Bringing Our Community Together

Category archive

Contributors - page 2

Can retail therapy save Beaufort?

in Bill Rauch/Contributors/Voices by
Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 10.57.30 AM

Sources of graph above: Beaufort County CAFRs, and minutes of Beaufort City Council meetings.

By Bill Rauch

In his early runs for mayor, Billy Keyserling – who now calls himself  “Mayor Billy” – used to call himself  “Billy K” in his campaign literature. In 2004, when he spent lots of his own money and ran hard for mayor, a newspaper story quoted a Mossy Oaks voter as saying, “The ‘K’ stands for the thousand bucks he’ll cost you.”

Now, if we know anything at all, we know that that voter was right on the money.

The election season is upon us again and no one is running against Mayor Billy. Why would they? On June 14, in open session while the council was considering the city’s fiscal year 2017 budget, Keyserling said that he had recently been doing his personal taxes and that in 2015 he spent $50,000 on mayor-related activities … in a year when he wasn’t even running.

But Councilman Michael McFee, who has for the past eight years voted consistently with the mayor, is running. So let’s take a quick look at the city of Beaufort’s spending.

Using information from Beaufort County’s and the city of Beaufort’s websites, I have put together a graph that shows the millage (tax) rates passed by the Beaufort City Council over the past 35 years, which is the entire period for which this information is available on the websites.

At the top of the chart I have listed who was mayor during which period. Mayors lead or at least try to, but they are sometimes outvoted, as I was when I tried to hold the line on taxes when the city was considering its FY 2003 budget. Whether the millage goes up or down is generally considered a key indicator of whether a government is “living within its means.”

There are special exceptions of course, as for example when the voters voted by a 3-to-1 margin to tax themselves to build the municipal complex. Those additional mils (15.62) began appearing on the 2009 tax bills.

Looking at the chart, it’s also important to remember that 1984, 1999 and 2005 were years when a reassessment reduced the city’s millage rate. In 2012, however, following the 2008 crash, property values had crashed too. So, instead of decreasing the millage rate after a reassessment, the city increased its millage rate to collect the same dollars it had collected the previous year. That is justifiable (and legal), although some cities would have under those circumstances cut costs to close the gap.

But there was other spending going on then too, mostly in the name of economic development.

Over several years the city paid over $2 million beginning in 2012 for a Civic Master Plan that has been of negligible benefit. At about the same time the city began paying debt service at 13-plus percent on its $1.85 million Commerce Park that has also been of negligible benefit. The facility must also be advertised and maintained which costs another $100,000 or more each year.

The city also recently entered into a management agreement to pay the city of Charleston $150,000 a year to manage Beaufort’s new digital corridor on Carteret Street. That is on top of the facility’s other costs, including the purchase of the property and the building’s upfit, the details of which have not been made public.

Since 2010 the city’s general fund budget has risen from $13,913,341 to $19,387,961, a nearly $5.5 million dollar increase in just seven years. Taxes have been increased nearly every year during that period, as the graphic illustrates.

But taxes contribute just a part of the city’s revenues. In 2015, for example, the city adopted a tax to help pay for the Boundary Street project in the form of an additional 2-percent franchise fee that appears on city residents’ SCE&G bills. This mechanism is projected to raise $2.8 million by 2022.

SCE&G’s customers already pay the highest per kilowatt hour rate east of the Rocky Mountains, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. With the 2 percent added on in the city, the utility’s customers, including businesses, in Beaufort probably now pay more for a kilowatt hour than anybody this side of Alaska. Besides all this, council has also added other new fees.

Critics ask: This is what economic development looks like?

It is always a politically risky proposition when local government wades into areas that are traditionally left to the private sector. Elected officials like it because they can say they are doing something. But for those efforts to continue the voters must be willing to continue to pay for them.

A pitcher of tea teaches us about compromise

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

Living with someone requires a lot of give and take. Whether a roommate, a spouse or other family member, each person must learn to respect the other’s belongings and share in the workload of the home.

Many people living in the same house set up boundaries to avoid conflict. For us, there was a particular sensitive area recently that had to be resolved. It had to do with the iced tea pitcher.

We never drank iced tea until we moved to South Carolina. He had his diet soda and I drank my coffee. But it wasn’t long before we started to share the southern tradition of drinking iced tea and we began making pitchers of iced tea at home.

