POLLEN BOMBS: This close-up of emerging female cones from a loblolly pine in West Ashley is about to explode with yellow pollen that will cover the Lowcountry for the next few weeks. Just looking at these yellow pine bombs makes us want to sneeze. Photo by Andy Brack.
:: Track star's excellent race
:: New book offers Gullah memories
CALENDAR: This week ... and next
UNDERWRITERS AND PARTNERS
CharlestonCurrents.com offers insightful community comment and good news on events twice each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. What readers say
2011 - Doesn't it feel good when hard work pays off? For College of Charleston
Student-Athlete Alyssa D'Orazio, hard work earned her a giant check -
The Family Circle Cup Community Outreach program is all about making a difference in the scholarship at the College of Charleston for outstanding female student-athletes who excel both on and off the playing field. Every year, $5,000 is awarded based on a student's academic accomplishment, community involvement, financial need, and athletic prowess.
winner is D'Orazio, a junior standout member of the College of Charleston's
Women's Track & Field team, who was presented with a giant $5,000
check by Eleanor Adams, Family Circle Cup Tournament manager.
a degree in business administration with a minor in hospitality and tourism
management, D'Orazio has maintained a 3.7 GPA. She is currently the director
of finances of the College of Charleston's Club of Hospitality and Tourism,
and a member of the Student Finance and Investment Club.
2011 - Herb Frazier has written a gem of a book.
former reporter for The Post and Courier offers "'Behind God's
Back': Gullah Memories," just published by Evening Post Books. The
286-page work takes its title from how people in the Cainhoy peninsula,
St. Thomas Island and Daniel Island describe their isolated, rural area
in the days before the interstate and the planned community of big, trendy
homes that Daniel Island is today.
passage, Frazier tells the story of Postal Smalls, a longshoreman born
in the Brickyard community of Huger ("hu-GEE") who made
a little moonshine in the 1950s before he started working on the waterfront.
Making moonshine once provided good money to white and black Berkeley
County residents - so much so that the area was one of the nation's epicenters
of illegally-made liquor.
humor and good-naturedness come through in Frazier's profile, one of many
that fill the book. For example, Smalls said his parents told him he was
born in 1919. Then Frazier wrote:
Social Security office, however, said the Census showed he was born October
9, 1920. 'I feel like I am 1919,' he shrugged."
of humor was vintage Postal. I met him in the mid-1990s when he was a
part-time caretaker at Middleburg Plantation. One day as I was cutting
grass, he showed up in a suit to check on things. I asked what was going
on and he said, "Ain't nothing but some funeralizing." Smalls
passed away in late 2008.
God's Back'," funded as a project of the Coastal Community Foundation
with money from the Daniel Island Foundation, is important because it
offers a much-needed look into what happened in the Gullah communities
around Cainhoy, as Frazier explains:
now, the remarkable history of Gullah people on the Cainhoy peninsula
and St. Thomas and Daniel islands was passed along orally but seldom compiled
and written down. That's because Gullah people had been enslaved, literally
and figuratively. Most could not read or write. Few were allowed formal
educations. Until Emancipation in the 1860s, most people of African heritage
didn't even have surnames. Yet by digging through historical records and
newspaper accounts and speaking to longtime residents of the area, the
story of the lives of people mortared to this land in a tabby of blood,
sweat and tears is now being told in an ordered fashion."
What I enjoyed most about the book was learning of the history and struggles of people to survive when times were tough. I got a better insight into how hard life was here - and how parents in Gullah communities in days gone by pushed relentlessly to ensure their children got a better education and better break than they got. The book showcases how people lived, whether subsisting through farming or taking ferries to get to work in Charleston mills or plant. It tells about philanthropist Harry Frank Guggenheim who raised cattle on Daniel Island until his death. And it shows how after Guggenheim's death, the area changed as thousands of new residents moved into areas cattle once roamed.
work, illustrated by paintings by artist John W. Jones, describes the
importance of land to Gullah residents and how it ties them - in a positive
way - to their past. It also shows how land can divide people when money
becomes more important than family legacies.
next few years, the Lowcountry will be an integral player in a national
effort to preserve Gullah culture through the recently-passed national
Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage corridor that stretches from Wilmington,
N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla. Frazier's book is an outstanding starting
resource for anyone who wants to better understand Gullah life.
will be signing copies of his book 2 p.m. Saturday at the Barnes
and Noble in North Charleston.
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston
Currents to you at no cost. Today we shine our spotlight on a company
familiar to many across the Lowcountry: Force Protection, Inc.
