Family, Fostering, Free Writing

Let The Rehearsals Begin…


Dearest Readers:

Good morning, World. Another beautiful sunshiny day! After two cups of coffee and my morning yogurt parfait, I decided to rehearse the tentative songs for the show scheduled for late May — May 30, to be exact! All of my pups, with exception of grouchy little Hanks, were outside while I popped the CDG’s in the stereo. Turning the microphone on, I recognized it is not working. “Rats!”

“Unchained Melody,” starting playing, so I belted out the notes, moving and dancing around, I glanced at the carpet. Hanks the Tank sat motionless — something extremely out of character for him. His eyes stared at me, still motionless while listening to me sing.

I patted his head to thank him for his attention. The first notes of “At Last,” began, so I belted those long notes out. Hank is still mesmerized while listening to me singing.

The last song, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” is a duet I will sing with another singer. He has a great voice and I am honored to sing with him at rehearsals. As I sing the female notes, Hanks is still sitting about three feet from where I am dancing around. His eyes are still glued to me!

When I finish, Hanks approaches me…grumbling…as if to tell me he is enjoying listening to me. Funny. I’ve never noticed him listening to me while I sing. For me, this is the ultimate compliment. My energetic, grouchy, once terribly abused and unloved mini-schnauzer, Hanks the Tank, is letting me know how much he enjoys hearing me sing!

If all goes well, I will sing one song, and a duet at the show. I suppose I’ll share more details later. Now, I must decide what dress to wear. Those decisions are for a later date…after all, we still have rehearsals for all of us. We have a great bunch of singers for this variety show. No doubt it will be fun for all.

I cannot wait to get up on that stage and sing. Of course, you, my readers, know that — don’t you! This girl simply comes alive on stage! Yes, I was born to sing — and that is why I do it!

Today is a beautiful day. Think I’ll go work on my tan! Have a great weekend readers, and keep listening for more songs. Hanks is rubbing my leg now as if to say, “Sing…Sing…SING!”  Silly boy! Some people believe dogs do not enjoy music. I say — oh, yes — dogs LOVE music!

Maybe one day I will record a CD to share and to play — for my little Hanks! More details — LATER!

Press Releases

Gloria Gaynor at The Calvin Gilmore Theater


High Res Images available for download here:
http://www.gilmoreentertainment.info/Other/GloriaGaynor/

Gloria Gaynor at The Calvin Gilmore Theater August 30

Gloria Gaynor will appear at The Calvin Gilmore Theater on August 30 for an exclusive concert. Gloria and her band are bringing her critically acclaimed performance to the stage with all of her biggest hits—“Never Can Say Goodbye”,  “I Am What I Am”, “I Will Survive” and more. In addition to her powerhouse show, Gloria will add a local flair by inviting the Coastal Inspirational Ambassadors Gospel Choir (CIA) of Coastal Carolina University and the Socastee Singers each to perform in one special number with her.

Global superstar, World Music Award Honoree and Grammy Award winner, Gloria Gaynor, has topped the Billboard Music charts throughout her illustrious career spanning the past four decades. Her hit songs are known across the world and Gloria has performed in more than 80 countries. Gloria is also a Grammy Nominated author; an honor she received for the audio recording of her 2nd book, “We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song”. Gaynor’s famous “I Will Survive” not only became the greatest disco anthem of all time, but has also become an anthem for social survival across the world.

Gloria Gaynor will perform in Myrtle Beach for one night only, Sunday, August 30 at 6pm at The Calvin Gilmore Theater. Tickets will go on sale to the public April 26 and start at $49. To buy tickets call 800-843-6779, visit TheCalvinGilmoreTheater.com or visit the box office.

New Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Series

Gloria Gaynor is among many artists booked in the new Myrtle Beach Performing Arts series launched at The Calvin Gilmore Theater. The series launched with Garrison Keillor’s performance this past January and will also include Jungle Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live on June 14 and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder on August 16.  The Theater plans to bring you musical artists, but also to add in some high profile celebrity lecturers, authors, and political figures.

Gilmore says, “With its burgeoning local population, the area is ready for something new in entertainment—something that brings popular culture and an intellectual edge to the forefront.”

