Educating the educated

Commentary from our friend  David H. Brown who is an accomplished author and experienced speaker:

About 20 years ago, when I was an adjunct professor at Montgomery College, I was asked to teach a continuing education course to about 20 high school teenagers who were elite students.  I forget the subject, but I remember asking them, “Who is your idol?”  Of course the responses ran the gamut – with one startling omission.  Not one mentioned a parent.  I wonder whether the same would hold true today.
    Those who know me well expect some “sermon” on education.  This is no exception.  There are those who recall I did a survey of 9 Ohio colleges asking students and professors what each thought of the other.  That was in 1959.  I don’t think much has changed, except for the classroom use of electronics.
    My beef is that too much of education today seems to still be straight up-and-down like 6:00 or 12:30, when it should be wider like 9:15 or 3:45.  What’s missing in this picture?  The answer is one word – Why?  Why did I learn long division? Why did I have to read novels?   Why did I have to memorize dates in history?
A companion is this — What did I learn from my courses?  The answer is one word – relevancy.
    My approach to this is something I have said before but bears repeating.  When I reported for work as a copy boy at The Cleveland Press, Associate Editor Norm Shaw said, “Forget everything you learned in college.  We’ll teach you our way.”
    Did you enjoy all those courses you took in public school and beyond?  Is there one teacher whom you feel made a difference in your life and could rate the title of “idol?”  Did you ever thank that person? Did you ever thank your parents for guiding you through your early years, or did you do it on your own?
    Have you instilled the love of learning into your progeny?  Do you encourage them never to stop learning? Did you emphasize grades over what they learned? Are you your progeny’s “idol?”
    I feel too much classroom instruction is still linear because textbooks are linear.  Did you or your progeny ever take more than one class in analytical thinking?  Too many “teachers” spend too much time getting through a course based on how many chapters in the text book have to be covered, and the tests reflect that.  I feel more textbooks should be written by top people in that subject field, and not by academics for their advanced degrees.  And, more of those top people should give back to students the lessons they have learned.  Call it a reality check.
    Yes, I have pulled an Obama and sermonized.  But, I did not want to Simonize education.  When we stop learning, we stop living.
    Determined Dave

An Ode to Alzheimers

An Ode to Alzheimers

By Andreann Geise
There are no words to describe such pain, to live the life through the eyes of a dying soul
I have become the eyes, ears, body and mind.

I take care of her every need, it is not by choice but by love that I do this, but the price is endlessly tragic.

There is no rest for me, no moments of peace, I am tortured day and night by the knowledge of what will inevitably be the end and terrified of the many horrible paths that may lead there.

There is no time stamp to tell me when this will all come to an end or what will be left of me when it does.

Each day I feel further and further from the person I was, forever changed by what I see her going through and by the solitude that we both live.

People keep their distance, its not contagious but it is too much reality for most.

It is too much reality for me but it is the path that I must follow, and the further down it I travel the more alone I feel.

Time does not stand still and these long days and nights will never be given back to me.

I can not do for myself in order to tend to her requirements. My body, my mind deteriorating as I neglect my own needs.

The future I planned for is now but a faint memory, a pipe dream of sorts.

Life does not wait for anyone.

The gifts I had been given, my intellect, my strength are all fading and I have no means to keep them from doing so.

All my time all my energy is used up, the sadness of the situation beats me down.

I am not the only causality of this war, my husband suffers too, his love for me keeping him as shackled as I am.

This disease has not just taken my mother but it has taken our lives as well.

I never could have imagined such a torture, every day we loose something else. The loss we have is physical, emotional, financial and eternal.

Meet the Most Read Author in South Carolina



2016_Golf_Trivia_Cover 2016_bible_Trivia_Cover

Wilson Casey is called the MOST-READ writer from the Carolinas with over a yard of traditionally published works and nationally syndicated column in over 500 papers!

Wilson Casey, a.k.a. The Trivia Guy, is one of the world’s foremost trivia aficionados and professional fact-checkers, researchers and content providers with a syndicated column, an award-winning website (, and a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest running (thirty hours) radio trivia broadcast in which he correctly identified the answers to 3,333 consecutive trivia questions.

Current events in Spartanburg, SC include:

October 22 Roast of retiring Lou Parris

November 7 Ruritan Club regional Meeting

January 14 Author talk

Ask us for details or to schedule him for your event.

