Introducing Paul Gaymon, Attorney at Law


My son, Paul Gaymon, has started his own law firm, The Gaymon Law Firm, PLLC. He helps people with substantial tax debt and other serious financial problems.

Paul is licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., but can represent clients throughout the United States before the Internal Revenue Service. His web site is Take a look!

Returning to the fold and to the work



As of this past Monday, May 9, 2016, I have officially returned to the Florence County Republican Party, and have accepted the appointment once again as county party Secretary.

FYI – I resigned from the GOP in 2010 in order to publicly support a life-long friend, Ed Clements, who was running for reelection as Solicitor for the 12th Judicial Circuit. Ed was running as a Democrat and the local GOP also had a candidate running for that office. Our local and state GOP Rules rightly required that I resign from office as county GOP secretary, and so I did.

Over the past six years, several people have called on me and visited, encouraging me to return to active participation in local GOP politics. But health-related activities were keeping me very, very busy in those days – primarily staying alive! See for reports on those past (and present) adventures.

This week, however, when new Chairman Mal Weatherly (also a longtime friend) called to recruit me, I prayerfully considered and accepted the appointment, resuming my active role as Florence County GOP Secretary. The announcement was made at this month’s GOP meeting.

Maintaining party records are important and accurate record-keeping is important. This year’s elections are truly important!

What is more important to me, however, is doing what I believe God wants me personally to be doing every single day – doing it obediently, faithfully, efficiently and effectively, always dependent on His presence and help. That’s my plan in accepting this new /  old assignment.

If you’d really like to know more about me and my past activities, please see the About Bette page. And feel free to call (843-629-0225) or email ( me if I can answer any questions about any of this.


Words mean things


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CapriTheater02X-rated movies were unheard of in Florence, SC when my children were toddlers. Some smaller towns nearby aired off-color films in their theaters, late at night and with little advertising.

But then one of our main Florence theaters began advance advertising for a “coming attraction,” our very first adult film with an X-rating.

The local daily paper carried the ad on the appropriate entertainment page; it was one of those in-your-face, I-dare-you-to-object sort of advertisements.

Reading the ad with misgivings, I carefully checked to see what hours the film would run. Surely it wouldn’t be until late in the evening, after normal family movie-goer hours, I thought. No. It would be run in the usual evening prime-time slot for several days.

One well-known and well-thought-of family had owned our local movie houses for many years. I wouldn’t have thought they’d be agreeable to this (I still don’t know if they were), or if they were being required to offer this movie in order to get other, more popular films of the day.

No matter. We had a few days’ notice, so I knew if anyone wanted to protest, they could write letters to the theater owners. I wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. I wish I had kept a copy – it was titled, Words Mean Things.

It wasn’t just that I objected to showing this type of movie in Florence. I objected to the offensive advertising, the marquee posters that would appear, the billboards and the newspaper ads. I objected to the words and the images that would be seen not just by the adults the film was designed for, but by the children of our area.

That movie house was right on the main street of our town, right between a residential and commercial area. It was sandwiched between family restaurants and grocery stores.

It was an excellent location for a theater, actually. But not for the kind of blatant, off-color images and language that would accompany that movie – which would be the first of many such rated films, if this one succeeded in airing.

The newspaper didn’t change a single word of my letter. Since it was over their usual word limit, the editor called to ask my permission to publish it without changes of any kind. There was no editing, no cutting. The letter ran as-is.

But the movie never ran.

A few days after my letter was published, another ad appeared: Due to public sentiment the X-rated movie had been cancelled. Apparently my letter had hit a nerve. Many other people wrote letters of their own, followed by many phone calls to the theater owners.

The powers that be – whoever they were – feared a full-scale protest was about to happen, complete with marchers carrying signs. I didn’t foresee that happening and certainly didn’t suggest any such thing, but it was a definite possibility had the film ever opened in Florence.

Well, it was a long time after that before Florence did run an X-rated movie, and by then I didn’t live in town and didn’t keep up with movie fare.

But I’ve never forgotten the power of the words. Words mean things, but the message won’t get out if those words aren’t spoken. Or written.

See something, say something


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How can I demonstrate God’s love? See something, say something, maybe.

SkateboardBoyHe looked to be about 8 years old, the kid focused on the front edge of his skate board as he determinedly rode up and down my street. His track was the pavement in front of several houses on my block.

