall Monograms helped with water bottles for the team and coaches. Powdersville Embroidery’s John Brouse gave us a great discount on T-shirts. Former Pickens High volleyball players and other well-wishers contributed to a GoFundMe account for us. We were allowed to use Legacy Square for a very successful yard sale and a Boy Scout Troop whose number I regret I do not have, let us share the square with them as they washed cars for their own donations!
Jon Guenther, the pro at the Country Club, was very helpful with our golf tournament. Our hole sponsors were Whitaker Tires; Tietex International; Rudy’s Exxon; Brian K. James LLC, Attorney at Law; Precision Textiles; Vita Nonwovens; and Dolly’s Roofing Inc. Prizes were donated by Park Place Corp; TaylorMade; Solid Gold; Pizza Inn; Pepsi, Cherokee Valley Golf Course; Pickens County Country Club; Larry Looper; and Lowe’s.
The following area businesses made generous monetary contributions: Walgreens; Auntie Ann’s; Tony’s; Parkette Food Service; Pepsi; Future Foam; Pickens Savings and Loan; Hiott Printing; Border Concepts; Main Street Pizzeria; Universal Forest Products; Yanks; Coastal Corrugated Inc; Pickens Auto Repair; Fletcher Place Farm; The Gatehouse; ELABS; Pickens Family Dentistry; 183 Automotive; Thomas Realty; and Fiesta Grill Liberty.
So to those listed, and to everyone who bought raffle tickets, candy, or stuff at the yard sale, gave us donations at Wal-Mart, played in the golf tournament, or helped in any way, thank you all so very much! Our girls were allowed a wonderful experience because of your tremendous generosity. For any omissions on my part, I apologize, but please know we do appreciate your help.
By the way, FIRE did well, going 5-5 in the four-day event. We lost close matches to teams from Richland Hills,Texas; Kansas; Griffith, Ind.; Oklahoma; and Buffalo, N.Y.; however we defeated teams from New York City; Amarillo, Texas; Virginia Beach; Delaware; and Plainfield, Ind., finishing 35th out of the top 96 teams in the nation and Puerto Rico. Most importantly, FIRE represented Pickens, Dacusville and Powdersville with pride, effort, and class and had a wonderful time at Nationals!
Carolina One 12U Black Team, Pickens Division
Nancy Dalton Robinson
Pickens — Mrs. Nancy Dalton Robinson, 72, of 410 Woodlane Drive, Pickens, loving wife of the late Glenn C. Robinson, passed away Monday, July 18, 2016, at her residence.
Mrs. Robinson was born in Easley on November 26, 1943, to the late Earl Russell Dalton, Sr. and Bertha King Dalton. She graduated from Easley High School in 1962 and worked at Frierson’s Drug Store in downtown Easley for more than 20 years and loved to travel and to read. Nancy was a lifetime member of Jones Avenue Baptist Church.
Mrs. Robinson is survived by a two brothers, Jack Douglas Dalton and Ronald Wayne “Ronnie” Dalton, both of Williamston; a sister, Frances Ruth Robinson of West Union; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband and her parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers; William Clyde Dalton, Earl Russell “Foss” Dalton, Jr., Harry Lee Dalton, and Dennis Marion Dalton.
Funeral services were held July 22 at Jones Avenue Baptist Church, with interment following at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Pickens.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home – Downtown, which is assisting the family.
Pamela “Pansy” Holcombe
Liberty — Mrs. Pamela Dawn “Pansy” Holcombe, 52, wife of Kevin Reuben Turner, passed away Monday, July 18, 2016, at Cannon Memorial Hospital.
Born in Pickens County, a daughter of the late John Robert and Betty Moore Holcombe, Mrs. Holcombe was a homemaker and of the Baptist faith.
Surviving in addition to her husband of 23 years are a nephew, Jonathan Holcombe, and a niece, Ashley Holcombe. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Holcombe was predeceased by two brothers, Douglas and Dale Holcombe.
Memorial services were held July 23 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, which is assisting the family.
Carolyn N. Chism
Clemson — Carolyn Nelms Chism, 72, of 1027 Berkeley Drive, wife of John D. Chism Jr. died Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at Oconee Memorial Hospital.
Born in Anderson County, she was a daughter of the late Hallan and Evelyn Smith Nelms. She was a 1961 graduate of D.W. Daniel High School and a member of East Clemson Baptist Church. She was a loving wife, sister, mother and grandmother. She enjoyed genealogy, sewing and canning.
