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Monday, December 29, 2008

Flora Mae 'LaCoste' Reynolds

Editor’s note: Flora Mae ‘LaCoste’ Reynolds’ passed away Tuesday, December 23, 2008.

Flora Mae, a 1954 graduate of Bishopville High School was married to Anthony "Skeet" Reynolds who preceded her in death. She was sister to William "Billy' Edward LaCoste of Greenwood, SC and James 'Jimmy' Miller LaCoste of Bishopville, SC. The complete Obituary listing can be seen at

Obituary/Condolences listing:
Davidson Funeral Home

Edwin Lamar Walker, Jr.

Lamar Walker has died. He is survived by his wife Mary Nancy Tedder Walker of Bishopville as well as his step sons; Randall Huggins, Jr. of Hickory, Kentucky, Walter Huggins of Augusta, Georgia; brothers Melvin Walker of Bishopville, Robert Walker of Lexington, South Carolina and sister Ellen McKaig of Lexington, South Carolina.

Lamar's many friends from high school days will remember he was affectionately known by his nickname 'Toe'.

Lamar 'Toe' Walker had the unusual knack of kicking a football barefoot using his big toe. He will be missed by his many friends and family.

Norton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Update - Roy Atkinson

Good news! The latest news is that Roy's surgery went well and he is in the process of recuperating. Please continue praying for his speedy recovery.

Editors note: We would like to offer a special 'Thank You' to all Roy's many friends for alerting Natives of Lee County South Carolina about his upcoming surgery. We do appreciate your efforts on his behalf. Roy is a special person and there is no doubt that he is truly blessed by God.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Roy Atkinson

We just received information that Roy Atkinson will be having major heart surgery this Wednesday at Duke University Hospital in Durham North Carolina. Please keep Roy, his family and his health care providers in your prayers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bradley S. Reid Jr

A memorial service for Bradley S. Reid Jr., age 74, who passed away December 12, 2008, will be held Monday, December 15, at 2:00 p.m. from the Bishopville Presbyterian Church.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Prayer Request

Bradley Reid, husband to Beverly 'Muldrow' Reid has passed away due to complications suffered during a severe stoke. Arrangements are incomplete presently and will be posted here when available. Bradley was Christine 'Muldrow' Shirley's son-in-law. Please keep the Reid and Muldrow families in your prayers.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Harriett 'Hapeshis' Rhame

Harriett 'Hapeshis' Rhame, sister of Louise 'Hapeshis' McCutchen passed away Monday, December 8, 2008. She was a graduate of the Bishopville High School Class of 1947.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 am Friday at First Baptist Church in Bishopville. Reverend Wallace L. Woodcock will officiate. Interment following services will be at the Bishopville Presbyterian Cemetery directed by Norton Funeral Home.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

E-mail Address Changed ?

From the Editor: Over the past several months we have had numerous Natives contact us to let us know that their contact information has changed.

While we try our best to ensure that your information is recorded and that you remain on the mailing list for this blog, there remains the possibly of unintentional omission. Therefore it is always best that you personally access Natives of Lee County South Carolina and enter new or corrected e-mail addresses.

At the top of the page we have provided a subscription window for your convenience. In addition, as you scroll to the bottom of the page you will find an informational form for you to complete should there be any contact modifications needed. Please use these only if there are changes we should have.

Thank you very much for your continued readership, especially your informative contributions and keep those stories, cards, letters, e-mails and pictures coming. They are very much appreciated by all Natives of Lee County South Carolina readers.

Contact Change for Daphne Jean 'Muldrow' Dickerson

Friends of Daphne Jean who may wish to contact her please note her room number change. I just spoke with her and she says the doctor's are baffled as to what is causing her temperature to fluctuate. She says her doctor’s continue to tell her she has an inflection but thus far are unable to locate its source. Contact her at McLeod's in Florence; her room number is 421 and the phone number is 843-777-2421. Please continue your prayers for her recovery.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Prayer Request

I just got off the phone with Daphne Jean 'Muldrow' Dickerson who is presently headed to McLeod Hospital in Florence. Daphne tells me that she has a heart murmur, is running a fever and her doctor thinks that she has an infection of a heart valve. Details are understandably sketchy presently. As soon as Daphne is admitted and has a room I will forward that information. Please pray that the doctor's will be able to clear up the infection and she will be able to return home soon.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Schedule of Events

December 1

Swan Lake Fantasy of Lights
Opening ceremonies 6 p.m.
Holiday cheer arrives in Sumter with the opening of the annual Swan Lake Fantasy of Lights.
For the entire month, the gardens come alive with a display of twinkling holiday imagery created by more than one million lights. The Pilot Club’s floating Christmas tree is an annual favorite, along with Santa, angels and characters of song and story. Drive-through light displays open nightly through December 31 from dusk until 10 p.m.

December 4 and December 6

“The Nutcracker”
Both performances 7:30 p.m.
Patriot Hall hosts the beloved story of Clara and the Prince

Performed by the Columbia City Ballet.

Tickets and pricing information: (803) 436-2260.

December 4-7 and December11-14

“A Christmas Story”
Come and follow Ralphie Parker in his quest to convince his mother, teacher, and Santa Claus himself that he needs a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. This play has an SLT twist on all of the wonderful moments from the classic motion picture.
Sponsored by the Sumter YMCA; directed by Carmela Bryan and Michael Duffy.
Adult admission $10; student, senior and military discount available.
(803) 775-2150.


Circle of Lights
6 p.m.
The Circle of Lights, part of the Tuomey Foundation’s annual Festival of Trees celebration, is sponsored by the families and friends of those who have benefited from Tuomey Healthcare System’s Hospice Services. The 20-foot Circle of Lights Tree is in their honor. The Festival of Trees will continue throughout the month.
For more information, please call (803) 774-9014.

December 5

Sumter County Christmas Tree Lighting
4:30 p.m.
Join the citizens of Sumter on the courthouse lawn as Sumter County’s spectacular community Christmas tree blazes into life.
Live entertainment immediately followed by “A Walk with St. Nick.”


A Walk with St. Nick
Immediately following the Sumter County Christmas Tree Lighting
6 p.m.
The Sumter County Recreation Department hosts the annual stroll with Saint Nicholas, followed by refreshments and storytelling.
For children of all ages!
For more information, please call (803) 436-2248.


The Singing Christmas Tree
7:30 p.m.
First Baptist Church presents some of the community’s most talented singers in this dramatic re-telling of the Christmas story.
Performances through December 8, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4:30 p.m.
For more information, please call (803) 773-3732.


December 6
Breakfast with Santa
10 a.m.-Noon
Share “the most important meal of the day” with Santa Claus at this favorite annual event!
All ages welcome.
Admission: $5 adults, $3 children under 12.
For more information: (803) 436-2248.


Holiday House Tour
A Sumter tradition for more than 50 years!
Hosted by the Sumter Council of Garden Clubs.
1-7 p.m., with a tea at the Alice Boyle Garden Center from 3-5 p.m.
Admission: $10.
For more information: (803) 316-2023.


Friday and Saturday nights through December 20
Santa’s Village
Share your wishes with Santa on Fridays and Saturdays from December 6 through December 20! “Santa’s Village” at the North Pole (located at the end of the Fantasy of Lights drive-through) Features visits from Santa, refreshments for sale and live entertainment from 6 to 8p.m. “Santa’s Express” dropoff for letters to Santa open daily! FREE


December 7

Evening Optimist Club Christmas Parade
2 p.m.
Holiday cheer parades down Sumter’s Main Street in an array of song, dance, floats and more!
(803) 983-3916.


Festival of Choirs
4 p.m.
Join more than a dozen talented vocal ensembles from throughout the community at Grace Baptist Church for an unforgettable evening of carols, anthems and more!
(803) 778-6417.


