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Your Community History: Timrod began as part of national movement to start community libraries

According to information from thetimrodlibrary.org, in 1897 a group of young Summerville women formed a Chautauqua Reading Circle; from this modest beginning the Timrod Library developed.Their group was part of a national movement to increase literacy, a movement which saw the start of small community libraries throughout the country. In Summerville, the women donated the books from their reading circle to be the nucleus of a membership library chartered April 2...

According to information from thetimrodlibrary.org, in 1897 a group of young Summerville women formed a Chautauqua Reading Circle; from this modest beginning the Timrod Library developed.

Their group was part of a national movement to increase literacy, a movement which saw the start of small community libraries throughout the country. In Summerville, the women donated the books from their reading circle to be the nucleus of a membership library chartered April 23, 1908. Within seven years, their library had a permanent home.

The site said the building was placed on land donated by the town of Summerville, with Jim Cooper, a local contractor, erecting the building on Central Avenue. The Timrod, the only library building in Summerville until the public library on Trolley Road was constructed in the 1970s, opened on April 15, 1915, and continues to serve the Summerville community to this day.

The site reports in 1986 an additional, much-needed room was added thanks to the generosity of Catherine Peterman Stewart, a long-time librarian, friend and benefactor. Again local companies donated materials.

The building is located in the historic district of Summerville, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When the library was chartered, the founding group renamed the reading circle the Henry Timrod Literary and Library Society honoring the South Carolina poet who — according to unconfirmed local tradition — taught there in the years before the Civil War. Because of the profound impression his wartime poetry made on civilians and soldiers alike, Henry Timrod became known unofficially as the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy.

Today the Timrod Library houses a collection numbering in excess of 12,000 volumes including best sellers, reference materials, audio and video tapes, and a large number of South Carolina titles. The juvenile section contains Newberry and Caldecott Award titles as well as recent South Carolina Book Award nominees and winners. New titles are added regularly.

It is one of only two subscription-based libraries in South Carolina, meaning it is funded through grants and membership fees rather than tax dollars as in the case with public libraries. Today, anyone can become a member by paying an annual $25 fee for their family. And though the library has seen several technical upgrades over the years, the library still keeps its traditional paper card catalog for visitors to see.

The Timrod will be a stop on the upcoming annual Porch Stroll on June 11. For more information on the Timrod, visit www.thetimrodlibrary.org.

Nearly 100 fishing records and counting: Summerville couple seeks out unique species

When Jason and Jennifer Schall return from a fishing trip, whether it be from an excursion near their Summerville home or a trip to some distant locale, those who know them well halfway expect to hear about their latest record catch.Between the two major fish record-keeping organizations — the International Game Fish Association and the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame — the Schalls have set nearly 100 records.In its 2022 IGFA World Record Game Fishes Yearbook, a section recognizes “World Record Angler...

When Jason and Jennifer Schall return from a fishing trip, whether it be from an excursion near their Summerville home or a trip to some distant locale, those who know them well halfway expect to hear about their latest record catch.

Between the two major fish record-keeping organizations — the International Game Fish Association and the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame — the Schalls have set nearly 100 records.

In its 2022 IGFA World Record Game Fishes Yearbook, a section recognizes “World Record Anglers of 2021” and both Schalls made the list. Jason led the Male Freshwater Tippet category with three records — tied for first with four records in Male Freshwater Conventional and second in the All Tackle Length with eight records. Jennifer tied for third in the Female Freshwater Conventional category with six records.

“We didn’t have any idea we were going to finish as well as we did. We were really excited. I was told it was an unusual crossover in the same year in both freshwater and saltwater awards and conventional and fly fishing. I was also told we were the only husband-wife team in the world to make the top rankings,” Jason said.

The Schalls also have a good start for 2022. Jason has six IGFA records this year and there may be more to come by Jason and Jennifer following a recent trip to Oklahoma and Texas.

“We have 11 potential IGFA world records that we’re going to submit from this month-long road trip we’ve been on. One of the potential IGFA records is Jennifer’s 99-pound, 6-ounce alligator gar caught on 4-pound test line. The current IGFA world record is only 22 pounds, 11 ounces. We never thought in a million years she would get one this size on this line,” Jason said.

“We had put out a couple or rods, and a much smaller bait on a much smaller line, and hoped nothing really big grabs it or we’ll be in trouble. It was Jennifer’s turn and the biggest fish of the day grabs the smallest line on the smallest piece of bait. We chased that thing forever. My heart was racing, beating out of my chest. The longer that fight goes on, the more likely the line is to break or the fish get off.”

They weighed the fish, using a sling and certified scales, before releasing it.

