The Stories of the Upstate™ #241: (Kevin Mihaly) "The Jersey boardwalks were my childhood complete with pinball machines, cotton candy and hot dogs."

              Our 241st story comes from Emmy winner, photographer and former ESPN staffer, Kevin Mihaly.

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Telling stories is Kevin Mihaly's life and it all started with a Super 8 millimeter camera.  As a teen, he used his Super 8 to tell stories of what was happening in the neighborhood in goofy ways, including claymation.  His love of telling stories led him to a little sports news start up called Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) where he worked for 20 yrs and won 3 Emmys for Outside The Lines, Sports Center and NFL Game Day.  His passion for storytelling led him to go back to college in his 40s for photography and to opening up a photography business.  He continues to tell stories and we look forward to hearing what he'll tell us next.

The Stories of the Upstate ™ #240: (Gray Lee) "I spent my childhood by myself drawing, writing poems and re-purposing my toys."

                                           Greenville balladeer Gray Lee brings delivers our 240th story.

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When you ask a singer-songwriter who the influences are for the music they create, you expect a list of great musicians, but when we asked Greenville Balladeer, Gray Lee that same question, he said that his influences extend beyond music,  He told us that movies, books, basically anything that he consumes whose effects on him compel him to share those effects with others through music are his influences.  Gray also told us that he's not very good at music and that he stumbles his way through it. What we heard today has us begging him to keep "stumbling along."

                                                        To learn more about Gray Lee, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #239: (Allen Smith) "In 5th grade, I was Elvis."

Our 239th story,  a GSA Business Report Q&A. comes from the President and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

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The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is unique in South Carolina.  The President and CEO, Allen Smith tells us that Spartanburg's Chamber of Commerce is the only Chamber in the entire state that houses county wide economic development, county wide tourism promotion and the county chamber.  For Allen, the mission of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is to be an agent of change in the lives of the people of the Spartanburg community.  Allen highlights one thing that the Chamber has done to illustrate both their uniqueness and their being an agent of change: the Hub City Farmers Market.  Unlike most communities, the Hub City Farmers Market is not located in the glitzy Main St area.  The Chamber located the Hub City Farmers Market in the most blighted, poverty stricken area of town because it was deemed a food desert, an area where people did not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  

                     To learn more about the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #238: (Deb Richardson-Moore) "I jokingly say my night light has saved my marriage."

                      Story #238 comes from the Pastor of Triune Mercy Center, Deb Richardson-Moore

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If I say, The Greenville News, the homeless and "The Cantaloupe Thief," what comes to mind or rather who comes to mind?  The Pastor of The Triune Mercy Center, Deb Richardson-Moore would be the correct answer.  Deb was a reporter for the Greenville News for 27 years which gave her some great insight into our community.  She is currently the pastor of the Triune Mercy Center, which she describes as an odd hybrid; worship service on Sundays with nearly 300 in attendance and a homeless ministry throughout the week, acting as a kind of social services agency with social workers, mental health workers, lawyers, doctors, housing specialists and more working to meet the needs of Greenville's homeless community.  Deb also is a published author of both non-fiction, "The Weight of Mercy," as well as fiction with such titles as "The Cantaloupe Thief."

                                               To learn more about Triune Mercy Center, click
                                and to learn more about Author, Deb Richardson-Moore, click here

The Downtown Jam™ #23: Charles Hedgepath, John Durham and Rush Morgan

Once a month, 3 to 6 local singer songwriters walk into a secret location in downtown Greenville.  They only bring their guitars, their stories and their original songs.  They play an entire free concert.  We record it and play it back for you on-demand 24/7 beginning the second Wednesday every month.  We call it "The Downtown Jam™" and it's another way to thank you for listening and subscribing to "The Stories of the Upstate™  #gvlmusic

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                                            Follow Stories of the Upstate™ on Facebook.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #237: (Seldon Peden) "As a kid, I wasn't a rule breaker. I was more of a rule 'tester'."

                              Greenville Summary Court Judge Seldon Peden shares Story #237.

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When you here that someone is a judge, you automatically assume that their path to becoming a judge involved being a practicing attorney, but Greenville Summary Court Judge Seldon Peden's path was working in South Carolina's Dept. of Social Service's legal department, working in the SC Dept. of Juvenile Justice and working in the Guardian Ad Litem office. Seldon Peden sees his responsibility as a judge as one of resolving disputes, holding people accountable and finding the fairest, most just way for both the defendant and plaintiff to have their problems solved. He sees himself as a referee or a mediator 

The Stories of the Upstate™ #236: (Heidi Chapman) "I'm actually really epic at the kazoo!"