December 11
Sumter Community Concert Band
7:00 p.m.
Patriot Hall presents the Sumter Community Concert Band’s holiday concert
Featuring a mix of popular and traditional Christmas favorites
. For more information, call (803) 499-9210.


December 12
“The Answer”
Alice Drive Baptist Church presents “The Answer”, a dramatization of events in the life of Christ, interwoven with modern man’s search for meaning in this powerful presentation.
Performances through December 14.
(803) 905-5200.

Through December 14
The Living Christmas Story
A trip back in time as Trinity United Methodist Church recreates 1st-century Bethlehem on the night Jesus Christ was born..
For more information:
(803) 773-9393.


December 13
Carolina Backcountry Christmas
2-4 p.m.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...the sound of music in the air... spiced cider and loads of delicious goodies! Enjoy the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned Christmas celebration at the Sumter County Museum.
For more information: (803) 775-0908.


An Old-Fashioned Christmas
Food, live entertainment, a gingerbread house contest and more as the city celebrates a white Christmas on Main Street! Travel back in time with this costume-themed event.
(803) 436-2640.


December 14
Sumter Civic Chorale Christmas Concert
3 p.m.
The Sumter Civic Chorale brings in the holiday season with its annual program of Christmas favorites at Patriot Hall.
(803) 436-2260.


For more information on Poinsettia Festival events, please call the Sumter Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-688-4748. All dates and events subject to change or cancellation.

If your organization hosts a holiday-themed event in December and would like to be part of the 2009 Poinsettia Festival, please contact the Swan Lake Visitors Center by October 31, 2009: 1-800-688-4748 or (803) 436-2640. E-mail:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

December Birthdays and Anniversaries


Jean 'Shirley' Watkins - December 1st
E-mail Jean at:

Cappie 'Gardner' Baskin - December 13th
E-mail Cappie at:

Retta 'Dickinson' Tindal - December 24th
E-mail Retta at:

Anthony “Tony” Tedder - December 26th
E-mail Tony at:

Edward Parnell - December 28th
E-mail Edward at:


John and Kathy Patterson - December 10th
Wedding date: 2005
E-mail John and Kathy at:

Share Your Birthday With the Natives

Click HERE or the title above and share your birthday with Lee County friends and neighbors.

If you wish you can share the date of your wedding anniversary with us too! Just drop an e-mail to:

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Editor's note: The following e-mail is from Charlie King Class of 1962. Thanks Charlie. Your e-mail says it all.


I heard an interesting reading at a recent Men’s Fellowship meeting at our church and looked it up on the internet when I returned home. I think it would make interesting reading for your blog viewers. Recommend you Google President George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation and send a link to that Proclamation out on your blog for folks to read before or during Thanksgiving. Just be sure the link is to a copy in which the words are spelled in today’s English as some copies I saw include spelling as it was understood in the late 1700’s making it more difficult to read. This Proclamation provides an interesting (I would call it shocking) comparison of the values and views of our nation’s leadership then versus now.

By the way, we are watching television, newspaper, and mail advertising closely and plan, if possible, to shop for Christmas only at those businesses that use the term Christmas, rather than Holidays, in their advertising.

Have a happy and Healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas.


The Original Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor--and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be--That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interposition's of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions--to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Images From Hank Martin's Concert November 21, 2008 Grace Baptist Church, Sumter, SC

Hank and Linda Martin

Betty (Tony's lovely wife) - Tony Tedder - Hank Martin

Tony Tedder - Hank Martin

Tony Tedder - Hank Martin

Roy and Salley "O'Kelley" Atkinson

Posted by Picasa

Share Your Birthday With The Natives

Click HERE or the title above and share your birthday with Lee County friends and neighbors.

If you wish you can share the date of your wedding anniversary with us too!

Ladies need not worry for you can keep the year of your birth a secret if you prefer.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hank Martin - In Concert

Hank Martin

in concert

- Grace Baptist Church -
Sumter, South Carolina

Friday, November 21, 2008
7 - 8 PM
Church Contact Information
Grace Baptist Church
219 West Calhoun Street
Sumter, South Carolina 29150
Phone: (803) 778-6417
FAX: (803) 773-4337

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Santa's Village - Friday and Saturday Nights - Through December 20th

You will not want to miss this!

Fun for kids and Adults!

Fantasy of Lights
Open nightly, dusk - 10 p.m.
December 1st through 31st

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One of the Largest Lighted Displays in South Carolina!!!


November 12, 2008
For More Information & Contacts Call Swan Lake Visitors Center/Swan Lake-Iris Gardens
(800) 688-4748 or (803) 436-2640
Web Address:


Monday, December 1st at 6pm, one of the largest lighted displays in South Carolina will illuminate the world famous Swan Lake Iris Gardens! The Opening Ceremony is celebrating the 21st annual Fantasy of Lights and the 29th Anniversary of the Floating Christmas Tree! The world famous 150 acre Swan Lake-Iris Gardens will illuminate with more than a million lights and 150 lighted figures! So come to Sumter and see one of the largest FREE lighted displays come alive; Monday evening December 1st at 6pm in Sumter, South Carolina! The Fantasy of Lights! For more information call the Swan Lake Visitors Center at (803) 436-2640, 800-688-4748 or log on to

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can you recognize a Veteran?

What about that person who stands next to you in the grocery line? Maybe it is the lady in the church choir? What about the pest control service technican? Your banker? The school bus driver?

You get the picture?

The fact is that unless they are wearing a military uniform or they tell you they served you don't know.


You may be surprised to learn who in your community has served their country.

Make it a point to thank them for their sacrifices; ensuring freedom for all Americans.

To all Veterans... THANK YOU!

Friday, November 07, 2008

November's Birthdays

Mary Wade ‘O'Kelley’ Smith’s birthday is November 7th. Email Mary Wade at:

Cleve Masad’s birthday is November 9th. Email Clebo at

Frances 'Muldrow' Gressette's birthday is November 13th. Email Frances through her sister, Daphne Jean 'Muldrow' Dickerson at

Caroline 'Beattie' Bowen's birthday is November 13th. Email Caroline at

Chris "McCutchen" McNeill’s birthday is November 15th. Email Chris at

Aila Jesse McCutchen's birthday is November 17th. Email Aila at:

Frank Bouknight’s birthday is November 22nd. Email Frank at
The above e-mail address will be changed in approximately two weeks to:
(Frank is building a new home and expects to be in it in two weeks.)

John Reames’ birthday is November 25th. Email Johnny at

Ralph McLendon’s birthday is November 27th. Email “Shot” at

Happy Birthday Everyone!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mother’s Insurance Policy

Editors note: Lee County native, Isabel 'Smith' White, a sister to my good friend Paul A. Smith; daughter to the late J. Manly and Fay T. Smith and wife to Tom White, wrote the following Devotion to give to her Church Activity Club. She and Tom are members of Littleton Street United Methodist Church in Camden, South Carolina.

DEVOTION --- October 15, 2008 Lost Property - Mother’s Insurance Policy

Matthew 10: Verses 29-32
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without the will of your father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth many sparrows.

Ecclesiastes 11: 1
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

Earlier this year, my nephew Jake Smith of Bishopville was surfing the internet in the files of the Unclaimed Properties Program of South Carolina. He keyed in “Smith” and “Bishopville” and made a big hit. There are many Smiths in Bishopville. As he scrolled down the list, he found the name, Fay T. Smith; my mother; his grandmother.

Jake called my brother, Paul Smith in Easley and told him of the discovery. Upon checking it out, they found a life insurance policy in the amount of $250. It was dated March 29, 1937.

I don’t know how many of you remember that period of time but, back in the thirties THAT WAS A LOT OF MONEY!!!! The policy was not interest bearing but the company is still active and the policy was valid.

In my family, there were six children – 4 boys and two girls. Three of our brothers have gone to their rest but their wives are alive and are our “sisters of the heart”. My brother Paul lives in Easley and my Sister, Rouie, lives in Virginia Beach. Margaret, Ann and Mary Alice all still live in Bishopville. Because of health, age, distance, and time, we don’t get together very often but phones and e-mail keep us close.