Jason’s largest fish of the trip was a 129-pound, 13-ounce alligator gar caught on 12-pound test line which would beat the IGFA record. He also caught a 25-pound, 8-ounce alligator gar fly-fishing with 6-pound test tippet and a 16-pound, 8-ounce smallmouth buffalo on 2-pound test tippet.

The Schalls first met as 12-year-old elementary school classmates in Summerville. Jason, 48, and Jennifer, 47, eventually reconnected, enjoying a fishing trip as a first date. They celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary last October. Together, they have caught more than 700 unique species. And Jennifer has three species on her list that Jason is still chasing.

The Schalls said they love traveling and chasing unique species.

“It’s a win-win because that usually takes you to some pretty places, some beautiful waterways, and you get to meet some interesting people along the way. Just figuring out how to fish for different species is a lot of fun,” Jason said.

Jennifer said that while the basics are similar for catching the different species, a lot of research goes into being successful.

“You have to be sure you’re using the right size hook if you’re going after a species with a really small mouth that’s a big fish,” she said. “We recently caught some really big carp and some really big buffalo, and they have these little mouths that are not very strong but they are big, huge fish. You have to know what type tackle you need, the right-size hook that’s going to be strong enough to reel in a heavier fish.

“It’s a little different for each species. You want to know what kind of bait they’re going to bite or what type of lures are going to work best, what kind of water you are working in, whether it’s clear or cloudy or has grass. It’s doing that research for each fish.

“When we go out fishing for redfish or largemouth bass, it’s something you’re used to. You don’t really think about it. We know what works and you go after it. But when you’re trying to catch different species, you really have to look into a lot of different things, what’s going to work, and it might be something that’s totally new to us.”

As much as they enjoy traveling to fish for new and unique species, they also love fishing at home.

“I’ve actually been able to get quite a few of my records here at home. I was born and raised right here in Charleston and lived my whole life here,” said Jason, whose list of IGFA records includes freshwater and saltwater catches made from the Ashley, Stono and Kiawah rivers. It’s kind of neat bringing home an award from your hometown.

“Even though we enjoy traveling and going after new species and seeing new waterways and experiencing new fishing, I’m the first to say the Charleston area has some incredible fishing. We love living here because it’s such great fishing.

“We’ve gotten recognized on the world stage, so to speak, but a lot of those fish were caught right here at home. It’s a testament to the great resources we have, both freshwater and saltwater, right here in Charleston.”

Summerville area authorities urge citizens to prep for Atlantic Hurricane season

The 2022 hurricane season has officially started and for the next five months, those along the Atlantic coast will be paying close attention to any activity that may bubble up.About 20 named storms are predicted, but there are several variables that play a role on how severe a storm will be and where it will go.The latest major storm to hit the Lowcountry was Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016. At one point it strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane. It tracked just off the east coast of Florida and Georgia while weakening to ...

The 2022 hurricane season has officially started and for the next five months, those along the Atlantic coast will be paying close attention to any activity that may bubble up.

About 20 named storms are predicted, but there are several variables that play a role on how severe a storm will be and where it will go.

The latest major storm to hit the Lowcountry was Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016. At one point it strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane. It tracked just off the east coast of Florida and Georgia while weakening to a Category 1 storm before making landfall near McClellanville with winds near 85 mph.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm produced hurricane force wind gusts along the entire coast, coastal flooding from high storm tides and 6 to 12 inches of widespread rainfall. The rain led to significant freshwater flooding inland.

“The official NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) seasonal outlook for the Atlantic Basin for 2022 calls for 14 to 21 named storms, so anything tropical storm or greater,” said Bob Bright from the National Weather Service in Charleston. “Six to ten of those will be strong enough to be classified as a hurricane. Three to six of those could be major hurricanes, which is a Category 3 or better.”

And considering recent numbers, the predictions have been pretty close.

“From what I’ve seen recently, the predictions are pretty good. They’ve been calling for above normal seasons for a while and we have seen above normal activity, so they’ve been pretty good lately,” said Bright.

Local preparations

That doesn’t mean the storms will be right off the South Carolina coast. The Atlantic Basin consists of the Southwest Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico — that’s a lot of water. Still, state and local officials have urged residents to prepare.

On June 4, the Dorchester County Emergency Management Department held its 9th Hurricane Preparedness Expo. The event was at the newly opened Ashley River Park in Summerville.

The public was invited to learn about hurricane preparedness from local public safety and nonprofit organizations.

“With another hurricane season upon us, now is the time for everyone to have a plan for what to do during a storm,” said Tom McNeal, the county EMD director. “If you are new to the area, seek out hurricane preparedness information on our Dorchester County Emergency Management website.