Surviving in addition to her husband are a son, Joey Chism of Piedmont; daughters, Stephanie Davis (George) of Clemson; Kim Chism-Moore (Art) of Charleston, and Jennifer Chism of Simpsonville; brother, Tommy Nelms of Pendleton; and sister Patricia Travis (Randall) of Anderson; grandchildren, Krystal Cannon, Kelly Rae Cannon and Sabrina Moore.
In addition to her parents she was predeceased by a son, John D. Chism III; and brothers, Horace Nelms, Roger Nelms and Donnie Nelms.
Funeral services were held July 22 in the chapel of Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, with burial following in Memory Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 www.stjud.org.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or at the funeral home.
Heywood Eugene Johnson
EASLEYT— Heywood Eugene Johnson, 57, of 254 Hasting Circle, Easley, passed away peacefully on July 7, 2016, at Baptist Easley Hospital.
Surviving are his mother Ollie Lee Williams, of the home; sons, Jonathan and Josh Gamble, and brother, Leroy Williams Jr. of Piedmont.
Services were held July 11 at The Luther Johnson Funeral Home, 301 E. Main St., Liberty. Interment was in Westview Cemetery.
Emma Lucille Ferguson Cade
EASLEY — Mrs. Emma Lucille Ferguson Cade, 91, wife of the late Henry Cade of 413 Grisby Ave., Easley, SC passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, July 12, 2016, at her residence.
Surviving are her daughters, Eunice Bowens, Jane Walker and Dorothy Cade; seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Services were held July 16 at the New Hope Baptist Church in Liberty, officiated by the Rev. Carolyn Owens.
The family has selected The Luther Johnson Funeral Home, 301 E. Main St. Liberty to assist them with the homegoing celebration.
Easley — Mrs. Hattie Owens, 74, formerly of Easley, transitioned from her earthly residence at Quillen Manor, Fountain Inn, to her heavenly home on July 13, 2016.
She was a member of the New Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, where she served as secretary of the Sunday school, member of the sanctuary choir, past director of the youth and a member of the missionary society.
Survivors include a daughter, Wanda Pendergrass; a brother, Johnny Byrd; and sisters Delores West and Margaret Jones; four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held July 17 at the New Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, followed by interment in the church cemetery.
The family has selected The Luther Johnson Funeral Home, 301 E. Main St., Liberty to assist with these services.
Mary Gene Schoenbeck
Easley — Mrs. Mary Gene Schoenbeck, 70, of 145 Spirit Mountain Lane, Easley, loving wife of Dana Gaillard, passed away Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at the Cottingham Hospice House in Seneca.
Mary Gene was born in Chicago, Ill., on July 15, 1946, to the late Edward and Angelina Anatra Martino. She worked as an administrative assistant and was of the Catholic faith. She loved dancing and music.
Mary Gene loved her family and was a wonderful and devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She loved being a homemaker and was an excellent cook. She had a generous and giving spirit that was upheld with a desire to help anyone in need.
In addition to her loving husband of 11 years, Mrs. Schoenbeck is survived by a daughter, Laura Rogers (Todd) of Peoria, Ariz.; a stepson, Tyler Gaillard of Greenville; a brother, Eugene Martino (Barbara) of Chicago, Ill.; two grandchildren, Mikayla and Cade Rogers; and a step-granddaughter, Anna Gaillard.
The family will host a memorial service in Arizona at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made either to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research, P. O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265-0309; or to the Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona, P.O. Box 20186, Phoenix, AZ 85036.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com. Robinson Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Marian E. Evatt
Central — Marian Evans Evatt, 69, of 408 Patterson Street, wife for 50 years of Marvin E. Evatt Sr. died Saturday, July 23, 2016, at the Rainey Hospice House in Anderson.
Born in Richland County she was a daughter of the late Freddie Evans and Georgia Lea Geddings Davis. She was a 1966 graduate of T.L. Hanna High School and retired after 27 years as the administrative assistant with the V.P. for Student Affairs at Clemson University. She was past president of the Central Garden Club, was past chairman of the Central Railroad Festival and a member of Norris First Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Women’s Circle and volunteered with the food pantry.