As a family, we decided to file a claim. As the oldest living child the claim was filed in my name. The legal requirements took some time but were not difficult. We all agreed that, if we were successful in our claim, the money would be donated to The First Baptist Church of Bishopville. This was Mother’s Church and the Church in which we grew up.

We realized that $250 was not a lot of money in today’s world so each of us contributed what we could. Some of the grandchildren also chose to be part of our caper.

Next, we contacted the Board of Deacons of the Church to determine where this money might be needed. In honor of Mother’s birthday in September, we donated nearly $1,000.00 for the Youth Mission Trip to Montana next summer.

This is a story that evolved over many months and had a profound effect on all of us. Over seventy years ago, our parents, a young couple in their early thirties celebrated the birth of their fifth child by insuring the life of our mother so that their children could be cared for even if God should call her home at an early age.

Seventy years later, their grandson, using technology not dreamed of at that time, discovered this treasure hidden in the coffers of our state government.

A large family, living apart but close in spirit, was able to share their blessings with a group of young Christians who will share themselves with others in need. This will give them the opportunity to grow in their love of God and love of each other. It may be a turning point for one or more of them who will devote their lives in the service of God. Perhaps one or more of the people in Montana who are receiving much needed assistance will also give thought to help others.

Back to the scripture: God knows of the sparrows and everything that happens in his universe. Cast your bread upon the waters. Each and every action we take has a cause an effect. Perhaps this is one time my family, from early in the last century and on into the years to come had an opportunity to participate in some of the good things that will happen in the future.

Lord, we thank you for the love of family and friends. We thank you for the opportunity and guidance we gain through our Church and Christian fellowship. Give us the strength to live each day of the rest of our lives with JOY and GRACE and DIGNITY.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vote November 4th

We hope you are registered to vote and strongly encourage you to exercise that right. For general information use this site: South Carolina Votes

Be sure that you are registered to vote: Check Your Voter Registration

Learn how to use South Carolina's Electronic Touch Screen Voting System.

See a video instruction on the use of the Electronic Touch Screen Voting System.

If you have questions or want to vote Absentee click on this link for more information.

Also there will be several Amendments to South Carolina's Constitution presented on the ballot for you to record your decision. You will be given YES or NO options so it is important that you understand the Amendments.

Amendment 1
Must Section 33, Article III of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to delete the provision that no unmarried woman shall legally consent to sexual intercourse who shall not have attained the age of fourteen years?

Yes []

No []

Explanation of Above:
This amendment deletes the section of the Constitution which says an unmarried woman must be fourteen years old or older in order to consent to sexual intercourse. Deleting this section would allow the state legislature to set the age of consent. Currently, the state legislature has the age of consent set at sixteen for most cases.

A "yes" vote would delete the section from the Constitution and let the state legislature set the age of consent.

A "no" vote would leave the section of the Constitution in place.

Amendment 2
Must Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to benefits and funding of public employee pension plans in this State and the investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems be amended so as to provide that the funds of any trust fund established by law for the funding of post-employment benefits for state employees and public school teachers may be invested and reinvested in equity securities subject to the same limitations on such investments applicable for the funds of the various state-operated retirement systems?

Yes []

No []

Explanation of Above:
"Post-employment benefits" are benefits, mainly health insurance, provided to eligible state government and school district retirees.

To comply with a change in accounting standards, the state has created trust funds to pay for these post-employment benefits. This amendment relates to how the money in these trust funds may be invested.

A "yes" vote would give the state government the option to invest these funds in equity securities (stocks).

A "no" vote would mean that state government is not allowed to invest these funds in any kind of equity securities (stocks).

Amendment 3
Must Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to benefits and funding of public employee pension plans in this State and the investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems be amended so as to provide that the funds of any political subdivision of this State that have been set aside for the funding of post-employment benefits for the political subdivision's employees, including those invested in independent trusts established for that purpose, may be invested or reinvested in equity securities of the type permitted for investment by the various state operated retirement systems, as provided for by the General Assembly?

Yes []

No []

Explanation of Above:

This amendment is the same as Amendment 2 except it applies to local governments' post-employment benefits (instead of the state government's post-employment benefits).

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Creatures of the Night Program Offered At Lee State Natural Area

BISHOPVILLE – Celebrate Halloween in the great outdoors. Lee State Natural Area is offering a “Creatures of the Night” nature program at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31.

Participants will learn about animals that live on the park and move around mostly at night, including eastern screech owls and big brown bats. They will also learn how to identify different species of bats and owls and how these animals benefit people.

Park Ranger Laura Kirk will lead participants on a 1-mile nature walk to look and listen for these animals. The program fee is $3 per person. There is no entrance fee to the park for children or adults. This program is for children 6 and older. Registration is required. To register for the program, contact the park at (803) 428-4988.

Participants should meet at the park’s Education Building, dress for the outdoors and bring a flashlight.

Lee State Natural Area, a South Carolina State Park, covers 2,839 acres of wetlands, sand hills and mixed pine-hardwood forests along the Lynches River in Lee County, four miles east of Bishopville. The park also features camping, hiking, picnicking, equestrian facilities and a boardwalk into the wetlands.

For more information, go to

Monday, September 01, 2008

September's Birthdays

Robert Baldwin's birthday is September 1st

Algie 'Hall' Davis birthday is September 10th

Harriette ‘Stokes’ Yarbrough’s birthday is September 10th

Betty Manning ‘McCutchen’ Heriot’s birthday is September 10th

David Lee Stevenson’s birthday is Sep 13th

Joyce ‘Driggers’ Bramlett’s birthday is September 16th

Carol Sindler-Cast’s birthday is September 20th

Dennis ‘Rhame’ Woodcock’s birthday is September 20th

Dale Player’s birthday is September 26th

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Joe and Irene 'McCutchen' Black Celebrate 41st!

Joey Black wrote:

Wanted our friends in B'ville to know......

My lovely bride Irene and I will celebrate our 41st anniversary tomorrow, August 27th (Today). The lady deserves a round of applause for putting up with me for so long!

Really enjoy your blog, keep up the good work.

Joe and Irene Black

Editor's note: Use the comment section below to send your messages to Joey and Irene 'McCutchen' Black.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"A Man Named Pearl"

Allen Hobbs writes:

Hi All,

Well this past Sunday night I went downtown San Diego and saw a documentary on Bishopville's Pearl Fryar. There was Tom Drayton, Ronnie Williams, Gee Akinson, etc. on the big screen picture show. Can you believe that.

There was my home town of Bishopville on the movie screen at one of the biggest movie houses in San Diego. I am telling all my friends that a documentary was made in my home town of three thousand people and it is being shown all across the nation.

Thank you Pearl for making Bishopville famous! Go see 'A Man Named Pearl' and see Bishopville on the big screen.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Newly Installed Lee County Historical Society Officers

Front row: Davis Kirkpatrick, Treasurer; Marion Messier, President; Linda Sutherland, Vice-president
Back row: Jewell Tindall, Parliamentarian; Willene Smith, Secretary; Ralph DesChamps, Historian; Rev. Phillip Mixon, Chaplain

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lee County Native Asks for Our Support

Jake Smith writes:

Dear Lee County Friends,

For four years, Ace Hardware has sponsored the “Tour de Kids” bicycle ride to raise support for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). The first three years, I admired the courage and stamina displayed by my riding friends as a spectator and contributor. Last year I joined them, riding 536 miles from Lincoln, NE to Denver, CO.

I hope to ride again this year but I need your help. This year’s tour will begin in Chicago on September 11th and end in St. Louis, MO on September 16th. That is a distance of over 350 miles.

