Home

When I was a little girl, I begged my momma to let me stay home alone while she ran an errand. Feeling big and brave, I insisted I’d be fine. Knowing I would be, Momma left me in the living room while she drove two blocks to get us hot dogs and come straight back home.

Home.

Immediately after she left, I panicked – a little girl, big scary world, full blown anxiety attack. When Momma came back a long ten minutes (lifetime of misery) later, she found me hanging on the brick wall of the garage screamin’ crying out of fear. I couldn’t handle the house all by myself, and had instead come to wait for her arrival out in the carport.

Home.

I loved that house. Oh, it held treasures! We had six bedrooms, rotating family, one whole room dedicated to our books, our own library! My father had a wood working shop, and there was this huge basement full of exciting surprises that could entertain any child’s imagination for hours. The kicker was that to get to the basement door, one must either brave this freaky carved mask with beady eyes that my parents hung over the stairwell or go out and around to the dungeon door off the yard. I chose to puff up my chest, hold my breath and run clodding down the stairs as fast as possible past the mask. Every time. Until we moved.

Home.

Years ago, I don’t know how many moves later, my older sister lived in a house in Atlanta with a basement and she hung that same dreadful mask over the stairwell. She had her own children by then. Why on Earth would she subject a whole new generation to the mask? Tradition? Nostalgia? A twinge of evil? As the younger sibling, the latter is a reasonable assumption.

Home.

Today I live in a beautiful historic home in downtown York. We’re in the heart of southern charm, we’ve found our place, and we’re settled. And yet. We’re selling it. Seven years ago, this house gave us the hope of finality, and for someone it may become that. It has been standing here in this very spot for ninety years minus a few months. I’m guessing it’s seen it’s lifetime of stories. It’s withstood almost a century of human experiences, and so it will continue to serve its community well. Our own stories are tucked gently within its walls.

When my husband left, that hope of finality for us staying here left as well. It’s taken us over two years to live into that truth, and all during that time our house has unmistakably been our refuge. It’s loved us through a bunch of just plain Hards, a sanctuary for us to escape – a birthplace for our changed family and our strengthened, resilient selves.

Home.

My momma went Home five years ago. I talk with her all the time, hear her voice in my conscious, think back to all the times when dramatic me had gotten so worked up, and can still see her sighing, “Oh Patrish.” I feel her hugs and her practical, sarcastic wit pulling me back into the present. Oh, Momma. Her kindness. Her patience with me in my irrational moments. Mom embodied “home”.

Dad still lives in their house, invited in a new wife who’s different from Mom but worthy of her place there. That house needed a woman again, and while a bit awkward at times, her merging of their lives provides a chance to witness growth. New love. (And new love, even in eighty year olds, is just as cheesy as new love in teenagers. Still fun to watch.)

Home.

We get incredibly attached to our buildings, our bits, and our things. We think we aren’t that connected to our simple clutter until change introduces itself, and then we panic all over again. It is completely true that Home is in the people, not the tangible, but it’s still a Hard Good – moving. The boys and I run the gamut of emotions on any given day on how we feel about letting someone new live in our house while we’re gone on this next adventure. Of course these people will have paid for this house and taken over the deed (and would probably be a bit disturbed if we showed back up announcing our adventure finished). But. The ownership of this space will still be ours until another landing spot deems itself worthy of the title.

Home.

H.O.M.E.

Home.

Lorie Cassidy Cooper of Ken’s Barbershop

Lorie and Ken cutting hair.

Me: How long have you lived in York?

LCC: I’ve been in York since 1988, so about 30 years. I moved here from Rock Hill, just right up the road. When I first moved here, I lived way out in the country for a long time.

Me: So you live in town now?

LCC: No, I still live in the country. I have lived in town before though. I was a gypsy for awhile.

Me: You just lived all over? All over town?

LCC: Yes. And Taiwan and um…

Me: Oh, OK. Not just around York! Other places too.

Laughter…..