The site gives information about evacuation routes, flood zones, how to prepare if you have pets, and a family disaster plan template to help county residents prep in case they have to hunker down or evacuate for storms.

“If you’ve been here a long time, it is time (to) check your past plans and preparedness efforts to make sure they still work for you and your family,” McNeal said. “Remember, it only takes one storm to have a catastrophic impact our community.”

Berkeley County has published its inaugural Hurricane Guide for the 2022 Storm Season. Available in both English and Spanish, the guide was created by the county’s emergency management department and public information office.

Berkeley County is one of the fastest growing counties in South Carolina; and with the start of the Atlantic Hurricane season, the county wanted to make sure residents are informed.

“The biggest change for us this year is that we are working a little bit more with our public interface,” said Ben Almquist, director of Emergency Management in Berkeley County. “We put out a county specific hurricane guide this year and we are doing more public awareness, public education.”

The guide specifically includes information on hurricane risks, a checklist for building a disaster supplies kit, details on local evacuation routes, a list of important contacts and more. It can be accessed via the homepage of the county website at berkeleycountysc.gov.

For those like Almquist, getting the public to pay attention early and often is sometimes the hardest part when a storm is approaching. Often, for days, a storm may be heading this way only to make a sudden turn and miss the area. Public complacency could be dangerous.

“We try to preach preparedness without panic,” Almquist told The Independent. “We always try to take a measured approach when we have a storm system that is threatening the county. We are not going too far overboard with our public recommendations, but we are going to make sure we are prepared to whatever is necessary.”

On June 4, the Dorchester County Emergency Management Department held its ninth Hurricane Preparedness Expo. The event was at the Ashley River Park in Summerville.

The public was invited to learn about hurricane preparedness from local public safety and non-profit organizations.

“With another Hurricane Season upon us, now is the time for everyone to have a plan for what to do during a storm. If you are new to the area, seek out hurricane preparedness information on our Dorchester County Emergency Management webs site,” said EMD Director Tom McNeal.

“If you’ve been here a long time, it is time check your past plans and preparedness efforts to make sure they still work for you and your family. Remember, it only takes one storm to have a catastrophic impact our community,” he said.

Summerville artist uses talent to donate to Alzheimer’s support

A local mosaic glass artist who reads this column and I were in contact with each other in March. I recently visited her home studio so I could take several pictures of her art pieces, and I really liked the many subjects she has made. It is a nice assortment of colors and designs.Cynthia Kornahrens was born in Chicago but grew up in both Georgia and Summerville. She has been here for over 20 years and devotes more of her time to her art. In fact, she lives in the family’s (circa) 1850s home. Over the years, she has don...

A local mosaic glass artist who reads this column and I were in contact with each other in March. I recently visited her home studio so I could take several pictures of her art pieces, and I really liked the many subjects she has made. It is a nice assortment of colors and designs.

Cynthia Kornahrens was born in Chicago but grew up in both Georgia and Summerville. She has been here for over 20 years and devotes more of her time to her art. In fact, she lives in the family’s (circa) 1850s home. Over the years, she has donated thousands of dollars’ worth of her artwork to The ARK - Alzheimer’s Family Support Services here which provides those with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia respite care and community outreach programs. Kornahrens has volunteered there for at least a decade and says their much-needed services are near and dear to her heart. Sadly, her husband had the disease and passed away in 2016. She loves creating a variety of scenes, but especially likes coastal, patriotic, bird and pet portraits. Cynthia said that cardinals are extremely popular and sought after.

Regan: Explain how you got involved with art (oil paintings, mosaic glass artwork). Have you also worked with stained glass?

Kornahrens: I have always loved art, even as a child. I was always drawing and coloring. Later in life, I sometimes took oil painting classes from artists. Work and family took priority, but I managed to do some painting strictly as a hobby. My introduction to stained glass came from a donation of glass to The ARK - Alzheimer’s Family Support Services when I was volunteering there. I was really enamored by the beauty of the textures and colors of the stained glass. My technique is a little like “painting with glass” — and it is referred to as “GOG” (Glass On Glass) mosaic. I have not been taught in the traditional method of solder and wire, which is what you see in many windows. It also requires glass pattern cutting and I prefer creating by free hand.

R: What is the difference between glass art and mosaic? Is what you do more challenging or simply different?

K: The main difference is that with “Glass On Glass” mosaic, a light source is best used from behind (as displayed through a window, lamp, table, etc.) to illuminate the colors of the glass. Some mosaics can be designed with tile, glass, metal, etc. on a solid substrate and light from the front is used. Mosaic refers to a pattern of pieces attached to a substrate to create a design. The beauty of Glass-On-Glass mosaics relies, in part, on the play of light through the glass from the back. Another technique I am exploring is using a mirror as a substrate (the backing of what the glass is applied to), with an entirely different and beautiful effect. The light only comes from the front and bounces back to you from the mirror.