Did You Know the Last Train Robber in America Died in 2012 in Spartanburg, SC?

AUTHOR TALK and Luncheon
Tue Sep 22, 12:05 pmWilson CaseyWilson Casey
Trinity United Methodist Church
626 Norwood St, Spartanburg, SC

All Are Welcome!

$7.00 lunch tickets and reservations may be obtained by contacting church office: (864) 585-4884.bedlam

Wilson Casey will be speaking about the true train robbing story, the subject of his latest book. BEDLAM ON THE WEST VIRGINIA RAILS. Copies will be available for purchase and autographed inscription. $19.99 (cash or check).

Bedlam on the West Virginia Rails:
(True Crime)

July Events of Guinness World Record Holder WILSON CASEY

Not just Trivia,
but Trivia with the Guinness World Record Holder!Wilson Casey

With over a yard of traditionally published works and a nationally syndicated column that reaches millions, perhaps the most read writer from the Carolinas!

Mon Jul 13 Noon, Author Reading, followed by book signing, Barnes Noble, Spartanburg, SC

Tue Jul 14 12:15 pm, Featured Speaker, Spartanburg Downtown Rotary Luncheon, Piedmont Club

Wed Jul 15, 10 am, TV Guest on Your Carolina with Jack and Megan, WSPA Channel 7

Fri Jul 24, 12:30 pm, Lunch and Learn: Last Train Robber, Chapman Center, Historical Assn.

Wed Jul 29, 4 pm, Author Signing various works, Barnes Noble, Spartanburg

National bookings, Liz Mitchell, Speakers International, (843) 902-4799


Do You Still Need a Website as the Core of Your Online Platform?

By Karen Cioffi

Almost two years ago I wrote an article titled, “Do You Really Need an Author Website?” In that article I explained the need for a website and included a couple of statistics proving that need.

Since then, social media has exploded. It’s become more powerful than ever, and more and more people and businesses are using it as an integral part of their marketing strategy. In fact, social media has become so important that some are questioning the need for a website.

Are websites for marketing really a thing of the past?

Some might reason that you can blog on venues like LinkedIn. You can also publish articles on Ezine Articles and other article directories to generate visibility and authority.

If you’re selling a product or service, you can use social networks to do so by linking to your Amazon or other sales page.

Want to let people know about you and what you do? You can do that on your social network pages. You can even build your subscriber list through social media.

So, it’s not unreasonable for some to wonder about the necessity of a website.

But, if you decide to forgo the website or get rid of an existing one, think twice and even three times about it.

The benefits of a website.

While the social media sites, like Facebook, GooglePlus, and LinkedIn allow for just about everything you need to market your and your product/service, you’re at mercy of these sites.

Pro internet marketer Sandi Krakowski has 800,000 connections on social media. And, she has over 1 million clients, which allows her to produce millions in revenue. She knows what she’s talking about.

In a recent email Sandi said, “If you don’t have a website, listen to me very carefully, you own NOTHING online. You’re homeless. You have no real estate, you are under the control of someone else’s property and when push comes to shove, you my friend are in a big pickle!”

Did you notice she said you don’t have control with social media sites?

Think of it as renting space in a building. Or better yet, buying within a condominium development. You’re not in control. You’re at the mercy of their rules and regulations, their changes, basically, their whims. This is the same as using sites like Facebook and GooglePlus as your sole platform. You never know when or if changes will come that will render your social media page useless.

This is why you still need your own website.

If you use paid website hosting through sites like Bluehost, you own the site. It’s yours. You are in control of what you publish, how you publish, and so on. You can choose your own theme with the header dimensions and design you want. You can put ads and affiliate links on it with no problem.

Along with this, people trust bloggers. This gives bloggers influence and authority. It’s good marketing to have that authority, that influence go to your own site.

Bottom line, you still absolutely need your own website!

Is Your Business / Marketing Stuck in Neutral?

Get Traffic to Your Website with Inbound Marketing

This 4-week, interactive, in-depth e-class through WOW Women on Writing covers the four fundamental elements of inbound marketing: Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing.

What does this mean for you? Simple: More traffic, increased authority, better rankings, and more conversions (people who click on your call-to-actions)!

It’s must-know stuff (and easier to do than you think) for ALL marketers, including business owners, writers, authors . . .

Check it out today! Just CLICK HERE.


