Sumter – A Paradise for Retirement

Sumter in South Carolina is nothing short of a paradise for retired people. Wait till you find out more about this place and you’ll know why so many people love it. Although Sumter has an appeal for people of any age, it also seems to have everything you could possibly want as a retired person.

This is true to such an extent that the President of the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce has even substantiated it. He claims that the combination of conditions in Sumter is so ideal for retired people that there has been a concerted effort to send them there. So let’s see what it is about Sumter that makes it such a jewel.

Sumter is located in the interior of South Carolina, near the Shaw Air Force Base. The town is not too large and has been attracting retired military personnel for several years. Situated west of the Grand Strand and Charleston and east of Columbia, Sumter enjoys proximity to four interstate highways.

However, there is much more to Sumter than location. The town has a population of about 40,000. The climate is pleasant with temperatures ranging between 45.4°F in January and 81.2°F in July. Sumter offers its residents just about everything they could possibly need from scenic beauty to convenience and comfort. There are also recreational and educational facilities, as well as cultural events from time to time. To cap it all, good medical care is also available at Sumter.

The Swan Lake Iris Gardens constitute the most famous landmark of Sumter. This is where the city’s Iris festival is held each year. There are also two state parks and as many as 21 city parks in Sumter. As if all that is not enough, you’ll also find 26 tennis courts and just as many golf courses.

Well, the list seems to go on and on, doesn’t it? Because we haven’t yet talked about Lake Marion and the Manchester State Forest, which are also popular centers of recreation. And haven’t we forgotten the charming shopping areas?

Believe it or not, we’re not done yet! You’re right – incredible as it may sound, there’s more. There’s a distinct flavor of culture in Sumter as well, in the shape of the Sumter County Public Library, the Sumter Gallery of Art, and the Sumter County Museum Complex, all of which are major attractions. So also is the Patriot Hall.

As a retired person, it will probably interest you to know that medical treatment in Sumter is taken care of by the Tuomey Health Care System, covering a hospital that accommodates 266 beds and is attended by over 140 doctors. So you can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands should you need medical attention.

Educational institutions in Sumter are the Central Carolina Technical College, the University of South Carolina-Sumter and Morris College. The Air Force base at Sumter also accommodates branches of many other universities.

The Sumter Newcomers’ Club makes it easy to meet and get to know new people. The club hosts various events such as card games, a supper club, coffee meetings, discussions on books etc.

As for housing, you should know that there are different kinds of housing available in Sumter. However, the average price of a home here is $ 79,900. In case you decide that Sumter is the place for you and would like to know more, you can get in touch with the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce for further details.

So, now that you’ve heard the story, what do you think? Is Sumter the place you’d like to retire in. It does sound rather attractive, doesn’t it? If you think this is the kind of lifestyle you’d like to follow, go right ahead, because places like Sumter come once in a lifetime.

Paul Strand

Paul Strand was a pioneer of the modernist movement in photography.  His parents immigrated from Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia) to New York City, where Strand was born in 1890.

He first took interest in photography after studying at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School under the direction of legendary documentary photographer Lewis Hine.  In 1907 Hine brought Strand to the Alfred Stieglitz’ 291 Gallery, where he introduced Strand to Stieglitz and to the work of modernist artists such as Picasso and Cezanne.
  Strand was inspired and thereafter sought to incorporate Cubist elements into his photography.
In 1911, Strand became a self-employed commercial photographer and exhibited his work at the New York Camera Club.  He photographed in the Pictorialist style, which emphasized darkroom manipulation to emulate the soft-focus look of paintings, but he gradually shifted away from the movement.  From 1915-1917, he was still using the Pictorialist soft-focus style but began to deemphasize perspective in favor of abstract compositions emphasizing tone and pattern.  During a visit to his family’s country house in Connecticut, Strand carried out an experiment fueled by his Cubist influences.  He took abstract photographs of fruits, bowls and jugs that he continuously changed in position and light.  He then decided to leave the objects alone, rearranging the camera’s position instead.  The result was a flipbook of sorts: a sequence of subtly varying photographs of abstract nature.
Back in New York, Strand mainly chose to focus on urban life.  He liked using high vantage points, exemplified in Wall Street (1915), which features the ant-like silhouettes of people walking by a comparatively monolithic building.  When he decided to take portraits of people in the slums, he had his camera outfitted to conceal a real lens to the right of the exposed, fake lens; he used this to capture candid expressions.
Strand rejected Pictorialism altogether in the 1920s and instead relied on the camera’s objectivity by using only photographic methods to produce his work. As an advocate of Straight (objective) Photography, Stieglitz certainly influenced Strand.  He also bolstered Strand’s popularity; he gave him an exhibition at the 291 Gallery and devoted the last two issues of Camera Work to Strand’s cross-country work.  His help propelled Strand to share Stieglitz’ rank as one of the leading modernist photographers.
After serving in World War I as an X-ray technician, Strand returned to the United States to work as a freelance movie cameraman.  He did not forget photography; he devoted all of his free time to it.  This time, however, he emphasized the beauty of natural forms and gained a new appreciation of landscape, which he believed revealed “the spirit of place.”
Strand’s increasing concern with social issues prompted him to change his focus from photography to motion pictures for the purpose of telling a clearer story to a wider audience.  He left to Mexico to work as both a cinematographer and photographer, later publishing his work in 1940 in The Mexican Portfolio.  In 1943 he reverted his focus back to photography and abandoned motion pictures.
After World War II, Strand was unhappy with the political situation in the United States and moved to France. He worked throughout Europe, focusing on issues concerning community life. He later produced a number of photographic books that featured a narrative sequence of images, channeling his previously-mentioned experiment in the country house.  These books, however, were often accompanied by text, so as a whole they mimicked the effects of cinema. His books on Europe include Time in New England (1950) and La France de profil (1952; “France in Profile”).  Strand also made books based on his extensive traveling in Ghana: Un Paese (1955), Tir A’Murhain (1962) and Ghana: An African Portrait.  Strand died at his home in France in 1976.