Monday, May 20, 2013

Timmonsville Water Problem in Hands of Voters June 25th

Would you drink, bathe or wash clothes in this water?
Timmonsville residents have been living with this
water problem for some time now.

Timmonsville has a serious water problem.

How we arrived at this problem will be discussed at another time. For now, Timmonsville owes roughly $6 million to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a Rural Development Loan taken to improve the water system in 2006. The town is unable to repay this loan.

It is estimated there are needed improvements to the water system costing between $10 and $12 million to bring it up to standard. The town has no way to obtain the funding for these upgrades. Something must be done.

The city of Florence has the credit standing to structure a 30-year loan with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and take over the Timmonsville debt. They have the man power to operate and maintain a water system. The citizens deserve a well run water system.

The Timmonsville water system services roughly 1,000 customers all of whom do not live within the 2.6 square mile town limit. The entire customer base is paying around $966,000 a year into the current water system. The Florence water system brings in $30 million annually from the nearly 31,000 customers it serves.

The acquisition of the Timmonsville water system would increase the Florence customer base by only 3%. The city of Florence expects to be able to expand the profitability of the Timmonsville water system by $300,000 annually once the needed improvements are made.

Florence officials also say the rates will remain the same for Timmonsville customers for 2 years and that the rates cannot increase at a percentage any different than the rest of Florence water customers who live outside Florence’s city limits.

Both Florence City Council and Timmonsville Town council have approved the ordinances that would move control of Timmonsville’s water and waste water systems to the City of Florence. The next step is a referendum vote from Timmonsville’s residents (within the town limits) scheduled for Tuesday, June 25.

The citizens who are water customers living outside the Timmonsville town limits have NO vote, so they are depending on the residents of the town to do the right thing and VOTE "YES" on the referendum. If you live inside the town limits you must be registered to vote by May 25th to participate in the referendum question.

NOTE: You will also be voting under the new SC Voter ID Law.

You will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs at your polling place:

1) The "NEW" S.C. Voter Registration Card with Photo
2) Valid S.C. Driver's License
3) ID Card issued by S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
4) Federal Military ID
5) U.S. Passport

Your Photo ID address must match your voter registration address. You may go by the Florence County Voter Registration office and get your new Photo ID Voter Registration card.

Florence County Board of Voter Registration
219 Third Loop Road
Florence, SC 29505
Phone (843) 665-3094
Fax (843) 292-1613
David K. Alford, Director 

Leave a comment below to sound off on Timmonsville's water problem.
The citizens outside the Timmonsville town limits have NO vote concerning the towns water problem. So if you live in the town limits PLEASE get out and vote "YES" on the referendum on June 25th.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Boiled Peanuts - Official Snack Food of South Carolina

Boiled Peanuts in Large Pot
Boiled Peanuts - a SC tradition!

  • 5-6 lbs of "green" peanuts (depending on the size of the pot used)
  • Salt (Can use sea salt if desired.)
  • White Vinegar

PROCEDURE (with commentary):

1) Place 5 to 6 lbs. of peanuts in a 8 quart pot, add water, stir, pour off water and repeat until poured off water runs clear.

2) Fill pot with water again until peanuts are covered by an inch or so of water. You may have to push down on the peanuts to find the correct water level.

3) Bring peanuts to a boil. I generally adjust it a little after it starts boiling depending upon how much boil-over is occurring. Place a lid on the pot so the lid doesn't quite seat with the pot. That way the steam can escape once the peanuts begin to boil. This will keep it from boiling over too much.

4) Boil peanuts for 90 minutes. Keep checking water level. Add more water if necessary. Do not add any salt or anything else for the first 90 minutes. If peanuts are older, either let them soak a little while (15 minutes to 1 hr.) before the first 90 minute boil or add time to the first 90 minutes of boiling. Add 15 to 30 minutes for older peanuts. Older meaning the number of days since purchase or more specifically harvesting. You could buy peanuts today from the grocery store that may have been harvested weeks ago.

5) At the 90 minute mark add a 1/2 cup of salt. This is a personal preference but boiled peanuts do not need as much salt as most folks think they do. You can use sea salt if desired. Also add 1/3 cup of white vinegar at this time. This is is optional but highly recommended. I believe the vinegar gives the peanuts a better taste and helps the nut release from the shell. I sometimes will add up to a 1/2 cup of vinegar.

6) This is the most important and fun part of boiling peanuts. You MUST taste them at about 10 minute intervals after boiling for approximately 1 hour. I tend to start eating them sooner than that - I just can't help myself. It also lets me know how dry the peanuts are. If I start with 5 or 6 pounds of peanuts I am lucky if I have 4.5 pounds by the time I finish boiling them but again this is the fun of boiling peanuts.

7) At the 2 hr mark (120 minutes), after they have been boiling with salt and vinegar for 30 minutes, you need to see how much salt the peanuts have drawn in. You need to even taste the brine and make sure it is salty enough. During all the boiling up until this point, you may have added more water as it was needed and diluted the solution. Therefore it is possible you might need to add a little more salt. It really shouldn't need it but tasting the brine at intervals will let you know.

8) The important thing at this point is to keep checking them. If the peanuts are new then you shouldn't be more than 30 minutes to 1 hr away from being done after the 2 hr mark. (Also, this is Timmonsville, SC not Denver, CO so adjust cooking times for your elevation above sea level.)

On the last batch I made to watch the Darlington race, I turned the heat off at the 2.5 hr mark and then let the peanuts soak a little while until I was happy with the taste. I estimate the peanuts soaked for another hour or so. I actually think it was too long but my family still thought they were great!