Since its founding in 1996 in Charleston, S.C., Force Protection has emerged
as a leading manufacturer of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles
that are deployed in support of armed forces and security personnel serving
in theaters of operation around the globe. With a mission of bringing
our heroes home safely, Force Protection is continually researching, developing
and delivering leading-edge, life-saving solutions designed to counter
roadside bomb threats, including IEDs and EFPs. For the complete profile,
MARCH 14, 2011 - Tulip trees, dogwoods and more have burst into bloom in the past few weeks, and that means the next thing to pop open around here will be the farmers markets. The three biggest local markets - Charleston, Mount Pleasant and North Charleston - will be raising their tents in the next few weeks, and I'm already getting hungry thinking about the first sweet local strawberries, delicate asparagus, and more. Mark these opening dates on your calendar:
Doctor at Charleston Cooks this week
The speech, which is being offered by the school's Office of Diversity Initiatives, will start at noon Tuesday at the American Theater, 446 King St., Charleston. The public is welcome to attend, but seats are limited.
"To Vindicate the Cause of the Downtrodden: Jonathan Jasper Wright
and the Early African American Bar in South Carolina," will trace
state history in the decade starting in 1868 when South Carolina's 60
percent black majority exercised considerable influence and control in
who has his bachelor's and law degrees from Duke University, served more
than 30 years in South Carolina as a trial attorney. He also has authored
a book, numerous articles and book chapters on South Carolina history.
Nominated to the bench in December 2009 by President Obama, the U.S. Senate
confirmed Gergel unanimously in August 2010. His office is in Charleston.
PURE Theatre, in a co-production with Nomad Theatre of NYC, will present the world premiere of "The Fool's Lear" by Randy Neale.
The show, which is directed by Grant Neale and features Randy Neale and Grant Neale, will run from April 1 through April 16.
This funny and poignant new play tells the tale of King Lear and his Fool, as they leave the pages of William Shakespeare's famed play. Filled with hopeful plans, they enter into a stormy crisis of identity: The Fool desperately tries to hold on to the one power by which he has always defined himself, his ability to make the King laugh; The King abdicates his kingship, ashamed of the tyrant father he has become.
they after all? A clown and a king, a servant and his master, a father
and his unacknowledged son, or an old man suffering dementia and his reluctant
Shows on April 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 begin at 7:30 p.m., and a 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled on April 10 at Charleston Ballet Theatre, 477 King St. Tickets are $20 in advance on Thursday and Sunday, and $25 at the door. Friday and Saturday tickets are $25 in advance/$30 at the door. Tickets are available at puretheatre.org or by phone at 866-811-4111. Tickets can also be purchased the night of the show at the PURE Theatre Box Office half an hour before the show begins at 477 King St.
Trident Tech plans health care careers info sessions
Trident Technical College's Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development will hold two health care information sessions in April, where attendees can learn about continuing education health care programs.
The sessions will be 1-2:30 p.m. on April 12 and 6-7:30 p.m. on April 14 in the Continuing Education Center (Bldg. 910), 2001 Mabeline Road, North Charleston. The sessions are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.
TTC offers Certified Nurse Aide, Coding Specialist, Dental Office Specialist, Emergency Medical Technician, Limited Radiographer, Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Assistant, Medical Transcriptionist and Phlebotomist continuing education certificate programs. Several are offered online.
The college also has continuing education courses in basic patient care skills and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. For more information, visit www.tridenttech.edu/ce.htm or contact Yvonne Noisette at or 843-574-6083.
World No. 1 Wozniacki enters Family Circle Cup
Caroline Wozniacki, World No. 1 and 2009 Family Circle Cup finalist, has officially committed to the April 2-10 Charleston event on Daniel Island.
joins Samantha Stosur, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova, Shahar Peer,
Nadia Petrova, Daniela Hantuchova, Melanie Oudin and Sabine Lisicki in
a world class player field assembling for the cup's 39th consecutive year.
Christopher Gustavus Memminger was born on January 9, 1803, in Nayhingen, Württemberg, Germany, to Christopher Godfrey Memminger, an army quartermaster, and Eberhardina Elisabeth Kohler. Following his father's death, Memminger's family immigrated to Charleston, where his mother soon passed away. He was left in the Charleston Orphan House at age four and seven years later was adopted by future governor Thomas Bennett.
Educated at South Carolina College, Memminger graduated second in his class in 1819. He began practicing law in 1824, the same year he became a naturalized citizen. Memminger had an active interest in education and helped expand the mission of Charleston's public schools beyond serving only paupers. He and his first wife, Mary Wilkinson, married on October 25, 1832, and had eight children.
Although Memminger would reach the height of his political career as a member of the Confederate cabinet, he was slow to convert to the secessionist cause. He opposed nullification in a satirical pamphlet, The Book of Nullification (1832). He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives four years later and served almost continuously to the outbreak of the Civil War, chairing the Ways and Means Committee. He opposed separate state secession in 1850 and was a Unionist delegate to the southern rights convention in 1852. Only after John Brown's raid did Memminger believe that separation was necessary. He served as a special commissioner to Virginia in January 1860 to encourage that state to secede, and by the end of the year he was vigorously promoting South Carolina's secession.
