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: Boy does this rooster have a yodel! He put up quite a squawk Sunday as berry pickers rushed by to grab some luscious spring strawberries at King's Farm Market on Highway 174 on Edisto Island. Maybe he was announcing what we should all know -- that fresh-picked berries are as sweet as all get-out and a perfect refresher after a morning at the beach. Photo by Andy Brack.

Issue 5.28 | Monday, May 13, 2013
Pick some fresh berries

FOCUS Country visits Roper Rehab
BRACK Gerrymandering and Sanford win
SC AT WAR Keokuk guns recovered
GOOD NEWS On Google, Goodwill, more
HISTORY Edgefield pottery
SPOTLIGHT Charleston Green Commercial
FEEDBACK Got a beef? Tell us about it
BROADUS How to win RiverDogs' tickets
THE LIST On traveling with friends
QUOTE On courage
CALENDAR This week ... and next

Roper Rehab hosts Nashville singer, band
Roper St. Francis
Special to Charleston Currents

MAY 13, 2013 -- It isn't unusual to hear country music during patient sessions at Roper Rehabilitation Hospital. But it is a little strange to hear live country tunes.

Sade' Jefferson and Michelle Murray

Nonetheless, that was the case May 3 when Roper Rehab hosted Nashville, Tenn.-based singer Michelle Murray and her band.

The hospital stop comes as Murray is in the midst of her 120-city, 15-month "My Finish Line Movie Premier and Music Tour." The titular film chronicles the story of Sam Schmidt, an Indy Car driver who was paralyzed in an on-track crash in 2000.

Schmidt and Murray met in 2005 and Murray has since become a spokesperson for the former driver's foundation, which focuses its efforts on finding a cure for paralysis. (The foundation is also a large supporter of the RSF and MUSC collaborative Center for Spinal Cord Injury.)

"Doing the tour this way lets us tell Sam's story," said Murray, a Chicago native who formerly resided on Hilton Head Island. The mother of three has even penned a song about Schmidt, "It Won't Be If, But When (Sam's Song)."

Murray said her performances and "My Finish Line" are meant to encourage and inspire those affected by life-altering injuries and illnesses. Her show Friday seemed to do just that, as patients took time from assembling puzzles and mobility exercises to nod along with Murray's self-described mix of country with Chicago flair.

"Not everybody likes the same music but they can appreciate good, and this was," said rehab patient Kevin W. O'Grady, an erstwhile bass player himself.
Murray chatted and laughed with patients in Roper Hospital's 6th Floor rehab gym and visited other inpatient areas. As she did, a stand-in guitarist, drafted after Murray's regular axe-man was called away last-minute on a family emergency, hurriedly learned a bevy of new tunes.

"This happened right before we left, so I literally called 25 guitarists before we found someone who was available," said Murray, who also left her tour bus in Nashville with mechanical problems.

Most of Murray's tour in the immediate future will align with the IndyCar racing schedule. Over 14 stops, "My Finish Line," much of which was filmed at the Indianapolis 500 and highlights Schmidt's daily obstacles, will be premiered 17 times and Murray will play 60 shows. (Film sponsor Firestone helped defray the cost of obtaining race footage, which can cost thousands of dollars for just a few seconds.)

BraunAbility, a wheelchair-accessible van and wheelchair lift maker, is one of the "My Finish Line" tour's sponsors. The only Lowcountry BraunAbility dealership, Ilderton Conversion Company, played host to Murray Friday afternoon. She'll appear at Ilderton's Charlotte location later in the tour and will be back in Charleston in the fall, though details of that stop haven't been set.


Sanford win pre-determined by gerrymandering
By ANDY BRACK, editor and publisher

MAY 13, 2013 -- If state Democrats want to win big elections like the one they lost Tuesday on the coast, they're going to have to get busy and retake control of the state Senate.

Why? Because the outcome of Tuesday's election was practically determined two years before the special contest between GOP former Gov. Mark Sanford and challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Why? Because constitutionally-required redistricting to even population changes after the 2010 census made it tough for any Democrat to win.

