30 November 2014


Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers
Cover dog Archie had his nose two inches from the pig roast table yesterday but did not go any further! That is not to say that he didn't flirt his way into some sneaky hand snacks under the tables.  Archie has his own sizable fan base on Facebook.


Johns Island, S.C.
The directions included turning left at the church and continuing on the dirt road but the PIG sign took any doubt out of the next turn.

We drove past the wee little lowcountry cottage to the gathering area by the dock. I got there just as the pig was being lifted out of the pit for an appreciative audience. I felt fortunate to be invited to Josephine Humphreys and Tom Hutcheson's pig roast on Johns Island and to catch up with so many old and new friends. Besides the crispy roast pig and soup there were tables full of the most delicious pot luck dishes. I've been to this gathering before and each time I know that although I won't know most of the people there, they will each be fascinating in some way - writers, historians, photographers, tour guides, chefs etc. Tom and Jo have gathered the most interesting group of people in their piece of Johns Island heaven.

28 November 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

Pinckney St., Charleston, S.C.
Ooops. It looks like I've skipped a couple of daily photo submissions. Today's photo is of the charming and historic Andrew Pinckney Inn on Pinckney St.

I hope everyone has had a good Thanksgiving. I've had a lovely one despite a nasty head cold. I packed a Thankgiving feast picnic and my son and I headed up to Lake Marion area for the holiday. We had a lazy morning, good meal, met a Facebook friend in real life and enjoyed a lakeside walk. The best news is that we still have two more days off, yay!

25 November 2014

Medical Memorabilia

Pitt St. Pharmacy, Mt. Pleasant, S.C
What a treasure trove of vintage medical memorabilia the Pitt St. Pharmacy is! It is like a museum. People often bring me things they can't bear to throw out. I'd love to have a display case like this at the hospital. What a quaint pharmacy this is. You can still get a milkshake and grilled cheese at the soda fountain.

Pitt St. Pharmacy: Washington "Wattie" Ziegler, RPh opened the Pharmacy in 1938 at 121 Pitt Street.  In 1951, the Pharmacy was moved a few doors down to its present location.  Dr. Ziegler died in 1982.  He left the store to his wife, Della, Gene Whitley, RPh and Lavern James, RPh.  Their commitment to the pharmacy lasted generations as Gene and Lavern worked here for 37 and 32 years respectively while Della continues to work here with over 50 years of service.
Throughout the years, scores of Mt. Pleasant children and teenagers have carved their name in the old black soda fountain counter, taking with them wonderful memories in return.  There is plenty about the Pitt Street Pharmacy worth remembering.  It's the kind of place where time seems to move at a slower pace, and people have time to be friendlier.


24 November 2014

Our Lady of the Fence Post

Fence Post, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
I walked in quaint and charming old Mt. Pleasant village on Saturday and spotting this little statue on a fence post across from the Pitt St. Drug Store. I had to do the wide angle view to show how tiny she is.

My house smells good. It will be me and my son for Thanksgiving so we are hitting the road and driving up to lake Marion area. I feel like I am preparing a Thanksgiving picnic. It is not an easy meal to keep simple!

23 November 2014

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance

Huguenot Church, Church St., Charleston, S.C.
It has been a rainy and dreary day in the lowcountry but I walked enough yesterday to make up for a lazy day today. Today's church photo in lieu of attendance is the beautiful and often photographed French Huguenot Church at Church and Queen St. It used to be white but the pinkish color it was repainted in really showed up on this overcast day. The church has an interesting history and still holds one service a year in French.

History of the Huguenot Church: In April of 1680 the ship Richmond arrived in Charleston with 45 French Protestants (Huguenots) aboard. More refugees followed, and in 1687, a church was built on what is now the corner of Church St. and Queen St. in downtown Charleston. About four hundred and fifty Huguenots had settled in the Low Country of South Carolina by 1700.

The original church was destroyed in 1796 in an attempt to stop the spread of a fire, which had burned much of the surrounding area. The replacement for the original building was completed in 1800 and dismantled in 1844 to make way for the present Gothic Revival edifice, designed by Edward Brickell White and dedicated in 1845. The church was damaged by shellfire during the long bombardment of downtown in the War Between the States and was nearly demolished in the severe earthquake of 1886. 
Edit to add this postcard from 1946. The church had been painted white for many years but apparently it is closer to the original color now. 

 Short work week ahead, kids so something to be thankful already! 

