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Lee Scott

Will you still need me, will you still feed me…

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By Lee Scott

Fifty years ago, in November of 1967, I turned 14 years old. It was that same year that the Beatles released a song on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album titled “When I’m 64.”  

Now 50 years later, here I am, walking around my house singing “When I’m 64.”

It’s hard to imagine that my 14-year-old self would ever guess she would someday turn 64. I am of the generation that did not want to be older than 30. But somewhere along the way, 30 seemed kind of fun, and then came my 40s, 50s and now my 60s. Each year brings new adventures.

But Paul McCartney’s words seem foreign in many ways now as I look around at all the men and women I know who are in their 60s and 70s.  

These are vibrant active people. Many are still working, not willing to stop and just take a “ride on a Sunday morning,” unless it is in a golf cart. The lyrics suggest something of an end-of-life connotation as if there is nothing else left. 

“He can be handy mending a fuse.”

“You can knit a sweater by the fireside.”

The song lyrics also do not suggest that Paul, at 25 when the song was released, would have every guessed that 50 years later he would still be performing concerts.  

According to his website, he is going on tour next month in Australia, performing five concerts in Australia and one in New Zealand. 

It did appear that he planned on growing old with a spouse. But his wife Linda died at the age of 56 after being married to Paul for 29 years.  

Sometimes, life throws a curve ball, and things you planned when you were young are not able to happen. But happily, his wife Nancy, 57, will be with him for a while.

No, I am not “losing my hair,” and neither is my spouse, but I do expect “birthday greetings with a bottle of wine.” And although we do have many grandchildren, not one of them is named “Vera, Chuck or Dave.” Still the song is sweet and appropriate for me to be singing as I welcome this birthday turning 64. 

And so, as I sauntered up behind my spouse yesterday and once again sang the last line of the song, which ends with this question, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”

My spouse turned to me and said, “Yes, only if you promise not to spend the next year singing that song.” 

We shall see. 

Looking for fall foliage, finding a hurricane

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By Lee Scott

Having grown up in the north, I am used to seeing rolling hills of colorful leaves this time of year.  

Although the live oaks in my yard have shed their fall leaves and are replaced now with green leaves, they never provide me with colorful fall colors. 

So my spouse and I decided to go in search of some fall foliage.  

The warm fall we have had delayed some of the leaves changing in the South Carolina and North Carolina mountains, so we headed farther north. But even Maryland was behind in changing seasons and we only saw a few trees with colors. 

The decision was made to go farther north until we hit Quebec City in Canada. There, at the end of October, we finally entered fall-like weather with its colorful foliage. 

It was so much fun to walk on the sidewalk, look down and see the fallen Canadian maple leaves. We decided to try our luck and head farther north. As we traveled around Saquenay, Quebec, we realized we we had gone too far. The bare trees reminded of us of why we moved south to our beautiful Palmetto trees and live oaks. Winter can be so dreary without any leaves on the trees.

We then headed over to Nova Scotia and there in Halifax found our fall foliage all around. It was spectacular! 

It was during our drive over to Peggy’s Cove, the sight of a spectacular lighthouse perched out on some large rocks, when my spouse said, “Did I mention to you that we’re getting a visitor here?”

“What visitor?” I asked. “Who do we know in Nova Scotia?”

“Phillippe,” he said calmly. 

“The hurricane?” I asked in shock. He nodded his head.

“Are you telling me that we traveled over 1,500 miles only to have a hurricane follow us?”

I have really had it with hurricanes this year.

But he echoed my sentiments when he said, “At least it didn’t go to Beaufort.”

Fortunately, Philippe was slowly dissipating so we were not impeded in our trip. However, those 70 mph winds coupled with a strong rainfall sure felt like a hurricane.

After the front came through and the leaves were stripped off the trees, we began our trek south. 

The Maine coastline did not disappoint us and one can guess why maple syrup is so popular in Canada and Maine. There were maple trees everywhere.

But the post-hurricane weather was followed by cold air and we began to layer on our clothes in the brisk fresh air.

Time to head south we agreed. Our fall foliage excursion was over and we headed home.

