Sometimes even great volunteers are not enough!
By CHRIS BROOKS
Director of program development, Rural Mission Inc.
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com | permalink
6, 2010 -- Volunteers are getting it done year-round at the Rural
Mission. They are helping to repair, rehab and sometimes replace
very substandard, unsafe and dilapidated homes for very low income
families and the elderly. They provide decent and healthy homes
for children to grow and thrive. They join the experienced Rural
Mission staff in trying to improve the lives of rural residents
from Johns to Edisto islands -- an often overlooked, and always
under-served region with a unique culture and heritage. It is also
an area of Charleston County with widespread poverty.
year 2009 is testament to their dedication and hard work. Volunteer
teams from many states rehabbed 71 homes and completed three new
homes. They changed lives - they gave hope and a future. However,
much remains to be done with more than 800 families seeking help
through assistance applications to the Mission. With this overwhelming
number, the Mission staff is seeking to identify and assist the
worse-case housing situations where the occupants are unsafe and
have things gotten this bad? Excellent question -- but one with
no simple answer. Generational poverty is one cause. The recession
economy and unemployment have alarming made this situation much
worse. To many in the affluent areas of the tri-county region, these
families are remote and unseen.
staff and volunteers have encountered a sad and disturbing trend
in addition to the pervasive hardships of so many living in these
terrible, unfit homes. When you travel the smaller roads and the
dirt lanes of these islands and come to a truly dilapidated older
home, more often than not there are serious problems with property
ownership. The worst homes are most often on heirs' property. Clear
title is clouded and difficult to ascertain.
clear ownership title, it is extremely difficult and often very
costly to resolve these issues and obtain a building or renovation
permit. Homes continue to fall into great disrepair. In addition,
the Mission has found errors in surveys of property lines and recorded
plats. Obtaining proper approvals and permits becomes almost impossible.
Confronted with these obstacles, homes remain unsafe, unhealthy
and in near third-world unsuitable condition. Elderly residents
remain at risk. Young children continue to live to unfit conditions,
truly lessening their chance in life. These families and very low-income
residents need more help than the Rural Mission staff and volunteers
can provide. Volunteers seeking to use their hands and skills to
help a needy family are not enough.
If you wish to join with the Mission in this rewarding and much
needed work, call the Mission at 768-1720, email at email@example.com,
find us at www.ruralmission.org
or link to our Facebook
page. If you are able to help address some of these legal issues
that are insurmountable to these families, please contact us at
the Rural Mission.
Brooks is director for program development at Rural Mission Inc.
and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
book has deep SC connection
By ANDY BRACK, publisher | permalink
3, 2010 This is the story of a guy who made pots in South
Carolina. Throughout his lifetime, he made about 10,000 durable
stoneware pots, large and small, for storing food and just about
anything else you needed on a plantation.
see, the potter was named Dave. He was a slave in Edgefield County.
his life and well into present day, hes become pretty famous
for pots, particularly those with short verses of his poetry etched
in the side.
story, made famous a dozen years back at a major show of his work
at the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, is
back in the limelight thanks to a delightful new childrens
book by award-winning Tennessee-born writer Laban
Carrick Hill. Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,
published this week by Little, Brown and Company ($16.99), is in
stores and available online.
time I look at Daves poems, the deeper they become and the
more affected I am by them emotionally, psychologically and intellectually,
Hill said in a telephone interview from his Vermont home. I
think hes an important poet and I dont think people
realize it yet.
of the greatest poets of the 19th century, he pointed out, werent
traditionally published. Walt Whitmans first book of poetry,
Hill said, was self-published in a phrenologists office. Emily
Dickinson didnt publish at all during her lifetime.
used the outside of his pots to publish small verses, such as this
couplet from 1857: I wonder where is all my relation | friendship
to all and, every nation.
observed, This could have been a reference to the loss of
his family during slave migrations from places like Edgefield
County to the Mississippi Delta.
Daves lifetime of making storage pots, only about two dozen
remain with verses on the side. Today, some of his pots are quite
valuable with one recently selling for more than $40,000.
Koverman, curator of collections at the McKissick
Museum, said she was able to connect dots when working on the
Dave exhibition years back to confirm that Dave the potter was named
David Drake, according to the 1870 census. He was believed
to have died during that decade as there was no mention of him in
the 1880 count.
be a master potter within the framework of slavery is an achievement,
Koverman said, noting that Dave the potter was recognized routinely
during his lifetime as an outstanding craftsman by peers and those
above him socially. He was written about in the newspaper
said most people dont think of slaves as anything more than
field hands or house workers. But there were many craftsmen, brick
masons and builders. Whats amazing about Dave the potter is
he had the audacity to sign his name on his pots. He left
a clear record of his work.
said Hills book, beautifully illustrated by highly-successful
Collier, encourages youngsters to learn about history, art and
culture. What is nice is you have this visual connection
this smaller book that looks at Daves story in different
said the story of Dave still inspires him.
reminds me to continue to do what I care about and just hope and
assume other people will find it of interest, Hill reflected.
