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Issue 1.17 | Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 | Forward to your friends!

A Northern harrier, also called a marsh hawk, finds that an oak tree makes a handy place to rest -- and perhaps scout his next meal. (Photo by Ann Thrash.)

:: Bargains, thrills, finds from auctions

:: Local man makes first contest cut

:: New group allied with animal rightists

:: Fowler's five favorite weather months

:: USAF speaker, play, antiques, more


___:: CALENDAR: Coming events
___:: REVIEW: What are you reading?
___:: HISTORY: Gov. Edward Tynte
___:: QUOTE: Happily ever after
___:: BOOKSHELF: Interesting reading


ABOUT US is a new online twice-weekly publication that offers insightful community comment and good news on events. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. More.


Auctions offer fine finds, great bargains -- and a serious thrill
Antiques dealer, Total Estate Sales
Special to

JAN. 8, 2009 -- "I've got $250, looking for $300, he'll give me $350. Now $400. ..." Auctions: One of life's pure thrills. There's nothing like an auction to get your juices flowing. In these times of a softened economy, many people would be smart to turn to auctions for their household needs.


At auctions, one can find anything from sterling flatware and estate jewelry to an antique Louis Vuitton steamer trunk and vintage fur coat. Most of these items come from estates and individual consignors, and the price to be paid is determined by you, the bidder. My wife, Natashia, and I have been antiques dealers and auction addicts for the past eight years. We started going to auctions as a way to buy small things to sell online. As we attended more frequently, we quickly discovered all the amazing things we could buy for a song that fit right into our home. Today, we have a beautiful new home, filled almost entirely with quality items purchased second-hand from auctions and estate sales.

Auctions are a thrill ride and, in some ways, a legal form of gambling. In my world, there is no bigger rush than previewing an auction, researching an item, then bidding against multiple parties to win that object of desire. Auction prices can be all over the place, and in many instances, items sell far below their fair market value. Other times, the item is no longer produced or is something an individual collects, and prices can reach or exceed full market value.

Just about anything can be found at auctions. Our home is a mix of modern, straight lines and antique, Arts and Crafts movement pieces. Nearly every piece of furniture, art and decor we own has come from auctions. Examples include an Italian, modern leather sectional couch ($1,000), an antique oak sideboard ($150), a near mint condition chenille sofa previously used as a staging piece ($300), signed, framed art, and my personal passion, early-1900s pottery.

Our 1910 mission oak dining table and chairs ($500) were an auction house discovery that we purchased for pennies on the dollar compared with the price of a new, inferior-quality table. In general, if there is something you need or desire, it will come along at auction, provided that you have the patience to wait.

Our two favorite auctions are Linda Page's at 1460 Ben Sawyer Blvd. in Mount Pleasant and Roumillat's at 2241 Savannah Highway in Charleston. Linda has a down-home, personal appeal with a good mix of junk and treasure and a real chance of finding a bargain. Roumillat's tends to be a bit more upscale and higher priced. In both places, one can find a deal on furniture and decorative collectibles, generally far below the price of comparable new items.

Check out for info on times and dates of upcoming auctions. Here are a few tips for buying at auction:

  • Research: Make sure you are familiar with the object and have a strong idea of its value.

  • Inspect: Preview and look the piece over thoroughly, looking for hidden flaws or repairs.

  • Decide: Have a top value in mind beforehand of what you are willing to pay. Deciding at the time an item arrives for bids is too late.

  • Engage: You only regret the things you don't buy. When your item comes up, bid away. If it's something you really want, don't be afraid to bid a little higher. As our friend and local auctioneer Julio Avendano likes to say, "Think long, think wrong." If you want it, go and get it!

Lee Lazarus and his wife, Realtor Natashia Nelson-Lazarus, are antiques dealers and estate sellers. They can be reached at or via their Web site,

Tastes like chicken: Local man makes first cut in big contest
By ANN THRASH, editor

JAN. 8, 2009 -- You might say that Tom Gengo is trying not to count his chickens before they're hatched -- even though what might hatch would be a heck of a nest egg.


The Charleston resident recently found out that he's South Carolina's winner in the National Chicken Cooking Contest, which features a grand prize of $50,000. Sometime this month, he'll find out whether his recipe for Whole Chicken with Honey-Fig Sauce has won the regional semifinals. If he beats contestants from the eight other states in the Southeast region, he'll be heading to San Antonio, Texas, in May to compete for the top prize. This is the first cooking contest he's ever entered.