Memminger's skills were put to immediate use for the Confederacy, as he chaired the committee to draft the Confederacy's provisional constitution. Jefferson Davis tapped him to be secretary of the treasury in 1861, a position in which Memminger would have enormous difficulties, some of which were beyond his control. His plan to raise money through tariffs was hampered by the Union blockade, and the Confederate congress was reluctant to institute taxation when other sources of income proved useless.
Other difficulties were self-imposed. Believing that the war would be short, he did not bother early to plan for the long term; his ideological rigidity prevented him from suggesting that the government sell cotton to pay bills (he feared that this would damage private farmers); and he was considered a heavy-handed administrator and was little liked by military officers desperate for funds. With inflation spiraling out of control, he resigned on June 15, 1864, and moved to his summer home in Flat Rock, North Carolina, where he remained until the end of the war.
Pardoned in 1867, Memminger returned to Charleston to resume his law practice. Although he served one more term in the General Assembly, he never again became active in politics. Instead, he renewed his prewar interest in education, retiring from Charleston's school board in 1885 after more than three decades of service to the city. In 1868 Memminger helped found the Etiwan Phosphate Company, which pioneered the phosphate industry in the state. He also served as president of the Spartanburg and Asheville Railroad. Memminger's wife died in 1878, and he married her sister, Sarah A. Wilkinson. Memminger died on March 7, 1888, in Charleston, and was buried at his country home in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
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Five for Fashion Week
Haven't bought your tickets to next week's Charleston Fashion Week yet? What are you waiting for? Here are five great reasons from Fashion Week's Chelsey Miller not to miss out on this incredible week of runway styles:
To buy tickets, click
"I am not sincere,
even when I say I am not."
Sustainable Seafood Dinner: 6:30 p.m., March 14, S.C. Aquarium. A fish just being introduced into Charleston's culinary scene - lionfish - will be part of the South Carolina Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Dinner at Fleet Landing. Executive Chef Drew Hedlund is preparing a five-course dinner paired with international wines. The dinner is $60 (plus tax and gratuity) per guest. Reservations can be made by calling (843) 722-8100 until Friday March 11. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the South Carolina Aquarium in support of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative.
The Author: 7:30 p.m., March 15, Karpeles Manuscript Museum,
68 Spring St. Since South Carolina's colonization in 1670, Irish people
have helped shape the state's history. Sullivan's Island is named after
the Revolutionary War hero Capt. Florence O'Sullivan, and two Irishmen
signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of South Carolina. Arthur
Mitchell, a Boston native and history professor at the Salkehatchie Campus
of the University of South Carolina at Allendale and Walterboro, recounts
the trials and triumphs in "South Carolina Irish." He was the
2010 recipient of the Irish Carolinian award by three Irish societies
"Helium" at the Dock Street: 7:30 p.m., March
16-19, and 3 p.m., March 20. Charleston Stage presents "Helium,"
an exploration of aging and a celebration of the wonder and resilience
of the human mind at the Dock Street Theatre. Buy
tickets ($22-$48) online.
Finance 101: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., March 16, Holiday Inn Express
in Mount Pleasant. Charleston Young Professionals luncheon on personal
finance with experts discussing investing, retirement, taxes and personal
budgeting. Cost: $25 non-member, $15 CYP member. Register.
Charleston Art & Antiques Forum: March 16-20. The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum will feature as its keynote speaker Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, at 7 p.m. March 16. The 14th annual forum program, "Made in America" - Century by Century," will feature fine and decorative arts from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to contemporary ceramics. National experts will discuss architecture, furniture, painting, silver, and ceramics. Visits to significant local homes will be included. More information and purchase of ticket packages are available online.
Walk for Water: 9 a.m., March 19, Cannon Park, corner of Calhoun Street and Rutledge Avenue in downtown Charleston. In its fifth year, the Water Missions International 3.5-mile Walk for Water advocates for those affected by the global water crisis while raising funds to provide safe water around the globe. Registration is $15 and includes a free T-shirt; children under 10 years old are free. More info.
10 a.m. (registration) to 2 p.m., March 19. Organizers are trying
to raise $18,000 to send a Water Missions International water treatment
system to Uganda. More than 20 million Ugandans lack clean water. Low
Country Harley-Davidson and Market Street Saloon invite all bikers (regardless
of motorcycle brand) to meet at Low Country Harley-Davidson for the Bikers4Africa
ride. Registration is $20 per rider, $5 per passenger. Kick stands up
at noon for a police-escorted ride through some of the most beautiful
parts of Charleston. The ride returns to the dealership at 2 p.m. for
an after-party. More
Parks customer appreciation day: March 20. Come enjoy all the play with none of the pay during Customer Appreciation Day at Charleston County Parks. Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission offers free gate admission to Ravenel Caw Caw Interpretive Center, North Charleston Wannamaker, Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands and James Island County Parks. Free parking offered at Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Folly Beach and Isle of Palms County Parks, as well as the Folly Beach Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, where fishing is free for the day. Mount Pleasant Pier also will offer complimentary fishing, but parking fees still apply.
