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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Distinguished Natives

The Honorable Grady Allen Brown, (at left with friend and fellow Distinguished Lee County Native William 'Bill' Hopkins) is known affectionately to most simply as ‘Grady’ was born May 1, 1944 to the late John Arthur and the late Maude (Atkinson) Brown.

In 1962 he graduated from Ashwood Central High School and soon after attended the S.C. School of Barbering. On June 6, 1971 he married Laura Annette Webster who blessed him with two sons Jonathan Everett and Grady Allen. Presently Grady resides in Bishopville, South Carolina where he is a barber and businessman.

Music lovers, especially Oldies and Beach Music fans listen to him every Sunday evening between 5 and 10pm. You can join Grady at "Sunday Night at the Beach", a beach music radio show that features a popular request line which is broadcast on several radio stations throughout the midlands

The Honorable Grady Allen Brown has proudly served the State of South Carolina and the fine people of Lee and Sumter Counties as their House Representative since 1985.

I think it is safe to say that there cannot be too many Natives of Lee County South Carolina who don't know Grady Brown.

Stop in at his barber shop on Cedar Lane in Bishopville and tell Grady you saw his picture on the Natives.

E-mail Pick-Me-Up on a Dreary Day

Editors note: Readers such as Pam Clemons, who show their loyalty and appreciation with little notes like the one below, help me keep rattling away at the keyboard... Many thanks Pam, your support along with that of many others is not overlooked. I am truly greatful. It does my heart proud to know that I can provide a service to my many Lee County friends. You can contact Pam at:


I am so enjoying being on this (subscribers) list. It keeps me up to date with what is going on.

My sister, Sharon Holland, owned The Little Florist for many years and kept me up to date all that time, but since she is no longer in town, I have not been able to keep up.

My son, Ethan Hill, and his wife, Brandy, who works for Alex's Realty are still there, but they sometimes forget to keep me in the Bishopville loop.

So, keep up the good work.



Friday, February 27, 2009

Murdic D. Hancock, Jr.

Bishopville, S.C.

Funeral services for Murdic D. Hancock, Jr. age 84, who died Feb. 26, will be held Sunday at 3:00 pm from the Bethlehem United Methodist Church. Rev. Paul H. Rogers will officiate. Burial will be in the Bethlehem Methodist Church Cemetery directed by Norton Funeral Home. Visitation will be Sat. 5-7 pm at the Funeral Home.

Mr. Hancock was born in Bishopville a son of the late Murdic D. Hancock, Sr. & Mary Leila Tallon Hancock. He was a graduate of Bishopville High School, attended Spartanburg Methodist College, a Veteran of WW II having served as a flight engineer and top turret gunner on a B 17 Bomber in the 8th Air Force.

He served on the Bishopville Town Council and served as Lee County Coroner for 32 years. He was associated with Player & Hancock Furniture Store and Hancock Funeral Home retiring in 1988.

He was associated with Norton Funeral Home in Bishopville for several years until his retirement.

He was a member of Bethlehem United Methodist Church, a Charter member of the Civitan Club, life member of the VFW Post, Masonic Lodge No. 104, and American Legion Post 29.

He was an avid Fisherman and Clemson Fan.

Surviving are his wife Rosalyn Kelly Hancock, Bishopville; 2 Daughters: Mary Edith (Wayne) Jeffords, Hartsville, Donna (Ricky) Hickson, Bishopville; Sister: Carrie Lee Baskin, Charlotte, N.C.; 3 Grandchildren: Shannon Jeffords (Dr. Mike) Harless, Hartsville, Brandi Jeffords, Hartsville, Turner Hickson, Bishopville; 2 Great Grandchildren: Amelia & Ally Harless, Hartsville.

Memorials may be made to a Charity of ones choice.

Norton Funeral Home

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Images of Bishopville

This editor just finished with a nice little visit to Rachael Bradbury's web site, Images of Bishopville and it is evident that she is putting a lot of work into the site. We encourage everyone to visit the site and more importantly contact Rachael if you wish to contribute to her effort by using the comment section on her site or by contacting me.

Here is a couple of snippets about Rachael taken from her site:

"Rachael Bradbury is the daughter of Ruthie Stevenson Bowman, the granddaughter of (Ruth) Martin Stuckey Stevenson, the great-granddaughter of Joe F. Stuckey and the great-great granddaughter of David Ashby Stuckey..... A 1995 graduate of Wofford College, Rachael, her husband John Charles and their daughters Rebekah and Sarah Martin live in Marietta, GA."

