DEAN OF HOPE

Published in Issue #4 | Spring 2016

By Stephanie Hunt

Chances are, you’re harboring an orphan. There’s a beater in your garage or shed—as in a rinkydink beaten-up, orphaned old bike sporting a rusty chain, maybe missing a spoke, definitely a very flat tire. It’s been taking up space so long that now you hang rags on it, prop the shovel against the handlebars. You used to love to cruise around the neighborhood on it, or your kids did, but they outgrew it a while ago and no one’s gotten around to taking it to Goodwill or the pawn shop, so there it sits. Sad and lonely and in your way. 

Yep, Chris Tate knows all about that, and he’s eager to take it off your hands. Even better, he and a bunch of middle schoolers will take your old bike and transform it into hope.

As Dean of the Middle School at Porter-Gaud, Chris is always on the hunt for service opportunities and innovative ways to teach character values (also called social and emotional learning in educationspeak)with his impressionable adolescents. He’s also got a good eye for junk. “So one day when I saw a perfectly good mountain bike tossed on a curb-side trash heap, I did what any good garbage picker does. I rescued it and put it in my car,” Chris says. By the time he got home, he’d collected two other bikes destined for the landfill. Unsure what to do with his new treasures, Chris googled “bike recycling” and discovered an organization called Bicycles for Humanity. He read more about this global, grassroots nonprofit that collects bicycles to ship to developing countries where they are repaired and become much needed, indeed often life-changing, transportation.

HIS WHEELS STARTED SPINNING.
“I called the founder of Bicycles for Humanity and asked about starting a Charleston chapter, and before long, we were up and running. And the beauty is my middle school students did it all – developed the website, created Facebook and Instagram accounts to help promote it, held bake sales to raise initial funds,” Chris says. Last January, the Charleston chapter shipped its first container full of 450 bikes to Uganda, where the shipping container they purchased for the delivery (that’s the only cost associated with the program – $2500 per container, raised through bake sales and other fundraisers) gets converted to a repair workshop, dubbed a Bicycle Empowerment Center. People on the ground in Karamoja, Uganda (or where ever a chapter delivers their bikes) get trained in bicycle repair, so local jobs are created and job-skills taught, then villagers get a much easier way to carry their goods to market, or get to the doctor ten miles away. One hundred percent of donations go toward giving usable bikes to those who need them.

“I love how this service project gives students so many learning opportunities—from the nuts and bolts of creating and operating a non-profit organization, to learning about different countries and cultures,” says Chris, a former baseball player at the University of South Carolina who also serves as JV football coach for the Cyclones. The father of two (daughter Gina is 7; son Benedetto, 4) is particularly proud that the Charleston chapter of Bicycles for Humanity is the organization’s only chapter run entirely by 11 and 12 year olds.

“I’m a big believer that kids want to be helpful, they want to be useful and love finding ways to connect to the broader world around them. Can an 11-year old make a difference? Well, maybe or maybe not, but that 11-year old’s bike can make a big difference in someone’s life,” he says. “For us, riding a bike is mostly a leisure activity or exercise, but over there it’s a game changer.” It means a doctor can get to a clinic more quickly, or a mother gets an easier trek home from her daily gathering of water. It brings hope via two wheels to people who need it, and gives young students an ability to change the world,one bike at a time.

And about those bikes abandoned in garages or backyards—Chris admits he’s got one. It’s his favorite bike: “A BMX Torker I’ve had since 1982. I don’t’ know if you know anything about BMX bikes, but it’s the Cadillac. It’s vintage now, but I still love it.”

If you’ve got some wheels or an old frame to donate, let Chris and the kids at Charleston’s Bicycles for Humanity a shout: b4h-charleston.org

 

 

COME TOGETHER

 


This is why right temporarily
defeated is stronger than evil
triumphant. I believe that even
amid today’s mortar bursts and
whining bullets, there is still hope
for a brighter tomorrow.
 – Dr. Martin Luther King

Published in Issue #5 | Summer 2016

By Wm. M. Gruenloh

It’s been nearly a year since the horrific shootings at Emanuel and Charleston has become an example of how a community should come together when confronted with an evil act. Many other cities have not fared so well. The pictures that came out of St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore and too many other cities in the last few years appear to have set back the civil rights struggle considerably. While others around us have fallen prey and given themselves over to the false promises of revenge and the temporary salve of violence, how has Charleston managed to come together? I was out of town when I heard the horrible news last June.

