Members of Darling Lake Hunting Club love to hunt and fish. They also love to eat and socialize.
Club members have been getting together for lunch on a weekly basis for the past decade and a half.
“Paul Lawson was responsible for starting it about 15 years ago,” said Lindsey Causey. “When we started out there wasn’t but five or six of us. We probably average 15 or 20 now, and we have had as many as 35 or 36. We don’t need it any bigger.”
The cooking crew includes Causey, Lane Smith, Billy Ray Hughes, Johnny Williams, Grier Singleton, Zack Dusenbury and Floyd Boyd.
The meal usually includes fish or chicken bog, along with a full complement of fresh vegetables, country staples and desserts.
“Normally it’s whatever is on sale,” Causey said. “We eat a lot of chicken because chicken is cheaper than anything else. Normally we have fish from November to March. When we can set nets, we have fish.”
The lunch crowd includes club members and guests, who drop donations in a collection plate to help defray the cost of the food.
“We’ve got lawyers,” Causey said. “We have magistrates. The Sheriff comes when he’s not too busy policing. Laurie Newton comes when he’s in town. We have some of those people who are a lot more well off than I am. Most are retirees, but we have a few who work. Everyone seems to have a good time. They’re like the women at the beauty shop. A lot of times it’s 3 o’clock or after before some of them leave. We have a good time in here.”
Causey said women are welcome, but there were only two at this past Thursday’s weekly get-together. The menu included cubed steak (venison) and rice and gravy as well as summer sausage made from wild hog and venison.
“It’s a 6-star restaurant,” attorney Bobby Richardson said. “Good people. Good food. Good fellowship.”
Myron Alford quickly agreed.
“This is as good or better than any restaurant in town,” he said.
Johnny Williams makes his way to the clubhouse every week from his home in Murrells Inlet.
“I was in the Air Force and moved here from East Tennessee in 1976,” he said. “I belong to the club. I enjoy cooking.”
Horry County magistrates Benji Allen (Aynor) and Nate Hutson (J. Reuben Long Detention Center) often take their lunch breaks at the clubhouse.
“We just enjoy being around the citizens of Horry County,” Hutson said.
Allen said meeting friends at the clubhouse is reminiscent of going back to the days when he spent time with his parents and grandparents and heard stories about the old days that he never tired of hearing.
“We talk about crops, the weather, hunting and fishing,” Causey said. “When we have leftovers, we fix plates and take them to widowed women in the community. We don’t throw anything away.”
“The thing I like is we don’t have any smoking, drinking and cussing,” Causey said. “If they’re going to do that, they need to stay outside.”
A former insurance agency owner, Causey helped prepare not one, but two big meals this past Thursday.
After most of the lunch crowd left, he began preparing a chicken bog for a group of young people from Seneca who were spending the week at nearby Cedar Grove Baptist Church. The Waccamaw Baptist Association brought the group to the area to repair the home of an elderly woman who couldn’t afford to hire anyone to do the work, he said.
“They know about chicken and rice, but not chicken bog,” Causey said. “We’re going to see if their chicken and rice is different from our chicken bog.”
This past Thursday’s meal was the final one for club members until the weather cools down.
“We usually take July and August off and then we’ll start back up,” Causey said.