CrushRush Photography: Blog https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog en-us (C)2019 CrushRush Photography LLC crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:27:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:27:00 GMT https://www.shuttercrush.com/img/s/v-12/u828713580-o687045314-50.jpg CrushRush Photography: Blog https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog 120 120 Photos: The World is Beautiful When You Go A Little Farther https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2019/5/Farther A painting by artist Karl Larsen sits on display during Farther: An Exhibition.

 

If you missed Farther: an Exhibition I feel bad for you son, I had 99 problems but having fun wasn't one. 
Farther was more than an art show, it was an experience. It featured over 20 artists united by the one and only SaBrina MF Jeffcoat doing what they do best. The creators put in that work, created that hot fire that goes by the formal name "Art" and ensured that Farther was amazing in every way. I can't wait until we go Even Farther. (Hint Hint SaBrina)

 


 

 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) art Columbia S.C. Crush Rush dope entertainment fun music photojournalist sodacity South Carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2019/5/Farther Mon, 13 May 2019 16:31:48 GMT
South Carolina Is Under A "State of Emergency" Due to Hurricane Florence. What's Next? https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/9/HurricaneFlorence2018 Walmart workers work to stock a new shipment of water as shoppers load up their carts in preparation for Hurricane Irma. (Walmart workers work to stock a new shipment of water as shoppers load up their carts in preparation for Hurricane Irma in 2017.)

 

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has declared that South Carolina is under a "State of Emergency" in preparation for Hurricane Florence. First, what does "State of Emergency" even mean? A "State of Emergency" simply allows for the governor to perform actions that he would not normally be allowed to do to ensure the safety or preservation of the state in which he governs. It may allow actions like activating the national guard, the suspension of certain laws or regulations, or the allocating of funds to deploy supplies and equipment during the emergency. Meteorologists around the state expect that Hurricane Florence will carry a power factor of Category 4 by the time it makes its way to the South Carolina coast.
(Jessica Lindley looks over a carton of eggs while buying "just in case" groceries while prepping for Hurricane Irma in 2017.)

 

"Yesterday we sold completely out, We didn't have any water until these three pallets came in. We have already sold 250 cases today, It's about to get crazy." said a Walmart representative in 2017 while loading a shipment of Aquafina water on the shelves of the Walmart Supercenter on S. Lake Dr. in Lexington S.C. (#6). While supplies like water, milk, and bread are preparation favorites, there are other items that definitely need to be in your hurricane preparation kit. Make sure to download a reputable weather app like the app from The Weather Channel (Available For Android & IOS) which has a built in weather radar. 

Here is a list of twitter accounts that you can follow for real time updates:

Columbia, SC Weather: twitter.com/columbiascwx
Charleston, SC Weather: twitter.com/chswx
National Weather Service: twitter.com/NWS
The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore: twitter.com/JimCantore

In case of Evacuation, an interactive evacuation map by the South Carolina D.O.T can be found: HERE

HURRICANE KIT

Make sure your hurricane kit includes:

  • Flashlights & extra bulbs
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Battery-operated lanterns
  • Batteries (in different sizes!)  
  • Matches 
  • First aid kit
  • Duct tape
  • Rain gear
  • Clock (wind-up or battery-powered)
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Scissors
  • Can Opener
  • Clean clothes
  • Extra blankets
  • Heavy gloves

FOOD AND WATER

Pack non-perishable food for each person for 3-7 days.

  • Bottled water (1 gallon/person/day) 
  • Bottled juice
  • Two coolers: 
    One for drinks & one for food
  • Canned foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Dry pet food
HOUSE CHECKLIST
  • Remove outdoor items
  • Trim dead branches from trees
  • Board up windows
  • Fill gas tanks and extra containers
  • Get extra cash
  • Move furniture away from windows
  • Store important documents in waterproof containers
  • Extra supply of medicines
MEDICAL NEEDS
  • Medic-alert tags
  • Insect-repellent sprays
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Sunscreen
  • Soap
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Children's medicine
  • Bandages
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
PREPARE YOUR PET
Your pet will need more than a bag of food in a storm.
  • Water for your pet for 3-7 days  
  • Non-perishable food
  • Crate/carrier/tank
  • Leash (non-extendable)
  • Collar and/or harness
  • Favorite Toy
  • Blanket or pillow
  • Clean litter box
  • Updated shots and medical records
  • Microchip with up-to-date contant info
  • Any medications
  • Calming aids
  • Tags
  • Puppy training pads
  • Heartworm preventatives
  • Rain gear

(List Courtesy of http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php)

 

Severe weather is always scary, but the best way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones is to be prepared. Don't wait until the last moment to go out for supplies as you may find yourself in a situation where there are none to be purchased. The price gouging law (SC §39-5-145) is in effect for the next 15 days. Price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail. If you suspect someone is price gouging, take notes of location, time, price, and take pictures if you can. Price gougers can be reported to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953.

South Carolina is a state of resilience, we have survived floods, civil unrest, a Total Solar Eclipse and unnecessarily hot and humid temperatures. As long as we respect the way of mother nature, we will get through Hurricane Florence just as we did in "Hurricane Irma in 2017.



(Lexington residents fill up their tanks up at Murphy Express in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma in 2017.)

(Murphy Express experienced a total gas outage on September 5, 2017 and has made emergency shipments of Unleaded Regular.) (A line of hurricane prepers leave busy Walmart and Lowe's in Lexington, South Carolina while preparing for Hurricane Irma in 2017)

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) columbia s.c. crush rush hurricane irma photographer photojournalist precaustion safety south carolina weather https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/9/HurricaneFlorence2018 Mon, 10 Sep 2018 02:42:29 GMT
Photos: Still Not Quite Yet Over It, SC Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag Again... https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/7/SCFlagRaise71018

The Confederate Flag flies on a temporary flag pole in the lawn of the South Carolina State house during the SC Third Annual Flag Raising event held on July 10, 2018.

We all know the drill by now, a hand full of supporters, a handful of protesters and the sun. It's a formula that has worked for 3 years running and I don't see it changing, that is unless it rains. Over the last couple of years my goal has been to establish dialogue with confederacy supporters in hopes of getting them to understand why there are people who protest the flag that they have known their whole lives to mean "Heritage" even tho their actions and mentalities may not identify with "racism". I had four great conversations with individuals who were not actually knowledgeable of the wordage used to craft secession documents. In all cases, they admitted to me that they hadn't actually read the secession documents. When I asked if they were familiar with Alexander H. Stephens (The VP of the Confederacy) none had never heard the name before. After educating them on the importance of Alexander H. Stephens and his role in the confederacy I read to them a critical part his infamous Cornerstone Speech which directly outlined the cause of the Civil War. 

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. -Alexander H. Stephens, Savannah Georgia - March 21, 1861.

As always, a blank look overcame their faces and I could tell that everything in their being wanted to denounce everything I said for all they've ever known was "States Rights" and "It wasn't about slavery". After a long pause, would come the: "I don't believe that, I don't feel that way, we're having a good conversation, we're getting along." After hearing their rushed talk, and seeing partially red faces I simply said: "And now you know why people dislike you when you carry that flag without knowing anything about how you may feel about slavery, racism, or your political stance." an "I can understand a little bit better now" followed.

I did my part, now it's up to them to make the decision if that flag and the true history behind it is worth carrying to represent the faux feel good narrative of "heritage" and "states rights" Is it worth the negative public judgments? One can honor war veterans without parading around the flag of the war.

Photos:


 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) confederate controversy flag history protest rally reportage South Carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/7/SCFlagRaise71018 Tue, 10 Jul 2018 19:00:00 GMT
Beach City Beach, Beach Beach City Beach, SodaCity Made a Beach In Your City Beach https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/7/BrooklandBeachBash

The Brookland Beach Bash took place on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at the West Columbia Riverwalk Park and Amphitheater and was an event that championed the idea of bringing the beach to Columbia for those who don’t want to travel to the coast. It featured many free activities that one could find in a beach environment without having to worry about sharks, jellyfish and pesky beach sand getting in your everything.
 
It featured:
- Free Kayaking and Tubing of the Congaree River (Palmetto Outdoor Center, Canoeing for Kids)

- Multiple outside activities such as frisbee, volleyball, hoola hoops, badminton, cornhole, kickball etc. (Todd and Moore Sporting Goods)
-Beer and Food Truck Vendors (KW Beverage Columbia, Lil Duck Kombucha, Incredible Italian Ice, Kinda Cheezy, Ashley's Yummy Tummy Catering, Brain Freeze, LLC, Cha Cha's Food Truck, Los Chicanos Food Truck)
-Live Music (Prettier Than Matt, Boo Hag, Kings For A Day)
-Inflatable Jump Activities Including a Bungee Trampoline (Jumperee, LLC-Bungee Trampoline/Inflatable Rentals)
And many other activities for kids like face painting (Emerald's Aristry Face Painting) arts and crafts, balloon crafting and historic tours of Congaree.