Nine worshipers at Emanuel AME, including Senator Clementa Pinckney, had been massacred while at bible study. It got worse. The six women and three men known as the ‘Emanuel 9’ were executed by a 21-year old white man who they had invited to worship with them. The young man wanted to start a race war. ‘Young man’ is how the leadership of the AME has referred to the person that killed their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and so I will do my best to follow their example. 

Of all places, I was in St. Louis when I heard the news. I grew up in the segregated suburbs of St. Louis amongst endless fields of white, vinyl houses. When news of the Mother Emanuel shooting broke, St. Louis was in the midst of its own struggles with racial violence. You may recall that a year before the Emanuel shootings, Michael Brown, an unarmed, eighteen year-old, African American Ferguson was shot to death by Police Officer Darren Wilson. Protests, violence and rioting gripped St. Louis and the community was deeply divided along racial lines. The words ‘us’ and ‘them’ were openly used to describe people’s skin color. Businesses were looted and burned, dozens were injured, scores were arrested and the National Guard was called in to police the city. This scene was repeated over and over between 2014 and 2015 and the pictures that were broadcast of St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore and too many other American looked like Birmingham in 1963. The whole world took notice. Iran’s Grand Ayatollah tweeted about the “brutal treatment” of African Americans in the United States and the Egyptian government called for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.” It was like Hitler had just told us that our fly was down – and it was.

So the police officers in those cities are all monsters, right? I have two brothers who are police officers in the St. Louis area. They are good family men. Neither is a member or sympathizer of the Council of Conservative Citizens, the overtly racist organization that influenced and incited the young man and which is still peddling hate on the internet today. Also, I’m pretty sure that neither of them ever thought that they would be tagged by the Ayatollah as bad people. My educated guess is that the police officers all around the country are the same – mostly good men mixed in with a few (too many) bad apples. Shortly after we heard about the Emanuel shootings, one of my brothers said to me, “Oh just you wait. All hell is going to break loose now.”

There was a certain anticipation in his eyes when he said it. I did not take it as racism or hatred but instead the look that men of action get when they sense that action is imminent. St. Louis was, after all, on virtual lockdown at the time.

“No,” I replied. “You’re wrong. Charleston is different.” And as I said it, I hoped that I was right. To my great relief, the sights out of Charleston on June 18, 2015 and in the following days were not of protests and police dressed in riot gear but of people of all colors grieving together, in unity as a single community. The sounds were not of helicopters and sirens but of prayer and song. 

Well sure, you might say. But St. Louis, Chicago and Baltimore were different because they involved white cops killing black people. And then I might remind you of Walter Scott who was shot in the back by a white police office just seventy-four days before that young man was invited into Emanuel to pray on June 17th. It’s not the degree or specifics of the evil that caused Charleston to come together while others were ripped apart. To say that Charleston has not had as many challenges, as much evil visited upon its streets as any other city in this nation, is to ignore its notorious history. Yet, despite predictions to the contrary, all hell did not break loose in Charleston on June 18th. Why? How? Are Charlestonians just better than everyone else? Sorry Colonel – that’s not the answer either.

I had the great honor to sit down with the former interim Pastor of Mother Emanuel, Dr. Norvel Goff and discuss this very subject. Dr. Goff’s leadership and words in the days after June 17th and, in particular, at the funeral of Senator Pickney deeply touched me. I am not a member of his congregation nor do ordinarily I attend church but I find him to be wise, entertaining and a fierce advocate of peace.

I asked Dr. Goff how Charleston had come together when other cities had been torn apart. 

“Charleston is not called the holy city for nothing,” Dr. Goff replied. “Its in our DNA.”

He wore a well-fitting, black, three-piece suit with a gold cross dangling at the end of a long gold chain. He leaned back in his chair and was at ease.

I asked, “What precisely is in our DNA?”

“Faith,” he replied. “It is difficult to know how we will react to evil until we are in it. When we are in it and confronted with it we must find some way to reconcile its existence. When you are tested, as we were on June 17th, it is an opportunity.”

“To show your strength?” I asked.

“To affirm our faith,” Dr. Goff replied.

