John Mellencamp’s The singer and part-time local on the end of rock 'n' roll, the meaning of Daufuskie time, and why he recorded his brittle, stark new album on a pulpit in Savannah.

A few weeks ago, John Mellencamp wandered through a large and shiny mall in Indianapolis in a futile, climate-controlled and probably Cinnabon-smelling hunt for the record store.

This was, of course, a terrible idea, in part because you can imagine what happens when John Mellencamp wanders unannounced through a mall in Indianapolis, but also because he’d have had about as much luck finding a reliable VCR repairman or some MySpace gear; who knows the last time the mall had a record store. So he abandoned the search and did the only logical thing he could — went over to the Apple store. “The place was packed,” Mellencamp said. “Packed. People swarming in line, the way the record store was when we were kids.”

Sterlin “stee” Colvin

On the road to R&B fame

Sterlin “stee” Colvin

Sterlin Colvin began singing for an audience while most of us were still watching cartoons and working to master “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” At age three, Colvin and his six-year-old sister sang a duet in church, and he knew that being a singer was “it” for him.

The idea was further cemented at the ripe old age of 12, after a chance encounter with actress Debbie Allen of “The Cosby Show” fame. Allen was starring in a play in Atlanta in which Colvin’s uncle was also cast. Backstage, while visiting his thespian relative, Colvin met the renowned actress.

Education: The Most Important InvestmentThe money you save for your children’s and grandchildren’s education will probably be the most important investment you will ever make. These funds will, in turn, become a new investment in a child or grandchild’s future, with the potential returns measured in lifetime earnings, career satisfaction, and even the ability to help educate their own children. With stakes this high, your ability to understand the complex template of sources and methods of educational funding has implications that can last for generations.

Back to School

Going to school brings opportunities to learn, grow, make friends and have fun. But there are challenges as well. Here are a few and what you can do to help.

Starting School

Separation anxiety

By the time they start kindergarten, many kids have been in preschool or daycare and are used to being away from parents. But those who have been home fulltime can have trouble with separation anxiety.

“Do what you love and success will follow.” It’s an adage that has come true for Peter Granata, who combined his childhood love of building model cars and his love of water into a successful and satisfying career as the country’s foremost recreational boat designer.It started with cars. As a little boy, Peter Granata fell in love with cars. Fast cars, sleek cars, cool cars. By age nine, he started a youthful career by helping out down at the corner tire store in Chicago’s Little Italy. Each Saturday, he earned the money to race down to the dime store and buy a model car.

After homework was done, he built model cars and taught himself to draw. He reproduced the pictures in magazine and then tried different ideas. The lines and styling were what caught his eye. His father also got him model boats that he floated in a backyard inflatable pool. He loved the idea of ships, but cars remained his first love. By age 21, he had dreamed up a vehicle seat memory device which he patented. Unusual in one so young, but Granata is that extremely rare combination of dreamer and doer.

Lifelong Learning: It’s never too late to head back to schoolIt used to be rare for adults to return to the classroom after earning their degrees and starting their careers. My, how times have changed.

These days, more and more adults are “hitting the books” later in life to enhance their skills, switch careers or simply indulge their intellectual interests. Today’s competitive job market is making the need for continual training and skill building a necessity for many, said Nancy Weber, vice president of Continuing Education and Institutional Advancement at Technical College of the Lowcountry.

“Employers are looking for skilled workers who can multi-task, are technology savvy, and have strong communication and reasoning skills,” Weber said. “Anytime an individual can add skills or upgrade, it is a plus for their job search.”

The raspberries in Tim Silcox’s garden are doing amazingly well this year. It could be due to a recent cold snap, but more than likely it’s because of all the bees. Silcox has thousands upon thousands of bees.

Throughout the summer months, we are exploring all the fun things to do in the Lowcountry in our Summer Fun guides. This month, the topics are parasailing, charter fishing, biking and hiking. In June, we tackled kayaking, dolphin watching, wave runners and our local beaches, which is my personal favorite.

In the African country of Tanzania, there are an estimated 1.5 million orphans, children who are the legacy of the spread of HIV/AIDS and wars in neighboring Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo.

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We've all heard of beauty pageants, and most of us have heard of body-building competitions. But in between those two are "figure competitions," which emphasize muscle tone over muscle size. And for one local woman, figure competitions have motivated her to live a healthy lifestyle and to be disciplined about her diet.