14 February 2016

Charleston Museum - behind the scenes

Charleston Museum - hidden treasures, Charleston, SC  
I should be out for my morning walk but wanted to share these pictures before I bundle up and brave the chilly morning. I belong to a Charleston History facebook group and yesterday joined a "behind the scenes" tour of the Charleston Museum. What a treat! First of all it was a joy to put faces to names I've followed online, then it was a chance to get in behind all the closed "staff only" doors that forever tease me. Although housed in different locations through the years the museum was founded in 1773 so you can imagine the incredible assortment of items they have displayed and stored.

Every time a cabinet door was flung open to display shelves full of silver, china and fabrics there was a collective gasp of delight. Members of the group had historical family connections with many of the items and had bits of spicy personal history to add. I'll never look at the Charleston museum in the same way again. Thanks to everyone who helped organize the tour.

13 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Miss South Carolina, Charleston, SC   
Caroline Suggs, Miss South Carolina Supranational came to serve as an honorary volunteer at the hospital for valentine's day yesterday. The CEO was in a meeting so I had her take over his desk. Tada!

After taking over the hospital management I walked her for miles all over the hospital passing out romantic fortune cookies and posing for pictures with the cupcake decorating contest winners. She was a great sport and brought a lot of smiles.

In other news - how do you like my little puppy-dog cupcakes?! I made those.

08 February 2016

Lord Ashley Cooper's dictionary of Charlestonese

Charleston, SC  
Ashley Cooper's Charlestonese Dictionary: Ashley Cooper was a popular columnist for the News and Courier. He started publishing certain Charlestonese words in his column and readers contributed to the collection. The dictionary sold for .25 cents a copy and funded the Good Cheer Fund. The complete dictionary can be found at the link.
As everyone knows, Charlestonians speak perfect English, as residents of many other sections of the United States unfortunately do not. Ironically, these sloppy talkers from elsewhere complain sometimes, while visiting the Holy City, that they cannot understand the pure and clear accents of Charlestonians. 
A BOOT: Approximately.
AIN'T: Sister of one of your parents.
BONE: Blessed event, i.e., "I was bone a Charlestonian." (A VERY blessed event, in the minds of all Charlestonians.)
BOTTLE:  A military engagement.
BOW-AT: Something you sail in, off the Bottry.
BRAID: What you make toe-est from, to go along with beckon and a-igs for brake-fuss.
CALLER: Part of a shirt that goes around the neck.
COARSE: Certainly.
COAT: Where they got that jedge an' all, i.e., "Stannup for hizzoner, coat's in session."
COINED: Humane, i.e., "He was always coined to animals."
CONDUIT: Impossible of accomphshment.
DEARTH: The world we live in.
DES MOINES: They belong to me.
DRUG: Hauled.
FAINTS: A barricade of wood or brick.
FAN ELLA: The flavor of white ice cream.
FARE: To be a-scairt, i.e., "I fare it may rene, snow and heeL"
FLOW: What you stand on in a house.
GRANITE: Conceded, or given, i.e., "He was granite a pardon by the gouv-ner."
HAIR: At this place.
HARMONY: Cooked grits.
HAWSERS: Hay-eating quadrupeds.
HELL: An elevation lower than a mountain.
HEM: Meat from a pig. Not to be confused, though, with poke or beckon.
HERRING: The auditory function, i.e., "Pappa's hard of her- ring."
HOMINY: What number?
HONE: Something on an auto that you blow.
ICE COOL: The institution of learning which stands midway between grammar school and college.
JELL: Place of confinement for criminals. Durance viol.
KIN: Something usually made of tin that food is packed in.
LACK: Enjoy, i.e., "I lack fried chicken."
LANE: Lying down.
LAYMAN: A fruit from which layman-ade is made, i.e., "Is that your layman-ade?" "No, that's pappa's-zone." "Well, poet back in the pitcher, 'cause Pappa's now drinking bare."
LUCK: To direct one's gaze, i.e., "Luck year, Pappa, what Bubber did to your match balks."
MARE: Hizzoner, the city's chief executive.
MEAN: A gathering of people, as a committee mean.
MINE EYES: Salad dressing.
MINUET: You and I have dined.
MUTTERED: A yellow condiment that goes well with hot dogs.
NEW SAND KOREA: Ashley Cooper's newspaper. (See Pay- upper.)
NOISE: ^Pleasant, i.e., "Noise weather we've having."
PACKING: Maneuvering an auto to the curb.
PAIN: A writing instrument mightier than the sword.
PASSE: Father has spoken.
PASTOR: Field where cows graze.
PAT: Portion, but not all.
PAUNCH: Blow struck with the fist.
PLAY IT: Something you eat grits off of.
POACH: A verandah.
POET: To transfer a liquid, i.e., "Poet from the pitcher to the glass."
POKE: Hog meat.
POLICE: Term of polite request. A person desiring to maneuver a car to the curb might ask a pool-lease-man, "Cain I police pack hair?" To which the pool-lease-man would doubtless respond, "No, you cain not."
PRE-SHADE: Grateful for, i.e., "I pre-shade the compliment."
SANE: Speaking, i.e., "I cane hardly hair what he's sane."
SEND WISHES: Items of food made with bread, handy for a picnic.
SEX: One less than seven, two less than eh-et, three less than noine, foe less than tin.
SHOT: Not long.
SNOW: To breathe loudly and heavily while sleeping.
TARRED: Weary.
TOYED: Something that ebbs and flows off the Bottry.
TRUE: Hurled, i.e., "He true the ball."
U.G.: A family name, also spelled Huger.

