ST. GEORGE, SC. – I spent most of May 5, 2015 in St. George, South Carolina. I have just one regret.
St George’s 85-year-old mayor, Anne Johnston was out of town, visiting in Texas. It has been reported by a reliable source she will run for a third 4 year term in the fall. Which proves again age is not an issue if you like the job you are capable of doing and doing it well.
I did enjoy meeting the woman who plays a major role in the town which has 2084 residents. Annette Moore is clerk and treasurer and has several addition responsibilities.
I was surprised when St. George marked its 100th anniversary in 2011 no celebration was held. Annette and others did dig through the files. One of them discovered roller skating was not permitted on sidewalks.
The records show an earlier clerk was arrested and spent time in jail, but then returned to his job.
Annette is impressed with the local school system. It is so good, although she has a college degree she would never consider engaging in home schooling.
Instead of putting emphasis on football and other sports the students focus on their studies. Many have an A or B average. They focus instead on engineering and related topics. That, in part, is unusual because some of the parents didn’t finish high school.
The robotics team raised money and went to Canada to compete. The elementary school Lego robotics team won the state championship.
Some young people who have graduated return to give back to the town, Annette also notes. Local professionals are dedicated to serving their community as well. If you have a dental problem on Saturday, the dentist will go to his office without an excuse or concern.
Annette is now a Girl Scout leader, and her children are involved in 4–H. Her son is 15, her daughter is 12.
She has traditional values when it comes to rearing children. When her son was quite young, in day care,he tossed something out of the car window. When they reached the day care center she asked for a large plastic bag and told her son to clean up the trash.
The woman who ran the day care center was horrified and warned her of germs and other problems. Annette told her she knew where there was soap and water and her son was to finish the job. That was the last time he littered, and since then he tells his friends not to throw trash around.
Annette grew up in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of parents in the military. They were sent to South Carolina.
She graduated from what once was known as the Baptist College, but now is called Charleston Southern University.
She met her husband in Charleston. He was a waste water expert and was hired by St .George. When she was selected as town clerk and treasurer he resigned and took the same job down the road in Walterboro, with a population of 5,311, a community twice the size of St, George. They wanted no chance of having a conflict of interest or other problems.
The Moore family keeps buying small parcels of land
and have acquired 120 acres. They have been planting trees, mostly long leaf pines.They also have a grove of black walnuts. At first it was to fund their retirement, but when the children were born they switched the purpose of the tree farm to an education fund.
They have a sizable garden and children are permitted grow things and go to the farmers market. They have learned to go early because there is competition.The person who gets there first succeeds. If they slept in until 10:00 they would lose sales. They not only learn to grow crops and to sell them, they also learn to be disciplined and to manage the money they make.
When the family was without power for a week during and after a major ice storm, they cut up the wood and roasted marshmallows and cooked other things in the family fireplace.They also brought in water. While other people complained they didn’t want the power turned back on. And now they know how to survive in a crisis.
A neighbor has a large pond, stocked with fish. Both Annette and the children are permitted to catch them. She showed me a picture an unusually large catfish she recently caught. Again a lesson for their offspring.
Annette has volunteered at the school and there was a boy the teachers had trouble controlling. She had known the child since he was in daycare with her son, and she was able to quickly calm him down. The teachers were amazed.
Annette loves her life as well as her complicated, demanding town hall assignment. She is extremely proud of her community. And with very good reason.
Based on what I am seeing in other towns, where there are some very good people, Annette is a true asset for St. George.