In the First Congressional District, for example, voting age blacks comprised just 18.2 percent of voters. Huh, you might wonder? On the coast where African Americans comprise 30 percent of Charleston County, 26 percent of Dorchester County, 25 percent of Berkeley County and 20 percent of Beaufort County?

It's because of how congressional district lines were gerrymandered by the General Assembly. An adjacent district -- the so-called "black district" -- of U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn finds blacks comprising 55.2 percent of the voting population. If, for example, Clyburn's district were made of only 45 percent of black voters (which still all but guarantee his victory) and the First District were drawn in such a way to have 28 percent of black voters, Colbert Busch probably would have won.

It's the same story all over the state, a story brought to you by Republicans who carved district lines in state House, Senate and congressional districts to maximize the number of Republicans elected. [To be fair, Democrats did little different when they were in charge.] As we wrote in 2011, reapportionment is the political equivalent of the fox guarding the hen house because the very people who redraw the lines are those in office. [The percentages of blacks and whites in House districts are shown at right. Click here for similar Senate figures.]

In the late 1980s, Gov. Carroll Campbell actively persuaded Democratic House members to join the GOP. By the early 1990s when it was time for redistricting, an emboldened GOP approached black Democrats and made a deal that guaranteed them a higher percentage of black voters in their district, thereby making it easier for them to win reelection. In turn, the GOP got whiter "white districts."

Just look today at the 124 House seats. Some 30 districts have black voting percentages of greater than 50 percent. All are Democratic. Just five are represented by white Democrats. Six other districts have black voting percentages of at least 40 percent; two are represented by blacks.

There are 10 House Democrats -- all white -- who represent districts with less than 40 percent of black voters, from Leon Stavrinakis of Charleston (23.2 percent black) and Beth Bernstein of Columbia (26.4 percent black) to Jimmy Bales of Eastover (39.5 percent black).

It's not much different in the state Senate where nine of 46 districts have a black voting age population of more than 50 percent. Sen. John Scott (D-Columbia) has a district that's 63.8 percent black, while an adjacent district for Senate President Pro Tem John Courson (R-Columbia) is 18.7 percent black.

If Democrats want to have more of a chance in the Statehouse -- which would make the whole governmental system more competitive and vigorous -- then they're going to have to have more of a say in the redistricting process. To do so, they have to win at least one of the two chambers. The House is so overwhelmingly Republican that it would be tough, but a switch of six seats in the Senate would return it to Democratic control.

Furthermore, what needs to happen in the next redistricting process is for black districts to get less black and white districts to have more people of color. If that were to happen, political races would be more competitive, which would mean more vigorous debates and a step away from predetermined policy solutions that skew Republican.

The effect that all of this has had on our political system is truly spectacular and depressing. A majority of Republicans and Democrats in office run for re-election virtually unopposed because the numbers are in their favor to win. Turnover of seats tends to happen when someone retires, dies or decides to run for something else.

That needs to change.

Andy Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents and Statehouse Report, where this commentary first was published. He can be reached at: publisher@charlestoncurrents.com.


Send us your thoughts, opinions

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Charleston Green Commercial

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Charleston Green Commercial, a full-service commercial property management company that pays attention to detail, provides exceptional personal service and is committed to adding value to buildings. Offering professional property management, consulting and other services, the company strives to improve clients' bottom lines with superior service, accessibility, reliability and a wealth of knowledge of the Charleston real estate market. By blending use of proven contractors and contacts with environmentally-conscious practices, the company helps clients stay on the leading edge of commercial real estate practices. More.


The recovery of the guns of the Keokuk
By DOUGLAS W. BOSTICK, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

During the ill-fated ironclad attack on Fort Sumter on April 7, the USS Keokuk was hit point-blank 90 times. Nineteen of those shots either pierced the hull or hit below the waterline. One Union officer observed that the Keokuk was "riddled like a colander."

An engraving of the sinking of the USS Keokuk, published in the Illustrated London News, 1863.