And that is when the trouble started.

One day I noticed a devious look on his face as he was rushing out the door carrying a full glass of iced tea in his hand. I went to the refrigerator and there it was, a nearly empty pitcher of tea.

I ran out the front door, “Get back here you!!”

“Bye, Honey!” he yelled.

So we started to play the game. If one opened the refrigerator and noticed only about a glass of iced tea left, we would only pour half a glass and then return the pitcher to the refrigerator.

Then there was the time I was leaving the house on my way to the store having just poured myself a full glass of tea leaving only a tablespoon of tea in the pitcher.

“Foul!” he yelled after me as I drove out of the driveway laughing my head off. Eventually, we discovered Lipton’s Cold Iced Tea. It is so easy to make. You fill up the pitcher with cold water and hang two tea bags on the side. The label says to leave the bags in for 5 minutes, but we have been known to leave it on the counter for hours. If that happens, do not wring out the teabags.

This newfound freedom has brought about a new routine in our home and along with it more peace. No more running out of the house with a half glass of tea. It is so easy to make that we call it our bottomless pitcher of iced tea. Conflict resolved … now about that unmade bed.

Weigh the value of upgrades to your home

in Business/Contributors/Wells Fargo by

“Home renovations can be a stressful, time-consuming, and expensive process,” according to Laurie March, home improvement and remodeling expert.

Having an idea of the return you’ll receive on your investment at sale time is one way of deciding whether or not the project is worth the cost, or it can help you prioritize projects.

General estimates of how much you could get back

In an average residential market, several kinds of projects can recoup more than 80 percent of the investment for the cost of the job, notes Remodeling Magazine’s “2014 Cost vs. Value Report.”

The report details more than two dozen typical renovations in the midrange or upscale category, from replacing doors or windows to adding rooms. For example, if you install upscale fiber-cement siding to your house, expect to recoup up to 87 percent of the cost of the job, notes the report. You can search the report for trends over time, for regions, or even city-specific data.

Small changes, big results

“In every market, sprucing up your front door has surprisingly good results,” notes March. Put in a new steel door and you can expect to recover 96 percent of the cost of the investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s report. “Add in a refresh on your outdoor lighting, doormat and colorful landscaping, and you can really change how your home is perceived from the street,” she said.

Remember, homebuyers will likely first see your place pictured online, said Brendon DeSimone, real estate expert and author of “Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling.” “If your home does well in a photo shoot, it will get more people in the door,” he said.

More buyer-minded advice

• “Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes,” said DeSimone. High-impact and higher-cost investments here include new countertops, appliances and cabinet hardware in the kitchen and new fixtures and grout in the bathroom.

• Be stylish, but not edgy, he advises. White cabinets in the kitchen or hardwood floors in a dining room will hold their value for longer periods of time than the latest fads. Add a fresh coat of paint where it’s needed.

• Keep bedroom changes reversible. “Taking out a bedroom and replacing it with a walk-in closet can sometimes be a huge selling point,” said DeSimone. Turning a bedroom into a home office can also be appealing. Both of these transformations can be undone if a buyer wants to regain the room as a bedroom.

Live in the present

Selling your home might not be in your near-term plans. “While financial data tells half the story, many remodeling decisions stem from personal family circumstances,” said March.

Adding a bathroom might only recoup 60 percent of the investment for the cost of the job, according to Remodeling Magazine’s report. But if the addition could better accommodate your growing family, it might be worthwhile.

The same holds true for other jobs. If you open up an area and create a kitchen that flows into a living space, you might recoup 70 percent to 80 percent of the financial investment, notes March. “But creating a space your family can gather in — and connect in — might be priceless.”

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Ashley Dando, vice president – Investments in Beaufort, SC, at 843-524-1114.  Any third-party posts, reviews or comments associated with this listing are not endorsed by Wells Fargo Advisors and do not necessarily represent the views of Ashley Dando or Wells Fargo Advisors and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy.

Too many dudes threaten a town’s cowboy soul

in Bill Rauch/Contributors by

By Bill Rauch

The campaign of Pete Muldoon who is running for mayor of Jackson, Wyo., the county seat of Teton County that is home to the spectacularly beautiful Teton Valley/Jackson Hole area, is using “Fighting for the SOUL of the HOLE” for his campaign slogan this year.