You may reprint this article from “The Writing World” in its entirety in your own blog or print/electronic newsletter. But, please include the following paragraph:

Article reprinted from The Writing World newsletter. Want more must-know writing and marketing information along with updates on free webinars right in your inbox? Get access to The Writing World ( today.

Bedlam on the West Virginia Rails

Not just Trivia,
but Trivia with the Guinness World Record Holder!
Wilson Casey

bedlamBedlam on the West Virginia Rails: (True Crime)
Author: Wilson Casey

Last Train Robber in America
Died in 2012 Spartanburg, SC
Wilson Casey knew him!

Check out his Tell All New Book!
Head Bandit Firsthand Account!

He never meant to rob a moving train, nor get gunned down near the President of the U.S. It really happened.

Other history works are dead WRONG claiming Jesse James or Butch Cassidy

Tune In Radio 105.7 fm and 910 am Author Interview on the SOURCE for Spartanburg!
Fri Mar 20: Approx 8:00 am

Or listen live streaming via the internet.

Book Signing Event Sat Mar 21: 3:00 – 7 pm
Barnes and Noble, Spartanburg, SC.

FREE Calendar with Bedlam Book Purchase,
$15 Value While Supplies Last! (Directions)

Bedlam on the West Virginia Rails: (True Crime)
Author: Wilson Casey
Format: Paperback
Publish Date: Mar 16, 2015
ISBN-10: 1626198934
ISBN-13: 9781626198937
List Price:$19.99

Contact us to schedule speaking at your location.

Brookgreen Gardens Hosts Gullah Celebrity Chef

On Saturday, February 28, at 2 p.m. Sallie Ann Robinson, author and Gullah celebrity chef, will present “Cooking and Living the Daufuskie Gullah Way” a cooking demonstration of crab rice and pecan crunch cookies. Part of “The Reign of Rice Lecture Series” about the Spirituality of Rice Heritage, this winter program will be in the Lowcountry Center Auditorium and is free with garden admission. Reservations are required by calling 235-6016. Robinson will be available for book signings after the program.unnamed

Born on Daufuskie Island, off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, Sallie Ann Robinson was among the students taught by Pat Conroy when the famous author was a teacher. Robinson has grown in her own right into the author of two celebrated cookbooks and an accomplished chef. Her culinary expertise has helped to preserve the food dishes for which her native island is famous and her work as a speaker nationwide, and as a tour guide on boat trips out of Savannah, Georgia, going to Daufuskie, have made her an authentic and much sought-after representative of Gullah culture.

Brookgreen Gardens is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and display American sculpture and regional plants, animals, and history. It is located on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

Reviewing Lowcountry Boneyard

Susan Boyer continues her Liz Talbot mystery series with Lowcountry Boneyard published by Henry Press. Lowcountry Boneyard is lovely writing with well-developed characters, a believable plot and plenty of interesting detail. It’s especially enjoyable for a reader who lives in or loves South Carolina, with the familiar settings, the families and traditions, even the restaurants and a touch of the supernatural. In fact, I’m pretty sure I know some of these people too. If you don’t already know about SOB (South of Broad) in Charleston, it’s easy enough to figure out.

Reading this title first was fine, although it would be preferable to first choose the Lowcountry Boil and Lowcountry Bombshell.

Watch for this one to publish in April 2015 and the following Lowcountry Bordello in November 2015.

Boyer may be unstoppable in conjuring mystery as she travels the social circles and back roads of the fascinating southern landscape.

Born Above the Kitchen

by Sally Gomez

I was blessed to have a wonderful childhood, a bit different from most of my friends.  My parents owned and operated a small hotel called Spruce Mountain House in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.  Spruce Mountain House originally began as a farm and boarding house when my great grandfather bought some land in the early 1920’s.  My grandparents then took over in the late 1930’s, added a few more buildings, and did less farming.  My parents bought the property in the mid 1940’s, and no longer  farmed.  After all, my father grew up farming and my mother, who was a city girl, wanted nothing to do with that aspect.sally gomez

What they did, however, was build up a wonderful hotel business that was open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That was the way the area’s small hotels operated until the late 1960’s when the tide turned and the American travelling public wanted more.

I can still picture our letterhead, designed by my mother,  that read “Less Work for Mother.”  She recognized that women made most of the vacation decisions.

I remember as a child of about 8 hearing my parents discuss the merits of adding more amenities.  Instead of swimming in the lake, we should build a swimming pool.  Instead of playing badminton in the grass, we should add a tennis/badminton/basketball court.  And we did.  And boy, were my sister and I happy.  And boy, did we have more friends than previously.