Little Miss Bishopville Tire Company

My name is Anne Martin Galloway and I was born in Bishopville, SC on September 23, 1952 at the Lee County Hospital. My best memories were living on Baskin Avenue until I was 6 when we moved to Sumter, SC.

This is a picture of me as Little Miss Bishopville Tire co. in (I am guessing 1954 or 1955.)

There was a parade (and Gayle Kerr might remember more details) and my sister, Mary, was already on a float. I was so jealous and started crying so Gayle felt sorry for me and added on to the "go cart" (it looks like a lawn mower) and made me "Little Miss Bishopville Tire co.".

As you can see by my layers of princess clothing, I am the sheet princess with small tires for my crown and to wave with.

Please contact me at for any other information if Gayle can't fill you in on the exact dates and which parade it was.

Thank you, Anne Martin Galloway

Robert Lee ‘June’ Raley, Jr. - Bishopville, South Carolina

Robert Lee "June" Raley Jr., 76, husband of Sylvia Brown Raley, died Monday, Feb. 23, 2009, at his home in Bishopville.

He was born in Lee County to the late Robert Lee Raley Sr. and Polly Arrants Raley. Mr. Raley was a U.S. Army veteran.

He owned and operated Raley's Lunch for 47 years and Raley's Art and Sign until his retirement in 1996. He spent hours in his shop woodworking and painting. He also enjoyed music and taking care of his cats and pet rooster, Henry.

He attended Wesley Memorial Southern Methodist Church in Bishopville.

In addition to his wife, Sylvia, he leaves behind two daughters, Dianne R. Medlin (Zack Anthony) and Sheila D. Raley; two sons, Aaron L. Raley (Brenda) and Alex Lynn Raley; a sister, Martha Jean Hawkins (Tommy); four grandsons, Kyle Raley, Justin Medlin (Candice), Shane Medlin (Janene) and Cody Raley; two granddaughters, Valerie Isaacks (David) and Tiffany Raley; five great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Kyle Raley, Justin Medlin, Shane Medlin, Cody Raley, Jake Raley and David Raley.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Hancock-Elmore-Hill Funeral Home and other times at the home, 411 N. Dennis Ave., Bishopville.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Hancock-Elmore-Hill Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Mark Davis officiating. Burial will be in the Bethany Cemetery (Tiller's).

Hancock-Elmore-Hill Funeral Home of Bishopville is in charge of the arrangements.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Made it to the Big Time

Try to get a mental image of me jumping around in my office like a 13 year old!!!!!!!! Yeeeeee Haaaaawwww!!!
I know... that's a pretty disgusting image isn't it...

We are the site of the DAY on this site:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Prayer Request- Mrs. Charles Kemp (Beluah) Nash - Swami Nash

Friends of Mrs. Charles K. ‘Beulah’ Nash will be happy and saddened all at the same time to learn that she has moved from her long time home in Bishopville and is presently settling into her new surroundings in Myrtle Beach. She has her family with her as they make sure her transition proceeds smoothly. Her many friends will surely miss seeing her about town.

Her oldest son Swami, seen here with his lovely bride Nina, is in the hospital in Myrtle Beach. Swami's wife Nina says that his doctors have arranged hospitalization in order to build up his body's constitution in preparation for digestive track surgery. The surgery is tentatively scheduled for sometime next week.

Please keep 'Swami' , Mrs. Nash and their families in your prayers.

What Are They Doing Now?

Have you ever wondered to yourself, or to anyone else for that matter… what ever happened to So and So? What are they doing now?

Well, I certainly have and from questions I often receive, others are just as inquisitive as I am; they want to know what their former classmates, teachers or friends are up to these days.

To that end, from time to time I will post under the heading "What Are They Doing Now?” a brief synopsis of what I find these people to be doing. If you want to know about someone let me know… we’ll be nosey together and dig up some stuff about them… with their permission of course.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gathering of the Classes Reunion Gala III

Open letter to former students of Bishopville High School

It's that time again. Planning is underway for February 12th, 13th and 14th of 2010 so mark your calendars now! You don't want to miss this one because it will be bigger and better than the last one.

I've made contact with the Opera House as well as the Cotton Museum in Bishopville and we have the following dates set aside for the Gathering.

Friday, February 12, 2010: Cotton Museum for the Early Bird Mixer
Saturday, February 13, 2010: Opera House for the Reunion Gala
Sunday, February 14, 2010: location not decided for the services in remembrance of our Deceased Classmates.

