Marcia Wood
Varnville, SC
This is in reference to the MONKEY blogs posted
on The Hampton County Guardian web site.

This is a photo of the monkey on the vehicle in the Watermelon Festival Parade. It appears the monkey is tied to the vehicle. Please note the rope is in the middle of the horns and coming from the back of the monkey. Obviously, securing the monkey was the intent. Beads are around the neck. In reading the history of Clans, a chicken thief was hanged when caught. The history of the Clans #2, etc. only intent is to entertain in a Hillbilly fashion to help raise money for helping children. That's what it is all about - helping children. So, someone made a comment that has caused an assault against the Shriners. Instead of dwelling on that one sentence, let us all be thankful we have a group of people, from all walks of life, willing to give of their time to help children. I don't believe the Shriners owe our county an apology.

I appreciate all the volunteers that work so hard to make the Festival a success. They won't be able to please everyone. We have many volunteers in our community serving in many capacities. Without volunteers,  many of our activities would not occur.

Thank you volunteers for all that you do!

Marcia Wood
July 6, 2010
Sound Off by Marcia
Buyer Beware of Sales Tax

One day in early July 2010, I visited a store in Hampton County.  Considering a potential purchase I inquired about the percentage of sales tax that would become a part of the purchase. When told it was 8%, I said I didn't think so - that it was 7%. After placing a call to the accountant in my presence, the merchant was told the sales tax was 7%.

The news media had reported that each merchant was notified in December 2009 of the change in the sales tax rate. The merchant had no knowledge of any communication from the Department of Revenue. I contacted a Hampton County employee and immediate action was taken to get me a copy of the DOR communication and the procedure for returning the overpayment of the tax. Unfortunately, retrieving information from state agencies does not come as quickly as one would like. To date, July 23, 2010, we still do not have an answer as to what happens to the money when the 8% is remitted to South Carolina Department of Revenue. 

This is the information that was sent to Retailers in Hampton County.
"To: Retailers Located in or Making Sales to Hampton County

Effective January 1, 2010 Hampton County's new sales and use tax rate will be 7% instead of 8%, The County has met its goal and the 1% Capital Projects Tax is no longer required to be collected and reported for periods after December 31, 2009. Therefore, the last return to report this additional 1% is the December 2009 return due on January 20, 2010. As a result, you are no longer required to report the 1% Capital Projects Tax for Hampton County on Page 1 of the ST-389 form."

In one communication from Department of Revenue, we were told that as these amounts are collected, they show up on an error list they maintain. DOR stated they should follow up with these vendors to resolve the matter. However, we don't know how successful they are in that effort.

Hugh Gray, County Council Chairman had the following in an issue of Lowcountry Life in the March 2010 publication. "Theoretically, if a business were still charging the one-cent sales tax, any taxes collected would be reported to the State Department of Revenue and the collected taxes returned to the county. I hate to think these businesses were pocketing the extra money."

Another communication from DOR: The person that probably had the answer was out of the office. Information from the folks receiving the request stated it was their understanding the amounts collected in error are retained in a suspense account by the state and if the vendor files an amended return, the vendor can claim the overpayment. However, they suggested this should be confirmed with the appropriate person.

Mike Meyer, Hampton County's Finance & Human Resource Director was my contact with the county. He did everything possible in a short period of time to get my question answered - where is the money or how is it returned to the county or merchant. He will continue to follow-up and as soon as he receives a response, he will be in contact with me.

The moral of all this is: when making a purchase, before you pay, ask about the sales tax rate. Also, on Internet purchases when sales tax is calculated, be certain it is 7% rather than 8%. Since we don't know where the money is held and how it is returned that 1% should stay in your pocket .

Mike also told me that if any buyer becomes aware of a retailer charging the 8% rather than 7%, contact the County Administrator's office at the B.T. DeLoach Building in Hampton.

Stay tuned in for more stuff through Sound Off.