The ship retired 1,300 yards off the southern end of Morris Island, which was held by the Confederates. The crew worked diligently to plug the many holes and leaks, keeping the ironclad ship afloat overnight. The next morning, when the wind picked up creating a rough sea, the Keokuk began to sink. The officers and crew, including many wounded men, were transferred to a Union tugboat just before the ship went down.

Union Flag Officer Francis Du Pont ordered the other ships to destroy the sunken Keokuk, but the rough seas prevented them from doing so. The Union officers were certain they could not salvage the Keokuk's guns and felt they could prevent the Confederates from making a similar attempt. The experimental ironclad, just four months after her launch in New York City, was abandoned to the rough seas in the Charleston channel.

On April 19, Confederate Major D.B. Harris, General Beauregard's chief engineer, and General Ripley visited the site of the sunken ship. Assessing the opportunity, they believed the two large Dahlgren guns below the sea could be recovered.

Adolphus W. LaCoste, a civilian employee in the Ordnance Department, was assigned the task of salvaging the guns. These two guns were 14 ½ feet long and three feet in diameter, weighing eight tons each.

The Keokuk gun at the Battery.

The first task was to remove the top of the Keokuk's turrets, a job that had to be done within view of the Union fleet during the day. The decision was made to conduct the salvage operation under the cover of darkness. The turrets were only exposed for two hours each night at low tide. With the delicate work to be done with no noise or lights, it took two weeks to cut a hole in both turrets large enough to remove the guns. The CSS Chicora and CSS Palmetto State provided escort for the salvage crew should the Union fleet become aware of the operation.

In one of the greatest engineering feats ever conducted at sea, the first gun was recovered on May 2. Three nights later, the second gun was recovered from the wreck of the Keokuk. The Federal fleet was completely unaware of the operation until May 6 when the Charleston Mercury announced the successful recovery of the guns. One Dahlgren gun from the Keokuk was mounted at Fort Sumter and the other at Battery Bee on Sullivan's Island. In their new locations the Keokuk guns played an important role in the defense of Charleston.

The Keokuk gun at Battery Bee was moved to be displayed at White Point Garden at The Battery in downtown Charleston where it is still displayed today. The eventual fate of the Keokuk gun mounted at Fort Sumter is lost to history. The USS Keokuk still rests in its watery grave off Morris Island.

Douglas W. Bostick grew up on James Island, and his ancestors in South Carolina date back to colonial America. He is the author of several books and numerous articles that have appeared in historical journals, magazines and national newsletters. A graduate of the College of Charleston, Bostick earned a master's degree from the University of South Carolina. He is a former staff and faculty member of the University of South Carolina and the University of Maryland.

Google grant supports free Wi-Fi access in Charleston parks

You can get online in Charleston's parks thanks to a Google community grant to the Charleston Digital Corridor. The network is now live and available to the public. Local folks and visitors will now be able to connect to the Internet in Waterfront Park along with Marion Square

For more information, please visit charlestonfreewifi.com/wp.
"One of Google's main goals is to make it easier to find the things you need on the Internet," said Eric Wages, Google operations manager at the Berkeley County data center. "We're best known for our search tools, but you need an Internet connection to do a search. The Wi-Fi connections in Waterfront Park and Marion Square will make it easier for everyone to find the next thing to do in historic Charleston."

The company is also offering 360-degree imagery of the Waterfront Park area that will showcase Charleston on Google Maps. See more.

"We are very excited to expand our relationship with Google and Charleston Digital Corridor to offer residents and visitors several hotspots to connect to the Internet," said Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley. "Having this Wi-Fi network makes life easier for people doing business here and helps our tourists find the attractions they want to visit. And in the case of the trekker, get a sneak peek of the places before you visit. It's all done at no cost to the taxpayer."

Franklin inducted into local Goodwill Hall of Fame

Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina inducted volunteer Paul Franklin into its Hall of Fame on May 10 at its Shining Star Awards banquet attended by more than 200 business and agency partners.