R: Do you still create oil paintings?

K: I have created occasional oil paintings (subjects were animals or buildings) but have really enjoyed making the Glass On Glass mosaics and have made that my main focus.

R: Do you have a favorite piece you have designed? Why?

K: My favorites vary, but I particularly enjoy commissioned work. It is so gratifying to do something special especially just for them. Often that can be of a favorite pet or a school logo.

R: Is one type of design (flowers versus birds) easier to create or not?

K: I really do not know which designs are easier. It all depends on the intricacy and detail involved. Finding just the right pieces of glass or that perfect piece of glass can make all the difference!

R: What is coming up for you? Would you teach what you do? Would you pursue getting your works in an art gallery?

K: What I really want to do is to keep doing commissions in my studio and to also show my work possibly in a gallery as well!

For more information

Mary E. Regan, columnist, is a freelance publicist with her ProPublicist.com consultancy.

Seeking new publicity clients and writing projects. Story ideas? Email: [email protected]

Dixon takes over as Green Wave soccer coach

The reigns of the Summerville High School boys soccer program have officially changed hands.Matt Legare, who took over as the school’s athletic director at the end of the school year, has announced Damon Dixon has been hired as the new head coach for the Green Wave program. Dixon replaces Jason Rasner, who after serving in the position for several seasons has decided to move to the Upstate.“I wanted to make sure we got the right person for our kids and someone who fits the core values of our school,” Legare sa...

The reigns of the Summerville High School boys soccer program have officially changed hands.

Matt Legare, who took over as the school’s athletic director at the end of the school year, has announced Damon Dixon has been hired as the new head coach for the Green Wave program. Dixon replaces Jason Rasner, who after serving in the position for several seasons has decided to move to the Upstate.

“I wanted to make sure we got the right person for our kids and someone who fits the core values of our school,” Legare said. “We had a lot of great candidates, but coach Dixon has a background in local club sports, connection with the youth and has been a successful soccer coach in our state. What really impressed us is he understands athletics is just one part of teaching kids how to be successful and being a part of Summerville athletics is a privilege.”

Dixon is a South Carolina native and University of South Carolina graduate who has served as an elementary school teacher at Austin Bailey Elementary the past four years. He has coached for the Charleston Battery and Summerville Soccer Club, focusing largely on youth development. In all he has more than 20 years of coaching experience.

“Playing soccer in college got me into coaching,” Dixon said. “An injury ended my future plans so I decided to go into education. For some time one of my goals has been to become a college coach and when this job became available I was like this is it. I compare coaching here to being a college coach due to the history of Summerville High.”

Dixon played Olympic development soccer under Mark Berson, who coached at USC for 43 seasons, and former Irmo High School coach Phil Savitz. He landed an athletic scholarship from Anderson College but after the injury ended his playing career he transferred to USC.

“Growing up I played a lot of sports, but soccer was always my best sport,” he said. “I thought I was going to be a star. Then I went to Anderson and tore an Achilles. I’ve been coaching since. Coaching got me into teaching and now I get to do two jobs I love.”

Prior to moving to the Lowcountry, he coached in the Greenville County School District several years. He began as a volunteer, became a scouting coach and JV coach before eventually being named the head coach at Wade Hampton High.

“I worked at developing players a long time before I stepped in as their head coach,” he said. “I had worked with some of the kids in that community for 10 years and I wanted to see what I could do to help them find a pathway into college.”

His tenure there peeked with Wade Hampton having two appearances in the Upper State finals and sending several players into the college soccer ranks.

“Those were great runs that ended against great teams,” he said. “One year we lost to Clover and the next year to J.L. Mann.”

He thought he was done with coaching high school soccer, but the Summerville position lured him back in.

“My number one goal with teaching and coaching is building relationships and all the DD2 schools kind of play off relationship building, rigor and relevance,” he said. “With high school students in particular you have to make it relevant for them. It’s not just about being on the team, they are a student first. Coaching isn’t about winning or losing it’s about building better citizens.”

Dixon said his style of coaching is a good fit for the local community.

“The talent in the Lowcountry is equal to if not better than the talent in many other parts of the state,” he said. “I hope to teach our players how to be successful no matter what the situation. I want them to be prepared mentally and not react the wrong way to certain situations.

“Whether I’m teaching second graders or working with high school athletes, I want to pass on core values. Commitment probably comes first. I need to see a player can be on time and committed. Grades and teamwork matter.”

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