07 February 2016

Free Little Libraries - Avondale

Mini Library, West Ashley - Charleston, SC   
I love these free little libraries with loaned books and discovered two in my own neighborhood this morning on my drizzly walk. I won't be putting 10,000 on the step counter today. It is wet and windy out there.

Watch your head on Magnolia Rd. The low branch is going to wallop someone in the head in the dark.

06 February 2016

From the files

Mawlai, Meghalaya, India
I am heading out for a walk shortly but thought I'd share this scanned photo from my childhood. I am easily identified because I wore shoes for class photo day. I always made good and fast friends in school and have fond memories of wild games, laughter and pranks. Sadly when I moved I made such huge moves across the world and usually lost complete contact. Good times.

03 February 2016

On the road - Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana, Cuba
I tend to travel modestly and don't always dedicate my travel budget to high-end hotels so when I got around to reviewing my Cuba itinerary and looked up the hotel I was to stay at in Havana the historical significance blew me away. Wow. We were booked to stay at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba where important heads of state, movie stars, revolutionaries and gangsters had stayed. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. 

After we learned what room we were to stay in (we stayed in the room Walt Disney had used), and had our welcome mojito, it was amazing to wander and absorb the history of the place. Everything was still there - walls full of black and white pictures from meetings and events, the Lansky brother's roulette wheel, Peter Frampton's guitar (?) laying out in the open with a sign asking us not to touch it. Two cannons are still in the yard. The bar on the patio was open twenty four hours a day and members of the Bueno Vista Social club play on certain nights of the week. The place was swarming - with busloads of US tourists arriving one after another. The breakfast buffet in the basement was like a United Nations of trying to please every nationality. Large patios opened to the wind blowing through the royal palms from the ocean. What a grand spot. 
The decision to build a luxury hotel was taken in the late 1920s. The American firms McKim, Mead & White and Purdy & Henderson Co., tasked with the planning and construction, completed the palatial edifice in 14 months.
The hotel exhibits an eclectic architectural style, reflecting Art Deco, Arabic references, features of Hispano-Moorish architecture, and both neo-classical and neo-colonial elements. There are even details from the centuries-old Californian style. The resulting unique example of so many schools of architecture is the most unusual and interesting hotel in the Caribbean region.
The HOTEL NACIONAL DE CUBA was opened on the night of 30 December 1930. The party to celebrate the opening, attended by leading lights of the time, was held in the ballroom.
October 1933: the hotel was bombarded, following the stationing there of officers of the army elite of the deposed president Gerardo Machado, in a revolt by lower-raking officers - Batista among them - in protest at the privileges of high office. Guests of the hotel in this decade included: Johnny Weismuller (Tarzan), Edward VIII (prince of Wales), Jack Dempsey, Tom Mix, José Mujica, Buster Keaton, Emilio Roig, Amadeo Barletta, Rita Montaner, José Raúl Capablanca, Tito Guizart, Trío Matamoros, Ñico Saquito, Errol Flynn, and the mobsters Santos Traficante (father) and Meyer Lansky. The last-mentioned arranged with Batista the future business of the casinos.

02 February 2016

Outlet shopping

Yemassee, SC   
I suspect you can find almost everything you don't need in this outdoor shopping spot in Yemassee, SC. I don't believe they even need to lock things up when they are closed. In fact, I was there on a Saturday and the sign clearly says "Closed Saturday" so they obviously don't worry too much about theft.

What a glorious day! We may have more chilly days on the way but this was a delicious break. I ate my dinner sitting outside and noticed it already has been staying light longer.  

01 February 2016

Animal Kingdom at Green Hill

Green Hill section, Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC   
I often head to Magnolia Cemetery for my weekend morning walks but rarely walk the back Green Hill section. Yesterday was one of those overcast mornings perfect for a cemetery ramble. Clearly this back section of the historic cemetery overlooking the Cooper River is where the animal lovers have congregated.

In other news, this is my new favorite banana bread recipe: Bon Appetite Best Banana Bread. The house smells pretty darn good. Thanks Bon Appetite!