From left: Henry Lowndes, Paul Franklin, Sandy Stuhr,Kenny Fox, Bill Perry, Bud Brawner and Robert Smith. Photo provided.

The organization said Franklin was instrumental in the facilitation of Goodwill's first Strategic Plan. Prior to becoming board chair, he served on the search committee as Goodwill's leadership transitioned. As chairman, Franklin forged a refinement of the current Goodwill Mission Statement, "To help People Achieve their full potential through the Dignity and Power of Work." This broadening of the mission statement led to the tremendous growth of Goodwill's services.

"Paul Franklin is committed to helping Goodwill be a first class organization in order to best provide our services to the community," said Goodwill President and CEO Robert Smith. "His passion and support helped build the Goodwill organization. It is a great honor to induct Paul into the Hall of Fame and recognize him for his dedication and support of Goodwill's mission."

Franklin follows fellow Hall of Fame inductees Bill Perry, Kenny Fox, Henry H. Lowndes, Jr., Joseph P. Laferte, Jr., Merrill J. Kinder, Henry 'Bud' Brawner, William Sandy Stuhr, Mary Croghan-Ramsay, Drs. Vince Moseley, Theodore S. Stern, Erbert F. Cicenia and Margaret B. Luzski.

Other Goodwill's 2012 Legacy Award Winners: Graduate of the Year award went to Michael Reid; Fredrick Gaillard, Achiever of the Year; Suelene Guiles, Goodwill Works! Award; Cindy Scarborough, 2012 Employee of the Year; and Maghan Johnson, 2012 Barbara Banks Customer Service Award. Goodwill's Volunteer of the Year was Robert Calcote.

Briefs: H&M coming, Trident designation, big donation, more

  • Hennes & Mauritz, a popular Swedish retailer known better as "H&M" will open its first South Carolina store on King Street in the fall. The 18,300 square foot store at 281 King Street will offer a wide variety of hip clothing.

  • Trident Medical Center has earned the highest heart surgery designation
    from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for its work in 2012, according to a news release. Only 15 percent of eligible hospitals win the award.

  • Chase After a Cure has donated $150,000 to MUSC Children's Hospital to support pediatric cancer research on finding new and better treatments for neuroblastoma, a specialty pursued by pediatric oncologist Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka.

  • Attention artists: Magnolia competition. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the Charleston Artist Guild will award a $3,000 prize to the best painting that embodies the impressionist style of painters during the Charleston Renaissance. The nationwide contest, called "Gardens of Dreams" is open to original artwork created and conceived by the entrants that depicts a scene at Magnolia Gardens. Deadline: September 10. Learn more here.

Edgefield pottery

The term "Edgefield pottery" is used to identify alkaline-glazed stoneware first produced in Edgefield District in the 1810s. Edgefield pottery blends the cultural traditions of England, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Many of the potters came from English, Irish, and German backgrounds and contributed their forms and techniques, while African American slaves performed the majority of the labor-intensive tasks. The distinctive glaze (made of wood ash, feldspar, clay, and water) and use of the groundhog kiln were typical of pottery techniques used in the Far East.

By 1817 the Landrum family was the first to produce alkaline-glazed stoneware at Pottersville, thereby capitalizing on the need for low-cost, durable pottery in South Carolina and the surrounding states. Some scholars believe that Dr. Abner Landrum read the letters of Pere d'Entrecolles describing the manufacture of porcelain, while others argue that Richard Champion brought this knowledge from England to Camden, South Carolina.

A beautiful example of Edgefield pottery crafted by slave David Drake.

Up until the production of pottery in Edgefield, utilitarian wares had to be purchased from the northern states or from Europe. In North Carolina the Moravians were producing lead-glazed earthenware, but lead was expensive and poisonous. Earthenware broke more easily than the high-fired, more durable stoneware. Churns, storage jars, pitchers, jugs, plates, and cups were produced in great quantities. At the peak of production in the 1850s, as many as five factories turned out upward of fifty thousand gallons of pottery annually. The stoneware was sold statewide via wagon and railway. Most potters advertised the production of vessels holding up to twenty gallons, at a price of ten cents a gallon.