Hold on, I thought. I have half a convent full of nuns in my family back in St. Louis and my father went to church at 6AM almost every day of his life. Is he saying that Charlestonians have stronger faith?

Dr. Goff continued, “On June 21st we opened the doors of Emanuel AME and held services,” he explained. “Do you understand? The church was actually still an active crime scene.”

I began to understand. I imagined the families and friends of the Emanuel 9 walking into Emanuel just days after their loved ones had been mercilessly slaughtered there. My father was killed thirty years ago in an accident on a construction site. To this day I have not visited the spot where he died. Yet these folks – men, women and children had the strength of conviction to worship in to the very place where their loved ones had been killed days before. I began to understand something about the folks at Mother Emanuel.

“It was important for the world to see that evil will not keep Emanuel’s doors closed,” said Dr. Goff falling into his animated preacher’s cadence and leaning forward in his chair. “It was important for us to speak unapologetically with a single voice. When leaders do not lead, a void is created. And as we have seen elsewhere in our country, other voices will fill that void and those voices may have political or personal agendas. When that happens, then you have a fractured community.”

As he spoke to me about the unified response of the Charleston’s leadership, Dr. Goff spoke warmly of Mayor Riley, Police Chief Mullens and Governor Hailey. I couldn’t help but remember how the leaders in the city where I grew up chose sides and deepened existing divides leading to violence. The strength of the leadership and the unity of the voices were key and I could see Dr. Goff’s point. But I can’t help but think that there was another factor at play.

St. Louis, the city of my youth, has been referred to as the most segregated city in America. Growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis there was zero diversity - zero. Bill Rankin’s demographic map of St. Louis confirms that not much has changed. The blue represents African Americans living in inner city areas that are, by the way, specifically excepted from sharing in the tax dollars (and income) that is enjoyed by St. Louis County. St. Louis did not implement an effective plan to desegregate its schools until the mid 1980s. I vividly remember because I was in school at the time. You could hear people talk in hushed voices about how many of them were going to be bussed in. We were ignorant of one another and so we feared one another. Charleston, on the other hand, was the first city in South Carolina to desegregate its schools in 1963. While segregated pockets still exist, the peninsula remains relatively diverse.

Wait, you might say. You’re not actually suggesting that Charleston, a southern city with deep roots in the slave trade and the epicenter of the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ is progressive are you?

I lived in St. Louis for the first 20 years of my life and Charleston for the last 20. I can tell you unequivocally that St. Louis is far, far more segregated than Charleston. Ignorance and fear beat at the heart of every segregated society. Dr. Martin Luther King frequented Emanuel AME and even preached there. He once said, “it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.” But that is not what I saw when I recently attended Sunday service at Emanuel.

I arrived early for the 9:30 service. The church is beautiful. There was a drummer and trumpet player accompanying the organ. The choir consisted of a couple dozen really good singers – all of whom danced into the church. The service was powerful and inspiring and everyone I met was gracious. The congregation was as you would expect in an AME church mostly African American, but on that Sunday it was about 33% white. So much for being the most segregated hour of Christian America.

I felt comfortable and not excluded at all as I sat and listened to Dr. Betty Deas Clark, the new pastor at Emanuel deliver her sermon. “It’s so quiet in here,” she said occasionally as she preached to her congregation about right and wrong. And it was quiet, because we all knew she was right. I hadn’t come for a lesson but I was given one anyway. Coming from a Catholic background, I had always felt that it’s a great loss that women are not allowed to say Catholic mass. For me, Dr. Clark is confirmation of that. It seems a shame to have quieted so many voices, especially those like Dr. Clark who have so much to tell us.

When I spoke with Dr. Clark after the service and asked her about the response of the leadership to the shootings, she responded, “We will not let anyone define who we are. We will be who we have been all of our lives. In times of crisis we will let people see the Christ that has always been in us.”

I asked Dr. Clark about her thoughts on Mother Emanuel being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and even tried to get her to visualize an all expense paid trip to Oslo. I had hoped I might be able to write to the Nobel Committee quoting Dr. Clark. Please just tell me how much you love the Norwegian people so we can schmooze the committee for you. Trump has been nominated for the prestigious award too and I think he owns some property in Norway. Dr. Clark didn’t bite. Her only comment on the prestigious award was, “that’s not our focus.” I think that Dr. King, who received the award himself in 1968 would have appreciated that comment . . . all business.