In order to participate, I have committed to doing two things this summer:

1) Ride my bicycle – and then ride it some more
2) Raise the minimum of $3,500.00 in CMN contributions required for participation.
My goal is $5,000.00

A 350 mile bicycle ride is a difficult and fun filled challenge. My team will help me to meet those challenges. I will depend on them, they will depend on me and our challenge will be over in five short days.

17 million sick and injured children in America aren’t so lucky. For them, every day is filled with new physical challenges, some with no foreseeable end. During last year’s ride, I had the privilege of visiting with some of these miracle children. They depend on organizations like Children’s Miracle Network for encouragement and financial support and Children’s Miracle Network depends on the generosity of good people like you. I am asking you to contribute on my behalf to this worthy cause.

Will you help?

Here are several ways to donate:

The link below will take you to my CMN web page. From there, you may donate online and/or follow links to other web pages that explain the relationship between Ace Hardware and the Children’s Miracle Network.

Jared's Tour de Kids Web Page

If the link doesn’t work (and they often don’t!), copy the address below into the address bar on your web browser and press enter.

If you prefer to not to make financial transactions online, you can write a check payable to:

Ace Hardware Foundation

And mail it to me at this address:

Jared Smith
PO Box 425
Bishopville, SC 29010

Or you can send your donation directly to the foundation:

Ace Hardware Foundation
Attn: Jody Phillips
2200 Kensington Ct
Oak Brook, IL 60523-2103

If you use this method, please write “Tour de Kids – Jared Smith” in the memo area of your check.

I encourage you to visit the website even if you plan to mail a check. I have small slide show from last year’s ride on the site plus you can leave me a message. I love to read your comments.

Thank you so much for your support! The children appreciate it and so do I!


Editors note: The Children's Miracle Network was founded by the Osmond family & John Schneider in 1983. There are four Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals here in South Carolina who, when combined with the 166 other CMN Hospitals help 17 million kids triumph over illnesses and injuries each year.

Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital
Palmetto Health Children's Hospital
McLeod Children's Hospital
Greenville Hospital System Children's Hospital

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

August's Birthdays

John Patterson’s birthday is August 12th

Val Green’s birthday is August 13th

Charlie King’s birthday is August 19th

Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Thank you all for making July 25th through the 27th, 2008 the greatest Gathering of the Classes ever!

If you were among the attendees of the 2008 Gathering of the Classes II then look in the mirror, pat yourself on the back and say thank you... It's because you attended and supported the event that the weekend was a huge success.

Thank you and thank you to the following for a job well done.

Gathering of the Classes II Committee
John Patterson, Daphne Jean ‘Muldrow’ Dickerson, John Reames

Entertainment Committee
John Reames, Hank Martin, John Patterson

Mailing and Contact Committee
John Reames, John Patterson, Daphne Jean ‘Muldrow’ Dickerson

Food and Beverage Committee
Daphne Jean ‘Muldrow’ Dickerson

Golf Tourney Committee

Steve Monroe, John Reames

Memorial Service Committee
Rev. Bill Bouknight, Hank Martin, Bill Patterson, John Reames

Bus Tour Committee
Jewell Tindall, John Reames

Decorating Committee
Annette ‘Watson’ Stokes, Annette ‘Watson’ Nichols, Jennie ‘Kennington’ Darity

Assisting the various committees when asked:
Lee Stevenson, Skip and Irene ‘Reames’ Lewis, Pete and Patsy ‘Watson’ Paris, Brad Lewis, Bobby Stokes, Billy Baskin, Jewell Tindall, Jean ‘Shirley’ Watkins, Steve Monroe

Thank you all!

I'm in the process of editing the pictures I managed to take for publication. Please send me your pictures, especially any of the bus tour and golf tourney so that I can include them.

Note: The name of the band is B J Caughman and the Creations featuring Doug Allen on guitar & vocal; Cleve Edward on Key Board & vocal; Frank McCally on Drums & vocal and lead singer B.J. Caughman on Sax & vocal

If you wish to book this group contact me: or 803.720.5007

Gathering of the Classes II

Once again the classes came and met, shared old and new news, and then departed back to our homes to wait for another two years to come around in order for us to get together again.

It was an honor and a privilege to work with Johnny Reames and John Patterson. This was my second reunion serving on the committee. It was fun and I had a wonderful time both years working with my good friends, but now it is time to pass that honor on to someone else. I definitely will assist when and if I am needed and asked, but I will just do the things that I can handle with whatever situation is going on at the time.

I am anxiously awaiting the memory book that will be coming out. I hope that everyone has subscribed for their copy. If not, do so to Johnny Reames. Also write an article about yourself to get into the book. I am certain we will all cherish it until our dying days.

For those of our former classmates that did get to attend this year's gala, please save your pennies and dimes so that in two years you can plan to attend the next one. You really missed great music, wonderful food and seeing all your old friends.

I would like to take this time to thank Johnny Reames for all his hard work and efforts in getting everything together for this reunion. He put many long and hard hours into theis task. If u have not contacted him since returning home, please do so and let him know what a wonderful time you had.

Looking forward to seeing those of you that were here this year and those of you that will be ready in two years to come. God bless each and evry one of you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Partnering Sponsors

Natives of Lee County South Carolina wishes to join with the 2008 Gathering of the Classes II committee members in thanking the following individuals and businesses for their financial contributions to this event and to the memory of Bishopville High School; its former students, teachers and employees.

The Honorable Grady A. Brown and Mrs. Brown
South Carolina House of Representatives
District 50 - Lee & Sumter Counties
Bishopville, South Carolina

City Nursery Farm, Inc.
Tom Drayton, President – Graham Drayton, Vice-President
Bishopville, South Carolina

Mr. and Mrs. Henry (Helen) Hirschman
St. Augustine, Florida

State Farm Insurance - Margaret S. Copeland
Margaret “Segars” (David) Copeland
Bishopville, South Carolina

Kaeser & Blair, Inc.
Authorized Dealer
Mr. and Mrs. John D. (Ann Bailey) Reames, Sr
Sumter, South Carolina

Mr. and Mrs. John L. (Kathy) Patterson
Daytona Beach, Florida

Mr. Wayne Capell
Treasurer, Lee County
Bishopville, South Carolina

Mr. and Mrs. Brad (Dolly Davis) McCutchen
Bamberg, South Carolina

Mr. and Mrs. Paul (Panagiota) Smith
Easley, South Carolina

Ms. Daphne Jean ‘Muldrow’ Dickerson
Darlington, South Carolina

Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. (Lib) Parnell
Sumter, South Carolina

Mr. Charles “Chuck” Selkinghaus
Summerton, South Carolina

Mr. and Mrs. Bradley (Beverly Muldrow) Reid, Jr
Weddington, North Carolina

Carolina Custom Club
Mr. and Mrs. Ed (Gloria) Frenz
Sumter, South Carolina

Bishopville Drug Company, Inc
Wiley Alexander
Bishopville, South Carolina

Bishopville Tire Company
Gayle Kerr
Bishopville, South Carolina

Jared’s Ace Hardware
Jake Smith
Bishopville, South Carolina

Norton Funeral Home
Billy McCutchen
Bishopville, South Carolina

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cast in Stone - Gathering of the Classes Schedule of Activities

Schedule of Activities:

Dress Code for all activities: Casual - Dress for the weather! ! !

· 7 pm Friday – July 25th – Early Bird drop-in and registration for BHS former students Bishopville Country Club. Cash Bar; Light refreshments; DJ; Dancing

Friday’s events:

· 9 am Friday - July 25th - Bicycle Tour of Bishopville. Please let us know if you will participate. Bring your own bicycle(s) and enjoy an early morning ride down memory lane.

Alumni Registration:

· 7 pm Saturday – July 26th - Gathering of the Classes II Reunion Celebration Bishopville Country Club; Cash Bar; Heavy hors d'oeuvres; Live Entertainment and DJ; so be prepared to dance the night away.

Saturday’s events:

· 9 am Sharp- Bus leaves the parking lot of Bishopville Country Club to begin the tour of the county’s areas of interest; including a stop at the old BHS campus.