At the Lewis Miles Factory, an enslaved African American potter named Dave made enormous jars that held as much as forty gallons. Dave, who later took the name David Drake, was a literate slave who signed and dated many of his works and occasionally wrote a poem on the side, such as, "Great & noble jar / hold sheep goat and bear, May 13, 1859."

Slip-glazed wares were produced in order to compete with more decorative ceramics produced in the North and those imported from Europe. At the Phoenix Factory and Colin Rhodes Factory, popular design motifs included bell flowers, loops, and swags created in iron or kaolin slip or written advertisements and pictorial scenes of girls in hoop skirts.

Figural vessels and "face jugs" were produced between 1840 and 1880, the majority of which were made by African Americans, possibly for their own use. Major factories included Pottersville Stoneware Manufactory, John Landrum Pottery, Colin Rhodes Factory, Lewis Miles Factory, Miles Mill, Phoenix Factory, B. F. Landrum Factory, Trapp and Chandler, Palmetto Brickworks, Seigler Pottery, Baynham Pottery, Hahn Pottery, South Carolina Pottery Company, and Roundtree-Bodie Pottery.

The Edgefield pottery tradition migrated westward into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Inexpensive glass production and the collapse of the plantation system led to the demise of the Edgefield pottery production in the early twentieth century. Many examples of Edgefield pottery survive, however, and have become highly sought after by museums and private collectors. The tradition has attracted a high level of scholarly attention, and the price of individual pieces has reached tens of thousands of dollars.

Excerpted from the entry by Jill Beute Koverman. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


Win RiverDogs' tickets

If this lush scene doesn't get you in a Lowcountry state of mind, we don't know what will. Be the fourth person to guess where this photo was taken (give or take a few miles) and we'll send you a pair of box seat vouchers to any RiverDogs' game. Send your guess to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com


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Traveling with friends

Travel writer Terri Peterson Smith offers some good advice for traveling with friends in her new "Off the Beaten Page: The Best Trips for Lit Lovers, Book Clubs, and Girls on Getaways." The book, which features a chapter with literary trip advice on Charleston, suggests that two general thing need to be done before leaving on a fun trip:

Understand group dynamics: Conflicts may arise when group members have different goals, such as "different expectations for the level of physical activity or for how lively the nightlife should be."

Careful pre-departure planning: "Rather than avoiding or ignoring the issues, people in the group need to anticipate problems [how often to each; how to pack, etc.], voice their concerns and come to a mutual understanding ahead of time. ... The process generates energy, excitement and enthusiasm for the trip."

Other points:

  • Develop a general written itinerary.

  • Build in some flex time.

  • Celebrate the end of the trip to end on a high note.

  • More: OffTheBeatenPageTravel.com


On courage

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage"

-- Anais Nin



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Color in Freedom Experience: Through May 20, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. This interactive exhibit involving the Underground Railway experience offers 49 works by artist Joseph Holston. More.


Run to Remember: 6:30 p.m., May 23, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission offers the inaugural evening run as a way to kick off Memorial Day celebrations. Online registration is open through May 22 at www.ccprc.com.

Great watercolors: May 24 to Sept 15, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston. In conjunction with Spoleto Festival USA, the Gibbes will present watercolors created in Charleston in the early 1990s by celebrated contemporary artists Stephen Mueller and Carl Palazzolo, who will give an opening day gallery talk at 2:30 p.m. at the museum. Art is from the collection David and Carol Rawle. More: GibbesMuseum.org

(NEW) Run, Forrest, Run: 4 p.m., May 25, The Joe stadium, Charleston. The Charleston RiverDogs will host the 10th annual "Run Forrest Run" 5K race before that day's 6:05 p.m. baseball game against the Greenville Drive. Pre-registration is $30. More online.