More Information about Calvin Gilmore and Gilmore Entertainment

Gilmore Entertainment and The Calvin Gilmore Theater have long been the leader of musical variety show entertainment in the Southeast, with the classic TCO show, their new hit, Thunder and Light, and the all new retro show, Time Warp. Gilmore and his shows have been featured by USA Today, NBC Nightly News, Southern Living Magazine, Variety, and a host of other newspapers and television shows. It is the only Myrtle Beach show to receive the coveted South Carolina Governor’s Cup, as well as being voted South Carolina’s Most Outstanding Attraction. In recent years, Gilmore has performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and he is designated as South Carolina’s Official Country Music Ambassador. 

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For further information contact:

Jordan Watkins  • 843-913-1453

jwatkins@GilmoreEntertainment.comhttp://www.TheCarolinaOpry.com

 

Chattahoochee Child, Free Writing, Motherhood

In Remembrance of My Mother On Her Birthday…


Monday, April 17, 1922 – the birth date of my mother. Today is her 93rd birthday, only she is no longer alive. She died on September 11, 2002 – under questionable circumstances. On the date she died, I was ill with acute bronchial asthma. Prednisone made me a zombie. My cognitive skills were disorganized. I did not hear of her death until the late afternoon of September 12 when my sister’s son phoned telling me ‘granny is gone.’ When I inquired about the details of her passing he said, “She died on September 11. Do you think they’ll do an autopsy?”

When he asked that inquiring question, I failed to comprehend WHAT he was saying; nevertheless, in the middle of the night, due to the side effects of Prednisone, those words replayed in my mind. Why would he be concerned about an autopsy? Just HOW did my mother die?  My mother resided in a nursing home, unable to move the left side of her body due to a stroke. On Mother’s Day 2002, I visited her at the nursing home, giving her a pair of cultured pearl earrings. When I put them in her ears, she touched her right ear. I haven’t seen that gentle side of my mother since I married.

Mother and I shared a bitter history as mother and daughter. Whenever I needed her love and acceptance, she lashed out at me with a bitter, poisonous tongue. If I made her angry, she grabbed my ponytail, tugging at it until my head ached. If I questioned why she was so mean to me, her hand slapped my face, leaving bruises.

After marriage, I broke away from my mother, deciding it was better for me and my husband to make a life without her destructive ways. Every year on her birthday, I sent a card. Later in life, when she was frail, I visited her, hoping when I arrived she would embrace me. Never did I feel the warmth of a mother’s embrace.

I was curious as to why my mother was so bitter. Did life throw her lemons? Why was she so angry? Was she bi-polar? Never did I find answers to so many questions. I prayed she would release the anger and find happiness. Regardless of our volatile history, she was my mother. I loved her.

Now, that she is gone, I still think of her, wishing our paths were different. Today is a day of remembrance for her. Even though we were estranged, I still crave a mother’s love. Happy Birthday to my Mom with my love. Years before her death, I wrote a poem about our relationship, choosing to let it rest inside my computer.

To Wish You a Happy Birthday

Mom:

This poem is written especially for you,

In hopes, someday our dreams will come true.

When I was a child, you laughed at me. In hopes I would see,

How foolish life’s dreams can be.

Now, that I am grown, and you and I are so far apart,

My wish for you is that one day you will start—

To see the beauty in life,

Along with the belief in dreams.

Perhaps then, you will understand

Life’s unspoken dreams.

I wish you happiness on your birthday,

Even though I am miles away.

My dream for you is a hope and belief,

That one day, you will believe.

Happy Birthday Mom. Even though we were never close,

I wish you special thoughts, for joys and happiness we lost.

On your special birthday. I think of you often and love you unconditionally.

Barbie Perkins-Cooper

 

 

Travel Writing

 Here Comes the Bride: Ways to Ease Bridal Jitters


Wedding day – the ultimate day a young girl dreams about from early childhood, until the glorious event arrives. A wedding day requires much preparation, planning the details, mailing invitations, ordering flowers, finding just the right cake, reception, and planning the honeymoon. The list of Things to Do seems endless. Exhausted, the bride starts losing sleep, she snaps at friends and family. She is described as having the wedding day blues, or maybe – she has cold feet. Bridal stress is common during this time. The bride strives to please everyone so the most special day of her life will be memorable, only to feel jittery and tearful when she recognizes everyone else is adding their viewpoints to the never-ending details. The latest trend for brides-to-be is a relaxing day at the spa. While there are a variety of spas available, many are targeting wedding events.

