17 August 2017

My eclipse kit

Eclipse kit, Charleston, SC   
The word in the swamp is that there may be sightings of Lizard Man during the upcoming solar unrest. I have my Eclipse Kit ready.

16 August 2017

Mail call!

Salters, SC    
This is an original! Every once and a while I consider doing a series on fun mail boxes and then I forget about it. This one called for a quick turn around for a photo op. Send these folks a letter!

I can't help think of all the excited kids ready for the first day of school in Charleston County tomorrow. I'll be looking forward to all the first day at school photos on Facebook tomorrow. 

15 August 2017

On the road - Florence, SC

Julia Belle's, Florence, SC     
My weekend day trip was to Florence, SC and googling a place for lunch we drove directly to the Florence Farmer's Market and had lunch at Julia Belle's. I was amazed at the size of the Farmer's Market building. It was large enough for cars to drive right through the building and pull up to park under the shed.

Besides the usual produce in the building there was another huge structure with antiques and thrift items so big that it was divided into sections by rooms - living room goods, bedroom furniture and so on. Sadly for me, my house is tiny and if I bring home anything new, something old must go.

We made a stop in the historic area that is under renovation and admired the shops and Hotel Florence but not for long. The skies opened and rain put a stop to our downtown exploration. Thanks for a nice visit Florence!

14 August 2017

On the road - April's Playhouse

April's Playhouse, Florence, SC   
It's called Charleston Daily Photo but some days ya just have to get out of town. This was from Saturday's road trip to Florence, SC. My friend Rosie was driving and I knew I had seen this little structure when I had briefly been at McLeod Regional Medical Center at a workshop. With my confused directions we kept circling the medical facilities in the rain until I spotted it. What a cutie.

13 August 2017

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Salt Spring Island

Paul's Church, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
This evening's Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance is a quick shot from my recent trip to Salt Spring Island off the coast of western Canada. Before I travel I always take a look at Google images for an area so I had my eye out for it. It was built around 1880 by Father Donckele, the first Roman Catholic missionary to the Gulf Islands and was built by Hawaiian laborers. The materials were brought in by canoe  and then ox drawn carts. 
Kanakas, men from Hawaii, came to British Columbia around the year 1850, mainly as labourers for the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Victoria. Some of these pioneers settled on Portland, Russell and Coal Islands but the largest group chose south Salt Spring where they farmed, fished and logged. Many married native women and their children attended Beaver Point and Isabella Point Schools. They held Hawaiian luaus on Fulford Harbour beaches. They helped build St. Paul’s Church and members of several Kanaka families were buried in the cemetery. Some descendants still live on Salt Spring.

I wish I had spent a little more time exploring the tombs because the cemetery website lists this interesting inscription: 

Papa Francis William Coffey, Born: Angels Cove, Newfoundland August 29, 1947 Died: Old Monks Farmhouse, Salt Spring Isles October 10, 1998. Mine. Better shop short than fill to the brim. Oversharpen the blade and the edge will soon blunt. Amass a store of gold and jade and no one can protect it. Claim wealth and titles and disaster will follow. Retire when the work is done. This is the way to heaven.

12 August 2017

Hammer time!

Giant hammer, Scranton, SC    
Terrible things happened in the world and our country today but while the demonstrations were happening in Charlottesville, I was sailing along country roads under blue skies to Florence, SC. It seemed almost unbelievable to come home and turn on the news and be faced with the reality of hate in people's hearts.

In Scranton, SC we pulled over to grab a shot of this giant hammer in front of a salvage shop. The gentleman who built the hammer spotted me and came out to shake my hand. Meet Jerry Briggs.

10 August 2017

Read Brothers

Read Brothers, King St., Charleston, SC   
I came home to the sad news that Read Brothers was to be closed due to structural concerns. I am not surprised but I am heart broken. Read Brothers sold everything from fabric to stereo systems and everyone has a story about the story. What sadness.