LCC: Yeah, other places too. And I lived in a camper for three years. I had it right in front of Black’s Peaches. I was the only thing in this big ole field. I rented a little spot from John Black. I loved livin’ in a camper.

A Black’s Farm peach

Me: When you said gypsy and camper I was thinking you were one of those people that traveled around, but no.

LCC: No. I lived in a field. I loved it!

Me: You said Taiwan. Now why did you live over there?

LCC: My son moved there. He’s been there about ten years. He went to college. That was the initial reason, and he’s never come back. He is now on TV and movies and stuff like that.

Me: So he graduated from York Comp, right?

LCC: He graduated from York, went to Winthrop his first year, and did an exchange program to Taiwan and he stayed there. He’s made it. He’s made it big! He’s been home twice.

Me: How many times have you been there?

LCC: Twice. The first time I stayed for a year, and the last time was last September, and I went for two weeks.

Me: How long have you worked at Ken’s Barber?

Ken: 2004.

LCC: 15 years? Close enough.

Me: How many barbers have worked here? Just you and Ken and Ken’s daddy, Len?

Ken: Well, when she went to Taiwan, we had another one, but yeah. Just us.

Me: Did you plan to be a barber?

LCC: No. It was really strange. I was cuttin’ hair since I was little. My daddy would have me cut his hair since I was five years old. I would stand on a stool and cut my daddy’s hair, and then he would go get it fixed. I didn’t realize at that time he was showin’ me my career.

Me: So you’ve been doing this your whole life essentially.

LCC: Yeah, but I didn’t make money off of it until my Momma passed away, and that’s when I went to school. Took care of her while she was sick. After she passed away, it just kind of fell in my lap. I needed to do something. I didn’t know what to do with myself because I had been so stretched for so long, and I ran into these people and they knew somebody that needed to hire a barber and they did on the job training. So I worked for free to pay for my on the job training.

Me: And then you came here.

LCC: Yeah. Well, first I went to Blackwood Brothers, and I did an internship and then I came here after a year.

After that, umm, I ended up getting a divorce, and all kinds of stuff. I’ve got the best job in the world. If people knew how good this job is, I couldn’t have hand-picked a better job for me.

Me: What’s the best part?

LCC: The people. Getting to know them.

Me: I bet you get all kinds of stories in here.

LCC: A mentally handicapped man from York, people would pick on him. But people didn’t know what he would do. So this other man, I was cutting his hair, and that customer said, “Hey ____, did you know there’s a warrant out for your arrest?” Well, _____ picked up this chair, and I ducked cause I knew what he was fixin’ to do, and I said, “Don’t!” He set the chair back down, but that man wasn’t ready for that!

He would also get mad when it was snowing. He’d get mad. He used to live downtown, and he would walk here, but he lives with his brother now. That’s why you don’t see him around. We love him.

Talking…..

LCC: I was the first woman to work at this barber shop. It’s been here since the depression, and I’m the first woman.

Me: I don’t doubt it. You don’t hear about many woman barbers.

LCC: No. You don’t. And it’s so funny, when I started working here. They all pick on me. I’ve been the butt of every joke for fifteen years. Not everybody could do this job.

I don’t mind. I love it. I’ve got a lot of useless knowledge. Like Herman told me how to deliver a cow. Now when am I ever going to do that?

Me: I bet you hear a lot of gossip. What’s the best gossip you’ve heard??

Ken: We had a doctor once, would come in and tell us everything. He used names! We were like, Nooo!!!

Customer: I don’t want to hear that!

Ken: That’s what we told him.

LCC: It’s women that gossip. With men, it’s just BS. They’re talkin’ smack or it’s political. And I don’t know anything about politics, so I don’t say anything.

Me: Do you have any clients get in arguments? About politics or stuff like that?

LCC: Oh yes!! Ken!!

Ken: I had two old men fightin’ over me! They both wanted me.

LCC: Yeah! They both wanted Ken to cut their hair, and they’re both trying to get in the chair at the same time.