As the sun set guests were able to watch the old classic movie "The Sandlot" on a projected screen courtesy of Fun Flicks of the Upstate. There's no word on when the next one will happen but when it does, grab your sunscreen and hold on to your butts it's going to be a fun ride.


Here's some of my Favorite Photos from the day:

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Brookland Beach Bash City City Life Crush Rush Family Fun Photographer photojournalist South Carolina Southern Summer https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/7/BrooklandBeachBash Sun, 08 Jul 2018 18:32:26 GMT
Faces of Soda City - Isaac Coakley https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/4/IsaacCoakley Faces of Soda City
Name: Isaac Coakley
Age: 57
Homeless Time: 7 Months
In need of? Work Boots (11 1/2), Work Pants, (34/32), Lightweight Shirts for work.


After walking the streets of Columbia for two hours this afternoon I ran into Isaac. We chopped it up and talked about many topics such as life, choices, love, homelessness, and education. I’d like to share a little bit about my new friend Isaac.

Isaac is a 57 year old Columbia, South Carolina native who takes great pride in being a multi skilled laborer. He has two daughter and a son who currently reside in Sumter, South Carolina.
He is no stranger to residential and commercial construction and has had many roles in the construction field ranging from being an electrician to operating a forklift. “I’ve done a little bit of everything during my 57 years on this Earth” said Isaac in regards to construction work.

Isaac, who has been homeless a little over 7 months, strongly feels as if there is some serious reform needed when it comes to the way Columbia assists its homeless population. To get a little bit of insight, I asked him a couple of questions in which he rarely needed time to stop and think about the answers.

1.
Me: As a homeless person in Columbia, what would you say are the best and worst resources for a homeless individual?
-
Isaac: I'd have to say that Goodwill on Garners Ferry is doing the best thing. I do feel as if they need more funding and that they should be more active in the community. They definitely need more educational programs. If you aren't computer literate in this world, you can't and won't survive. Too many people don't have skills so they will never be able to better themselves.
(A look and feel of seriousness comes over Isaac's face)
The worst is that Trojan Labor place. I feel that they need to be investigated for the way they treat and use people. If you want to get high that's the place to go, it's all out there, weed, coke, alcohol, everything. If you're actually looking for work and money to get on your feet while being treated like a human stay away. It's almost like being a slave, they want your labor and don't give a damn about your well being. People go up their standing in line, high as a kite and smelling like weed and they still send them out on jobs. That's a work hazard to all of us, they're out working under the influence. They really need to be investigated. They talk to you like you're a dog. They need to be shut down.

2.
Me: What about the known places to stay? How is Oliver Gospel Mission/Transitions?
-
Isaac: Oliver Gospel Mission is disgusting, people go in there and don't shower or wash or anything. They only change the linens out on those beds 2 days a week, even if they are clearly dirty. Most of the time it smells like feet and ass in there. The way they put you out or make you wait no matter what it's like outside is terrible too. If it's pouring down raining and freezing cold after breakfast oh well. Get out. It's the same thing when we have to wait for the doors to open. One they get your social security number, they don't care. You're just a number in their system that they can use to say that you're there and that they're taking care of you. A person can come for one day, and give up their social and they can and will use it for 30 days even if you never come back. It's kind of a racket. I put in a clothes request and you know what they gave me? A wool hat, some heavy sweat pants and a cut up shirt. It's 85 degrees! I just put the clothes back in the bag and gave it back. No way in the world I'd be out here like that.  As for transitions, it's about the same too. The difference is a lot of times the white homeless people will go and drop off their stuff there and act like they aren't homeless. (I say "SAY WHATTTT") Yea, it's like undercover homelessness. There's racism even with the homeless and the homeless community. Pay attention, a lot of times you'll see that you won't see the white homeless people with the black homeless people. Majority of the times the labor companies will give the white guys all of the higher paying labor jobs even if they don't have a single damn skill or experience. It really feels like slavery sometimes in a different way and I hate it. I feel like it's built to keep us right where we are. Cheap labor. No insurance. 

Me: Damn. I can tell you're woke.
-
Isaac: Wide awake and steady. Things change but they stay the same.

3.
Me: If you could change one thing about the last 5 years of your life or what caused you to end up homeless, what would it be?
-
Isaac: I would have gotten and stuck with a better job. I relied on temp agencies for far too long, they are full of promises but they fall through. Sometimes they say what they say to get you through because they get money from fulfilling those positions
Too many temp services messed me up.

3.
Me: If you had a message to say to the world, about life, homelessness or anything. What would it be?
-
Isaac: Stay focused on life, help other people and be truthful. No matter how it goes always put God first in your life. Homelessness can come from and at any stage or walk of life. If you have a good job, try to make the best of it always. Homelessness isn’t fun. You’re living by day by day you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from. You don't know where you're going to lay your head. It's hard. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone in the world.

After the questions him and I wrapped it up and exchanged phone numbers. His cellphone number was one digit off from my old cellphone number. We were both in the right place at the right time. Remember, homeless doesn't mean helpless, drug additions, or mental health. You never know what turn life may throw at you. Homelessness is one bad stretch away for all of us.

 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) carolina homeless questions soda south https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2018/4/IsaacCoakley Fri, 27 Apr 2018 03:49:20 GMT
James Smith Off To Strong Start After Packing Venue During Campaign Kick-Off https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/JamesSmithKickOff

James Smith waves to the crowd as he makes his way to the podium during his campaign kick-off party held in Columbia on October 17, 2017.

 

Have you heard about the 50 year old, decorated war veteran, experienced lawmaker, and father of four running for South Carolina Governor? If you haven't heard his name since his announcement to run on October 5, 2017, let me introduce you to South Carolina democrat James Smith.

It all started on a hot September day when the Columbia attorney James Smith walked in the Chapin Labor Day Parade introducing himself to many of the estimated 15,000+ in attendance. Even tho there was no formal announcement at that time, many people speculated that a higher office run was in the works for Smith. Smith, who is no stranger to South Carolina politics, has been a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives hailing from the 72nd district since 1996. He is respected among his fellow democrats and republicans alike.

In 1996 James Smith enlisted in the United States Army Reserve as a Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) officer, and then transferred to the South Carolina Army National Guard in August 1998 assuming the same role. After the terror attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, Smith switched his position to infantry. Smith deployed to Afghanistan in August 2007 to perform his combat duties apart of Operation Enduring Freedom. He received a Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Purple Heart for his leadership during his 12 month tour. He is a current member of the South Carolina Army National Guard.


Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin speaks positively on behalf of James Smith during Smith's campaign kick-off party held in Columbia on October 17, 2017.

 

During Smith's campaign kick-off address to the over 500+ in attendance, his voice reverberated throughout the venue garnering cheers, chants and applause. "We need leaders who no longer accept being at the bottom of every list we want to be on top of, and being at the top of every list we want to be on the bottom of." said Smith before the crowd erupted in applause. Smith touched on a variety of subjects such as; government accountability, transparency, affordable healthcare, political corruption, and the struggle of winning as a democrat in a red state. Smith knows that this battle is an uphill battle but he is willing to rise to the challenge because he states that South Carolina deserves better and can be much better.

Before Smith made his way to the podium to speak, kick-off attendees heard words of support and decades of history about Smith from his family members (son, wife) and prominent South Carolina figures. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, SC Rep Mandy Powers Norrell of Lancaster, and the 114th Governor of South Carolina, Jim Hodges (the only Democrat to hold the position in 14 years), all spoke about the importance of coming together throughout party lines to elect an official that would work for the betterment of South Carolina and all of those who call her home.

James Smith is definitely a person that you want to pay attention to throughout his campaign for South Carolina governor. 

For more information about Smith and his campaign you can visit his website: https://jamessmith.com/meet-james/ or follow his movement on Facebook and twitter at  facebook.com/JamesSmithForSC/ | https://twitter.com/JamesSmithSC respectively. 

 

More Photos:

Jim Hodges (114th Governor of South Carolina) speaks on behalf of James Smith during Smith's campaign kick-off party held in Columbia on October 17, 2017.

 

Attendees watch an informational video regarding Smith's military and political history during Smith's campaign kick-off party held in Columbia on October 17, 2017.

 

James Smith and wife Kirkland Smith share a kiss as James makes his way to the stage after Kirkland spoke to campaign kick-off attendees about the decades of history that she, and their children shared with Smith. 

James Smith energetically greets the crowd after stepping on stage during his  campaign kick-off party held in Columbia on October 17, 2017.