I stood at the window sipping a cup of coffee, watching his progress as he got the hang of his new gadget.

Back and forth, back and forth he went, the clattering sound of skateboard wheels on the rough pavement reaching into my living room. The expression on his face showed how much he was concentrating – how fast can I go, how fast can I turn, can I do a flip – normal stuff for a kid when there’s no skateboard ramp nearby.

He was still focused down at his feet when the car came up behind him. There were no sidewalks in our neighborhood, only a few cement driveways. Any of those would have been safe for him to swerve onto to get out of the car’s way.

But he was facing the wrong way, he didn’t hear the car, and so he didn’t swing onto the nearest driveway. He kept right on pushing, right in the street, right in the path of that oncoming car.

There was a posted speed limit but our street being a short cut between two major roads, many drivers ignored it. They often speeded up instead. Still watching, I frowned as I realized that the driver didn’t see the boy. In a minute it would be too late for him to stop.

What should I have done? It wasn’t my problem. That wasn’t my child. I didn’t know his family. They shouldn’t have let him play in the street anyway. Is that what I should have thought?

No. I jerked open the front door and ran outside yelling at the top of my lungs. Hey! Hey? Car! Car!

Both boy and driver saw my flailing arms, thankfully. The car veered into the other lane – good thing there was no oncoming traffic – and the boy jumped for the shallow ditch in front of my house. The car kept right on going, tragedy averted.

Had I been acting in “love,” the way some well-meaning folks seem to define it, I would have simply smiled and kept silent. I would have let the boy continue on his way, oblivious to danger. Would have let the driver commit vehicular manslaughter. Heaven forbid that I should offend somebody with harsh words, hurt the feelings of someone going down the path to eternal destruction.

But that’s not my heart. Not Holy Spirit’s heart, either.

If I see someone who is being deceived (and/or deceiving others), I will probably say something. Write something, maybe. Something, like Hey! Hey! Danger! Danger!

Offensive? Well, “offend” means to stop someone, to turn them out of the way they’re going, so yes. Out of the path of the deceiver.

That tendency has sometimes gotten me into hot water. It has made me the target of sarcastic words to my face and worse words behind my back. Rude online articles sometimes. Or passive-aggressive hostility, the silent treatment from friends who don’t know me or my heart very well.

But it has also gotten some folks free of deceptive entanglements that could have ruined their lives, and helped others avoid that path in the first place.

Proper Semantics About Terrorists

Shootin' the Breeze

I listened to President Obama give an address in the aftermath of the terrorist killings in San Bernardino.  Let me see whether I followed his message.

President Obama does not want to call this terrorist act as an act of Islamic terrorists because Islam is a religion of peace so these particular terrorists cannot be Islamic terrorists, by definition, because they follow a perverted version of Islam that is not true Islam.

He is unwilling to accept that these terrorists themselves apparently thought (mistakenly, it now seems) that they were followers of Islam.

Therefore, he does not believe groups that use “Islamic” in their names, such as the ISIS and ISIL, are accurate in calling themselves Islamic.  It seems that he is the person who gets to decide who is Islamic and who is not, regardless of what they call themselves.

He ought to know, better than I, what constitutes…

View original post 369 more words


Have you ever been persecuted for your faith?

Not beaten up or shot, imprisoned and tortured as many believers in Jesus around the world are suffering. But maybe just annoyed, aggravated, irritated, made nervous and hesitant about sharing your faith any further in public?

Whenever you’re in the public eye, small or large public, you make yourself a target. In the late 1980’s, many right-wing pro-life Christian activists worked in the political arena and thus made themselves visible targets. I was one of them.

A United States Congressman from my state was running for re-election. He was a left-wing liberal, pro-abortion and pro-big government, and yet he called himself a Christian. (He wasn’t. No fruit.) He was well funded.

Tim and I supported one of his several opponents, one whose beliefs and stances on the issues were in line with ours. He was not well funded.

A debate was held in the local library meeting room. It had been publicized throughout our multi-county district and was attended by several hundred citizens, plus a few TV and print reporters.

Tim and I arrived early and took seats on the front row nearest the entry. As we were already known in the district for community and political volunteerism, a number of people came over to greet us.

