4.17 | Monday, Feb. 27, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Letters history, peacock
:: SPOTLIGHT: Twenty Six Divine
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: Investing in education
:: BROADUS: Big check
2012 -- In early 1942, Navy Ensign Jack Kennedy and his current fling,
Danish bombshell Inga Arvad, planned a clandestine tryst at the Fort Sumter
House Hotel in Charleston.
of Inga's past association with leading Nazis, she was suspected of being
a German spy. When rumors that young Jack Kennedy was seen in the company
of a beautiful blond Nazi agent began to circulate around wartime Washington,
reporters from "Life" magazine were soon on the their trail
and the FBI, in hot pursuit, had agents listening to Jack and Inga's lovemaking
in the next room. This amazing but forgotten World War II story of intrigue,
espionage and forbidden romance, comes to life in "Inga Binga,"
a new play by Charleston Stage founder Julian Wiles.
"I had always heard that Jack Kennedy was stationed here in Charleston during World War II," says playwright Wiles, "but until I did my research I didn't realize what an amazing story this was." Wiles's research took him to Boston and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, as well as to the Massachusetts Historical Society, where he was able to read firsthand the FBI reports of Jack and Inga's liaison."The FBI bugged their phone and their hotel room," says Wiles, "and from these reports, we have a pretty good idea of what was taking place behind closed doors."
an exciting time in Charleston. Pearl Harbor had plunged the nation into
war just a few months earlier. German U-boats were already sinking allied
ships off the South Carolina coast, air raid sirens were being erected
across the city including one atop St. Michael's steeple, and another
on top of Jack and Inga's Hotel. Bomb shelters were being prepared around
town as well."It's hard to imagine what it must have felt like in
the first few months of World War II Charleston," says Wiles."One
can see why someone with a foreign accent like Kennedy's flame Inga Binga
(Jack's pet name for her) would be suspect."
"Inga Binga" features New York Equity Actors Phil Reed as Ensign Jack Kennedy and Gardner Reed as Inga Arvad. Supporting roles include Brian J. Porter as Kennedy's best friend Lemoyne "Lem" Billings, FBI agents Josh Harris, Brian Bogstad, and Victor Clark, "Life" magazine reporter and photographer Beth Curley and Luke Whitmire, and a bellhop and maid played by Derek T. Pickens and Constance Singleton.
2012 -- Hard to believe that there are more foreign-born people living
in the American South than live in the whole state of Tennessee, population
to the latest Census numbers to learn that 7.3 million of the South's
76 million residents were born outside of the country. And if you take
out Florida and its 3.6 million foreign-born residents, the 3.7 million
people left are more than everyone who lives in Arkansas (2.9 million)
or Mississippi (3 million).
interesting: some 1.2 million people in the South were born in Puerto
Rico, on a U.S. protectorate like Guam or to American parents living overseas.
Then there are the 26 million Southerners who were born in a different
state than they now live in. That could be a Georgia native, like my sister,
who now lives in North Carolina. Or it could be a New Yorker who moved
to Hilton Head Island.
does this tell us how much more mobile our population is, but it begs
the question of what it means to be a Southerner in 2012.
born in South Carolina of parents born in India, such as Gov. Nikki Haley,
a "real Southerner?" Absolutely.
an Asian-American child born in Charleston who identifies himself as "American"
or "South Carolinian," not "Southern?" Yep, he's still
columnist born in Germany to parents serving in the military? Or his wife,
born in New Orleans to parents who were raised in Maryland and Pennsylvania?
Yes, both are Southern.
In fact, air-conditioning might have as much to do with changes to what's Southern as anything else because it allowed people from "off" to move to the region, and live and work in comfort. By the mid-1970s, most businesses, two-thirds of homes and half of classrooms in the South had air-conditioning, according to the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
forget two other things that fundamentally changed the South and made
it more like the rest of America: integration in the late 1960s and early
1970s, and the spread of commercialism.
