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Retired Mensch Reviews Magnolias – Charleston Restaurant Week Exclusive

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When the Mensch goes out to dinner he can always find something to complain about. The cocktail is weak, the meat overcooked, the soup is salty. I’m here to report that I have no complaints about the restaurant week dinner I enjoyed at Magnolias. In fact the whole experience was delightful starting with our arrival.

Magnolias offers free parking next door and there was an empty space waiting for me. We were twenty minutes early for a 7:15 reservation fully expecting to enjoy a cocktail at the bar. But no cocktail for us! “Welcome, sir, (not guys!) we have an open table right now, please follow me.” What else could better than not waiting? Our table was a four-top, as they say in restaurant lingo, that was reset for two. Lovely!

There is something new and different about restaurant week in Charleston this month. In the past there were three price-fixed menus: $20, $30 and $40. Each restaurant would create a specific menu for the price range: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Drinks and coffee would be an extra charge. This year the restaurants are free to set their own price for a fixed menu.

Erin, our server, presented Magnolias’ regular menu with the price-fixed menu. There were three appetizers, five entrees and two desserts to choose from. The bar menu had our favorites and the wine list included Mrs.Mensch’s favorite chardonnay: Sonoma Cutrer – Russian River. Lovely!

All the choices were nicely southern. Pimiento cheese was swirled into egg yolks to create tasty deviled eggs for Mrs. Mensch’s appetizer. What do you get when you mix boiled peanuts, pickled okra, sweet corn relish with chopped romaine lettuce topped with white cheddar cheese shavings and a buttermilk dressing? The Mensch’s choice for appetizer. Do not turn up your nose at boiled peanuts and pickled okra! They add zest and crunch to a beautiful salad. Oh, did I mention the cornbread croutons? Sweet and lovely!

The southern influence carried over to the entrees with a pecan-crusted chicken breast on mashed potatoes for Mrs. Mensch. The Mensch’s grilled pork tenderloin with a mustard sauce served with field peas, hot pickled peppers on a jalapeño cornbread pudding, which may have been the source for those croutons.

I can only report on one dessert since we both opted for triple chocolate delight: dark chocolate cake, fudge sauce, caramel sauce, white chocolate ice cream. How could we refuse? The coffee was extra but worth it.

The service was well-paced: the salad freshly made, the entrees hot and the dessert perfect. The cocktails were tasty and Erin kept the Russian River flowing. If I had to make a complaint, it would be about, mmmm, what would it be about? Nothing. It was a lovely evening.

Magnolias Restaurant Week Menu 2014

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Jack of Cups Delivers on Folly Beach

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After a long day at Folly Beach, I approached Jack of Cups looking for a casual place to cool down. Like your best friend’s high school basement, Jack of Cups Saloon is cool, dark and a little mysterious. Hints of the supernatural present themselves all around and the bar itself is lacquered in tarot cards. There are about 10 seats at the bar, a couple of small tables as well as picnic benches out front. One very talented bartender runs the show.

Classified by some as a wine bar, the wine list is short, but does not disappoint. Unlike many other local bars, where the house wine is the cheapest magnum of turpentine around, the red and white house wines were carefully selected by the staff who sampled several before choosing. At $4 a glass, the price is more than fair. There are about 10 other unique wines by the glass and bottle at modest prices. For the craft beer lover, there is a large menu and for the true beer Spartan, High Life Ponies can be had for $1 every other Monday. Also available are specialty cocktails made from Carolina Clear, created using fresh fruits and herbs.

The food truly shines at Jack of Cups. From the chalkboard menu, to presentation using traditional Indian tableware, to phenomenal taste, my experience was a delight.

All dishes on the small chalkboard menu are $6 and marked with stars signifying the spiciness level. Choosing was difficult, but I finally decided on the red curry mac and cheese and the curried black bean nachos. The mac was good, with a distinct resemblance to the red curry noodle soup available at Taste of Thai. The flavor was a perfect blend of sweet heat and coconut cream. I couldn’t discern much in the way of cheese, but that did not bother me in the least.