I remembered that my friend and author Josephine Humphreys had included Read Brothers in her essay on Charleston for the Smithsonian magazine. Click here to read the entire essay and fall in love with Charleston all over again: My Kind of Town.
Read Brothers is the strangest store you'll ever see, a big red-brick, creaky-floored building stocked primarily with fabric but also with used books, vintage toys, folding paper fans, long johns, foam rubber and high-end stereo equipment. I like to drop in periodically to get inspired by the wacky plenitude. Evidently, the movie director was similarly inspired when he chose the store as a setting. Whether the scene was action or romance didn't matter; Read Brothers looks like a place where anything could happen. The line between then and now is thin. Some of that merchandise has been on the shelves for decades. I asked the owner, Marianne Read, what the oldest item in the store was, and without missing a beat she reached into a basket on the counter and grabbed a card of hairpins, "Victory Bobbies," vintage World War II. I bought them for a dollar and asked if I'd gotten the last set. "Oh, no," she said. "We have cartons and cartons in the storeroom."
It was reassuring to think of those extra cartons, surely an eternal supply. I realized that Read Brothers mirrors my image of Charleston itself: a place packed with oddities and treasures that will never be depleted. Or maybe I was really thinking about my own self, desperately hoping my brain will prove to be similarly provisioned for the future. But just as I was leaving Read Brothers I noticed that the stock of merchandise on the main floor seemed a little thinner than it used to be. In a corner where once my childhood friend Pat and I used to select fabric for our dance recital costumes, choosing from shelves and shelves of bright tulle and satin, now the supply of the spangliest and glitteriest had dwindled to a dozen or so bolts. I pretended not to see that. I want Read Brothers to live forever.

08 August 2017

After the fire - Smith St.

Fire, Smith St., Charleston, SC    
It is shocking to see the skeleton remains of these historic wooden houses after a fire. I'd heard about the fire on Smith St. but it was a different thing to walk by and see the sad ruins. It burned in mid July on a day that had a heat index of 101 degrees. Four fire fighters need to be treated and one lady was missing a kitty.

07 August 2017

Protecting Smith St.

Guard lions of Smith St., Smith St., Charleston, S.C.    
These lions guarding an entrance door on upper Smith St. always make me stop and smile and after all, that's what it's all about, right? If I didn't stop and smile and grab a shot the blog wouldn't even exist. Thanks folks!

06 August 2017

05 August 2017

Walk with me - Smith St. (part 1)

Smith St., Charleston, SC   
I am directing my weekend walks along specific street routes lately - beginning at one end and following to the other. The photos aren't in order since I do hop from side to side looking into gardens and over gates. I wasn't sure I'd make it this morning since it drizzled a bit off and on.

This morning I walked Spring St. which is a nice hodge podge of small houses, mansions and student rentals to add character. It's a fairly long street so I'll return later with Spring St. part 2.

On the road - West coast island hopping

Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
The purpose of my trip to British Columbia was to celebrate my sister Shirley's birthday. She lives in Edmonton, I have nephews in Vancouver, my daughter in Portland and a nephew and family on Salt Spring island so we made that our destination for the festivities.

The weather was perfect. We explored my nephew's property, enjoyed the Farmer's Market, hiked the park, celebrated the birthday with a feast, kayaked to an island in the harbor, visited a winery and drove to the top of Mount Maxwell to enjoy the view.

02 August 2017

On the road - Vancouver, Canada

Girl in a Wet Suit, Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
I've been here, I've been there, I've been everywhere. I flew to the west coast of Canada to help celebrate my sister Shirley's birthday. I had one full day to run around Vancouver with my daughter before taking the ferry to Salt Spring Island and we made the most of our time! We explored the waterfront, Gas Town, Stanley Park, Granville Market and Kitsilano. We saw the Digital Orca and visited a good friend who runs a wine making shop in Kitsilano. I was tickled to see the Girl in a Wet Suit modeled after the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen - this version with a wet suit to avoid copyright laws.
Vancouver, British ColumbiaAs part of a Vancouver urban renewal project, artist Elek Imredy asked the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, if he could make a copy of its famous Little Mermaid statue and place it just off the rocky shore of Stanley Park. Copenhagen said no. Inspired, Elek decided to give Vancouver a unique, updated version of the statue, and created the life-size Girl in a Wet Suit. She was placed atop her boulder in Vancouver Harbor on June 9, 1973.