It took a generation for most of the South to integrate following the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that held separate school systems were not equal. But eventual integration at schools -- and in public accommodations, businesses and across the social structure -- fundamentally changed the South. Sure, there are pockets of racism left. Sure, blacks, whites and Hispanics have different cultural backgrounds. And sure, some areas unfortunately seem to be resegregating mostly because of economic challenges.
today's South, most people get along most of the time. Today's kids don't
have the racial baggage their parents and grandparents might have had.
The mythological South of Jim Crow and the Dukes of Hazzard has largely
commercialization also generated big changes. Television is rightly blamed
for dulling regional accents and thwarting backyard conversations. The
spread of chain stores from McDonald's to Walmart overhauled the ways
Southerners eat and buy things. Instead of maintaining a distinct identity,
commercialization continues to chip away at the South by making it a blander
region in a country racing toward homogeneity.
how easy it is for a traveler to get off of a plane, rent a car, check-in
at a Hampton Inn, eat supper at an Applebee's, grab a cup of morning coffee
at Starbucks, attend a meeting at a corporate campus that could be anywhere,
and return to the airport to start it all over. The traveler could be
visiting Columbia, Topeka, Portland or Dallas.
I wouldn't live anywhere other than the American South. It's still home
to great people, great food and a great quality of life for many. None
of those things, however, looks anything like they used to.
I loved Douglas W. Bostick's interesting article connecting Traveller, Robert E. Lee's horse, to South Carolina. I have my own vivid memories of Traveller. My father took my brother and me to the Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington and Lee in 1947, when I was seven, an impressionable age. My memory of that visit is clouded by the image of the skeleton of Traveller standing in a glass case in the basement of Lee Chapel. A scary sight for a youngster, an image lacking the magnificence of the animal that we know Traveller to have been.
Some 40 years later, I took my own two sons to that site and was so relieved to see that Traveller had found ground just outside the chapel close to his master. Years ago, and in college, I came close to erasing that skeletal image by reading and studying Stephen Vincent Benet's Civil War epic poem, John Brown's Body. I have never forgotten it.
Editor's note: We also got a lot of interesting Twitter comments over the last week about Michael Kaynard's dazzling cover photo of a peacock. If you didn't see it, click here.
The talented husband-wife team of chefs at Twenty Six Divine offers high-quality desserts and restaurant-quality meals. Pastry Chef Jennifer Meintel Parezo bakes, decorates, builds and arranges specialty desserts, cakes and savory baked goods that are inventive, delicious and beautiful. Executive Chef Enan Parezo is head chef of an innovative new type of personal chef service specializing in gourmet healthy meals at reasonable prices. Twenty Six Divine offers personal chef service without the personal chef price! Each week, the service will prepare a customized menu for your family and fill your refrigerator with freshly-cooked, easy-to-serve meals.
You also can drop by for lunch at their upper King Street location. The chefs offer individual quiches of the day, two different soups of the week, and a broad array of cakes and tarts. Take a look at their online cafe menu and you'll see an array of seasonal eats that will delight your taste buds. Visit TwentySixDivine.com today.
2012 -- Lowcountry chef Robert Carter is back in action with a new restaurant,
Carter's Kitchen, that opened last week in the I'On neighborhood in Mount
Pleasant. We checked it out one night and were happy to see the chef in
his element. This is Carter doing what he's always been so good at --
adding grace, polish and quiet sophistication to the kind of comfortable,
familiar food that he loves to make and we love to eat.
who left Peninsula Grill last fall after 14 years at the helm of the restaurant,
opened Carter's Kitchen on Thursday night after a whirlwind renovation
to the space, which is located in the Inn at I'On and formerly housed
Jacob's Kitchen. It's a relaxing place that feels familiar even to a first-time
visitor -- a testament to the warm, neighborhood-restaurant feeling Carter
wanted to have.
features soups, salads, small plates and main plates, along with a selection
of vegetable sides. While you're pondering the menu, be sure to try some
of the warm cashews with rosemary and sea salt; they were hard to resist.