Fighting for your town’s soul certainly sounds like a good thing for a mayor to do, but what exactly would a mayor do to do that?

Teton County is the county in the United States that has the highest per capita income in the country. The county’s population of 22.930 enjoyed a 2014 per capita income of $194,485, well ahead of No. 2 Manhattan’s (New York County) at $148,002, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ most recent numbers.

By way of comparison, Beaufort County’s per capita income is about 20 percent of Jackson’s. But when considering the differential it is important to remember that Wyoming is a no-state income tax haven, and because of that Jackson has attracted a top 1 percent that is way wealthier than Beaufort County’s top 1 percent.

In fact, Jackson’s soul – and Jackson’s challenges – are not so different from Beaufort’s.

There are lessons to be learned in Beaufort County from Teton County. There are glimpses there of Beaufort County’s future.

It appears the money has brought problems there and it appears there may not be the money to solve those problems.

But let’s start with drilling down on Jackson’s soul.

Ray Elsner, 14 years as the chairman of the town’s Planning Commission, defined it like this last week: “Ranching, dude ranching, and a small town where everybody helps each other out.”

That doesn’t sound so different from a shrimping, farming small town where folks help one another out.

How’s the money changing it?

“Well, you have these homeowners from all over the world who ski in the winter and who hike and bike and go to yoga in the summer,” Elsner explains. “They maybe sleep here six to eight weeks a year.  And they expect the ambulance or the fire engine to be there when they call 9-1-1, or a chopper to pick them up when they wrench their knee up on the trail … which gets expensive. Fire and EMS used to be volunteer. Now those are paid positions. First responders have to live somewhere. But there isn’t anywhere. You can’t buy a detatched house in Jackson for less than a million dollars. The skiers and the hiker/bikers already bought them all.”

So what can a mayor do to help preserve his town’s soul?

After all the rhetoric, what the governments have so far considered doing are three things: build workforce housing, provide public transit to and from areas outside the county where workers can still afford to live, and facilitate museums and cultural organizations that recall and explain what the area was before it became what it is today.

The town and county have taken steps in each of these directions.

Between the town, the county, the school district, the federal government and the hospital, 1,450 workforce units have been built in Jackson over the past 20 years. And, if the rhetoric of town and county candidates’ running in the current election cycle can be believed, the governments will build more.

Moreover, the town may require via its zoning ordinances that new “luxury homes” in Jackson also build a “caretaker residence” on the premises. And the governments may begin soon to encourage private developers to put workforce housing on the second floor of office buildings, including government buildings.

But the government cannot build housing for everyone who cannot buy a million dollar house.

It will need public transit to and from at least two nearby counties where housing is still affordable to those working in Jackson’s food service, lodging and government sectors.

There is currently public transit in Teton County, primarily in the form of buses to transport skiers and hiker/bikers to and from the slopes. Southern Teton Rapid Transit (START) runs the buses. Candidates running this year say they’ll work to improve the limited commuter service START currently offers to the outlying counties.

And finally the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, located on Jackson’s main street and with a Conestoga wagon on its roof, and the town’s two-nights-a-week rodeos seek actively to display to residents and visitors alike glimpses of the town’s past.

Will these efforts preserve the town’s soul? And will the governments’ leadership have the enduring will to try more?

Top photo: Eleven of these two-story, free standing units were built recently by the Teton County School District to house teachers and administrators working for the district. The town’s Housing Authority administers the program.

Is it wrong to be glad when the tourists leave?

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

There is a problem sometimes with living in a place that is so beautiful. People want to come here all the time, especially during the summer months.

I was reminded of this while chatting with Richard, a successful local business owner. We were discussing the traffic and he mentioned that he and his wife had invited some Fripp Island friends over for dinner. They were supposed to get to Beaufort at 6 p.m., but had gotten caught in “rental turnover” traffic.

We both acknowledged that a normal 20-minute drive in the winter can turn into a much longer commute when driving on a summer weekend.

It is very apparent early on Sunday mornings at the grocery stores when the renters are filling up their baskets for the week. I normally stop after church on Sunday morning to get the newspapers. Thank goodness for express lines as most of the checkout lines are backed up with people filling up on hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, sodas and the other vacation food.

