Helping Hands A feature about people whose work touches our lives

  • Thursday, May 1, 2014

Anita Crone/ For South Strand News

BILL

BARBER

Shag dance champion and instructor

Teaches and dances Shag ó four time national shag champion

Inducted this year into the National Shag Hall of Fame

General manager at Suck Bang Blow

Serves on the Horry County committee on food trucks

What are your jobs and how do you do all of them?

I teach shag dancing, Iím the general manager at Suck Bang Blow and I have an excavating company.

I donít know how I do them. I work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. At 59, Iím amazed. Sometimes I surprise myself.

They are parallel universes. As Iíve gotten to know the biker community better ó Iíve been riding all my life but Iíve gotten more in tune with them by running this bar, Iíve found that just like any other group of people in society, thereís 95 percent great people and five percent that arenít.

My shag family and my motorcycle family feel almost the same.

How did you get involved in shag dancing?

I was a member of the Optimist Club in Surfside, and when I became president, we went around to the different state conventions.

We were always in a nice hotel, and the nice hotels always had a lounge.

Whenever the events for the day were over, we would always go to the lounge, and everybody would get up and start dancing.

I didnít know what kind of dance they were doing, but it looked like a lot of fun.

One of the girls who was in the Myrtle Beach club taught shag dancing, so we went to her and learned how to shag. Within about six weeks, we were doing it better than people who had been doing it their whole lives.

I started attending the SOS (Society of Stranders) parties in North Myrtle Beach.

I went to everything I could for 12 hours a day and that made me a better dancer. Girls used to run away from me, now they line up 10 deep.

Now youíre expanding into the county for the food trucks. Can you tell me about that?

I guess because weíve had some experience with food trucks.

Now the county is expanding into allowing food trucks to operate and hopefully it will be good for business and for the county.

Iíve met some of the council people and they seem interested in Horry County, expanding, doing whatís right.

Iíve been impressed with the organizational skills of the county employees.

Mary Catherine Cecil (a senior planner in Horry County) is just awesome.

I think weíll get it done this year with food trucks.

How did you get involved in motorcycles?

My dad raced motorcycles in the 50s and he had a Triumph sponsorship. He was pretty good.

He bought me and my brother a motorcycle. He built a little track and my brother and I rode around the track.

Iíve owned a Triumph and I had one Harley, but I was disenchanted with it. It was nothing but trouble.

I want an old shovelhead because they sound good, they look good.

Can you tell me about your family?

My wife, Brenda, and I have two adult children and five grandchildren.

ó As told to

Anita Crone

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