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Saving Trinity, Part III

The Decades Astonish & Steal

By Tom Poland

Author’s Note: This three-part story portrays a church in danger of collapsing and the people who love it. France’s Gothic cathedrals inspired architect George Walker’s design for Abbeville’s Trinity Episcopal Church. The church contains rare 19th-century American stained glass and a chancel window attributed to William Gibson, America’s father of stained glass painting. A rare John Baker “tracker” organ was in use for a while. Among Trinity’s illustrious members and clergy were Rev. William Porcher DuBose, founder of the University of the South’s School of Theology, John A. Calhoun, nephew of U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun, and Armistead Burt, former Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress. The outlook is bleak, but determined people are fighting to save this treasure of a church. If you’d like to donate to Friends of Trinity Abbeville visit http://friendsoftrinityabbeville.org/donate-now/

May in a door now closed (Photo by Bill Fitzpatrick)

A notice on the front door warns that you look at the church at your own risk. The church stands empty. Closed. Nothing new. Trinity Episcopal closed during the Great Depression. “When my mother and aunt came back here to live in retirement, they tried other churches and it just didn’t work,” said May. “So, they got some friends who had grown up in the church with them and reopened the church. The first service was on November 1, 1948.”

October marks the 175th anniversary of the church’s founding but all these years later no singing, no praying, nothing takes place in the church. The hammering of woodpeckers shatters the silence.

What needs to be done? A lot. The first thing the church needs is to stabilize its steeple. “It’s hanging by a thread,” says Jean. May said the church steeple is a bird condominium. “One day an owl came to church. Another day a squirrel came to Sunday service. As the squirrel walked down the aisle, as all the ladies drew their feet up, the preacher stopped his sermon and blessed it.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Saving Trinity, Part II

The Decades Astonish & Steal

By Tom Poland

Author’s Note: This three-part story portrays a church in danger of collapsing and the people who love it. France’s Gothic cathedrals inspired architect George Walker’s design for Abbeville’s Trinity Episcopal Church. The church contains rare 19th-century American stained glass and a chancel window attributed to William Gibson, America’s father of stained glass painting. A rare John Baker “tracker” organ was in use for a while. Among Trinity’s illustrious members and clergy were Rev. William Porcher DuBose, founder of the University of the South’s School of Theology, John A. Calhoun, nephew of U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun, and Armistead Burt, former Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress. The outlook is bleak, but determined people are fighting to save this treasure of a church. If you’d like to donate to Friends of Trinity Abbeville visit http://friendsoftrinityabbeville.org/donate-now/

May’s home (Photo by Bill Fitzpatrick)

Owing to the need to save money for their daughters’ college tuition, it took May and her husband fifteen years to move to Abbeville After her mother died. That was in 1977. “We came and never looked back,” she said. Her husband took early retirement and she quit teaching first grade. “No more,” she said, but more was in store. A school in the country urgently needed a teacher. “I pitched in and ended up teaching four more years, but that gave me four more years of retirement money.”

She never said so but May went from loathing to loving this old home. Like the sequoia out front, the home’s roots run deeply. The site where she lives has had two homes on it. J. Foster Marshall, who died at the Battle of Second Manassas, built the first house, which burned in 1880. The present house rose from its ashes. Among its features: a staircase with steps crafted from pine strips flanking black walnut, a musket over a fireplace, a stout sideboard graced by crystal, and a 2014 Stewardship Award from South Carolina Historic Preservation for the Preservation and Maintenance of Robertson-Hutchinson House and Documents.  Read the rest of this entry »

Saving Trinity, Part I

The Decades Astonish & Steal

By Tom Poland

Author’s Note: This three-part story portrays a church in danger of collapsing and the people who love it. France’s Gothic cathedrals inspired architect George Walker’s design for Abbeville’s Trinity Episcopal Church. The church contains rare 19th-century American stained glass and a chancel window attributed to William Gibson, America’s father of stained glass painting. A rare John Baker “tracker” organ was in use for a while. Among Trinity’s illustrious members and clergy were Rev. William Porcher DuBose, founder of the University of the South’s School of Theology, John A. Calhoun, nephew of U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun, and Armistead Burt, former Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress. The outlook is bleak, but determined people are fighting to save this treasure of a church. If you’d like to donate to Friends of Trinity Abbeville visit http://friendsoftrinityabbeville.org/donate-now/

