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KellyGram – My Myrtle Beach Dining Spots

 

 

As most of my KellyGram readers know I have an office in Myrtle Beach in addition to Columbia and Winnsboro and I try to spend as much time as possible down there working and playing! Near my second home at the beach are five of my favorite restaurants that I love to go to as well as send my friends. There are an untold number of options on the Grand Stand, but my favorites on my end of the beach are the following:

Midtown Bistro – It is run superbly by the Martini Family and features a unique menu with fresh seafood options usually caught by its owner Jeff Martini. They also have one of the best Prime Ribs around and when you call to make reservations (reservations are highly recommended) they will ask you whether you want to reserve a Prime Rib and my answer is almost always, “YES”!

Bar 19 Twelve – Midtown Bistro’s sister property located right across the parking lot is Bar 19 Twelve. When you walk inside you will be amazed by the décor and ambience. It is not like you are in South Carolina, but in New York or Chicago. Seriously! They have the largest array of Bourbon options you have ever seen and the vibes of it is so COOL!

Sea Merchants – It is an oldy but a goody! Whether you want seafood or steak this is the place for you! It has dark paneling, and its unique atmosphere is great, and your tastebuds will agree. They sometimes have live music and its usually pretty good and entertaining!

Chestnut Hill – This is very near to my second home and is one of my all-time favorites for seafood! It sits on Kings Highway, on Restaurant Row, and has a lakeside view with a very cool vibe. The food and service are excellent, and you cannot go wrong with my go-to restaurant, Chestnut Hill!

Hook and Barrell – The owner Heidi spared no details in making this restaurant a wonderful place. It is primarily known for its seafood, great wine, and great bar! The owner spent untold dollars to make it the coolest interior in all the Myrtle Beach food land.

I could go on and on, but when you are down at the beach on the North end, I suggest you try any of these absolute favorites of mine. I will be sure to feature other favorites at another time later in the year!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Calvin Benjamin Reese

 

 

I was very saddened to learn of my dear longtime friend Calvin Reese’s passing on October 6, 2021. His funeral services are today, and I am very honored to have been asked to be one of his speakers!

Calvin was a lifetime Columbia native. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School Class of 1969. He continued his education by earning a Business Management Degree from the University of South Carolina. Calvin’s career involved 50 years in media, starting out as a film editor with WIS-TV in Columbia. He was the first African American to work in television advertising in the history of South Carolina by becoming sales account executive. He continued his career by becoming a General and Sales Manager of several radio stations. His last entrepreneurial endeavor and passion was the Millennium Magazine. It began in 1999 and has moved from print to digital media. His two daughters plan to carry on the Millennium Magazine in the future, which I think is a great tribute to their dad!

I personally knew Calvin very well. He and several of my other friends met weekly for a small Bible study at my previous law office location. Calvin and I loved to talk and play golf together. He played in many of the tournaments the Mike Kelly Law Group sponsored. Through Calvin, I was introduced to the Reverend Charles B Jackson, Sr., the legendary Pastor of Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia and the Northeast location. Calvin was very active in the community and most importantly loved serving the Lord at his church. He will be sorely missed. Rest easy my friend!

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – 2015 Flood

 

 

Next week marks the Historic 1000-year flood here in my hometown of Columbia. Just like 9/11 and other momentous events in my life I still vividly remember that terrifying time six years ago when the Gills Creek Watershed area including lakes, creeks and other tributaries overflowed, dams failed, and homes and businesses were destroyed by the rushing floodwaters. Here within 2000 yards of my office, the raging waters of the beautiful Congaree River breached the Columbia Canal, and the City of Columbia’s Water Filtration Plant was rendered inoperable. I have numerous neighbors on the Eastern side of Columbia where I have lived for the past 45 years who lost their homes, their possessions and it was quite simply a chaotic time in our Capital City!

The volunteer spirit exhibited by many good souls who risked their lives to go out and rescue stranded homeowners was remarkable! The first responders including police, fire and the National Guard went above and beyond the call of duty in coming to the rescue along with the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was a very disruptive time with hundreds of thousands of my fellow citizens, including myself, were without water or electricity for a week or more.

As I complete my sixth year on the board of the Gills Creek Watershed Association, I have come to learn that it is vital for our community in many ways to responsibly manage and treasure our precious watershed. If ever there was an event that underscores the need for all of us to preserve and enhance our watersheds it was The Flood! While we still have a long way to go, I think more people are aware of the need to improve our waterway systems here in the Midlands. Please consider YOUR role in improving our environment by giving your time, talent, and your treasure to organizations like GCWA and the Congaree Riverkeeper.

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – My Friend, Willie Arthur Tompkins, Sr.

 

 

Willie Arthur Tompkins, Sr. recently passed away and if ever there was a friend to the Mike Kelly Law Group, as well as me personally, it was my friend Willie. From the age of nine years old he was fascinated by the funeral home in his hometown of McCormick, SC. As soon as he graduated in 1973, he went to mortuary school and became a licensed embalmer/funeral director. He moved to Columbia and worked for 10 years for a local funeral home before deciding to open business along with Robert Bostick, Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home in 1988. This funeral home went from being the new kid on the block to a dominant player in the Columbia funeral market. He has provided services to my family and at his homegoing service Friday a week ago, myself and several staff members were treated to a wonderful ceremony of celebration of his life. Willie was not only a successful businessman and entrepreneur he was also very philanthropic. Annually he was famous for his fruit baskets to seniors and supporting organizations that uplift at-risk youth. I had the privilege of watching when the Confederate flag was lowered for the final time on statehouse grounds along with Willie, alone in my office. Both he and I got a tear in our eye as we shared together this momentous moment in South Carolina history.