Surviving in addition to her husband, are a son, Marvin E. Evatt Jr. of the home; daughter, Melanie (Gregg) Branham of Easley; brothers, Buddy Davis of Rutherfordton, N.C., and Robert Davis of Anderson; sisters, Malea Merck of Gray Court, and Juanita Merk, Bertha Vickery and Kathy Cisson, all of Anderson; and grandchildren, Benjamin Branham and Lydia Branham.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her stepfather, Adger Davis; and sister, Freda Mae Williams.
Funeral services were held July 26 at Norris First Baptist Church, with Rev. Royce Addis officiating, with burial following in Sharon United Methodist Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Hospice of the Upstate, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central.
PICKENS — Helen Margie Davis Aiken, 78, of Pickens, passed away on Thursday, July 21, 2016, at Greenville Health System.
Born on March 12, 1938, in Oconee County, she was the daughter of the late Lawton and Floy Lena Kelly Davis. Mrs. Aiken was a member of Martin Grove Wesleyan Church in Pickens.
Surviving are her son, Chris Aiken (Thelma); two sisters, Mary Owen and Inez Crowe (Rocky); two brothers, Virgil Davis and Leo Davis; and four grandchildren, Christopher, Chavis, Kelcie and Blake Aiken.
Along with her parents, Mrs. Aiken was predeceased by two daughters, Ann Wilson and Mot Hendricks; and one brother, Clifton Davis.
Funeral services were held July 25 at Martin Grove Wesleyan Church, with burial following in the church cemetery.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.DillardFunerals.com.
Danny “D” Ray Lewis
PELZER — Danny “D” Ray Lewis, 55, died Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
He was born Oct. 29, 1960, in Clinton. D attended Clinton schools. He loved fishing, spending time with family and friends, sitting outside in his chair under a shade tree, and playing poker. He worked for Torrington Company in Clinton for 15 years as a machine operator.
D is survived by his sisters, Deborah Roberts of Pelzer and Patricia Lell of Honea Path; brothers, Daniel Lewis of Iva and Vince Lell of Georgia; nieces and nephews, Matthew and Tina Roberts, Jason, Kevin and Sylvia (Michael) Roberts and Stephanie Cordell; many great-nieces and nephews, whom all love him dearly.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Lell Lewis, brother, Richard Lewis Jr., stepfather, Richard Lewis Sr., and wife, Pam Lewis.
D will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
No services are being held at this time.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home – Powdersville Road, which is assisting the family.
PICKENS — Area farmers and those who love the vegetables they grow will now be able to get together in Pickens, as the city has announced the opening of Market and Music, coming to downtown in August.
The Farmers Market will be held on Court Street every Saturday throughout August from 4-7 p.m. Following the market, those attending can head to the city’s amphitheatre behind the historic Bradley-Boggs House on Main Street for music beginning at 7 p.m.
The first event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6, and will feature vendors from all over the area.
“This is our trial run this August,” city of Pickens employee Becky Horace said. “We are not sure how it will all work out, but we are hopeful for a huge turnout of both vendors and people looking for fresh produce and to enjoy the music.”
The event is led by the city of Pickens with help of volunteers.
If you or someone you know would be interested in being a vendor, contact Horace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COUNTY — Three Pickens County volleyball players from Carolina One Volleyball have been selected to participate in the USA Volleyball High Performance Programs, designating them as some of the best volleyball players in the nation.
Two girls are from the School District of Pickens County — Sydney Bolding of Pickens High and Gabriela Martinez of Easley High. Easley resident Alexia Albright, who attends Powdersville High, was also selected.
Following nationwide tryouts, USA Volleyball selected top athletes in each age group from across the country to participate in its training programs, camps, and Youth and Junior National Teams.
Bolding, a rising sophomore at Pickens High, was selected to the USAV Youth A2 Program. Bolding is one of only 128 players in the country — and just three in South Carolina — invited to participate in the program, which took place in Colorado Springs, Colo., for seven days. While in Colorado, Bolding had the opportunity to train with some of the best volleyball players in the country, under the tutelage of renowned high-performance pipeline coaches. The rigorous training program included skill and position training for five days, two days of competition and numerous classroom sessions. Bolding was also designated as an alternate for the USAV Youth A1 Team.
Martinez, a rising freshman libero at Easley, and Albright, a rising freshman outside hitter at Powdersville, were among 128 athletes selected to participate in the USAV Select A3 program. As two of only six athletes from South Carolina selected, Martinez and Albright were also both named as alternates for the USAV Select A2 program. Both players will attend the A3 training site in Sonoma, Calif., this month, where they will train with other high performers and learn from USA Volleyball high-performance pipeline coaches.