                         Greenville singer with Randomonium, Heidi Chapman. shares story #236

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She grew up in 5 different countries on 3 different continents: France, Denmark, Hong Kong, England and the United States.  She plays a mean kazoo and a keytar and her students aren't surprised that she's a musician because they say she's weird and always doing musical things in class.  Of course Heidi Chapman is the lead singer for the band Randomonium, a band that incorporates novelty instruments like kazoos and cow bells, a band constantly making song mash-ups like "Carry on Wayward Son"+ "Owner of a Lonely Heart;" and a band with a guitarist/bass player named Atticus. Two years ago, Heidi's husband (also a musician) said, "Let's just jam for fun," and they're still having fun today.  

                                                  To learn more about Randomonium, click here
                                                              and follow them on Facebook.

The Stories of the Upstate #235: (Dirk Van Hyning) "I’ve taken things that my kids discarded and turned them into art, like a New York subway map made with Tinkertoys."

Our 235th story, a GSA Business Report Q&A, comes from the CEO of Alexium International, Dirk Van Hyning.

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Alexium International creates flame retardant and thermal regulating products.. According to Dirk Van Hyning, CEO of Alexium, legacy flame retardants that have been used for decades can be toxic to the environment and the body. Alexium sells alternative products that are safer and still effective flame retardants. Key to Alexium's success and core to who they are is their research and development department which is constantly looking for the safest, most eco-friendly and most effective technologies to reduce heat and prevent fires.

                                                  To learn more about Alexium International, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #234: (Todd Horne) "From birth until now, I've moved 12 times."

Vice President for Business Development for Clayton Construction, Todd Horne delivers our 234th story.

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If you have a passion for connecting people, bringing people with needs together with people who can meet those needs, what do you do?  Well, if you're Todd Horne, you find a job that allows you the opportunity to fulfill your passion and use your abilities to connect people, a job like Vice President for Business Development for Clayton Construction.  As VP of business development, he connects people looking to build a building with an architect, someone needing funding with a banker. But if you are really passionate about connecting folks, like Todd Horne, you don't just stop at a job, you look for ways to connect more people across the business community which leads to becoming the Chairman of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. And if you are truly, completely committed to connecting people across your community, you run for mayor, at least that's what Todd Horne is doing, running for Mayor of Spartanburg.

    To learn more about Todd Horne, click here and to learn more about Clayton Construction, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #233: (William Timmons) "I was always busy as a kid, busy getting into trouble."

                            Story #233 comes from South Carolina State Senator William Timmons

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Look at these three careers and tell me what they have in common: gym owner, lawyer and state senator.  You might be hard pressed to find a common theme until you meet the man who they all apply to, South Carolina State Senator William Timmons.  For Sen. Timmons, the common theme is making a difference and impact in people's lives.  As the owner of Swamp Rabbit CrossFit, he made a difference by helping people reach their health and fitness goals, as a lawyer with Timmons and Co LLC, he's able to make a difference by helping people with their legal needs.  After years of frustration with government as a small business owner and seeing the inefficiency of our government in the courts, Sen Timmons followed his philosophy that if you're going to complain, be prepared to do something about the problem and headed to Columbia to try to fix our government ; thanks to voters of the state's 6th District.

                                                   To learn more about Sen. Timmons, click here.

The Stories of the Upstate™ #232: (Mike Sablone) "I was the tiniest teenager, by far, in my high school."

The Producing Artistic Director for Greenville's Warehouse Theater, Mike Sablone delivers our 232nd story.

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Mike Sablone is a dramaturg.  Well, he was a dramaturg, as an intern at Trinity Rep fresh out of college and later on as a member of the staff of the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles.  What's a dramatug, you might ask.  A dramaturg is an editor of new plays, a person working with playwrights to develop their work, so that the best version of what is in the writer's mind ends up on the final pages of the play.  If we ask him how being a dramaturg is applicable to his current job as the Producing Artistic Director for Greenville's Warehouse Theater, he'll tell us that both are about inspiring people to be the best they can be and about making that communication that occurs between an artist and the audience be memorable.

                                          To learn more about the Warehouse Theater click here.

A Downtown Jam™ Exclusive Single: "Save Your Pride"

On the second Wednesday of each month on “Stories Of The Upstate™ we launch a free concert, theDowntown Jam, for your smartphone, computer or tablet with local singer-songwriters and their original songs.  #gvlmusic

Here’s a JAM Extra™ Bonus Exclusive from the Aug. 9, 2017 Downtown Jam™ featuring Charles Hedgepath, Shannon Hoover and Jack Ryan.

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Subscribe to “Stories Of The Upstate™ on iTunes.com or the Stitcher app to get free access to all episodes – interviews and free concerts known as “The Downtown Jam™” - from “Stories Of The Upstate™” now.