The People of Georgetown

Dec. 5, 2019

My husband and I had lunch at Castaways on Front Street; Regan Lambert came in to join us. I had interviewed him a few years ago so this time it was like a couple of friends getting together. I was interested to hear how things had changed for him. Were they better, worse, or the same?

Regan Lambert is a very popular local DJ who on Friday nights DJ’s at Castaways. Thursdays he hosts the shag dance, also at Castaways. That sounds like fun and I was quite interested to hear a little more about that so, I’m going to pop in sometime around 7-10 one Thursday and check it out for myself.

"So how are things going now compared to before?” I asked after we had ordered.

I have to say that I always thought it was just a local bar, but I was wrong. My husband and I love to come in and have lunch. I’m sure it’s hopping on weekend nights, but during the day, it has a nice atmosphere and the food is fantastic.

They’re a lot better,” he admitted. I could tell he was a lot more comfortable and at ease this time. “I stay busy.”

How are you staying busy?” I asked, “Besides DJ’ing here at Castaways what else do you do?

Well, I DJ here every Friday night and shag Thursday nights,” he confirmed, “And then I also do private events on Saturday… actually, any day that you need me. Saturday is the more popular day for events. Right now, I’m booked up until October of 2020.”

I was sure I knew, but just to be sure, I asked, “What kind of events?”

You know, weddings, graduation parties – whatever you need,” he explained. “I really enjoy it because it gives me a chance to get out and meet some pretty cool people.”

I remembered from my past interview with him that Regan was a distributor for Blue Mania® energy drink. “How is that going?”

"That is going pretty well, actually,” he said of his distribution business. “We were bought out by Budweiser with Better Brands in Myrtle Beach and it sells in different stores and places. We added the ‘Mania’ part of the name when Budweiser got us.”

Regan is a true Georgetonian having been born and raised here and never left. He pays homage to his hometown with his own Facebook page named Georgetown Shop Local, Eat Local, Drink Local. The page strictly caters to the Georgetown people and businesses. I think I was the fifth person to join when he opened the page about three years ago. Within weeks he had hundreds of members and now, he’s has over 1,000 people on the page.

At 42 years old, he’s still unmarried, but he doesn’t seem bothered by it. He believes that one day God will send him the right woman. Until then, he just keeps searching.

We talked about different things such as the Harborwalk Festival. It was a yearly event that has since passed. He shared with me that a few people have talked about reviving it and returning the festival to the historic district. That would be nice to see.

Chris, the bartender and manager, stopped by our table to check on us. While talking with us, she mentioned the boat parade. It seems Castaways will play host to Georgetown’s Christmas Beat Parade which will take place on the river behind Front Street. Regan Lambert is going to be the Grand Marshall for that event. I’m so excited about that.

It’s on December 7th. Isn’t that the same day of the Christmas parade?” I asked as I wrote quickly.

Regan nodded. “Yes, it is. It’s going to be an all-day event on Front Street that day.”

The last thing that we talked about was the Christmas lights or lack thereof. GAB News had posted an article about the town not being able to afford them this year. Andrews, which is also part of Georgetown County, had decided the residents would decorate the streets themselves. We decided to do the same.

I think it’s sad,” Regan said of the missing decorations. “The historic district has always been lit up. It doesn’t matter about the rest of the town as much as it does that particular section. That’s the place tourists come to see the most.”

Why don’t we do something like ‘Adopt-A-Lamp,’ I suggested, “People can buy their own lights and hang them up for the city.”

I like that idea and when I get home, I’m going to start working on it,” he promised.

He kept his word and now the Adopt-A-Lamp plan is in full swing. We both laughed about how it would probably blow up Facebook once we posted about it and, indeed, it certainly did.

As we parted ways, I wished him well with his business and personal endeavors. I’m sure wherever Regan goes he will be lighting up the place with wonderful music and fun activities.

Nov. 12, 2019

I made an appointment to go in to the Sheriff’s Office and visit with Carter Weaver. I had seen him a couple days earlier at Olive’s Tavern. Although, we didn’t speak, I had been trying to get up with him. He had been recommended as a subject for the Meet Georgetown segment long before making sheriff. I just never got around to it until now. 

My daughter is very fond of him, respectfully, having known him personally and as a fellow law student, as well as, someone in law enforcement that she can turn to if needed. Following law school himself, Carter is waiting to take his bar exam. I’m excited for him as it is another notch in his impressive resume’.

At 54 years old, he’s achieved quite a list of accomplishments. I believe his favorite accomplishments are his two grown children. Both are successful in their own right. He’s worked with SLED, the sheriff’s department as the assistant sheriff, and now currently, he’s the sheriff.

“What made you decide to go into law enforcement?” I asked.