Marcia Wood
July 23, 2010
Jericho Road   (This article was written for Lowcountry Life in the early part of October. Before the publication was distributed, reflectors had been placed to divide the lanes, potholes had been filled, stop sign replaced, and adopt-a-highway sign placed in an up-right position. My concerns do not change since the conditions of the road occurred shortly after the re-surfacing.)

Jericho Road: In rural Estill, Jericho Road links Styles Harper Road and Augusta Stagecoach Road. During the past few months Jericho Road was re-surfaced with the traditional rock and asphalt. Immediately after the work was completed, there was a terrific rain storm. During and after the rain, the road had many, many water pockets which made it very unsafe for driving.

Prior to this there was an article published in a local paper relating to a law suit against the highway department. The article stated the driver of a vehicle had hit a water pocket on another highway and lost control of the car.

Back to the issue of Jericho Road … being very concerned about the water pockets and remembering the article of the other incident, I went to the highway department and reported the awful condition of the road. My remarks were accepted and recorded. My concern that someone could be injured, another potential law suit, the cost of having the road re-surfaced, and left with unsafe driving conditions was foremost in my mind. One of my questions was, “could someone please go out and see for themselves, contact the paver and get the road leveled?”

Shortly after the road was re-surfaced, many potholes began to appear. In some, I believe one could bury a dog! Lines, which normally are painted for safer driving, have never been painted. The road has continued to deteriorate with more potholes than ever. In some areas of the road, rock and asphalt has scattered out of the potholes. One may argue that log trucks created the problem. At the time, log trucks were not accessing any property along Jericho and certainly no vehicle created the unlevel conditions and water pockets.

In addition to the condition of the road, the Adopt-a-Highway sign has been leveled to the ground (hit by a vehicle) on one end of the road and the stop sign on the other end has been mutilated by shooter/s out for a good time. Don’t the shooters understand that signs cost the taxpayers and under our severe economic conditions, consideration should be given to that fact before he or she pulls the trigger?

Lee Bowers, a former member of Hampton County Council, had placed an additional sign on the Adopt-a-Highway sign – Don’t Trash This Beautiful Road. He also planted flowers around the sign. Not long after his first sign was attached, someone stole the sign. He had another sign painted and unfortunately, it is also on the ground.

For a long time, the Styles Harper road sign was on the ground. That was reported and after many months, nothing had been accomplished so I asked a friend to tie it to another post so it would mark the road for travelers. Bale twine was used and it stayed that way for more than a year.

So why do I care? Someone cared enough to ask others to keep the road beautiful. Getting the road conditions corrected could save a life, prevent law suits, and prevent vehicle repairs. Regardless of what company re-surfaced Jericho, consider the quality of work before granting another contract.

Enough said about Jericho Road. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a blessed week.

Marcia Wood
October 2010
Recycling!   Household garbage. Yard debris. Metal. Tires. Cardboard. Glass. Newspapers. Plastic and cans. White goods. Magazines. Books. Batteries. Oil filters. Used oil. Paint. All of these lurk in our homes and eventually end up in a roll cart, dumpster, transfer station and landfill. In my home, I know I should recycle the products but left to my initiative to take the easy way out, I chose not to protect Mother Earth. Into the roll cart it goes and I leave it up to the Town to dispose of my useless garbage.  I’m making a change and I hope you will.

Ellis Harvey (recently retired), one of the attendants at the Ben Hazel Recycle Center had been after me for a long time to write an article about recycling.  Hampton County has provided all the residents of the county a clean and efficient way to recycle.  Conveniently located throughout the county, we must learn to use the centers more for recycling rather than thinking of them as dumps.

In the beginning it may be somewhat burdensome to have more than one trash can in use at home but practice will soon get us into the habit of recycling.

Mr. Harvey gave me a great lesson on how the citizens can help the process of recycling. Like education, it starts at home. Learn what can be recycled (please note the first sixteen items in this article) and begin that practice at home.