May, but don’t call her Miss May (Photo by Bill Fitzpatrick)

August 31. Rain from Harvey’s remnants made the driving tough along Highway 34. The wipers met out a metronome-like beat as log truck after log truck slung sheets of water across my windshield, a clattering collision of water against glass. My destination? Abbeville, South Carolina to meet photographer-writer-historian Bill “Big Sky” Fitzpatrick. A gusty, gray rain seemed fitting for a mission to see who and what might halt the crumbling of historic Trinity Episcopal Church.

I met Bill at the Belmont Inn and we made our way to the home of a woman who understands the importance of saving landmarks. May Robertson Baskin Hutchinson. Later May, daughter, Jean Robertson Hutchinson, and Bill and I would walk the grounds at a church, beautiful still, but crying for salvation.

May, Abbeville’s matriarch, turned 95 April 5. Her 95th birthday raised $11,000 for Trinity Episcopal Church. “Seems like the whole town came,” said May. “It was amazing.”  Read the rest of this entry »

“Social Ladder” from The Times and Democrat

“Social Ladder” from The Times and Democrat

“Sr. GOP” from The Times and Democrat

“Sr. GOP” from The Times and Democrat

“Scary World” from The Times and Democrat

“Scary World” from The Times and Democrat

“Roy Moore” by Stuart Neiman

“Roy Moore” by Stuart Neiman

My Brain on NASCAR: Can’t Fight the Fever

Cathy Elliott

By Cathy Elliott

NASCAR’s playoffs – which I’m still stubbornly calling the Chase just because I think it’s a better name — are nearly finished, and I’m not feeling so great.

A friend once told me she is unable to enjoy the last day of a vacation because she worries about going back home. This feeling is totally understandable and not all that uncommon. In fact, I’m guilty of exactly the same thing, but it hits me earlier in the week.

Around Day 4 of a week-long trip, I start preparing for the return journey, which I affectionately refer to as “the ordeal.” First, I make sure my important documents, stashed in the hotel safe and locked with a combination that I check and recheck a half dozen times each day, really are safe. Then I do it again; you know, just to be on the “safe” side.

Midway through the week, with plenty of fun still left to be had, I inevitably open my mouth and chirp, “So, where do you want to go next year?” I realize this throws a wet blanket on even the sunniest of days, but I can’t help myself.

I review which items I have worn so far and regretfully pack them away. I know I will enjoy some of them again next year, in a different locale or with another style of shoe, but for now I have to set it all behind me and move on to the next day at the beach, the next night on the town … or the next race. This worry-wart syndrome is by no means exclusive to vacationing fashionistas. Among NASCAR fans, it is a veritable epidemic with no apparent cure.

We wait all season long for the Chase to begin. Endless discussion of points and paint schemes and potential performances of drivers with new teams begins long before the green flag drops on the season-opening Daytona 500 in February. The 10 races that comprise the championship battle manifest themselves as nothing more than a low-grade fever at this point, a slight tickle in the back of the throat. Still, we know we’re definitely coming down with something.  Read the rest of this entry »

Matt Kenseth Captures First Win Of 2017 At Phoenix; Brad Keselowski Hangs On For Final Spot In Championship 4

By: Sarah Sedwick/TheFourthTurn.com

Matt Kenseth passed Chase Elliott in the closing laps of the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday to earn his first win of the 2017 season. Brad Keselowski held on to capture the final spot in the Championship 4.

Although Kenseth doesn’t currently have a ride for 2018, the veteran driver managed to claim the win at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, which marked his 39th victory in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series. Kenseth, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Circle K Toyota led the race twice for a total of 62 laps en route to his second Phoenix win.

