4.13| Monday, Jan. 30, 2012
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:: RECOMMENDED: "Joyful Noise"
:: SPOTLIGHT: SCIWAY
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: Faulkner on the military
2012 -- Does any state have a history as fascinating-both inspiring and
exasperating-as South Carolina? I don't think so. That's one of the reasons
why in 2010 I started Home House Press, a publisher of quality books about
South Carolina history. With managing editor Stephen G. Hoffius and, more
recently, Patti Holsclaw, the press's distribution and marketing manager,
we have now published four titles, with plans to produce three more in
2012. Two of our books are reprints of classic works first published more
than 100 years ago, and two are collections of important articles. Most
of our future titles will be new works by contemporary authors.
In a 2001
New York Times op-ed piece, Gail Collins wrote that a good half
of American history involves trying to keep South Carolina from "acting
out." At Home House Press we believe it is important to understand
all aspects of our long history to help us develop a vision for dealing
with the many problems before us as we walk together into the future.
The premise that knowledge and understanding of history will enlighten
our path forward is the principal reason the Home House Press was founded.
The reading of the history of this state is also enjoyable and interesting-sometimes
heartwarming, sometimes agonizing, and often surprising.
Home House Press initially chose to publish two books essential to the knowledge and understanding of our history in new and improved editions. The first was "The Shaftesbury Papers," a compilation of the founding documents of the Colony of Carolina in 1670, first published in 1897 and out of print. It provides essential information to understand how, why, and on what governing structures the colony came into being. The second book selected was Porter's autobiography, which shows how he reached out during Reconstruction to blacks and whites, rich and poor, men and women, to establish churches, orphanages, schools, and other institutions that might save civilization. The book gives us a clear insight into solutions for societal issues facing us every day in the 21st century.
In 2011, Home House Press published two more books, both compiled from articles originally published in the South Carolina Historical Magazine. "The Civil War in South Carolina," edited by Lawrence S. Rowland and Stephen G. Hoffius, covers all aspects of the war, from the Secession Convention until the skirmishes in the Greenville area that took place after the official surrenders. It was published as a part of the observance of the 150th anniversary of the war in April. In the fall, we published "Barbados and South Carolina Connections," which explains the many ties between our state and the island from which most of our first settlers came.
This year, we will publish at least three original works: a history of the Society of the Cincinnati of the State of South Carolina, an insider's view of Reconstruction, and a biography of much-loved Charleston sculptor Willard Hirsch.
Home House Press is looking for manuscripts to consider for publication. More information about all our publications, events, and announcements can be found at www.homehousepress.org, where the books can be purchased.
Weekend visit to aircraft carrier is just awesome
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
JAN. 30, 2012 -- Imagine you are sitting facing the back of a plane and someone is pressing an eight-pack of toilet paper onto your chest. Then BAM -- for about two seconds, they punch it really, really hard and keep up the pressure.
That's what it feels like to land on an aircraft carrier. It takes your breath away. From the moment the tailhook on the C-2 Greyhound cargo plane latched onto the arresting wire on Saturday aboard the USS Enterprise, passengers decelerated from 105 m.p.h. to zero in just two seconds.
Launching off the carrier feels quite different. Instead of the unpleasant whooshing pressure on your chest, there's a very strong tug that slams passengers, strapped tightly with chest and belt braces, forward. By the time the plane is free from snap of the steam-driven catapult, it has gone from zero to 128 mph in just three seconds. The motion is so fast that your body can't process what's happening, one veteran pilot explained. It feels like the plane dips down, but in actuality it just soars upwards.
In a single word, landing and taking off from a carrier are awesome, just as was a 24-hour visit to the Enterprise, the oldest and longest active aircraft carrier in the world. At just over 50 years old, the ship is a city at sea filled with dedicated sailors and Marines who work hard day in and day out. They serve, one officer observed, as "100,000 tons of diplomacy that doesn't need a permission slip."
From the moment the plane touched down on the black, rubber-coated flight deck where the smell of jet fuel reeked, our Navy hosts couldn't have been more gracious and open about the ship and her capabilities. The 11-person team of "distinguished visitors" included Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson, national commercial real estate icon John Cushman III, ESPN and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer, former UNC football coach Butch Davis and some friends of Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus.
