THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
Georgetown County Museum: New exhibit roots for the home teams
By Jason Lesley
As Jan McGinty unpacked the Smithsonian Institution’s “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” exhibit this week, she appreciated the thought behind it. The Smithsonian doesn’t leave things to chance.
“It’s amazing,” McGinty said, “how detailed they make it.”
McGinty, a resident of the Reserve, and Mary Boyd of Georgetown volunteered for a training session in the Orangeburg County town of Denmark, to learn to set up the exhibit that will open at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Georgetown County Museum on Broad Street. It runs through Sept. 5 when it will have to be properly packed up and sent to its next point of display.
McGinty and Boyd had some help with the seven exhibits on Wednesday from Walter Hill of the Horry County Museum, who had set up a traveling Smithsonian exhibit before and is hoping to get another one. He brought three students from Horry-Georgetown Technical College who wanted the learning experience.
Every community hosting the traveling exhibit is celebrating its own sports history. Choppee High graduate Ervin “Blue Print” Parker’s jersey from the Buffalo Bills; a Georgetown High School letter jacket belonging to the late Joe Isaac Jr.; and an exhibit featuring Olympic gold medalist Anthuan Maybank, Georgetown High graduate, were among the first going up this week. The Smithsonian exhibit includes interactive displays with bleachers that have seat cushions bearing questions on one side and answers on the other as well as kiosks with embedded touchscreens.
The museum’s celebration of “Hometown Teams” will start with a parade down Front Street in Georgetown at 10 a.m. Saturday featuring bands, high-steppers, sports teams, local officials, former coaches along with the mascot from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball team. People attending the parade and opening day of the exhibit are being asked to wear sports gear. Museum director Susie Shoman said the first 100 children viewing the exhibit will be given a box of Cracker Jack as they leave.
Two panel discussions are also being planned during the exhibit. On Aug. 4, golf professionals and officials will talk about the economic impact of golf in the county, and on Aug. 18 retired coaches will discuss ‘the impact of sports county-wide. Both events will be in the Georgetown High School auditorium and begin at 7 p.m.
Funding for the project came from the S.C. Humanities Council, the Smithsonian Institution and city accommodations taxes.
The Georgetown County Museum is located at 120 Broad St. and is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission fees include: children ages 7-18, $2; adults through age 59, $5, age 60 and above, $4. Children under age 6 and Georgetown Historical Society members are admitted free.