Laughter…

LCC: And then one of them got in a fight with me, and then later he’d say, “Hey!” He was trying to get on my good side in case we went to court.

LCC: But yes, people get heated about politics, especially around election time. Now Ken and I, we try to stay out of it.

Me: But Ken’s daddy didn’t. He’d talk about politics because that happened the first time we ever came in here. He was here, and he was telling all kinds of stuff. That’s what I was telling Ken, that my boys were excited and wanted to go back to the barber. They learned all kinds of things they had never heard before!

LCC: Oh I’m sure! Lenny will tell you, “I was a democrat until I learned to read.” But Ken and I, we stay out of it.

Me: Do you have a poignant or kindhearted story? (Ken pipes in, and I tell him to hush. It’s Lorie’s turn to tell a story. He smiles.)

LCC: There are kids that come in here… (Ken – Oh, yes.) I’m very mothering. There’s kids that come in here, and they don’t have anything. This one fellow that me and Ken got too close to, he had a whole lot of problems. He’d been in foster care, he’d been adopted, all kind of problems. Now, we’re only hearing his side of the story. We don’t know, but he was pitiful, and he was making a lot of bad choices, and me and Ken we’d try to give him advice. He was seventeen at the time he run away. But he ended up, they sent him off, and I don’t know where he is now.

…..

Kids get to me. I have another kid that comes in here. He’ll say, “I found something at the thrift store, and it’s two dollars, and I want it so bad!” And of course, I give him two dollars. The first time I saw him at the thrift store, he’s walking around, and he’s as skinny as a rail, and he had on high waters, socks, shoes that didn’t fit him, and he was carrying around these cleats. It was dead of summer, and he had on a jersey with football pads, and he had them cleats. The store clerk asked me what was with him, and I said he looked like a kid and that I’d go talk to him. Well he was just a kid, and he wasn’t on drugs or anything, he was just mentally unstable, and he wanted those cleats. His hair was all over the place. So, of course, I got them for him, and I got him something to eat, and I told the woman I’m going to cut his hair and we’ll be back to eat. He wasn’t this big around. So I cut his hair and he went back and ate, and of course, he’s come back after that. We have a lot of sad stories like that.

But I try to help people. Especially the children.

We kept on talking, but the best way to hear barbershop stories is to visit yourself. You can find Lorie and Ken at Ken’s Barber most days, and I can tell you, it’s worth the visit.

Lorie’s Chair



Ken Carpenter of Ken’s Barber Shop

Haircuts

People of Yorkville Interview with Ken Carpenter

Me: How long has Ken’s Barber Shop been in business?

KP: January 2014. Across the street was the original barber shop, and that went back before the depression. That was the Sanitary Barber Shop. My dad (that’s Lenny) started working there in 1968. He had been working at another barber shop across the street since 1964 when he moved to York.

Me: How long have you been a barber?

KP: I started training in 1984, and I got my license in 1986, so over 30 years. I’m old.

Me: You’re not old.

KP: I’ve been cutting hair for over thirty years.

A bit of conversation….my recorder makes people nervous at times….

Me: You’ve got good stories. Your dad has good stories.

KP: Those are just the ones I can tell in front of women and children.

Laughter….

Ken's BarberBarber chairs 2

Me: How many people a day can you cut hair?

KP: It’s been slow. It started out being really, really busy but it’s been slow for about a year. So that does vary. You’ll have some years that are busy and some that are not. You kind of start changing your opinion on what a good week is. You know. But. The best I’ve ever done is 25. The worst I’ve ever done is a zero. Anywhere in between. You can’t never tell. You have to save your money when it’s good.

Me: 25 in a week?

KP: No. A day. But that’s only happened one time. That was a good day. That was good money. And that day that was a zero, that’s only happened once. But nevertheless, yeah. People will think we’re more busy than we are because people tend to come all at once. When it’s slow, people aren’t here, so. I’d bring a book to read, but she talks to me all the time. (Looks sideways at Lorie, the other barber.)