 

 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) campaign change columbia s.c. crush rush democracy democrat james smith photographer photojournalist politics south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/JamesSmithKickOff Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:33:01 GMT
Unveiling Columbia's Civil Rights History, Two Historic Markers Installed in Downtown Columbia https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/ColumbiaCivilRightsMarkers

Dr. Bobby Donaldson, Rev Simon Bouie, Rev Albert Aiken Neal (brother of Talmadge Neal), and Rev James Edwards pose for a picture in front of a newly unveiled historic location marker installed in front of the historic location of the Eckerd's Luncheonette on October 12, 2017.

 

When someone asks about iconic locations of civil rights movements and demonstrations, Columbia may not be the first location that comes to mind. Thanks to the organization Columbia SC 63 (the 63 represents the height of the civil rights movement 1963), Dr. Bobby Donaldson, and the University of South Carolina, Columbia residents are becoming more and more aware of the rich history that took place on our very own streets, transforming Columbia into what it is today. 

The two markers unveiled Thursday on Taylor St. and Main St. in downtown Columbia honored the sacrifices and resilience of students participating in civil rights sit-ins hailing from HBCUs Benedict College and Allen University.

The first marker unveiling ceremony began at 3pm outside of Hawthorne's Pharmacy and was dedicated to the participants of a sit-in held at the historic Taylor Street Pharmacy (1520 Taylor St.) In 1960's the Taylor Street Pharmacy allowed the purchase of food and goods by both black and white customers however, only white patrons of the pharmacy were able to sit and eat lunch at the lunch counter. On March 15, 1960 five black students from Benedict College made the decision to sit at the lunch counter and wait be served. Little did they know, Charles Barr, Johnny Clark, Richard Counts, Milton Greene, and David Carter would go on to have their names etched in history by refusing to leave at the request of officers after being declined service by the store manager. They were arrested and charged with breaching the peace and criminal trespassing. In 1964 the court case was presented to the U.S. Supreme Court (Barr v. City of Columbia 378. U.S. 146 (1964). The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the arrests and convictions violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights and denied the gentleman the right of due process. There were no grounds for breach of peace as the gentlemen protested in peaceful manner. 

Family members of Milton Greene; Retired Colonel USAF Kimberly Greene (daughter), Doris Glymph Greene (wife) and Patricia Wise Greene (sister) are assisted by Dr. Bobby Donaldson with the unveiling of the Taylor St. Marker. 

Carl Pete Stokes (center), who was an arresting officer during the sit-in, attends the unveiling ceremony of the Taylor St. historic marker. Stokes who said "Believe it or not, many officers supported the causes back then...but due to the oath we took we had to keep silent and do our jobs." Stokes who was on the scene during a lot of Columbia's civil rights demonstrations and movements says that he has a head full of memories that he wants to get written into a book some day.


The second marker unveiling ceremony began at 3:30pm and was dedicated to the participants of a sit-in held at the historic Eckerd's Luncheonette (1530 Main St.) Like the Taylor Street Pharmacy, Eckerd's Luncheonette allowed the purchase of food and goods but not in store dining by its black customers. On March 14, 1960 Talmadge Neal of Benedict College, and Simon Bouie of Allen University led a protest march to Eckerd's Luncheonette. The two, who were inspired by other student sit-ins that took place in North Carolina, refused to leave after being denied service for attempting to dine-in while black and consequently was convicted for trespassing and a breach of peace. Like the previous case mentioned above (Bouie v. City of Columbia 378. U.S. 347 (1964) would end up ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court which would argue that the arrests and convictions violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights. Both of these historic cases are used in law school curriculum until this day.




Rev Simon Bouie gives his first hand account of the day that he had on which he and Talmadge Neal were arrested for refusing to leave the Eckerd's Luncheonette.

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) civil rights columbia s.c. crush rush history photographer quality sodacity south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/ColumbiaCivilRightsMarkers Sat, 14 Oct 2017 02:21:22 GMT
Bring Ye All Thy Tickets! The S.C. State Fair Is Back In Town https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/SCFair2017

(Slim Biggums, Buddy Legend, and Smiles Davis of the "SupaFun Band" perform "Tequila" by The Champs on the opening day of the South Carolina State Fair.)

 

Come One, Come All! The South Carolina State Fair is upon us! As one of South Carolina's favorite attractions, the S.C. Fair will run from October 11th until October 22nd. The South Carolina Fair, which is ranked as one of the top 50 fairs in the nation, features 12 days of delicious food, exciting amusement rides, big name concert entertainment, and various competitions.
Although it is named the "South Carolina State Fair" the fair is not a state owned fair, nor is it funded by any state institutions. The S.C. State Fair is a private non-profit organization with a mission of funding education and has provided more than $3 million in scholarships since 1997. (scstatefair.org)

(State Fair goers ride on a whirling swing ride during the opening day of the South Carolina State Fair.)
 

If you plan on going to the fair, make sure you take some cash as fair parking starts at $5 cash only. The money generated goes directly to South Carolina scholarship funding. There are some curfew stipulations to help ensure safety regarding entrance of the fair. All persons 16 and under will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to enter after 6pm. Anyone 18 or older will not be allowed to enter the fair grounds without identification after 6pm. Security personnel, information booths, and park assistants can be found throughout the fair grounds. Although South Carolina continues to break heat index records for this time of year, the fair is definitely a great place to be any time of the day.

Admission prices are as following: Military (Active or Retired with proper ID) / Children 5 and under = Free. Seniors(55+) = $7. General admission = $10.

More Photos from Opening Day 





 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) columbia s.c. crush rush entertainment fair fun photographer photojournalist south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/SCFair2017 Fri, 13 Oct 2017 02:50:58 GMT
The Inevitable Rise and Razing of Gonzales Gardens: Thank You For Your Service https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/GonzalesGardens After 77 years of service, low income public housing complex Gonzales Gardens is bulldozed.


Gonzales Gardens, which was built in 1939 initially as a housing solution for family members of non-commissioned officers stationed at Ft. Jackson and low income citizens, was named after the Gonzales Brothers (William Elliot, Ambrose Elliot and Narciso Gener) who accomplished many notable feats in their lives such as founding one of our nation’s oldest newspapers in production; South Carolina's very own "The State Newspaper”. In its original fashion, Gonzalez Gardens was a "whites-only" complex with 236 units. It wasn't until 1942 that 44 additional units were built to make the total 280 units. Gonzales Gardens and its sister complex Allen Benedict Court, which was a "blacks-only" complex cost a total of 1.8 million to construct. 


Gonzales Gardens Original Site Map (Source: Columbia Housing Authority)
 

Generations of productive Columbia residents have lived in Gonzales Gardens, such as basketball star and coach Tyrone Corbin and social activist Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Bernadin who was named as the Archbishop of Chicago in 1982. The razing of Gonzales Gardens was inevitable, thanks to its blatantly apparent aging/outdated infrastructure and high levels of localized crime. Many of the residents of Gonzales Gardens were disabled and the lack of showers, air conditioning, and routes for emergency personnel caused Gonzales Gardens to be a literal hell during South Carolina summers. In its final years "The Gardens" have carried a negative reputation and has been frequently labeled as "hood", "ghetto" or "the projects" by many financially fortunate Columbia residents, many more have simply called it home. 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) columbia community crush rush gardens gentrification gonzales photographer photojournalism photojournalist reportage south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/10/GonzalesGardens Sat, 07 Oct 2017 04:34:53 GMT
Park it Like It's Famously Hot: Columbia Creatives Celebrate PARK(ing) DAY. https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/9/ParkingDay2017 Catalina Keller relaxes on the "Sofa City" couch during PARK(ING) Day in Columbia.

 

Columbia creatives came together on September 15, 2017 to celebrate the annual event PARK(ING) Day. 

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out! (Source: ParkingDay.Org)

During PARK(ing) Day, many Columbia citizens stopped by to ask about the event and participate in the festivities even if just for a second. It was a great time spent, with great people doing something great for our city. Columbia Mayor Stephen "Steve" Benjamin stopped by a moment and graced the PARK(ing) Day canvas with a heart. "The world could use a little bit more love." He stated while painting. Art has consistently been the catalyst for change throughout human existence. Columbia has been doing a tremendous job at embracing the winds of art during the last few years. I enjoy watching our landscape transform with vibrant colors, galleries, murals, and public art installations that spark deeper discussion about what connects us as not only neighbors, but as humans. "Home is where the ART is" indeed.

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) art art is life city city life columbia s.c. create crush rush fun parking day photographer photojournalist sodacity south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/9/ParkingDay2017 Sat, 16 Sep 2017 15:48:06 GMT
South Carolina Is Under A "State of Emergency" Due to Hurricane Irma. What Happens Next? https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/9/HurricaneIrma2017 Walmart workers work to stock a new shipment of water as shoppers load up their carts in preparation for Hurricane Irma. (Walmart workers work to stock a new shipment of water as shoppers load up their carts in preparation for Hurricane Irma.)