Train vs. car? I’ll take the train

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By Lee Scott

If you have driven anywhere along the I-95 corridor, you have no doubt seen the increase in traffic. 

In addition, you may have noticed there are more accidents and construction projects than ever before. 

Having endured so many trips up and down I-95 myself, I decided to do something completely different. I bought an Amtrak train ticket. Instead of driving 650 miles to Towson, Md. (approximately 10 hours), I decided someone else should do the driving. 

The Palmetto is the Amtrak train that passes through Yemassee. It travels from Miami to New York City, making numerous stops, including the Yemassee Depot. 

I really did not know the Yemassee Station was operational until I started to ask people. Turns out I’m not the only one tired of the car drive.  

When my spouse dropped me off at the train station, I entered the building and realized some of my neighbors were on the same train heading up to Annapolis for the Navy Homecoming. 

They travel by train a lot and enjoy it. They pointed out the black and white photographs of soldiers going off to war hanging on the walls. According to the Yemassee website, from 1915 to 1965, the station was the first place where potential Marine recruits stopped before reaching Parris Island. 

In 2011, a British reality show filmed in Yemassee, and they did a full cosmetic renovation of the depot’s exterior including a new gabled roof, siding and a wrap-around porch.  

In 2016 the town received funds that allowed the interior to be redone. The building has a new restroom, classic wooden benches and a new electrical system.

The ride from Yemassee to Baltimore is estimated to take around 12 hours (give or take). Not knowing what to expect, I brought a book to read, but I never picked up the novel. I chatted with people, had lunch and dinner in the café and took naps. The stops didn’t bother me because they reminded me to get up and stretch my legs.

Looking at the people on the train, I was reminded of a quote from “Murder on the Orient Express” made by M. Bouc: “All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages.” This was true of the Palmetto Train also.  Yet, unlike the Orient Express, there was no murder mystery to solve except the one in my unread novel. 

I would personally recommend the train for anyone tired of driving. The staff was helpful and friendly and they added to the overall enjoyment of the trip. On top of everything, I arrived at my destination well rested and of good humor.

Addiction to candy corn is severe

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By Lee Scott

Yesterday, my husband asked me if I was going out and, if so, could I please pick up a few things at the drug store.

“No!” I yelled. “I cannot go in there!”

“Why not?” he asked.

“You know perfectly well,” I replied. “Candy corn is being sold now!”

I have no self-control when it comes to candy corn. I can smell it when I first walk in the door. The entire aisle may be filled with other Halloween candy, like Hershey’s candy bars and Kit-Kat bars. It doesn’t matter.  It is the Brach’s Candy Corn that I desire.  

For the purists like me, we buy only the traditional candy corn. We are not fooled by imitators.  

The original candy corn was developed over 130 years and has three colors. It has a large yellow bottom, a smaller orange middle and then is topped with a white tip. It is said the product is meant to mimic actual kernels of corn.  

There is also a correct way to eat them: one color at a time with the white going first, although, technically, this practice is not dictated by the makers of the product. 

I was explaining to some of the ladies at my Book Club about the ingredients contained in candy corn. There are two main ingredients: sugar and corn syrup. Oh yes, there are other ingredients, but do not fool yourself. This is candy. There are no vitamins listed on the package and there are 140 calories per 19 pieces. 

That is about a handful for me, which means if I go throughout the day and just eat a couple of handfuls, I will have eaten the caloric equivalent of a complete dinner.  

This is why I cannot buy a package of candy corn. I am much better off standing there at the nail salon counter shoving small handfuls in my mouth before the manicurist takes me.

Later, my husband returned from the drug store. He had also picked up some other items we needed and so while I was unpacking, I noticed a familiar smell. Sure enough, there in the bottom of a bag was an 18.5-ounce bag of Brach’s Candy Corn.

“Candy, little girl!” my spouse said in his scariest Halloween voice. 

“No,” I screamed like one of those victims in a horror movie. “Hide them!” Which he did.