Above: Several of the author’s ancestors are pictured during a rural Appalachian baptizing ceremony unchanged in 2,000 years.
If there is one thing that my Southern Appalachian ancestors had to do when they settled here in the old Pickens District, it was to do things simply and to save.
My great-great-great-great grandfather Daniel Moody and his son, Martin Moody, were clear examples of this. Daniel was born in 1779 and came to upstate South Carolina in the 1790s. Daniel’s name appears in the 1800 Pendleton District census, and every census thereafter until his death in 1854. He is buried in the old Wolfpit Cemetery at Cheohee Community Center at Tamassee near his beloved granddaughters, Louisa and Martha Moody, who both died within a month of each other as teenagers.
Two of Daniel’s sons, Martin and Bennett Moody, were ministers to Cheohee Baptist Church in Tamassee at several different times during the early years of the church. Kay Alexander, author of “History of Cheohee Baptist Church,” gives us insight as to the simplicity of those times. She describes the church when Bennett Moody was pastor as “a one-room (to conserve heat) frame building with beaded ceiling and walls. It contained plank benches, kerosene wall lamps with a piece of tin behind each for reflection, and a large stove.”
To simplify things and conserve space in the little church, and because there was no water in the church, baptisms were held in nearby Cheohee Creek, just above the Cheohee Creek Bridge that still exists. In 1886, almost 50 years after my great-great-great grandfather Martin Moody was pastor there in 1838, the associational minutes listed the pastor’s salary at $8 a year.
It is no wonder to me why Martin stated in his will that the Confederate soldier, my great-great grandfather Daniel Van Buren Moody, and another son, John R., were to be left out of Martin’s will, for taking “a likely mare ” without consent. A horse was a big deal to the conserving pioneers, especially “a likely mare,” a young female that could give birth to colts. Whether for transportation, skidding with a sled, or plowing the fields, a horse was to be conserved.
Another example of the conservation of all things by Southern Appalachian mountaineers is one I will give of my paternal great-great grandfather, William Marcus Cloer (Mark), who also fought for the Confederacy and the 62nd North Carolina Regiment led by William Thomas, who later became chief of the Eastern Nation of Cherokees. I have letters that Mark wrote back home to Macon County, N.C. I also have letters that Mark’s father wrote to him. John B. Cloer was my great-great-great grandfather born in the late 1700s. It amazed me that there was mention, of all things, in several letters between the two, of a misplaced bell belonging to a cousin, Humphry Posey Cloer (Ump). The lost bell seemed to be a matter of grave concern. Ump was also in Company D of Thomas’ 62nd North Carolina Regiment. With more Americans killed in the Civil War than in all other American wars put together, why did a simple little bell hold significance to my paternal ancestors during this unimaginably horrific war? Just like the mare of my maternal ancestors, the bell held much significance because in the Nantahala Mountains of Macon County, N.C., it could help locate a lost ox, horse, ram, or sow if a bell was attached. One needed to save bells.
Conservation and Simplicity of my Youth
In the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, my life in sawmill villages of Southern Appalachia in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Pickens could be explained most by simplicity and saving. My family first had running water in the 1950s in the Turniptown section of Northern Georgia that President Jimmy Carter later bought. But that running water was simple. We stuck pipe back in a spring flowing out of a mountainside, wired a screen over the pipe’s end at the spring, and ran the pipe down the mountain into our simple and small mountain home. Although simple, there were drawbacks.
“Mom! What’s with the water? It tastes awful!”
“Tom, go up the mountain, look in the spring and see if you see something dead in the water.”
“I’ve already done that, Mom; they’s nothing there.”
The water got worse. The smell was overwhelming until one day a large dead salamander’s skinned head jutted out the spigot. It had pried under the screen! Drawbacks indeed! However, after Clorox liquid bleach had come on the market in 1913, it was a simple matter to pour it generously into our mountain spring. I last purified our shallow dug well here in Pickens in the same manner. We do things simply.