When I asked Dr. Clark what the biggest change was that she had seen in Emanuel and her congregation, she replied “joy is returning.” I got the distinct impression that her mission is to see that joy not only returns to Mother Emanuel but to all of Charleston. She’s just the woman for the job.

There is still a lot of healing to be done. The men and women who were slain were good people. Senator Clementa Pinckney’s friend and colleague, Senator Marlon Kimpson told me. “Clementa would have personally greeted that young man and would have made a special effort to make him feel welcome.” I asked Dr. Goff if Mother Emanuel has done anything to change the way that it accepts visitors.

“No,” he replied and then after a moment he added, “we have many more visitors now and we welcome them all the same.” 

I asked, “You’re not afraid?”

Like he did many other times during our interview, Dr. Goff entwined his words with scripture. “Better that we show hospitality and not turn away angels unawares.”

As our country debates whether to build walls, I applaud the quiet courage of Mother Emanuel and am pretty sure it’s what they’re looking for in Oslo.

Special thanks to Giovanna Athias, Dr. Maxine Smith, Dr. Norvell Goff, Dr. Betty Clerk, Senator Marlon Kimpson and the nice people at Emanuel who made me feel so welcome.

32 HOURS

Published in Issue #5 | Summer 2016

by Maggie McMenamin

You can often find David Yarborough and David, Jr. attending the same Lowcountry charity event or joining other prominent movers and shakers at the historic Hibernian Hall. When you get to know them, you’ll find they share more than identical names.

These two Southern gentlemen share a familial combination of poise, confidence and intelligence that quickly puts people at easeand makes them stand out in any gathering. Success is clearly in their DNA.

Yet at first glance, you’d probably also never in a million years guess that David, Vice-President and General Manager of Hendrick Lexus for the past 20 years, is the very same guy who in 1979 shattered the cross country record for the infamous Cannonball Run road race, making it from Connecticut to California in a Jaguar XJS in just 32 hours and 51 minutes, thereby forever earning his place in popular American culture. (After all, Burt Reynolds did make a hugely successful movie about it!) You’d probably also never guess that Yarborough’s fair haired, blue-eyed son, David Jr., currently ranked as one of South Carolina’s top 25 Super Lawyers, was once a defiant teenager whose rebellious attitude got him kicked out of four different high schools before getting on the straight and narrow. 

It just goes to show you cannot judge a book by its cover. And in the case of the Yarboroughs, you don’t have to … because if you simply ask them, their lives are really an open edition.

Affable, approachable, handsome and very willing to share, when we asked this father-son team what the secret to their obvious personal and professional success is, both were quick to tell us that ‘transparency’ means everything to them. In other words, their ongoing commitment to bearing out the highs and lows, the successes and disappointments that come with life, not only gives their father-son relationship the resilience needed to survive whatever comes their way, but also makes them the most effective in their respective careers…

There’s an old adage that says “one is worthy as a son when he removes his father’s troubles” and another one that says “there’s no such thing as a perfect parent”. The best we can do is strive to be real, open and honest with one another... transparency will drive out most character defects and create what can only be described as a truly beautiful relationship. Just ask these two best friends; they’ll tell you the rewards are commensurate with the effort.

 

3 UNDYING MYTHS OF EXERCISE AND NUTRITION

Published in Issue #5 | Summer 2016

by Vic Tringali, MS, CSCS

While science has debunked many myths of diet and exercise, some remain up in the air, causing both athletes and generally health-conscious gym-goers to bicker over their accuracy. But no matter how preposterous they may be, some myths seem to be holding strong today. 

Here are three physiological fallacies that continue to fly in the face of science.

 # 1 Eating more frequently speeds up metabolism. 

The idea that eating frequent, small meals throughout the day encourages weight loss has been carved deeply into mainstream diet dogma for years. Increasing meal frequency has been touted as an energy booster and jump starter of metabolism. But regardless of what you may have heard from your local bro-scientist, most clinical research fails to support those claims.

When we eat, our bodies use energy to digest the macronutrients in our meals, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. This energy is what is referred to in science as the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TEF causes a temporary increase in basal metabolic rate. In theory, eating more frequently should stimulate this increase in metabolic rate more often, leading to an increase of calories expended throughout the course of the day. However the impact of TEF is proportional to the size of a meal. Meaning the calories expended during the digestion of three 1000-calorie meals will be the same amount expended with six 500-calorie meals of the same proportion of macronutrients. 