 

The Tides Inn

The Tides Inn, located in Irvington, Virginia, on the Chesapeake Bay at Carter’s Creek, is a secluded resort where privacy and relaxation are catered to everyone, especially for the bride before her big day. The Spa provides several retreat packages for the bride to be, including The Tides Indulgence Day Package, supplying an aromatherapy benefiting the body and mind. This 90-minute package includes an Essential Oil Massage with wrap, followed with a 60-minute Marine Herbal Facial and an Ultimate Pedicure.

 

The Shores Resort and Spa

The Shores Resort and Spa, located in Daytona Beach, Florida, offers bridal packages to ease the pre and post wedding day stresses. The bride will enjoy the Javanese Lulur Royal spa treatment, consisting of a Balinese massage with vital oils, an herbal exfoliation, leading to a refreshing body that glows for the special day, followed by a stimulating cool yogurt splash and a scented shower. Additional treatments include the Chocolate Raspberry Peppermint Delight Package, where the bride experiences a delicious, sensuous treatment of a chocolate and raspberry massage, followed with a peppermint pedicure. Another popular day spa treatment is the I Love You So “Berry” Much body wrap. This relaxing mask eases the tired, stressed muscles and purifies the body. Bridal pampering continues with the Bilberry Facial. The final indulgence for the bride includes the Chocolate Raspberry Hot Stone Pedicure. Imagine tired, aching feet soothing the stress of wedding day blues away by receiving a massage of warm stones on the feet and lower legs while your senses are tempted with the delicate aroma of chocolate raspberries.

 

Opulence Medi Spa

Opulence Medi Spa located in Daytona Beach, suggests unique spa treatments. Hosting bridal parties with massage and body wraps, skin services, waxing and make up tips, Opulence Medi Spa provides gift certificates, specialty gift bags and baskets, and services for the entire bridal party.

 

Practicing Spa Treatment Etiquette:

Spa treatments are a great way for the bridal party to relax prior to the wedding. Like many details of the wedding day, spa treatment etiquette should be practiced. For example, the bride and her bridal party should arrive for the scheduled appointment twenty minutes early. Many brides choose not to wear makeup to the spa treatment. Dress comfortably and be certain to leave all jewelry at home. If you carry a cell phone, please turn it off since the spa treatment is a place to meditate, relax and unwind, not chat on the telephone. Most day spas have age restrictions for guests, requiring those fifteen or younger to have parental consent. When booking a spa treatment for a child, inquire about age requirements and policies of the spa. Another consideration not to forget is the gratuity of 20%.

On Arrival

When arriving, check in with the desk early enough so the bridal party will have ample time to change into a robe and slippers. Introduce yourself to the front desk and relax. Focus on breathing and relaxation techniques while experiencing a little bit of Heaven as your body and mind exfoliates the stress of wedding day blues away. Now, you may dream about your special wedding day, knowing your body and mind will glow as you walk down the aisle to build a new life of wedding day bliss, not stress.

If You Go:

The Tides Inn Spa is located in Irvington, VA. Their web site is located at:

http://www.tidesinn.com/spa/

 

Shores Resort and Spa:

Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, visit the web site:

http://www.shoresresort.com/

 

Opulence Medi Spa is located in Daytona Beach, Florida. Visit the web site:

http://www.opulencemedispa.com/

 

Barbie Perkins Cooper is a talented, award-winning writer of travel guides, screenplays, fiction, non-fiction, plays, and numerous articles for regional, trade and travel publications. She lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

 

 

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ARTICLES, Toasts to the Most Influential People We Meet, Travel Writing

The Art of Making Chocolate…


 

 

 

Shawn Askinosie shares his passion for chocolate beans and the art of making chocolate
Photo credit: Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Editorial photojournalist

Shawn Askinosie, The Chocolate Maker of Springfield, is Raising the Bar for His Passion in Life as a ChocolatierDSC_0174

