Thursday, July 20, 2017

Howard Bridgman, a member of the board of directors of Friends of the 
Edisto, paddles 2 miles of the Edisto River from Givhans Ferry State Park 
to the Edisto River Outfitters base Wednesday. The July 19 trip was part
of the launch of a new website

Paddlers tour Edisto River during debut of

By David Kennard

Paddlers have navigated the gentle current of the Edisto River for centuries, but a new website promises to enhance the experience for modern day canoers and kayakers.

Unveiled Wednesday at Givhans Ferry State Park, the new website includes features to help visitors learn more about the historic river and the countryside around it.

Find the full story and more pictures here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTES: Editor's Notes: Bacons Bridge Road sparks mower memories

By David Kennard

Back in the summer of 1981 I had three best friends, Smokin’ Joe, Slow Moe and Ricky. The first two were commercial-grade lawn mowers that my best friend Ricky and I used as part of our landscaping business.

The business was owned by Ricky’s cousin, but the two of us recent high school graduates did all the hard labor. Every morning we’d load up the mowers, trimmers and edgers and make a stop at the gas station to fuel up the gear and feast on day-old apple fritters and Pepsi. Then, from 7 in the morning until 9 at night we'd mow the yards of the rich homes that we vowed we'd own one day.

These two giant gas guzzling machines cut grass like you wouldn’t believe. Slow Moe was excellent at climbing steep hills and could slice through Kentucky Blue Grass and Tall Fescue like nothing. But he had one speed - slow. Smokin’ Joe, on the other hand, got his name not from boxing fame, but because of the amount of smoke he blew out of the exhaust for hours every day. Ricky and I would have to trade mowers on every other job because the exhaust fumes mixed with the summer heat were too much for one person to handle for 10 hours a day.

Now, every time I drive south on Bacons Bridge Road I am reminded of Ricky and those two old mowers that I came to both love and hate all those summers ago.

As a relative newcomer to Summerville, I’ve had the chance to see the final phase of the Bacons Bridge widening project, which increased the width of the road basically from the Little Ceaser’s all the way south to Dorchester Road and beyond.

Editor’s Note: Most of my directions are given in relation to pizza restaurants.

Most drivers probably have never looked at a map of Summerville to know that they are going in and out of the county as they drive along Bacons Bridge Road. And, like much of Summerville, it’s sometimes hard to figure out if you are in the county or the city, a problem that local leaders keep assuring me that they are working on.

If you own property in the area, you probably consider yourself a Summerville resident even if you pay your taxes and vote in Dorchester County. You might also care any time you drive Bacons Bridge Road, which was built by the county, finished by the state, but is monitored by the town. I'm still not certain who is responsible for mowing the tall grass that lines the roadway.

My daily drive into work takes me along this section, which for me begins at Dorchester Road. Bacons Bridge runs into town through Dorchester County until it reaches the Sawmill Branch Canal; it then enters the Town of Summerville and for several blocks traverses through the town before passing back into Dorchester County at about Jimbo Road. 

The speed limit is 35 miles per hour close to town, but changes to 45 as you travel south toward the canal. It is five lanes wide including its center turn lane. Appropriate signage is in place, as are sidewalks on one side or the other - sometimes both sides.

Fancy it is not, although the unmowed grass and weeds do add some contrast to this otherwise utilitarian stretch of blacktop. This drive through the jungle of tall grass brings me back to Smokin Joe and Slow Moe.

Just like Smokin’ Joe the boxer, that old mower was fast. I am certain that if I had that machine today, with its twin offset blades and belt-drive transmission, I could rip through those tall weeds along Bacons Bridge Road in 20 minutes, tops.

I have no idea whatever became of those two old behemoth mowers, but every time I drive home from work I’m reminded of that summer with my three best friends.

David Kennard is the executive editor of Summerville Communications, which publishes the Berkeley Independent, Goose Creek Gazette and Summerville Journal Scene. Contact him at or 843-873-9424. Follow him on Twitter @davidbkennard.