wild about the seared scallops small plate ($12); they were cooked to
perfection -- crisp on the outside, practically melting on the inside
-- and were served on a parsnip-potato puree with a lightly smoky, subtly
sweet bacon marmalade on the side. The herbed shrimp salad with wild corn
lettuce, marinated tomatoes, and green goddess dressing ($12.50) was a
keeper, too. A friend who visited on another night raved about the grilled
quail with oven-dried tomato, spinach, goat cheese and fettuccine ($12),
and also about the baby kale Caesar salad with herbed crumbs and parmesan
appetizers, the crispy flounder with shrimp ($21) was outstanding. Like
the scallops, the fish and the shrimp were perfectly cooked, tender and
moist as could be. Chef Carter told us the dish was inspired by the fish
his grandmother would cook on Sunday nights for supper when he was growing
up in Florida. It's a great example of how Carter takes something familiar
- fried seafood - and adds one of those cool surprises we mentioned above:
The fish is served with a Wickles tartar sauce, made with Wickles pickles,
and it is yummy stuff -- creamy and light but packing a little punch from
the spice in the Wickles. Cheese grits and corn fritters round out the
pork shoulder with crispy cabbage and fresh pasta ($19.50) was another
winner. We heard that the lamb chops (served with spinach pie, truffled
honey mustard and salted pecans, $8 per chop) are top-notch, too. Carter
has said the menu will be seasonal and will change every few weeks, so
you'll always be assured of finding fresh, local fare.
Kitchen is located at 148 Civitas St. It's open seven days a week and,
beginning today, will be serving breakfast as well as dinner. Hours are
Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.,
and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. Call 284-0850 for details or reservations.
The restaurant doesn't have a Web site yet, but you can "like"
Kitchen on Facebook to stay up to date.
House announced Friday that former Charleston resident David Agnew will
serve as the deputy assistant to the President and director of intergovernmental
affairs. Agnew, who has served as deputy director of White House intergovernmental
affairs since January 2009, will oversee the Obama Administration's relationship
with state, county, local and tribal officials across the country.
strong nation requires strong partnerships with our state, local, and
tribal officials and I am confident that David will bring their voices
and the voices of the people they represent into the White House,"
President Obama said.
joining the White House, Agnew was a businessman and community leader
in Charleston. He has served as a top deputy to Charleston Mayor Joseph
P. Riley Jr. from 1996 to 2001, a special assistant in the Office of U.S.
Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and a management consultant at Price Waterhouse.
had the great pleasure of working with David when he was senior advisor
to me and watched his extraordinary ability and energy help move this
city forward," Riley said. "David is brilliant, full of energy,
wise beyond his years and dedicated to public service.
been active in public affairs and urban policy throughout his career,
and has served in leadership roles for numerous non-profit organizations,
including the South Carolina Trust for Public Land, the Charleston Parks
Conservancy, and the College of Charleston Riley Center.
his master's degree in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy
School of Government. He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a European Union
Visiting Fellow and a Liberty Fellow.
Lowcountry Housing Trust wins $20,000 grant for jobs
Lowcountry Housing Trust has received a $20 000 capital grant from the Create Jobs for USA Fund, a collaboration between Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The money will help trust to create and sustain jobs in the area as part of a national campaign to support community businesses in underserved communities.
Lowcountry Housing Trust, a North Charleston-based community lender dedicated to encouraging and funding affordable housing in the coastal region of South Carolina, is one of the top-tier community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the nation, and the first CDFI in South Carolina, to be awarded a grant from the fund since the program began allocating awards in November of 2011.
Jobs for USA Fund pools donations from Starbucks customers, partners/employees,
and concerned citizens into a nationwide fund, held and managed by OFN,
for community business lending. Donors who contribute $5 or more will
receive a red, white and blue wristband with the message "Indivisible."
The wristbands are individually handmade in the U.S.A. and all component
materials are manufactured by U.S. suppliers, so the effort is also helping
support American manufacturing jobs.