 

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has declared that South Carolina is under a "State of Emergency" early Wednesday afternoon due to the slight shift of Hurricane Irma's path. First, what does "State of Emergency" even mean? A "State of Emergency" simply allows for the governor to perform actions that he would not normally be allowed to do to ensure the safety or preservation of the state in which he governs. It may allow actions like activating the national guard, the suspension of certain laws or regulations, or the allocating of funds to deploy supplies and equipment during the emergency. Meteorologists around the state expect that Hurricane Irma could very well still carry a power factor of Category 3 by the time it makes its way up coast to South Carolina. While watching the news of Hurricane Irma, many earlier predictions showed Florida taking the brunt of the storm leaving many residents of the east coast on easy. Now that things are changing many are scrambling to get last minute supplies such as groceries and gas.


(Jessica Lindley looks over a carton of eggs while buying "just in case" groceries while prepping for Hurricane Irma.)

 

"Yesterday we sold completely out, We didn't have any water until these three pallets came in. We have already sold 250 cases today, It's about to get crazy." said a Walmart representative while loading a shipment of Aquafina water on the shelves of the Walmart Supercenter on S. Lake Dr. in Lexington S.C. (#6). While supplies like water, milk, and bread are preparation favorites, there are other items that definitely need to be in your hurricane preparation kit. Make sure to download a reputable weather app like the app from The Weather Channel (Available For Android & IOS) which has a built in weather radar. 

Here is a list of twitter accounts that you can follow for real time updates:

Columbia, SC Weather: twitter.com/columbiascwx
Charleston, SC Weather: twitter.com/chswx
National Weather Service: twitter.com/NWS
The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore: twitter.com/JimCantore

In case of Evacuation, an interactive evacuation map by the South Carolina D.O.T can be found: HERE

HURRICANE KIT

Make sure your hurricane kit includes:

  • Flashlights & extra bulbs
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Battery-operated lanterns
  • Batteries (in different sizes!)  
  • Matches 
  • First aid kit
  • Duct tape
  • Rain gear
  • Clock (wind-up or battery-powered)
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Scissors
  • Can Opener
  • Clean clothes
  • Extra blankets
  • Heavy gloves

FOOD AND WATER

Pack non-perishable food for each person for 3-7 days.

  • Bottled water (1 gallon/person/day) 
  • Bottled juice
  • Two coolers: 
    One for drinks & one for food
  • Canned foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Dry pet food
HOUSE CHECKLIST
  • Remove outdoor items
  • Trim dead branches from trees
  • Board up windows
  • Fill gas tanks and extra containers
  • Get extra cash
  • Move furniture away from windows
  • Store important documents in waterproof containers
  • Extra supply of medicines
MEDICAL NEEDS
  • Medic-alert tags
  • Insect-repellent sprays
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Sunscreen
  • Soap
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Children's medicine
  • Bandages
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
PREPARE YOUR PET
Your pet will need more than a bag of food in a storm.
  • Water for your pet for 3-7 days  
  • Non-perishable food
  • Crate/carrier/tank
  • Leash (non-extendable)
  • Collar and/or harness
  • Favorite Toy
  • Blanket or pillow
  • Clean litter box
  • Updated shots and medical records
  • Microchip with up-to-date contant info
  • Any medications
  • Calming aids
  • Tags
  • Puppy training pads
  • Heartworm preventatives
  • Rain gear

(List Courtesy of http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php)

 

Severe weather is always scary, but the best way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones is to be prepared. Don't wait until the last moment to go out for supplies as you may find yourself in a situation where there are none to be purchased. The price gouging law (SC §39-5-145) is in effect for the next 15 days. Price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail. If you suspect someone is price gouging, take notes of location, time, price, and take pictures if you can. Price gougers can be reported to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953.

South Carolina is a state of resilience, we have survived floods, civil unrest, a Total Solar Eclipse and unnecessarily hot and humid temperatures. As long as we respect the way of mother nature, we will get through Hurricane Irma as well if things get bad.



(Lexington residents fill up their tanks up at Murphy Express in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma.)

(Murphy Express experienced a total gas outage on September 5, 2017 and has made emergency shipments of Unleaded Regular.) (A line of Hurricane Irma preppers leave busy Walmart and Lowe's in Lexington, South Carolina)

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) columbia s.c. crush rush hurricane irma photographer photojournalist precaustion safety south carolina weather https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/9/HurricaneIrma2017 Wed, 06 Sep 2017 20:11:27 GMT
Photos: Glitter, Glam, And Glowsticks: Getting Glit At Hoechella 2017 https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/8/Hoechella2017 (Alice Rodriguez of Muses of Wonderland sings "Slay" during the opening night of Hoechella 2017 on August 25, 2017)

 

If you find yourself trying to fish a piece of glitter out of your eye more than two days later after visiting a music festival in Columbia, South Carolina, there's a good chance that you might've attended Hoechella at New Brookland Tavern. In its second year of running, Hoechella serves as an annual FREE music festival for people of color, women, and the LGBTQIA+ communities. Deeply rooted in the idea of true equality, the music festival doubles as a community awareness event that combats rape culture and slut shaming. At Hoechella, you are free to be who ever you want to be without fear of judgment or harassment. I missed last years Hoechella, so I impatiently waited three hundred sixty-five days to attend and I was not disappointed. There's nothing that makes me happier than watching people enjoy themselves in their truest form and Hoechella was a great place to see that.


(Please do not use photos without proper permission.)
 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) blacklivesmatter columbia s.c. crush rush equality festival lgbtqia music photographer photojournalist sodacity south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/8/Hoechella2017 Tue, 29 Aug 2017 03:18:52 GMT
Photos: Dancing In The Streets Of Columbia At The Main Street Latin Festival https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/8/MainStLatinFest17 (Patrons of the Main Street Latin Festival dance together in the street to music performed by a live band.)

 

Over 20,000 South Carolina residents flock to the annual Main Street Latin Festival every year to overload their senses on the plethora of sounds, sights, and smells that are embellished with Latin culture. The festival, which serves as the kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month, is a free family friendly event. 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) columbia s.c. crush rush family festival food latin latina latino music photographer photojournalist sodacity south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/8/MainStLatinFest17 Sun, 27 Aug 2017 00:30:00 GMT
Old Habits Die Hard: Neo-Confederates Raise Confederate Flag at S.C. State House...Again https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/7/FlagRaise2017 South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.

S.C. Secessionist Party member Braxton Spivey of Charleston, South Carolina is joined by a fellow reenactor, and celebrity black Confederate Arlene Barnum, of Stuart, Oklahoma as he raises a Confederate flag up a portable flag pole during the Confederate flag raising event.


On July 10, 2017 the South Carolina Secessionist Party held a confederate flag raising rally on the grounds of the South Carolina State House in protest of the flag being removed in 2015 by 116th S.C. Governor Nikki Haley (R) in response to the Charleston Massacre carried out by Confederate flag sympathizer Dylan Roof. During this rally, various speakers touched on topics such as; southern heritage, confederate history, and distrust for politicians.

Out of all of the speakers that spoke, one speaker in particular stuck out with what would be considered as confusing rhetoric to those not familiar with her. This speaker was none other than Arlene Barnum from Stuart, Oklahoma.

South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.
celebrity black Confederate Arlene Barnum, of Stuart, Oklahoma speaks to participants of the Confederate flag raising event. 


"Slavery! Slavery! everywhere I go around in South Carolina, slavery hit you in the face!" "Slavery! Slavery! I'm so sick and tired of that damn word Slavery, They need to take it out of the dictionary!" Arlene proclaimed.

To no surprise, her remarks were well received by the crowd eliciting loud cheers and yells. This wasn't the only questionable comment that Barnum made during the rally. After being called black, Barnum responded with "I'm not black I'm colored!". Many counter protesters questioned if she was on payroll due to her questionable commentary and loyalty to a period of history which was rife with white supremacy.

The attendance of both Confederates, and counter protesters were noticeably smaller this year. One could only hope that eventually, this conflict and the Confederate flag will be gone forever from the South Carolina State House Grounds. 

South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds. South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.South Carolina Secessionist Raise Confederate Flag In Protest 2 Years After Its Removal From S.C. State House Grounds.

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) columbia columbia s.c. confederate flag confederates crush rush history photographer photojournalist south carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/7/FlagRaise2017 Wed, 12 Jul 2017 05:26:16 GMT
Photos: "Honor Them With Action" Remembering the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/6/HonorThemWithAction

Columbia Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin speaks to attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally about his support for the LGBTQ community. 

