Flash: ON   July 29, 2014 
Author: Book helps preserve mill village way of life

Dan O'Shields says he wanted to write “Where Have You Gone Ted Williams?” in part to help preserve the mill village way of life he enjoyed so much growing up.
“From what I have seen the mill village culture is slowly disappearing; it's dying,” he said. “I felt like during the 1950s was such a good time for me. It wasn't for the families probably because there wasn't much money for the adults. For the kids it was a treasure trove of playmates all over the place. I saw that as a good time.”
Those reading the book will recognize places like Jail Hill and Union's downtown area, but they should not recognize any people - all are products of O'Shields' imagination.
“I guess everything we write is part of us in some kind of way,” he said. “Some of the personality characteristics of my family are certainly taken from what I remember but as far as any character, everything is fictional.  I do describe some of the stores on Main Street. West End School is a big part of it but every event is fictional and all the characters I talk about are fictional.”
“Where Have You Gone Ted Williams?” is in part a story of a boy named Benji who wants very much to own a baseball card featuring the legend. But some things happen that readers might not expect.
O'Shields asked his friend, Union County Museum Director Ola Jean Kelly to write a review of the book and this is what she said:
“'Where Have You Gone Ted Williams?' the story of a boy growing up in a mill village, will resonate with all who lived that experience,” she said. “Many familiar places along Union's Main Street will revive memories of times past. But in the style of most southern authors, it is also a story of the human experience, the good and the bad and the very bad. Written in the narrative form, the tension builds from the everyday life of the boy, Benji, whose heart's desire is to own a Ted Williams baseball card, to a riveting conclusion. A real page turner! Great job author and Union native, Dr. Daniel O'Shields.”
O”Shields grew up on Lybrand Street and later on the Seigler Road. His wife, the former Kathy Kingsmore, also is a Union native. A retired psychotherapist, he worked in Orangeburg and later Colorado for many years. He holds a Ph.D. and his career included time spent working on a Navaho reservation in Southern Utah. He and his wife returned to Union County to live in 2005. He worked in private practice before retiring.
In his free time O'Shields began pursuing his writing interest. He has had several articles and short stories published, including an article on mill village porches in Sandlapper magazine, articles in “Birds and Blooms” and “Antiques and Collectibles Journal” and a short story about mill village grocery stores and delivery people in the on-line magazine “Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.”  He read this piece in March during the USC-Union Literary Festival.
O'Shields has written the last two plays for Boogaloo Folklife presentations.
O'Shields said he started “Where Have You Gone Ted Williams” two or three times before he completed it. He said he read excerpts to his friends in the Union County Arts Council Writer's Group - Stephanie Bentley, Marilyn Mitra, Sally Parker and Father Louis Miller - and they greatly encouraged him and helped gently prod him forward
Friend and retired English teacher Jack Kelly III helped edit the book. Another close friend, Edward Riggs,  helped with insightful comments and honest remarks.
O'Shields thanked his wife for her work with the book, including editing, offering computer skills, patience and guidance.
Mrs. Parker drew the cover picture, which features clock towers much like those on Buffalo Mill. O'Shields said he was very happy with the cover.
“It encompasses the feeling that the mill was the giant 'thing' overlooking the houses,” he said.
Copies of “Where Have You Gone Ted Williams” are $12.95 and are available at the Union County Museum, the Union County Arts Council, Economy Printing, Something Special, Union County News and Amazon.com. A portion of the proceeds from books sold at the museum and arts council will be donated to those two organizations. O'Shields plans to hold a books signing at the arts council and the museum soon.