Scrabble Tournament: 2 p.m., March 20, Taco Boy restaurant. New local publishing company Surcee Press will host a Scrabble Tournament on the outdoor patio at Taco Boy. Official Scrabble competition rules and dictionary will be enforced by timers, scorekeepers and judges. The three-round tournament will consist of 64 competitors. The winner will receive a cash prize, and there will be rewards for all who participate. Proceeds will go towards the June 2011 publication of "A New Guide to Charleston" by Surcee Press. To purchase $12 competition and/or $24 board donation tickets, or to learn more, go online.
ONGOING AND SOON
(NEW) Positive Union Relations: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 23, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. Workshop will look at the history of unions in the U.S., offering a perspective on how relations have changed over time between unions, businesses and employees. Attendees will learn how to handle collective bargaining contract negotiations, take a look at the National Labor Relations Board and discuss its impact on our economy today. Finally, a panel discussion on how to maintain positive labor relations. Cost: $95 non-member, $55 members. Register.
(NEW) Pour It Forward: 5 to 8 p.m., March 23, at The Square Onion Too, 411 Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant. The Square Onion Too! and Earthly Artifacts will host a new monthly Pour It Forward giving event one Wednesday each month. A $10 donation is requested and patrons will enjoy libations, music, snacks and more. For the first event, patrons can enjoy a wine tasting with proceeds from the event going to S.W.A.T., Southern Women Animal Task force. For more, visit the Square Onion on Facebook.com.
Writing from memory: 6:30 p.m., March 25, the Sophia Institute, 297 East Bay St. Workshop with author Josephine Humphreys. Fiction and memoir may seem to be opposites, but there's a surprisingly thin line between the two. The essence of both is story. In this workshop participants will talk about the memory-treasury, the writer's principal resource, and how it can be accessed for effective fiction and memoir. Tuition: Friday night lecture, $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Workshop (includes lecture): $195. For more information and to register, go online.
Polaridad Complementaria: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tues.-Fri. and noon to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun., through March 27. Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works from Cuba, an exhibition that introduces North America to the new generation of influential artists from Cuba, is on view at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. More than 40 works of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and installation art provide a sense of the serious aesthetic and conceptual concerns that characterizes Cuban art today. Admission free.
Cuban Exhibit: Through March 28, City Gallery at Waterfront Park. An opening reception for Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works from Cuba, an exhibition that introduces North America to the new generation of influential artists from Cuba, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4. The exhibit offers more than 40 works of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and installation art to provide a sense of the serious aesthetic and conceptual concerns that characterizes Cuban art today. The City Gallery, at 34 Prioleau St., is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
(NEW) Economic Outlook Conference: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 30, Charleston Area Convention Center. Keynote Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing, Boeing. There will also be an 18 to 24 month look ahead at what's in store for the region's key economic sectors. Cost: $160 non-member, $105 member. Register.
Landscapes of the Lowcountry: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Through March 31, Charleston Area Convention Center gallery viewing area, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston. Charleston Artist Guild member Barrie Hinson will exhibit plein air landscapes in oil in this exhibit of recent works titled "Landscapes of the Lowcountry." Admission free.
Summerville photo contest: submissions due by noon, May 5. Summerville D.R.E.A.M. (Downtown Restoration Enhancement and Management) is looking for a few good photographs of the downtown Summerville area. Thirteen photos will be used in the upcoming D.R.E.A.M. 2012 Calendar of Historic Downtown Summerville. This contest is open to amateur and professional photographers. Photographs must be of the historic downtown Summerville area - residential and business areas are both acceptable. Photographs may be black and white or color. For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call (843) 821-7260 or go online.
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DOUG BOSTIC: CIVIL WAR HISTORY3/10: Student vs. instructor
2/10: War prep offsets horseracing
MARSHA GUERARD3/10: Honoring givers, adventurers
3/3: Watching Charlie, selves
2/24: Oysters, pigs, chickens
2/17: Law student's brief
2/10: Simple act of beauty
1/3: Spoleto plans
12/27: Hunger, homeless
11/11: Veterans Day
10/21: Charleston: good performer
8/19: How many med schools for SC?
PETER LUCASH: BUSINESS INDIGO
GREG GARVAN: CHARLESTON GREEN
ANN THRASH: FOOD & DRINK
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