Since November 1, The Create Jobs for USA Fund has been collecting donations at www.CreateJobsforUSA.org and at nearly 7,000 company-operated Starbucks across the country. 100% of the donations will support organizations like Lowcountry Housing Trust for job creation and retention across the U.S.
pleased that OFN recognizes the important work that CDFIs are doing, and
honored that the Create Jobs for USA Fund has decided to support us,
says Michelle Mapp, executive director of Lowcountry Housing Trust. Create
Jobs for USA is unprecedented for the CDFI industry, shining a national
spotlight on our work, and this grant will help us to create and sustain
jobs in the Lowcountry.
Book Sale set for this weekend
Admission is free both days for the sale, which starts at 9 a.m. You can shop through 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.
The sale at 2261 Otranto Road, will offer great bargains, good books and a chance to support the library system. Among the items: Books, DVDs and CDs will be available with prices starting at $1 for paperbacks and $3 for hardback books. Items include mysteries, romances, classics, children's books, local histories, cookbooks and a variety of non-fiction topics. Children's books start at just $0.50 each.
The Charleston Friends of the Library, a non-profit volunteer organization, raises money through book sales to help fund Library services, equipment, training, materials and public programming. The Friends collect and sort donated books for resale to raise money. This branch sale is one of the four book sales held throughout the year by the Friends.
Piggly Wiggly wins major national award
Grocer, a leading national supermarket industry trade publication,
has named Piggly Wiggly
Carolina Company, Inc. as its 2012 Self-Supplied Independent Retailer
of the Year.
When Congress declared war on Germany in April 1917, part of South Carolina was already on a war footing. Charleston buzzed with rumors and fear on February 1917 when a German freighter, interned since 1914, tried to block the Navy Yard channel. The ship's skeleton crew failed, and all were convicted and imprisoned. Inland, the cities of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Columbia had started lobbying for army training centers in their communities, for both economic and patriotic reasons. Led by Governor Richard I. Manning, this patriotic zeal grew stronger after the United States entered the war. However, not all of the state's leaders agreed with the nationalistic fervor. During the spring and summer of 1917, former governor Coleman Blease publicly spoke out against the war, trying to garner support among textile workers. His efforts drew few supporters.
More than 65,000 South Carolinians served in the armed forces, while others supported the war effort through liberty bond drives, home gardens, and meatless and wheatless days. Through the Women's Committee of the South Carolina State Council of Defense, many women made significant, but often unrecognized contributions. With the onset of war-time food shortages, the committee provided instructions on how to can and preserve foods and methods to grow "Liberty Gardens." Women also entered the workforce as young men went to war. A few joined the army nurse corps. Patriotism cut across racial boundaries in broad support of bond drives and the Red Cross.
The war revitalized the state's main livelihoods-agriculture and textiles. Total farm incomes in South Carolina rose from an average of $121 million in 1916 to $446 million during the war. The value of textile production doubled between 1916 and 1918, from $168 million to $326 million. New military installations also improved the economic outlook of many South Carolina communities. Camp Sevier in Greenville, Camp Jackson in Columbia, and the Charleston Navy Yard sparked large population increases, from the arrival of both armed forces personnel and civilian employees.
However, most of the changes wrought by World War I in South Carolina would not survive the war. With Germany's surrender in November 1918, military and naval bases quickly demobilized, with most closed by the early 1920s. Only the Charleston Navy Yard and the Parris Island Marine installations remained active, but at severely reduced levels. These closings foreshadowed an economic tailspin throughout the state in other important areas. War-time food and cotton surpluses after 1918 saw farm prices drop precipitously. Cotton prices fell from a war-time high of 40 cents a pound to less than half that by the early 1920s. Textile mills slashed war-time wages, which mill hands protested in a series of massive, yet unsuccessful strikes. Although race relations had relaxed somewhat during the war, they regressed in the postwar period. Many returning African American servicemen were greeted with race riots across the United States, including one in Charleston in 1919. Segregation grew more pronounced, and opportunities for African Americans returned to the more limited prewar levels, leading to their mass exodus to northern cities in the following two decades.
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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.
Five about Charleston
Here are five fun facts about Charleston that you may ... or may not know:
Culture. Charleston has the nation's first public college, museum and playhouse in the United States.