Of course, it did not take me long to find the goods. The bag was hidden behind the soups and pastas. But Halloween comes only once a year and so I allowed myself to succumb to my annual Brach’s Candy Corn binge.   

Needless to say, there was no dinner that night.

It’s fun to watch the snowbird migration

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By Lee Scott

This is the perfect time of year in Beaufort to go bird watching. I’m not talking about normal birds. I’m referring to snowbirds, the travelers in boats coming south down the Intracoastal Waterway.

My husband and I like to drive our boat out to Mile Marker 520 on the Coosaw River and watch the boats coming out of the Ashapoo-Coosaw Cut. The best time for snowbird watching is around 2 in the afternoon because all the boats want to dock in Beaufort before the sun sets. And now, with Daylight Savings Time ending on Nov. 5, it is even more important.

There is another issue for boats this time of year. It’s the timing of the Lady’s Island Bridge openings. If they don’t get to Beaufort by 4, then they have to wait until 6. 

It is interesting to watch the boats come out of the cut in formation. There’s not much water in there, especially at low tide, and the power boats have to line up behind the sailboats, which are powering around 5-6 knots. This is pretty slow compared to the 15-25 knot speed that most of the power boats are normally running.  

As they slowly pop out of the cut, the power boats start to throttle up and pass the sailboats one by one.  

We like to determine the make and model of the boats; how big they are in length, but also where they originated. Many boats have their country flag and a lot of them also have their yacht club flag.  

It’s fun to look at all the toys attached to these boats too. Most of them have their dingy, which they can use if they are anchoring out in the river, but want to get to shore for provisions. You also might see kayaks, canoes and bicycles; however, these items are not visible on the very large boats because they are all stored inside.

There are many sailboats with solar panels and large power boats with satellite TV antennas. Both kinds of boats doing any distance traveling will have their marine radar equipment. And the sailboats tend to have jerry cans on the bow filled with fuel.

We have seen some snowbirds make their way south in flocks, or Cruising Clubs as they are called. They stick together in order to make their way down along the Florida coast and always in formation.

You don’t have to have a boat to go see the annual snowbird migration. 

Just go down to the Beaufort waterfront and swing on the swings. 

It is a beautiful site to watch “birds” this time of year. 

This annual sale is a book lover’s dream

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By Lee Scott

On Sept. 22, I was one of the many volunteers assigned to work the annual Friends of the Beaufort Library Book Sale.  

When I got the call from Danielle Gillespie, the volunteer coordinator, I happily agreed as I have in the past. 

This year I was a bagger. At first, I was not thrilled with my new assignment. In the past, I was one of the sorters. We would separate the books genre — mystery books here, biographies there, children’s books over in the corner. 

It was so much fun because as I was going through the books, I could grab one and put it aside to purchase later. Oh, what joy to find those old classic children’s books to give to my grandchildren.

But I quickly discovered how much fun it was to be a bagger. It seemed every book I touched, I wanted. My partner, Alexa, who was the cashier, became an instant friend over our shared love of books. We would croon over mutual favorites as the customer would hand over their cash.

The other enjoyable part for me as a bagger, besides salivating over all the books, was meeting the people. 

One couple, who have lived on Tybee Island for 20 years, had never been to Beaufort; visiting Savannah and Charleston instead. They said they had read about the book sale and decided to come up. They loved Beaufort and were interested in learning more about the town. 

There was another couple who came with their cloth bags and filled them with books. After they were all squared away, they asked if there was a good place to eat. What could I tell them? I love them all and yes, there are a couple of restaurants I frequent more than others, but my taste might be different from theirs. 

I started rambling off names of restaurants and they both laughed. It might be a good idea for our local restaurants to order some monogrammed bookbags as giveaways for next year. 

It is hard to fathom all the work that goes into this project, but a shout out to Marilyn Harcharik, Kinsey Baker and Kelly Baker and Danielle Gillespie for their work. Like any project, it takes good leadership to get the volunteers. Of course, the U.S. Marines and the Boy Scouts came out to help again, which is wonderful. 

That Friday was a great day, but surprisingly I left without buying any books. You see, I knew my husband and I would be back on Sunday with our canvas bags, ready to fill them up with travel, history and biographies, followed up, of course, by a great lunch downtown.