Stepping inside the aromatic setting of Askinosie Chocolate Factory tempts the taste buds of anyone who craves the tantalizing taste of chocolate. Located in a historical building built in 1894 in the commercial district of Springfield, Missouri, this chocolate factory makes chocolate artistry that snaps. Askinosie Chocolate Factory is the newfound passion of Shawn Askinosie, a former criminal attorney who chose to leave the hustle, bustle of the courtroom scene, for his newfound passion as a chocolatier. Discovering his passion for baking began a few years ago when he was searching to ease the stress of criminal law. He found therapeutic relief when baking cupcakes and pastries. Unbeknownst to former clients, his law degrees are now displayed in the men’s room of his factory while he pursues a passion he dreamed about and now lives, the love and euphoria of chocolate making.
As time progressed, he discovered he wanted to learn more about chocolate, especially the art of roasting cacao beans and the art of chocolate making. Researching his newfound passion, he chose to learn all he could about the chocolate industry. Traveling to meet with farmers in the Amazon rain forest, he found a new calling in life. Although the process of chocolate making is tedious, for Shawn tasting the raw beans in the pod, dealing with the farmers, and striving for the highest quality product he demands, Askinosie Chocolate Factory is raising the bar to a new standard for the artistry of chocolate making.
Changing his career to follow his dreams, Shawn Askinosie works diligently to create the best chocolate available, roasting chocolate beans, grinding and melting the chocolate until it meets his high standards. Askinosie is the first chocolate maker outside of Mexico to make chocolate. He travels internationally to Mexico, the Amazons, introducing himself to the farmers who grow chocolate trees. He has many farmers in each region and he shares the profits with the farmers.
He contributes an amazing percentage of the tour profits of Askinosie Chocolate Factory to cocoa educational programs, collaborating with universities. He is a wealth of information about chocolate, the history, and development, and the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Unlike the demands of criminal law, the artistry of making chocolate requires lots of time and patience. The process could best be described as intense and time-consuming, something Shawn is accustomed to practicing during his career as a lawyer. Cacao beans are stored in a climate-controlled environment. The beans are cleaned and roasted at a high temperature. The roasting process of cocoa is similar to the roasting procedure of coffee beans.
There are many steps to making chocolate and Shawn is proud that Askinosie Chocolate Factory performs all the steps to make the chocolate the proper consistency, gloss and snap. He wants to create the perfect, most delectable flavor he can to the chocolate beans and give them a creamy, smooth texture. There are many health benefits related to dark chocolate and the nibs have a nutty taste with anti-oxidants that are good for your health.
Tempering, a delicate procedure of melting the chocolate at just the right temperature, is one of the most difficult procedures. “If the temperature is one degree off, the batch of chocolate is ruined,” said Askinosie. “The art of making chocolate is a lot harder than baking cupcakes.” Askinosie Chocolate has a gloss and snap, one of the secret qualities of pure chocolate artistry.

Following His Passion:

Shawn Askinosie has lived an interesting life, including living in Japan for a while, and working with Vietnamese refugees. Reaching burn out from the demands of law, he felt blessed to find a new passion in baking and chocolate artistry. During school tours at Askinosie Chocolate Factory, he stresses the importance of education and goals to students, encouraging them to “Don’t do the same thing over and over in life. Follow your passion.”

Tours of Askinosie Chocolate Factory are held every Tuesday at 3pm. Excited to share his knowledge and expertise about the art of making chocolate, the factory shares 100% of money from the tours with partnerships with universities and cocoa educational programs.

After touring the immaculate factory, it is easy to understand why Shawn changed his lawyer suit threads for the passion he expresses so eloquently as a chocolatier. Believing in yourself, seeking your dreams and following your passion makes for a great recipe for success and happiness while enjoying the delicate taste of chocolate.

 

If You Go:
Visit Askinosie Chocolate Factory at 514 E. Commercial, Springfield, MO. Phone 417-862-9900. Visit the website: http://www.askinosie.com/ for additional information and to subscribe to the newsletter or order chocolates.

Barbie Perkins-Cooper is a travel writer, photojournalist specializing in hospitality, food and wine and photography. Residing in Charleston, South Carolina, Barbie is the author of “Career Diary of a Photographer,” and “Condition of Limbo.” In September 2007, she was chosen as an approved artist for literary arts with the SC Arts Commission Arts in Education Roster of Approved Artists.

