30 June 2015

On the road - Mudcat Festival

Dunnville Veterinary Clinic, Mudcat Festival Parade, Ontario, Canada
I am taking you out of the lowcountry again with this evening's photos. My recent trip to Canada was timed to arrive at the Perry family reunion which this year was being held at my brother Bob and wife Elaine's home in Dunnville, Ontario. My brother is a Veterinarian and it happened to be on the same weekend as the Mudcat Festival.

My brother Roger's Perry Trucking company truck pulled the Vet clinic float, assorted nephews and my son rode in the truck cab and the rest of the family waited along the parade route to whoop and holler. Woohoo! I want a parade and fireworks show for every family reunion. It couldn't have been more perfect.


29 June 2015

Stop! She has ruined me

She has Ruined Me, Charleston, SC  
Don't deface public property. You know that.

But if you do, write an entire book on a street sign.

I can't be everywhere but luckily I have spies roaming the lowcountry saying to themselves, "Joan would like this!" Thanks Dr. G!

Our Nation's Mayor

Spencer Art Gallery, Broad St., Charleston, SC 
At recent public events I've twice heard Mayor Riley being introduced as Our Nation's Mayor. He is Charleston's mayor but since we've been fortunate to have him in office for almost forty years I think we can generously share him now.

This New York Times article asks Is Joe Riley is the Most Loved Politician in American? We may not all agree with everything he has done but most of us were comforted by the fact he was still in office to help steer Charleston through the recent violence. Thank you Mayor Riley. He has been the mayor since I have lived in the city and I have felt very fortunate. It is still hard to believe we will need to consider new candidates for the role. Big shoes to fill!

28 June 2015

Flowers grow to the sun

Charleston, SC  
I am calling on my lowcountry sleuths to solve this one for me. What is the white floral object on the peak of the roof? A friend of mine from the upstate noticed it when she was visiting Charleston so I tracked it down myself this morning. The bottom photo shows the enlargement and it really does look like a flower. What do you think?


Jiggety Joggety

Joggling Board, Hopsewee Plantation, SC 
I haven't added to my joggling board sightings recently so here are a couple of shots to start the morning. This joggling board is on the grounds of Hopsewee Plantation up the coast from Charleston on the way to Georgetown.

A joggling or jostling board is a long, pliable board that is supported on each end by wooden stands. The board is springy and a person sitting on it can easily bounce up and down. Sources differ on the origination; its usage in the Lowcountry of South Carolina around Charleston in the early 19th century is however rather well-documented. Traditionally, it is painted Charleston green. The joggling board's popularity has slowly been coming back, mostly as decorations on lawns and front porches.

27 June 2015

You say Tomayto, I say Tomahto

Tomato Pie Recipe Contest, Mixson Market, North Charleston
It is tomato pie season!

I don't know which one won the contest but I snuck in to see the contestants lined up. I hope I got a picture that includes the recipe. These look a lot more elaborate that the recipe I use. So far none of the juicy Johns Island tomatoes I have got my hands on have jumped straight into my mouth.

Brunch at Basico

26 June 2015

Blue & White Day

Charleston Strong, Charleston, SC  
What a week, what a day!

Dreadful sorrow to inspiring and uplifting eulogies. I've been consumed with sadness for days and yet this evening I can't stop smiling. I admit to doing the minimal amount of work today. I had the live viewing of the funeral services for Reverend Clementa Pinckney minimized on my desktop and tried to work around it. By the time President Obama gave the eulogy I stopped pretending.

Watch what I and so many people watched and if you don't listen to the entire speech at least fast forward to the last few minutes and hear our President break into singing Amazing Grace.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Blue & White Friday in solidarity and to those who dropped off donations to Mother Emanuel AME Church.


25 June 2015

Bring in the Clowns

Caring Clowns, Charleston, SC 
I had lunch with a bunch of clowns. The Caring Clown program in Charleston enjoyed their annual luncheon get-together at Café Fork today. The clowns from different medical facilities in Charleston met each other, traded magic tricks tips and said farewell to Dr. Shutterbug one of our first local clowns.

Thanks to Dr. Geezer (Bob Mason) for bringing the program to South Carolina and Café Fork for being such wonderful hosts!

24 June 2015

Caladiums all in a row

Caladiums, Charleston, SC  
I should plant the entire yard with white caladiums. In this heat they still manage to look cool. 

23 June 2015

On the road - Methodist Camp Meeting Home Grimsby Beach

Grimsby Beach, Painted Ladies, Ontario, Canada
Times are sad and emotions are highly charged in Charleston right now and I've had a hard time posting regular items so, how about some pretty photos from my recent trip to Canada to fill in time?

I have in the past tracked down the rustic, wooden tent camp meeting locations in rural South Carolina so a newspaper clipping on my father's refrigerator advertising a garden tour of Grimsby Beach "painted lady" homes caught my eye. These are camp meeting homes of a different level! Wowza! Check them out!

My sister Shirley was in from Edmonton and in the mood to hit the road so we tracked them down. The only similarity to the wooden tents in South Carolina is that they are Methodist and built in a circle. It ends there. These are so decorative they are almost Disneyworld style.
The early Methodists missed the fellowship of church attendance, so each summer for a week or ten days, a mammoth camp meeting would be held so that everyone could absorb enough religious fervour to last through the long winter. The camp meeting was an important social as well as religious event. These meetings were held in various locations, but in 1859 John Bowslaugh donated the land on the shores of Lake Ontario for a permanent Ontario Methodist Camp Meeting Ground.