It seems like there are always marshmallows and Hershey candy bars along with boxes of graham crackers in the grocery carts too.  And of course, the inflatable rings, noodles and other beach toys are also included along with the suntan lotion, bug spray and the aloe cream.

Turns out that people come here from all over in their campers and RVs too.  It is not just about renting a house for a week. Hunting Island State Park has an enviable campground for people who want to be at the beach.

Now don’t think I am complaining. There is a huge economic boost to our region because of all the people who visit. Our hotels, restaurants and other businesses all benefit from these tourists.

But the joy at this time of the year as Labor Day approaches is that tourists start to return to their own homes to prepare for the school year. I start seeing the school buses out on the road and noticing more South Carolina license plates on cars rather than other states.

And those of us lucky enough to live here year-round get to enjoy the beach and parks without all the tourists.

But don’t worry Richard, turns out we newcomers keep getting out-of-town visitors all year-round who will help to keep the economic engine roaring.

The word ‘death’ is harsh, final … and totally inaccurate

in Awakenings/Contributors/Health/Susan Stone by

By Susan Stone

Ever since I began writing this column, I have quoted my master teacher,  Rev. Marian Starnes, numerous times for her wisdom and humor.

On the Summer Solstice, she flew away HOME. Marian didn’t like to use the word “death.” She found it harsh and final and totally inaccurate. She had a lot of experience with what we call “death.”

In 1973, Marian died on the operating table during open heart surgery. The last thing she heard was; “We’re losing her!” She rose above the operating theater and observed the panic in the room as they readied the crash cart.

Completely at ease and uninterested in what the doctors were doing, she left. The feeling she described being out of the body was pure delight. She found herself in a green valley surrounded by mountains. It was familiar to her as the landscape she knew as a child growing up in Idaho.

In front of her appeared a bridge and on the other side of the bridge were her father and a little boy who had drowned when they were children, along with various animals she had loved through her life.

She was overjoyed to see them all, and when she attempted to cross the bridge, two men suddenly stood in her way. Neither of them spoke to her or even really looked at her.

Marian described both of them as looking like Jesus (she never understood why there were two). They were discussing whether they should send her back. They said that she was a powerful teacher and had already been doing good work, but they knew she would begin a ministry and would reach people around the world with her message of love.

Just as they turned to her to ask if she would go back, she whooooshed back into her body.

Marian always told this story with a huge smile on her face. She said that death is an illusion and that we never lose consciousness.

She said, “One minute I was Marian and the next minute, I was still Marian.”  She would draw an imaginary line on the floor and hop over it. “Don’t ever be afraid to drop your body and go HOME. You’ll be glad to be free of it … I promise.”

In her last hours she fell in to a deep coma, Hospice had been called in and they were keeping her comfortable. Just before she took her last breath, she opened her eyes and smiled wide saying; “I’m doing good, aren’t I?”

There was no fear, only joy.

As I recall, during a memorial for a dear friend of hers, she said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Do not pity the dead, pity the living! This living thing is hard stuff! We’re here to help one another and to have as much fun as we can (she would always insert, legally). Don’t worry about tomorrow, because there are no tomorrows. In my 89 years on this planet, I’ve never seen a tomorrow! I’ve only seen todays! Lots and lots of todays! So make today a great day.

“Do what you can and then a little bit more. Eat cake. Don’t wait until someday to do what you love … love everything you do. If what you’re doing makes you miserable … stop it! It’s not worth it. Life is simple, people are complicated.”

Over the years, Marian and her messages have traveled around the world. I will be forever changed for having known her.

One last quote: “We are the immortals; we have always been and ever will be. You have always been you and you will always be. And when life gets tough … eat more cake!

Pen pals remind us of the art of letter writing

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

An e-mail popped up in my inbox early this summer and a friend wanted to know if I was interested in becoming her pen pal.

“Wow!” I told her. “I have not had a pen pal for years.”

My first real pen pal experience was back in the 1960s with a girl named Lesley Nash who lived on a farm in South Africa. We were connected through our local newspapers, which had set up a program to connect kids from all over the world as pen pals.

Lesley and I wrote for several years and then suddenly stopped. I am not sure what happened, but it’s too bad that we didn’t stay connected when you consider how much has happened over the past 50 years in both of our countries.

Nowadays, it seems like the art of letter writing has vanished as communications have improved. Between texting and e-mails, we are connected all the time.