When it came time for comments from the candidates, the US Congressman looked straight at me. He did not call my name, although obviously he knew it. He bluntly called me a Nazi, because I so publicly and vocally disagreed with his position on abortion. Taken aback at how ugly and vicious his words were, I could feel my face turning red.

He went on to recount his voting record, his support of the liberal agenda in Washington, and promised more of the same if re-elected.

Our candidate was an older man, a lanky, “red-neck” farmer, not sophisticated in his appearance or manner, but nevertheless he eloquently stated his belief system, his reasons for running for office, and his positions on the issues that affected our district.

It was quite an educational event. Many of our friends came by afterward to sympathize and commiserate on the verbal attack from the platform. We just thanked them for their attendance and asked them to vote for our candidate.

But, the Congressman won in that election, and the next, and the next. After a while no-one had guts enough to run against him. He became a polished, professional politician, racking up many thousands of left-wing dollars along the way.

Eventually our congressional district was split and my town became part of a new district. Our current Congressman is one with high moral standards and one I am very comfortable supporting.

That wasn’t the only time I faced disagreement on the issues, but it was the first from such a public figure, in such an ugly outburst, in such a public forum. I realized then that when you put your name and your face and your voice and your hands and feet out into the public arena for a cause you believe in, you need moral and spiritual guts. You need a thick skin!

You need to determine how much you’re willing to risk, ahead of time. The only way you can stand up and continue to stand, speak out and continue to speak, is by knowing that the Lord who called you to do this assignment lives inside you where it matters.

When someone who disagrees with you calls you a Nazi, Jesus calls you his beloved.

Giving of thanks


ThanksgivingCornucopiaThis may be the first Thanksgiving I stay home, alone. No family dinners, no church dinners, no dinners out at a local restaurant.

In years past this day was usually spent in someone else’s house, grandparents or in-laws, with my contribution limited to a covered dish or two.

All that changed the year after Tim died. Invitations still arrived. Occasionally I accepted, prepared a covered dish and traveled to a relative’s home, and occasionally I declined.

One year I attended Thanksgiving dinner at my church, sitting with several people I knew and hoping for a relaxed, meaningful conversation around the table. But no, it was as if the other folks were in a hurry to gobble down their turkey and return home to watch a football game, take a nap or something.

Not a fast eater myself, after the first twenty minutes or so I was left to munch the balance of my meal alone. Might as well have been back at home.

Last year a group of family members and I dined at a local buffet restaurant, standing in line for a long while before being crowded into a dining room surrounded by hundreds of like-minded (“I didn’t feel like cooking this year”) strangers.

Elbow to elbow our group crammed into place against an outside wall. Plates and tea glasses jostled one another on a too-small table in the too-noisy room. It was hard to have any conversation, let alone a relaxed one.

This year I made an executive decision. I will stay home.

Meat is off my menu now (whole foods plant-based diet), so no turkey. But favorite dishes are easy to prepare at home, like brown rice with black or red beans, topped with finely chopped onions and a dash of hot sauce. Accompanied by cole slaw or steamed kale.

OBroccoliPastar maybe broccoli and whole-wheat pasta. Perhaps grilled zucchini with yellow squash as a side dish, and/or marinated raw vegetables (diced tomatoes/celery/green peppers/onion/cucumbers with a splash of vinegar and olive oil and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash). Hmm.

Red-skinned potatoes steamed with thin-sliced cabbage and onions sound good… I might bake a couple of sweet potatoes for dessert or mid-afternoon snack.

Oh well, I’ll decide when I get up in the morning, fix whatever strikes my fancy while watching a parade or two. All that sounds colorful, doesn’t it? And it will be delicious!

After lunch will come old movies and a nap. Maybe a book. It will be the most thankful, “thanksgivingness” Thanksgiving day I’ve had in a long time. I will enjoy every minute, being grateful to the Lord who has blessed me tremendously this year.


New way of living


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chowderSeveral months ago my family doctor suggested I read some of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s online material about a whole foods / plant-based diet and consider changing the way I eat.

I had just been diagnosed with an incurable blood vessel disease affecting heart and lungs (pulmonary hypertension resulting in congestive heart failure). It was an unpleasant diagnosis to say the least.

After a referral to cardiology, some prescription medicines were added or adjusted to cope with symptoms, particularly fatigue and shortness of breath.

