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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Betty Anne Brown Truesdale - January 30, 2012

Betty Anne Brown Truesdale, 82, wife of Liston Truesdale, died Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, at McCoy Memorial Nursing Center.
She was born in Bishopville and always lived there. She was a daughter of the late Gene and Edna King Brown. She and Liston had no children of their own but thousands of her dear school children. Mrs. Truesdale graduated from Bishopville High School and Columbia College with a major in French. She also received a degree in library science from the University of South Carolina. She taught in Bennettsville, Central, Ashwood-Central and Bishopville High School. She taught in the public schools of Lee County for 45 years. She was a lifetime member of Bethlehem United Methodist Church. She was the co-author of "Volume 2, History of Lee County" and the "History of Bethlehem United Methodist Church."
Survivors include her dear husband of 60 years; a sister-in-law, Mildred Elmore of the Bethea Home; nephews, Cliff Davis (Carol) of Lugoff, James Davis of Conway and Harris Brown (Teresa) of Hartwell, Ga.; nieces, Abbie Elmore Denny (Lyn) of Lake City and Cora Beth Loftin (David) of Nashville, Tenn.; adopted daughters, Cheryl Austin Skinner (Marvin) of Oswego and Kim Williams of Atlanta; special friends, Marie Freeman, Gloria Hariott, Darron Wilson, Willene Smith and Betty Lou Watson; several great-nieces and great-nephews; and her precious dogs.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Louise Davis (Loyce); a brother, Gene Brown Jr. (Frances Harris); a niece, Millie Elmore Mozingo; and a brother-in-law, Darwin Elmore.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Bethlehem United Methodist Church with the Rev. Henry Altman and the Rev. Sam Stevens officiating. Burial will be in Bethlehem United Methodist Church cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Bethlehem United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 167, Bishopville, SC 29010; the Epworth Children's Home, P.O. Box 50466, Columbia, SC 29250; B.A.R.K., 121 Julia Drive, Bishopville, SC 29010; or to a charity of one's choice.
Hancock-Elmore-Hill Funeral Home of Bishopville is in charge of the arrangements.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Google Search- Election results South Carolina

Editor: Not surprising at all... South Carolina voters are completely comfortable with the choices. Of the choices given they simply elected the one who has demonstrated he isn't afraid to mix it up with all comer's... what a stunning defeat!

Newt Gingrich's victory speechelection results south carolina - Google Search: "US elections 2012: South Carolina primary results county by county

The Guardian (blog)‎ - 31 minutes ago
We have just added the latest South Carolina State Election Commission results. You can see a summary of the data below. Some simple analysis of the votes ...
10115 related articles
South Carolina Election Results: Conservatives, Economy Fuel Newt ...
‎ - Huffington Post
South Carolina election results: Newt Gingrich wins
‎ - The State Column
More news for election results south carolina »"

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 20, 2012

Which One is Telling the Truth ?

Editor's Opinion: Do you believe Marianne Gingrich, who by all accounts seems to have nothing to gain, but who could be the disgruntled ex-wife; or do you believe Newt, who has everything to gain; especially the Office of the President of the United States. According to the article Newt implied to his ex that his present wife didn't care what he did... does that mean she is okay with an open marriage... sort of puts a big "?" on the forehead of Newt, now doesn't it.... 

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in 1999 asked his second wife for an “open marriage” or a divorce at the same time he was giving speeches around the country on family and religious values, his former wife, Marianne, said Thursday.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Marianne Gingrich said her former husband called her on May 10, 1999, as she was having dinner with her 84-year-old mother and said, “I want a divorce.”
“Is there anybody else?” Marianne Gingrich recalled saying. “He was quiet. Within two seconds, when he didn’t immediately answer, I knew.”
Two days later, Newt Gingrich gave a speech at a conference titled “The Demise of American Culture” sponsored by the Republican Women Leaders Forum in Erie, Pa. Gingrich extolled the virtues of the Founding Fathers and criticized liberal politicians for supporting tax increases, which he said hurt families and children. In the speech, which was televised on C-SPAN, he spoke often of God, families and values.
“When a liberal talks about values, will he or she actually like us to teach American history?” Gingrich told the women’s group. “Will they actually like young people to learn that George Washington was an ethical man? A man of standards, a man who earned the right to be father of this country?” more: Read the full article here

Can Independent's and Democrat's Vote in the Republican Presidential Primary?

Editor: Unsure about voting Saturday? The South Carolina Election Commission says if you are registered you may vote... pretty simple huh...