It’s a sad day when the old Hoover dies

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By Lee Scott

There was a moment in my house, a few weeks ago, when my old vacuum cleaner was humming along and then suddenly began to make some very nasty sounds; then nothing. That was it. The day my Hoover died. 

The old girl had been a faithful machine doing her job for years, but had ultimately been relegated to an upstairs guest bedroom closet, used only occasionally for a quick sprucing up. Otherwise, I use the new “Hoover- Handy Dandy Dog Dandruff Super Easy Tunnel” vacuum cleaner.

It was inevitable that the old girl would go. There had been hints for a while she was nearing the end of her useful life. 

First, it was getting very difficult to find the old “A” bags required, those long white paper bags that would hold all the dirt and dust and then get thrown out. Or if you did not have any spare bags, you could shake out half the bag and start vacuuming again. Of course, the bag lost a lot of its integrity so you had to be very careful or you would find the contents of the bag spewed all over the room.   

Fortunately, I discovered the thrift shops in town still had packets of 10 for me to purchase. The price was around $2, which was a real bargain considering how much they cost in previous years.  

Then, ultimately, even the thrift stores didn’t have them. I pictured some other woman, my age, scouring through shelves searching for her own Hoover bags. 

After that, I knew it was getting closer to the end and I fought buying the new vacuum cleaner. But in the end, I had to succumb. My Hoover had been so reliable through the years. Oh, I still had to replace some of those rubber belts which slowly disappeared from the shelves too. And it had been a while since I had any of the original attachments. 

I remember having to learn how to attach and use all the accessories. First, I had to turn the machine off, flip it over, slide in the “easy slip on” handle and then insert whichever attachment I needed. My living room would become a staging area for my Hoover. Inevitably, the attachments broke and were not replaced.  

After the Hoover coughed and shut off, I called my appliance repair man. He asked what model it was and when I told him, he said, “There’s an antique store in town that might want it, or give it to me for parts.”

Everyone is a comedian these days.

So, the old girl is in some vacuum cleaner graveyard. Now I picture my “white bag”seeking counterpart dredging through old machines, searching for that one last white “A” bag.

The Great Pizza Debate is anything but cheesy

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By Lee Scott

You never know when people are going to get ugly during a conversation. 

Sometimes it is politics or maybe religion. But recently I heard a group get passionate about where to buy the best pizza. Who knew there could be so many differences of opinion?

Although, my spouse and I have eaten at many of our local pizza parlors, I must confess we are not experts on the topic, especially since neither of us grew up in towns known for great pizza. 

It was totally different for those individuals actively participating in the recent Great Pizza Debate. According to each of them, the best pizza is made in their hometown. 

Listening to them tell their stories about pizza, it seemed like most tales included mom, dad and other family members.  

There were the pizzas eaten at the local drive-in theatre while waiting for the scary movie to start. There were also the stories of beachfront pizza joints.  How can pizza not taste fantastic as you sit on the boardwalk with your slight sunburn, salt and sand in the air, and looking out over the ocean?  

Then it dawned on me that I did have some great pizza in Rhode Island where the toppings included both Italian and Portuguese seasonings. But, I was with my grandparents on vacation. So, was it really the pizza or the setting?   

Now, I do have to be fair to my friends from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, even though they insist I am a baby taking her first steps when it comes to pizza.  

They began to describe the essentials of a good pizza. They compared red sauce versus white sauce. Then there was a debate regarding the “all meat” pizza with Italian sausage, pepperoni and ham versus the all vegetarian pizza.

I must admit the sound of a pizza with pineapple did not thrill me, but give me a pizza with a good marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and sliced onions and I am a happy camper.

“No,” the specialists insisted. “It is not just the toppings. It is also the crust.” Some were passionate about the thick crust and some argued for the thin crust.  

This was followed by discussion regarding the shape of the pizza: round or square. Evidently, you need the correct vehicle to carry all the sauces, spices and other toppings.

 I learned a lot from the debate. It seems like we all have our own unique tastes when it comes to most food and pizza is no different.  