In the 1950s, our foot-washing Northcutt Baptist Church in the North Georgia mountains was not that different from my ancestors’ church here in the Pickens District in the 1800s. The major difference was a lightbulb that came to our North Georgia area in the 1930s. Our church was also a one-room frame building with plank benches and a wood stove for heat. Since there was no water, the deacons had to bring water for foot-washing. The Chastain ladies, living on Little Turniptown Creek, brought homemade wine for communion, and also brought white linen, because after washing feet, the preacher “began to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded” (John 13:5, KJV). Just like my early ancestors at Cheohee, my brother, Nat, and I were baptized outside in a deep hole in the Ellijay River at the mouth of Turniptown Creek. The church had not changed the activity since the Christ himself was baptized. We maintain our heritage in Southern Appalachia.
We had no indoor plumbing in our sawmill villages until the 1950s, but even with the gravity pipe coming down the mountain, we had no bathroom in our simple little mountain home. Dad decided we modernists should have a bathroom. Since there was no space for a bathroom, we decided to make a place on the porch. There were some drawbacks, the least of which was no heat. It gets cold in the mountains of Northern Georgia. I have written poetry about “Liking winter when the icicle splinters, and when cold mountain weather turns bathers into sprinters.” Some of the fastest sprints I ever made were across that porch and through to the wood heater and my clothes. Another more bothersome drawback was a kerosene heater that turned one black with soot.
We grew crops and raised everything we needed: chickens and eggs, hogs and pork, steers and beef, cows and milk. We were simple and we saved. Nothing was wasted that we grew. We canned beans, pickled corn, peaches, soup mixture, beets and many different vegetables. We cured hams and middling meat for bacon after slaughtering hogs around Thanksgiving. We were simple and we saved. Nat and I made our play things. We made sleds, soapbox cars, exercise bars, etc.
We conserved space and heat in our little mountain home at Turniptown by making the home smaller, and then installing and dismantling our heating system each year. We had a small wood heater that burned discarded slab and board ends, trimmed to raise the grade of the lumber at the sawmill. Of course, Mom also cooked on a wood cook stove that helped with the heating in winter.
In other ways, we were actually ahead of the times. For example, a common practice today is to enhance milk production by playing soothing musical sounds to dairy cows. During the summer months, Mom would have Nat and me pick a bushel of our half-runner beans, string them and then fill long lengths of threaded beans for hanging and drying on our front porch to produce “leather britches,” the best-tasting beans on earth when seasoned with a ham hock. I would turn on our first television as I threaded the beans with a needle, and Spurkey, our milk cow, would come, with no screens over windows, and thrust as much of her body as she could get in the window. She would stand for hours and enjoy our first TV. Her milk production was phenomenal, and she supplied us with sweet milk, buttermilk, cream and butter.
While it is true that anything but simplicity and conservation of all things drives most lives today, what I am hypothesizing is why so many of us from the Southern Appalachian Mountains conserve and simplify everything, including conversation and language in general. The past really does matter in explaining this.
Southern Appalachian Conservation and Simplicity With Language
“All right!” as they say. “Let’s start fishing and quit huntin’ bait!” I took about 100 of the most common verbs of English, and my finding regarding Southern Appalachian conservation with those action words was amazing!
Let’s look at sit, sat, sat. I sit down right now. I sat down yesterday. I have sat down every day this week. Now, let’s look at the transitive verb “set.” I will set the table. I set it yesterday. I have set it every day this week.
Along comes the Southern Appalachian mountain speaker. “Too many situations requiring too many verbs. Let’s save and simplify. We will use one verb, ‘set,’ for all six situations. I set down right now. I set down yesterday. I have set down every day this week. Furthermore, I set the table right now. I set it yesterday. I have set it every day this week. What’s your problem? Simplify and save; you only need one.”
The only variation I heard in my sawmill home-rooted language was with the old timers, some of whom used the word “sot” for past tense of sat. “He sot right down next to her.”
I can’t recall using the verb “sat” until I conjugated verbs for my teacher in “town school.”
Let us try another. Let’s look at lie, lay, lain. I lie down right now. I lay down yesterday. I have lain down every day this week. Now, let’s look at the transitive verb “lay.” I lay down the pencil right now. I laid it down yesterday. I have laid it down every day this week.
Along comes the Southern Appalachian Mountain speaker. “Too many situations requiring too many verbs. Let’s save and simplify. We can cover all six situations with lay and laid. I lay down right now. I laid down yesterday. I have laid down every day this week. I lay the pencil down right now. I laid it down yesterday. I have laid it down all week. What’s your problem? You only need lay and laid for all six situations. Simplify and save.”