Q. Do I have to be a registered Republican to participate in the Republican Presidential Primary?
A.  No,  S.C. does not have registration by party.  The  Presidential Primary is open to all registered S.C.
Q. If I vote in the Republican Presidential Preference Primary, will I  be limited to voting in only the
Republican State Primary in June?
A.  No, voting in a Presidential Primary has no affect on your participation in the State Primaries.  Voters
who vote  in the  Republican  Presidential Primary will  still have the  choice of voting in either the
Republican or Democratic State Primaries in June

Editor's Soap Box

I wasn't born when Roosevelt added this to an address in which he proposed social security, unemployment insurance, and (what was then called) aid to dependent children to help the deserving poor:   

"The lessons of history, confirmed by evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence on relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is a violation of the traditions of America."  

Not so subtle now, huh!!!! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

From the Desk of Nick Baskin BHS Class of 1962

BHS CLASS of 1962
YES....50 years...FIFTY

WHEN...April 20 and 21st...2012

WHERE...COTTON MUSEUM...perhaps both Friday NIGHT's casual event..

    ...and...for the Saturday NIGHT Banquet


HOW MUCH...??? $40...

Details...Clarifications....Nick (803-438-1696)...or Jean S. Watkins...or
Joyce Driggers, etc.

PLEASE spread the word...and LET's CELEBRATE we always
have done....and.....will keep DOING...until...NO ONE is LEFT....(hahaha)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A name does not make a man, a man makes the name

Editor: Anonymous Quote: “A person shows what he is by what he does with what he has.”


Jim ‘Jimmy’ Barrow or 'Rat', the latter a somewhat affectionate albeit cruel moniker he no doubt is not as fond of as were his schoolmates back in his hometown of Bishopville, South Carolina, has done quite well in the world of finance. If you have some spare bucks laying around, ‘Rat’ Barrow may just be your ‘Go to Man’….

An article touting his business acumen was recently published online on the Swing Trading Daily website and reposted here in its entirety for your reading pleasure. 



By Landon Brace 

James Barrow
Jim 'Jimmy' Barrow aka 'Rat'
James Barrow is an industry veteran who currently leads the portfolio management team of the Vanguard Windsor ll and Selected Value Funds. He also founded the Texas-based investment firm Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney, and Strauss. Even while the S&P 500 (SPY) posted negative returns, Mr. Barrow was able to average an overall return of over 9% during the previous decade. He has a history of being a deep value investor and his recent 5 investments may prove to be worth some consideration.