Be prepared before entering the recycle center. Have your goods separated so that you won’t hold up traffic. When entering the center, stop upon entering.  Upon your arrival, the attendants enter the date, time, vehicle license number and the variety of items for disposal. The attendants are responsible for being on the look-out for hazardous materials and this is the tracking method.  After directions to the appropriate disposal containers, they check to be certain there is no mix of items inappropriately discarded.

Mr. Harvey also pointed out there is one entrance and one exit to the centers. The correct use of each prevents accidents.

Like any other business, the attendants have a boss. If the centers are not kept clean and the rules of discarding are not followed, warnings are issued and termination may be the result.

Yard debris must be removed from plastic bags because DHEC will not allow bags to be ground with yard debris. The debris is chipped and put into piles for mulch. This can be used by citizens of Hampton County for flower beds, gardens, etc. 

Construction and demolition debris is disposed of at the landfill - compacted and covered. DHEC prohibits certain items such as creosote poles, railroad cross ties, paint cans containing paint and tar buckets containing tar cannot be disposed of at the landfill. Managers of the landfill can give you disposal instructions for those materials.

White goods (refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.) are placed in a special place at the recycle centers. Attendants will direct you to the appropriate location. When collected, they are stored at the landfill and then sold for scrap which generates income for Hampton County.

Glass must be recycled by color – brown, green and clear.  Glass is sold to a vendor and recycled into glass products. Certain types of glass contaminate these colors and cannot be recycled. Some of these items are mirrors, ceramic pots, clay pots, crystal, light bulbs, glass windshields, safety glass, oven ware and drinking glasses. These types go into household garbage.

All materials must be removed from the cardboard boxes. Cardboard (the traditional brown/tan cardboard) must be flattened and placed in its bin. Wax coated boxes are not considered cardboard and cannot be recycled. Cardboard is baled at the landfill and sold to a vendor which recycles it into more cardboard boxes.

Newspapers are considered the paper with black print. Paper with color should not be mixed with regular newspaper material. Books, magazines, newspapers, office paper and inserts are collected, sold to vendors and recycled into other paper products.

Plastic bottles, jugs and cans are collected and sold to vendors. They are recycled into other plastic and aluminum products. Plastic trays and covers and plastic packaging go into household garbage. Look for the recycle logo or the numbers on the bottom and you will know if it can be recycled.

I was most amazed with the used oil disposal system and the electronic bin. Used oil from engines and cooking oil have separate containers. I poured my small amount of engine oil in the disposal container, placed the small container where it drains for four to five hours and then the attendants place the container in the appropriate dumpster. Used oil filters are collected and picked up by a vendor at a cost to the county. The used oil is collected and sold to a vendor as fuel for plant operations.

After being certain your information has been removed from your computer hard drive, the computer and monitor, printers, televisions and other electronic devices have their own bin at the center.

You name it and there is a place for it. It may be at one of the convenient recycle centers or at the county landfill. Small changes in everyday behavior can have positive consequences for generations to come.

The hours at the recycle centers are changing as a cost effective budget cut for the county to help the taxpayers. The centers will be closed on the same holidays as other county offices are closed. Attendants will not be compensated for their time off. 

If you have questions about recycling or disposal, you may contact someone at the Hampton County Landfill (803) 625-0197.

This article was written for Lowcountry Life, November 2010 issue. Unfortunately, half of the article was lost in cyberspace and Tony did not know he had only received half. It will be printed in its entirety in the December 2010 issue.
Happy New Year!  It has been quite a year for 2010 with my priorities being out of order.  My only resolution for 2011 is “don’t make one”. Anything I say I intend on doing will surely go astray immediately.

Looking back on 2010 I have been truly blessed with family and friends, a great church family, good health, and volunteer work that many of you know can keep a person more than busy.

