Letters to the Editor – June 1, 2016

Reader encourages support of Boys and Girls Club

Last month I was invited to the Boys and Girls Club of Hartsville to take part in a “drumming circle” with the kids who attend the club. I was not prepared for what I experienced. Dick Moons, a drumming expert and organizer of the Columbia Drum Circle, lead the children and youth in creating their own rhythms as a group. During one of the “circles” there must have been thirty kids in the room at one time. Thirty kids beating on thirty drums sounds at first like it would be chaos; however, Mr. Moons is highly skilled in leading groups of children in exercises just like this. By using phrases such as, “I like milk and cookies,” he was able to develop a rhythm for the children to use while hitting their drums so that everyone could attain a syncopated rhythm.

I have taken part in many drum circles but nothing prepares you for what you experience when drumming with kids. Children aren’t as concerned about how they sound to others. As a result, they are freer to experience the whole purpose of a drum circle: to bring people together. That day, at the point where everyone finally got it and all were on one smooth rhythm, I could see it on everyone’s faces. At that moment, there were no age categories or any other labels. Everyone realized at the same time that we all were co-creators in something special. All of our eyes lit up, an open mouthed grin formed itself on our faces, and we looked around locking eyes with one another communicating without words. For a few brief seconds while everyone was on beat, time slowed enough for us all to be there together, in that moment, to appreciate a small miracle: no labels, no divisions, just unity.

To many, unity is a “pie-in-the-sky” concept, an ideal that we may or may not be able to reach; however, that day at the Boys and Girls Club we achieved it. However brief, at that moment it wasn’t an idea or a theory to those in the room, it was something we experienced.

At a time when all we seem to see in the news are stories of divisiveness, our society aches for unity. We toil over how to create such an atmosphere where we all are on the same page, where we all can realize our fundamental human nature and commonality. After an experience like this, I can’t help but think that unity isn’t so hard to achieve at all. In fact, it seems that we are hard-wired for it–especially children. Regardless of our age, race, or gender we were all filled with a childlike magic that day–whether staff, visitor, or child—and it is a memory that cannot be replaced.

It blows my mind to realize that inside a room in an old building off of Sixth Street in Hartsville, while the rest of the world went its way that day, we experienced a small miracle. There were no news reports and it did not trend on social media but hearts and minds were transformed and I know because I was there.

What else is going on inside this hidden treasure in Hartsville? Who are the wonderful people who invest their time and energy into creating these experiences for our Hartsville children at the Boys & Girls Club? If you have not visited the Boys and Girls Club of Hartsville, I believe you are missing out on an extremely important part of our community. There’s lots more going on–from literacy to leadership skills training—but when you visit you get the sense that it is not about programs or buildings at all. It is about the hundreds of children you will find there every weekday, children with a future not yet written. If we truly wish to make a difference in our society, I think I have found the best starting place and its not in Washington D.C. or City Hall. Its in an old building off Sixth Street in the southern part of Hartsville.

If you would like to visit the Boys and Girls Club of Hartsville, make a donation, or learn more about how you can help, I encourage you to call 843-332-1400 and become a part of an organization that is making a real difference.

Casey Copeland,
Hartsville, S.C.

Darlington will miss these two men, Ed Hursey and Juny James

I was saddened this week to learn about the passing of two prominent Darlingtontonians. Though not personally acquainted with either of these two men, I knew of them. Mr. James, the young attorney, whose office was on the town square, I knew only by seeing mail addressed to him while I worked at the Post Office during the years of the late 40’s.

Mr. Ed Hursey and I met a few times when I was on a visit to Darlington on various occasions. Ed’s uncle Bill Hursey and his aunt Carrie Reeves worked at the Post Office at the time when I worked there. Bill Hursey was assistant Postmaster to Frank Bynum who was Postmaster at that time. Carrie Reeves, his aunt, was a clerk and dispatcher also. Mr. Ed Hursey and his wife, Christine Weaver Hursey’s names surfaced recently at a visit with Adelaide Capers Johnson and Lex Langston, both old Darlingtonian transplants to Greenville.

It was Mr. Ed Hursey who suggested to me on one of our meetings that I should write about the men who had influenced my life in significant ways. Perhaps that is something I should do! Too late now for Ed to read about them. I don’t know if the News and Press is delivered to that place beyond the stars or not. It is something to think about!

Darlington will miss these two men, both were well known citizens who made their mark and moved on. They will be missed!

Bill Shepard
Piedmont, S.C.

Author: Duane Childers

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