Pretty in pink
Kaye Driggers becomes a national sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics
Time was running out and Kaye Driggers was falling short of what she needed to do to accomplish her goal of becoming a national sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics.
The Union native and her husband, Baptist minister Dr. Tim Driggers, prayed boldly to the Lord, as Joshua did when he asked the sun and moon to stop while he was engaged in battle.
Then Tim saw an announcement that those working toward becoming a director had been given 24 extra hours because of computer problems.
“If I had not gotten that extra 24 hours, it would not have gotten done,” said Kaye, who has won a pink Cadillac Escalade as part of the reward for becoming a national director. “God is so good. That was the most emotional part for me, to know that God loved me enough and wanted this goal for us, too, that he gave me 24 hours to get it done. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in Mary Kay and I have done a lot. I have won 11 Cadillacs and that is nothing compared to becoming a (national) director. You have to motivate and inspire. The 10 directors I had - I had to keep them motivated and going and then I had to produce 10 more.”
Both Kaye and Tim grew up in Union County. She is the daughter of Buck and Bessie Vinson and he is the son of the late Bill and Paunese Mitchell.  Tim and Kaye have four children - Justin, Joshua, Jessica and Jenna - and nine grandchildren
During Tim's Army career, he and Kaye moved 17 times.  She was first introduced to Mary Kay at a cosmetics party in Fayetteville, N.C. in 1979.
Over the years consultants tried to recruit Kay, but she did not become interested until she was living in Mesa, Ariz., in 1995.
“My Mary Kay consultant was my neighbor,” she said. “We were walking buddies. She worried me to death about Mary Kay. I told her no for about 18 months. She said, 'Sit down and let me explain how we make our money.'”
Kaye bought a Mary Kay starter kit but kept it for three weeks before she told anyone.
“I was afraid of what my family and friends would say,” she said. “But I believe God woke me up in the middle of the night and said, 'Your family and friends don't pay your bills.' I picked up the phone the next day and started booking parties.”
 In six months she had earned her first car - a red Pontiac Grand Am - and she became a sales director.
Last year, Mary Kay treated Kaye and Tim to an all-expense paid trip to China. They had dinner on the Great Wall. This year they will go to Hawaii.
In May, while Kaye was working on her national director goal she went to Build a Bear and made a bear wearing an Hawaiian outfit.  She recorded her voice and put it the bear saying, “You can and will be a national sales director by June30.”  
“I played that over and over the entire months of May and June and that got drilled my mind,” she said. “What you think about you bring about.”
She named the bear “NSD” for national sales director. She plans to take it on stage with her when she is introduced during the national convention.
Kaye said she believes in Mary Kay as a beauty aid.
“We have awesome products,” she said. “I absolutely love the product. It makes women feel good. It makes them feel confident.”
Kaye's daughter-in-law, Sarah Driggers, is an executive senior sales director with Mary Kay and has earned a pink Cadillac. Kaye's daughter, Jenna Ellerbee, recently earned her second car and has become a sales director.
Alison Coker of Union works with Kaye and recently earned the title of sales director.
Kaye said motivation is the key in selling Mary Kay.
 “One of my husband's favorite quotes that he has given me, and he uses this when he preaches a lot, “If you don't see it before you see it, you will never see it,'” she said.
Kaye said she hopes her career with Mary Kay will continue to grow and she can continue to recruit directors.
“I would like more women working with me,” she said. “I want to be able to inspire them. “
Kaye's theme song for the national convention is Bruno Mars' “Just the Way You Are.” She said she doesn't feel women are told enough that they are wonderful and special.
“That is my passion; this is my ministry,” she said. “I love to tell women you are amazing just the way you are. You need to be authentic. That is one thing I had to learn myself. If you look at some national sales director with Mary Kay sometimes they look perfect. I had to keep telling myself, 'Mary Kay needs a national like me.'”