But I can tell you after listening to all their comments, I think there is another adventure in my future. Time to head out to seek The World’s Greatest Pizza.

All signs point to being old (but that’s OK)

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By Lee Scott

I am old and there are many reasons why I know that I am old. 

First and foremost, I am old because I qualify for all those senior discounts and the sales clerks do not even ask me if I qualify. 

Of course, age is relative, so some older people might consider me young. However, I am over three score and I even know what “score” means.  

It appears that there are other obvious signs of my age. I own a telephone book. Not only do I own one, I use it. I mark the pages of my doctor and dentist and the dog’s groomer. I also own a non-electronic rolodex. When service people come to the house, like a plumber or an electrician, I file their business cards so I can have them for future use. 

Oh, there are so many other things I do that reveal my age.  

I have the habit of closing my iPad when company comes to my house so we can visit together. I do not have a cell phone sitting at my dinner table; humans only. I do not feel obligated to answer my phone when it rings.  I enjoy conversation. I want to know what people are reading, what movies they have seen, and where they have traveled. 

Another sign of my age is that I do not discuss politics with friends and family. At this point in my life, why bother? I am not going to change my mind. 

I used to read the Dick Tracy comics, but I do not own a device like he wore on his wrist; the watch, computer and phone all in one. I do not track how many steps I walk, but instead, I just walk every day. I have an address book. This helps especially at Christmas when I send out Christmas cards. The book contains a spot for me to track who I sent a card to and who sent one to me. I also write thank you cards in cursive and mail them.

Now, I have been informed by younger people, there is another age identifier: my email account. It ends in I have had it since the mid-1990s. There are many jokes on the Internet about “old” people with their AOL accounts.  They are about me.  

There are many advantages of being old. I have no problem walking into a library and finding a book using the Dewey Decimal System. I can drive a stick shift car and navigate using a map. I know how to spell words without auto-correct and I use a dictionary.  

Yes, I am old, but best of all, I am here and I can entertain myself.

Let’s help keep our roadsides clean

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By Lee Scott

Have you ever noticed those orange bags by the side of the road when you were driving? The first time I saw them, I thought someone had lost garbage from the back of their truck. 

Then one day, I spotted a man with an orange vest, then another man, and then another man. They were picking up trash and putting it into large orange bags.  

After I did a bit of research I discovered that these people were mostly volunteers and part of a state-wide program called Adopt a Highway. It was developed in 1988 “to eradicate litter and promote beatification in SC.”

Palmetto Pride, which is a legislative initiative, hosts the pickup program, partnering with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.   

No wonder our roads look so good. These volunteers are local citizens who care about Beaufort. 

Yet this all really got started back in 1953 when a consortium of businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and concerned citizens got together and started the “clean up” movement.  They formed “Keep America Beautiful.” This came about soon after President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system. 

Business leaders realized there was a growing problem with litter on the side of the road. There was also a concern because it was their product packaging that stood out in all the mess. The program began with an educational focus. 

It is strange to think people had to be told NOT to throw things out the window of their cars. 

Now we see lots of groups involved with Adopt a Highway clean-up efforts.  The Boy and Girl Scouts, private communities and others local community groups take on sections of a highway and clean them up.  

This program inspired another program called “Sponsor a Highway” which was started as the brainchild of a marketing executive who saw value in allowing companies to “market” through community cleanup activities. They get billed by municipalities for the clean-up work.  In return, they have the privilege of having their company names on roadside signs along busy roads.

Truthfully, I thought Lady Bird Johnson was behind all the clean-up programs, but her focus was on making it beautiful through flowers and getting rid of junkyards. 

However, the two campaigns seemed to have complemented each other over the years. The “Keep America Beautiful” campaign has been going on for over 60 years now and our “Keep South Carolina Beautiful” is the state affiliate of the national campaign. Currently, there are over 1,000 organizations participating in the various programs throughout the USA.  

Out of these campaigns have come volunteerism, education, and many other programs to keep our communities clean. So, please, make sure you do your part. Please do not litter!

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