Most data collected from research examining the effect of meal frequency show no significant difference in weight loss, or fat loss, between high or low meal frequencies. In 2011, the International Society of Sports Nutrition released a position paper on meal frequency, and based on a large body of cited data, the paper concludes that increased meal frequency does not affect body composition or resting metabolic rate.

In fact, one study which examined the effect of meal frequency on insulin response, resting metabolic rate , and perceived hunger found that low meal frequencies were associated with increased resting metabolism and appetite control, not only questioning the benefits of frequent eating, but suggesting that eating fewer, larger meals may actually aid in weight control. 

This doesn’t mean that eating more frequent meals is bad. For some individuals eating more than three times a day may be more appropriate. For example, an athlete who can’t satisfy his/her macronutrient and calorie requirements in 3 meals may benefit by eating more frequently. Higher level athletes may also benefit by paying special attention to the timing of pre and post-workout nutrition in order to optimize training and recovery.

# 2 Fasted cardio exercise leads to greater fat loss.

Research has shown that the breakdown of fatty acids during exercise is 23% greater in a pre-fed condition. Armed with what appears to be a “slam-dunk” of exercise science, fasted cardio is often advocated by bodybuilders and weight loss enthusiasts. 

However, the benefits of fasted cardio may not be as significant as they first appear in the literature. In a 1999 study, trained subjects who exercised at 50 percent of their max heart rate, demonstrated no difference in the amount of fat oxidized–regardless of whether the subjects had eaten. Only after 90 minutes of exercise did fasted subjects begin to yield a favorable result in the amount of fat oxidation. What this means is you would need to exercise for a minimum of 90 minutes to derive an additional benefit.

Secondly, what most fitness aficionados fail to realize is the amount of fat broken down during fasted exercise exceeds the amount that can be used for fuel. Consequently, the free fatty acids that are not oxidized become re-esterfied in adipose (fat) tissue, thereby negating any intended benefits.

Another important consideration is that performing cardio in a fasted state has been shown to increase the breakdown of muscle tissue. Studies show that training in a fasted state substantially increases the amount of tissue proteins burned for energy during exercise. Since lean muscle mass is the major determinant of metabolism, sacrificing lean tissue would be detrimental to overall metabolic rate and total caloric expenditure.

Finally, a 2014 study by Schoenfeld and colleagues concluded that “body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a hypocaloric diet are similar regardless whether or not an individual is fasted prior to training.” 

# 3 Eating carbs at night will make you fat.

The asinine belief may be lingering on due to the advice of misguided mainstream media “gurus” who claim to know their way around energy metabolism. The truth is scientific research has found no evidence that a difference exists between the storage of carbs eaten at lunch or at 10pm. The bigger picture when it comes to weight gain or weight maintenance is energy balance. If we consume the same amount of calories we expend via our daily metabolic activity, we’ll maintain a steady weight. Since your body is in a constant state of energy storage and energy release, as long as you aren’t overeating, the energy that’s stored tonight will be mobilized tomorrow. So overeating carbs and calories in general, causes weight gain, and not the time of day they’re consumed.

Can avoiding late-night carbs work? Of course. Except it’s nothing more than a default method of cutting calories. Cutting back on the same amount of carbs earlier in the day is generally just as effective.

The biggest problem for most people who eat late at night is that they aren’t just eating a postponed dinner, they’re consuming extra calories in the form of snacks, usually enjoyed in front of a TV or computer and they aren’t necessarily “healthy” choices. What’s more, late night snacking usually leads to out of control portions eaten straight out of a box or bag, which research has shown leads to eating more.

Furthermore, if you’re an athlete and train at night, it may be especially important to eat carbs later into the evening. Rather than increasing fat stores, these carbs will be used to replenish muscles and aid recovery. 

Bottom line, if you’re making healthy, wholesome food choices throughout the entire day, staying active and maintaining a neutral energy balance, there’s no need to put your kitchen on lockdown after 8pm.

Train Smart and Good Luck!