"I looked at the names of the other finalists' recipes at the contest Web site and I really feel like my recipe is pretty solid," he tells "I've served it a number of times at my house and it's always gotten rave reviews. People always ask for the recipe."


The National Chicken Council sponsors the contest every other year. The prize money is second only to the $1 million grand prize that goes to the winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

The specifics of Tom's recipe have to stay under wraps until after the contest, but he was able to share a few mouthwatering details. He says the dish starts with a brine that's based on a recipe he found in The Post and Courier. Brining involves soaking meat for several hours in a solution of salt, water (or another liquid), and flavorings. Through the magic of culinary chemistry, brining adds extra juiciness and flavor to the meat.

Tom's special brine includes molasses, garlic, black peppercorns, allspice, cloves and honey. He removes the backbone from the chicken, boils and cools the brine, then lets the bird rest in the mixture in the fridge for eight to 12 hours. After removing the chicken from the brine and placing it in a baking pan, he pushes the bird's thighs up on top of the breast meat. "That really helps prevent the breast from drying out and overcooking," he says.

A homemade spice rub and honey-fig glaze add the finishing touches. "The only improvement I would make since I submitted the recipe would be to add some minced chipotle peppers to the glaze," he says. "I think that would really bring another flavor dimension to it."

It's clear from talking to Tom that he's passionate about food and cooking. He says he's currently teaching himself the art of charcuterie, a classic French technique that involves salting, smoking, cooking and curing meats to create favorites such as patés and sausages. He's made homemade versions of bacon, pepperoni and pastrami, and wants to learn to make Genoa salami, "but that's more microbiology than cooking," he says with a laugh. Somehow that doesn't seem like much of a stretch for a man who was a biology major in college and worked as a cancer researcher in Virginia. That was before life took a couple of turns and he wound up in the mortgage business; currently he's a senior loan officer with a local mortgage company.

Tom has been a Lowcountry resident for the past nine years. "I love it here," he says. "I love the outdoors, I love fishing, and I've got raised beds that I work on in my garden." He's a big fan of the Slow Food movement, which promotes the connections between the pure pleasure of food and a commitment to one's local community and the environment, and he believes in eating local when possible.

Tom promises to keep us posted about the progress of the contest, so stay tuned and we'll let you know how he does. And as soon as that recipe is available, we'll post it here. Good luck, Tom! We're rooting for you.

Ann Thrash is editor of You can reach her by email at:

New group allied with animal rightists

To the editor:

In the latest issue of Charleston Currents, I was upset be the article about the student group being formed the Charleston School of Law. The most upsetting is the reference to having the HSUS [Humane Society of the United States] come here to advise them.

To make it simple, Animal Welfare is about rescue and helping needy animals. This is what most people want and support. But HSUS and PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] are allied animal rightists. The animal rightists want to end all pets and all uses of animals. They would like for us all to be vegans. These are the groups that put the monks at Mepkin Abbey out of the egg business.

-- Patty Quattlebaum, Charleston, SC

NOTE: The writer offered several Web sites critical of HSUS, such as We suggest you also check out the HSUS site and make up your own mind.

Our policy: We encourage readers to submit feedback or letters to the editor. Send your thoughts to editor Ann Thrash. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. One submission allowed per month. Make sure to include your name and phone number. Submission of a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Please keep your comment to 200 words or less.


The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. In this issue, we highlight the Joye Law Firm. Committed to fighting for the rights of the wrongly injured in South Carolina for more than 40 years, the experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyers of the Joye Law Firm want to help you get every dollar you truly deserve for the injuries you've suffered. Whether you've been injured in an auto accident, by a defective product, in a nursing home, or on the job, we may be able to help you. For more information, contact Joye Law Firm at 843.554.3100 or visit online at:

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Air Force chief of staff to speak at College on Wednesday

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley will speak next week at the College of Charleston on the global challenges of the 21st century. The program is free and open to the public.