I’m thankful for my Country and all the men and women serving to protect our precious freedom. Hopefully they will be out of harms way soon and back with families who are anxiously waiting their return.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce, an English Poet once said, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. This book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

I hope you all will have great opportunities and a New Year filled with good health and happiness.

Happy New Year

Sound Off – “Get Back in the Saddle …
                                          and Stay There!”

                                   from the memory book of Marvin Kinard

When sales are not looking good, an extra punch comes from management. “Get back in the saddle! The beginning of a new year – doing business again – doing it in grand fashion. Warehouses are in order and work crews are primed to handle the orders.”

Marvin Kinard had always been on a mission – never letting up.  Special promotions needed special efforts. Surpassing the one million dollar sales goal, he soon passed the goal of two million dollars in sales. Reaching the highest sales recorded at that time, he became the leader of sales teams.

Brand companies recognized his sales successes.  Users of the products recognized his ability to listen and provide them with quality products. But recognition came from both sides of the fence. Marvin showed them respect by honoring their likes and dislikes.

As Marvin added new accounts, word came from his management there was a need to add another salesman. Without reluctance, he gave up some of what he had worked so hard to build and helped the new salesman.

When given an opportunity to become a part of management, he chose to stay on as a salesman. I asked Marvin why he made that decision. He said he liked the challenge of being a salesman. It was the same in changing territories – a challenge.  He sold the same brand of products from the company he respected and made many friends from his new customer base.

Marvin has stated that salesmanship is “P” Power – the Power to Persuade Plenty of People to Purchase Products at a Profit Perpetually. Always remember to thank those who helped in your success.”

On some occasions, the week just didn’t end on Friday. Marvin helped with special events on weekends. Hotels and other businesses sent complimentary letters to Marvin’s company, and to Marvin, expressing gratitude for the work Marvin did to make the events successful.

Marvin’s word today, which has been his motivation through the years, is to be a self-starter. Have the inward desire to make something happen without incentives as the reason to make it happen - have the competitive spirit and have the desire to be the best. If complacency and having a negative attitude enters in the daily routine, life becomes miserable – not only for yourself but for those with whom you come in contact.

Five points Marvin passes on to any person in sales are: (1) Knowledgeable – know what you are selling, what you can best do with it – would it out-perform what has already been chosen – what is the competitor selling, what are the competitors weaknesses. (2) Sensitive – being sensitive to the likes or dislikes of a person – being able to react to whatever adjustment is necessary. (3) Anxiety (Stress) – Unless there is a monumental problem, why worry about it. Perform at your best. (4) Integrity – a must for a successful business or sales person. Without honesty and sincerity you will become an outcast. (5) Professional Run-around – the truth will catch up with you. Do not profess to know something you are completely in the dark about. Tell the inquirer you’ll get back to him/her when you have the information.

Marvin has a notebook filled with fond memories of old times. From his notebook come these words: “A Word to the Wise” – A wise person is one who discovers that when you lose your temper, you lose out. The quickest way to become unpopular is to carry gossip.

It doesn’t matter who gets the credit so long as the job gets done. Everyone is human and it doesn’t do any harm to smile and say “Good Morning”- even when it is raining. Carrying a chip on your shoulder is the easiest way to get into a fight. Folks are not harder to get along with in one place than another. Getting along depends ninety-six percent upon your own behavior. This simple philosophy makes for a better understanding. Getting along with others is a number one art in living.

Marvin’s enthusiasm shines today as it did when he was a salesman. No one had to tell him to get back in the saddle and do better. Management gave the salesmen a few points on enthusiasm and Marvin has kept this in his notebook as a reminder of his sales days. Enthusiasm is the maker of friends, the maker of smiles, and the producer of confidence. It cries to the world, “I’ve got what it takes”. It tells all that your job is a swell job, your work just suits you and the goods you have are the best. It is the inspiration that makes you ‘WAKE UP AND LIVE’. It puts spring in your step, spring in your heart, a twinkle in your eye and confidence in yourself and your fellow men. It changes a dead pan salesman to a producer, a pessimist to an optimist, and a loafer to a go-getter. If you love it, you show it and your prospect gets it. Your COMPANY loves it and you cash in on it. Enthusiasm! Do you have it? Then thank God for it. If you haven’t got it, then get on your knees and pray for it. Upon the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the threshold of victory, sat down to wait – and waiting they died.