I must admit. I never heard the word “lain” in the sawmill villages except when it meant not fatty — “This meat is really lain!”
You want more proof? When I looked at the irregular verbs blow, grow, know, and throw, I saw exactly the same phenomenon. In public English, I blow the candle now. I blew it yesterday. I have blown it every day. I grow onions today. I grew onions last year. I have grown onions for two years.
Along comes the Southern Appalachian Mountain speaker. “Too many verbs to remember. Do like you do with most words. Add ‘ed’, forget it, and go on about your business. I now blow out the candle. I blowed it out yesterday, I have blowed it out every day. What’s your problem? Simplify and save. Like saving 15 percent on your car insurance, that’s what we do. I know the answer now. I knowed it yesterday, I have knowed it every day. I throw the garbage in the can. I throwed it out yesterday. I have throwed it out every day.”
Still not convinced? There are reasons for actions. They come from somewhere. Let’s look at that verb “come.” Standard English: I come each day to the Pickens library. I came yesterday. I have come each day this week.
Along comes the Southern Appalachian Mountain speaker. “You don’t need ‘came’ in there. Just use ‘come’ each time like this: I come here to the flea market every Wednesday. I come here last Wednesday. I have come here to the flea market every Wednesday.”
My findings regarding what probably caused the conservation and simplifying of our language are most intriguing. I have only scratched the surface in this short exercise. Under space constraints I will give one more compelling example. Let’s take the common irregular verb “eat.” Standard English: I eat my lunch right now. I ate it yesterday. I have eaten it each day.
Along comes the Southern Appalachian Mountain speakers who have known nothing but simplifying and conserving all their lives. “We have three different verbs when one will do the job; let’s simplify. I eat my lunch right now. I eat it yesterday. I have eat it each day. You only need one. What’s your problem?”
Home-Rooted Versus Public Language
The fact that I am writing this article in Standard English is proof positive that a public language is necessary for public writing. I am only attempting to explain why a phenomenon occurs here in Pickens and elsewhere. The past is critical for understanding the present. There are many levels of language.
The first level is home-rooted language. It’s the first language one hears at the mother’s breast. It sounds right to our ears. It’s part of our inheritance. It’s native to our souls. It might be at variance with the next level, which is public language or Standard English. That’s no problem. All one has to do is add public language to one’s wardrobe. One does not need to be absolved of home-rooted language. Keep it and add as many other languages as you need. If one is to move upward in socio-economic sectors of America, it is simply necessary in most instances to add Standard English, (and maybe even learn the verb conjugations).
Public language is the language of the powerful, the elite, the ruling classes. If one chooses to become a member of those certain groups, one must be able to shift language patterns accordingly. What I want to assert here and now, however, is that it is immoral to suggest that we Southern Appalachian mountain people in Pickens and elsewhere, with our profoundly deep and meaningful heritage, must do away with our inherited home-rooted language. I keep mine in a special wardrobe and wear it whenever the occasion arises. I have multiple wardrobes of language. Once in a heated debate I asked a poor, confused member of the language police what right he had to tell 15 million self-reliant, rugged individualists, and very independent people of Southern Appalachia, how to speak. His response was so pathetically and woefully inadequate — “I have a Ph.D.,” he snapped back.
My response was even more inappropriate than his, and came totally from my home-rooted language. l euphemistically clean it up here.
“Horse manure!” I exclaimed.
About the Author: Dr. Thomas Cloer Jr. is Professor Emeritus, Furman University. His PhD. is from the University of South Carolina. He authored eight books for his language arts classes at Furman.
CENTRAL — A new four-story living and learning community will soon become a reality on Southern Wesleyan University’s Central Campus.
Southern Wesleyan’s new 67,000 square-foot residence hall will be located on Wesleyan Drive at Southern Wesleyan’s Central Campus across from the Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center. The facility will provide comfortable single, dual and triple occupancy suites for 243 students. The floorplan also includes 15,000 square feet of space devoted to amenities that include a large lobby with a bistro and ample gathering space, fitness rooms, a theatre and a conference room. Also included will be laundry facilities, study suites, classrooms and a 200 space parking lot.
“This particular project at Southern Wesleyan University will give students a blend of the academic and social environments they want, and in turn, will keep them more engaged on campus,” said Dr. Todd Voss, president of Southern Wesleyan University.