· 9:30 am Tee time - Golf Tournament Bishopville Country Club, Saturday morning.

Picnic and Fishing Derby:

· 8 am- Sunday – July 27th - Join Rev. Bill Bouknight, Hank Martin, Bill Patterson and Rita Kirven at Lee County’s beautiful Lake Ashwood for a special Alumni Worship Service honoring our deceased class members. Bring a brown bag lunch for the picnic following the service.

Gathering of the Classes Bus Tour Schedule

1. 9 am Sharp - July 26th Saturday morning – Bus leaves the parking lot at the Bishopville Country Club

2. First stop - Emmett Acres Alpaca and Mini Llama Farm where you may get to hug an Alpaca. (No charge - Contributions accepted - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

3. Second stop - Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Gardens (No charge - Contributions accepted - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

4. Third stop - Opera House on Main Street (No charge - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

6. Fourth stop - Cotton Museum/ Flag Park ($3.00 charge - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

7. Fifth stop - Lunch at Harry and Harry Too (Dutch treat – call order in prior to leaving Cotton Museum – Allowed time one hour maximum)

8. Sixth stop - James House on North Dennis Avenue ($4.00 charge - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

9. Seventh stop – Bishopville High School (No charge - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

10. Eighth stop - Artesian well north of Bishopville to drink from the “Youth Well” (No charge - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

11. Ninth stop - Lee State Natural Area (formerly Lee State Park) where we will visit the environmental education center (No charge - Allowed time 30 minutes maximum)

12. Drive by tour of the new Lee Central High School

13. Drive by tour of Lee Correctional Institution

14. Drive by tour of City Nursery Farms, Inc.

15. Drive by tour of City Hall

16. Drive by tour of The Mountain.

17. Tour ends back in the parking lot of Bishopville Country Club.

Note: This tour is approximately 40 map miles in length. Tour time should be about six hours maximum; ending at approximately 3 pm (if there are still points of interest left at the six hour mark they will have to be dropped from the tour to accommodate time restrictions and available funding)

Direct any questions to:

John Reames

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You Tell Me

Sometimes the person on the inside just doesn't see things in the same manner as those on the outside. So I'm depending on all of you 'outsiders' letting me know what you think about my blog.

Is the blog too, too busy?

Do you think I need to get rid of some of the stuff?

What would you like to see or read about?

You Tell Me

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Urgent Request

To All Classmates:

On July 6, 2008 I posted the following:

The Gathering of the Classes Reunion Committee needs volunteers to help with set-up, decorations, registrations and clean-up. Please contact us at 803.720.5007 or send an e-mail to

Here is a brief explaination for this urgent request:

A series of family crises understandably has one of the committee member’s complete attentions and the unexpected resignation of another has left but two of the original four to do the work that needs to be done. Top that off with the fact that one of the two remaining committee members lives in Florida and you begin to get the picture.

Also, we found out recently that our source for tables and chairs will not be able to help us out again this year due to a change in policy and we need at least 10 cafeteria style tables with the accompanying folding chairs.

Due to these unforeseen circumstances we are pleading for your help. Everything else is in place; the Friday mixer, the bike ride, the bus tour, the golf tourney, the main event, Sundays memorial service are all arranged.

Please call me or send me an e-mail letting me know how you can help.

Johnny Reames

Also, many of you have requested a Schedule of Activities. See below:
Schedule of Activities:
• Friday – July 25th, 2008 – Early Bird drop-in and registration for BHS former students Bishopville Country Club 7pm. Cash Bar; Light refreshments; DJ; Dancing
Friday’s events:
• Bicycle Tour of Bishopville. Please let us know if you will participate. Bring your own bicycle(s) and enjoy an early morning ride down memory lane.
Alumni Registration:
• Saturday – July 26th, 2008 - Gathering of the Classes II Reunion Celebration Bishopville Country Club 7pm; Cash Bar; Heavy hors d'oeuvres; Live Entertainment and DJ; so be prepared to dance the night away.
Saturday’s events:
• Morning Tour (9AM) of the county’s areas of interest to include a stop at the old BHS campus.
• Golf Tournament Bishopville Country Club, Saturday morning. Tee time to be announced
Picnic and Fishing Derby:
• Sunday – July 27th, 2008 – 8 AM - Join Rev. Bill Bouknight, Hank Martin, Bill Patterson and Rita Kirven at Lee County’s beautiful Lake Ashwood for a special Alumni Worship Service honoring our deceased class members.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Volunteers Needed

The Gathering of the Classes Reunion Committee needs volunteers to help with set-up, decorations, registrations and clean-up. Please contact us at 803.720.5007 or send an e-mail to

Saturday, July 05, 2008

July's Birthdays

Nick West’s birthday is July 8th

Ellie Price's birthday is July 10th

Bob Latimer's birthday is July 14th

Bill Patterson’s birthday is July 16th

Sam Boykin's birthday is July 19th

Hank Martin’s birthday is July 21st

Daphne Jean ‘Muldrow’ Dickerson’s birthday is July 26th

Joyce ‘Walters’ Waldroop’s birthday is July 31st


Friday, July 04, 2008

How old are the tires on your vehicle?

Are you aware the tires on your automobile could be older than you thought? Just because the tread looks new doesn’t make the tire new. In fact, your tires could be several years older than the year in which you bought them.

Over the years I have replaced many sets of tires and never once did I hear any dealer tell me about the life expectancy of the tire before the rubber hit the road. I thought I was buying "new" tires.

I now know tires have a shelf life and the Federal Government requires the date of manufacture to be stamped on each tire!

Don't take my word for it. Discover for yourself if you and your family are riding on potentially hazardous outdated tires? Click here to learn the facts.

Editor’s note: I want to thank my good friend Mike Mercer for bringing a potentially deadly circumstance to my attention. I immediately checked on the age of the tires on my three vehicles. I’ll post my findings in a later posting. Meanwhile, I would be interested to know if any reader has discovered really old tires on their automobiles.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

George Washington First Inaugural Address April 30, 1789

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Declaration of Independence July 4th, 1776

“Sacred” is a word which has almost disappeared out of our modern lexicon and discourse and yet we find that it was an indispensable and valued concept during our founding period as detailed above. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines sacred in this way: “Holy, separated from common secular uses and consecrated to God; Proceeding from God; Relating to religion or worship of God as sacred songs or sacred history; Entitled to reverence; and Inviolable, as if appropriated to a superior being as sacred honor or promise”. Perhaps reviewing this definition will help you as much as it helped me to understand the essence and thrust of our founder’s thinking during this critical time. As the time draws near for celebrating this July 4th, 2008 please allow me to remind you of some historical truths.

First off let us consider those 56 men who boldly signed their names to the Declaration of Independence. History records that 53 of the signers were men who practiced the Christian faith and, as I recall, the other three were Deist. Thus it was not a foreign concept for them to, not only say, but to insist the Declaration conclude with this phrase “-And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”, which described and affirmed their basic belief system. Because of their faith and because they looked beyond themselves for meaning and purpose for their lives, they we able to strike this unprecedented covenant with each other.

Just, for a moment, try to imagine placing yourself into a similar arrangement today with 55 other folks, especially with the “odds” they had for success. Moreover, can you picture any 56 of today’s politicians entering into such a personally risky agreement? A few of these men did indeed lose their lives or their health, wealth, or family, however only Richard Stockton of New Jersey, surrendered his “sacred honor”. Indeed they were willing to offer their very life for liberty; they were willing to sacrifice their fortunes for liberty; and in so doing their personal honor became a sacred possession to never be surrendered.