Two very important things are needed right away.

First of all we need money now to pay our initial expenses.

Secondly we need volunteers!!!

We negotiated very hard with our landlords and vendors to keep our costs as low as possible for your benefit, therefore the same rates as the last reunion will be applicable again this year:

$35 singles

$60 Couples

Please don’t postpone your reservations, start sending your money to:

Gathering of the Classes III
c/o John Reames
10 Long Barn Court
Sumter, SC 29154

Speaking from experience it is no easy task to search for lost classmates; therefore we really need help with that project! Also, there will be hundreds of letters that need to go out now and we need help in that area as well!

There is so much we have to do so please give of your time in this effort. E-mail me if you will be willing to volunteer your time with whatever it is that needs to be done:

Thank you,

John Reames

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sad News mixed with Good News

Kathryn 'Latimer' Welch writes:

The Dairo has closed after more than 50+ years of providing Lee County citizens with the best chicken to be found anywhere. Jake Boykin has been operating the Dairo for several years. His father, Eddie, was killed in a tractor accident 2 years ago. His mother, Eunice, died several months later.

The classes of 1965-1968 are planning a reunion on June 13 at the Opera House. The Gerald Davis Law Firm is providing the band, Riptide. Gerald is a member of the class of 1967. Cost is $10.00 per person and must be paid by April 1. Class representatives for the reunion are Retta Tindal, Jim Baker, Kathryn Welch, and Birt Frazier.

Editor's note: Thanks Kathryn, speaking for myself I credit the Dairo for my survival and that of our (Irene's and mine) dog Mitzi.... if not for the thousands Milk Shakes, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers I would have starved to death... of course I always could have gone to the DuBose or McLeod's Drug store's and stocked up on the vittles. Mitzi on the other hand would somehow escape the confines of our yard and find her way to the Dairo where she would entertain Miss Eunice and her customers by doing tricks for her treat of a cone of ice cream. Miss Eunice would call mother and she would send one of us down to retrieve our poor starving pup!
How many of you remember Mrs. Stewart's little Hamburger shop across from the ball field on North Main Street?

Julian Guess Reames

Wilmington, NC

Julian Guess Reames of Wilmington, NC died peacefully on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was 81.

Mr. Reames is survived by his brother, Davis LeRoy Reames, Jr. and his wife Jean; a daughter, Cynthia Kesselman and her husband Stephen; and grandchildren, Linsey and Ashley Murr, and Laura Cozzens. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Jane Jones Reames; and his son, Julian Guess Reames, Jr.

Mr. Reames was born in Bishopville, SC, a son of Davis LeRoy Reames and Norma Guess Reames. (Mr. Reames was a 1944 graduate of Bishopville High School.) After serving in the Navy, he graduated from Clemson University and embarked upon a 32 year career as a sales executive for the Agri-Chemical division of US Steel. For over 40 years, Mr. Reames was an active member of the Cape Fear Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He became a Rotarian in 1962 and upon moving to Wilmington was among the charter members of the Wilmington Cape Fear Chapter. Fellow Rotarians will miss his weekly raffle for his favorite charity, Meals on Wheels, and his engaging gift for spinning yarn.

Mr. Reames and his late wife, Jane, (a 1946 graduate of Bishopville High School) moved to Wilmington in 1972. They loved spending their time by the ocean and Wrightsville Beach with the family and close friends. Mr Reames also enjoyed gardening, fishing, and hunting in his retirement years. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Cape Fear Club and always looked forward to Friday lunch with his old friends.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 14, 2009 at the Bethlehem United Methodist Church Cemetery in Bishopville, SC. Friends and family are invited to the Foxfire Inn on North Main Street immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mr. Reames’ memory to the Wilmington Cape Fear Rotary Club (footnote: Meals on Wheels) c/o Joe Williamson, 200 Wetland Drive, Wilmington, NC 28412.

Hancock-Elmore-Hill Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Update - E-mail from Fletcher Smith

Editors note: I had not noticed the ladies on the porch… my, my… thanks ever so much… now we have another mystery we have to solve and I’m sure that the Martins- Hank, Jane, and Anne will be breaking out the magnifying glasses to see if they can identify the ladies.

Fletcher writes:


I am Fletcher Smith, born in 1953. My dad was Carroll Smith who worked in the post office for years and we always lived out on Hwy 34 just out of town, in front of Denny Pond Road. My brothers may be closer to your age; Benton born in 1940 and Denny in 1943. I just give you that for perspective.