(Air Force photo)

Moseley will speak Jan. 14 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Admissions Auditorium in the Robert Scott Small Building. He's expected to discuss the global strategic landscape and the challenges facing the world community, as well as the effects of recent and unprecedented changes in technology and the growth in access to information. Moseley will also discuss how those issues impact economic, cultural and military activities, and how they offer emerging opportunities for the United States to partner with key players on the world stage, including Japan, China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, India, the European Union, and Central and South America.

As Air Force chief of staff, Moseley is the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for organizing, training and equipping nearly 700,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Defense secretary, National Security Council and the president.

For more information on the program, call Jenny Fowler at 953-6526 or

Fossil fest at Cypress Gardens includes displays, digs

Think you're an old fossil? Well, not quite - at least not compared to the seriously old fossils that will be on display at "Frozen in Time," the winter fossil show coming up Jan. 24 at Cypress Gardens, 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner.

The show, sponsored by the Talking Phone Book, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes displays of both local and exotic fossils, a children's dig, tips on how to spot fossils in the world around us, identification of fossils by experts, and door prizes. The cost of the show is $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and $5 for ages 6-12. More info: 553-0515 or

Charleston Stage to perform benefit for Boys and Girls Club

Charleston Stage will donate $5 from every ticket sold for its Jan. 23 performance of "Charlotte's Web" to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Trident Area. The agency has been struggling to keep local activity centers and programs up and running during the economic downturn.

The Charleston Stage production of "Charlotte's Web" stars Viveka Chandrasekaran as Charlotte and Sonny Kong as Wilbur. (Charleston Stage photo.)

"Charlotte's Web" will play Jan. 16-25 at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St. The play tells the story of a remarkable pig named Wilbur who is befriended by a kind spider named Charlotte. With help from all their barnyard pals, they devise a plan to keep Farmer Zuckermann from turning Wilbur into bacon. The story is full of lessons in friendship that both children and grownups can appreciate.

Tickets for all shows are $10-$19 and are available online at or by phone at 577-7183. A limited number of $10 bargain seats are available for all shows.

Art & Antiques Forum announces speakers, program highlights

"Town and Country: Life in Early America" is the newly announced theme for the 12th annual Charleston Art & Antiques Forum, scheduled for March 18 through March 22.

A prominent part of Charleston's increasingly popular "Antiques Week," the 2009 forum will look at life in urban and rural America before 1860 through its material culture, with lectures and tours focusing on architecture, furniture, paintings, silver and ceramics. The forum benefits education programs at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

James Hervey-Bathurst, president of Britain's Historic Houses Association, will deliver the keynote address, "The Restoration and Redecoration of Eastnor Castle," a Regency mansion built on the Welch border in the early 1800s. Other forum highlights include an afternoon of on-site discovery with curators at Drayton Hall; talks by experts from major museums, historic properties and private collections; receptions in some of Charleston's landmark buildings; and four optional tours, including a trip to Friendfield Plantation, a privately held antebellum rice plantation near Georgetown.

The Magazine Antiques has called the Charleston Art & Antiques Forum "the best fine and decorative arts program in the country today." Participants at last year's sold-out forum came from 22 states.

Ticket packages and further information are available online at To receive a program brochure by mail, call 722-2706, ext. 22.

What are you reading, eating?

  • HAVE A REVIEW? If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.

Gov. Edward Tynte

Edward Tynte (?-1710) was from a Somerset, England, family that had recently risen to a baronetcy, but neither his parents nor his date of birth are known. His family connection is established through the arms on a large seal that he used to ratify legislative acts in South Carolina.

Surviving documents refer to Tynte variously as major or colonel. Other family members attended Oxford, and many of the men who came to South Carolina with Tynte to serve in his administration were lawyers. In a Latin poem expressing high hopes for Tynte's administration, the Tory writer William King implies that Tynte was also a man of culture: "Tynte was the man who first, from British shore, / Palladian arts to Carolina bore; / His tuneful harp attending Muses strung, / And Phoebus' skill inspired the lays he sung."

Frustrated by nearly a decade of paralyzing factionalism between the church and dissenter parties in their colony, the Lords Proprietors decided to institute a wholesale change of government and began by commissioning Tynte as the new governor on December 9, 1708. After almost a year's delay, Tynte arrived in Charleston and was proclaimed governor on November 26, 1709.