The great patriot Patrick Henry had eloquently and publicly stated his position to his fellow Virginians on March 23, 1775. The House of Burgesses was leaning toward not sending troops until his impassioned speech which ended--- “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me give me liberty or give me death”. I recommend that you take five minutes and read the entire speech online and perhaps share it with your children or grandchildren. They may never learn of these events if we do not serve them in this way. Please remember that Patrick Henry was just one of the 2.5 million colonist who were divided approximately as 1/3 Patriots, 1/3 Tories and 1/3 neutral therefore roughly 800k to 900k were Patriots or “the for-the-war or all-for-liberty crowd”. They did not wait for a “majority” to materialize or for a poll to be taken before they acted. In fact history records 217,000 of them to have been veterans of the ensuing war. Try doing the math on what that would translate to with 300m Americans.

Next let us fast forward almost 13 years to April 30, 1789 and the first inaugural and again we find sacred to be a defining and operative term. Thomas Jefferson, a Deist and author of the Declaration of Independence, had said “the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time”. And so it is not surprising that George Washington, a devout Christian, would refer to liberty as a sacred commodity. The thought I wish to leave you with is that Washington was looking down across history to future generations---to you and I. As Commander-In-Chief of the armies, General Washington had often acknowledged the hand of Providence in the outcome of critical battles and often issued general orders reflecting his faith. Just prior to the “first” Independence Day, on July 2, 1776, he issued the following general order; “The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country”. As he took office as the first President of a new nation, he knew full well that in all of history there had never been a constitutional republic such as he now led. He also knew that “the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty” was to be totally dependent upon “we the people”.

As we prepare to perhaps rest and relax and enjoy our liberty a bit this 4th of July why not remember some of the brave Americans and their families who today live sacrificial lives “defending the dearest Rights and Liberties” against hostile forces in foreign lands. We must also, in a post 9-11 world, remember those who maintain an eternal vigilance here at home policing our homeland for both terrorist as well as an increasingly violent criminal element. Instead of just being truly thankful for your liberty, which is very, very important, why not plan on doing something in the next few days or weeks, individually or as a family, to sorta put legs to your gratitude. Conversely to do nothing, in my view, may in fact actually assist in snuffing out the sacred fire of liberty.

Prepared by:
John R. “Barney” Barnes
Commander USN (R)
24 June 2008

Lee County Native Jake Smith

Check out the "In the News" column. If you have something that would be of interest to our readers let me know; we will get the word out!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Take a look at the Gathering of the Classes section

On the far right is a new link to the Gathering of the Classes blog site! This is new and I'm sure you will want to visit this site now.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Carolina On My Mind

Got a moment? If you do go to The South Carolina Information Highway webpage and take a look at what they have to say about the song "Carolina On My Mind" and Hank Martin. While you are at it you may want to click on the title to this post and visit Hank's website.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

June's Birthdays

Bill McDermott's birthday is June 8th
Cecil Watkin's birthday is June 14th
Jimmy Stuckey's birthday is June 22nd

It's Crunch Time!

Date: June 2, 2008
From: John Reames
To: Classmates and Supporters of Bishopville High School
Subject: Reunion Report

At press time there are less than 50 days left until the Gathering of the Classes II Reunion and Inaugural Golf Tourney. Everything (tours, venue, entertainment, caterers, Golf Tourney, Memory Book, etc.) is on hold until we develop a clearer accounting as to the numbers attending, therefore it is central to the success of this reunion that you send your registration fees now.

Reunion Fee Information

Postmarked by June 26, 2008: $35/person or $60/couple

Postmarked after June 26, 2008: $40/person or $70/couple

On-Site Registration: $45/person or $80/couple

Golf Fee Information

Postmarked by June 26, 2008: $20/person

Postmarked after June 26, 2008: $20/person

On-site registration: $30/person (if opening available)


No refunds after 7/14/08; substitutes allowed for another classmate, spouse/guests only; all attendees must be at least 21 years old; there is a $5.00 non-refundable fee on all cancellations.

Refunds will be mailed within 4-5 weeks after reunion dates. We accept Money Orders, Cashier Checks, and/or Personal checks made payable to Gathering of the Classes II by end of day on Friday, July 18th, one week prior to the reunion. Afterwards, please register on-site at the on-site fee(s) published above.

Mail to: Gathering of the Classes II, PO Box 7363, Sumter, SC 29150
Contact Information: John Reames, PO Box 7363, Sumter, SC; Phone 803.720.5007 E-mail:


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tom and Isabel - - A Love Story

I want to start this story by telling you that Paul Smith, my lifelong friend was born on Saturday, February 12, 1944, and at about 3 months of age he was just an infant when his sister, Faye Isabel Smith managed to muster the nerve to tell her father she was going to marry Tom White. It took a lot of courage for a young girl to do that in those days for several reasons, but chief among them was World War II.

Scattered about the State of Kansas there were seventeen Army Air Corp Bases, a couple of Naval Air Stations and a number of auxiliary fields during World War II.

In April of 1944 Thomas B.White of Camden, South Carolina was in the beginning stages of B- 29 flight training at Walker Army Air Field near Victoria, Kansas which was under the command of the Second Air Force. It was during a break in his training that Tom sent a Western Union Telegram that would change forever the life of a young woman from Bishopville, South Carolina

Women who did not join the military during the war filled the void left by the men who were either in training or were fighting battles in some far away setting. These women became masters at stinginess; carrying groceries instead of using the car thereby preserving tire rubber and going about bare-legged so that nylon could be used for the war effort; they grew the family food in ‘Victory Gardens’ and learned to sew and repair clothing rather than buying new clothes. Some went on to fill previously men only roles as advertised through ‘Rosie the Riveter’ publicity. In short these women contributed to the morale of the war effort through sacrifice and strength.

At 17 years of age Isabel Smith was newly engaged and a graduate of Bishopville High School. She supported the war effort by taking a job as a telegrapher in Columbia, South Carolina. With Tom away in Kansas Isabel had a lot of time to think and had been distressing about their engagement for some time. So one day in mid-April, 1944 she penned a letter to Tom calling their engagement off!

Dropping the letter off at the Post Office she went on to her telegrapher job where she received this message:


Without hesitating and with fingers flying on the key, Isabel sent the following message:


There is a lot more to this saga that needs telling, but in keeping with my long story short policy, Tom had come home much to the delight of Miss Smith, and the two having discussed their plan went hand in hand, to the family grocery store to face her father. They needed his permission to marry because Isabel was three months shy of her eighteenth birth date, and the law required one to be eighteen in order to marry.

J. Manley Smith, whom many of you will fondly recall as the local grocer who placed out-of-the-norm highly opinionated ads in the local paper, surprisingly wrote out the following words on a permission slip without a whole lot of to do:

“I hereby consent to the marriage of my daughter Fay Isabel to Mr. Thos. B White

May 4th ’44 Signed--

J. Manly Smith

While Isabel continued with the wedding arrangements, Tom went on to the Court House to get the Marriage License signed by J Martin Smith, Judge of Probate for Lee County.

That was Thursday, May 04, 1944. The next day Friday, May 5, 1944 they were married at the First Baptist Church in Bishopville.

Isabel remembers that she wore a white lace dress that she had purchased for Easter. My Aunt, Mary Freer Reames (Mrs. Melvin “Shine” Reames) sang for the couple at the wedding.

The fact that these two young persons came to be united in Holy matrimony was an act of providence to me. I believe that had it not been for certain prevailing defining circumstances this wedding would not have occurred.

On May 5th, 2008 Tom and Isabel will be with members of their much-loved family somewhere near South Carolina’s beautiful coast as they celebrate their sixty four years of marriage.

Join with me as I raise my glass in honor of their long life together.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. White.

After the wedding and a short honeymoon Tom returned to Kansas. Isabel returned to her telegraph job in Columbia. Germany would not surrender until Monday, May 07, 1945. Japan lasted a few months longer surrendering Sunday, September 02, 1945 aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

The newly weds had a long wait before starting their family, and you can bet that that is another story waiting to be told.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Native Learns of Promotion in an E-mail!

Congratulations Becky! We are proud of you and of your service to our country.