Music Notes, Press Releases

The Top 10 Workout Songs for April 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Top 10 Workout Songs for April 2015

Fort Wayne, IN – April 1, 2015 – Spring is in full swing, the weather is warming, and April’s top 10 songs will bring the heat to your workout as well. This month’s picks provide a steady rhythm with most of the mix clocking in between 122 and 130 beats per minute (BPM). Within that range, you’ll find chart returns from both Carly Rae Jepsen and Ricky Martin and the latest from Ariana Grande and Andy Grammar.
On the warm-up and cool down fronts, you’ll find an upbeat tune from Jason Derulo and a remix from Skrillex and Diplo’s Jack Ü side project featuring Missy Elliott. Lastly, while pop and dance hits generally rule the gym, the most popular workout song of the month actually came from Kid Rock. At 132 BPM, the title track from his new album First Kiss is also the fastest song in this month’s playlist.
While some months’ selections vary wildly, April’s favorites make a virtue of their consistency. Along those lines, the mix features plenty of quick tunes, an emphasis on good vibes, and a few surprises to keep things interesting—everything you need to get up and moving.
Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.
Jason Derulo – Want to Want Me – 115 BPM

Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You – 122 BPM

Ricky Martin – Adios – 128 BPM

Zedd & Selena Gomez – I Want You to Know – 130 BPM

Madonna – Living for Love (Dirty Pop Remix) – 129 BPM

Ariana Grande – One Last Time – 126 BPM

Deorro & Chris Brown – Five More Hours – 128 BPM

Andy Grammer – Honey, I’m Good. – 123 BPM

Kid Rock – First Kiss – 132 BPM

Jack Ü & Kiesza – Take Ü There (Missy Elliott Remix) – 80 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Contact:
Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: mail@runhundred.com

Toasts to the Most Influential People We Meet, Travel Writing

Philip Simmons The Charleston Gatekeeper


A story I published in 2002 about the “Charleston Gatekeeper, Mr. Philip Simmons. Simmons was an amazing man to interview and meet. I still remember the passion held in his eyes. Now, we in the Charleston community remember him as a legacy. A tall, humble man with kind eyes and a pleasant voice. One of the most admirable characters I have ever met. Rest in peace, Philip Simmons!

Philip Simmons
The Charleston Gatekeeper
Hammering His Way into History

by

Barbie Perkins-Cooper

His eyes embrace a gentle, caring nature. When he speaks, his voice is soft and harmonious, demonstrating the pleasant, soft-spoken Southern gentleman named Philip Simmons, an internationally known blacksmith. Although he is almost 90 years old, he stands tall and upright, walking with a determined stride, passion dancing in his eyes.
Born on June 9, 1912 on Daniel Island, South Carolina, Simmons is truly an inspiration to others, a role model to the City of Charleston and the artistry he preserves.
He was just a small boy when he came to Charleston in 1920, with a gleam in his eyes, determination in his pace. Following the advice of his grandfather he moved from Daniel Island to Charleston to pursue his schooling.

Discovered His Passion

One day while walking in Charleston, he discovered a blacksmith shop. He entered the shop, watching the blacksmith while he worked. The blacksmith moved methodically hammering the iron into bits and pieces of works of art. Philip recognized he had discovered his life’s work. He told the blacksmith he wanted to learn the trade of a blacksmith, because he wanted a job. The blacksmith listened, encouraging the young lad to return when he was older.

When Simmons turned 13 in 1925, he returned to the blacksmith’s shop, working as an apprentice for Peter Simmons, a former slave, blacksmith, and mentor to Philip Simmons. Although not related, Peter Simmons saw something extraordinary in Philip Simmons and took him under his thumbs teaching Philip the artistry of blacksmithing.

Perceptive of the artistry of his protégé and friend, Peter Simmons, Philip Simmons strove to learn all that he could about iron working. He cleaned the shop, repaired items, and when the automobile era began, he found himself working on automobile metals, shaping iron objects into useful items for cars, and wagons. Continuing to expand his passion for his love of blacksmithing, in 1939 Simmons turned his infatuation with iron work into a lifetime career by repairing iron gates. Within a year or two he was making garden gates, stair banisters, balconies, and fences. Years later, Peter Simmons left him with a legacy and trade that would last Philip Simmons a lifetime.