However, in the late 1960’s, the smaller family-owned hotels began to disappear.  My parents decided to sell Spruce Mountain House and its surrounding 100 acres rather than hang on to something the public no longer loved.  Although some of our guest rooms had private baths, some did not and guests shared the bathrooms down the hall.  Our activities such as hayrides, square dancing, and horse back riding could no longer compete with golf courses, cocktail lounges, and cruises.

Our guests were always weekly, Saturday to Saturday, and many families came year after year, often the same week each year.  We got to know them well, and some became life-long friends.  Although my sister and I realized that what my parents had decided was necessary, we knew we would miss our wonderful summer experiences.

She and I waitressed in our beautiful blue and white dining room from age 13 on.  We were not paid, nor did we expect to be, but we were allowed to keep our tips.  I also organized all of the children’s activities from 9 am-12 noon to give the parents free time.  We had a little building (formerly a chicken coop) that we renovated into The Children’s Clubhouse.  I loved taking the kids to The Clubhouse each morning, not only because I loved the children, but it allowed me to get out of clean-up from the breakfast shift!

We served three unbelievably wonderful meals a day for our guests, all prepared by our chef, Mr. Jerry Johnson from Lynchburg, VA.  Mr. Johnson was a black man who got on the train a few days before Memorial Day, leaving his family at home, and returning the day after Labor Day.  We had no diversity in our little village, and Mr. Johnson (who was also a teacher and preacher back in VA), was really my idol and mentor.  I especially got my love of baking from him.  Not only did he prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, he did all of the baking, including daily pies, cakes and sticky buns.  His work ethic, as well as others at that time, was something to be emulated.

After my parents sold the hotel and retired, my sister and I were married and raising our own families.  When my children were school age and I wanted to go to work, I really only wanted to work in the hospitality industry.  I worked in several large resorts that were still viable in the Poconos, starting as sales coordinator and working up to director of sales.  However, after my divorce and with my two sons now adults, I took a vacation to Myrtle Beach and felt it calling me.  That was in 1992, and I was thankful to be hired by Matthew Brittain to be the director of sales at Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort.

Things were happening along the Grand Strand, and I wanted to be part of it.  There were so many terrific things about to burst onto the scene.  Broadway at the Beach would open and offer visitors a Barefoot Landing-type of experience.  Calvin Gilmore would leave Surfside Beach and his Southern Country Nights show for his beautiful, new theater to house the Carolina Opry.   Dolly Parton would bring her exciting Dixie Stampede to the beach as well.  There were so many activities and amenities, in addition to our beautiful beaches, for vacationers to enjoy.

Fortunately, my new husband agreed that Myrtle Beach was going to be a good fit for us because he was a golf lover, and we all know that Myrtle Beach is the golf mecca of the East.  In addition to loving the varied golf options, he bought several food businesses over the years, including O’Henry’s Ice Cream Parlors at the former Waccamaw Pottery area, and later the Grumpy Grouper seafood restaurant in Socastee.

I continued working in the hospitality industry, moving on from Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort to several other properties, finally spending the last five years as manager of private events at beautiful Brookgreen Gardens.  Those events included many weddings, and prior to retiring, I decided to become a private wedding planner.  Coastal Wedding Consultants was born, and I have a dedicated partner, Mary Rana, who was my wedding volunteer at Brookgreen.  I also do a little public relations work for a restaurant in the Hammock Shops, and finally have time to volunteer.  I love to entertain residents of the area’s nursing homes and senior living communities, often relating stories from my childhood which I turned into a self-published memoir titled Born Above the Kitchen.  I take along my guitar, sing some songs from my wonderful childhood, and if a few folks are willing, I get them up to take part in an easy square dance.gomez book cover

I believe my parents would be happy to know that I continued in their footsteps.  I think that our old Spruce Mountain House square dance caller (Mr. Sam Jones of the Pocono Potato Peelers…true name) would be glad to know that some of the old dances are kept alive here in the greater Myrtle Beach area.  The Pocono Mountains have had a hard time keeping up with the wants and needs of the traveling public, but thankfully, the Grand Strand has not.  We may not be perfect here in our corner of the state, but we are doing the best we can to accommodate visitors and locals alike.  I’m happy to be doing my part.  Sally_Gomez_Flyer_062911_3_3_