Janus Capital Group, Inc. (JNS) – At the end of the third quarter of 2011 Mr. Barrow took an increasingly large stake in Janus with a purchase of 1.2 million shares at an average cost of $7.54. This latest purchase follows the pattern of investments since the third quarter of 2010 to bring total holdings of Janus to slightly over 4.1 million shares. At $6.56, $1.20 higher then its yearly low set in early November, Janus has clearly been beaten down by the overall decline in financials. Even after seeing market capitalization sliced in half it has maintained its strong dividend and currently yields 3%. The current P/E of 7 is very attractive when compared with rivals Franklin Resources (BEN), and T Rowe Price Group (TROW). Management continues to work to improve the performance of many of the firm's lagging equity funds, which have been a drain on revenue throughout the last year. Janus’ fixed income funds continue to entice investors and over the long term this company has great potential to pay off. With Janus’ 3% yield I believe most investors won’t have a problem maintaining their patience.
Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (ROCK) – Mr. Barrow made his second largestpurchase of Gibraltar in the third quarter of 2011 since he began acquiring shares in 2009. His purchase of 560,993 shares at an average price of $9.46 is paying off quite well so far. At its current closing price of $14.02, Gibraltar is less then a dollar below its yearly high of $14.65 set last December. It has been steadily climbing since touching its yearly low of $7.35 in August and now the question is whether this company has run its course? Although there have been patches of good news, the housing market continues to be a grim reminder of the state of the current economy. Plus, the rising costs of raw materials are further pinching the already razor thin margins of the building material industry. Although housing will improve eventually, in the near term Gibraltar appears to be unsustainable at these levels. With the dividend on hold since early 2009, it will be hard to expect investors to wait around for the increases in material demands that will drive Gibraltar forward.
Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) – For the latest quarter, Mr. Barrow made his second largest purchase of medical device maker Medtronic since he began acquiring shares in early 2009. With slightly over 8 million shares purchased in the third quarter at an average cost of $34.80, he now holds 25.9 million shares. At $34.61, Medtronic is slightly off its yearly low of $30.18 set back in August but is nowhere near its high of $43.33 set in May. The company that specializes in cardiovascular medical devices has come under increased scrutiny from analysts due to fears of Medicare reductions driving down procedure volume. Although rival device makers Boston Scientific (BSX) and St. Jude Medical (STJ) are feeling the heat as well, Medtronic’s superior operating margin of over 27% stands out. Medtronic also boasts an impressive P/E of 10.9, and a solid quarterly dividend yield of 2.7%, leaving competitors St. Jude (STJ) and Boston Scientific (BSX) in the dust. With continued discussion of Medicare reform the medical device makers do present a higher degree of risk than your average stock. This can be seen by the nearly 6% decline in Medtronic’s share price today on an analyst’s report from Wells Fargo (WFC) regarding this exact topic. Although, if you are looking for exposure to this industry, Medtronic is a no brainer.
Sanofi (SNY– Mr. Barrow only recently began acquiring shares of Sanofi in the first quarter of 2011. During the third quarter of the same year he made his largest purchase of Sanofi, 1.6 million shares for an average cost of $35.97, and now holds over 3.5 million shares in total. Sanofi, a diversified French pharmaceutical company, has American Depositary Shares listed on the NYSE trading right between its yearly high and low at $34.49. The shares are down since touching their yearly high of $40.75 in May, a month after they acquired Genzyme Corporation in a cash deal. Other than Pfizer, (PFE) Sanofi has the lowest P/E in the industry at 14.42 and its gross margin is almost double the industry average at 20.89%. Although it has an impressive yield of 3.8%, investors must keep in mind that they will have foreign tax taken out of the gross distribution since the company is based in France. With the wide variety of drugs for humans and animals, overall diversification of Sanofi’s product line is impressive. With the looming fear of a top seller being sold as a generic, diversification is key in the pharmaceutical industry. If you’re looking for exposure to the pharmaceutical industry without taking of a large amount of risk, I would take a second look at Sanofi.
Carnival Corporation (CCL) – Mr. Barrow has been purchasing Carnival for many years, picking it up at rock-bottom prices during the lows of 2009. During the third quarter of 2011 he acquired 3.7 million shares at an average cost of $33.16 to bring his total holdings up to 25.7 million. Carnival is well off its yearly low of $28.52 set back on October 4, but still has a ways to go before reaching that yearly high of $48.14 set in early January. Although bookings in Europe have started to slow due to the economic concerns in that part of the world, North American sales have been strong and continue to drive the company forward. A dependable 3% dividend from a travel and leisure company is certainly worth taking notice of in this environment. Plus, an operating margin of 14.67% that is above the industry average is noteworthy as well. With bargain-hungry consumers in full force, the all-inclusive nature of cruises continues to lure consumers to that style of vacationing. Carnival has proven that the dividend is dependable and with an increasingly large cash position, a higher return for shareholders shouldn’t be too far off.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Lee County Royalty

Editors Note: This was an article about a local woman from Bishopville, South Carolina who has to be the envy of females everywhere. May 24, 2010 it was published on ABC NEWS website. 

Caroline: "I like service. I like having a staff that takes care of me..."

May 24, 2010

New York
Most Loyal Hotel Guest
Caroline on the Street in Front of  her hotel The Omni Berkshire Place
When Caroline Bowen arrives in her hotel room -- and it is her hotel room -- the closet is already filled with her clothing, cosmetics are stacked in the bathroom and on top of the dresser sits a framed photograph of her grandchildren.
To call Bowen a road warrior would be an understatement. Last year she spent more nights -- 207 in total -- in New York's Omni Berkshire Place hotel than anywhere else, including her two homes.

Bowen lives in Hilton Head, S.C., and has another house in the Waynesville, N.C., in the Smoky Mountains, but spends most week days at her New York office or on the road.
Since 2000, she has spent 1,110 nights -- or the equivalent of more than three years -- in Omni hotels. The next closest guest has logged 860 nights.
Her loyalty has led to some very special perks.
Whenever she checks in there is a bottle of wine -- chardonnay or Sancerre in summer, a red in the colder winter months -- waiting in the room along with a cheese and fruit plate. Extra blueberries are always added because the hotel staff knows she particularly likes them.
But the real treat is the extra closet installed just for her in her room on the 20th floor.

The hotel hired a company to refurbish the closet for Bowen, president of the Connaught Group, a women's fashion company that sells clothing under the Carlisle, Per Se and Etcetera brands. She has the closet's only key, allowing the hotel to rent out the room on the rare occasions when she's not there.