Sam Edwards holds a sign reading "Disarm Hate" during the "Honor Them With Action" rally at the South Carolina State House. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott speaks to attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally about his dedication towards safety for the LGBTQ community and all constituents of Richland County. Columbia Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin speaks to Stacy Smith Nelson as he exists the "Honor Them With Action" rally. Columbia Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin speaks to Stacy Smith Nelson and her daughter as he exists the "Honor Them With Action" rally. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" candle light vigil / rally listen attentively to the words of Pastor Thomas Dixon. Pastor Thomas Dixon speaks to guests of the "Honor Them With Action" candle light vigil / rally about the power of hate and the power of love to defeat hate. Pastor Thomas Dixon speaks to guests of the "Honor Them With Action" candle light vigil / rally about the power of hate and the power of love to defeat hate. Over 100 people attended the "Honor Them With Action" candlelight vigil / rally held at the South Carolina State House to honor the lives of the 49 fallen victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre /hate crime carried out by Omar Mateen on June 12, 2016 in Orlando Florida. Julie Edwards hands out candles to attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" candlelight vigil / rally held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Becci Robinson prays on the stairs of the South Carolina State House as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold up candlelights as the names of the forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub are called out during the candlelight vigil portion of the event held at the South Carolina State House. Attendees of the "Honor Them With Action" rally hold hands as they sing "We Shall Overcome" after a candlelight vigil held in honor of the forty-nine victims who lost their lives during the Pulse Nightclub massacre on June 12, 2016. The South Carolina State House is illuminated with rainbow colors to honor the lives of the fallen forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nighclub Massacre which took place on June 12, 2016. Kimberly Stammire Cockrell stands on the stairs of the South Carolina State House as it is illuminated with rainbow colors to honor the lives of the fallen forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nighclub Massacre which took place on June 12, 2016. The South Carolina State House is illuminated with rainbow colors to honor the lives of the fallen forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nighclub Massacre which took place on June 12, 2016.  The South Carolina State House is illuminated with rainbow colors to honor the lives of the fallen forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nighclub Massacre which took place on June 12, 2016.

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Columbia S.C. Crush Rush Equality Nightclub Pulse Pulse Orlando South Carolina Vigil https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/6/HonorThemWithAction Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:35:59 GMT
It's all about the Dog baby! All about the Dog. Dog West of South Carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/4/DogWest

South Carolina's Legendary Icon Dog West


So you want to know about the Dog Huh? The Dancing Man you say? That Bandana Man? Well... I got you covered.


Johnnie "Dog" West is a 66 year old Cayce resident which was born in Kingstree South Carolina. Many know him from driving past him or watching him dance while wearing his signature outfit which consists of short jean shorts, high white socks, and a cut off tank top, an outfit that he has worn consistently since the late 80s. 
He walks a minimum of 10 miles a day, even after going through Triple Bypass Heart surgery in fall of 2015. The Dog, just doesn't stop.

Known by many names such as; Bandana Man, Dancing Man, Goldilocks, Big Dog West, Dancing Dog, Undertaker, Running Man, just to name a few, West has propelled himself to local celebrity status by his outfit and dancing, or as he says "Simply just being Dog West, Ain't nobody out here like me."

Dog and I spent some time hanging out together at his favorite hangout spot Calvin's Barber Shop in Cayce and I asked him a few questions that I know everyone wants the answer to.
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Me: Dog, the outfit. Where did you get the idea from?
Dog: I was just sitting at home bored one day, and I was looking in the mirror. I just started cutting, cutting on my pants, cutting on my shirt and then it just happened. I liked the way it looked.
Me: Just like that man?
Dog: Just like that (laughs)
Me: What about those bandanas, I know you don't really sport them anymore but how many of them doggone bandanas do you even have. 
Dog: 500, I got about 500 bandanas.
Me: While we're on your outfit, your socks be whiter than Christmas. I can't even keep ankle socks that white.
Dog: I have a lot of pairs of those socks. $5.49. They sell them right up there at that sports store round the corner.

Me: You're in better shape than I am. I'm about to turn 30. I know you walk a ton but what about your diet. What do you eat? What's your favorite thing to eat.
Dog: My favorite place to go to is McDonalds
Me: Dog. What? McDonalds? Really? 
Dog: (Laughs) Yea, I don't get much from there, just apple pies. 
Me: Mannnn. I was about to say.
Dog: I eat a lot of fruit, pineapple, pineapple is my favorite. I got some over there right now (points at bike). Fruit, Wheat Bread, Oatmeal. That keeps me going. Pineapple all day tho. 
Me: How do you feel about watermelon?
Dog: Pauses
Me: Choose your words wisely. If you got a problem with Watermelon, we got a problem. That's my favorite.
Dog: Laughs, We don't have no problem man, I don't have a problem with Watermelon.
(We laugh together)

Me: Outside of walking, what does The Dog do in his free time?
Dog: I love to work, Rake Yards, what ever I can. I don't beg, I make it happen. You see some of these young guys out here, they come to me and ask me for some spare change. I can't help them. If I can do it they can. Spare Change? Spare Job. If you want some Spare Change you need to get a Spare Job. (laughs) Spare Change, Spare Job. I worked at the Truck Stop for 16 years and at the Moving Company for 15 years. I did it all. When they gave me days off I called in to see if I could come in to work. I love to work, time off, I don't need no time off. I don't run out of energy.

Me: You have a ton of names that people call you. Bandana Man, Dancing Man, Goldilocks, Big Dog West, Dancing Dog, Running Man, I know you've heard them. Which one is your favorite?
Dog: I'm the Undertaker. You see what's tatted on my arm? That's what I am. I don't remember the last time anyone called me by my real name.

Me: You be showing out with those dance moves man, I don't even think I can keep up. (as I pop and lock) How did you get started dancing?
Dog: I started dancing when I was 14 or so. Back in the day Cayce used to have these little concerts and parties that you could go to and every time I would go I would tell myself that I would go up and dance, then I wouldn't One day I just started dancing and I have been dancing every since. I don't copy any dance styles I just do my own thing. Ain't nobody out here like me. Everyone is afraid to be themselves. Every neighborhood has talent in it, but people are just afraid to use it. 
Me: It ain't easy being different in this world Dog, even as a photographer I have had plenty of people tell me I couldn't make a career out of it, or that I needed to do or be something different.
Dog: I guess they are wrong now right? (We bump fists)

Me: Everyone loves you, when I posted a picture of you the other day it was shared more than 1000 times and everyone had a good memory of you to share. What is your favorite part about walking around and what do you hate the most about it.
Dog: I love walking Columbia, I get so much love. As soon as I cross the bridge, people just give me money. People want to take pictures with me, of me. Especially the college students. I used to freak the police officers out back when I wore big chains, but now they just throw their hands up and speak. 
Me: Yea man, everyone loves you. You're a celebrity. So is there even anything you don't like?
Dog: Cayce used to be fun, used to be so much talent, community. Before the guns, before the drugs, before the gangs, people used to have fun with each other. It's not the same. That's why I stay to myself. I don't talk to many people.

Me: I know you are a spiritual man, you do a lot of community outreach, and sing on the Men's choir. How would you liked to be remembered by all of us when your time comes?
Dog: I want people to say that I kept on and I completed my course with the Lord. I kept on.
Me: My man.

Me: What is your advice to everyone out there in the world? 
Dog: Never give up on your dream, just keep pushing. Don't let anyone ever make you give up on your dream. I didn't give up on my dream and I just stayed me. Just do what you want to do and don't give up on your dream.

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Columbia S.C. Crush Rush Photographer South Carolina columbiasc dog West icon people photojournalist https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2017/4/DogWest Sun, 02 Apr 2017 18:28:15 GMT
Pokemon Go Really Sucks And Here's Why https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/7/PokemonGo Pokemon Go hits ColumbiaPokemon Go hits ColumbiaPokemon Go can be seen being played on a phone screen.

If you clicked this link either you agree or disagree that Pokemon Go sucks!!.... Well I mean lets be honest, it totally sucks if you're the type of person that doesn't want to get out of the house and have fun meeting new people while capturing digital monsters. If you aren't that type of person it is absolutely great fun for adults and kids alike. But is there more?
 

WHAT IN THE HECK IS A POKEMAN AND WHY AND WHERE ARE THEY GOING?!?!?
Pokemon Go is a 
free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company. It was released in July 2016 for iOS and Android devices. Pokemon Go uses the phone's GPS to track and outline the player's area into a map in which Pokemon appear and then are able to be caught in "Pokeballs". In the animated television series, Pokemon were caught out in the wild and wooded areas as the protagonist Ash Ketchum explored various regions of his fictional world. In contrast to the tv show, Pokemon Go really excels in urban areas and uses prominent landmarks as "Poke-Stops" where players earn bonuses and items for visiting those locations.The further you are from urban areas, the more your gameplay experience deteriorates as Pokemon will not spawn in your area. At level five, Pokemon Go players are offered the chance to join one of the three in game factions which are Valor(red), Mystic(blue), and Instict(yellow). Players and their factions battle over control of digital "Gyms" which are placed all over cities at high traffic establishments/locations. For more information about the gameplay of Pokemon Go you can visit www.PokemonGo.com.