“I never dreamed I’d win one of these races, so obviously I’ve been so incredibly blessed throughout my whole career and I’ve had so many great people work with me – great sponsors, crew chiefs, car owners,” said Kenseth. “I’ve raced against great drivers, so, you know – but last year, we won a couple races and I usually never look at stats and I saw Mark (Martin) had 40 and I was like, ‘I just want to get 40 so I can tie my hero Mark’.”

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin entered the weekend competing for the fourth and final spot in the Championship 4. At Martinsville Speedway in October, Elliott and Hamlin were seen in a heated argument after Hamlin got into the back of Elliott, causing him to spin and pound the wall. Throughout the day on Sunday, both drivers maintained the tension between them because the Playoffs were on the line.

Elliott needed a win to continue and Hamlin needed the sufficient amount of points to advance. Both, Elliott and Hamlin were competitive. Hamlin led for 193 laps, while Elliott only led for 34. Late in Stage 3, the two drivers battled each other hard. While coming out of Turn 4, Elliott got underneath Hamlin and left no room for error. Hamlin bounced off the wall and eventually cut a tire, bringing out the seventh and final caution on lap 276. After Hamlin hit the wall, he realized his chances of claiming the final Championship 4 spot were no more.  Read the rest of this entry »

Living on Purpose: Train up a child and continue praying

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

Every child, whether they turned out wonderful or less than desirable, is to some degree the product of a mom and dad. It’s true that some parents have invested very little enthusiasm into their children’s development, but generally speaking, mothers and fathers dearly love their kids and want the best for them. Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned and many wayward children have caused their family much worry, sadness, and disappointment. Spectators are quick to blame the parents, but I do not believe that all liability can be laid at their doorstep. Moms and dads have the perfect opportunity to present constructive thinking and a sense of right and wrong into their children’s mind and spirit within the formative years, however this does not always guarantee the child will continue in the direction they were pointed. It’s a common fact; sometimes good parents have children that are rebellious, uncontrollable, and are an embarrassing shame.

Children are like sponges when it comes to learning and are very curious about what they observe, which gives every parent the duel opportunity to not only be the instructors but also the responsibility to demonstrate what they believe in front of them. We must also include that children are vulnerable to outside influences and will choose their own way. So, how important is it to pray over our children? Many experts agree that the first six years in a child’s life is his or her most important years of mental, emotional and spiritual development. It’s believed that the foundation that is laid within the individual’s conscience during this crucial period of time becomes the decision filter they will use for the rest of their life.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Country Club Like No Other

Tom Poland

By Tom Poland

Down near Yemassee is a country club like no other. Harold’s Country Club proclaims that it is “in the middle of nowhere but close to everywhere.” That’s true. You’ll find it off Highway 21 at 97 Highway, 17A. I did when I pulled up in front of a faded sign that’s seen its share of Lowcountry sunlight. Nonetheless it’s colorful. A grill full of ribs, chicken, and a huge steak fill one side, a frosty mug of beer the other, and in the middle a graphic: a circle around a bespectacled Harold and words: “Harold’s Country Club … Bar & Grille, Est. 1973.” The likeness of Harold Peeples looks like a sheriff from a tough county in South Georgia.

At the right, front corner of the building stands an old Fire Chief gas pump. Gives the place character. I walked up to the front glass door with a sky blue paper note stuck to the glass: “Benton’s Fresh Boiled Peanuts.” You could smell salt in the air.

As I stepped inside rules caught my eye. “You are required to pay for every steak you order.” “Please clear table.” In the poolroom, a list served notice that improper behavior would not be tolerated. “No Smoking.” “No Hitting Sticks On Tables.” “No Sitting On Pool Tables.” And then in lowercase: “follow the rules or you will be barred from playing pool.” Over near the bar some advice: “Win or lose, stick with booze.”

Locals heeded that advice. At 3:30 in the afternoon a cast of characters sat around the bar. “Like a scene from Andy of Mayberry,” I mused. On the flatscreen at the bar’s end a NASCAR race was underway. No one paid it any mind. At the bar’s opposite end, a giant plastic parrot on a perch watched the race. Well, it appeared to.

