Rumors, Openings, and Closings

I think I figured out a way to move this to a free site at


This post needs your help! Let me know in the comments what you have heard so I can add it to the post!

Rumors, Planned Openings, New Openings

    • We have Uber and Lyft in Florence!
    • New Hyatt Place Hotel Being built as we speak!
    • HOMEGOODS!!!!
    • Five Below- wish it would be open in time for stocking stuffers!
    • SC Real Foods has moved to Celebration and it is GREAT!  I got some pimento cheese and other goodies there the other day!
  • Dairy Queen next to WF Wal-Mart
  • Forever 21
  • Da Massimo is back in Florence… just saw it with my own eyes.
  • Lidl a German Grocery
  • Stride Rite is NOT closing and that was a rumor- actually it DID move into the Toy Shop
  • Browns BBQ has opened in Florence– has anyone tried it??
  • King Jefe Taco Bar: downtown (love it!)
  • Boxcar Market (Mercantile and Grocer downtown) (I am super excited about this one!!) (I saw yesterday it is open!  I need to check it out!) (I have shopped here many times, PLEASE support it!)
  • H & M coming to Magnolia Mall (SCNow confirmed)
  • Rumor:  Steak and Shake
  • Five Below (Magnolia Mall)

Not as New Openings and Movings

  • Seminar Brewing has moved to Hwy 52 near 95
  • Town Hall
  • The Dispensary Rooftop Bar
  • Aldi has opened a second location and redone their original location!
  • SNIP has moved to Second Loop
  • Taco Bell by the Mall
  • The Pharmacy
  • Zoe’s Kitchen to open at 2100 West Evans, suite B. (June 2017:  OPEN)
  • Local Motive Brewery
  • Mi Tierra has moved to their new location on Celebration (so nice!)
  • Bojangles is open near the end of Damon on Second Loop

Closings Continue reading

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Interior of Florence Mall

I remember when we used to shop inside the Florence Mall.  I loved it! There was a children’s shop, a gift store, a women’s shop… I remember that much.  There was also “Carrie Nations” on the outside I think.

I had no idea the interior of the mall still existed, but it looks nice in these office rental pictures! 

Do you remember when?

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Teriyaki Madness

I have never even heard of this place… what is it all about? 

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Summer Camps in Florence, SC

In the past I have compiled a list of links to summer camps in Florence, South Carolina.  I will start a list for you, but please comment and help build the post for other parents.  I don’t know about you- but I can NOT handle a summer of two tweens lounging around not doing anything.  This is hopefully the start to a more comprehensive list, so let me know what you know!

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Father-Daughter Dance

This is one of my favorite events of the year.  I love seeing my now almost teen girl getting ready to go to this dance with her dad.  I love seeing the pictures on so many facebook pages of all the girls and young women going on dates with their dads.  It is a special night for sure.  I also saw some sweet photos of uncles and brothers taking their nieces and sisters when Dad has passed away.  Certainly, there are many definitions of family, and I loved all of the pictures last night.  Here is the SC Now gallery, maybe you can spot your own in the glimpse they give the moms:


Father-Daughter Dance 2017 


(Also, please consider joining ebates through this link to help keep this site going.  Sorry for the shameless plug)

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I have had this post rumbling around in my brain for a few weeks now, and I can’t figure out exactly how I want to say it.  When Hurricane Matthew hit, we were without power- without grocery stores- without all the modern conveniences we rely on for at least a few days.

The main thing I noticed is that none of us in this area cared about the election, about the Clintons or Trump, that we weren’t passive aggressively liking certain types of articles on facebook (oops- guilty).  We were united in the things that were alike as opposed to the things that were different.  We talked to our neighbors, we walked our dogs, we checked on people.  We didn’t care if they had an #imwithher or a #makeamerica great hashtag, because at the end of the day those are not the things that matter.  What matters is if you share your generator and your bacon and if you are kind to others and you believe in basic human rights and goodness.

Most of us do, and the Hurricane righted the world and reminded us of that.  It reminded me that it doesn’t matter what political party someone is, that I like someone because they make me laugh and they share their ice they fought for at the Kangaroo and they talk to me in the aisle at Food Lion.

Facebook tends to take that away from us.  We are back to hashtags and finger pointing.  “Comment below if you are voting Trump or Hillary.”  “Hillary for Prison”.  “Trump supporters are idiots”  “Hillary supporters are not Christian”.

When you say these things on your facebook, you say them about your friends and about your neighbors.  It is as if you say “Hey John?  I think you are an idiot for believing that way.  I know you shared your chainsaw with me two weeks ago, but I think you are an idiot for voting for Trump/Clinton/Johnson/whomever.”