Second, thank you so much for your dedication and passion for Lee County and your site. I always look forward to the Inbox and seeing something from you. Many are rewarded for your excellence and commitment. Much gratitude!

The picture caught my eye, maybe because I am dealing with pictures in a similar time period. Our mom passed last year and we are making a family album to share with grandchildren. Anyway, I shared with my brother Denny who lives in Canada. We do believe that house on the left is where my mom and dad basically started their married life before moving to Hwy 34. It is on Dennis Avenue for sure. The house on the right that you can barely see the edge was the Henry Martin home. We believe the ladies on the porch in the middle house are the Martins aunts; one possibly named Marney. We are pretty confident you are walking towards the Baptist Church. I have some reason to believe that the lady is my mom; Annette and she is holding my brother Denny. If this picture is the Spring or Summer ( according to clothing ) of 1945 or 1946; I think it could be her. However, if it is much earlier in time.....then it's not her. Denny doesn't seem to think it is her. Unfortunately he doesn't recognize any of the children.

Thank you again for your great work,
Fletcher Smith

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Read Petition to Save Camp Burnt Gin

Editors note: I strongly urge you to click on the title to this post to visit the website and do what you can to support this much needed Camp.

To: S.C. Legislators
This is a petition to the legislators of South Carolina to do what ever it takes to ensure that Camp Burnt Gin lives on.

During the course of a session, campers have the chance to participate in a variety of programs such as instructional and recreational swimming, boating, fishing, arts and crafts, sports and games, fine arts and nature study. Each cabin group has the opportunity to enjoy an overnight camping trip in which they sleep in the woods and cook their meals over a campfire .

Camp Burnt Gin was established in 1945 in Wedgefield S.C. and is a summer camp that hosts over 450 children with disabilities and chronic illnesses. The children are given the opportunity to participate in many activities they would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in. DHEC has recently announced that funding for the camp will be cut. This is UNACCEPTABLE. As a resident/parent/citizen of S.C. I am asking that you do what ever you can possibly do to secure funds for the camp. This camp is a major part of the quality of life these kids have and it provides much needed respite for the parents. We owe it to our kids, the parents and ourselves to help this camp live on!!!


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Lee County Historical Society

Adopted Native of Lee County South Carolina, Bobbi Adams of the The Lee County Historical Society writes:

The Lee County Historical Society will meet on Tuesday, February 10 at 7 P.M. in the S.C. Cotton Museum, 121 W. Cedar Lane, Bishopville.

To honor President's Day, Dr. Tom Powers, Professor of History, USC Sumter, will speak on the evolution of the U.S. Presidency and what the Constitution says about the role and responsibility of the president.

Non-members are also invited to attend.

The James House, our usual meeting place is still undergoing renovation. Progress is continuing and the heat should shortly be cut back on so mold and mildew issues can be addressed.

Keep watching for our newsletter and newspaper publicity for progress on our renovation.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

UPDATE!!! Need Help Identifying People in Photo

Lousie 'Hapeshis' McCutchen writes: Johnny, The photo was taken on Dennis Avenue. The houses in the background were homes of Ed Kirkley on the right and Carroll Smith (later Dr. Richard Denny) on the left. The girls , I believe, are Jane Martin on left and I am the taller with pigtails. I lived two doors down and Jane lived across the street. The child between us is either Hank and my brother George. I do not know the girl behind you. Where did you get this picture. We were in the yard of Mrs. Juanita Ackerman. Guess it must have been a party. I bet you have had a dozen different people Identifying themselves and I am just one of them. You were certainly a cute little fellow!!!!

Karen 'Hall' Whitehead writes: John, The house with the Crepe Myrtle tree in front is Dot and Ed Kirkley's ( Lynn Kirkley Satterfield on Dennis Ave. The one to the left is where Dr. Richard Denny lived next door (Lee and Lynn Denny). As for those in the picture I would think about the Stuckey boys, Josey Boys,and Hank Martin, maybe because he lived next door to the Kirkleys. Karen

Editor's note: Okay, we've established that the scene depicted in the picture is located on Dennis Avenue and the activity is occuring in the front yard of Mrs. Juanita Ackerman and we have positive ID's on Louise and Jane Martin. Now we need to learn who the lad is standing between Louise and Jane... my guess is that it is Hank because he was younger than George. Who is the lady holding the child?

This picture was provided to me by my 1st Cousin Harvey Ackerman whose dad was raised in the Ackerman home.