Visitors saw the ship from the top on the captain's bridge to below decks in the mess halls, munitions room, jet hanger, medical facilities, machine shop and pilots' ready room. About the only off-limits area of 1,123-foot ship was where its eight nuclear reactors generated power.
Among the lessons learned and highlights of the overnight visit:
Hard workers. Life aboard a military ship is tough with no days off. During our visit, sailors had been underway for two weeks for a month-long naval exercise designed to get the carrier fleet ready to be deployed to the Persian Gulf in March. Work days are 12 hours, at a minimum, although it is not uncommon for enlisted sailors and officers to work up to 18 hours a day. Those aboard, including about 650 women, are under a lot of pressure and responsibility. But they seemed to handle it well. Days are tiring and grueling, but officers say they closely monitor everyone to make sure the strain doesn't get to be too much.
Young sailors. The sailors launching the planes, helping them to land, running sophisticated machinery and cooking the food are quite young -- their average age is around 22. We met galley hands who were 18 and a control tower operator who was 20. They glowed with enthusiasm. Throughout the tour, officers noted how the youths were the backbone of the ship and how they fueled her successes. Officers radiated pride with how the young Americans performed, day in and day out, to make the ship into a fighting machine.
Numbers. Of the 5,000 people onboard, about 3,000 are dedicated to making the ship run. Another 1,500 focus on flying and maintaining 60+ airplanes, including four F-18 jet squadrons as well as planes that do electronic jamming and offer in-the-sky radar. On board Saturday were about 190 pilots. Among those on the Enterprise was a squadron of F-18 jets, pilots and support staff from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.
Take-offs. We stood on the flight deck as about 10 F-18 Hornets and Super Hornets zoomed into the skies above the Atlantic Ocean about 100 miles east of Mayport, Fla. The sound was incredibly loud, despite earplugs and ear protectors. In the 10 minutes it took to launch the jets, you could feel the heat of the afterburners as jets throttled up before being catapulted away. Then in the instant each soared away, cool air rushed in to smack you in the face.
Landings. Then we stood by and watched pilots meticulously thread their way back onto the carrier, which was bobbing up and down, and moving forward at about 28 knots. In other words, pilots were looking for just the right spot on a moving runway for their tailhook to grab one of four 2-inch steel arresting cables, which ripped them to a halt in two seconds. Most amazing were the night landings during which the deck was dark with just a few green lights that illuminated the deck's landing center line and some other dim lights offered navigational aids to pilots. All totaled on Saturday, the ship launched and recovered 78 aircraft over about a 10-hour period.
There's much more to tell about this remarkable visit. Next week: Meeting some of the people on the ship and shore.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In today's issue, we shine the spotlight on SCIWAY, South Carolinas Information Highway. Pronounced sky-way, SCIWAY is the largest and most comprehensive directory of South Carolina information on the Internet. It includes thousands of links to other South Carolina Web sites, including Charleston Currents, as well as an amazing collection of maps, charts, articles, photos and other resources. To learn more about this extraordinary information hub that 7 million people visit a year, go to: http://www.SCIWAY.com.
2012 -- The Super Bowl is more like the Eat-Yourself-Into-A-Stupor Bowl,
at least if you believe the statistics that various promotional councils
and commissions put out this time each year about the food items they
hawk. It's not hard to believe one statistic -- that Super Bowl Sunday
is the second biggest food consumption day of the year, second only to
Thanksgiving -- but you've got to wonder how some of these groups came
up with the others.
example, the California Avocado Commission estimates that 13.2 million
pounds of avocados will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday, mostly as guacamole.
That's enough guac to cover a football field from end zone to end zone
about 40 inches deep, they say.
the National Chicken Council, which offers the statistic that more than
1.25 billion wing portions will be consumed this weekend, equaling more
than 100 million pounds of wings. If those wings were laid end to end,
the NCC says, they'd circle the Earth more than twice -- a distance equal
to traveling about a quarter of the way from here to the moon.