Here is the good news e-mail Becky forwarded to us:

-----Original Message-----
From: RADM Casey W. Coane
To: CDR Crichton, Rebecca
Sent: Fri, 2 May 2008 2:07 pm
Subject: Congratulations on Selection to Captain

Dear Commander Crichton:

I believe that the day that you have been waiting for is here - your promotion to Captain in the Navy Reserve. We believe that we've matched up your name and last four of your SSN with the same information on the ALNAV. Because computers and people (like me) make mistakes, I want you to see it with your own eyes - so go or to the NPC web site to confirm.

Sincere congratulations! I'm sure that it has been a long climb up the promotion ladder; one that I know you worked very hard for. Enjoy the moment, and all that it brings to you in the next few weeks. I wish you every success at this new level of responsibility and know that you will continue to work hard in your new leadership roles in the Navy.

Many thanks for your membership and service to the Navy and this great country of ours. I hope that this promotion will put it all in perspective for you and your family. Carpe diem!

Best regards.
Casey W. Coane

Planter of the Mystery Tree Has Green Thumb

Posted by Picasa

I motored out to visit with Mickey and Anne McDowell in their lovely rural home located south of Bishopville on highway 341 recently, and discovered that the planter of that now famous Cork Oak Tree does indeed have a green thumb. Take a look at the picture above… Mickey planted that majestic oak too!

Mickey and Anne have a fantastic vegetable and flower garden complete with greenhouses, raised beds, irrigation; everything that a gardener could hope for. They have strawberries, blue berries, grapes, corn, cabbage, etc. and all sorts of flowering plants. I’m so ‘green’ with envy; if you will pardon the pun.

Mickey has had his eye on this one succulent looking tomato and is looking forward to slicing into it in the near future. I thought it was ready to be shared then, but what do I know; my tomato plants are barely three inches tall. Mickey is the expert.

If you know this charming couple then you know that wherever Anne is, you will find Mickey close by. And it’s been that way since their days in high school.

Mickey and Anne graduated from Bishopville High in 1949, raised three wonderful kids; Vicky, Cindy, Lisa and David. If you get a chance drop a dime and call them. Be sure to tell them that this Native thinks they are the greatest!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

May's Birthdays - Happy Birthday Y'all !

Edgar "Buddy" Strickland’s birthday is May 4

Irene "McCutchen" Black’s birthday is May 11

Buddy Wilson’s birthday is May 17

Harriet "McCutchen" Davis' birthday is May 22

Allen Hobbs’ birthday is May 29

Thursday, April 24, 2008

E-mails Among Friends - Aren't Reunions Fun!

From: Irene Lewis
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:00 PM
To: Classmates and their Spouse’s
Cc: John
Subject: Mini Reunion

I can't begin to tell everyone how much I enjoyed this past weekend with classmates and spouses. For those of you that could not be with us, you were missed terribly and we do hope that you can join us at our next mini reunion. Here is a little of what you did miss.

It started out with several couples, (Myron & Rosemary, Paul & Panagiota, Patsy & Pete, Skip & me) getting together at the Comfort Inn in Camden and catching up. (Out of towners, think about staying there the next time we are together. Great location.) Then we caravanned to Harry & Harry Two's for a delicious meal of our choice. We were met there by Barbara, Harry and Johnny Reames, our adopted reunion photographer. We really enjoyed this evening and had a chance to get caught up on what everyone had been doing since we last were together. The atmosphere was so relaxing, since we had the whole place to ourselves and we had a chance to visit with everyone, without feeling rushed. After our wonderful time at Harry's place, those of us staying in Camden continued our reunion, staying up late just talking and I can't tell you how much fun this was.

After breakfast Saturday, several of us went in to Camden for a morning of shopping. We visited antiques shops and Jane Ferguson Watson's dress shop. Some looked at her things seriously and tried on, but I am not sure if anyone bought anything. But it was fun to see Jane. I did not know she has been selling The Carlisle line of clothes for over 25 years. This is the same line that Caroline Beattie is involved with. Remember reading about her in Johnny's blog?

After shopping, we (Paul, Panagiota, Patsy, Pete, Nick, Susan, Skip and me...Myron & Rosemary had to go on back to Newberry because of a commitment and could not join us) had lunch at a restaurant in The Galleria and the food was great. After talking a lot(????), all but Nick and Susan piled in Paul's car for an afternoon of touring. We first went to Paul's sister and brother-in-law's for caramel cake (yummmmmmy). For those of you that remember Miss Fay, Miss Isabel looks just like her. After stuffing ourselves on cake, we decided to head over to Bishopville and get a glimpse of the mystery tree we have all heard about.

Well, we pulled up in front of the high school and all got out to get a better look at the tree. I had no idea this tree ever existed. It is truly a cork tree. Some of us have a piece of the bark to prove it. Pete was looking for little cork trees to take back home and I was trying to get a small limb to root. Neither of us was successful. He had us down on our knees comparing leaves that he had picked off the tree. That lasted until we discovered the fire ant hills.

Back in Paul's car, we are now off to the artesian well. We had mentioned to Pete about a well where the guy's would go to sober up after a night of.......whatever, and he just had to see this well. Somebody really has improved the location, because they had planted lots of shrubs and built stone around the "watering hole". We all took a drink and talked about all the times we visited this place.

Going out to the well, we of course passed by Denny's Pool. Now, I don't know about y'all, but I spent everyday of the summer there. If Marian Stephenson didn't take all of us, the Denny's would stop by my house, and I would be standing out there by the roadside with my little brown bag of bologna sandwiches, waiting for them to pick me up. Don Drayton sometimes would be in the car too. Off to the pool we'd go, and we would help get things ready for the day. Those of you that went a lot probably remember Nero, their yard man. Well, there were times when we even helped him on the big yard mower. I will never forget those days. Mr. & Mrs. Denny practically raised all of us.

Back to our tour of Bishopville, Paul was such a gracious guide. We rode in neighborhoods that were so familiar growing up and some that were not so familiar. Then on to Mr. Pearl's Topiaries. He is an amazing man, with lots of creative imagination. His yard is so beautiful to look at, and you can tell he has lots of influence on his neighbors, because their yards have topiaries too. I would find it hard to live next door to him. WHEW!!!!!!

Next on our tour was visiting Smith's Creative Concrete Designs (I made the name up because I can't remember what it is called). This place belongs to Paul's nephew John and he has any and everything you could want as far as yard art goes. If he doesn't have it, he can make it. His father Eugene would be so very proud of him.

Pete, (Patsy's loving and devoted husband and father of their son Bryant) said that he was so impressed with our tour of Bishopville that he fully intends to go back again in July when we have the Gathering of the Classes.

Time to head back to our hotel and clean up for our lovely evening of dining at The Crescent Grille (I hope I got the name right). We had several to join us and I will try to list the ones that could come. Of course, we had the traveling gypsies, Paul, Panagiota, Patsy, Pete, Skip and me, then there was Hank and Linda Martin, Jean Watkins, Martha (Nash) Gooding, Nick Baskin (his lovely Susan had a previous engagement in Columbia at an awards dinner for her sister) Cecil and Kaye Watkins, Lee Stevenson, Mac Rumph, Judith Ann and Marion Mackey. We just had so much fun and the food was excellent. We all hated for the evening to end, so some that could headed out to our hotel for more reminiscing. Oh, I wish all of you could have been with us. This was such a special time...... really, the whole weekend was special. I just can't say enough about the camaraderie we had. Nobody wanted to leave, even though our eyelids, by now, were having to be propped open.

After breakfast Sunday, Paul and Panagiota had to head back to Easley, but Pete & Patsy were headed back to Bishopville, so I suggested we follow along. We ended our wonderful mini reunion weekend by having lunch at Mr. B's in Lydia and I truly hated to hug good bye, but it was time to head our separate ways until the next time.