But I didn’t want to just cope with symptoms. I wanted to get well. I asked several like-minded friends to pray with me about this, knowing the Lord wants me to be healthy, strong, able to do whatever he needs me to do every day.

Next I began studying. Dr. Esselstyn (Cleveland Clinic) has done years of research and treatment for severely-ill cardiac patients. This particular diet is the only one proven medically by Cleveland Clinic and others to both prevent – and reverse – blood vessel disease. (They suggested taking a good multivitamin that included B complex vitamins, which I already did.)

And so, after reading through multiple website pages and medical research, I have made this change. I no longer eat anything “with a face.” That means no meat, no fish, no eggs and no dairy. Dr. Esselstyn recommends no oil and no nuts and I eat little of those now, as a rule.

Instead I eat more green leafy vegetables, more whole grains and rice, more beans and peas, more potatoes white and sweet, more corn. Whole foods. Little to no processed foods like white flour, white rice or white sugar.

At the recommendation of my son, I ordered a supply of dehydrated vegetables, especially beans and peas. These are already cleaned, cooked and then dried, which speeds up meal preparation time a great deal. Instead of several hours to cook a pot of dried beans, it now takes me about 15 minutes. I don’t cook with very much salt at all, just sprinkle a little over anything that really needs it.

I’m not a fanatic about all this. If I’m eating out with friends, I choose a vegetable meal and don’t agonize about whether there is oil or sugar cooked in the veggies.

After two months I’ve lost about 13 pounds. My blood pressure is way down, so much that I can eliminate some of my BP meds and hope to eventually cut them all out. Amazingly, I no longer need the arthritis medicine I’d taken for 50 years!

And coffee – although I’ve been a coffee drinker all my life, 4-5 cups a day, I just don’t think about it very much now. One cup when I first get up in the morning, maybe one more during the day, but sometimes after the first few swallows I forget to drink the rest of the cup.

Here’s what I had to eat yesterday:

  • Breakfast: one whole-wheat waffle, several chunks of canned pineapple and half of a fresh banana. One cup of coffee.
  • Mid-morning snack: handful of corn chips. Water.
  • Lunch: red beans, collard greens cooked with slices of green pepper*, red-skinned potato salad**. Also, one-third of a baked sweet potato, tossed green salad of lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, celery slices with a tiny bit of olive oil and splash of red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash (the original salt-free variety). Water to drink.
  • Mid-afternoon snack: couple of graham crackers, coffee.
  • Supper: potato-corn-cabbage chowder***, four whole wheat crackers, water.

* Fresh collard greens washed well, sliced then chopped small, cooked in unsalted vegetable broth with several slices of green bell pepper laid across the top. The pepper absorbs the strong collards odor while cooking and may be eaten. Microwave on high 10 to 12 minutes, sample to see if done enough to suit. Cook several more minutes if needed.

** Several small red-skinned potatoes, scraped, diced and cooked in the microwave with salt and pepper, sprinkle of Mrs. Dash. When done, add tiny bit of salad dressing with pickle relish, mix well, mashing slightly. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and/or celery if desired. Eat while still warm.

*** Three red-skinned potatoes, diced (washed but not scraped or peeled), one rib of celery sliced fairly large, small wedge of cabbage thinly sliced, small amount of sliced yellow onion, handful of frozen yellow corn, can of creamed corn, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash. Add water until dish is about half-full of water. Combine in large casserole dish, leaving cover ajar, microwave on high for 10 minutes, stir and taste, cook several more minutes until potatoes and celery are done.

I usually prepare enough for two meals, perhaps add fresh sliced tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers, pickled beets, perhaps a slice of whole-wheat toast.

Some days I cook brown rice, black beans or corn on the cob. Also I often use canned diced tomatoes, frozen vegetables such as garden peas, green beans, broccoli, turnips, or yellow corn, and various frozen fruit such as peaches and blueberries.

I keep my salt intake low because of blood pressure and never have eaten much sugar.  My one favorite food is bread, unfortunately,  but since switching from white bread to whole wheat, I find I like the taste of it, toasted. Just don’t eat two or three slices at a time for a snack any more.

I’m learning as I go, of course. And so far so good. I have not missed eating meat, I’m never hungry, and one really good thing – I don’t have to count calories.