Regardless of how the groups came up with those stats, one thing's for sure: There's going to be a lot of food out there on Sunday, and a lot of alcohol, too.
but be safe, and be sure you have a designated driver if you're going
out to a party (or volunteer to be that driver yourself). You don't want
to end up as a Super Bowl statistic yourself -- a statistic of the very
wild in the kitchen during SEWE
Wildlife Exposition will be here before we know it -- Feb. 17 through
Feb. 19, to be exact -- and a number of cooking demonstrations are on
the schedule, as well as a game-oriented cooking class at Charleston Cooks.
will take place at the Gaillard Auditorium on all three days of the expo.
Among the chefs you can see are Jeremiah Bacon (Oak Steakhouse), Nathan
Whiting (Tristan), Michelle Weaver (Charleston Grill), Marc Collins (Circa
1886), John Undo (Lana), Fred Neville (Fat Hen), Jill Mathias (Carolina's)
and David Pell (Coast).
at Charleston Cooks is planned for 11 a.m. Feb. 18 (a class will also
be held Feb. 17, but it's already sold out, according to the expo Web
site). The menu for the class includes Green Apple and Smoked Quail Mixed
Greens Salad; Wild Rice and Ham Hock Soup with Pecan Pistol; Charleston
Cooks Shrimp and Grits; and Bourbon Pecan Pie with Dark Chocolate Panache.
residents planning to purchase new, ENERGY STAR qualified appliances can
get rebates up to $100 through Sunday, Feb. 5, via the state's remaining
portion of the appliance rebate stimulus program.
appliances include ENERGY STAR labeled clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators
and room air conditioning units (window units). Eligible clothes washers
will receive a $100 rebate while dishwashers, refrigerators and room air
conditioning units will receive $50 rebates. All qualifying purchases
occurring throughout this program will be eligible to receive a rebate.
are excited to offer another rebate program that will not only help South
Carolinians purchase new appliances but will also help them save money
on their utility bills by upgrading to these more energy efficient products,"
said Ashlee Lancaster, director of the S.C. Energy Office. "We also
hope this program will remind people to look for the ENERGY STAR label
wherever they shop."
to get some tasty potlikker
end of themonth on the eve of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, the
Alliance will serve up some good food, hip films, good company and
potlikker, the earthy juice from Southern greens.
well-known chefs and cooks providing food are Sean Brock of Husk and Jeremiah
Langhorne of McCrady's, both in Charleston, and Rodney Scott of Scott's
Barbecue in Hemingway.
the menu (the other half is secret) includes potlikker, barbecued oysters,
fatback, and lamb. Drinks include brown whiskey from Alabama. And films
include a profile of S.C. peach farmer and novelist Dori Sanders.
is the Feb. 29 Potlikker Charleston Film Festival. It will be held at
Marion Square. Tickets are $75 and if they are as popular as they were
last year, they'll go quickly. Click
here for more about tickets.
Borick's new book debuts here with lecture, book-signing
A new book by Charleston Museum Assistant Director Carl Borick outlines the hardships of soldiers captured by the British during the Southern campaigns of the Revolutionary War, is a feature of the Curator Lecture Series at the museum at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7. The free event will be in the museum's auditorium.
In the book, "Relieve Us of This Burthen: American Prisoners of War in the Revolutionary South, 1780-1782," Borick examines the circumstances of the capture of the prisoners, many of whom were kept in Charleston. He also recounts the extraordinary escapes by some and their experiences after attaining freedom.
The book, published by the University of South Carolina Press, is the first book-length study to be published concerning Revolutionary War prisoners in the South. Borick also is the author of "A Gallant Defense: The Siege of Charleston, 1780," which won the 2003 George C. Rogers Jr. Award of the South Carolina Historical Society for best book in South Carolina history.
Tech to hold college financial aid session
how college is an option for people who might not think it is, you can
attend College Goal South Carolina on Feb. 18 at Trident Technical College.
event is part of a nationwide effort to help students and parents learn
more about college financial aid which is based more on need than grades.
College Goal South Carolina was created to help students and their families
learn about available financial aid options and how to qualify and apply
for college financial aid such as grants, loans, scholarships, work-study
and other forms of assistance.
will be on hand to help attendees with their financial aid applications.