22 November 2014

Celebrity Chili Cook Off - Charleston Animal Society

Roper Hospital Chili Booth
The Charleston Animal Society hosted a Celebrity Chili Cook Off today and it was a huge success. The event was held at the Citadel's Johnson Hagood stadium which was a perfect location with plenty of parking. My friend Bob Rife had rallied a team and the Chef Mark from Roper Hospital was cooking up his special chile recipe so I wanted to dash by and show my support.

Checking their web site it looks like ABC News Channel 4 won the contest: Woohoo! Congrats folks!

When I walked in they were asking for ID before putting bracelets on folks who might want to drink alcohal. I tipped my ball cap to show them my gray hair and said, "I don't need to show ID, right? I don't think people have started wearing gray wigs yet", and then I had to laugh when I spotted the gentleman below in the gray wig. Maybe he was just too young to drink and wanted a beer....heheh.

It was all good timing since my son delivered a couple of pounds of venison today and I promised to come up with a good venison chili recipe.


20 November 2014

Partying with the Healthcare Heroes

Roper St. Francis Healthcare Heroes, 2014
I've had the most inspiring evening at the Charleston Regional Business Journal's Healthcare Heroes Awards Ceremony at the Francis Marion Hotel. Nominees were recognized in many categories including healthcare professionals, nurses, physicians, EMTs, service animals and volunteers.

I was there to celebrate them all but especially the young woman below who is one of my volunteers. The week after she learned CPR last year she was camping with her grandfather and saved the life of a toddler who drowned in a pond. I am so proud of Brittany I could bust. This gal will go far.


19 November 2014

Secret Gardens

Garden Gate, Charleston, S.C.
It is difficult to take a boring walk in Charleston. Even quiet off the beaten path streets offer a glimpse of secret gardens.

I am fading fast. This week comes along with evening events almost every night. This evening I hosted forty teenagers interested in surgical careers. They were a great bunch full of energy and questions. There may be nothing more fun than teaching someone eager to learn. They drilled screws into chicken feet and X Rayed them, used a laser to write their names on tongue depressors, practiced cutting flesh in a large piece of steak and wore me out :).

18 November 2014

West Ashley Optimist Club Honorees

Honored for Community Service, 2014
It's been a busy day hopping from meeting to meeting but I ended it on a high note at the West Ashley Optimist Club Youth Appreciation Awards Banquet. The Optimist Club bills itself as the Friend of Youth and each year they let organizations nominate a student for recognition.

I am pleased to present the honorees for 2014. From healthcare, parks and recreation to the aquarium this is an outstanding group of young people who have already left their mark in their community. Congratulations!

17 November 2014

Prepare for Gingko Biloba party day!

King St., Charleston, S.C.
I am not downtown everyday so I am asking those of you who might be to keep an eye on those Library Society trees. Any day now it will be Gingko Biloba party time! All the leaves will turn bright yellow and spin to the ground.

And yes, Virgina, there is a Gingko blog
The Gingko Biloba family of trees are so old they are assumed to have been around for 230 million years ago. Darwin called them 'living fossils'. The trees are so hardy that one of them lived through the atomic blast that destroyed Hiroshima.
Ginkgo biloba - The maidenhair tree
With their neat parachute shape, the leaves tend not to fall in a tidy heap, but to catch on branches of surrounding bushes. The actual material of the leaf is still quite resilient when fallen, and if they land on still water do not lie flat, resembling not so much a dead leaf as a drunken drowning butterfly, or miniature capsizing yacht.
Who wants to go gingko hunting with me in Japan next year? 

16 November 2014

Gaillard Performance Hall progress

Gaillard Performance Hall, George St., Charleston, S.C.
It won't be ready in time for the spring Spoleto Festival and I am sure it has been a huge inconvenience to residents in the immediate neighborhood but look at it! Wow. I haven't been walking in that part of town for awhile and this looks grand. You can check interior progress on the Construction Diary blog. I can't wait to attend a performance in the new venue.

George & Anson St. corner

George & Alexander St. corner

Rainy Sundays

Charleston, S.C.
Yes, that is a drop of rain on my lens.

Hmmmph. Rain. I had plans to go up the coast to Brookgreen Gardens today. It doesn't feel much like a field trip day. What is everyone else doing today? I've been slipping into lazy habits and watching sappy Hallmark movies (huh?) and visiting shopping sites online this morning.

Online reviews often keep me from spending money. The negative ones mention something I wouldn't like either and it saves me money. I did come across one of my favorite reviews ever. This was written for a rice cooker.

5.0 out of 5 stars rice man, January 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
i put rice in
i put water in
i turn on
rice cooks
i eat
i happy
i satisfied
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Comments (11)
Hahah! I think I love him.