Me: That’s what you get for letting a woman work here!

Me: You’ve worked for over thirty years in a barber shop, so tell me something funny.

KP: And clean.

Me: Yeah!

KP: Well, I need to think on it. There’s a lot of things that’s happened, but somebody might think I’m picking on somebody.

Thinking….

Me: Do you have a specialty?

KP: Yeah, some people may say it’s a flat top, haha! ….  Dad’s the one you need to tell the stories.

Me: Does he still come in here?

KP: Occasionally. (Customer chimes in, “When Ken goes to car shows.”) Yes, and when I get sick.

We then reminisce about Lenny stories. That’s the thing about the barber shop. We tend to chat about things not for the blog, but we are having the conversations that make up a community. Sharing about how people are doing, who got embarrassed about whatnot, the owner of the house that just sold right down the street, and such. No matter who you are, I encourage you to go visit Ken’s. It’s a visit you won’t soon forget.

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7 East Liberty Street, York, SC 29745

Kenny Childers and Jordan Garrett of Dogma and Fetch

Downtown York offers an eclectic group of store owners, with life passions that lead them into business.
Please meet our latest People of Yorkville, Kenny Childers and Jordan Garrett, of Dogma and Fetch. Due to the busy nature of running a retail store, we instead opted for a email interview and a quick visit at the shop.
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Me: What was your inspiration to start the store?
Kenny and Jordan: This is a easy one, the love for animals, especially our 5 dogs Abby, Bailey, Cody, Dexter and Evan. They were a huge inspiration for opening the store.
We decided to dive into our hobby and make it a full time business.
(I’m curious if their furry family members aren’t also the inspiration for the fun and lively pet paintings throughout Dogma and Fetch? Note to self – find out who does their artwork!)
Me: How long have you been York residents?
Kenny – originally from York, I have lived here 45 years (all my life), with the exception of living in Charlotte & NC  for about  6 years.
Jordan is from NC and has been in York for 17 yrs.
Dogma and FetchDogma and Fetch 3
Me: What is your favorite part of being in Downtown York?
Kenny and Jordan – Making relationships with dogs and dog owners. We also love the history of the downtown and its buildings.
Kenny –  As a child I rode my bike and walked the streets and shopped these stores for years, so for me York is home. And what’s more comfortable than home? We enjoy working in a quaint downtown atmosphere.
Me: Since opening Dogma and Fetch, which moments have stood out as especially poignant?
Kenny and Jordan – Being downtown for 16 years, it has saddened us to see so many businesses closing up shop. Watching other businesses/banking and services move away from the downtown/historic area to follow a trend. That (movement away from downtown) is changing the way, and what, places that York and the surrounding area will support.

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Full lines of pet care products

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Baked treats

Dogma and Fetch offers a wide variety of pet services, from basic supplies to gifts to fresh baked treats to grooming services. An anchor in downtown, Dogma and Fetch is definitely a destination worth visiting for any animal lover, and must see for all dog owners!
Dogma and Fetch
24 N. Congress St.
York, SC 29745

Penee with Penny Moss

People of Yorkville Series

Penee with Penny Moss

Me: How long have you been in business?

PM: 17 years. I’ve been in this location (26 North Congress) a little over a year. I started out at 17 North Congress and I was there five or six years and then that building sold, so I had to move. I was going to build onto my house, and Ann over here at Hummingbird Florist heard I was leaving downtown, and she said, ‘You can have my building.  I’ll give you the same rent. We don’t want you to leave downtown; you’re a big asset.’ So I moved from 17 down to 35, which is now Holley’s Beaded Dragon.

Penny goes on to explain that she then, through a series of events, ended up moving across the street to 26 North Congress, which is where her spa currently resides.