Attendees who wish to complete the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA) should bring student's and parent's 2011 federal tax returns,
Social Security number, driver's license, verification of any untaxed
income and alien registration number (for eligible noncitizens). Also,
students who plan to fill out a FAFSA at the event should bring their
PIN (apply for the PIN at www.pin.ed.gov).
Please note: dependent students need a PIN for themselves and at least
The event will be in Trident Tech's Complex for Economic Development (Building 920, Room 791) on its North Charleston campus, 7000 Rivers Avenue. For more information about the event at TTC, call Josephine Brown at 843.574.6777. For information about College Goal South Carolina or to pre-register for a chance to win an iPad, visit www.collegegoalsc.org.
The other night, my wife and I went to the Carmike Theater on James Island to see "Joyful Noise" starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah. The movie was a little sugary but none the less worked. The music was not too bad either. I enjoyed the movie and the music much more than I thought I would. Dolly Parton was OK but Queen Latifah was much better. The true stars of the show were the young lead singers. I was extremely impressed with both of them.
The main reason we went to this movie was to support Begin With Books, which is holding fundraising events to help develop childhood literacy in rural areas of Charleston County. Begin With Books is affiliated with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, thus the tie in with the movie. The Imagination Library is an early childhood literacy program Parton started years ago in her home county in Tennessee. Its goal is to improve reading readiness by providing young children with a new book every month until they start kindergarten.
Begin with Books is another way our community is working with various organizations to improve childhood literacy. For more information and to find out how to donate to this worthy project go here.
the movie. It's really fairly good.
In late December 1861, the Union navy attempted to blockade Charleston harbor by sinking old schooners in the shipping channel. With each schooner weighted with granite stones in the hull, this sunken fleet became known as the "Stone Fleet." The New York Times declared the sunken stone fleet to be "unconquerable obstacles." A reporter from the New York Herald was present when the stone fleet was sunk. In his report, he offered, "One feels that at least one cursed rathole has been closed and one avenue of supplies cut off by the hulks."
General Robert E. Lee, commander of Confederate forces in South Carolina and Georgia, was shocked and dismayed given the impact that this could have on the thousands of civilians in the city. In a report to Confederate Secretary of War Benjamin, Lee wrote,
Foreign dignitaries and newspapers also expressed their shock at the use of the "stone fleet." The London Times declared, "Among the crimes which have disgraced the history of mankind it would be difficult to find one more atrocious than this." U.S. secretary of state William Seward tried to placate the European nations by suggesting it was "all a mistake."
The first of the ships sunken in the channel began to break up due to the swift current. The Union command made a second attempt in January by sinking fourteen additional ships in Maffit's Channel off Sullivan's Island. In short order, these ships were also destroyed by the currents and the channel remained open.
The Union troops now occupying Port Royal, Beaufort and Hilton Head totaled more than 12,000 in number. General Lee and the Confederate troops awaited their first move against either Charleston or Savannah. Lee established his headquarters at Coosawatchie, South Carolina, and, with far fewer troops to defend the two coastal cities, he devised a strategy of positioning troops and resources along the Charleston and Savannah Railroad lines where they could be quickly relocated to meet an attack.
The only attack by Union troops came on New Year's Day when soldiers from 48th New York, the 47th and 50th Pennsylvania and some New Hampshire volunteers mounted a fleet of flatboats supported by several gunboats to attack the Port Royal Ferry Station at Seabrook Landing and open Coosaw Creek. The attack successfully chased the Confederate defenders from their positions, but, rather than continue to burn and destroy the Charleston and Savannah Railroad lines, the Union troops burned some houses on the river and retreated to Port Royal. Throughout the month of January, Confederates waited on an attack that never came.
January, the Sovereign Convention of the State of South Carolina convened
in Charleston. On January 8, the convention declared: "The sense
of the people of South Carolina, assembled in convention, that Charleston
should be defended at any cost of life or property, and that, in their
deliberate judgment, they would prefer a repulse of the enemy with the
entire city in ruins, to an evacuation or surrender on any terms whatever."
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© 2008-2012, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
Enterprising fun facts
Here are some tidbits of neat information about the USS Enterprise, the Navy's oldest active aircraft carrier taking part this week in war games off the Florida coast. For more, read Andy Brack's column about a visit to the ship.