THAT SOUNDS DUMB, WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT POKEMON GO?!?!
There's no denying that this country is going through extreme amounts of turmoil as people become increasingly more divisive towards each other due to the political landscape, social issues, and negative media. Obesity, and particularly childhood obesity has grown exponentially in the last decade as kids and adults alike have declined in physical activity due to automation and the over use of the TV and Computer. The cost of living has increased while wages have not which causes cheap unhealthy food to be the main staple for survival. The combination of a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food outline a direct path to obesity and a host of other problems. At this point you're probably wondering what any of this has to do with Pokemon Go. The magnificent beauty of Pokemon Go is that it directly and effectively combats both of these problems. The social bonding aspect of Pokemon Go is truly phenomenal. Watching two people who would have probably never ever spoken to each before Pokemon Go, bond while catching Pokemon is a beautiful thing. When two people pass each other while looking at their phones there's an unspoken communication happening as they look at each other and smile. In a split second, they recognize that they have something in common with a person they don't even know. Strangers are bonding with other strangers for a common goal. People are smiling, laughing, and investing time in meeting people to play with as the game gives rewards for exploring in groups. The fact that you have to get up, go outside, and move to catch Pokemon is icing on the cake. Some of the greatest rewards in the game come from walking/running/biking 6.5 miles (The app knows if you're driving).

WELL NOW THAT YOU PUT IT THAT WAY... IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?

We all share this giant rock floating out in the middle of space. We are all in this together. When one group of people hurt, we all hurt, whether or not you know it. It doesn't matter if you are a long time Pokemon fan, or jumping on the trend, the game is definitely worth a try and easy to get the hang of. You may meet a new best friend, or as some players have, the love of your life. 

Stay aware of your surroundings, play smart, and respect the property and space of others. The Success and longevity of the game is directly influenced by the actions and behaviors of the players. Remember it's just a game.
CRD750
(Pokemon Go trainers all try to catch a Pokemon that has been spotted in the area)

 

CRD750 (Zack Kaplan, Josh Pearson, and Matthew Cao play Pokemon Go at the S.C. State House)

CRD750 (Pokemon Go Trainers catch Pokemon at the S.C. State House)

Pokemon Go hits ColumbiaPokemon Go hits ColumbiaFriends and family alike all come together to catch Pokemon at the South Carolina State House. (Trish, John, Sydney, Nate, Corey and Ryan show off their Pokemon Go avatars while catching Pokemon at the S.C. State House.)

 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Crush Rush Photographer South Carolina family fun photojournalist pokemon pokemon go https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/7/PokemonGo Mon, 18 Jul 2016 04:09:58 GMT
That Dirty Italian Soul: A Day with Chef Larry https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/5/CookingWithLarry That Dirty Italian Soul

Memorial Day 16' with Larry Martin Jr. of "Cooking With Larry"

(The day's second course of Coleslaw & Scallops)

 

On May 22, 2016 my family unexpectedly received news of the passing of my uncle Bobby Gene Odom Sr. My Uncle Bobby was a very loving and personable man that loved to make people laugh and most of all EAT. You're probably thinking "Everyone loves to eat," but let me tell you, he didn't get the nickname "Yum Yum" from his brother for nothing. 

During our time of mourning, my life crossed paths with Larry Martin Jr. thanks to the aid of a long time friend Laneisha "Queen" Frederick. As an up and coming chef, Larry needed a few of my services to help establish his brand. As a young entrepreneur that loves assisting other young entrepreneurs there was a natural affinity for Chef Larry after he told me his story and aspirations. 
From our initial conversation, "Chef" as my mother calls him, was very empathetic to what our family was going through and wanted to do something that would help us all. Everything from that point is history.

Chef Larry treated 30 of my family members to a delicious three course meal that included two choices of desserts. Our first course was scrumptious shrimp & grits topped with a full flavor tomato sauce and drizzled cheese in golden rimmed wine glasses. For our second course, Chef provided delicious coleslaw and scallops. Coleslaw has never been in high demand during our family get-togethers but today was different. There were people who "don't eat coleslaw" licking their forks like famished animals asking for more. As the final course, Chef provided the choice of Chicken/Shrimp/Sausage Alfredo which was absolutely a pleasure to eat. As a Chicken Alfredo enthusiast that has eaten the dish from MANY restaurants, I can truthfully say that Larry's Chicken Alfredo was the best I have ever had. Ever. Period. No contest. 

My family enjoyed everything that he prepared, and also the cakes his grandmother baked for us. Fact: It is very easy to clean up and wash dishes when they come back inside empty and seemingly licked clean. My Uncle Bobby would have had a field day today. I could picture him falling asleep in a chair after stuffing himself full of food. That thought alone is enough to take me to bed with a smile on my face. 

He came as Chef Larry, and left as family. I can't wait until the next time.   


 


More photos can be found @ http://www.shuttercrush.com/cookingwithlarry

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Columbia S.C. Cooking With Larry Italian Photographer South Carolina alfredo chef family food foodporn pasta soul tasty https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/5/CookingWithLarry Tue, 31 May 2016 04:16:54 GMT
"I Heard Y'all Were Lookin for Me?!?" - Big Freedia Rocks Indie Grits https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/4/IndyGrits2016

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Big Bounce Columbia S.C. Crush Rush Freedia Music New Orleans Photographer South Carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/4/IndyGrits2016 Sun, 17 Apr 2016 18:51:50 GMT
Back to the Drawing Board: Lady Gamecocks Return Home https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/3/LGCreturnhome Lady Gamecocks Return HomeLady Gamecocks Return HomeVisibly emotional Lady Gamecocks Jatarie White and Asia Dozier make their way off of their plane after returning to Columbia, S.C. after their upsetting loss to Syracuse. March 26, 2016

Today was a gloomy day in Columbia, South Carolina literally and figuratively as University of South Carolina's Lady Gamecocks returned home after their upsetting loss to Syracuse. "Even though we did get the lead, we were just off," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "We were just not in sync. They did a good job at winning the game."  Even with Alaina Coates, A'ja Wilson and Tina Roy all scoring more than 15 points for South Carolina (33-2), whose only other loss was to UConn it wasn't enough. 

Gamecocks held the lead for majority of the game up until the middle of the 3rd quarter where it seemed to all collapse. After a strong first half the Lady Gamecocks would go to lose the game 80-72.

Given the loss, and the understandable feelings that come with it, Lady Gamecocks still seemed to be in good spirits. A decent amount of Lady Gamecock supporters came to show their support and lend their words of encouragement to the somber players.

 


Lady Gamecocks Return HomeLady Gamecocks Return HomeSupporters wait for the Lady Gamecock's airplane to land in Columbia, S.C. after their upsetting loss to Syracuse. March 26, 2016 Lady Gamecocks Return HomeLady Gamecocks Return HomeLady Gamecocks Kayla Davis, Jatarie White, and Asia Dozier make their way off of their plane after returning to Columbia, S.C. after their upsetting loss to Syracuse. March 26, 2016
Lady Gamecocks Return HomeLady Gamecocks Return HomeLady Gamecock Alaina Coates makes her way off of their plane after returning to Columbia, S.C. after their upsetting loss to Syracuse. March 26, 2016 Lady Gamecocks Return HomeLady Gamecocks Return HomeGamecocks coach Dawn Staley waves goodbye to appreciative cheering fans that offered encouraging words before boarding her bus. March 26, 2016

 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Columbia S.C. Crush Rush Photographer South Carolina basketball college gamecocks lady sad sports usc https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/3/LGCreturnhome Sat, 26 Mar 2016 20:14:00 GMT
Marco sets his sights on South Carolina for a Redemption https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/2/MarcoRubioSC Marco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaMarco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaColumbia, South Carolina - February 10, 2016: Presidential candidate Marco Rubio(R) holds a political rally at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The event was hosted by the Junior Senator of South Carolina Tim Scott.

Today, Republican Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio held a hasty engagement at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Rubio was joined by U.S. Senator Tim Scott, South Carolina's junior senator.