God truly blessed South Carolina through the life of Willie Arthur Tompkins, Sr. His legacy will live on with his funeral home, now under the leadership of his brother, Bishop David Tompkins, and their Business Manager, Troy Washington.

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to walk shoulder to shoulder with Willie for many years. May you rest in peace.

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Wounded Warrior Project

 

 

This week the Mike Kelly Law Group was honored to be a sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Charity Golf Classic held in Aiken, SC. The Golf Classic is for the benefit of veterans in the Aiken – Augusta area. I’ve heard of the Wounded Warrior Project but was not familiar with the good work it does. This project benefits the most deserving, those who have given themselves and their bodies for the defense of our great nation. I learned that they have a variety of programs for mental and physical wellness, career and VA benefits counseling and an independence program, to name a few.

As we all know our veterans, especially those from the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan have suffered mightily on reintroduction into American Society. They literally are overflowing with PTSD, and I respect and admire the organizers of this event. The event is held annually for the veterans in the Aiken – Augusta area. I salute these efforts, the efforts of the volunteers, the mini programs of the project itself, and most importantly, our veterans who served our country. Take some time to check out the Wounded Warrior Project and consider making a donation.

Have a good weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – South Carolina African American History Calendar 2021

 

 

I purchased the South Carolina African American History calendar which was produced by AT&T, Dominion Energy, South Carolina ETV, University of South Carolina, and WIS News. I wanted to highlight the month of September which features Gloria Blackwell Rackley. She was born in 1927 in Little Rock, South Carolina which is in Dillon County. Gloria earned her bachelor’s degree at Claflin College, which is now Claflin University, her master’s at South Carolina State College, now South Carolina State University, and her doctorate from Emory University. She initially became involved in the civil rights movement in Orangeburg. By 1961, she was a NAACP local leader and was targeted, along with her husband, for their stand on civil rights.

Gloria filed Rackley v. Tri-County Hospital with her lawyer, Matthew Perry, after being arrested for sitting in the whites only waiting area seeking care for her daughter’s injured finger. Her lawyer went on to be a United States District Judge and an icon in South Carolina legal history. The lawsuit succeeded in integrating hospitals. Courageous people like the Rackley’s are the reason why we have progressed to where we are today. However, there is much more work that can be done to advance race relations for all people.

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Helping Others

 

 

Today’s KellyGram was inspired by a devotional that I read in Forward Day by Day devotional series that I read many mornings. The devotional was based on a line from Philippians 2:4 – “Let each of you look not to your own interest, but to the interest of others”. Whether you are a Christian or not, those words are powerful and literally cause me to give some deep thought to, “Am I doing enough for others”. I have been blessed to live a long life. I have children, grandchildren, relationships, friends, a church family, and a very blessed law practice. I know through my work I can help others and my favorite expression is “I get paid a nice salary to help people every day”. Tuesday was a prime example; a client who will remain unnamed, came in to hire me. He was injured in July, has not received any income, and has not received meaningful medical treatment. My paralegal, Kimberly, and I were able to get the ball rolling and even though the workers’ compensation system moves way too slowly, I believe we are at the start of getting him on a better road.

I clearly can do more in the Community to help others and I plan to do so. I don’t know how much time I have left on this Earth, but I am renewing my dedication to serving others. The options are limitless, and I challenge all my readers to consider doing the same.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – College Football

 

 

It’s that time again! Yes, as we all prepare to enjoy our Labor Day weekend it’s also college football time in South Carolina! Although I have great respect for the Clemson Tiger program as well as Clemson University, I am a Gamecock through and through! My backup college team is the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Since I have my two major offices in Columbia and Myrtle Beach and I attended the University of South Carolina for seven years, neither of these should be a surprise!

I have yet to meet my soon to be neighbor, Shane Beamer, and I am looking forward to the opportunity. He is bringing a high-level of enthusiasm and energy to a Gamecock program that has been down the last several years after unprecedented success under the Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier. I will be attending all their home games at Carolina, as well as several on the road and will try to catch a Coastal game or two. Coastal is ranked in the preseason top 25, not bad for a program that only recently entered big time football! Please root for your favorite team, enjoy the excitement, and entertainment that college football in the Southeast brings to us. Be safe and enjoy your weekend. And for me GO COCKS! GO CHANTS!

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – America the Beautiful

 

 

After not traveling on an airplane since before Covid, I took a weeklong trip to Colorado and played golf on their beautiful courses. I enjoyed all things about Colorado. Even though I grew up in the South, I would not voluntarily leave the southeastern United States. While I love lots of other parts of this great nation, especially the American West which includes Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, etc. as they are absolutely breathtaking. Aside from smoke from the California wildfires, the air in Colorado was wonderful. Although the temperature was warm, the humidity was low and was greatly appreciated by someone who lives in Famously Hot Columbia! Colorado has been voted the second healthiest state in the nation and for good reason, nature, climate, and air quality. Most importantly, the beauty of its scenic mountains, valleys, canyons, and rivers are hard to beat. I hope this Covid thing will suddenly slink away into the darkness, and we will be free to enjoy America the Beautiful again.

Stay safe and Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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KellyGram – Take me out to the Ball Game!

 

 

I must admit every summer providing my Atlanta Braves are doing fair to middling, I find myself fixated on their games every single day. This year marks at least 30 years that I have been a Braves’ fan. As of today, we are one game back. It seems my emotions live or die (It’s not quite that bad!) on how the Braves do the night or afternoon before. I always keep up with the Gamecocks and Coastal Carolina’s traditionally excellent baseball programs. I even find time to take in a few Fireflies games, especially when they play the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, from my second home. A lot of sports have my attention, such as college and pro football, golf, and even men’s and women’s college basketball. In the summertime, it’s definitely watching America’s team play the national pastime.

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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