Today’s electronic communications demand immediate response; then get lost in myriad other electronic messages. And how many introspective thoughts are really found in an e-mail?

Writing a letter, on the other hand, provides an entirely different form of conversation. There is more time for reflection when you have time to collect your thoughts.

Some of the most famous letter writers that I recall are Abigail and John Adams, who wrote over 1,000 letters to one another. What a rare insight to life in the last part of the 18th century and the birth of a new nation.

So I received my first letter and read it slowly. She wrote that the last time we had been together I had inspired her to write new stories and offered her some writing tips too. I was anxious to sit down and tell her how much getting the letter meant. Then I started describing all the things that I had been up to this summer.

After she received my letter she called to say that she loved it and was working on another one. Then she added, “Getting a letter in the mail is knowing that someone loves you.”

She was right, because I know how I felt when I opened my mailbox. Now I hope in the future when she is my age, that through my letters, she will have received a greater understanding of me, her grandmother.

State body camera fund comes up short

in Bill Rauch/Contributors/Voices by

What would our late State Sen. Clementa Pinckney think?

Yes, the city of Beaufort and the town of Bluffton received this year all the body-worn camera money they requested. But the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office received about 15 percent of its request, and the sheriff’s experience is typical across the state.

To meet the $40 million needed for body cameras, the legislature has so far offered up $5.8 million, with a suggestion that they will add another $2.4 million next year.

What does Sen. Pinckney have to do with it?

In the wake of the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer last year, Sen. Pinckney pushed the nation’s first statewide police body-worn camera law through the South Carolina state legislature. The new law provided that “all state and local law enforcement officers must be equipped with body-worn cameras.”

A remarkably clear video of the April 4, 2015, shooting happened to have been made by a bystander, and once that video surfaced there was little doubt that Scott had been shot multiple times in the back as he sought to flee from the officer who had stopped him for a broken tail-light. North Charleston police officer Michael Slager is currently awaiting trial in connection with the shooting.

The bystander’s video shocked Sen. Pinckney and the nation. At the senator’s urging, South Carolina enacted the Body-worn Camera Bill on June 10, 2015.

A week later, on June 17, Sen. Pinckney was assassinated as he presided over a Bible study class at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, where he was senior pastor.

In the days and weeks following the Mother Emanuel tragedy, South Carolina’s Body-worn Camera Bill emerged as a central tenet of Sen. Pinckney’s legislative legacy.

But now, a year later, passions have cooled and the program is faltering.  The recent shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge, La., Dallas and now San Diego suggest the program should not be scuttled.

The problem is a familiar one: the money. Body cameras cost $400 to $600 apiece, and there is substantial additional expense related to storing and managing the data they supply.

The new law provides that the South Carolina Public Safety Coordinating Council will provide “full funding,” and that local law enforcement agencies are not required to “implement the use of body-worn cameras” until full funding is provided.  But what happens when the state comes up short?

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, for example, applied for $473,000 to implement the program, and it has received word that it will receive $75,000 this year, or about 15 percent of its request. The situation in Jasper County is similar, where the sheriff’s office there received $22,178 of the $70,000-plus it requested.

The unfunded mandate pattern is familiar. The state passes a law and promises to pay the cost of its implementation, and it doesn’t appropriate sufficient monies to keep its promise.

Several years ago amidst a fury about drunken driving, the state passed a law requiring all South Carolina law enforcement agencies to use dashboard cameras.  In the first year the state went out and bought a bunch of cameras and sent them around. Then it folded the program but didn’t rescind the law, leaving the local law enforcement agencies to maintain the program at their own expense.

Some did. Some didn’t.

Considered an effective program that helped to establish fairly both guilt and innocence in the courtroom, the dashboard camera program was retained by Beaufort County, which funded it from the county treasury.

Twice shy, this time around local law enforcement officials are skeptical. “We’ve been down this road before,” Beaufort Sheriff  P.J. Tanner said last week. “If I had known they were going to do this, I’d have put $400,000 on the penny sales tax. We’re going to uphold the law, but it’s starting to look like it’s going to be Beaufort County’s taxpayers who are going to be paying for us to do so.”