Southern Wesleyan University recently presented the first look at an architectural rendering of a new 243-bed residence hall to be constructed on its Central campus. The four-story living and learning community is expected to be completed in August 2017.
Voss said the new housing community is necessary to allow for growth in traditional housing and “will catapult enrollment into the future.”
Southern Wesleyan University has partnered with Mainstreet Student Living of Carmel, Ind., for this new project development. Local developers were approached with the opportunity, but Mainstreet Student Living, the student housing arm of Mainstreet, a national company known for its award-winning transitional care properties, secured this particular project partnership with Southern Wesleyan. A factor that Southern Wesleyan’s administration cited is how Mainstreet encompasses the investment, development and management sides of student housing.
“The missions of Southern Wesleyan University and Mainstreet Student Living align nicely,” Voss said.
As Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ, purposefully designed living and learning spaces for students and faculty are a must. Zeke Turner, founder and CEO of Mainstreet understands this need at SWU and is mission-aligned by desiring to “transform lives,” saying “we look at businesses where there is great opportunity to effect change and real need for innovation.”
Southern Wesleyan seeks to continually reinforce three pillars of uniqueness – inventive learning, faith-filled community and contagious generosity. This new facility on SWU’s campus will be conducive in exercising these institutional characteristics.
Dr. Voss has decades of student life and innovative facility design experience. According to both Voss and Justin Farris, managing director of development at Mainstreet, the traditional college “dormitory model” is “a thing of the past” and students favor more unique housing options.
The project, which represents a $9.3 million investment, will create numerous jobs and expand Pickens County’s economic impact footprint.
Site preparation began in early June, and construction is expected to begin in early July followed by an official groundbreaking ceremony taking place Aug. 30. SWU expects to welcome student residents into this completed facility in August 2017.
• ‘Venture Outdoors’ set for Pickens Aug. 27
The city of Pickens will host an outdoor event — Venture Outdoors — on Aug. 27. This is an all-day event which will highlight the many outdoor activities the area has to offer.
Venture Outdoors will feature workshops on fly-fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, bee keeping and kayaking at different locations around town (itinerary in the works).
With the help of Upstate SORBA, the city will host an all-day mountain biking event at Town Creek Bike Park. It will also host a 4×4 Off-Road Cruise-In that will begin with the road closing at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street. Visitors can stop by the Pickens Farmers Market on Court Street that day from 4-7 p.m.
Ray’s Mobile Foods and Meat’n in the Middle food truck will begin serving dinner on Main Street at 6 p.m. Awards for the mountain bike races and cruise-in participants will be announced at 6:30 p.m., followed by the musical stylings of The Hired Help live on the amphitheater stage. For more information and to register for workshops, the cruise-in and the mountain bike event, visit cityofpickens.com/outdoors.
• Hagood Mauldin House open for tours
The Pickens County Historical Society extends an invitation to visit the Hagood-Mauldin House. This historic home was built in the 1850s in the old town of Pickens Court House on the west bank of the Keowee River. The home was disassembled and moved to its present site at 104 N. Lewis St. in Pickens in 1868, when Pickens District was divided into Pickens and Oconee counties.
The house is furnished with period antiques. The Hagood-Mauldin House is open the third Saturday of each month, April through October 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fees are $5 for adults and $1 for children and students (18 and under). Private tours may be arranged during the week by calling (864) 421-4771. Parking is available at Legacy Square, next to McDonald’s.
• Legion Post 67 seeks members
American Legion Post 67 in Liberty is accepting applications for membership from all U.S. military wartime veterans. For more information, call (864) 787-2322.
• Pickens Lions plan meetings each month
The Pickens Lions Club is in need of new members. The club meets the first and third Thursday of every month at Pizza Inn in Pickens.
Dinner begins at 6:40 p.m., and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. Meetings are open to anyone interested in joining the club or simply finding out more about the club and how it serves Pickens.
Norma Bagwell of Pickens hit a milestone recently, as she completed 2,100 miles riding on the Doodle Trail since it opened last year. Bagwell rides about four days a week with her husband, Mickey. Mickey has managed nearly 2,500 miles along the trail. The couple almost stopped riding before the trail was built because of dangers on the roadways. The Bagwell’s said the Doodle Trail was the answer to their prayers, and they look to keep riding it for years to come.