Author Archive: Tom

Indian River Escape

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Indian River Grunge

Been a tough couple of weeks, and I seem to be suffering from writer’s block. I just haven’t been too inspired to research or photograph anything. Even when I have subject material, such as my long urban walk, or research on my grandfather’s churches, or a dozen other things I could be pursuing, I seem to lose interest about halfway through the post or project. So, I’m going to make a concerted effort to keep writing on a regular schedule.

And with that, we’re here in Florida for the Thanksgiving holidays. Laura’s mom was just released from three months in a skilled nursing rehab center after breaking both legs in a fall. Our job was to help her get re-established at Laura’s sister’s home and situated with home health-care, etc. I needed an occasional escape, so I brought a kayak down with me.

Escape #1 – Night Paddling

We arrived later Sunday evening than I had planned. Monday was spent running errands and getting supplies for the house. By Monday evening I was ready for an escape. I headed out for an after-dark paddling trip.

Indian River Paddling-013 (more…)

Taking a Break

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Gulf and Public Telephone

I’ve been taking time to deal with several household and family matters lately, so updates here have been sparse. Doesn’t look like that trend will change over the next week or so, so here are a couple of quick teasers.

First up, a couple of weeks ago I had to put my car into the shop. When it was ready I decided to walk to pick it up – 4.5 miles along some of Greenville’s busiest roads. It was an interesting experience. Of course I had my camera with me. I was working on a detailed blog post with descriptions of each shot, but kept getting interrupted, then lost interest. Here’s a slide show from that trip on November 5th…

Last week we paid another visit to the Pickens Flea Market. The only camera I used was my discreet GoPro. I managed to get quite a few shots. Here’s that slideshow…

Thanksgiving holidays will be tie up with travel and other family affairs, but I’m hoping to get in at least a little kayaking and photography. We’ll see.

Grave Matters at the Savannah River

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Savannah River from Stokes Bluff with LCU Nov 7, 2014, 4-18 PM Nov 8, 2014, 9-039

Headstone in the Rip Rap at Stokes Bluff

Yesterday when we were kayaking on the Savannah River we found something rather disturbing. About a half mile south of Stokes Bluff Landing on the South Carolina side of the river several headstones were embedded in the rip rap along the bank.

DCIM107GOPRO
DCIM107GOPRO (more…)

A November Paddle on the Savannah River

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Savannah River from Stokes Bluff with LCU Nov 7, 2014, 4-18 PM Nov 8, 2014, 2-058

Cypresses at Kennedy Lake on the Savannah River

It was a second Saturday, and we were long overdue for a Lowcountry Unfiltered paddling trip. We missed last month, and the two months before that our schedule had been somewhat off. I really needed to get back on the water and it seemed that the Savannah River was just the ticket.

Savannah River from Stokes Bluff with LCU Nov 7, 2014, 4-18 PM Nov 7, 2014, 4-18 PM

I drove down Friday afternoon and stayed overnight in Walterboro. Alan and I met up for breakfast there, then we headed on toward our put-in at Stokes Bluff in Hampton County. The section we would be floating wasn’t as long as some of our other trips, but we would have opportunities for several side excursions.

Savannah from Stokes Bluff (more…)

Spontaneous Fall Lake Connestee Hike

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Lake Connestee-37

November 6, 2014

Election day – always a bummer in South Carolina for someone of the political persuasion like mine. Even so, I walked down to our local polling place to cast my ballot. While I was in line to vote, my good friend Tim Taylor came up behind me. We caught up while in line, and decided to have lunch together. Since Tim had the Election Day off from his job at the Roper Mountain Science Center, over lunch we decided to head over to Lake Connnestee Nature Park.

We drove over to the park headquarters. There we met Gina Varat and David Hargette, who work at the park. They filled me in on some of the happenings at the park, such as some of the history walks and an upcoming Nature Journaling class with author John Lane. Tim chatted with them a bit, then we headed on our way.

Lake Connestee-1 (more…)

Oconee Color

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Oconee Mountain Color-31

It started with a mystery. Fellow photographer Hank Myers and my friend Tara Bailey down at SCIWAY.net had a question about Shiloh School, and whether or not it was a Rosenwald School. The extant school is a brick building, but the Fisk Rosenwald database show a classic two teacher Nashville design. I decided that a trip to the school was in order, to see if there were any stone markers that might indicate when the school was built. It would also give me an excuse to check out some fall colors.

Since I would be passing right past his place, I swung by and picked up Ken Cothran in Clemson. We got coffee, then took a quick tour through the heart of Clemson. However, our first target was the school. I plugged it into the GPS and we headed that way. (more…)

The Mystery of the Cross(es)

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North Carolina Cross

As you drive through several communities in Western North Carolina, you will see wooden crosses dotting the countryside. These crosses are free-standing, about ten feet high, and bear a message, usually something like “Jesus Saves from Sin” or “Jesus Died for Sinners.” These are found in front of Baptist churches in the area, and occasionally in front of private homes.

North Carolina Cross
North Carolina Cross
North Carolina Cross (more…)

Eating in Tandem

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Tandem Creperie

Tandem Creperie in Travelers Rest

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a restaurant review. Diets and limited income just aren’t conducive to eating out a lot. Even so, a new one caught my eye, and I decided to check it out. Tandem Creperie recently opened this year, right on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Last Sunday we had gone on a leaf-peeping drive, and stopped for the first time at The Forest Coffeehouse, down the street.

Tandem Creperie

The coffee at The Forest was excellent, and it reminded me of all the new spots in Travelers Rest, and I remembered seeing an article about Tandem. I hadn’t had crepes in ages, so I decided to head up that way. (more…)

Origami at Furman Homecoming

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Origami Shifted Pot

Origami Pot by Rebecca Geiseking

This week we have lots of Furman activities going on. This weekend I’m photographing the wedding for two Furman Alumni, and it also happens to be Furman Homecoming. So, Friday afternoon we had the rehearsal for Megan and Kyle, then Laura and I headed on up to Furman for the Friday night activities on the mall.

Former Furman Chemistry student Rebecca Geiseking was giving a talk about her amazing origami at the Roe Art Building. We managed to make it there just at the end of her talk.  Rebecca is now at Georgia Tech pursuing a Ph. D. in chemistry, but she continues to do her artwork.  She described the engineering and mathematics that go into designing the folds for her paper designs.

Rebecca Geiseking, Origamist
Origami Lecture Attendees (more…)

Even More Schools and Celestia

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Bradley School Tintype

Bradley School

Monday, October 20, 2014

I had started off the morning with a nice visit with Nicole and Carrie at the Pottersville site, just north of Edgefield. On my previous visit to the site, Carrie had told me about the old Tompkins School, where Sue Logue had been a teacher. I didn’t find it on that trip, but was able to locate it in Google Earth. Since I had the location pinpointed, I was determined to find it this time.

To recap, Sue Logue was the first woman to be executed by electric chair in South Carolina. Logue was sentenced for orchestrating the death of Davis Timmerman, as well as being implicated in the shooting deaths of Sheriff Wad Allen and Deputy “Doc” Clark. She was also rumored to be having an affair with Strom Thurmond. The Tompkins School was not only where Logue taught, but where it was rumored that she had several rendezvous with Thurmond when he was superintendent of schools for Edgefield County. (more…)

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