Dear Reader | Finding time to enjoy the area’s hidden gems

07/31/2014 9:59 AM

07/31/2014 10:01 AM

There is nothing like a relaxing “staycation” to give you new appreciation for where you live.

When one spends part of every work day dealing with those who are upset or frustrated or angry about something, whether that something has to do with news coverage, politics, airline delays, product quality or traffic lights, it can be hard to focus on what’s going right with the world.

After a week enjoying some of our area’s gems and otherwise watching the Waccamaw go by, I return to the newsroom reminded of the joys of living on the Grand Strand.

With mid-July being prime tourist season, we were motivated to entertain ourselves away from the crowds on the Boardwalk, Wonderworks or the new Hollywood Wax Museum. Those will still be entertaining in October, after the crowds depart.

Instead, we took in some of the things we have vowed to do but never found the time. What you ask?

The new Horry County Museum, now housed in the Old Burroughs School next door to the Conway library, is a delight. From the fascinating fish tank built amid the circular staircase to the displays that give you an appreciation for the people and events that made this area what it is, the museum gives you yet another reason to head over to our county seat.

If you haven’t been yet, make a plan. Did I mention that admission is free? And that it’s air conditioned? Plus, no trip to Conway is complete for me without a chicken salad sandwich on homemade sourdough at The Trestle.

We also finally made it to the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, another delightful respite from the crowds even though it is just blocks from the oceanfront in Myrtle Beach.

We’d been meaning to go since June, when the Ansel Adams exhibit opened, but, well, life and work got in the way. It was worth the wait, especially for the photojournalist in the family.

The museum is another cultural gem that deserves celebration. Under direction of Executive Director Patricia Goodwin, the museum has hosted any number of exhibits that bigger facilities in larger towns would be proud to display, Ansel Adams being the most recent. If you want to catch it before it goes out of focus (sorry, couldn’t resist) get there by Sept. 21.

Golfing for a cause

For the 25th year, The Sun News Educational Foundation is hosting a golf tournament to raise donations for college scholarships awarded each year to area high school seniors. So far, more than $175,000 has been raised to help further the education of the region’s outstanding students.

This year’s tournament will be at Pine Lakes Country Club. The two-person captain’s choice tournament begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. on Aug. 19. A continental breakfast will be served beginning at 8 a.m. and food will be available following the tournament. Plus there will be plenty of other prizes awarded, as well as a silent auction.

All players must have a handicap. Teams will be pre-flighted and prizes will be awarded to the top teams in each flight.

Entry fee is $100 per person prepaid, which includes green fees, cart, food and prizes. Don’t wait. Registrations are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Want to help ensure the education of the area’s future leaders? Contact Peggy Studds at 843-626-0250, or

OK, enough about the fun stuff. I promise to be back talking about Big Issues of Journalism and News Coverage in the Digital Age next week. Meanwhile, keep reading, and enjoying the fascinating slice of South Carolina we call home.

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