I will be the first to admit that I hated not having electricity.  I can’t stand the chaos that the Hurricane brought.  I don’t like not having control and not knowing when things will be cleaned up and fixed.  I want it done right and I want it done now.  However, the Hurricane did show me that there can be a world where we don’t bash our friends and neighbors for thinking differently from us or voting differently from us.  One thing the Flossip site helped me to do was to take a position of neutrality and positivity.  To go back to what my mother taught me years ago:  “If you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say it but you definitely DON’T WRITE IT DOWN!”

I am proud of this town for how we pulled together before, during, and after Hurricane Matthew.  Florence has its faults, but we also have a lot of good.  There are so many good people here that are working to make this city a better place.  From our mayor and city manager and city council to the sanitation workers to the people that smile at you in the aisles of the grocery store… our city is what you make of it.  I have always tried to make it great- and it has served me well!  Lets all work harder at making it a great place to live, celebrate what makes us a community more and not try to bash the things that we don’t agree with about someone else.

(So, yes… you SHOULD delete that nasty little facebook status you posted. Oh, and if you say “I’m not being mean, but…” or “I’m not starting an argument, but…”  you probably are doing exactly what you say you are not doing.)


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“The Addams Family” at Florence Little Theatre

I pulled my blue hat out of its hiding place (wow, it was dusty)! and sneaked into the Florence Little Theatre for a peek at the next show.  “The Addams Family” premieres on September 16, 2016 and runs through September 25.

I almost always love the opening musical, and this show already has me on the edge of my seat!  Frankie Sullivan and Whitney Langley shine as Gomez and Morticia, and is directed by the delightful Glen Gourley. Check out the entire cast list here on their facebook page.

This is going to be a great show for a date night or to take the whole family out.  I would reserve tickets now, it could easily be a sell out for FLT!


Link to a Gallery of photos in SCNow.

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I essentially quit the flossip- gave it up never to write again.

Lately, I have been itching to just say “one more thing.”

Like… Have you eaten at Town Hall yet?  I have been twice, and loved it both times.  I wish I could tell you that I was adventurous and got two different entrees, but I had the Hangar Steak both times.  It was delicious both times!  The fries are good as well, but I am genetically predispositioned to hate truffle oil, so I had them leave that off.

We had the succotash as a side.  It was a great compliment to most entrees.  As an appetizer we ordered the deviled eggs.  They come WITH fried oysters so its like a bonus double whammy appetizer.  I can honestly say that my aunt makes the BEST deviled eggs around.  I can’t imagine a Carolina football game without them.  However, for the sake of the site I was willing to try someone else’s deviled eggs.

I am so glad that I did.  We had the beignets for dessert, and it was a great treat to share.  (I do not say that word like Harry Connick, Jr.)

I really like the atmosphere of Town Hall.  I honestly felt like I was out of town.  My mom told me she felt like I had taken her to New York City for the night.  There was a good crowd, I recommend reservations.  I had great service both times.

There is a slight woodsmoke smell so I asked to be seated away from the kitchen.  It’s not a big deal though and I am pretty smell sensitive.  You don’t smell like it when you leave, and that is an important test for me.

I am VERY excited about this new restaurant and all that is happening downtown.

(Hey- how did I do?  My blogging skills are a little rusty! Also, I couldn’t buy back… had to switch to .net.)

(Next time I will try to take pictures.)

(Oh!  It isn’t cheap, but it is worth it.)


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Mrs. Ruby Didn’t Come to Florence, Florence came to Mrs. Ruby