Most mornings you can find Marvin at Hardee's with his friends – one entertaining the other. There is a joke about Marvin and his career – after his retirement it took five people to do his job - three salesmen to do the job and two to clean up the mess he made. He retired in 1980 but is living his life as if he is still selling.

Marvin inherited his love of selling from his father, Rudolph Kinard. Mr. Kinard had a grocery store on Lee Avenue a/k/a Main Street in Hampton. Marvin had no choice when it came to working. He worked in the store and was groomed in sales by his father always teaching him what he needed to know to begin his pathway to a successful sales life.

When I asked Marvin if I could write an article about his sales days, he was reluctant. After encouragement, he allowed me to review his memory book that pretty well sums up his career – success because everyone worked as a team – management, warehouse workers, drivers, clerks, salesmen and businesses. Remember the slogan “if you have it, a truck helped bring it to you”?  A salesperson, somewhere, initiated a sale that caused that delivery to become possible.

Putting up with Marvin and his sense of humor is his wife Sara McCoy Kinard and his three daughters – Kathy, Joey, and Sally. 

Happy Sales! Marcia
Marvin Kinard
at Hardee's in Hampton 1/20/2011
"It will work out perfectly - if you let Jesus take control"
When God Calls Our Name, Do We Listen?

Years passed before I realized the first time I heard God call my name, I did not know of his current presence. I, along with my family, lived in Early Branch. Our home was located on a farm. The front yard was graced with huge trees.

My mother, Ruth, had been sick for a long time and eventually died when I was 13. I can’t remember discussing the courtship of my father after my mother’s death but I’m certain it must have come up at some point in time. Later, my father married and I did not understand it. Was he going with her before my mother died? Did he not love my mother? How could he do this to my siblings and me?

One day while walking alone under the massive trees, I remember hearing my name called. Marcia? Marcia? Alone, with no other person present, the calling of my name got my attention. What I heard was, “Marcia, your mother had four of you and she did not love just one of you, she loved all of you”. It was then I knew there was love in your heart for more than one person. There was an understanding of love and later what I learned to be a part of life and the voice of God.

My youth did not have an understanding of life yet to be. Many times, through joys and sorrows, God has been there for me. When I hear, “Marcia? Marcia?”, I know the special calling and as always, my name is called twice.

My pastor, Tommy Kelly, has said many times God knows each of us before we are in our mother’s womb. Regardless of our actions, He is always with us. He knew me long before I was at the age of 13. He knew I was struggling with an issue. Calling my name and getting my attention, even though it took many years to realize what had happened, there was a feeling of peace and acceptance.

We had an extended family which loved us and saw that our needs were met. That was God at work. As we enter the Easter season, His plan started long before creation in a mother’s womb. Through birth, life, death and a resurrection, we can be assured our plan may not always be the  plan, but He is with us whatever happens. 

Click here to add text.
The Rustic Magnolia

Located on Yemassee Highway (Highway 278) at Frog Hollow on the outskirts of Varnville is a unique shop filled with trinkets, arts, crafts and colorful stories by its owner and operator, Elleanor Mason.

The Rustic Magnolia is a journey through time, past and present. Filled with merchandise, it is a reminder of yard sales, festival vendor merchandise, and hand-made crafts with love sewn into each and reasonably priced for the shopper.

The shop opened in 2007. Before purchasing the shop, Ms. Mason had passed by many times and eyed its location. When a For Sale appeared one day she knew the location was ideal for what she wanted to open a business.  The business hours are 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The specialty is well defined as Arts and Crafts.