“Well, my grandfather is Woodrow Carter,” he began. “When I was twelve years old, I was at his house, over there on Prince Street. It was nighttime when this lady, carrying a baby, came to the house. She was crying and telling my grandfather about her husband. He’d taken last week’s pay and gambled it away, then he took this week’s pay and he’s gambling with it now. The baby was hungry and she had no money to feed the child so my grandfather said he’d be right back and left.

“He came back about fifteen minutes later with the husband, with the pay for this week, and the pay for last week. To my knowledge, the man didn’t gamble anymore after that. That’s when I knew: I wanted to do what my grandfather did and help people. I wanted to be like him. He cared. He truly cared and I really respected that.”

“So the woman and the baby situation carried a lot of weight then?”

“It’s wasn’t just that,” he confessed. “I used to sometimes eavesdrop on his calls. Back then, you didn’t have social media, or cell phones, you had a lot of one-on-one. I remember his deputies calling to give him report or dropping by at the house to tell him what’s going on. Sheriffs back in the day were personable and very hands-on as my grandfather was with the lady and the crying baby. I liked that. I think all of it influenced me.”

My husband was with me and remembers the “Woodrow Carter,” era as he’s also from Georgetown. Indeed, he also remembers Michael Carter, of course, Carter Weaver’s uncle. The way Sheriff Weaver and my husband connected, you’d think he was the one interviewing Carter and not me. I have written on my notepad “next time leave husband in car.”

Carter shared with me that he started working SLED in 1986. He left there in 2001 to work as Assistant Sheriff to (the late) Lane Cribb. Since his passing, Carter’s taken Lane’s position being promoted to his grandfather (and uncle’s) old post as the Sheriff.

“The transition from Assistant Sheriff to Sheriff was quite a change,” Carter shared. “You’d think it wouldn’t be that much of a change having been involved in the day-to-day operations of the job, but it was quite a change, at first. I know I have some mighty big shoes to fill, too, between my own family and Lane Cribb.”

He talked about how Lane had beat out his Uncle Michael for the position as sheriff and people thought he was crazy to come work for Lane side-by-side.

“But Lane cared and he didn’t care who got the credit for a job well done, either, just as long it was done and everything was okay. Like Woodrow, he had a compassionate heart for his deputies and the people he was sworn to protect.”

We went on to talk about the upcoming election, his rival, who by the way, he doesn’t view as an opponent, but as someone he respects, as well. Carter insists, that in spite of what some may or may not think, they get along just fine.

“We just recently had an event where we both got up and talked and addressed the room,” he said of their recent encounter.

“A meet and greet?” I asked. “Or was it a debate?”

Carter laughed a little and said, “A little of both actually. I spoke on some issues that needed to be addressed such as some kind of incentive for people to want to join the sheriff department, like merit raises. They need something more routine in terms of pay. It’s not my call to make, though, it’s on council’s part, but I’d like to see it happen and I am backing it.”

We talked about Wendy (Ard) Powers. Both of us agreed that she is one of the toughest, yet sweetest, people you will ever meet. She’s a good deputy and a good person (Go Wendy!). Personally, Wendy was always one of my favorite people when she and I worked together.

As we wrapped up the interview, our new sheriff looked at my notepad and said, “That’s it? That’s all the notes you’re going to take?”

Funny! I thought he said he’d read some of my articles and knew the skinny. I can make an ant proud as I use my pen to write his anthill into the Swiss Alps.

Seriously, though, I have to admit, writing about Georgetown, the many places, and the abundance of fine people, has truly become one of my more favorite things to write about. I thank Sheriff Weaver for the esteem privilege to sit down, talk to him, and include him into my collage of people in Meet Georgetown.

Nov. 2, 2019

Originally, I was supposed to meet with Darreyl Carr at his home in Hagley Estates, but because I had some business on Front Street at Aunny’s Restaurant with Andrea Johnson, I invited him and his wife, Sharon, to join me for lunch.

These two are such an adorable couple that I felt right at ease with them as they joined me. I almost fell out of my chair when they told me theywere both 52 years old and had three grown children. Honestly, I thought they were in their late twenties to early thirties (they even have a grandchild – O-M-G!).

Currently, they own their own business. “Two actually,” Darreyl said of their two places of business. “One is Charter Buses. We’ve had it for about twelve years.”

“What do you charter?” I asked as there are some charters that only cater to tours, travel (airlines or trains), or miscellaneous events.

“Mostly we charter to schools,” he answered. “Churches use us, as well. We will charter for whatever occasion or event that is needed. Our other business is a driving school where we teach young drivers how to drive.”

“What is the name of the driver’s school?” I asked.

We were eating our lunch and I was asking questions between bites and Darryel was answering between his bites of lunch, too, so Sharon took the helm. She had eaten before coming and wasn’t eating much anyway.

“It’s called Palmetto Driving School,” she answered. “We’re accredited with the state, the DMV, and also in giving students permits to drive.”