Unfortunately, he had little opportunity to realize the proprietors' ambitions. Tynte died on June 26, 1710, after only seven months in office. The first of the acts that would eventually establish a free school system in the colony was the only notable legislation of his administration. By the terms of his will, Tynte left his entire estate to Frances Killner, spinster of London.

-- Excerpted entry by Charles H. Lesser. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)

CREDITS is provided to you twice a week by:

  • Editor: Ann Thrash, 843.494.4468
  • Publisher: Andy Brack, 843.670.3996
  • Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413

© 2008-2009, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.


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Five favorite weather months


WCBD-TV Chief Meteorologist Rob Fowler shares his five favorite weather months in the Lowcountry. Check out Rob's weather page.

1) April: Average high of 76 and an average low of 52. The reason April is No. 1 is that it is the "sunniest" month of the year. Out of the possible time it can be sunny, 70 percent of the time it is. Second driest month behind November. We average 2.77 inches each April.

2) October: Like April, great temperature averages - 77/55. It is also a relatively dry month (3.09 inches) and also is a "sunny" month (63 percent of possible sunshine). You gotta love a little frost on the pumpkin as well.

3) July: Hey, it's South Carolina. You've gotta love the heat. Hottest month of the year on the average, 91/73. What's ironic is that the hottest temperature ever recorded in Charleston was 105 degrees, and it happened on Aug. 1, 1999. I guess that's as close to July as you can get!

4) November: Very simple. End of hurricane season. Always look forward to Nov. 30!

5) December: I love the holidays, and December can bring you a potpourri of weather. It can certainly be cold and remind you it's winter, or you can have 80 degrees on Christmas like we did this year. That, by the way, was a record for Christmas Day!


"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis."

-- Margaret Bonnano, American novelist


Oyster Roast, Civil War Walk: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 10, Dill Sanctuary, James Island. Charleston Museum's annual oyster roast includes curator-led tours of the Civil War fortifications, views of the Stono River and bluegrass music by Blue Plantation. Barbecue and all the fixings, as well as a full bar, are included in the ticket price. Cost: $25 museum members, $35 nonmembers. Civil War walks begin at 3 p.m.; food and drink available throughout the event. Reservations: or 722-2996, ext. 264.

Digital TV Primer: 11 a.m. Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, John L. Dart Library, 1067 King St. (722-7550); 6:30 p.m. Jan. 12, Dorchester Road Regional Library, 6325 Dorchester Road (552-6466). The Digital TV conversion happens on Feb. 17. Are you ready? What do you need to know? How will this change your television viewing? Experts from WCSC-TV (Channel 5) will explain the ins and outs and answer questions.


MLK Breakfast: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Jan. 14, Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St., Charleston. Annual business and professional breakfast, hosted by the YWCA of Greater Charleston, to honor the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaker: Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers Jr., president of Voorhees College. Cost: $25. Tickets: 722-1644.

Power of Making a Difference: 7 p.m. Jan. 15, Admissions Auditorium, Robert Scott Small Building, College of Charleston, St. Philip and Calhoun streets, Charleston. Speaker: Former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan, author of "What's Possible! 50 Real People Who Dared to Dream They Could Make a Difference" and founder of the inspirational online community, Cost: $20 in advance, $30 at the door. Information/tickets: Center for Women, Sophia Institute or 720-8528.

Marsalis at Music Hall: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16, Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., Charleston. Multiple Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will perform at a benefit for the Charleston Concert Association. A fundraising gala will follow at the William Aiken House, 456 King St., featuring a black-tie dinner with the musicians and entertainment by local jazz musician Quentin Baxter. Tickets for Marsalis' performance are $35, $55 and $100. Gala/dinner tickets are $250, which includes a ticket to the concert. Call the Charleston Concert Association at 571-7755 or Ticketmaster at 554-6060.

MLK Concert: 4 p.m. Jan. 18, Mount Moriah Family Living Center, 7396 Rivers Ave., North Charleston. "Perseverance: Where Do We Go From Here: A Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.," presented by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir and the city of North Charleston's Cultural Arts Department, featuring music, historical audio and video footage. Free; donations will be accepted at the door to support the choir's community outreach work. First-come, first-served entry tickets available at the Gaillard Auditorium Box Office in downtown Charleston; Mount Moriah Family Living Center in North Charleston or the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department.