Rep. Dennis Moss, R-Gaffney, agrees. He sits on the Public Safety Coordinating Council that determines how the money the legislature appropriates for body cameras will be spent. A few small local law enforcement agencies were the only ones to receive full funding, Moss explained last week. “And if the economy stays good,” he added, “we’ll put more money into that program next year.”

Would Sen. Pinckney be surprised how his program is turning out?

Probably not.

Would he be disappointed?


A week before his tragic death last year, Sen. Clementa Pinckney's police Body-worn Camera Bill was signed into law. But without the state funding to back it up, the implementation of this new unfunded mandate will be uneven and a burden to some law enforcement agencies.
A week before his tragic death last year, Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s police Body-worn Camera Bill was signed into law. But without the state funding to back it up, the implementation of this new unfunded mandate will be uneven and a burden to some law enforcement agencies.

Cleaning a messy car in 90-degree weather

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

A good friend of mine and I decided to have lunch together recently and I offered to pick her up.

About half an hour before I was going to leave the house my spouse asked, “Do you want to take my car?”

“Why in the world would I need to take your car?” I replied.

He looked out the window, pointed to my car and said, “Have you looked at your car lately?”

Oh man, he was right. It was a mess.

I grabbed the little vacuum cleaner, a garbage bag, some paper towels and Fantastic and headed out to the car. As I started to work I discovered an old ballpoint pen caught between the seats and had to actually break it apart to remove it.  Of course there was a stream of black ink that had leaked down under the seat in this 90-degree plus heat.

I also retrieved a half tube of lipstick I had dropped one hot day. Other women might appreciate that discovery. I can recall the moment.  I went to apply lipstick that had been sitting in my purse on a hot day. I adjusted the rearview mirror, opened up the lipstick and half the tube dropped right in my lap and rolled down onto the floor mat.

Then there was the melted package of M&Ms, which I realized had reformed into a glob of colored chocolate. Not pretty.

So in the need for expediency I took out the floor mats and the seat covers and threw them into the trunk of the car to be dealt with at a later date. Then I vacuumed the carpet and wiped down the inside of the doors.

The car looked so much better, but I still needed to do something about covering those leather seats again. One thing I have learned here in Beaufort is that one does not climb into a car with leather seats while wearing a skirt or shorts. Nothing will get you back out of the car faster.

I returned to the house with all my cleaning supplies and found two cute beach towels to cover the seats and drove to pick up my friend.

As she climbed into my car she said, “Wow, when did you get a new car?”

I just smiled as we drove off.

The instant coffee moment: Now what?

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

How many of you can recall that long-standing instant coffee commercial that has aired for years on television?

You know, the one that depicts a young man returning home from college for Christmas break. He’s in the kitchen making coffee when his little sister comes downstairs and greets him just as the water is boiling. Really, how special is this guy to his parents if he has to actually boil water to make instant coffee?

Come on mom and dad, no coffeemaker?

Recently, I was reminded of that commercial when my old faithful coffeesmaker broke. I woke up, hit the button and … nothing. There was no bubbling sound as the water heated up; no dripping sound as the hot water seeped onto the freshly ground coffee; no aromas drifting throughout the kitchen with virtually no effort on my part.

So out of desperation, I opened the cabinet and found an old jar of instant coffee which I had bought last summer for making iced coffee.

Then I realized that rather than just pushing the start button on my coffeemaker, there was more to do. I had to pull out the tea kettle, boil the water and then put in the coffee.

Oh, the inhumanity of it all!

Truthfully, as I sat there sipping the coffee, it was not as bad as I had expected. It actually reminded me of years ago when I used instant coffee all the time.

But then came my Mr. Coffeemaker, then the Keurig-one cup maker and then the Krups bean grinder/coffeemaker.  The coffee really has gotten better and better through the years.

And as I was sitting drinking the instant coffee that morning, I started to think about that college kid and his parents. Maybe mom and dad were not so dumb after all.

Here is the follow-up commercial scene that I imagine now: The college student walks into his college dorm and goes immediately to his coffeemaker and says to his college roommate, “Can you believe it? Mom and dad actually gave me instant coffee to drink over the Christmas break.”

Meanwhile at home, mom and dad have already taken out their DeLonghi Magnifica Espresso Maker and are enjoying their cappuccinos as dad says, “Too bad he couldn’t stay longer” as they sit there chuckling.

Go to Top