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I am your Colletonian….Valentine

This week’s Colletonian was chosen for his love of Colleton County. Ricky Valentine was born and raised in Colleton County and remembers growing up here very fondly. He is the only son of Lois Ann and Whaley Bazzle. As Valentine recalls, there was not much to do in Walterboro besides cruise through Sonic and the drive in or catch a movie at Cook’s Theatre. Valentine remembers days of leaving your house unlocked and riding bicycles until dark. Walterboro was a close community where everybody knew each other.

As he began growing older his mother explained to him that she could provide life’s necessities to him but told him if he wanted the latest fashions in clothes or a car he would have to work to earn money and make these purchases himself. She taught him to work hard to achieve what he wanted in life. At age 15, he began working the third shift at Huddle House as a dishwasher and later a cook. He later worked for Shoney’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken and said he was proud to be able to earn his own money and not have to rely on his parents. He knew from a young age that law enforcement was the career that he wanted to pursue. Once he graduated from Walterboro High School he was given his first chance when he was hired for Walterboro Police Department Dispatch.

In 1985 Valentine enlisted in the United States Air Force when he remained until 1994 when he made his way back home. Once back in Walterboro he attended and graduated from the South Carolina Police Academy and began working in Public Safety. Since that time, he has worked for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department as a School Resource Officer and Dare Officer. He has also served as a Community Officer with the Walterboro Police Department. Valentine also served for five years as the Director of Animal Care and Control. He is also a volunteer with the Department of Natural Resources where he teaches classes in the South Carolina’s Hunters Education Program.

Valentine can also be found in the passenger seat of Valentine’s Driving School cars. After earning a degree from Limestone College in Business Management, he opened the business in 2004 and has really enjoyed training drivers. Some drivers have no experience with driving before they attend his classes. His hopes are after they finish his course they will have a good understanding of safety and defensive driving.

His most important job to date is the job of granddad. Valentine has two boys and seven grandchildren ages eight and under. He participates in tea parties and Spongebob marathons. He likes hanging out with them because they teach him all sorts of things with technology. They call him “grand grand” and “po-po grandpa” and he loves every minute of it.

Times have changed since Valentine was a boy. Long gone are days of leaving your door unlocked and depending on others to help raise community children. Valentine urges the community to learn to adjust to a changing community. He encourages folks to secure their valuables. Embracing your community is a great way to help Walterboro move in the right direction. Get to know your neighbors. Find out who the neighborhood kids are and help look out for one another and communicate with your local law enforcement. They are here to help.


Christie Slocum (190 Posts)