By Jackie R. Broach
As service coordinator for St. Elizabeth Place, an independent living community for the low-income elderly, Liz Nelson had a list on concerns for U.S. 1st District Rep. Tim Scott when he stopped in Pawleys Island on Wednesday.
"Everyone there is 62 or older, and they're mostly older," Nelson said. "Any time Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid come up, they get a little nervous about what's going to happen."
Those were among the issues she raised to Scott, along with inviting him to visit the community and "see tax dollars at work helping some folks who really need a helping hand."
Scott was sympathetic to challenges the elderly face, mentioning his own 91-year-old grandfather.
"We don't have to agree on everything, but we do agree we have to take care of our seniors," Scott said.
About 15 people showed up to talk with Scott about a variety of issues, or just to say hi and tell him he's doing a great job in Washington, D.C.
"I feel like for the first time we've got somebody up there that's doing what we expect him to do. We're well-represented," said Billy Thomas of Wachesaw East.
His wife, Miriam wanted to invite Scott to a shrimp supper hosted by a Republican women's group.
Ann Blake, who has a house on Pawleys Island, came to the event to get concerns about her husband's veterans benefits addressed, but as a supporter of Scott, she was also looking forward to meeting him again.
"I like him so much and I wish everybody could hear what he says," she said.
She praised Scott for being strong and honest.
"God bless you. Let me shake your hand," Scott replied, grinning and sketching a bow.
"Mama raised a kid who is more afraid of the consequences than the action itself, and when you do the right thing the consequences are small," Scott explained.
It was a Social Security issue that plagued Charlena B. Johnson of Arcadia. She took her husband to apply for benefits recently. He's a retired veteran who went into early retirement because of a health issue. She was told he doesn't qualify for benefits.
After talking with a member of Scott's staff and being promised someone would look into it and get back to her, Johnson said she felt reassured.
"All I'm looking for is going beyond the lack of a response I got" at the Social Security office, she said.
Scott also talked with constituents about prescription medicine costs, the housing market and health care reform, in addition to entertaining war stories and giving a candidate advice on how to connect with constituents while campaigning.