Rubio took full advantage of the limited time allocated by engaging his South Carolina supporters and stating the importance of the state's "First in the South" Presidential Primary. During his stumping, Rubio mentioned his Democratic opposition, which garnered a few boos. Rubio took a very elegant approach to Bernie Sanders and referred to his fellow U.S. Senator as "a good guy" who "means well" after squelching boos from the crowd. He stated that he only had one issue with Bernie Sanders, and that issue is Sander's self-proclaimed socialism. When mentioning Hillary Clinton, Rubio was not so nice in his rhetoric. "A person that can lie to our country's veterans with no remorse can never be president of our country." Rubio referred to Clinton's actions during the Benghazi Scandal: "A person who thinks they are above the law and not subject to consequences can never ever be president of our country. A person who is under investigation by the FBI cannot be president of our country ever." When Rubio referenced the Clinton Email Scandal, which is currently under FBI investigation, he received a rousing round of applause that led to his final remarks about what it takes to propel America to his campaign's catchphrase "A New American Century"


To Follow Marco Rubio's Presidential Schedule or to find out more about his campaign you can visit Marco's Official Website

Marco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaMarco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaColumbia, South Carolina - February 10, 2016: Presidential candidate Marco Rubio(R) holds a political rally at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The event was hosted by the Junior Senator of South Carolina Tim Scott. Marco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaMarco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaColumbia, South Carolina - February 10, 2016: Supporters of candidate Marco Rubio(R) respond positively to his remarks at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The event was hosted by the Junior Senator of South Carolina Tim Scott. Marco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaMarco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaColumbia, South Carolina - February 10, 2016: Supporters of candidate Marco Rubio(R) respond positively to his remarks at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The event was hosted by the Junior Senator of South Carolina Tim Scott. Marco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaMarco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaColumbia, South Carolina - February 10, 2016: Tim Scott gets the crowd ready for Marco Rubio(R) to speak at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Marco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaMarco Rubio holds a presidential rally in Columbia, South CarolinaColumbia, South Carolina - February 10, 2016: Presidential candidate Marco Rubio(R) holds a political rally at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center with S.C. Senator Tim Scott.

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Columbia S.C. Crush Rush Marco Rubio Mario Photographer Rubio South Carolina conservative photojournalist political politician politics presidential republican https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/2/MarcoRubioSC Thu, 11 Feb 2016 01:57:02 GMT
Fashionably Late, But Right on Time: Lauryn Hill Rocks Downtown Columbia https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/1/FHNY2015 Lauryn Hill: Famously Hot New Years 12/31/15

December 31, 2015 - Columbia S.C.: Known for its unpredictable weather and fantastic public events, Columbia. S.C. lived up to its name of "Famously Hot" once again. This year's Famously Hot New Years Concert (#FHNY) was a perfect mix of tunes that catered music fans from all backgrounds. The concert's headliner was none other than the legendary artist who single-handedly transformed the music industry with one single album. The One, The Only, Ms. Lauryn. Hill. Three bands performed as openers to Lauryn hill during the concert and they are all worth giving a listen. The first performing act was by the band Dead 27s. Dead 27s are a Soul and Rock band from Charleston SC. Click Here to listen to their heartfelt dedication to Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston which was written after the Charleston Massacre in 2015. My personal favorite tune is "Nobody's Fault But Mine The second band and my personal favorite of the three was Colorblind. Colorblind, a band that brings a unique blend of Folk and Hip Hop, has two prominent vocalist that have some serious S.C. street cred. If you haven't heard of Iconic S.C. Hip Hop artist FatRat Da Czar or  Justin Smith from "Justin Smith and The Folk Hop Band" you should definitely look them up. My favorite track performed by the group was "Country Roads". The third opening act was another band originating from Charleston S.C. SUSTO. Susto is a progressive Americana band composed of the members Justin Osborne, Johnny Delaware, Corey Campbel,l Marshall Hudson and Jenna Desmond. While their genre of music isn't one that I visit often, I can honestly say that they are definitely a high quality band that knows their craft and are worth a try. I am particularly fond of their song "Vampiro 66 Ms. Lauryn Hill arrived on stage about 40 minutes late initially leaving her fans wondering if she would perform at all. The 40 minutes themselves weren't all that bad as she had her D.J. play old school hip hop tunes that definitely raised the spirits of the crowd, some standing in their spots since 6:30pm. Lauryn definitely still has that swagger that she has always had with a aura that demands your attention. While she didn't play her old songs from Miseducation in their original form she provided remixes that were recognizable enough to sing with. With a pristine performance by her band Lauryn's vocals are still as strong as ever. There were initially issues with the sound system that visibly frustrated Lauryn but when it was all resolved the show powered on. It has been 17 years since The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. What we are experiencing is the re-evolution of Lauryn Hill. Her new sounds have stepped away from her old style of R&B and feels like a power fusion of R&B, Rock, Soul, and a spritz of Funk. I think it's safe to say that she is well on her way to changing the monotony of the music industry once again. Rock on Lauryn! ROCK ON

CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THE NIGHT

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Columbia S.C. Concert Crush Rush Famously Hot New Years Freelancer Lauryn Hill New Years Photographer Photojournal South Carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2016/1/FHNY2015 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 09:30:44 GMT
9000+ Warriors Standing With God https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/WeStandWithGod On August 28, 2015 presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rick Perry joined forces to hold a "Pro Family" Rally at the South Carolina Statehouse. The rally, which had an estimated 9000 in attendance, touched on topics like: Abortion, Gay Marriage, God in Schools, and De-funding Planned Parenthood. The rally had it's share of guest speakers which included South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Pastor Dr. Ron Baily, and Dr. David Gibs III. 



The rally, which began being organized after the U.S. Supreme Court passed its ruling on same-sex marriage, was put together by those that fell it was time for Christians to stand up for their faith. A 600 person choir kicked off the festivities on the statehouse grounds before Rick Perry was introduced.  Perry asked the crowd "Are you willing to rise up and stand for God? Are you ready to go forward and deliver the principles and values this country were based upon?" A charged up crowd of thousands showed their approval  by yelling and raising their bibles and crosses high in the sky.

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz focused on three major points during his time on stage; marriage, faith and a wholesome God serving life. He also made a few passing comments regarding abortion and planned parenthood. "Let me tell you right now, Innocent life should not be treated as a business transaction." he said.. After the main candidates had their speeches, pastors from the crowd were asked to come inside the barricade where they were prayed over as a whole.  During the rally, donation buckets were in circulation. Donations were reported at a little over $200,000.



 

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Big Slice Blog Christianity Columbia S.C. Conservative Crush Rush God South Carolina South Carolina Statehouse We Stand with God https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/WeStandWithGod Mon, 31 Aug 2015 02:54:07 GMT
5 Open Heart Proceedures & 460 Miles Later... https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/JOURNEY4JUSTICEMARCH
Today was a hot and humid day in Columbia, South Carolina at 92 degrees, but it was cool in comparison to the temperature of the fires burning in the hearts of the NAACP marchers. The message was clear: Equality is a must and the broken cycle of inequality must come to an end. If you don't know by now, I'm speaking about the NAACP's Journey for Justice March. The Journey for Justice March is a 860 mile march that spans through 5 states, starting on the Edmund Pettus Bride in Selma, Alabama and ending in Washington D.C. on September 16th. While on their stop at the Statehouse today for their "Rally at the Capitol" various speakers spoke out against various social ills.

Vince Ford-(Education Chair of the SC NAACP) spoke out about the education disparity issues that are faced by low income schools and the graduation rates among people of color compared to their white counterparts.
Virginia Sanders-(Sierra Club/Sustainable Midlands) gave a very informative and eye opening account of what is happening environmentally in predominately African American & low income communities regarding industrial facilities and the chemicals being dumped in the air and waters of those areas. 
Joe Neal-(State Representative, District 70) gave a very fiery speech about the broken justice system that many of us have grown very well aware of. He dissected modern day slavery and how even here in South Carolina we have a big issue with corporations exploiting prison labor. He brought many statistics to the table and even gave a snapshot of how American's prison system looks in comparison to all of the other countries of the world. 

The diversity of the marchers is what really hit me the most. There were young, old, white, black, men, women, and various different religious backgrounds all marching together for a single cause. A little more than halfway completed with the march, there have been many appearances made by strangers with a marching force that reached 250 at one point in time. The marchers have had great allies, including countless numbers of Rabbis and police jurisdictions that saw to their safety as they marched through busy and traffic laden areas. It has been said that there are about 12 people that have committed to the whole entire 860 mile stretch. All of the marchers are extraordinary individuals but there is one that I feel deserves direct recognition in this post. His name is Middle Passage. Middle Passage (a name inspired by the rough journey that slaves during the 17th and 18 century embarked on to get to America) has had 5, that's right FIVE open heart surgeries dating back to the 1980s. Not only is Middle Passage a survivor, he is also Merchant Mariner veteran of the Navy. During his service in the Navy he worked a supply line that delivered ammunition across the Pacific ocean to Korea. When the rally was over I took a few minutes to speak to him off to the side. I immediately thanked him for his dedication to the cause and his response was simple. "There's nothing else I'd rather be doing" and went on to say that he didn't even give it a second thought about marching the 860 miles. The respect I gained for him grew 10 fold. He has dedicated his life to fighting the good fight in the name of civil rights. We shared our various experiences regarding things that have unfolded the last few months, it was almost like I've known him my whole life. Before they left to board the bus for their next stop, he left me with some advice that I promised to stick to. "Continue educate the young, they are our future, too many people have given up on them" he said. The deal was sealed with a firm handshake.

Middle Passage, may we meet again brother. 