The books that have done the best are the books Ive
written because a deep need, much like Dave needed to carve
verses on the side of pots.
the end, though, Hills book is a story for children about
are all sorts of exciting things that can come from the story,
he said. Also, the poem in the book is a poem about how to
make a pot. They can learn something there.
a picture book, its the pictures, the emotion experience
the visceral experience of the book and story. Thats whats
primary. And its about making a pot. Its as simple as
that. Thats what Dave did.
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public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter BB&T,
a regional bank that has built on a tradition of excellence in community
banking since 1872. BB&T is a mission-driven organization with
a clearly defined set of business principals and values. It encourages
employees to have a strong sense of purpose, a high level of self-esteem
and the capacity to think clearly and logically. BB&T offers
clients a complete range of financial services including banking,
lending, insurance, trust and wealth management solutions. To learn
more, visit BB&T
online or drop in to talk with its professionals at the main
branch office at 151 Meeting Street, Charleston. Phone: (843)720-5168.
bridge run grant applications available
Cooper River Bridge Run Grants Program has 2011 grant applications
in 2006, the Cooper River Bridge Run Grants Program annually awards
cash and in-kind grant awards to nonprofit organizations. Grant
applicants can submit program proposals to advance the Cooper River
Bridge Run's objective of "the promotion of regular physical
activity for a healthy lifestyle."
Grant requests of $500-$1,500 each will be accepted from any nonprofit
organization addressing that objective for residents of the three-county
area served by the fund.
The deadline to apply is Nov. 1. Recommendations for grants will
be made by an Advisory Committee by Dec. 1.
Guidelines and application instructions are available on the "Nonprofits"
tab of Coastal
Community Foundation's Web site. Charitable organizations may
also request a copy of the application guidelines by calling the
Foundation at (843) 723-3635, or by e-mail at Richard@CoastalCommunityFoundation.org
or from Karen Hauck at Karen@kbhsolutions.com.
Restaurant Week with 3-course meals
Charleston area celebrates Restaurant Week Sept. 8-19 with $20 and
$30 three course menus at more than 50 participating restaurants.
the sophisticated presentation of tilefish at The Ocean Room at
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Resort to the savory spanakopita
of the family-owned Zeus Grill, participating restaurants range
from elegant dining rooms to more casual establishments. The Charleston
area is the only place outside of New York City to produce three
consecutive James Beard Foundation award-winning chefs.
are not required; however, reservations are strongly advised. More
A dark and
Distillery, creator of the popular Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, recently
launched Sea Island Rums, and if you sample some you can help to
feed the needy.
Distillery is donating $10 for every case of Sea Island Rums sold
in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties to Feed the Need,
a non-profit organization contributing to Tri-county Family Ministries,
East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Crisis Ministries and Neighborhood
House. The company's distributor, RNDC, will donate $5 for every
case sold in the tri-county as well.
limited edition line includes Carolina Gold Rum and Java Rhum, a
coffee and spice-infused elixir. The latter lends itself well to
the Dark and Stormy recipe, a cocktail of dark rum and ginger beer
popular in Bermuda, Charleston's island neighbor.
buys Woodlands Inn
attorney Johnny Linton has purchased the five-star Woodlands Inn
in Summerville with plans to continue and expand the inn's role
in the area and the state.
Linton family bought the 11-acre property, which is located just
a few miles from their Summerville home, from Virginia-based entrepreneur
Sheila C. Johnson. Linton will continue practicing law full time
at Duffy & Young, LLC, in Charleston. Johnson's Salamander Hospitality
company has been retained to manage the hotel, which is one of only
six properties in the United States to hold the Forbes Five Star
and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both lodging and dining.
month, Woodlands was ranked as the fourth-finest hotel in the United
States by readers of Travel + Leisure.
said his plans include opening a culinary academy at the inn to
share the region's culinary traditions.
If you have a review or recommendation of a book, movie, restaurant
or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to
editor Marsha Guerard.
Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
Conservative, but anti-nullification
Hugh Swinton (1797-1843). Legislator, U.S. attorney general, writer,
intellectual. Legaré was born in Charleston on January 2,
1797, of Scots and Huguenot ancestry, the son of Solomon Legaré
and Mary Splatt Swinton. A childhood illness left him with stunted
limbs. As a boy he studied under the great schoolmaster Moses Waddel
at Willington Academy before entering the new South Carolina College
as a sophomore in 1811 at the age of fourteen. He was valedictorian
of the class of 1814. From 1818 to 1820 he studied abroad - French
and Italian in Paris, and jurisprudence in Edinburgh.
enjoyed successful public and private careers. He studied law in
Charleston, served in the General Assembly (1820-1822, 1824-1830),
managed a plantation on Johns Island, and served as attorney general
of South Carolina from 1830 to 1832.
services, however, were not limited to his native state. In 1832
Legaré was appointed chargé d'affaires in Belgium,
and he was elected to Congress in 1836 as a Union Democrat. He was
appointed U.S. attorney general in 1841 in John Tyler's cabinet.