She sat across from me at the kitchen table, her eyes still bright, her mind still sharp.  The walker and pink pajamas during the day are the only indication that age is catching up with her.  She is a wisp of a woman, formidable still at half my size.  Looking at her, it is hard for me to believe that this tiny, elderly woman has sparked decades of rumors and half truths.
I begin by telling Mrs. Ruby that I am there because she is a Florence legend and people are interested in her.   She looks at me as if she is surprised. For a minute, I falter.  Do I tell her the rumors?  Do I ask her the unaskable questions?   I pause, unsure of my next step. Her son brings her a plate of lunch and places it in front of her.  The food is ignored as she begins to tell me the story that is her life.
Mrs. Ruby was born in Evergreen, outside of Florence.  She was the seventh child, born in the seventh month in 1923.  Her father did not like to stay in one place long, so they moved around a lot as she was growing up.  She mainly remembers her life after they moved to Darlington.  I listen without asking any of the questions on my list.  I quickly realize that she will tell her story in her own time.
Mrs.  Ruby was barely a teenager, a young woman coming of age during a time when money was tight and everyone worked hard for every penny.  She worked hard, her mother worked hard, everyone worked hard.   One of her most vivid memories was of a traveling Bible salesman that she met.  He was going around selling bibles to raise money for the seminary.  Every day he would pass by their house in Darlington, and she would invite him over to sit a spell.  They would sit together and chat on the loveseat outside.  Ruby felt like that young man was going to make an amazing preacher one day.  Later on, she was delighted when she started to hear that same young man was being well received across the South. His name was Billy Graham, and he left quite the impact on a young Ruby.  She talks about her faith freely and openly throughout the day.
It wasn’t long after meeting Billy Graham that her life changed forever. Her expression changes, and I see sadness when she tells me about the day her mother was injured.  Her mother was working in a field picking cotton and fell down. It wasn’t even a bad fall, but when she fell, a cotton stalk went through her mother’s eye.  Her mother spent a long time in the hospital, and came home an invalid and never walked again.  Her father died shortly thereafter from a stroke, effectively ending any source of support for Ruby or her mother.  Ruby grew up in an instant, transforming from the child to the mother and spent the next twenty years caring for her mother.

Ruby was always beautiful, though more important than her beauty was her brain. She was savvy in the financial arena, realizing quickly that she needed property to have financial stability. She worked shifts at the Boston Café on North Dargan Street in Florence and saved her tips carefully. She bought her first piece of property at 16 years old, moving her mother to a small house in Florence. That first house cemented her future as a player in Florence County real estate. She would pay off a piece of property and then scour the newspaper for auction sales. Her first love was farming, and she bought as much farmland as she could. She would buy land with timber, immediately clear the timber and pay off the land.
When she was a young woman, she met a nice young man named Joe one afternoon at a gas station. She stopped to get gas and stayed to eat watermelon with the young, charming owner. It wasn’t long before they married and had three children. Their oldest son served in Vietnam and later died from probable effects of Agent Orange. As we talk it is obvious that his death is still a troubled spot in her memory and her brow puckers as she relives the pain of the death of a child. Her son Kenny and her daughter still live in Florence.
It didn’t take long for her to make a name for herself as a farmer and landowner. People would flock to her truck in the afternoon to buy her goods. She smiled as she recollected a day when she realized they were going to be short on butterbeans. Without missing a beat she hopped in her truck and drove to the farmers market in Columbia. She bought 50 bushels of butter beans and headed back to Florence. Her husband was visibly relieved when she pulled up, he didn’t think she would be back in time. “I had to pull over” she told him, “and take the lids off so that it looked like the butterbeans were picked here.” All 50 bushels were bought immediately with no one being the wiser.
Men would ask her opinion and advice on land transactions and business deals. She would loan money, interest free, if she felt the investment was sound and would help someone get ahead. She enjoyed recounting the loans she made. I was amazed at the joy she had joy in their success. No matter how successful the business venture was, Mrs. Ruby never felt they owed her anything more than a straight repayment of the loan.
Mrs. Ruby’s life changed again when her mother died. She was used to caring for her mother day in and day out, so much so that she would literally pick her mother up and carry her to church on Sunday. “I was strong” she tells me simply. I know she had to have been, because the consistency of her life has always revolved around work. Farming, selling vegetables, providing for her family are the stalwarts of her life. After her mother passed away, Ruby decided that she was going to buy a car. She custom ordered the infamous pink Cadillac as a present to herself. When she “talked to the people at Cadillac, they told me that they had to make two Cadillacs at one time”. The other Cadillac that came off the line with hers was bought by Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, Elvis’ Cadillac died about three months after he bought it. As we talk, I watch her family move in and out. They add a bit to the story here and there, prompt her memory when necessary. The kitchen table is a comfortable spot; the family is open and welcoming. There is love here, a lot of love, but there is sadness. There are unasked questions and they silently wonder if I am going to ask them. They have lived their entire lives and raised their families under a shadow of suspicion and wonder. They read comments on Facebook, and they live in a town that does not know the real Ruby and has never cared enough to find out.