We’re having conversation about client base, where people come from…

PM: My type of business, these days people fist pump, they use hand sanitizer, they don’t like people touching them. They communicate through typing and text, you know; nobody really gets touched. Especially if you’re single. And so a destination like this, once you come to relax – and I won’t even just say Penee – a massage therapist, somebody you can connect with and that can also touch you and can pray over you….you remember that. It stays in your heart.

God called me to this. He gave me a vision. I was working in corporate America and I had a terrible day one day. And I went and got a massage. I went to Carmen and Carmen because I worked in downtown Charlotte. I went in and I was like – I need a massage, I need to relax. She said, ‘We don’t have any massage appointments available but we have a facial.’  I’d never had a facial before, but I took her word and went in. And sure enough, I was at one of those crossroads in life and I was laying there and I was in tune with the Spirit and He gave me a vision. He showed me doing what she was doing to me. And I thought, gosh, this is what I need to do! I researched it, went and took out my 401K, lived off my 401k, went to school, and opened up my business in December.

She went on to share about getting started and moving into her own space, the first space at 17 North Congress.

It has been like that. He (God) has opened doors. Every time.

Penee - Penny Moss
Penny Moss sharing essential oil samples

Me: Memorable clients, moments, stand out poignant instances?

PM: I would say this is the one… The Lord put a specific calling on my life. He said you will make people happy and you will inspire a billion. And I didn’t know what “billion” meant. And then He sent me to the Pregnancy Crisis Center and I learned that one in three women have had an abortion. Well, I had an abortion in my early twenties and I knew God had forgiven me, but I didn’t realize I hadn’t forgiven myself. So I actually got healed from an abortion I had 20 years ago. It put me in dangerous situations with men, with life, I didn’t feel I was worthy, and I overdid myself trying to make up for that. And I got healed there. So, I am a career counselor there on Wednesday, and I counsel women that are in crisis situation.  …  Well, when I share my testimony here (Penee), and I don’t share it with just anybody, but when God lays it on my heart to share, I would say those instances are the ones I remember.

Penny goes on the share that when she shares her story at her spa, women will open up and share their stories with her. Women that have had their own abortions, their own traumas early in life and haven’t ever told their husbands. Women open up about burdens they’ve held on to from before ….. Before marriage, before kids, before ____.

PM: And it is such freedom to be able to speak it. And some of these women have never said it. And when they say it, it’s just a flow of tears, and the enemy can’t hold them anymore. It’s like Vegas in here. What is said in here, stays in here, and people know that. It’s a place to come out of the world, to just come in here and be gone for a little bit and just recharge.

What is a facial?

Penee 3I have a 30 minute, 1 hour, and an hour and a half. If you’re a beginner, and you just want to feel it out, I recommend the 30 minute, but after, you’re usually like, Ohh, I need an hour at least! It like Starbucks – you got the tall, the grande, and the whatever.

There’s a double cleansing, an exfoliating mask, a peeling mask, I put it on and I have these cucumber eye patches and then I start the massage. I start with the decollete (the shoulder blade, chest area), and then I go to the shoulders, and the neck and down the arms and then I put a heated bag across your chest. Then I go down and I massage your feet. Our hands and our feet are all connected to our organs, so I use different massage techniques on your hands and feet. I put essential oils on your feet. I have a scanner I use on your hand so I know what oils to use, and I put a hot towel over their face, and then I ask if there’s something I can pray over them for, and then I take that hot towel and that last mask off. I then use a toner, a serum, and a thicker cream over dry spots and I put on an eye cream, and that’s about it.

Me: That is a facial?!? Laughter…SOOO much better than Walmart! (I joked about buying my facial scrub at Walmart because I am not typically a girly girl.) It does not even compare!

PM: (Laughs) It does not even compare!

Penee 4

Then she explains lots of other treatments she can do. Visit her website for dermabrasion, peels, make up, and more.

She goes on to discuss future plans and listening for God’s call. Penny has started a Facebook page called Heart Rebalanced for women that would like to reach out to her. Penny and I had a wonderfully uplifting conversation, and I highly recommend everyone go see Penny. She has such a positive and infectious, joyful spirit that any customer is sure to have a renewing and heart filled experience.