 

THE PRINCE OF TIDES

Published in Issue #5 | Summer 2016

by F. Rutledge Hammes

It might rightly be said that a man is remembered by the fingerprints he leaves on the landscape of the world, and in that (and perhaps only in that), a man becomes legend. So too has much-loved author Pat Conroy recently passed into legend, but not so much because his life was the stuff of it, more that the example he set reads like a cartographer’s legend for any man who finds himself in search of True North… or rather, True South.

Maybe his grandson said it best, in suggesting that a man dies not one but two deaths: once when he yields up the body, and the second time when people no longer find cause to say aloud his name. His grandson was speaking, of course, to the indelible mark his grandfather left on the canon of not just Southern liter - ature, but the whole of American literature as well. Ask anyone in the know, and they will surely mention the rightful claim Conroy holds on the long and storied bloodline of Lowcountry authors like William Gilmore Simms, DuBose Heyward, Flannery O’Connor and the only writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for both poetry and fiction, James Dickey.

As for me, however, the legacy Pat Conroy left to the world will forever and always be tied up in the reason he asked me to write down my name. It was a few years back, and I, being the ever-ambitious and categorically young writer that I was at the time, jumped at his invitation to join him at a book-sign - ing in Charleston. I felt, at first, naked and aghast just being there. His larger-than-life reputation had preceded him, and I remember how impressive it was that he took the time to talk to everyone who approached the table as well as how honestly he seemed to care about all of his readers. The line, as I remember it, wrapped an entire city block, and yet he attended mindfully every single in - scription he signed. He paused only once, early that morning, and slid me a slip of paper, and I like to think he said something in the way of, “Rutledge, sign this for me, won’t you? It’ll be good practice for when you find yourself in my seat, the hot seat, or,” he thought, “for when the prosecutor’s got you by the balls and it’s high time you fess up and sign the confession.” I, of course, did as he asked, and before parting ways a few hours later, he asked me to see it. His scowl was a momentary scowl then he sort of chuckled to himself, before teaching me one thing I’ll never forget. Looking at the slip of paper I had just handed him and shaking his head, he told me why this signature just wouldn’t do. He said, “When your readers come out and brave the elements to see you, you owe it to them to leave them with something they can remember you by. Your readers are the only reason you are here, the reason you write. Never forget that, Rutledge, okay?” And that alone told me all I ever needed to know about the man he was, about the broth - erhood he felt for the people of the Lowcountry.

Only later would I learn that this was a lesson that he had learned, as a young writer himself, from the state’s first poet laureate, Ar - chibald Rutledge, who just so happened to be a relative of mine. And discovering this made what he taught me that day all the more memorable. To me, it was as if he had conjured the voice of my ancestors and, bridging the long and expansive continuum of time and space, had somehow gifted me with their words.

Surely, this was not the first time he had done this for someone, though it sure felt like it to me. That was the thing about Pat Conroy: he had a way of making you feel special, no matter who you were. And that alone made him a rarity in this world so full of celebrity platitudes, where maintaining a cold, aloof distance from the adoring public was far too common. I’d imagine what I was privy to, that day, was the near supernatural ability he’d always had for speaking the language of our common inheritance, the communal wisdom of the land and the uncanny humor that came in civilizing the tears. It is, after all, why the people of the Lowcountry came to love him so. He was more a medium in this way, his books: a séance for resurrecting ghosts, the ethereal inbetweenness of what, like Spanish moss, still hangs from our skies, washes up on our shores and branches out from our oaky arbors. He himself had become the truth of our land, spoken in tongues. His words: the past called up suddenly in the prescient now, like a kind of Second Coming coming again to remind us always of what we need the most, all the lessons history has yet to teach us, though we would’ve known instinctually, were it not for how readily certain things get caught up in the throat of the marsh, like the esophageal happenstance of a river impeded, once again, in its march outto sea. Because, in the end, he, like a brother, did more than spoke to us; he spoke for us, and he signed his name to every word so that we all could read it. 