Harold’s is family friendly. That doesn’t preclude a poster in the poolroom of a woman with fabulous legs promoting a vampire movie, Bordello of Blood “Where customers come in, but they don’t come out.”

Well, no worries, you’ll come out of Harold’s Country Club in good shape but know that when you walk in you are stepping in high cotton. A touch of fame attends this venerable old way station. Celebrities have trod here. Harold left us in 2003 but in his day he had a special friendship with movie producer Joel Silver who owns nearby Auldbrass Plantation of Frank Lloyd Wright fame. Joel often stopped by on Sundays to have coffee with Harold.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Troubles troubles” by Stuart Neiman

“Troubles troubles” by Stuart Neiman

“Gadfly” from The Times and Democrat

“Gadfly” from The Times and Democrat

“Media on Collusion” from The Times and Democrat

“Media on Collusion” from The Times and Democrat

“Hillary Fall” from The Times and Democrat

“Hillary Fall” from The Times and Democrat

Kevin Harvick Clinches Championship 4 Berth With Texas Win; Martin Truex Jr. Advances Based On Points

By Hunter Thomas, TheFourthTurn.com

FORT WORTH, Tex. – Kevin Harvick chased down and passed Martin Truex Jr. on Sunday to win the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and clinch a spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

With just 10 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr. slipped a little exiting Turn 2, and that hiccup allowed Kevin Harvick in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Mobile 1 Ford to complete the race-winning pass as he went around the Furniture Row Racing driver on the outside. Harivck led 38 laps during the race, and the win marked his first at Texas Motor Speedway in 30 starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“Today we had to earn it,” said Harvick in Victory Lane. “To be able to pass the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) car for the win is something that is huge for our confidence and team knowing we need to go to another 1.5 mile at Homestead to race for the championship. I am really proud of everyone on our Mobil 1 Ford. This thing was a hot rod today.”

Although Truex Jr. hung on for a second-place finish, he clinched a spot in the Championship 4 on Sunday based on points. Truex Jr., the driver of the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota Camry has such a large lead over the cutoff position that no matter where he finishes at Phoenix International Raceway next weekend, he will compete for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He joins Martinsville winner Kyle Busch and Harvick in the Championship 4.  Read the rest of this entry »

Living on Purpose: Letting go of hatred and unforgiveness

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

How much grace does it take to love our enemies? Well, that is a good question. Tragedies are happening all around us and it’s true we are very heart-broken and alarmed, but what if one day our family is harmed? I admit that I do not always have the character of Christ when I’m being threatened or provoked to anger. Many times, my first reaction is to retaliate because that’s a strong part of our human nature. I realize that people need to be punished for their terrible acts of violence but the problem within our soul is the temptation to hold unforgiveness against them. Life is filled with challenges and situations that attempt to lure us into bad attitudes but for the serious Christian, it’s the forgiveness of Christ that can teach us and lead us into the peace that passes all understanding.

When we fall into a negative mind-set, our joy (which is our spiritual strength), evaporates and we become weak and discouraged. Anger and the desire for revenge can emotionally, mentally and spiritually hold us in the bondage of misery. If we allow Ourselves to become weighed down with animosity, our relationship with God suffers which is why it’s so important to not become entangled with resentment and hatred. To those around us, everything may seem fine but inside we are full of anger and contempt. The battle we choose to fight in our conscience is something we want to do because we feel we are justified in our hatred. However, if we continue to embrace the desire for vengeance we are allowing the darkness of sin to control our thoughts and hold our soul hostage to contempt. Sadly, many would rather live in agony, brooding thoughts of hostility instead of releasing them to God and allowing Him to execute justice His way.  Read the rest of this entry »

Take a walk on the B-side: Increase in vinyl sales not surprising to Scratch n’ Spin owner

EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS PHOTOS, AN INFOGRAPHIC AND OUTSIDE LINKS. TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THESE MATERIALS, VISIT THE CAROLINA  REPORTER & NEWS.