“Yeah, that’s right,” Darryel added. “We teach driving to help people get their permits.”

For those that don’t know, Darryel is running for the recently vacated office of sheriff. He’s running against Carter Weaver. He asked me how I thought that was going to go: my opinion, as I have also sat down with his opponent.

My honest opinion: It will be close. I cannot say, and I won’t even try to guess who will win… I can say without a doubt that it will be a close race because both parties are names we know. Indeed, Darreyl worked in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff for the late Sheriff Lane Cribb. He resigned to run for office.

“I started in 92’,” he said of his law enforcement career. Michael Carter hired me and, of course, Lane beat out Michael so, I worked for him, too.”

Sharon fondly remembers her mother-in-law. “His mother has since passed, but she always wanted him to become the sheriff. Even until her death she called him ‘Sheriff.’”

With a nod, Darryel added, “This election is my tribute to my mother. I know she’s proud of me, but I’d like to see this through on her behalf.”

They’ve made Pawley’s Island their home for twenty-six years. Darryel and Sharon have raised their family there, attended church at Pawley’s Island Community Church, and are actively involved in both their community and church.

As they spoke with me and amongst themselves, it raised a question and I was so glad I asked it. Even now, I crack up when I recall the conversation. They are so funny!

The question: How did you two meet?

“I was sitting in my car and she pulled up alongside of me and said out her window to me, ‘Hey, how are you? You look good.’ I was just minding my own business,” he answered with a straight face.

I looked at Sharon who also wore a straight face. Finally she said, “Now, do you want to hear what really happened?”

“He was chasing you, wasn’t he?” I asked as Darryel roared with laughter.

Ignoring her husband, Sharon replied, “I was working for Baskerville Ministries after Hurricane Hugo and I came into my office one day and he was sitting in my chair. I said, ‘excuse me, can I help you with something?’ We had a mutual friend that kind of connected us, though.”

“Why was he there?” I looked from Sharon to Darryel trying to decide if he were there intentionally to meet her or was it just happenstance.

“To meet her,” Darryel answered. “Someone told me she worked there so I went to see her.”

“He swears we met one night at a night club and I snapped at him,” Sharon said with a chuckle.

“She was mean. She asked me ‘What do you want!’ so I waited to run into her again.” Darryel was also snickering as they shared the story of their first encounter.

We finished up the interview, of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Again, as to who I think in terms of who will win: I truly cannot say only that it will be a close one. I do wish Darryel luck with the election, though, and I do look forward to seeing both of them around Georgetown.

Aug. 22, 2019

Georgetown native, Rhonda Green, has penned her first eBook titled Seven Ways to Free Your Mind After Abuse. After two failed (abusive) relationships, Rhonda took a step back and reevaluated her circumstances, her situation, and her alternatives.

A lot of women feel like that have no choice but to stay in an abusive relationship,” she said of the situation. “They don’t have a place to stay, or the financial means to get out. They need to know that they should leave and know that there’s help out there.”

That’s true,” I conceded. “Finances are a big issue.”

I was in one abusive relationship and we had a townhouse we shared, but it was all in my name. Anyway, one night I got tired of the abuse and went to spend the night in a shelter. The next day he was begging me to come back. That’s when I realized, I did not need him, he needed me! But, he made me feel like I needed him more and that everything was my fault.

He would get angry, but somehow it was all my doing when I had not done anything at all. After a while, women (and men in these relationships) start to believe it’s all their fault and it isn’t. The abuser will keep you in line by mentally, emotionally, and, sometimes, physically abusing you.

Did you know that 1:3 women and 1:4 men are in abusive relationships? Silence… silence is the key. If the abuser can shame their victim into silence, it doesn’t get talked about. Like with me: In public everything was great, but in the shadows it was abusive… the kind of thing no one talks about.”

I think upbringing plays important role in abusive relationships,” I stated. “I know this from experience because my father was an abusive person and I fought to break that cycle of abuse.”

I had a happy childhood,” Rhonda gushed. “It was perfect. I had two very loving parents who gave me the best that they had, they taught me a lot as a child, they took me to church, and I contribute a lot of my success to their upbringing and lessons taught to me.”

And yet, you ended up in two abusive relationships,” I clarified.

Yes. I know, it’s crazy,” she laughed. “I don’t know how that is. My parents talked things out, we didn’t yell, scream, and throw things. There was none of that in our home.”

I thought quietly for a minute as Rhonda talked more of her upbringing and the men she had found herself involved with.

Did you think you could fix them? I bet you did,” I finally said after several long seconds of thought.

Rhonda agreed, she thought she could fix these men, but now, she knows that was not going to happen. They have to fix themselves. “We have to stop the cycle of abuse and these women need to know that there is another circle outside of that abusive cycle they’re in.”