Real estate: The 1,123-foot ship has a flight deck of 4.5 acres that can launch jets from four steam-powered catapults, each of which is 286 feet. The ship's landing area is 344 feet. Planes drop a tailhook to catch one of four "arresting" cables spaced about 25 feet apart. The hanger bay area is 3.5 acres.
Crew: The crew is about 5,000 sailors and Marines, including some 3,000 who make the ship run and about 1,500 who fly jets and support the squadron. There are more than 400 officers.
Food: The crew's daily consumption includes 350 gallons of milk, 30,000 soft drinks, 1,000 pounds of lettuce and 500 pounds of tomatoes.
Lodging. Enlisted crew generally sleep in bunks stacked three high in rooms of about 100 bunks each. Petty officers have similar quarters, but only about 30 bunks per room. Officers share rooms with bunks stacked two high. Junior officers may have three roommates, while more senior ones may have one roommate. The ship's top dozen officers have single staterooms that include en suite bathrooms.
Services. The ship publishes a daily newspaper and offers a store, two gyms, two barber shop, self-service and full-service laundry and lounges where sailors can keep up with email. Bandwidth is limited. There's also a television station. Sailors can watch current shows on several channels -- including ESPN -- that come in via satellite.
"I'm inclined to think that a military background wouldn't hurt anyone."
(NEW) Nicole Henry performs: 7 p.m., Feb. 3, Memminger Auditorium, 53 Beaufain St., Charleston. Acclaimed jazz vocalist Nicole Henry will perform at the Spoleto Festival USA Auction, where participants can bid on exclusive and one-of-a-kind items with proceeds benefitting the Festival's resident orchestra. Tickets are $150 each. More.
(NEW) Black History Month Bazaar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 4, Buyer Auditorium on the second floor of Mark Clark Hall, The Citadel. The college will hold the bazaar as part of its celebration of Black History Month with music, exhibits and food. During the event, the Center for Heirs Property Preservation, which works to empower and support heirs' property owners and their communities, will give a seminar. More: 843.745-7055.
Let my people go: 6 p.m., Feb. 4, Trinity United Methodist Church, 273 Meeting Street, Charleston. The CSO Spiritual Ensemble, a 35-member vocal group that focuses on traditional African-American spirituals, will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a performance entitled, "Moses, Let My People Go: A Tribute to Moses Hogan." Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children and students. More.
Cork Shuckin' Party: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 4, at Irvin-House Vineyards, Wadmalaw Island. Irvin-House will celebrate 2012 with the unveiling of a new product at its inaugural Cork Shuckin' Party. Admission is free. Oysters will be available for purchase with other food. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to enjoy music by Kristi Starr and Gary Hewitt. More.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
(NEW) LOLT meeting: 5:30 p.m., Feb. 6, Founders Hall, Charles Towne Landing. The Lowcountry Open Land Trust will discuss the future of Lowcountry conservation at its annual meeting, which will feature a presentation by nationally-recognized land conservation planner Marc Smiley. It's free. More.
Oyster roast and chili cook-off: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 12, Goldbug Island. Charleston Bay Gourmet will sponsor an oyster roast and chili cook-off benefiting Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina. A $250 prize will be offered for best chili. Tickets are $25 until Jan. 29 and $35 after that. More info.
(NEW) Homegrown Shakespeare: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 17 and Feb. 18, College of Charleston Sotille Theatre, 44 George St., Charleston. Holy City Shakespeare will present William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." The company sets this crowd-pleasing comedy in a small American town at the end of World War II. Authentic Southern folk music and a barn dance round out this production of a play about soldiers coming home to family, neighbors, potential mates-and a rumor mill that can bring them together or pull them apart. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students (25 and under) and seniors (60+). Get half off a second ticket if purchased online or by phone (866-811-4111) until Feb. 10.
8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time
of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry
so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird
walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested.
Cost is $5. Learn
Charleston Film Festival: March 1-4, Terrace Theatre, James Island. Partnering with Columbia's Indie Grits Festival, the Charleston festival will offer a $2,500 first-place prize and a week of exhibition at the Terrace. Both festivals will release their line-ups and schedules soon. Click here for more.
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