Refusing Retirement

For most of my readers, retirement is not something that is foremost in your minds. You have many years ahead to save and plan for that, if you chose. More and more, I am looking to opt out of the retirement system. I know there will be those who think I have fallen off the rocking chair, I haven’t just yet. Let me explore my concept with you.

First of all, it was never an insurance policy of saving account I created with the federal government. Social Security was a way for the government to replace older workers and provide a basic income in exchange for them to retire. The money for the program comes from a tax imposed on all wages earned in the US. It is a social contract that says, I will take care of the seniors now, and in exchange, the young people will take care of me. No saving accounts of My Money in the federal government. No, if I retire, the fifth graders of our world would now be grown and have to give up part of their wages to pay for my SSI. So they would be paying into the government to pay for a check for me. SO, if I pay taxes to the Federal Government and they cut a check for an unemployed mother with three children, that is welfare. Would I not also be receiving “welfare” but it was called “SSI”?  So, reason number 1, I do not want to have the kids of our world paying for me to sit at home doing nothing.

The average retirement in 2018 is $1404. I live now on about twice that. So if I retire, I will have to cut my expenses by half, and live well below the life I am accustomed to. I know you can work to supplement that income, but it is limited. It seems punitive to me to have restrictions on the amount I can earn even if I retire. I also doubt I would enjoy living on $1404 a month. Reason 2, I can earn more by not retiring.

The Economy is booming according to the fellow in the white house. Unemployment rates are at their lowest levels. America is going to need workers. I am going to need work to keep the lifestyle I am accustomed to. Reason 3, America is going to need me to work.

A recent estimate by a group concerned with federal budgets, suggest that Federal SSI reserves will exhaust when I am 72 years of age. The maximum time I can delay retirement is age 70. So I would have at best two years of retirement benefits and I would have to go back to work. Reason 4. does not make sense to retire for just 2 years, and then have to return to work.

My 5th and probably most important reason, is I do not feel entitled to have someone else pay for my rent, groceries and clothes, just because I did the same for seniors over 35 years. I did not enter the contract voluntarily, I was volentold that I would have to support seniors. That entitles me to nothing. The federal government took money from me and gave it to others, and then promises me that they will take someone elses money and give it to me, but wait, we can’t get enough, so you only get two years.

Genesis 3:19 

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,  since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Nothing in there says I can or should retire. It says I will work everyday of my life until I return to the ground. I probably stand alone in my sentiments, and I am okay with that. I will live my life happy and with my head high.

Lil Vols Camp Is Preparing Tomorrow’s Cheerleaders Today

It would be hard to miss where the Lil Vols Camp was being held this year, all you need do is listen. Flint Ridge Baptist Church’s activity building hosted the 58 Lil Vols for this year’s camp. Remodeling work at AJHS closed off the normal location in the gym.

The camp for both boys and girls is run by the Andrew Jackson JV and Varsity Cheerleaders. It is a lively and loud time. The Lil Vols do warm-ups, practice cheers, work on tumbling, learn how to be lifted, and scream.

The Lil Vols will perform for Parents tonight at 6:30pm and then will perform at the first Andrew Jackson Football home game.

The smiles that shone from the Lil Vols today, tell an important message, I Can Do It. The feeling of success and joy at being able to complete a stunt was ever present.  The Cheerleaders, by helping to inspire and show that it can be done, are planting the necessary seeds for tomorrow’s cheerleaders, and our future leaders. GO AJ!

Join Our Band Of Pirates …Or Walk The Plank.

The Community Playhouse of Lancaster County is set for the second and final week of performances of Peter Pan, Jr.  Local actors and actresses bring the beloved story to life on the Barr St. Auditorium stage. This Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the final times to see this play. Shows begin at 7:30pm, seating opens at 7:00 pm. The Community Playhouse of Lancaster County   or 

tick-tock, tick-tock.

Pictures from practice and performance are available at

Day Three at LCCA Arts and Sciences Camp

Day three,- How to tie your shoes! In the photography class today the Students practiced instructing a partner on how to tie their shoes. They could only instruct, not show. The object was for them to understand how specific instructions must be, and how we make assumptions about others understanding our instructions. I imagine many parents worked on tying there shoes after class let out.

The main focus today was to learn sequencing, and tying the shoes allowed them a multistage process to photograph. Then they paired up and one shot the art groups and then the partner took pictures of the partner taking pictures, then they reversed roles. We practiced being the least intrusive we could be so that we would not disturb the art classes. (10 people with cameras coming in the room was disturbing enough).

The students moved into a deeper understanding of changing positions to take pictures. Laying on the floor rather than standing upright. and practiced not taking the same shot as any other photographer.

The resulting pictures are getting better and more numerous. On Monday the average was about 17 shots per student, Today, Wednesday, the student shot no less than 50 shots, with some breaking the 200 shot mark.

Tommorow, we will be reviewing pictures and selectingthe top 8 pictures to show what Art and Science Camp is all about. We will have to put aside our personal desire to have our picture be the one featured, and look to the desires of the audience and readers. We want pictures that people will stop and look twice, and ones that people will remark about, which will make them “remarkable” pictures. Below are editor selections of some of the best I found in today’s picture submissions.

