Category Archives: Opinions

Will the cicadas be arriving soon?

The month of May will be the month when billions of eastern cicadas emerge from beneath the Earth’s surface to mate.

They won’t come out quietly. After all, they’ve been underground for 17 years and won’t come out again for 17 more.

They aren’t dangerous, and they are not like the dreaded locusts we used to see in western movies that swarmed through and stripped crops and foliage, leaving nothing behind.

The soil has to warm up to 64 degrees before the cicadas will emerge. This usually happens during the first two weeks of May, but there may be a few who arrive a bit early.

These are known to scientists as the Lonesome Bobs, because although the males are eager to

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Being happy never grows old

I remember as a kid how the days seemed so long.

I recall in the summertime after breakfast, I would shoot basketball until the sun became too hot, and then I would ride my bike to cool off.

Our neighbors had five children, and we would play kickball until it was too dark to see.

Life was fun, and I was always excited to do it all over again the next day.

I can still recall the simple joys of running through clover as fast as I could for no reason except to feel the wind on my face. I made sure to wear shoes, because being stung by a honeybee was

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Courier Letters to the Editor 5-5-21

Make this Mother’s Day a special one

Dear Editor,
I’ve heard it said almost any woman can be a mother, but it takes a special woman to be a Mama. She’s the one who encourages her husband and family when they’re down and out. Shines a light of joy into a gloomy world. Makes you believe in yourself by believing in you when

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Light at the end of the tunnel

Well, the great day finally came!

Just in time for the birthday of our twin grandkids, my wife Kathy and I crossed the threshold into the realm of the fully vaccinated.
And that meant that — after more than a year of our only interaction with those two, and with our three other grandchildren, being either on the phone or out in the front yard from 10 feet away — we were able to hug them.

It was awesome!

“We’re huggable!” I told them as they came running in the front door and jumped into my outstretched arms.
It felt wonderful. We were all so excited. I think I even heard Harper, who turned 8 along with her brother Wyatt, say, “I don’t

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Staying focused on our mission

For many years I’ve had the privilege to visit nursing homes, as I truly enjoy spending time with the elderly. I sing and teach Bible studies and appreciate hearing about their former lives. The Lord has allowed me to make some precious friendships, and I want to share with you about a lovely lady who after a devastating stroke was no longer able to be independent and is now in a comfortable setting where she is well taken care of.

I love talking with Barbara, and a while back in the middle of one of her stories we discovered that long ago she was actually my mother’s next-door neighbor and they played together as children. What were the odds of that? Anyway, I love her positive and upbeat personality and

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Advantages to growing older

When we were children, we wore hats and shirts on the beach, T-shirts over our bathing suits. And now that we are old, we wear hats and shirts on the beach.

As a person who cannot tan, I never tried to cultivate that look and just accepted that although being outdoors on the beach is one of my great loves, covering up is an absolute necessity.

As children we were slathered with suntan oil, and wearing our shirts and hats, we’d hit the water with our rafts. If we didn’t have rafts, we’d just hit the water and stay in the ocean until our lips were blue and our fingers were wrinkled like prunes.

Now, we slather ourselves with sunscreen, wear shirts and hats and wade in the edge and walk

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City of Pickens is ascending

It’s a rare phenomenon to see all of the winning elements in a growing community to sustain positive, authentic and beneficial change.

Pickens is one of those rare places where all of the elements exist. Some of these, just to name a few, are a beautiful downtown with mountain views, pristine natural resources, active community members, proximity to larger cities while maintaining a small-town feel, etc. The list goes on. All of this being said, Pickens is poised to grasp on to our best qualities and bring them to the forefront.

On April 14, the city had the pleasure of viewing the presentation of a brand-new master plan for Pickens that was put together by the Pickens Revitalization Association in conjunction with

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Blake Sanders of Studio Main LLC and Tripp Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow and Associates. This master plan is an update to the previous plan that was put together in 2012. Pickens was in need of an updated plan because, quite frankly, we’ve already accomplished many of the goals set forth in the 2012 plan. It may be hard to believe, but since 2012, Pickens has added the Doodle Trail, the amphitheater and the new Doodle Trail Park. The new plan includes some uniquely Pickens beautification efforts to our historic downtown, expansions along the Doodle Trail and a plan to recruit new businesses to Main Street.

Mr. Muldrow said it best during the presentation: “We need to stop saying that the growth is coming. The growth is here.” Population projections show that Pickens is on a trajectory for growth. We need to make sure that the growth does not compromise the character of our town and is also handled in a sustainable way. The new plan will help us accomplish this.

It’s also important to realize that this plan will be a team effort. The city looks forward to forging a strong partnership with the Pickens Revitalization Association, which has rebranded itself to Ascend Pickens. Our downtown is situated on a ridge, and no matter how you get there, whether it’s on Highway 8, 178 or 183, you’re always ascending into downtown Pickens. With this new plan, we’re also ascending into the future, and our future looks very bright. With the help of our city employees, Ascend Pickens, business owners and you, our community members, we are going to continue improving our town. We have a lot to be proud of here in Pickens. We want to take this positive energy that we feel toward our town and use it to do something really special.

We could not be more excited for all that’s in store for the future of Pickens, and we can’t wait for you to see it.

If you have a talent, skill or passion that you’d like to volunteer to this momentum, please feel free to reach out to us at (864) 878-6421 or send an email to We would love to have you on board as we ascend Pickens to the next level.

Philip Trotter is administrator of the city of Pickens. He can be reached at

Found guilty and serving time

What do you do when your dog begins a friendship with an unsuitable companion? It is a somewhat delicate situation, as the friend in question is female and is in a temporary condition that makes the friendship undesirable.

Boomer lives on one side of the road, and we know she lives across the road in some unknown location.

We do not have her home address, because she has appeared from nowhere to strike up this acquaintanceship.

She is half his size with a narrow muzzle and pointed ears, black in color with a long tail. We

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Courier Letters to the editor 4-21-21

Thank you for helping Pickens team

Dear Editor,
What a beautiful day for the Pickens Azalea Festival! The azaleas uptown were stunning in full bloom for the event, and the earlier predicted rain did not occur! Hats off to all who planned and volunteered for this wonderful family and community event showcasing the beauty of this area, along with its fantastic friendly and caring people!

On behalf of our Carolina One 16 Elite Pickens Volleyball Team and “Fire” family, I want to thank Rocky Nimmons for posting articles about

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Trusting God in uncertain times

Like you, I’ve been afraid a few times in my life. There are different types of fear, and one is being afraid of something we believe is going to harm us. This is a paralyzing and dreadful feeling, and one that I would like to stay away from if at all possible. Having a fear of the unknown is common, but this is a great opportunity to believe that God will take care of us.

The second type is called a reverential fear of God, which is respecting Him for knowing everything and having authority over all things. The Bible compels us to study and learn about

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