The conversation moves on to the time that she bought what she calls the corner house. The corner house now sits at the intersection of Cashua and Second Loop. When she bought the house, it was at the dead end of Second Loop; the road ended at Mrs. Ruby’s. The house was on sale at auction, the previous owner had come upon hard times. She looks at me then and tells me that no one would bid on the house at the auction and she had to bid against herself in order to buy it. Her son Kenny asks her to explain why no one would bid on the house. Mrs. Ruby pauses as if she hates to tell me. “No one would buy it because ___________** lived there.” That is all she says, as if that answers all the questions. Another prompt from Kenny, “Why is that?” She gets a twinkle in her eye then, she tells me “OH!! Well, she had GIRLS there!” I can’t help but laugh with her, her laughter is contagious. I also can’t resist asking, “What KIND of girls?” “You KNOW”, she replies but still hesitates to say the word. She leans closer as whispering, “The previous owner had prostitutes living there.” I ask her then, “You mean that is what the house was when you bought it?” There is no hesitation in her voice now, “It sure was. No one else would touch it for that reason, but I loved the corner house and I got it for a deal.” Her son looks at me then and quips, “Got it for a deal then, but paid for it for the rest of her life.”
Kenny is right of course, there is no price to be put on what stories then followed. Ruby doesn’t seem bothered. She is a simple woman, who does what she believes in and believes in what she does. I don’t think the opinions of others are high on the list of things that Mrs. Ruby worries about. Perhaps, the words of Margaret Mitchell are true of Mrs. Ruby, “Until you lose your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.”
Mrs. Ruby tells me of the late night knocks on her door. The caller would inevitably wonder what happed to the prior owner, and Mrs. Ruby would tell them through the door “If you want her or her girls, you better head on to Bennettsville, because that is where they moved.” She looks at me earnestly then, “I couldn’t live it down that I wasn’t a madame.” Her gaze doesn’t break. The reality is that as with every urban legend, Mrs. Ruby’s has taken on a life of its own.
Rumors aside, Mrs. Ruby loves the corner house. Years ago, when the city of Florence told her that they were going to bring Second Loop through her living room, she worried she would lose the charm of the corner house. While stories abound that she was able to keep the house in the county because of her connections, the reality is that there was nothing she could do to stop the expansion of Second Loop Road. If the rumors and stories of Mrs. Ruby’s connections were true, the road would stop at her house today. Instead, the road came straight through her property and the corner house was moved to make room. Kenny sums the situation up when he says, the truth is “Mrs. Ruby didn’t come to Florence, Florence came to Mrs. Ruby.”
As the seventh child born in the seventh month, Mrs. Ruby has connections all over town, but they are almost all through blood, marriage, or real estate deals. She doesn’t see me as an opportunity to set the story straight, she is more amused that anyone is interested in her or her life. Simple and straightforward she tells me all of her life that she can remember, and what a life it has been. When I first sat down at the table with Mrs. Ruby, I was unsure of what to expect. She was an enigma to me, part human, part living legend, part urban myth. I left with a very real sense of a woman that worked hard all of her life, a mother, a wife, a daughter. She is an example of hard work, fortitude, and perseverance. Her family may have lived under a shadow of suspicion and curiosity, but they can be proud to call Mrs. Ruby their own.

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Things I want to tell you…

So many things I want to tell you, but I’m retired!

Just Kidding! I’m MOSTLY retired.

I’ve done so much since my last post, so I will try to only tell you about recent interesting outings.

1. The Library (the restaurant) on Dargan Street: Y’all. I pink puffy heart love this place. I could go there every night. However, I need for you to take me and pay for my meal. I get something different every time I go and it makes me happy. I also want to roll in the chair from one side of the building to the other, but I think they may find that strange.

2. Jacks Place: An oldie but goody. I won’t lie. I quit going there for a while because I wasn’t thrilled. I went back a few times lately and HELLO! Great service and the best burger and fries I have had in a while.

3. Hotel Florence rooftop suite: Why can’t I live there? I have been to a handful of parties hosted in this suite with the porch on the roof and its wonderful. I haven’t ever seen any other rooms there, but if this one is an indicator, it is a huge bonus for Flo-town.

4. Addies Baby: We have our own “go paint and drink wine or have a kids birthday or your own birthday or just paint” place. Winter Moore is an absolute doll. I never call people “doll”, but she is one. She is funny and just enough sarcastic, and can teach you how to paint. Once. For a day. I wouldn’t try it without her guidance.

5. Tubbs on Second Loop: Great seafood place and you don’t have to drive to the Inlet and back. Is that how you grew up? Calling it “The Inlet” and not Murrells Inlet? I can’t tell you how many times we have driven down there for dinner and then come right back. Now you only have to scoot over to Second Loop.

6. Cibo: I love Stephanos so I really love Stephanos lite. It gets crowded, so go early or late. They also have a window where you can pick up food you called ahead about. (Starfire does too actually!)

Where have you eaten lately? What are the best restaurants in Florence? Did you know I always spell restaurant wrong?

Flossip Featuring reviews, to-do’s, and the not quite news in Florence, SC.


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