Interested in learning more? Here’s a good place to start.

Who you are makes a difference



Blue RibbonsLooking for something else on my computer, I came across this story in an email that was forwarded to me by a friend back in 2007.

It meant a lot to me back then and it still does today. I’m sure I forwarded it on to other people at the time but I think it’s just as appropriate these days. Maybe even more so.

Date:  2007/03/21 Wed PM 10:34:38 EDT
To: **************
Subject: Fw: Who you are.

A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her seniors in High School by telling them the difference each of them had made. She called each student to the front of the class, one at a time.

First, she told each of them how they had made a difference to her, and the class. Then she presented each of them with a blue ribbon, imprinted with gold letters, which read, “Who I Am Makes a Difference.”

Afterwards, the teacher decided to do a class project, to see what kind of impact recognition would have on a Community. She gave each of the students three more blue ribbons, and instructed them to go out and spread this acknowledgment ceremony. Then they were to follow up on the results, see who honored whom, and report back to the class in about a week.

One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive in a nearby Company, and honored him for helping him with his career planning. He gave hi m a blue ribbon, and put it on his shirt. Then he gave him two extra ribbons and said, “We’re doing a class project on recognition, and we’d like for you to go out, find somebody to honor, give them a blue ribbon, then give them the extra blue ribbon so they can acknowledge a third person, to keep this acknowledgment ceremony going. Then please report back to me and tell me what

Later that day, the junior executive went in to see his boss, who had been noted, by the way, as being kind of a grouchy fellow. He sat his boss down, and he told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius.

The boss seemed very surprised. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon, and would he give him permission to put it on him. His surprised boss said, “Well, sure.” The junior executive took the blue ribbon and placed it right on his boss’s jacket, above his heart.

As he gave him the last extra ribbon, he said, “Would you take this extra ribbon, and pass it on by honoring somebody else. The young boy who first gave me the ribbons is doing a project in school, and we want to keep this recognition ceremony going and find out how it affects people.”

That night, the boss came home to his 14-year-old son, and sat him down. He said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office, and one of the junior executives came in and told me he admired me, and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine! He thinks I’m a creative genius! Then he put this blue ribbon that says, “Who I Am Makes a Difference”, on my jacket above my heart. He gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor.

As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about who I would honor with this ribbon, and I thought about you. I want to honor you. My days are really hectic and when I come home, I don’t pay a lot of attention to you.

Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in school, and for your bedroom being a mess. But somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides God and your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You’re a great kid, and I love you!”

The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he couldn’t stop crying. His whole body shook. He looked up at his father and said through his tears, “Dad, earlier tonight I sat in my room and wrote a letter to you and Mom, explaining why I had killed myself, and I asked you to forgive me. I was going to commit suicide tonight after you were asleep. I just didn’t think that you cared at all. The letter is upstairs. I don’t think I need it after all.” His father walked upstairs and found a heartfelt letter full of anguish and pain.

The boss went back to work a changed man. He was no longer a grouch, but made sure to let all of his employees know that they made a difference.

The junior executive helped several other young people with career planning, and never forgot to let them know that they made a difference in his life… one being the boss’ son. And the young boy and his classmates learned a valuable lesson, “Who you are DOES make a difference”.

You are under no obligation to pass this on to anyone… not to two people, or to two hundred. As far as I am concerned, you can forget it and move on. On the other hand, if you want, you could send it to all of the people who mean something to you, or send it to the one, two, or three people who mean the most.

Or, just smile and know that I think that you are important, or you wouldn’t have received this in the first place. Who you are does make a difference, and I wanted you to know that. I’m passing the blue ribbon to you, for who YOU are does make a difference, too. May GOD BLESS YOU.

Curious about the origin of this story, today I did a little internet search and found “Who I Am Makes A Difference ~ the Story by Helice ‘Sparky’ Bridges” on a website, Here’s a paragraph from that site:

“In 1980, our “Who I Am Makes A Difference”® Blue Ribbon Acknowledgement Ceremony was created to help people express their appreciation, respect and love for their children, parents, teachers, friends, neighbors — everyone! Over the years, this heartfelt ceremony has impacted over 40 million people worldwide and has been translated into 12 languages — saving lives, eradicating bullying, and making dreams come true in the home, school and workplace.”