He spoke volumes too with the life he led, and that is how he has come to define, at least for me, the quintessential Lowcountry man. He was strong, for one, strong enough to survive the brutality of his own father and the transient childhood as a military brat. He saw his way through the Citadel, a military college, and graduated, only to then go and work his hands callous, trawling the seas under the glaring eye of a Carolina sun. When he drank, he drank hard, and when he smoked, he smoked as if he were exorcizing demons. He was drawn to the river, same as he was drawn to stories, the stories in books same as the stories in men, until he had fashioned a storied life all his own. He was a man, a man who could measure up to most any man. He was a man’s man and a man who always looked out for others, like it was his sacred duty, which is why he began his career in education, teaching poor black children on Daufuskie Island, and later took a second job just to afford his students the chance to see our nation’s capitol with their own two eyes. And when it was all said and done, the life he led was larger than life, seeing as he himself was  large and yet always aware of his own smallness. That made him a king. That made him a servant. That made him the Prince of Tides.

And men like that only die once, or so his grandson would argue. Men like that, his grandson would say, suffer only the death of their bodies, but so long as someone somewhere is still speaking his name, men like that never die. And I, for one, say he’s right. I say, if Pat Conroy’s legacy should teach us anything, it’s to live our lives, like he did, so that we only die once, or as his favorite James Dickey poem “For the Last Wolverine” puts it: “Lord, let me die but not die out."

 

HAIR PIECE OF WORK

Published in Issue #5 | Summer 2016

By Chad Straughan

The days of toupees have come and gone. It’s a good thing! It seems more and more of us are requiring sunscreen on the top of our heads more often than our backs. Some of us have embraced balding while others are trying everything under the sun to keep that last stray hair alive, even if you are sporting the “Trump wave”. There are many hair regrowth remedies out there, some backed by science and some not at all. You have asked about the various medications available, so here is a quick run down. There are two primary medications available that have shown positive results. Minoxidil (aka Rogaine) is an over the counter medication that is often applied twice daily to the scalp. It has been proven to stop hair loss and possibly even regrow hair. The key with minoxidil is to start using it early, when you first notice hair loss and to NOT stop. One study cited 55% of men had hair regrowth after 5 months while using a 5% solution. Finasteride is an oral medication that is also often used. It works by increasing hair regrowth and slowing hair loss specifically at the crown and middle of the scalp. So, you may be asking yourself, which one is best for me. My recommendation is to start with minoxidil (because it is over the counter) and if you are not liking what you see, make an appointment with your MD to discuss the pros and cons of finasteride along with other possible treatments (such as compounds).

We want to hear from you. Have a topic you would liked discussed? Email Chad at help@tidewaterpharmacy.com

SPF…WTF….WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Published in Issue #5 | Summer 2016

By Chad Straughan

All summer long we slather sunscreen with hopes of preventing that dreaded sunburn and undergoing the knife in future years. But with todays wall of sunscreens, which is best for you? Let’s discuss what SPF really means and what you might want to consider. Some of you use tanning oil. Go ahead and STOP reading, this article isn’t for you. Some use SPF 4 and good for you! At least you are using an SPF, but you might as well be using the tanning oil… you are not getting the needed protection from an SPF 4. SPF stands for “sun protection factor”. SPF is the measure of time it would take to burn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed to wearing sunscreen. So, if you use an SPF 30, you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than not wearing any sunscreen….well sort of. Many dermatologists feel that SPF is often misleading and it is not a “consumer friendly” number. A more logical approach is looking at how much of the UVB rays are being blocked by your SPF. An SPF 15 product blocks 94% of the UVB rays, an SPF 30 blocks 97%, and an SPF 45 blocks 98%. Anything above an SPF 50 has no real added benefits. So the next time, you are putting on a sunscreen, which SPF are you going to choose? You might be thanking yourself years from now.  

We want to hear from you. Have a topic you would liked discussed? Email Chad at help@tidewaterpharmacy.com

A BUZZ IN CHARLESTON

Published in Issue #5 | Summer 2016

By Paul Savor 

Maurice Maeterlinck wrote in his The Life Of The Bee (1924)”… were someone from another world to descend and ask of the earth the most perfect creation of the logic of life, we should needs have to offer the humble comb of honey.” Bees are fascinating creatures beyond their ability to produce honey and wax. The humble bee is one of the most precious insects in the world so it is fortunate that beekeeping is enjoying a revival because bees in the 21st century rely on beekeepers. Beekeeping has many attractive features including a way to provide a way to connect someone’s interests in local farming, organic food and permaculture. This is a hobby which directly helps the environment

Not all beehives are located in rural areas, in recent years there has been a significant growth in urban beekeeping. Across the nation adventurous people are setting up their bee hives in their own backyard. Charleston is no exception. A growing number of Charleston residents have decided to join the thousands of beekeepers from other parts of South Carolina where there are 19 local beekeeping associations according to the South Carolina Beekeepers Association, which includes the Charleston Beekeepers Association (CABA).