I truly want everyone to know how much this past weekend meant to Skip and me. Especially after hearing Nick read out the names of our classmates that are having health problems of one kind or another. There are others that need our prayers, so let’s remember all of our classmates each time we bow our heads.

I didn't mean to write such a long email, but the words just flowed. Please know that we truly missed our classmates that couldn't make it, and hopefully we will see them in July at the big gathering of classes. If you have not heard about it or seen it anywhere, check out Johnny's blog - (Johnny, did I get it right?), or contact him by email at We went to the one last year, and it was so much fun seeing our "ole BHS friends". And, make your reservations at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Camden, because it is clean and a very convenient location.

God bless you all and I love you big!!!

Your friend forever

PS: If I have left anyone out, it is because I don't have their address, so please someone forward this email to them.


From: Hank Martin
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:10 PM
To: Classmates and their Spouse’s
Cc: John
Subject: Re: Mini Reunion


That was a great summation of a wonderful time together. Linda and I sure enjoyed our time with everyone...Linda said that there is something special about these Bishopville folks. I of course already knew that. I'm so sentimental that one day I would like to make Lynn Kirkley an offer on our old house on Dennis Ave and fix it up. I understand that the Kirkley's purchased our old house some years's right next door....I've still got a jar of money I buried in that yard to find. What great memories I have growing up in B'ville. I too spent many summer days at Denny's Pool learning to do a one and a half and then not letting Ruffin get the best of me, I learned to do a full 2. I remember eating frozen Zero candy bars and listening to Little Richard on the juke box. We're looking forward to the big B'ville Gathering in July. Look forward to being with everyone again.


PS...."Thank you John" for the great blog.


From: Jean Shirley Watkins
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 1:35 PM
To: Classmates and their Spouse’s
Subject: Re: Mini Reunion

Dear Irene

Thanks so much for this recap. I agree it was a wonderful weekend and I'm continually amazed at how much we all care about each other. Time nor distance will ever change the love we all share for our classmates. I will never tire of us all being together reminiscing about those days of our youth. Hopefully all of you who weren't able to come this year will be here next time.


Jean Shirley Watkins.


From: Lee Stevenson
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 2:46 PM
To: Irene Reames Lewis
Cc: Classmates and their Spouse’s
Subject: Mini Reunion


I couldn't agree more. I had a great time seeing old friends. Each of us has some memory or other connection with each other.
I too spent many summers at Denny's Pool. We all spent many nights at Skeets or Ritas or Horace's and even before that at Brooks Drive In.

We will carry on these conversations at the Gathering of the Classes (in July)

Many thanks to Nick and Joyce and everyone on the committee for a great success.

A special bond with each of you,



From: Michael Mercer
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:48 PM
To: 'John Reames'
Subject: Natives of Lee County Blogspot: here class of '62 recent photos.

Dear Blogmaster:
The photos shown recently on your blog of the BHS Class of ’62 caused a moment of instantaneous retrieval from the caverns of my memories. . For years I had pings on the memory banks but these pictures forced the haunting to the surface. Lee Stevenson is not only the big brother of my friend and classmate, Joe, but the man who kept haunting me in the Clint Eastwood Trilogies of A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I think of Lee whenever I see these because Lee Van Cleef looks just like Lee Stevenson. Well, ok, when both were younger. Lee, you’ve aged well.

Mike Mercer
Summerville SC

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Register to Vote

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Sixty Year Old Mystery Solved

You have to hand it to Nick West; the old gentleman has this innate talent to poke about until he has the information he needs.

Nick recently e-mailed me:

“John, I found out who planted the Oak Cork Tree….”

Of course he was referring to my Mysterious Tree post in Natives of Lee County South Carolina.

I phoned Nick, and learned that during a recent visit with friends Mickey and Anne McDowell, mention was made about one of their daughter’s school projects some years back which involved the collection of leaves from various trees.

Being the discerning fellow that he is, Nick straight away asked Mickey if he knew anything about the Cork Oak Tree at Bishopville High School.

Mickey confessed, saying that as part of a 4H project he planted the tree during a ceremony around 1947.

Subsequently I phoned Mickey for confirmation and found that his information would be in line with Wilma “Kirkpatrick” McClure, John McCoy, and my wife’s recollections about the tree.

Good work Nick. Look for the check in the mailbox.

Case Closed?

Not yet! What about the Ceremony? Who was there? What was said? Where are the pictures? Don't cash the check!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Local Native Receives Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award

To many of you this article is old news; to me it bears repeating because it is about one of our own. Rear Admiral Jacob Shuford is another example of why small town America is the heartbeat of our country. Clicking on the title above will take you to the article. See Admiral Shuford's picture under the heading "Featured Classmate" courtesy of The Item.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Request from Hank Martin

I enjoyed seeing that 3rd grade class picture of Miss Edna McCutchen. That was a year before ours. Sure would appreciate you putting the word out to anyone who has more class pictures like that to submit them to you. I would love to see my 3rd grade or any grade class picture....and others. That was great.



Editors Note:
Send your pictures to me by e-mail attachment or send them by Uncle Sam; include a stamped self-addressed envelope if you want them returned, and I'll return them to you after I have scanned them to my computer. Include the usual identifying information about the pictures, including the dates, and any accompanying story that may be interesting. Keep it clean for this is a family site. I may not post all of them immediately but at some point most will find their way into cyberspace for our readers to enjoy.

April's Birthdays

Meg “Groves” Telligman’s birthday is April 13th
Richard Garvin’s birthday is April 17th
Betty “Baldwin” Lowery’s birthday is April 24th

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Mysterious Tree

I don’t know how many of you were/are aware that a Phellodendron or maybe a Quercus Suber tree has been growing on the front lawn of the old Bishopville High School on North Main Street for over 50 years.

I can hear some of you now: What is he talking about? Well… you’ll just have to bear with me as I work my way through this posting. I’ll get to the point in a few hundred words or so.

As a kid I can remember the tree being there as far back as the mid ‘50’s and based on it’s size back then, I would venture a guess that it was there about 10 – 20 years longer; making the tree around 60-70 years old or older.

Not being particularly interested in botany or anything else that required studying, I sort of filed away the fact that the tree existed, and since I hadn’t seen anything similar to it anywhere else to bring it back to mind, it stayed filed away until I saw it again today.

When school was in session back in the fifties, not much activity was had on the front lawn so I guess that many students didn’t notice the tree. I noticed however, for it was almost a daily thing, especially during the summer months, for a gang of us local sports types to gather and head for the football and/or baseball fields for a afternoon game. The tree just happened to be growing along the trodden track we usually took.

Some of us would absent mindedly pinch a piece of the bark off and chew on it as we ventured pass to the fields. I know I did my fair share of bark chewing.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t until I saw some of the upper classmen during baseball season taking cork from soft drink bottle caps, burning it until it blacken, then smearing the soot under their eyes, that I made the connection.

When I was old enough, I tried my hand at organized baseball, and since I didn’t want to have to search all over the place for a bottle cap, I began using the bark of the tree to make the dark smudge under my eyes. Besides, I had a secret cork source, and because there was so much of it on the tree, I also had an endless supply.

Along about now you probably have figured out that I’m talking about a tree that has this special bark on it in the form of a thick corklike substance, but you can't figure out what's the big deal!

Well, it’s not the tree, nor is it the fact that the bark is corky in texture that intrigues me. I’m mystified as to how the tree came to be there in the first place, and because I don’t believe it is native to our area, I think it had to be planted but by whom, and why?

I’m guessing that the tree is a Quercus Suber a.k.a. Cork Oak.

If there is someone out there who knows the answer, please contact me.

In the meantime, drive by the old school and pinch off a piece of cork bark from the Old Cork Oak Tree for a keepsake. Now that I've matured and have acquired a basic knowledge of what not to put in my mouth, I'd advise you to refrain from chewing the bark. Besides, I never did understand why I chewed it... Tastes like plain cork to me.

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