Arson suspects say they are innocent

Two Union businessmen accused of setting fire to houses they had interests in have proclaimed their innocence, saying they had no motive to commit arson.
“I am ready for my day in court,” said William Howard “Wahoo” Gibson, one of the men charged. “I was scheduled to buy that house and I was going to make a profit on it. The fire caused me to lose money.”
Gibson, 44, of 126 Foster Farm Road was charged Tuesday with three counts of third-degree arson. Two of the charges were filed by the Union Public Safety Department and one charge was made by the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Robert Fred Small, 62, of 1818 Jonesville Highway was charged by the public safety department with two counts of third-degree arson.
The State Law Enforcement Division Arson Team assisted in the investigation of the cases.
Gibson and Small are accused of setting fire to two houses in the 700 block of Thomson Boulevard on May 13. The houses were in Small's wife's name.
Chief Sam White with the public safety department said authorities immediately thought the fires were suspicious in nature because neither unoccupied house was connected to utilities. An investigation determined an accelerant was used to start the fires.
Neither house was insured. White said there would have been no direct financial gain in burning the houses. He declined to elaborate on a motive because the case is still under investigation.  
Small said he did not set fire to the houses on Thomson Boulevard and he felt that authorities did not question him appropriately about his whereabouts before he was arrested. He said he had approval from the City of Union building department to tear down the houses and had moved heavy equipment there for the demolition.
“I moved the tractor down there to destroy them and they caught on fire,” Small said. “Did the tractor catch them on fire that night?  I don't know.”
Small said while he was at the houses earlier on the evening of the fire Gibson and another man pulled up and talked with him.
All three men left, Small said. An hour and a half to two hours later, Small said he received a call that the houses were on fire.
“I had no motive, no insurance,” he said. “There was nothing for me to benefit from it.”
Small said he bought the land because he wanted the road frontage and he had intended to develop it.
Small said he thinks he is a target of authorities because he speaks out about injustice and wrongdoing in local government.
In December, Small and an employee of his recycling business were charged with purchasing nonferrous metals and failure to purchase by check.  According to court records, the charge against Small was dropped.
Gibson also is charged with setting fire to a $300,000 house in bank foreclosure on 246 Meadow Woods Road on June 9.
Sheriff David Taylor said Wells Fargo owned the house but Gibson had placed a deposit on it and was scheduled to take possession of it on June 11.
Taylor said there were issues with the water and sewer system in the house that Gibson may not have known about until he put down the deposit.
Gibson said he had been to the property on Meadow Woods Road several times in connection with purchasing the house but he had not been there on the morning of the fire.

Jack O’Dell, Midway BBQ founder, dies

For many people, it wouldn't be the Fourth of July without Jack O'Dell's barbecue and hash.
O'Dell, whose food is a Fourth of July tradition in Union County, died Friday at age 86.
“He loved to see people with food,” said Jay Allen, O'Dell's son-in-law. “He'd rather see people enjoying food than anything else.”
O'Dell started cooking his barbecue and hash when he was 13 in a field next to his father's store in Monarch. He borrowed money from his sister, Ethel Holden, to purchase a calf and pig and then borrowed enough pots to cook in.
“He was a fighter from the word go,” Allen said. “A lot of people don't know this, but he went under three or four times before he was successful in his 40s.”
In a 2010 interview, O'Dell recalled the days when as many as 45 people cooked hash and barbecue in Union County.
Customers would sit all night long while the meats were cooked, visiting and enjoying the aroma. They brought their own plates and buckets to carry hash and barbecue home.  O'Dell remembered on one occasion some folks visiting Union County from California were in the crowd on a July 3rd night.
“Back then that particular night was as good a holiday as any,” he said.
For years, O'Dell held a full time job to support his wife, Louise, and their three children: Col. John O'Dell, Jeannie O’Dell and Amy Allen. He cooked hash and barbecue on weekends and holidays as a sideline. He borrowed pots from others and cooked in a field. If skies were threatening, he would call the funeral home and ask for a tent.  O'Dell's Grocery burned in 1970 and shortly after that, O'Dell opened Midway Barbecue on Main Street, Buffalo. O'Dell chose the address: 811 Hash Boulevard.
“His hash will go down as one of the best ever,” Allen said.
For more than 30 years, O'Dell was a familiar face at Midway Barbecue, where he cooked, served and greeted customers.
“He loved Midway; he put his heart and soul into everything he did,” Allen said. “He loved people and he loved to eat. Eating was his favorite hobby.”
When O'Dell's health began to decline he asked his daughter and son-in-law to take over the business.
“He hired Amy and I - he needed two people to do the work he did,” Allen said. “He was leery about asking us to come back; he was scared to death we wouldn't make it. He told me, 'Don't put your own money in this; if you do, close the doors and run.'”
O'Dell had one rule: “Do not ever change my recipes,” Allen said. “We haven't and we never will.”
O'Dell always put his family first, Allen said.
“He cared about his kids and his grandkids,” he said. “He didn't care for material things. He always told me, 'Put all your energy in Midway. Don't try to invest in other things. It's just you and your family. If you manage the small things, the big things will happen.' Being a product of the Depression the small things meant a lot.”
Odell served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a fireman first class on board the submarine USS Odax, SS484 and was  member American Legion Post 22 for more than 60 years.
“Nobody loved his country, his family and his God more than him,” Allen said.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. today at First Baptist Church conducted by the Rev. Robert Emory.
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