On Daniel Webster's resignation in 1843,
Legaré became secretary of state ad interim, but he would
die within three months. He was an effective attorney general who
was for states' rights but against nullification.
Stephen Elliott, Legaré founded the Southern Review (1828-1832),
which became the model for all subsequent Charleston magazines and
was popularly known as Legaré's magazine. He supplied much
of its content. At the time of his death Legaré had enough
manuscripts for a two-volume edition of his works, which were edited
by his sister, Mary Legaré, and published posthumously in
Southern Review exemplified the conservatism of southern professional
men, especially in Charleston, beginning with issues such as states'
rights and high tariffs and extending to agrarianism and slavery.
But there were two issues that divided conservatives, unionism and
nullification, the latter opposed by Legaré.
literary critics, Charleston conservatives such as Legaré
were slower in accepting romantic theory and practice than were
those in New York and Boston, although Legaré did express
occasional praise for Lord Byron, Walter Scott, and William Cullen
Bryant. South Carolina had a tradition-based society to which Legaré
was a leading contributor. A lifelong bachelor, Legaré died
in Boston on June 20, 1843. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery,
Excerpted from the entry by Richard Calhoun. To read more about
this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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Wenger has been making theater magic in the Lowcountry for 21 years.
So we asked the founder of Midtown and Sheri Grace Productions for
her five most magical theater moments. "This was a hard assignment,"
Wenger says, "but a pleasant one."
- The Grand
Opening of Midtown Theatre, our first, which we built out of a
vacated Hardees downtown on the corner of King and Calhoun streets.
Everyone involved with the transformation was a theater person.
We had actors painting bathrooms, drilling up tile and hanging
lights; sound men building the stage and spray painting the walls
black; and stage managers building the box office. The process
took less than three months. Opening the show on the first night
was one of the proudest moments of my life. It proved that theater
people can do anything!
- Every time
I've watched the song "Skid Row" performed in "Little
Shop of Horrors" (a musical I've directed four times.) It
is an extremely powerful song about poverty, and never fails to
give me goose bumps.
- The final
scene in "Cabaret", when Sally Bowles, Cliff and Fraulein
Schneider watch the Nazis forcibly marching their German friends
off to the death camps. I could never watch that scene without
night of the first show I ever directed for my own company and
built from the ground up: "A ... My Name is Alice,"
for dinner theatre at the Colony House.
- 1992: Driving
up to the theatre downtown where we were producing "Always,
Patsy Cline" for the first time for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
It was pouring rain, and there was a line of people with umbrellas
open, wrapped around the block waiting to get into the theatre.
That magical show is one of my all-time favorites. I've since
produced/directed it 9 more times!
Acting Studio on James Island is home of Midtown/Sheri Grace Productions,
and the location for an education program that has operated for
three years teaching acting and theatre arts to people from age
5 to 95. The Studio has both a 45-seat theatre, and a second theatre
that seats 65. For
more information, go online.
live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will
never be able to repay you."
Wooden (1910-2010), Hall of Fame player and coach
THIS WEEK |
for Young Readers: 4-6 p.m., Sept. 7, Blue Bicycle Books,
420 King St. Michelle Zink, author of "Prophecy of the Sisters"
will be signing copies of her second work, "Guardian of the
Gate." The two books are the first in a trilogy. 843-722-2666.
of Nutrition: 6-7 p.m., Sept. 8. Good nutrition doesn't
have to be difficult, time-consuming or scary. Tina Whetzel, owner
of EatFit LiveFit + CrossFit Mt. Pleasant, hopes to give individuals
and families the tools they need to be healthy with her free course,
The ABCs of Nutrition. The event is at 1118 Park West Blvd. in Mount
Pleasant. Children are welcome. Attendees will leave with quick
recipes, ideas for healthy snacks and practical information about
nutrition and its role in a healthy lifestyle. For more information,
call 843-475-2459 or e-mail Whetzel at firstname.lastname@example.org
He Dead? 8 p.m., Sept. 9-11; 3 p.m., Sept.
Players Theatre launches its 79th season with the premier of
Mark Twain's previously unpublished play, "Is He Dead?"