Because of its continued success, sixteen years later a company was incorporated to manage the site. Cottages were built and a community grew that included a grocery store, barber shop, telegraph office, hotels and even its own railway stopping. By 1888 a new temple was built and dedicated which could seat up to 7000 people. Steamers travelled daily from Toronto to land at Grimsby Park's Pier.

Gradually the camp meetings became a thing of the past. The year 1910 saw a new owner bring a mid-way, shooting gallery, merry-go-round and more. The park was now a summer resort. As time passed, the cottages became homes and the summer fun of Grimsby park turned into the more regular life of a little community.

21 June 2015

Father's Day - 2015

Donald E. Perry, Ontario, Canada 
I made a mad dash out of town last week and landed in the midst of my family's reunion in Dunnville, Ontario. My father has Alzheimer's disease and I had no expectation that he would recognize me but his eyes sparked and he said, "It's our Joan" and almost broke my heart.

He doesn't talk much now but seemed to enjoy the happy chaos and grandchildren's activity. We owe a daily debt of gratitude to his wife Dianne Perry who cares for him lovingly. Seven of his eight children gathered with partners and families and it was a treat to be together.

Some years ago during a visit to Charleston, I asked my friend Dan Conover to interview my father. I jotted down questions that would lead to interesting parts of his life and left it in his hands.  Dan and videographer Don Lewis set up cameras and interviewed him in my livingroom. I am so happy to have this dvd in my father's voice telling the story of his life.

At the end of the interview Dan said, "I will ask you what I ask anyone who has reached your age, what is important?"

My father thought for a moment and said, "People. People are what is important" He continued on to say that perhaps he had spent too much time in his life working and paying attention to work and not enough on the people in his life.

At this time of terrible sorrow after the massacre in Charleston that is what we need to remember. People are what is important. Love and take care of the people in your life. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and those who have served that role for all the children in the world.

Perry Family Reunion, 2015

20 June 2015

Emanuel AME - this morning

Emanuel AME, Calhoun St., Charleston, SC
And then I walked across the peninsula in tears wondering how we could still be raising such racist hate filled young people at a time when all races learn and work together. I wanted to blame parents and imagine that he had grown up in a hate filled household and yet in what appears to be his essay he says "I was not raised in a racist home or environment".

The more I learn about the victims I suspect every single one of them was a better person than I. This is beyond my understanding. I can't write anything that makes sense so pictures will have to do.

19 June 2015

Emanual AME Church

AME Emanuel Church, Charleston, SC
Post & Courier article by Jennifer Berry Hawes and Doug Pardue about what happened that terrible evening when they welcomed a stranger to join them for a prayer meeting: In an hour, a church changes for ever.

18 June 2015

Heartbreak in Charleston

I've been in Canada visiting my father and family and learned of this unbelievable tragedy in Charleston on twitter. My heart is broken for my city and for the families and friends of the nine church members who had their lives taken last night during their prayer service.

I paid for my $5 ear buds on the flight home to listen to the news updates all the way home. We were surrounded on the trip by members of the national media and the overhead bins filled with video cameras.

This video is of the pastor who was murdered last night. He is explaining the important history of the Emanuel AME Church. What a lovely gentleman. What a terrible loss. It's difficult to think of anything else right now.

16 June 2015

Ninety five years in service

Fielding Home for Funerals, Logan St., Charleston, SC
Ninety five years in service! That is pretty impressive track record for a funeral home. There is a nice history section on their web site:

Our Founder, Julius P.L. Fielding, began his business training with his father who ran a horse drawn livery business from the back yard of their home on Tradd street in downtown Charleston. When his father died and his mother later remarried, Julius continued training in his step-father's barber shop at the comer of Broad and Church streets in Charleston. With the help and encouragement of his mother and step-father, he attended Agricultural and Normal Institute in Orangeburg (now S.C. State University), and then to Renouard Embalming School in New York. Upon returning home in 1912, he opened the funeral home at the corner of King and Queen streets. In 1916, he married Sadie E. Gaillard Fielding, and together they moved the business to 61 Logan Street at the corner of Short Street. A large sign was placed on the corner that simply read "Julius P.L.Fielding, Undertaker and Embalmer".

15 June 2015

The Westendorff

The Westendorff, St. Philips St., Charleston, SC 
I cared a lot more when I lived in the neighborhood but I am still happy to see this old hardware store being renovated into a restaurant. Here are past entries on the same topic. Maybe next time I walk downtown lights will be on and there will he happy chaos and tasty treats being served.

13 June 2015

Weight restriction gate

Rutledge Ave., Charleston, SC
The fact is, if you aren't relatively slender you aren't fitting through this gate. I wonder what they were thinking? Perhaps everyone in the immediate family was of small build. Anyone larger of frame or carrying packages would need to enter the property through the driveway.

10 June 2015

My week so far

SCRUBS Camp 2015, Charleston, SC 
Meet your future health care providers. We are fortunate that smart, caring young people still want to go into health care. In this group are students intending to be oncologists, surgeons, physician assistants, neonatal nurses and gastroenterologists. Sadly, no one mentioned wanting to be my plastic surgeon.

Today I rented a bus and took the entire group on a field trip to Trident Technical College where they hosted us and opened all their health career labs letting the students try their hands at pharmacy, dental, medical assistant careers and best of all the very cool simulator mannequins. All in all a very good day.

Now, ask me if I am tired? Heheh. Yawn.