B.A., Wake Forest University
A native of Florence, South Carolina, Joe Sallenger spent much of his childhood on the farm that would later become Francis Marion University. After “going north” to school (Wake Forest University) and a spot of travel through Europe and the United States, Joe returned to the Pee Dee region with the realization that “folks are pretty much folks everywhere you go, some just talk funnier than others.”
When the Hyman Fine Arts Center was constructed at Francis Marion (College), Fine Arts Chairman Jack Baker convinced Joe to take up residence in the “fish tank” off the breezeway, where he remains to this day. He tries to keep track of the Art, Music and Theatre faculty, manage various auditoriums, dabble in a bit of Art and Flute Collecting, and help out at the Anglican Church of Our Saviour. He is learning how to eat right with a whole food plant base diet. Joe also assists his wife Donna in her mission to care for Homeless Animals, dreams about the Bands he has played in, and keeps his British (Morris Minor) truck and log cabin from falling apart around him.
In an effort to preserve some of the history of the Mars Bluff region east of Florence, South Carolina, Joe has improved the internet presence of Amelia Wallace Vernon’s project to document the lives of African Americans in rural South Carolina through the preservation of slave built Hewn Timber Cabins and related artifacts. He has also published a book based on his grandmother’s remembrances throughout the 1900s, Mars Bluff As I Remember It by Amelia Mellichamp Wallace and Joseph Wilds Sallenger.