Penee Spa

26 North Congress Street, York, SC 29745

803.430.6091

Frank’s Jewelers

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Silver pieces with exchangeable gems

Last week I had the distinct opportunity to speak with Walter of Frank’s Jewelers in York. Walter’s wife runs the anchor store in Clover, while the branch store in downtown York sits settled right on Congress Street since 2003.

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Silver rings with exchangeable stones

We did not engage in a formal interview, but instead spent a good hour talking casually about all sorts of things. I asked lots of questions for myself, personally needing to update and exchange a few pieces of jewelry myself, and we toured the shop at length, me admiring lots of gorgeous pieces. Having lived in York six years now, I am ashamed to say this was the first time I had been in Frank’s Jewelers, having wrongly assumed that it was a high end store out of my economical grasp.

 

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Men’s gifts

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Prayer Bracelets from Nepal

In truth, the shop is perfect for our small downtown, offering a wide variety of intricate, simple, and exquisite jeweled items that are in fact, often affordable. I will most certainly become a quick regular and look forward to visiting Walter often in the future.

His store encompasses:

jewelry repair, watch repair, appraisals, engraving, special orders, interest-free layaway, gift certificates, precious metal recycling, trade in/ trade up, jewelry care

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Life After Lemons with Jennifer Shull

(Logo taken from Jen’s blog, https://lifeafterlemons.com)

How did you get started making candy?

JS: Back when I was twelve we went to a candy making party that one of my aunts or cousins was having and I really took a liking to it. My mom supported it and got me a starter kit and I just took off from there.

I took some time off from making candy when I was married because it wasn’t a big deal then. So I’ve started it up again since my divorce since it was a relaxing thing. But my mom is the one that got me started and supported me through all that. She’s the one that taught me my caramel recipe I use. She and I worked on that together. My caramel recipe is really well known around here and I’ve been asked to jar it.

Jenn - Life After Lemons

I use local when I can so my apples and my strawberries are from Bush N’ Vine. That’s their mountain apples and their winter strawberries.

Struggle?

JS: Lack of communication with….pretty much with the city. Being a new owner there was not a lot, I feel like the city and the chamber should have a new business owner type packet to let you know what’s going on or to let them know what’s expected of them. Summerfest in August did not go well because of lack of communication. There were a few other things that did not go well because of lack of communication.

(Jen went on to explain that the positive part of this struggle is that the officials are willing to listen and that she has a meeting with the mayor to discuss solutions. She was pleased with her ability to have a voice and is actively working to help with solutions regarding communication between the city and downtown business owners.)

Fear?

JS: My fear is being out on the street because I live upstairs too. I wake up in the mornings, get myself ready, and I’m down here.

Poignant moment?

The kids coming in. The kids that have never been here before, as soon as they walk through the door, I should really just have a video camera to capture the look on their faces. That makes it worth the struggle right there. Some of my regulars, their kids come over here (behind the counter) and they hug me before they leave. That’s what keeps me going.

What drew you to be downtown? To live and work in downtown?

Jenn - Life After Lemons2

JS: The idea I had in my head for a candy store, it was not going to work at a strip mall, anything like that, because it’s the old time feel. So I knew I needed a historical district. I have friend who lives down here, so when I was looking for a spot, she’s like come to York. I think it’s where you need to be. And even now, I walk outside and I’m amazed at the beauty of the town.

We talked about all sorts of things, her candies, her Oops! Bags, and we were winding down….

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JS: …..I love what I do. Even though it’s stressful, it’s less stress than I had in the corporate world because it’s stress I can control.

Jen and I spent awhile together, talking both about candy and about writing, life in York, and all sorts of good bits of conversation. I mean, it’s a candy store, people! Go visit she shop and chat her up yourself or read more about her journey at lifeafterlemons.com