Written in 1898 in Vienna as Twain emerged from one of the deepest
depressions of his life, the play illustrates its author's superb
gift for humor operating at its most energetic. Tickets are $25
for adults, $22 for seniors, $15 for students. To purchase tickets,
contact the Footlight Players box office at (843) 722.4487 or go
online. Footlight Theatre, home to Footlight Players, is located
at 20 Queen St. in downtown.
Glass House documentary: 8 p.m., Sept. 10, Room 309 of
the Simons Center for the Arts on 54 St. Philip St. The Halsey Institute
of Contemporary Art presents "The Glass House" with Director
Hamid Rahmanian. The documentary film screening and Q & A session
with the director is free and open to the public. "The Glass
House" is a story about six underclass Iranian women as they
strive to pull themselves out of the margins of society by attending
a one-of-a-kind rehabilitation center in uptown Tehran. This is
the first film screening in the 2010-2011 Southern Circuit Tour
of Independent Filmmakers, a program of South Arts. More
arts event: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 11, Memminger Auditorium.
OPEN kicks off Charleston's ball season as a multi-disciplinary
arts event, open to the public, featuring an abundance of artistic
and cultural offerings in the tri-county area. Come experience a
cultural marketplace of interactive arts booths where you can buy
tickets, memberships and merchandise. There will be performances,
multi-media presentations, a family fun arts corner, art installation
and an open-air courtyard of vendors and street performers that
will give you a sampling of Charleston's arts for FREE. For more
information, please call 843.724.6440.
Tournament: Registration begins at 6 a.m., Sept. 11.
Get ready to catch some fun at the Folly Beach Fishing Pier's end-of-the-season
tournament on Sept. 11. For more information, call (843) 588-FISH
(3474) or go online.
Helpers' Run/Walk: 8 a.m., Sept. 11, Folly Beach Pier.
Runners, walkers and animal lovers will come out to show their support
for Pet Helpers in honor of Leslie McCravy at the Pet Helpers' 2nd
Annual 5K Run/Walk. The race raised more than $17,000 in its inaugural
year. The Start/Finish Line will be at the Edwin S. Taylor Fishing
Pier. Race organizers will offer prizes to the top three finishers
in each age group, both male and female. The top three overall male
and female finishers will win gifts such as one-night stays in exclusive
Charleston hotels and complimentary meals at some of the area's
top restaurants. Race
applications can be found online.
and writing: 9 a.m., Sept. 11. The Charleston County
library is sponsoring a discussion on spirituality and writing featuring
novelists Denise Hildreth, Beth Webb Hart and Nicole Seitz. Admission
is free to the session, which will be held at the main library,
68 Calhoun Street, Charleston. More: Phone 843-805-6947.
the Explorer Day: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 11, South
Carolina Aquarium. Kids are invited to an adventure-filled Saturday
with Dora the Explorer. Included with general admission or membership,
families can meet their favorite Nickelodeon character Dora the
Explorer, sit on her lap and snap a personal photo, or purchase
a photograph of their child with Dora professionally printed and
packaged on-site. Afterward, children can embark on a journey through
the Aquarium like never before, with the help of Dora's friend,
Map. Follow Map through the Mountain Forest, Piedmont, Coastal Plains
and all your favorite exhibits to discover the 'treasure' at the
Community Day at the Gibbes: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept.
11. The Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St., will hold a portrait-inspired
Community Day with complimentary admission and art-making activities.
Junior League of Charleston Community Days are held quarterly to
offer visitors the opportunity to experience the Gibbes' dynamic
programming free of charge. Visitors can celebrate the opening of
the Face Lift portraiture exhibition with portrait-themed
art activities for children. An additional special exhibition titled
Stacy Lynn Waddell: The Evidence of Things Unseen is also
on view to visitors. More.
ONGOING AND SOON
at the Dock: Through Sept. 19. Charleston Stage celebrates its
return to the historic and renovated Dock Street Theatre with the
rocking musical, "Hairspray." Based on the cult John Waters
film "Hairspray," and set in 1960s racially divided Baltimore,
it tells the story of "pleasantly plump" Tracy Turnblad,
a girl with a big heart, big hair and an even bigger passion for
dancing. Suitable for all ages, tickets can be purchased
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Fine Art Annual
220 years of service
HeadsUp on injuries
Art, essay contest
House in order
Lowcountry Loc 1st
away some pecans
film on Jews, baseball
into the Lowcountry
Class of '14
to do on 4th
to nab skeeters
the Pump, more
to do locally
"new era" for SC
isn't dirty word
Dave the Potter
pix make impact
LUCASH: BUSINESS INDIGO
Kucha 7 coming
After 5 hits Chas
fair, CED venture
on working with Boeing
library text questions
GARVAN: CHARLESTON GREEN
can be tied to ideals
Tech green grant
for going back to school
to rid roadblocks
for keeping warm
for your face
on long-term care
on childhood obesity
on breast cancer
at the Gibbes
local dog romps
+ Food fest