Joseph J. Lipton discusses growing up in Beaufort, South Carolina, the eldest of three sons of Helen Stern and Samuel Lipton (Lipsitz). Samuel emigrated from Lithuania as a teen in the early 1900s, arriving first in New York. He followed a relative to Dale, South Carolina, not far from Beaufort, and worked in his store for a time before opening his own business in a small crossroads nearby called Grays Hill. He met Helen while on a visit to Charleston, South Carolina, where she lived with her brother, Gabe Stern, and worked in Kerrison's Department Store. They married in 1922 and moved to Beaufort. After graduating from Clemson College, the interviewee earned his law degree from Mercer University, a Baptist-affiliated institution in Macon, Georgia, where he was the only Jewish student. He describes how, fresh out of law school, he assisted a lawyer whose case regarding asbestos and interstate commerce advanced to the United States Supreme Court. He took a job with the South Carolina Legislative Council, where he was employed for thirty years. Lipton remembers visiting his cousins, the Sterns, in Columbia as a teen, and participating in AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) activities. He comments on Congregation Beth Israel in Beaufort and recalls singing Kol Nidre in the synagogue during the High Holidays.
Bill Mace grew up in Johnsonville, SC, and fished on the Lynches and Pee Dee Rivers. He learned to fish from his father, and to hunt from his grandfathers. On a fourteen-foot boat he and his brother continued to venture further on fishing, hunting, and camping trips down river to Sandy Island and Georgetown. During high school Mace worked at a wool mill, but wanted to find a job in the outdoors. After high school he went to school in Anderson for a year, considered transferring to Clemson for parks and recreation, but instead came back to Georgetown and went to work at a textile plant. Mace went to a meeting with the director of the South Carolina Game and Fish Division who encouraged him to get an associate degree in wildlife management. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Georgia, and was offered a job at Santee Coastal Reserve (SCR) by Tommy Strange in 1976. Among other tasks, Mace managed former rice fields. He took over as manager when Strange retired, and worked there for 21 years. Mace discussed brackish water management in the 24,000-acre SCR, and the constant work to repair and replace water-control structures. Mace imagined the Santee Delta before it was cleared for rice fields, and the enormous labor involved in building the rice field dikes, constructed by enslaved workers. Mace also discussed the hunts of the Santee Gun Club members, including many attempts to navigate in thick fog. Some of his work included law enforcement, and he talked about several episodes where people tried to steal old bricks from historic structures in SCR. In his 21 years at SCR there was only one episode of an accidental shooting on a hunt, and through a heroic effort by one of the guides the victim survived. SCR had significant damage from Hurricane Hugo (1989), and of many issues it took half a year to rebuild the dikes. Mace reviewed many of the conservation protections in place on the Delta’s public and private lands. He retired from the state in 2010, and went back to work as manager of Annandale Plantation, a tract of private lands (around 3500 acres) owned by Dan Ray on the north side of the Santee Rivers. He is doing similar work to what he did at SCR in managing rice fields for waterfowl. Mace lives nearby, and though he once thought of retiring to the North Carolina coast, he now can’t imagine living anywhere else. He also touched on the seasonal challenges of mosquitoes in the Delta.