I worked with a guy from Chicago once who hated boiled peanuts and then he tried some of mine and thought they were wonderful. His biggest complaint with what he'd eaten in the past were they were too salty and mushy. You get those two things from 1) too much salt and 2) too much cooking and/or 3) soaking or all three. The secret is to stop immediately when you like how they taste. I have even poured out the hot water and ran cold water over them in the past to stop the cooking exactly where I liked them.

When finished, you can eat them warm straight out the cooking pot or you can fill large freezer bags and put them in the refrigerator or pack in a cooler on ice. I personally like them cold but that's just me.

Have fun and happy boiled peanut eating of South Carolina's official snack food!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

1938 Lynchburg Grammar School - Lee County, SC

1938 Lynchburg Grammar School - Lee County, SC

Joe Mckight thought this was great photograph. He hated the thought of  not sharing it with anyone, so he took a shot in the dark hoping it would pay off and posted this picture on the Timmonsville Facebook group page. It is a wonderful picture of  the 1938 classmates from the Lynchburg Grammar School of  Lee County, SC. [Click Image to see larger version.]

 Joe was hoping someone with a relative who attended Lynchburg Grammar School in 1938 would see the photo! 

Listed are the classmates:

Bottom row: 
Otis Logan, Unknown Baker, Gene Hickson, Jessie Ruth Dennis, Ellen Windham, Annie Laurie McElveen, Gloria Johnson, Louise Carraway, Lillian Sprott, Merle Keels, Doris Hickson, Nicky Tomlinson, Marion Steward Jr., Sheldon Houser.

Center Row: 
Earl Thomas, Robert Lyles ?, Emma Kinlaw, Rebecca Lyles ?, Leroy Powell, Bobby Lee, Essie Mae Rogers, Jimmy Carroll, Sophronia McCoy, Modena Powell, Billy Rogers?

Top Row:
Unknown Hawkins, George Clements, Mildred Nesbitt, Jo Ann Fender, Unknown Hawkins, Robert McKnight, Roland Stokes, Ernest Lane, J. N. Wilson, Harold Watford, Unknown, Ella Mae Lyons, Sarah Stewart, Helen Cato.

Folks tagged on the photo were:

Angela Tolson Jordan, 
Pam Amerson Steen, 
Meg Rowland Outlaw,
Kaye Huggins Howell, 
Caroline Warr
Didi Warr.

This conversation ensued in the group:
  • Stewart Carter - "The children of many of those folks went to Hudgens Academy." February 2 at 10:07pm
  • Roscoe B. Fountain - "I know or have known many of them. Stewart, you are correct, but even some of the grandkids went to [school] at Hudgens." February 2 at 10:10pm
  • Roscoe B. Fountain - "Thanks Joe McKnight, that is an interesting picture. I know a few of them. Earl Thomas was my brother-in-law. Jo Ann Fender just recently passed away. She was married to Banks Scarborough and was a wonderful lady. Nicky Tomlinson's son lives in Timmonsville and is a pharmacist. It is interesting to see those young children and realize that they all now have a story to tell." February 3 at 11:32pm
  • Joe McKnight - "My primary interest in acquiring a copy of this photo was Robert McKnight, middle of the back row." February 3 at 11:42pm
  • Joe McKnight - "I intended to add, that the photograph became more and more interesting to me as time passed." February 4 at 12:02pm
  • Dianne Hill Anderson - "Mel Scarborough and Rod Scarborough needs to see this." February 4 at 12:17pm
  • Rod Scarborough - "Thanks, Dianne and thanks Joe McKnight. I saw it Saturday when  you posted but only just told Dad [Banks Scarborough] about it and he was delighted." February 4 at 5:47pm
  • Joe McKnight - "I'm glad! That is all I wanted when posting this ... to help someone reconnect with pleasant memories."
The Timmonsville, SC......MY Town!  Facebook comments:

  • Dale Hickson Logan - "Thanks so much for sharing. This may be the youngest picture I have of my father, Gene Hickson! So many good folks and parts of my family and also my husbands family!!" March 19 at 9:19am
  • Valerie Gastauer McElroy - "Wow! Ellen Windham is my grandmother. She is currently doing well and living in Florence, SC. We have not seen any pictures of her as a little girl. Thank you for sharing!!" March 19 at 9:25pm
  • Joe McKnight - "I'm glad! That is all I wanted when posting this ... to help someone reconnect with pleasant memories."
  • Betty Dowling - "Joe McKnight, where did you get the photograph?"  March 23 4:24pm
  • Joe McKnight - "About ten years ago, I was visiting a family that had a death. During a conversation with someone connected with that family I mentioned that I was interested in doing some research in the Lynchburg area. That person gave me a copy of the photograph and the names that I have identified." March 23 4:30pm
  • Betty Dowling - "So cool...I am sharing it on my FB fan page and Timmonsville SC...MY Town blog."  March 23 6:25pm
  • Roscoe B. Fountain - "Many years ago, Timmonsville used to sponsor a basketball tournament in the old National Guard Armory. Lynchburg always had a great girls and boys team. We students from Timmonsville got to meet students from all over this section of South Carolina. I see Merle Keels' name in the list above. I always bought a season's ticket and attended all of the games. One night, I asked Robert Clements, from Lynchburg, who is that pretty girl? He said "Merle Keels". I never met her, but her name has been in my brain for 65 years now. Robert Clements is the brother of [Florence County] Solicitor Ed Clements' dad."  March 23. 7:20pm

Lynchburg is a town in Lee County, SC. Lee county was formed from Darlington, Kershaw, and Sumter counties in 1902. The town has a total area of 1.1 square miles. The population was 373 at the 2010 census, a loss of more than one third of its population of 588 in 2000. Lynchburg is about 9 miles west of Timmonsville on US Hwy 76. There are many connections between our two communities.