Day Two at Art Camp

Camden joined us today. We focused on taking pictures from angles and ways that others don’t take pictures. We looked at getting action shots versus just static shots. The number of pictures taken jumped by almost 200%. The quality of the pictures is improving. I selected 28 remarkable pictures for today’s work.

We also discussed audiences for our pictures and taking pictures that others would enjoy versus ones we might personally like. We also learned that we have to change positions and angles to get a photo that has never been taken before.

Each student from Monday received their press credentials. Working on getting some for Camden.

Tomorrow we will be working on sequencing and doing a 5 shot short photo story of an activity. Below are the Remarkable pictures for today.


Lancaster’s Performing Arts Series Announces 2018-2019 Season

See Lancaster’s Performing Arts Series is well-known for its great variety of affordable live shows and the tradition continues with a brand new season of world-class entertainment and unmatched ticket prices.

First “out of the gate”, at 7:30pm on September 21, is Great White with Fiftywatt Freight Train – an evening of high-energy rock reminiscent of the late ’80’s and early ’90’s.  Tickets to an unforgettable evening of reliving great memories are only $35 per person plus tax.  Next up, Chicks with Hits takes the stage of Bundy Auditorium on October 5th at 7:30pm.  Nashville’s Terri Clark, Pam Tillis, and Suzy Bogguss join forces and perform hit songs from their legendary careers. Combined, these down-home ladies have more awards and nominations than can be counted, and all are members of the Grand Ole Opry. Tickets to this must-see event are $50 per person plus tax and there are no “bad seats” in the house.

On Friday, November 2 at 7:30pm, one of the most unusual groups to ever perform at Bundy Auditorium will mesmerize the audience with live silhouette “shadow dancing”.  Catapult rose to fame on “America’s Got Talent” and Lancaster Performing Arts Series is excited to offer tickets to this magical evening for only $30 per person, plus tax.  The holidays would not be complete without a live performance to kick off the season and the Performing Arts Series is doing just that, with Craig Morgan on Friday, December 7 at 8pm.  An Army veteran, family man, country music star, and member of the Grand Ole Opry with 25 Billboard hits, he is also host of the popular Outdoor Channel series Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors.  Tickets are $50 per person, plus tax, and are sure to sell out fast for gift-giving.

Moving into 2019, The Everly Brother Experience – featuring the Zmed Brothers – will ring in the new year on January 18 at 7:30pm.  Zachary and Dylan celebrate the genetic intimacy of the harmonies created by Don and Phil Everly, who rose to fame with success that was rivaled only by Elvis. The Zmed Brothers are thrilled to be able to support the recognition and preservation of the intimate origins of America’s greatest Rock n’ Roll singing sibling duo. At $30 per person, plus tax, tickets to this “stroll down memory lane” are a new year’s bargain.
Wrapping up the 2018-2019 season, Mary Wilson of the Supremes brings her unique performance style to the stage on February 9 at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $40 per person, plus tax, and will make the perfect gift for St. Valentine’s Day.  Everyone who loves music from the 1960’s will remember Mary as a founding member of the world’s most famous female trio, The Supremes.  Relive the hits that took them to “number one”, such as “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop In the Name of Love,” and “Back in My Arms Again”, when Mary Wilson graces Bundy Auditorium with her unmatched talent.

Bundy Auditorium is located at USC Lancaster, 476 Hubbard Drive, Lancaster, SC 29720.  Doors for all performances open at 6:30pm, with a cash bar by The Craft Stand available until show times.  Tickets are available online at<> or by calling the box office at 803-289-1486 or by visiting See Lancaster, 201 West Gay Street, Lancaster, SC 29720 during business hours.  Season Tickets and Sponsorships, which include a pre-show VIP Room with live entertainment and entertainer “meet and greet” opportunities are available by contacting Performing Arts Manager, April Joplin at 803-289-1494.

Welcome Pantagraph’s Student Photojournalists.

Pantagraph is glad to announce the first group of student Photojournalists. The 8 eager young people are learning the ropes of how to take pictures and use pictures to tell a story. They have gathered at the Lancaster County Council of the Arts summer camp in Lancaster at Discovery school.

Each student is allowed to use a donated camera to learn how to develop the stories. The first assignment is to be able to tell the story of Art camp in a max of 8 pictures. Additional story assignments may be given during the week-long orientation.

Day one was spent getting their assignment, taking credential pictures, Going out and shooting some initial pictures. Days two through four will be refining how we shoot pictures, and reviewing the remarkable pictures and selecting the 8 pictures for submission to the Lancaster News at the end of the month.

Each student will have the opportunity to create a story for Pantagraph and have their own byline. The ability to learn and shoot continues as they will keep their Pantagraph credential and will be given connecting information to submit for consideration in future articles.

Let me introduce you to them.


art camp lancaster 7-9-2018 11-58 AM0379
Sara, Scout, Olivia, Zachary, Brianna, Natalie, Lilly, and Alonna



Some first-day shots.