Supporters of the MarchSupporters of the march hold their signs while the rally goes on. Mayor Steve BenjaminMayor Steve Benjamin gave an impromptu speech at the rally.

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Activist Civil Rights Columbia S.C. Crush Rush Journey For Justice Middle Passage NAACP Photographer South Carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/JOURNEY4JUSTICEMARCH Tue, 25 Aug 2015 02:36:43 GMT
We all "Felt the Bern" at the Medallion Center https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/BernieSandersMedallionCenter About 2000 people inside and another 700 on the outside "Felt the Bern" today at the The Medallion Center in Columbia S.C. as they listened to a very charged message from prospective presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Sanders took the gloves off and had no problem addressing various issues with our economy, immigration, education and social injustices alike in a head on manner. The crowd, which was very reactive to Bernie's words, provided even more fuel for the fire. A strong speaking point from the night was when Sanders addressed the ever increasing cost of Higher Education in America. "If we can finance a car or a home at 4% on a loan there is no reason that educational loans be at 10% Sanders said before the crowd erupted in applause. One patron in the crowd (Benjamin Clyde Byrdic III yelled out "I LOVE YOU BERNIE" in to which Sanders responded "I love you too!", this action combined with the talking points that Sanders made at the town meeting today makes me feel confident in his ability to spark the real change that this country so desperately needs.

Today I felt the Bern, Mentally & Physically (It was a a bit toasty in there phew!). I guess I'm one of those people who like it hot.

If you were not able to make it out today, Sanders will be at the Sumter County Civic Center tomorrow. Doors open at 10:a.m Program begins at 11.

Sumter Civic Center
700 West Liberty Street
Sumter, SC 29150

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Bernie Sanders Columbia S.C. Crush Rush FeelTheBern Photographer South Carolina The Big Slice https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/BernieSandersMedallionCenter Fri, 21 Aug 2015 21:00:00 GMT
Toothless Time Travelers unravell the fabric of South Carolina. https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/KKKRally

Columbia, SC -- On July 18, 2015, I experienced something that I would have never thought would have happened in my life. I came in direct contact with time travelers. I’m talking about members of the Klu Klux Klan and the Neo Nazi Party. That’s right; I’m talking about the political organization responsible for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. The same political operatives who lynched an estimated 4800 Americans in the name of White Supremacy, and that’s just the documented cases. This is the same group that in its peak in 1920 had more than 4 million people in membership. On July 18th, I was within an arm’s reach of time travelers from an era of American history that most of us think of as gone and forgotten.

There was not a single cloud in the sky and the heat index was 104 degrees as I arrived and pulled out my camera. The Klan and Nazis weren’t the first group to gather at the South Carolina capitol grounds that day. A rally held by the Black Educators for Justice, a subset of the New Black Panther Party, started off the day’s events.  I’ll admit, even as a man of color I was a little bit nervous regarding the Black Panthers. After the Charleston Massacre, one of their leaders, Malik Shabazz, made some very virulent comments laced with hate speech against white Americans, even at one point calling for their eradication. I was afraid I would hear this type of rhetoric at the rally at our state capitol.  Instead, the speakers at the rally spoke about American history, unfairness in current public policies, and black on black violence as well as other issues that need to be resolved within the black community. I specifically remember one of the leaders named Hashim Nzinga telling the crowd (which included Caucasians holding confederate flags) that they came for peace, to provide information, and to achieve understanding. By the end of the rally there were Caucasians yelling out “Black power!” and clapping. Before the rally was over, the main leader advised everyone to pick up their litter and to be safe as they made their way over to the other side of the statehouse where the KKK/Neo Nazi rally was about to kick off.

This is where it all got weird. On the back side of the Statehouse, there were barricades and ropes blocking off the steps and an area in front of them. There was a huge police presence; I’m talking the serious stuff, officers holding tear gas launchers and even snipers mounted on the top of the Statehouse. I wondered if they were there to keep the KKK/Nazis safe from the counter protesters, or the reverse. A crowd had already amassed around the barricades on all sides. There were people holding signs everywhere that showed great displeasure with the KKK/Nazis amassing on our home turf — the People’s house. They arrived a little late (what can you expect from people carrying ideas from the 1920s) with all eyes on them as they made their way to their barricaded area. The clashes began almost instantly. You could see water bottles flying towards the direction of the Klansmen and people trying to surround them. Just as fast as it started, the issue was resolved and the officers made way to get them into their barricades. I think the most disturbing image I saw was that of little kids being escorted by adult members of the KKK. I thought to myself, this is the passing of the torch — the next potential generation of hatred. I looked around at the crowd behind me (I was up front, in the press area) and all I could see was disappointed and disgusted faces.  In comparison to the New Black Panthers rally, it was quite disorganized. After waiting for 15 minutes or so, it was apparent that there were no leaders on the KKK side that were going to speak. The crowd grew increasingly bored of their Confederate flag waving, insults and scraggly yells of “White Power” at a rapid pace. I could hear remarks from the crowd like “You all look like trash” and “Sit down you dumb rednecks.”

The Klan/Nazis really started to inflame the crowd at this point. “Nigger” was a flavor word that was thrown out frequently, combined with other words like “monkey,” “slave,” and “chimpy.” It was very hard to keep my composure as an African American. We had just had a travesty happen in Charleston committed by a person who shared the same views as these people jumping around and yelling insults at a mixed race crowd of South Carolinians. For a good 10 minutes I put my camera down because I realized that I was shaking. Being a black man in Lexington S.C. and graduating from the same school that Dylan Roof did, racism and racially charged statements weren’t anything new to me. This was different, these were people that would hang me and not think anything twice about it if they had the chance. I saw deep hatred for me and people like me all because of the color of my skin. I was sad, hurt, and angry. The deep insults cut like razor blades as I heard references to the Charleston massacre and how the killer did a good job.

Crush_Rush_sm_20150718-IMG_0378.jpgStanding no more than 5 feet away from me an overweight, one-toothed Klansmen yelled at a group of black people behind me “When you wake up in the morning and take your morning shit, what color is it? That’s right it’s brown like your skin nigger, you’re the color of a bowel movement.” 

I realized that these people were only there to get under people’s skin. They only wanted a rise. Here I am, I’m young, I’m in shape, I’m healthy, I’m a scholar, I have my own business and to top it off I have a plethora of friends and family of all races and backgrounds that care about me enough to check me when I start to deviate from the right path. This man was pretty much the bottom of the bucket. He hated only one person more than he hated black people and that was himself. 

After that moment of clarity my feelings of sadness had shifted. I felt pity for these fellow human beings who thought so little of themselves that they would behave so despicably in public. I watched as they jumped around trying to incite the crowd by making monkey sounds, threatening people and dropping N bombs. What sealed the deal was when they pulled out an Israeli flag, tore it, spit on it, and then shuffled it around on the ground with their boots. What a pathetic sight indeed.

After an hour and a half of this inflaming display of idiocy they decided to cut their rally short. Unfortunately for them they had fanned the flames a little too high and there weren’t enough officers to escort them out without a couple of Klansmen/Nazis getting scorched by those flames. I think that those time travelers learned a valuable lesson. You can’t travel to 2015 saying and doing the same things you did in the early 1900s expecting the same responses.

As the Klan and Nazis ducked and cowered, and as their dispassionate police escorts ushered them to safety, a great feeling overcame me. I don’t know if it was the feeling of some type of victory, or the fact that I made it out physically unscathed, but it felt like a cool light rain on a hot summer’s day. I was extremely proud to be a South Carolinian. All over social media you saw cries for no one to show up and suggestions to just ignore them and let them come and leave without any attention. The fact that they had been ignored for so long is the reason that they felt comfortable enough to even show up to our statehouse. I could only imagine how dumb they felt to see their fellow Caucasians denouncing them. The Klan/Nazis could yell at the top of their lungs but there just wasn’t enough “White Power” in them to overcome the South Carolina power that we came together to produce at the statehouse to stomp out hate. 

In this day and age it is our duty to stand together, not as black and white people but as brother and sisters. The human chain is only as strong as its weakest link. WE MUST REINFORCE EACH OTHER. Injustices towards one group of people are an injustice towards all. No one cares about their neighbor’s roaches until the infestation reaches their doorstep.  It’s time we help and love each other. We must stand up and stand together to make a better tomorrow. Hate has no place. 

My biggest regret is that it took 9 lives, combined with current events regarding unarmed people of color and law enforcement to get us all to stand together on the same platform. Now that we are together we must continue this momentum. There is only one force capable of eradicating hate and that is love. Before I go, I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes by the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” 

We are the light. We have the love. Not you, not me, but WE.

-- Crush Rush

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crush@shuttercrush.com (CrushRush Photography) Crush Rush KKK KluKluxKlan Photographer South Carolina https://www.shuttercrush.com/blog/2015/8/KKKRally Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:09:48 GMT