Golf. The first game of golf played in the United States took place in Charleston, South Carolina. Scottish immigrants formed the South Carolina Golf Club in 1786. They played on Harleston's Green until 1800.
Opera. The courtroom of Charles Town was the venue for the first opera performed in America -- Colley Cibber's ballad "Flora, or Hob in the Well" -- on Feb. 18, 1735.
Garden. Middleton Place, circa 1741, is America's oldest formally landscaped gardens.
Library. America's first public library was established Nov. 16, 1700, in Charleston by the S.C. General Assembly. Located on St. Philip's Street, the library was in operation for 14 years.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
7 a.m. to 10 a.m., Feb. 28, participating IHOP restaurants. Children's
Miracle Network Hospitals and IHOP restaurants will celebrate National
Pancake Day by offering a free short stack of its famous buttermilk pancakes
to each guest. In return diners will be asked to leave a little something
behind for Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital. To
find a local IHOP or to donate online, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.
Master plan input:
5:30 p.m., March 1, Military Magnet Academy, 2950 Carner Ave.,
North Charleston. The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments
invites area residents and business owners to participate in an open house
discussion of Partnership for Prosperity: A Master Plan for the Neck Area
of North Charleston and Charleston. More: Partnership
for Prosperity Web site.
Southern politics symposium: March 1-2, The Citadel, Charleston. The 18th Citadel Symposium on Southern Politics will feature a roundtable discussion of the 2012 presidential election as well as participation by about 100 noted political scientists and students from around the country. Schedule.
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.
Otranto Book Sale: Starting at 9 a.m., March 2 and 3, Otranto Regional Branch Library, 2261 Otranto Road, Charleston. Friends of the Library will have their first book sale of the year. More online.
for books: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., March 3, Island House on the Stono
River, 2658 Swygert Blvd., Johns Island. Begin With Books is having an
oyster roast fundraiser featuring live music to help fund book purchases
on Johns and Wadmalaw islands. Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children
ages 6 to 12. Kids under 6 are free (hot dogs will be available.). More.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Mullet Haul Train Run: 10 a.m., March 10, Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, Johns island. The second annual run encourages runners to sport either real or imitation mullet hairstyles during their participation in the race. The race will feature both a 5- and 10-mile off-road race. A prize will be awarded for the best mullet in the race. Fees to participate in the 5-mile run are $34 or $28 for residents of Charleston County. Fees to run the 10-mile leg are $44 or $36 for residents of Charleston County. Register.
Beautiful bulldog contest: 12:30 p.m., March 17, Johnson Hagood Stadium. The Citadel Football Association is holding its second annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest before the school's spring football game. They're looking for English bulldogs to participate (last year they had 54 dogs). You can visit with dogs and owners starting at 11 a.m. Cost: $5, with proceeds to provide support for The Citadel's bulldog mascots and the school's athletic scholarships. More: On the Web or 864.230.6002.
(NEW) Free admission: March 18. Charleston County's parks will be open for free March 18 during Customer Appreciation Day. The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission says it's a way for it to say "thank you" by offering free gate admission to Ravenel Caw Caw Interpretive Center, North Charleston Wannamaker, Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands and James Island County Parks. Plus, delight in free parking at Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Isle of Palms County Park, and the Folly Beach Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, where fishing is also free for the day! The Mount Pleasant Pier will also offer complimentary fishing on March 18, but parking fees will still apply. More: www.ccprc.com
Walk for Water: 9 a.m., March 24, Cannon Park, Charleston. Water Missions International will have its sixth annual Walk for Water to help raise money to provide safe drinking water around the globe. During the 3.5 mile walk, participants carry a bucket of water to symbolize the trek made daily by women and children in developing countries to collect water. Registration is $15 and includes a free T-shirt. Children under 10 are free. More.
Charleston Jazz: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., March 24, Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street, Charleston. Join the Charleston Jazz Orchestra for "Swingin' Soul," a big-band tribute to the golden era of rhythm and blues. Tickets: $30 to $40. More: Jazz Artists of Charleston.
Bird walks: 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 more online.
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