Ms. Mason is also a vendor at many festivals. Packing and unpacking, hauling and displaying the merchandise, she has the help of a daughter, Elaine. Travels have taken them through Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. During those travel miles, with a U-Haul behind the motor home, she said three motor homes met their demise. So many miles, so little time, but so much fun!

During my visit to the shop, Ms. Mason probably felt she was being interrogated. Family members had shared with me she had quite a career before the Rustic Magnolia. Having this knowledge, I knew there had to be some colorful stories she could share in between customers.

As a young girl, lack of funds kept her out of college so she decided to get continuing education in the military. Her basic training was at Ft. Lee in Petersburg, Virginia serving during peace time. Expecting to hear she had retired from the military, she said she served two years. Along came a dashing young man and then marriage. At that time, a married woman could not serve in the military so she gave up her desire to have a military career.

Pranks were a part of the military life. Putting crackers and crumbs in beds and “short sheeting” were common pranks. However, when caught, punishment was not being able to leave the base for thirty days.

She served as a flag bearer leading parades. Participating in a USO group, she imitated Minnie Pearl in officers clubs. In addition, she entertained with acrobat tumbling acts. Life was colorful wherever she was assigned.

She taught public speaking and education classes to service men and women who wanted to continue their education. The War College was her permanent post to teach. However, after marriage, one must be discharged from the military within six months.

She has no regrets about life. She said she had a great childhood. Her mother worked in a cigar factory. Her father died when she was nine months old. When asked if there was a feeling of wanting to go home, where was home?  With her great since of humor, she said the Northwoods Mall. This land was once a pea field on the land her family owned.

Fulfilling a lifetime of memories, her children were baptized in the Edisto River. She was a church pianist and Sunday School teacher for twenty years. Also, she was an original exhibitor at the Summerville Azalea Festival and participated in that festival for twenty –two years.

There were many colorful stories I wish I could share but space does not permit it. Perhaps if you visit the shop you can hear something of her past.

Dangerous moments usually turned into something hilarious. Remember the pea field? They had finished planting and someone was to take the mule back to the barn. So why not take the peas at the same time. Unfortunately, as the peas shifted and rattled, the mule must have thought they were snakes and off to a quick gallop, out of control until it was all under control. No one hurt, but laughter prevailed.

Ms. Mason thanks the customers for coming in, shopping, browsing and making the shop a great community gathering place. 

To view larger images click on small thumbnails.
Watermelon in the Makin'
Before watermelons arrived in Hampton County, Laura Poston Eaddy was already thinking watermelon.

Traveling Highway 278 (Elm Street West) through the Town of Hampton, each year one can see the beautiful white caladiums in the back yard of her parents, Lucas and Patsy Poston. Following a family tradition, a white caladium theme was born. Laura could only think of red and white which led her to thinking of watermelons. Planning strategy for her home, she planted the bulbs, purchased her red salvia and her watermelon was in the makin'.  Since the planting, perhaps she has enjoyed a Hampton County watermelon. For certain, the white caladiums, and red salvia will outlast a real tasty melon - if the deer don't feast on her efforts.

Laura is owner and operator of Master Barbers in Hampton located at 402 First Street, West - 803.943.9277. She welcomes walk-in customers or by appointment - men and women. She is married to Michael Eaddy and has two children, Jordan and Bryton.

More photos will come as her Watermelon in the Makin' grows.
Hampton County Watermelon Festival
June 20 - 28, 2015
Wild Game Banquet - October 27, 2011
It was a great night for the hunters attending the Wild Game Banquet. The feast of quail, shrimp, barbeque, frog legs, turkey, and other delicious meats were prepared by the men of various churches throughout the county. This year, under big tents on the ball field behind the Varnville First Baptist Church, an inspirational message by David Ring was received by approximately 1500 men and a number of children.
Click on small photo to view larger image.
Eagle Nation
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