Blacksmith Craftsmanship

The craftsmanship of a blacksmith dates back many centuries in history. Blacksmiths construct pieces of iron into objects by hammering the piece on an anvil. The metal is heated until it blazes with a burnt reddish shade of fire; then, the blacksmith welds the objects into shapes of his inspiration. The craftsmanship of a blacksmith can be a long, detailed process; nevertheless for Philip Simmons, the skill of blacksmithing is more than a job, or obligation. Blacksmithing is a part of his character, revealing the heart and soul of his personality. Working with irons, metals, hammers, tools, and fires reveals a visual portrait of the man he is. Excitement burns in his eyes, while his tall, lean muscular stature exemplifies the strapping sense of pride he has about the art form.

Simmons scribbles the inspiration for his designs on pieces of paper, or anything he can get his hands on when the ideas occur. Much of Simmons work reflects nature, because “I love to be outdoors,” he says with a grin. “Sometimes I look outside and see a bird, a leaf, a fish, or something close to nature, and I draw it on paper. I just love nature.”

Simmons Became a Family Man

During the 1930’s, Simmons lost his wife at a young age, leaving him with three small children. Fortunately, he found the strength to raise the children. “I didn’t find it too difficult. I had the good Lord watching over us, and I had two grown sisters who helped me with the children, chores, and myself.”

Living in a time of his life when most senior citizens are enjoying retirement, Simmons is still active at his shop. “I keep the shop open for the tourists, tour busses that drop by and for my cousin, Joseph Pringle,” he said. “Sometimes I go to teach blacksmithing with the South Carolina Blacksmith Association. Just a few weeks ago I went to Columbia to teach a class. I keep the shop open, and in some sense, I am still active. I no longer do the hard work of blacksmithing, but I do most of the drawings myself.”

International Fame

Philip Simmons is internationally known for his blacksmith talents. Charleston residents, the Historic Charleston Foundation, and South Carolina State Museum, located in Columbia are only a few of the commissioned ornamental works by Philip Simmons. In 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Simmons the National Heritage Fellowship. In 1994 he was recognized by the State of South Carolina, inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in Myrtle Beach, SC. The Smithsonian Museum has some of his work, along with an ornamental gazebo located at Charleston International Airport. In 1996, Simmons created a wrought iron gate for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Years back I did not do anything to distinguish my signature, but later, I used a stamp, putting my name and signature on the pieces,” he whispers.

Deeply religious, Simmons takes little credit for his accomplishments, preferring to give all the recognition to “the Lord, customers, and the children.”

Simmons is still active in the City of Charleston. “I’m a member of the YMCA, Boys Club and active in my church. I like being involved with kids, and I do all I can to provide deserving students a chance.”

Simmons lives on the East side of Charleston because he wants to preserve the site and his shop for future generations. “This place has four generations of blacksmiths here, starting with Peter Simmons, Guy Simmons, myself, and my cousin, Joseph Pringle. I hope this site is preserved. I lived a long time here,” he said with a smile.

When tourists arrive to see his shop and samples of his ornamental iron art work, he welcomes them. “They just want to meet a man who still does blacksmith work. They probably heard about me somewhere and just want to see the blacksmith shop.”

Walking in his shop, works of iron are remembrances of earlier times in America. “Some old ways were the best ways,” he grins. “I’ve been blessed by the good Lord,” he says, “So, I provide deserving kids a chance by teaching them how to blacksmith and to help them get an education. I tell them to work hard. I talk to the kids, deserving kids, and I do all I can to help them. When they come by to thank me, I am rewarded. Almost every day some kid will stop by to thank me for what I did, and that is my reward.”

Although Philip Simmons is a bit modest, stating that all he wanted to pursue in blacksmithing was a job; now, he has become an icon to the City of Charleston and the history and preservation of blacksmith artistry.

“Sometimes the old methods still work. I have to give all the credit to the Lord. I had to work hard to please the customers, because if you don’t have customers, you don’t have work. And if you don’t have work, you don’t have food on the table. I built things on quality, not quantity, respecting others while I worked. I’ve been blessed, so I try to bless others.”
With a passionate twinkle in his eyes, Philip Simmons, his name, artistry, and his love for blacksmith creations will remain as a hallmark to all who admire the works of a blacksmith. Hammering his way to preserve the tools of a trade no longer in demand as it was in the past, Philip Simmons is honored to be the Charleston Gatekeeper.

