Meet our friend Everett Leigh, a native of South Carolina, who is traveling across the state with a goal of visiting every town. We first met Everett when he began submitting photos of his trips to the South Carolina Picture Project, and we were delighted to see his exuberance for discovering and capturing the landmarks of the Palmetto State. We enjoy working with Everett and can’t wait for you to become better acquainted with him.
Everett in His Own Words …
I’ve been self-employed since 1977 in the security industry and went back to finish college at USC in 1988. My high school photography hobby lay dormant as I was a virtual workaholic for the next 30 years until selling my alarm company. I became a semi-retired IT and security consultant about 15 years ago.
After my youngest grandson was born, I picked up my camera hobby again. About four years ago, I attended two separate photography workshops, hosted by Alistair Nicol and Steve Rich just weeks apart. The information and inspiration that both gave were absolutely contagious. It seemed to wake up a creative side of me that had been asleep for so long. Ever since that time, I’ve spent almost every weekend taking and sharing images from all over the Carolinas and seem to see things that too many folks are just too busy to see.
My strength is my family. My brothers and I have worked together for more years than I can even count. We all cross-trained, and our strength over the years is the common bond that only growing up with brothers as best friends can give! I started my first company back in 1977, and we continue to work together to this day on many projects.
Unlike my own childhood growing up with two brothers, a sister, and scores of cousins in the Charleston area, my former wife and I only had one daughter, Michelle, back in 1983. We owned a dance studio and she won her first national dance competition by the time she was five years old. Over the years, the discipline through the Art of Dance guided her through accelerated classes and early graduation from high school, through a degree in Physical Fitness at the College of Charleston, and then on to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina.
While I never had a son, I could not have picked a better son-in-law than Daniel Weil if I had gone shopping for him myself! Michelle divorced her first husband during her sophomore year at the College of Charleston and finished both undergraduate and MUSC as a single mother, almost three hours away from us. While active in the sports activities with my youngest grandson at church, she and Daniel met and married soon after she graduated from her doctoral program. Now I proudly can claim that I have FOUR grandsons that more than make up for sons to play with when she was young. A crew chief in the US Air Force, Daniel spends all of his spare time with the family’s activities, church, and working in their family business together with Michelle.
Why I Love Being a Sandlapper …
Hometown: I am originally from Charleston and have called Union home for more than 35 years.
Alma Mater: University of South Carolina
Favorite Spot in South Carolina: My “favorite” is usually the place I just finished shooting. 🙂
Favorite SC Animal: Egrets
Favorite SC Celebrity: Maurice Williams
Favorite Southern Foods: Rice and gravy, pork chops, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, coconut pie, and lemonade
Favorite Southern Saying: How y’all doing!
Place In SC I Want to See Protected: Our historical landmarks, both natural and architectural
My SC Claims to Fame: While I will never go down in history, my involvement as a board member on the Union Hospital District during the 1980s and 1990s helped save and restore our local hospital and nursing home. Giving time back to the community I now call home gave me a sense of pride and achievement I cannot describe. I was fortunate to be selected as both Union County’s “Small Businessman of the Year” as well as the “Volunteer of the Year” by our local Chamber of Commerce during the same time frame.
A Few Random Facts …
Favorite Books: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell
Favorite Movies: Gone with the Wind, Ben Hur, and The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite TV Show: NCIS, Law & Order (all versions), and CSI
Favorite Songs: Summer Wind and My Way by Frank Sinatra. Your Song by Elton John, and You’ve Got A Friend by James Taylor
Sound I Love: Ocean waves breaking with not a soul in sight
Smell I Love: Spring flowers … especially gardenias, wisteria, and honeysuckle
Three Things that Make Me Happy: Traveling the backroads instead of the interstates; being able to photograph a scene I have hoped to capture; shagging to Carolina Beach Music with the salt air in my hair
Guilty Pleasures: Photography, music, dancing, and community theater
One Thing I Want to Do in My Life: To visit every town in South Carolina and capture photo images of scenes that reflect the wonderful memories every community conveys. I think I would like to put them all in a book but am continually amazed by how much of South Carolina I have NOT seen!
What I Believe: We should make every effort to make someone else smile every day. It should be a law.
If I Had a Time Machine: I would return to my childhood family reunion back in 1968 and tell every aunt and uncle exactly how much each one would mean to me over the course of my life and thank them before each faded into memories with very few photos to document our time together. Those marvelous memories have been a guiding light in my life.
Favorite Quote: “You can learn to direct your thoughts, control your emotions and ordain your destiny.” (W. Clement Stone)