Photo contest: Images due by June 6. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is holding its annual photo contest for photos taken at the attraction between March 1 and May 31. Entry is $25. To enter and look at rules, visit the Lowcountry Photographic Club.

(NEW) Spivey Hall Children's Choir: June 7-11, around town. The internationally recognized chorale group from Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., will perform as part of its summer tour in local retirement homes and at Piccolo Spoleto at 3 p.m. June 9 at Grace Episcopal Church. More online.

(NEW) Charleston Carifest Caribbean Carnival: June 20-23 with events including a June 22 parade led by diplomats from Trinidad and Tobago. Learn more online about the festival's broad cultural events.

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. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.


7/15: Kaynard: Mepkin Abbey
McCandless: At-risk youths
McGee: Monroe's new book

Williams: Avoiding foreclosure
Dewey: Preventing suicide
Hoover: Clean kitchens
Kulp: On breathalyzers

5/27: May: Hurricane prep lessons
Home converted into gallery
Roper Rehab hosts singer
White, Vinson: Digital library

4/29: Greenberg: Not insurmountable
Harleston: Transportation tax
Heister: How indigo used
Heister: Indigo's history
Angstadt: Manatees

3/25: Benson, Noble: Envision SC
3/18: Hedden: Walking tours
Koroglu: Dervishes
Richards: Teddy Bear Picnic

Thomas: Storytelling event
Logo contest
Anderson: 2-1-1's 10th
Colwell: Teen pregnancy

1/28: Ross: Root of stress
Roberts: SEWE 2013
Begin with Books update
Vail: Jr. Achievement


6/10: "A furious barbarian"
Recovery of Keokuk guns
"Turrets are coming!"
Preparing to attack
Blockade is broken
Stono Rebellion

Charleston Christmas
"Satan's Kingdom"
Christening ironclads
Beauregard's return
Second Battle of Manassas
Secessionville aftermath
Battle of Secessionville
Robert Smalls
Preparing for the attach
Yankee in charge?
Lee and Traveller
Stone Fleet


7/15: Give brand to government
S.C. keeps treading water
Brad Taylor's new thriller

Brookgreen Gardens
New fee bring us closer?
Great new library service
On Robert Ford

5/27: Drum Island's piles
Southern Crescent of Shame
Sanford win, gerrymandering
SC to get more angels

4/29: Pinckney's heroic story
Cleaning up messes
Take expansion money
Sanford tough to beat
With no vision ...

3/25: Candidates spend $2M
Eating on $35/wk
Ads aren't worth much
Scary SC-1 survey

Old-timey customer service
New House Speaker?
Reject Riley tax hike
Episcopal schism

Nullification talk wrong
Tailgaters: Back off!
A lot to be proud of
Myth of big government


5/6: Revocable Living Trusts
Resources to help seniors cope
On life estates
Next step in health care


6/24: GoodBiz Summit
Getting ready to evacuate
Tax policies
On good policy
Heirs' property
1/28: Two conferences

11/26/12: Consumerism
Can we be a better town
Permaculture, more
Bank on Charleston
Did you know?
Payday lenders hurt economy
Waterkeeper event
GrowFood difference
Earth Day festival
Lorax Project
More gardening tips
Food Waste program
Energy from farms
Turtles that fly
Art from beach trash

Coal ash, more
Boeing's solar farm
More eco-tours
More recycling ahead


4/15: Signs of spring abound
Great local parks
What's new in Charleston is old
1/21: Blaze a trail in 2013
12/10: Great holiday adventure


7/1: Mosquito facts

Curbing mosquitoes
Twitter tips
Help for job applicants
Summer projects

5/27: Hurricane tips
Cleaning up rooms
Traveling with friends
5 on melanoma

4/29: 5 on Cinco de Mayo
Best in Charleston
Generous cities
Spring cleaning tips
Vacation ID tips

3/25: Park and play
On the menu
Still no response
No response

2/25: Five on storytelling
Earth Day duties
For the heart
Home energy tips

Cold water boating
On Ted Stern
SMART goals
Dealing with email



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