Press Releases

Jungle Jack Hanna Brings Into the Wild LIVE! To Myrtle Beach


For Immediate Release
April 1, 2015
(843) 913-1453

Editorial note: High res photos available at http://www.gilmoreentertainment.info/Other/Jack-Hannas-Into-the-WIld-Live/

Jungle Jack Hanna Brings Into the Wild LIVE! To Myrtle Beach

The Calvin Gilmore Theater • June 14, 2015

– Tickets on sale now –

America’s most beloved animal expert, Jack Hanna, brings his three-time Emmy Award-winning television series to the live stage with Into the Wild Live! at The Calvin Gilmore Theater on June 14, 2015. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased at TheCarolinaOpry.com/SpecialEvents, 800-843-6779 or at The Calvin Gilmore Theater box office.

In this live show, prepare to be fascinated as Jungle Jack takes you into the wild with a spectacular array of incredible animals. Jack will also share humorous stories and amazing footage from his adventures all around the world from Africa, to the Amazon, to Antarctica and beyond. He will also inspire with his passion and dedication to wildlife conservation.

Audiences can expect to see approximately fifteen animals in the live experience. The exact animals to appear aren’t confirmed until shortly before the show since each animal must receive medical clearance, however, fans can expect to see animals such as a baby cheetah, kangaroo, baby tiger, two-toed sloth, penguin and much more.

Recognized around the country as America’s favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances on shows such as Good Morning America, Ellen, and The Late Show with David Letterman where he has made nearly 100 appearances. In 2013, Jack celebrated his 35th “Hanna-versary” as Director Emeritus with the Columbus Zoo and Good Morning America celebrated their 30-year relationship with Jack with a series of special segments.

In 1993, Jack became the host of Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, a nationally syndicated television series which ran for over ten years. In October 2007, his current tv series, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, was born. This unscripted and action-packed series shows Jack and his family as they explore the corners of the globe and discover amazing animals and cultures. Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild is the recipient of three Emmy Awards, winning in the category of Outstanding Children’s Series in 2008, 2012 and 2013.

His second and newest TV show, Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown, airs on Saturday mornings around the country on ABC. Wild Countdown features some of Jack’s favorite experiences with the world’s rarest, most endearing, and fascinating animals. You’ll even get to see his base camp at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Both television series exist because of Jack’s longstanding partnerships with Nationwide Insurance and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium whom Jack has worked with for decades to protect and spread the word about wildlife conservation.

About Mills Entertainment

Mills Entertainment is a leading producer and promoter of branded live entertainment. Mills collaborates with top brands and personalities to develop, market and produce live theatrical events throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Some current projects include Theresa Caputo Live, FX’s Archer Live, Cesar Millan Live, MTV’s Guy Code + Girl Code Comedy Tour and America’s Test Kitchen Live with Christopher Kimball. http://www.millsentertainment.com

New Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Series

Jack Hanna is the third artist to be announced in the new Myrtle Beach Performing Arts series launched at The Calvin Gilmore Theater. The series was launched with Garrison Keillor’s performance this past January and Ricky Skaggs was announced earlier in March. The Theater plans to bring you musical artists, but also to add in some high profile celebrity lecturers, authors, and political figures. Possible artists include Calvin Trillin, Bill Bryson, Frank Abagnale, Pat Conroy, Michael Bolton, Kevin James, Rachael Ray and various tribute bands.

More Information about Calvin Gilmore and Gilmore Entertainment

Gilmore Entertainment and The Calvin Gilmore Theater have long been the leader of musical variety show entertainment in the Southeast, with the classic TCO show, their new hit, Thunder and Light, and the soon to be released all new retro show, Time Warp. Gilmore and his shows have been featured by USA Today, NBC Nightly News, Southern Living Magazine, Variety, and a host of other newspapers and television shows. It is the only Myrtle Beach show to receive the coveted South Carolina Governor’s Cup, as well as being voted South Carolina’s Most Outstanding Attraction. In recent years, Gilmore has performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and he is designated as South Carolina’s Official Country Music Ambassador.

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For interviews, high-resolution photos, or more information, please contact:

Jordan Watkins • 843-913-1453

jwatkins@GilmoreEntertainment.com