Most Loyal Hotel Guest
Caroline's New York Closet
Inside the closet are 13 pairs of shoes, 30 to 40 belts, and dozens of dresses, scarves, handbags and even some workout clothes. The bathroom is stocked with her personal hairdryer, makeup, electric toothbrush and mouthwash.
"This is my room," she said from the room's plush sofa. "I get very special treatment here. I need a place that I can feel like is home, and that's what this is."
Given her position, Bowen can only wear her company's current season's clothing.
So how many articles of clothing are in the packed closet?
"I don't want to tell you," Bowen said laughing. "It's the business I'm in."
Hotel chains worldwide are known to go above and beyond to reward guest loyalty. The Hyatt Regency Aruba places weights and a workout mat in the room of a guest who has been staying there for 20 years and doesn't like working out around other people.
The Waldorf Astoria Grand WaiIea stores one guest's own personal bed. And Loews spokeswoman Emily Kanders Goldfischer said the Loews Regency in New York has performed a variety of unexpected tasks for frequent guests, including coordinating a jet at the last minute to the Bahamas for a business meeting and tracking down a hard-to-find designer bag for a guest's wife.

Bowen's frequent trips to New York and elsewhere in Omni's collection of 43 hotels in the United States, Canada and Mexico has made her the top guest in its loyalty program.

She has racked up plenty of free nights, but given her hectic schedule, she said, "I don't want to travel any more than I have to."
Bowen's company offered to put her up in a luxury Manhattan apartment, but instead she chose the Omni, which is literally across the street from her office. Most days when she leaves the office, she just crosses the street, quickly freshens up and then runs out to business dinners or events.
And of course she never has to clean the room.
"I like service. I like having a staff that takes care of me," she said.
Every morning at 7:15, the breakfast she ordered the night before is brought up to her room.
Caroline Chats with schoolmates from Bishopville High 
"They know I like one box of Total and one box of Special K," Bowen said. "They know I like blueberries better than any other fruit, so they are heavy on the blueberries."
When she steps out of the front door, one of the doormen, William, gets into the road and stops traffic so she can seamlessly cross to her office.
Once when it was snowing and she didn't have on the right shoes, William picked her up and carried her across the street.
Keeping Bowen happy extends well beyond keeping one room occupied. The Connaught Group often rents out meeting space at the Omni or entertains guests in one of the hotels suites.
Travel experts suggest that everybody, even the causal leisure traveler, should sign up for various loyalty programs. You might not earn a free night but there are perks, although not as grand as Bowen's. For instance, members of Omni's Select Guest Program get a free morning juice, coffee or tea delivery to their room, complimentary pressing of two shirts, free bottled water and a free shoe shine.

But it's the top-saying guests who get the royal treatment.
Caroline Beattie Bowen

Another frequent guest at the Omni Berkshire Place, who was about to get married and then honeymoon in Hawaii, was recently in New York for work. The hotel staff knew about the upcoming honeymoon and set up his room for his arrival with Hawaiian flowers, fresh pineapple and other decorations.
"He was coming in for a meeting. The last thing he was thinking about was his wedding and his honeymoon," said Cynthia Li, the hotel's loyalty ambassador. "He was like, 'I can't believe you guys did this.'"
Sometimes, you don't even need to be a repeat customer to get some special treatment.
The hotel recently hosted a man coming home from a military tour overseas and his wife. Li, who e-mails each of the hotel's guest before their arrival, learned from the wife that the veteran had missed Christmas and Thanksgiving and this would be their first time seeing each other in months.
The couple was upgraded to a suite, which the staff decorated with Santa hats, a mini Christmas tree with lights, a paper turkey and apple cider waiting for them.
"It doesn't really cost us that much because we have the decorations in-house anyway, but it just made their stay so much more special," Li said

Saturday, January 07, 2012

I'm Deeply Humbled

You guys are the best in the world. Thanks for all the emails welcoming me back. Now... without further adieu here is the first of many posts you may find interesting. 

Sebastian Cabot
Name this explorer. 

Rambling thoughts: Imagine my mortification when I learned that Columbus wasn't the discoverer of America... yep they (most historians) say it is official… he didn’t. However, he did discover the Caribbean Islands.... dang, so close yet so far away historically speaking of course.  

Did you know that Christopher Columbus was a deeply religious man who was convinced that God called on him to bring Christianity to the remote spots around the world? 

In fact it was during this era that Christians raced to establish settlements in remote parts of the world; in large part to head off the establishment of Islam. Today Islam (about 1.5 billion adherents)  is second to Christianity (2.5 billion approximate adherents) in size. 

Family Affair Cast
Surprisingly there are over a billion people who are non-religious. Another eye opener was learning that Tom Cruise was among the 500 thousand who claim Scientology as their religion. Strange I thought there were more of them than that. Not so surprising is the claim of over 8 million believers in Scientology by the Scientologists themselves. Speaking of movie stars... my thoughts turn to Mr. French, the gentleman's gentleman of the TV series Family Affair with Brian Keith. Keith played a bachelor uncle charged with raising his brothers children... now what was Mr. French's real name. Oh yes, Sebastian Cabot. Strange how my mind seems to travel in circles....

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