(NEW) City Leaders' Talks: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Jan. 21, Holiday Inn Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant Town Administrator Mac Burdette will speak to the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's East Cooper Area Business Council about what's happening in the town and what to look for in the year ahead. Part of the chamber's Mayor's Month series. Up next: Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Doubletree Guest Suites Historic Charleston, 181 Church St. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info: or Diane Owens, 805-3094.

(NEW) E-commerce for Small Businesses: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 21, Charleston County Public Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St. Free class to help small-business owners learn about choosing e-commerce solutions, including choosing the right software, selecting a cost-effective e-payment system and picking a reliable web hosting service provider. Speaker: Tina McDuffie, WebWoman LLC. More info: Click here or 805-6930.

Camellia Clinic: 1 p.m. Jan. 24, Garden Market and Nursery at Middleton Place, Highway 61. Free seminar on camellia care with Sidney Frazier, Middleton's vice president of horticulture, and nursery manager Matt Jackson. Learn about which varieties work best in local gardens and get advice on when, where and how to plant. In addition, seedlings from some of Middleton's historic, internationally known camellias will be available for purchase. More info:

26th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 25, Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant. Enjoy oysters, live music, an oyster shucking and eating contest, and a kids corner with pony rides and a jump castle. Sponsored by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association; money raised goes to Ronald McDonald House, Hollings Cancer Center, and Charleston County Schools Science Materials Resource Center. Tickets: $10 in advance from the GCRA Web site or Applebee's restaurants; $12 at the gate; free for children under 10. Oysters sold by the bucket (3 dozen to 4 dozen for $8). More info: 452-6088.

Murray Boulevard Centennial: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28, Charleston County Public Library's Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St., downtown. The most scenic drive on the Charleston peninsula celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009. Using archival documents and images, Dr. Nic Butler of the Charleston Archive will present an illustrated review of the boulevard and how it was developed by the city. Details: 805-6930.

(NEW) Southeastern Wildlife Exposition: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 14; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 15, downtown Charleston (eight venues). SEWE features 120 artists, lectures, Busch Wildlife shows, sporting outfitters, and conservation exhibits. In addition, the popular Dock Dogs competitions return, along with retriever demos, free flight shows by the Center for Birds of Prey, and children's activities. Tickets start at $10 & kids 10 and under are free. VIP packages available. More info/tickets: or 723-1748.


In this section, we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:

  • A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
  • A Turn in the South, V.S. Naipaul
  • The Book of Marie, Terry Kay
  • Charleston Jazz, Jack McCray
  • Going Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories, Gary Smith (review)
  • I'll Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes, Chris Lamb (List)

  • Suggest a book to us


1/8: Lazarus: Fun with auctions
Young: Animal rights group forms
Polomski: Holiday plant cures
Lindbergh: Group for gifted
Grigg: Energy-saving tips
Jones: 2009 Chamber agenda
Silverman: Invest locally
Butler: Fort Johnson's 300th
Brooks: Rural Mission's job
Lively: Classes give job edge
Maybank: Great wines
Nelson: Manageable health goals
Husser: Hard times and ourselves
Sandstrom: Festival of Lights
Hill: CVB and holiday successes
Alterman: Center for Women
: Kapeluck: Election turnout


1/8/09: Local man moves up in contest
Holiday spirit is alive
The scoop on ambrosia
Museums offer holiday insights
Helping with books
Secret great dining place unveiled
Slaughterhouses part of city's past
: Meet


1/5/09: Manning band is inspiring
Three Southern magazines
About those knock-knock jokes
Finding Xmas spirit in Hamburg
Barbecue should be state meat
Depression was far worse than now
Time for CSO to answer questions
Recycling more than you think
Election reflections


1/8: Fowler's top weather months
Five tourism honors
Wentworth: Favorite poets
Felts: Five wine gifts
Krawcheck: Decorating tips
List of 5 C of C stats
5 ways to feel younger
Top 5 requested art works
Lamb: Top veep quotes
12/1: Stahl's top holiday tunes
Five Charleston firsts
Gibbes' newest acquisitions
CCPL's top DVDs
MUSC's top procedures
Bertauski: 5 winter shrubs
Dupree: Thanksgiving prep
: McCray: Charleston Jazz


We encourage you to check out our sister publications:

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SC Clips -- a daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time. Sign up for a free trial subscription today.

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GwinnettForum -- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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