Stay dry kids.

15 November 2014

John Carroll Doyle - RIP

John Carroll Doyle CHARLESTON - John Carroll Doyle, 71, noted artist, photographer, and writer (including this obituary) ended his journey on this earth Wednesday, November 12, 2014. John was born and raised in Charleston, and was often heard to say that our city was perfect for an artist with its "golden light and long lavender shadows." John started drawing at the age of four on the margins of Sunday church programs. This became a lifetime artistic, as well as spiritual quest, that took him through alcohol and drug addiction, being physically and sexually abused, bouts with anxiety and depression, along with rehabilitation through Love. John grew up on his beloved Trumbo Street near Colonial Lake. To his young eyes, the lake was an ocean where gleaming silver fish jumped and model boats sailed on wondrous voyages. These model boats and leaping fish were the seed for John's later paintings of majestic billfish and vintage fishing boats. In the summer months when the dreaded school year ended (John said because of his difficulty reading he hated school), he, with his buddies Jay Keenan and Johnny Almeida, would venture to some of Charleston's wonders. These included the old City Yacht Basin beckoning with its polished wooden boats, The Charleston Museum (then on Rutledge Avenue) with displays of skeletons and taxidermy including a colossal Polar Bear, and the old Public Library located on Rutledge Avenue at the corner of Montagu Street. At the library there was a wonderful lady who read to children sitting on the floor around her as she voiced stories of long ago with a repertoire of emotions. And of course King Street, with its Five and Dime stores, artistic neon signs, and luxurious movie theaters that held the magic of a miniature Times Square. Due to his painful experience in school, John would later challenge the idea of dyslexia as a dysfunction. As a young student he saw the printed page in the same way he composed a painting or designed an interior with furniture. He saw the painting or room as a completed whole and the printed page was no different-he saw the first and last words at the same time. School was a daily torture and became the primary root of his substance addiction. It wasn't that he didn't see enough, he saw everything. He used alcohol as "novocaine" to deaden his anxiety and depression for twenty five years until he surrendered and began following the teachings of the 12 Steps. With sobriety, John became known in the 1980's for his paintings in institutions such as Porgy's, 82 Queen, Plums, Carolina's, Tommy Condon's, A.W. Shucks, Angelfish, and Sermet's, as well as works in Chicago, Alexandria, VA and various buildings throughout South Carolina. He also painted covers for several magazines including Marlin, Saltwater Sportsman, Sporting Classics, Plantation Polo, and Gamefish located in Paris. His last magazine cover was the Fall 2014 edition of the nationally distributed Charleston Style & Design magazine. John served two years aboard the Coast Guard Buoy Tender Smilax. Later in his life, after he became a renowned artist, he was honored to meet the Commandant of the Coast Guard. John was also a walk-on defensive end at Presbyterian College, serving on the Scout Team. John wrote an autobiography about being raised in Charleston speaking for the generation of the 50's and 60's. Among many accolades, John received the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. in 1994. He was listed among Charleston's notables in the recent book "Legendary Locals." John was an accomplished photographer, publishing two volumes of black and white photos in praise of women. For three years he built wooden boats with the help of his friend Whitmarsh Smith. John volunteered to be a subject in an MUSC study on agoraphobia; the fear of crowds. His "fear" of crowds never went away because he later learned that he was just an introvert. From then on, he championed the cause of introverts saying that they were not at all shy, but would charge their batteries while alone rather than having them drained amongst crowds. John consistently donated paintings to numerous charities such as the Center for Birds of Prey, the American Heart Association Heart Ball, Darkness to Light, Pet Helpers, and the Charleston Symphony. John never married, but he would say that he had over 900 children in the form of the paintings he left behind, hoping to make this world a better place than when he first arrived on Trumbo Street. In lieu of flowers, John's wish is that you go out and buy something nice for yourself. Something not practical, but something just for fun. Wherever he is, this will make him smile. A gathering of friends will be held Tuesday, November 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the John Carroll Doyle Gallery, 125 Church Street. A black-tie Celebration of Life will be announced and will occur in mid-January. Arrangements by J. HENRY STUHR, INC., DOWNTOWN CHAPEL. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston

Funeral Home
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=john-carroll-doyle&pid=173168687&fhid=6051#sthash.74oZujQv.dpuf
Charleston artist  John Carroll Doyle passed away this week. I would have loved to have one of his original paintings but I this is the print I was able to afford and loved. What a sad loss. I first fell in love with his art after seeing the huge fish paintings on the wall at the old Angelfish restaurant.