Customers can bring in their new or used vinyls, CDs, movies and other items to sell or trade in. Rare finds like old Beatles and Jimi Hendrix records can be found at Scratch N’ Spin as well as newer albums by Taylor Swift and Drake.

By Caroline Davenport
CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS

Vinyl albums are expected to become a billion-dollar industry by the end of 2017.

It could seem counter-intuitive that a decades-old way of listening to music is making a resurgence in our digital, hyper-portable music era driven by the newest singles.

But vinyl never really went away, according to Eric Woodard, owner of Scratch n’ Spin record store in West Columbia. He said while mainstream retailers like Walmart, Sears and Target stopped carrying vinyl, it was still being produced in smaller quantities. Smaller mom-and-pop shops like his kept the format alive, and for some bands, producing vinyl has always been a staple.

     Woodard believes the increase in record sales ultimately comes down to value. When people spend money on music, they want something they can enjoy for years.  A vinyl album with its intricate artwork fits that bill.

“I think it’s inherently a part of the human experience. You want to have that shelf with your collection on it, and you want to be able to have a party or have friends over and show off your collection of books or have friends flip through your album collection,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Brain on NASCAR: The People’s Champion

Cathy Elliott

By Cathy Elliott

There’s a giant billboard currently on display at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) proclaiming that “Chase Elliott is the People’s Champion.”

This creative – and largely unsubstantiated, based on the fact that Elliott has won zero NASCAR Cup Series races to date — piece of advertising is the track’s response to a heated post-race exchange between Elliott and Denny Hamlin at Martinsville on Oct 29. Hamlin wrecked Elliott from the lead with two laps remaining, earning the ire of fans and allowing Kyle Busch to claim the checkered flag and a guaranteed spot in the championship final four in the process.

That was quite the triple whammy. Good job, Hamlin.

While fans were probably still trying to exit Martinsville’s parking lots after the race, TMS went to work, taking advantage of this fledgling rivalry. Despite the events at the historic track nicknamed “the Paper Clip,” Hamlin and Elliott remained in the top eight and are still eligible to win the championship. Cue the fireworks; things are only going to get better from here.

TMS’ decision to fan the competitive flames by bestowing the somewhat grandiose “People’s Champion” title on Elliott, in addition to being a fantastic case of deliberate pot-stirring, is really kind of brilliant on a number of levels. Hamlin has earned the reputation of being rather volatile during his racing career, so I’m guessing that seeing his much less experienced competitor being so highly touted isn’t sitting very well.

And Elliott, while wildly popular with fans, still has a lot to prove on the track … winning a race would be a good place to start. Duh.

Taking advantage of controversy to drive ticket sales is hardly a new strategy. Almost two decades ago, the late Jim Hunter, who then served as president of Darlington Raceway, took masterful advantage of what could have been a discouraging situation for a track promoter. Read the rest of this entry »

Traveling postcards workshop creates healing, recovery through art

EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS PHOTOS, AN INFOGRAPHIC AND OUTSIDE LINKS. TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THESE MATERIALS, VISIT THE CAROLINA  REPORTER & NEWS.

By Debbie Clark
CAROLINA NEWS AND REPORTER

Caroline Lovell started the Traveling Postcards workshops in 2009

On a recent weekday, Caroline Lovell transformed a second floor room in USC’s new Center for Health and Well-Being into a place where healing and art come together.

As participants trickled in one by one and filled every seat, Lovell opened her Traveling Postcards workshop with an introduction exercise and gentle words.

Lovell, founder and executive director of the Women’s Wisdom Initiative, began Traveling Postcards in 2009 as a way to use the healing arts to address trauma caused by sexual and domestic violence and other types of oppression. Workshop participants decorate postcards to be hand-delivered to survivors around the world.

“We give you the opportunity to settle into that space and into your heart to have a communication with a survivor that is genuine,” she said.

So far, more than 4,000 postcards have traveled all over the world, from Costa Rica to Afghanistan. The organization works with worldwide aid agencies as well as military and domestic violence shelters on college campuses. Lovell said the stop at USC is the last in a month-long college tour that started in Boston a month ago.

Read the rest of this entry »