I'm guessing that this picture was taken around 1945-46. That would make me about 4 or 5 years old.

Judging from the clothes this has to be in the warmer summer months or early spring. That's me in the foreground wearing those adorable shorts.

I haven't a clue as to where this was taken or who those people are but I believe we are at someone's home celebrating a birthday.

The cute girl walking up behind me... Could she be Suzanne House?

If anyone recognizes the homes across the street or any of the kids in the picture please let us know.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Letter from a Native in Cold, Cold Florida

Hi John!

I’m still reading the blog regularly, and love keeping up on what’s going on in B’ville!

Just thought you might want to tell any readers that are interested that the Ovation network – a cable network that usually aims for highbrow (or, I guess, higher-brow than the usual stuff!) is now airing A Man Named Pearl! I found it when I was doing my channel-surfing during the Super Bowl (not a football fan…), and it was on again last night (Monday). You can get the schedule of when it’s airing at (Be warned, though, that much of the original movie is cut – I think the dvd of the movie runs 78 minutes, but Ovation has seen fit to put it in a 1 hour time slot, complete with lots of commercials.)

Hope that all is well with you – hi to all your readers from cold, cold Florida (seriously, it is – supposed to be in the 30s tonight!)

Sally (Sally Ginsberg Waters)

Editor's Note: Somebody tell Sally that the 30's would be a heat wave to us last night. In the low 20's or below here in Sumter.
Visit Sally's page at: Justice Law Stetson

Willie Rose Brown

BISHOPVILLE -- Funeral services for Willie Rose Brown, age 85, widow of Norman Alton Brown, will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Cedar Creek Baptist Church with the Rev. B.R. Wallace officiating. Burial will be in the Cedar Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, directed by Norton Funeral Home. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Mrs. Brown was born in Bishopville, a daughter of the late William Frank and Mary Hopkins Farmer. She died Feb. 3, 2009. She was a member of Cedar Creek Baptist Church.

Surviving are a brother, Stanford Farmer of Bishopville; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, William Carroll Farmer and Ellie Carson Farmer.

Memorials may be made to Cedar Creek Baptist Church, 3000 Camden Highway, Bishopville, SC 29010.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sumter Civic Center Presents

Sumter’s House of Comedy.

Headliner Comedian Chris Dubail provides a show filled with high voltage non-stop action. Chris brings some of the entertainment world's favorite characters to life with physical comedy and quality dead on impressions. Blended with stand up and improv (he takes requests and improves his impressions in situations suggested by the audience) this combination is hilariously offbeat and highly entertaining for all.There are also new original characters popping up in his act from time to time.

In November 2004 Chris recorded his first live comedy DVD titled "I Got No Self Control" at the Snickerz in Fort Wayne, IN. Chris has been heard on Connecticut's number one morning radio show-99.1 WPLR's Chaz and A.J. in the morning.

Chris has shared the stage with some of the top entertainers in his field. He had been the opening act for the likes of Bobcat Goldthwait, Brett Butler, Tim Wilson, Robert Schimmel, Bobby Slayton, George Wallace, Rich Vos, Tommy Davidson and James Gregory.

Chris performs at comedy clubs all over America.

Doors open at 8pm and the show will begin promptly at 8:30pm.

Tickets are $10 each and are available at the door or at the Swan Lake Visitor's Center.

You may also purchase tickets by phone at (803)436-2640 (Visa or MasterCard accepted).

Add some laughter to your weekend!

When: February 6th 2009

Where: The Opera House, 21 North Main Street, Sumter, SC

For more information call (803)436-2640.

Over 18 years of age please.

Feburary's Birthdays

Scoozie “McLeod” Jones – Feb 6
Mail or call Scoozie at 412 Bradley Ave.
Bishopville, SC 29010 - (803) 484-6105

Jim Ed McCutchen- Feb 8
E-mail Jim Ed at

Paul Smith - Feb 12
E-mail Paul at

Judy "Bryant" Walderman - Feb 13
E-mail Judy at

Sandra (Tanny) "O'Kelley” Maddux - Feb 14
E-mail Tanny at

Bobby Benson - Feb 14
E-mail Bobby at

Irene “Reames” Lewis - Feb 15
E-mail Irene at

Helen Boykin (Sammy’s Bride) - Feb 17
E-mail Helen at

Marie Parker - Feb 23
E-mail Marie at

Happy Birthday Everyone!!!!

Editors Note: Want to add your birthday? Just click on this web address:
Enter your information.
It's that easy.

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