He wrote his own obituary describing a full and eventful life and I loved the ending: 

In lieu of flowers, John's wish is that you go out and buy something nice for yourself. Something not practical, but something just for fun. Wherever he is, this will make him smile. 

Life is short and precious. Let's make John Carroll Doyle smile. 
In lieu of flowers, John's wish is that you go out and buy something nice for yourself. Something not practical, but something just for fun. Wherever he is, this will make him smile. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=john-carroll-doyle&pid=173168687&fhid=6051#sthash.74oZujQv.dpuf
In lieu of flowers, John's wish is that you go out and buy something nice for yourself. Something not practical, but something just for fun. Wherever he is, this will make him smile. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=john-carroll-doyle&pid=173168687&fhid=6051#sthash.74oZujQv.dpuf
In lieu of flowers, John's wish is that you go out and buy something nice for yourself. Something not practical, but something just for fun. Wherever he is, this will make him smile. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=john-carroll-doyle&pid=173168687&fhid=6051#sthash.74oZujQv.dpuf
In lieu of flowers, John's wish is that you go out and buy something nice for yourself. Something not practical, but something just for fun. Wherever he is, this will make him smile. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charleston/obituary.aspx?n=john-carroll-doyle&pid=173168687&fhid=6051#sthash.74oZujQv.dpuf

13 November 2014

A bicycle built for blossoms

Blossom bicycle, Charleston, S.C
Enjoy the blossoms while you can. I believe we have a chilly spell ready to hit us. These folks have kept their bicycle full of blossoms for many years and I check on it every time I walk by.

Home late this evening after going to see Interstellar with my son. It was a three hour movie so we headed to Sesame for a bit to eat afterwards. Now I am confused. I usually go to the movies on Friday so tomorrow should be the weekend, right?

11 November 2014

Cards for Heroes

Cards for Heroes, Charleston, S.C.
My veteran volunteers rally on Veteran's Day and we invite people to write greetings on holiday cards to be distributed to active duty military during the holiday season by the Red Cross. It was a day full of handshakes, back slaps and hugs for these gentlemen. I imagine that each one of these men's lives would make an interesting action tale for a book. Thanks to all our veterans today and every day.


10 November 2014

Bicycle Rickshaw

Burns Lane, Charleston, S.C.
Yellow riding yellow! I suspect the passenger was directing a new Bike Taxi cyclist and showing him tips and tricks. Bicycle rickshaws are a familiar sight around Charleston now. Come to think of it, I am having so much trouble with my volunteer driven courtesy golf cart at work lately maybe I should get a couple of them for the hospital parking lot.

(you can get almost anywhere in downtown Charleston in 10min)
it works out to $1.00 per minute for 2 people

09 November 2014

The Edge of America

Folly Beach Pier, Folly Beach, S.C.
Beach traffic scares me away during the summer but this is my kind of beach walking day.  Overcast skies but not cold. If I did a Folly Beach search on this blog I expect most entries would be from November, December and January. I wasn't the only one enjoying the ocean but it was lovely and peaceful.

I can't do a Folly Beach entry without something quirky and fun. Pull up a chair!

08 November 2014

YALL Festival

YALL Festival, King St., Charleston, S.C.
Downtown King St. is happy chaos this morning and the YALL Festival appears to be the cause of it. People are lined up around the block from the American Theater and Blue Bicycle Book Store waiting for their turn. I guess people do still read! How exciting that this many people want to mix, mingle and meet authors and get books signed.

I am off to make black bean soup. I've been on a soup kick lately. Mushroom, potato, chicken ginger and now black bean. Love them all. Let me know if you have any other winning recipes I should try.

07 November 2014


Bunks at One80Place, Charleston, S.C
Formerly known at Crisis Ministries our homeless shelter moved into it's new space and expanded it's services. They held an open house this morning and I started there before heading to work. I am so glad I did. What an impressive operation. I am so proud of Charleston and the board and staff for pulling this off. Many of my regular readers helped as well, after I shared the need for the white sheets featured in the photo above. So many people bought, delivered and mailed in sheets they had new sheets for every bunk.

The photos below include Brad Cashman who is the Director of Community Involvement and has opportunities for anyone interested in helping out and the girls from Keys for Hope.


Thirty years ago we opened our doors as a basic shelter and soup kitchen. Today we operate shelters in Charleston and Summerville, and provide everything from health services and counseling to legal assistance and job training for homeless individuals, Veterans and families.
We feel the new name – One-Eighty Place – better represents all that we do to help people turn their lives around and begin again.
Keys for Hope