Members of CABA are professional beekeepers, researchers, and ordinary people who enjoy beekeeping and share a concern for the welfare of the honeybee. CABA offers beginner beekeeping courses but slots are difficult to find due to their popularity. An alternative might be the Apiculture program at Clemson University which provides the citizenry of South Carolina with the opportunity to learn the importance and value of honey bees and other insect pollinators. One of their services is the ‘Beekeeper Education & Engagement System’ (BEES) which is a new online resource for beekeepers at all levels.

Bees are members of the genus Apis but not all bees are honeybees. Not surprisingly honey bees are primarily distinguished from other types of bees by the production and storage of honey and also the construction of nests from wax. William Shakespeare described honey bees as “singing masons building roofs of gold”.

While the honey bee is not a native species, it has been buzzing around South Carolina for many centuries. Bees were brought to North America by settlers from Europe and remain vital to South Carolina’s economy today. In South Carolina, the honeybee, on an annual basis, directly contributes millions of dollars to the economy through the production of honey and through the pollination of crops. About 70% of our food source requires pollination. Honey bees are the most economically important pollinators in the world.

A driving force in the growth of beekeeping is the current dire plight of the honey bee. Bees have not been prospering in South Carolina or anywhere else in the world since the late twentieth century. Bee colonies around the world are mysteriously collapsing, with adult bees disappearing, seemingly abandoning their hives. South Carolina beekeepers have experienced a precipitous drop in the number of recorded hives and honey production from the 1980s onwards. This phenomenon is named “Colony Collapse Disorder”. Honey bees are like the proverbial canary in the mineshaft; setting off alarm bells about broader environmental degradation. Almost all feral colonies of bees have disappeared by now. Colony Collapse Disorder is part of the current collapse in biodiversity that many biologists believe poses a grave threat to humanity.

This is all very depressing news, but you can play your part in creating thriving bee habitats and thereby contribute to restoring a healthy bee population. You have to start somewhere, so why not in your own backyard? The American writer, Elbert Hubbard said “Every saint has a bee in his halo.” For those aspiring beekeepers, It is not difficult or expensive to install bee hives on your residential or commercial property. A bee hive doesn’t take up much space, in fact, no more than the footprint of the hive itself, which is in the range of 18 x 18 inches. A complete beginner’s kit will cost you approximately $250. The kit will include an assembled hive box, bee veil, protective gloves, etc. Honeybees are usually not included.

If you are looking for inspiration, there are beekeepers with established beehives in Charleston area. Many beekeepers are rather secretive about where they locate their beehives and there is no requirement to register a hive. Consequently, those who are curious about checking out local beehives cannot obtain a map or inventory of hives to guide them in their bee exploration. Instead as you move around the city, you must be vigilant, keeping your eyes peeled for beehives tucked into Charleston home lots. The Charleston Community Bee Gardens (CCBG) are available. If you are keen about bees but live in an apartment and have no place to keep bees then.

Tami Enright is the Executive Director of the local The Bee Cause Project. She started beekeeping by putting two hives in her front yard garden on Isle of Palms and quickly became hooked on bees and beekeeping. Tami has expanded her backyard beekeeping hobby into all aspects of her life: she manages over a dozen beehives on a local farm, provides educational services and hands-on experiences with bees to help enrich the lives of all children, and installs honeybee observation hives in local schools to promote honeybee awareness. www.thebeecause.org

You can still contribute to the health of local bee colonies by taking quite small steps even if you are not persuaded to become a beekeeper. You can contribute by planting your garden with bee-friendly plants, and wildflowers. Also, ensure you have flowers and plants in bloom for as long as possible in the garden and add a water source to your yard. Lastly do not spray your garden and lawn with many of the well-known garden and lawn pesticides, especially those which contain neonicotinoids, a toxic chemical to pollinators. You can also help local beekeepers by buying organic foods and pure local honey. (Some of the larger companies are selling cheap, ultra-filtered honey cut with cheap sweeteners. Some of this honey also contains unauthorized antibiotics and pesticides). You are now equipped to be a bee champion so spread the word.