I want to acknowledge the seven chapters in Rhonda’s eBook. They’re very strong and influential topics that I believe all women (and men) can find something of themselves involved in at least one of the chapter if not all of them.

1) Think About What You Think About

2) Disconnect from Toxic People and Dangerous Situations

3) Discard Material Things That Bring Back Memories

4) Feel Your Feelings, Even If It Makes You Cry

5) Fix Your Finances While Creating Financial Stability

6) Start Enjoying Your Life! You Deserve to Win at Life!

7) Seven-Day Healing Through Helping Challenge

Link to: Seven Ways to Free Your Mind After Abuse

https://survivingaftersurviving.lpages.co/survivingaftersurviving/?fbclid=IwAR3eazE9QMXSNixCV3FuZ4BQeorr-QJfcHnGoOoAb2-VKzBDUh1MXQT9KMY

Painting of Rhonda Green by Sarah Green

Jul. 26, 2019

His name is Alan and he’s homeless. He’s the man who wanders around town with his dog’s kennel in tow. The dog’s name is Levi. Alan has been blasted all over Facebook as of late so I thought I might address his issue.

Alan is disabled. He has a condition that affects him in many ways. As a result of his medical condition, he has a service dog, which is, in fact, registered as an emotional support dog for him. He has the paperwork, the certificate card, the leash, and the service dog vest.

His disability check does not afford him enough money for rent, lights & water, and groceries, etc so, he’s homeless. He gets just enough to eat off fast food joints and feed his dog. I admire that he refuses to be a burden to anyone and prefers to care for himself.

After talking to him, I realized that he lacks the trust more than anything to comprehend a lot of things. For instance, he was told he should keep Levi on the same dog food and not switch brands otherwise, the dog could suffer intestinal problems. Whoever he got Levi from had been giving him Rachel Ray dog food. That’s why Alan will only feed him Rachel Ray.

Likewise with his disability check. The Social Security Administration told him that he was not allowed to work on the side and if he did, he would lose his (sole source of) support. People have offered to give him jobs and he refuses.

He does not trust people enough when they say, “It’s okay to work on the sly, you won’t lose your check.”

Alan is convinced people want to harm him by taking his only companion away. In his own words, he feels like people are out to get him – again, he lacks trust.

Currently, he has asked a couple of places for work so that it will be reported to the Social Security Administration, as the law states it should be. I would love to see that happen and encourage businesses in town to give him a chance.

He’s not your garden variety homeless man, either, because Alan does not ever ask anyone for anything. He does not panhandle, he’s not looking for a free-ride, or a handout from anyone, at any time. He just muddles along.

McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell have banned him citing he can’t come in because “he has a dog.” So… I called their headquarters and spoke with their customer relations teams. I explained that although Alan is homeless, he does not ask for free food, bother customers for money or food, and isn’t standing outside making a nuisance of himself. If anything, he sits quietly inside and pays for his own food.

Because the sign on the front says, “No Pets,” he doesn’t bring his dog inside when he is well within his legal rights to do so. Again, trust. The sign says not to, so he won’t.

McDonalds and Burger King called me back and insisted this will be rectified. As I said to them, “I also have a dog; two as a matter-of-fact. Does that mean I can’t go inside anymore, either? Further more, sometimes when I’m just running in for a second, I will leave my dog outside, as well… Is that saying I cannot come inside?”

Both entities stated, “They should have never kicked him out in the first place or banned him because he’s homeless and certainly not because he has a dog.”

Taco Bell insisted they did not want him there (see note below). She was very frank in stating she did not care if they were discriminating against him or breaking any laws against the American Disability Act. That’s basically what is happening, he’s being discriminated against because he is not living as society has decided that he should live.

Levi gives him purpose. Alan has someone to feed, take care of who depends on him, and most importantly, he has someone to love. If anything happened to him what would happen to Levi? If anyone took the dog away then what would happen to Alan? Would he digress even more mentally? Would Levi become devastated by losing the only human and companion, he himself, knows?

If you really want to help him, stop by and say, “Hey, I have an extra… (insert whatever extra you have), would you like it?”

It’s 50-50 whether he’ll even take it (trust), but that shouldn’t stop you from offering then, or even later. Don’t try to do for him. He won’t accept because he will feel that he will have to pay for something he cannot afford. He will politely, but honestly, decline.

Before you point a judgmental finger in his direction, ask yourself those questions, and then ask yourself, what if it were you? The truth is, you don’t know what you’d do in his situation. Alan did not want to grow up and be homeless and for now, he could do with a little humanity from our little town.

I will leave off with this little reminder from the greatest teacher of all time: “He answered and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.” Luke 3:11

(NOTE) Taco Bell did finally call back. They knew who Alan was and explained the person who told him not to come back inside was a new manager who has since been let go because of her "lack of people skills."