The portion was modest and I would have enjoyed a few more bites. The nachos, however, changed my world for the better. Perish the thought of stale bagged yellow corn chips doused in synthetic cheese polymer and embrace this exceptional redefinition of nachos. The dish is perfectly composed of fresh, fried flour tortilla chips surrounding a mound of curried black beans topped with cooling sour cream, fresh salsa and a sprinkle of cilantro. It will be difficult to branch out and order anything else on my next visit because this is such a perfect dish.

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Over the course of the evening, the bar filled in, not for drinks, but understandably for food. The service was friendly. The live music that started as I was leaving was a nice touch. Overall, Jack of Cups is a perfect end to a beach day or well worth a trip to Folly in its own right. Jack of Cups Saloon is located at 34 Center St, Folly Beach.

 

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What’s Up, Charleston? – Things to do August 2nd – 8th

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Saturday, August 2nd

Cocktails & Cufflinks Bachelor Charity Auction – 7pm

Ladies Enriching the Community to host a charity auction where proceeds will go toward community initiatives and computer lab development focused on bridging the digital divide. Silent and live auction items, include spa packages, restaurant visits, wellness kits, jewelry, and more.

10th Annual ReptiDay Charleston – 10am – 5pm

See live animals from around the world, purchase pets and pet products direct from the experts at amazing prices you won’t find anywhere else, and learn more about reptiles and exotic animals at live seminars and demonstrations.

Summer Concert Series at The Sanctuary – 5 – 8pm

The Summer Concert Series is a family friendly evening of music held Saturday Evenings on The Grand Lawn of The Sanctuary. This week’s band is local favorite Quiana Parler & The Shiny Disco Ball Band: From Jazz and Pop, to R&B and Rock & Roll.

Sunday, August 3rd

Fresh at the Farm Dinner – 5:30pm

Chef Stephen Thompson of Prohibition and Chef Joe DiMiao of Stars Restaurant will set the scene for a true farm-to-table experience. Charleston Culinary Tours presents the second Fresh at the Farm Dinner of the series that will be held on August 3rd at Geechie Boy Farm on Edisto Island, SC.  Tickets must be purchased at $75 per person.

Seersucker Sundays at the Joe – 5:05pm

Supporters of preservation now have another reason to wear seersucker, discounted RiverDogs tickets! For all of the remaining Sunday home games, fans of Historic Charleston Foundation will pay $7 per ticket, three dollars off the price of admission for an upper reserve seat. A portion of the ticket savings will be donated to historic preservation in Charleston.  preserve14 will get you the discounted rate when you purchase your tickets.

Monday, August 4th

Freshfields Village Farmers Market – 4 – 8pm

From seafood and sweet treats to artisan cheese and flavored olive oil, food lovers will be pleased with this year’s vendor line-up. Visitors can also pick up locally made crafts and handmade products, including soaps, Sweetgrass baskets, handmade dog collars and custom clay silhouettes.

Changing the Tide: Charleston Pride Week Beach Party Celebrating LGBTQI Youth and their Allies – 3 – 6:30pm

Celebrate Charleston Pride Week with We Are Family, Lowcountry AIDS Services, Empowerr, Charleston World AIDS Day, Charleston Pride, and PFLAG. Enjoy games, food, and prizes while playing on the beach all afternoon.

Tuesday, August 5th

Yoga Under the Oaks: Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site – 6 – 7pm

Yoga will be followed by happy hour at the Legare-Waring House from 7 – 8 p.m.  In case of rain, yoga will be moved to Founders Hall. $10 (cash only)

Wednesday, August 6th

Toddler Days: Fun with Food – 10-11am

Use food to make a Mr. Potato Head and more.   These classes are designed for toddlers (18 months – 3 years) and a parent, grandparent, or friend to play and explore in The Charleston Museum.

Thursday, August 7th

Charleston City Night Market – 6:30 – 10:30pm (Thursday – Saturday)

Join us in the evening when the City’s most popular public attraction transforms into a festive street fair atmosphere filled with local artists and food vendors. These special evenings are fun for the entire family!

Friday, August 8th

LifePoint’s 3rd Annual Hooked on Life Fishing Tournament – 6am – 4pm

If you love the sport of fishing, register now for our Hooked on Life catch and release tournament in South Carolina’s magnificent coastal waterways from Edisto Island to Bulls Bay.  A special way to show your support for changing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.  $2600 in prizes!

Firefly Friday: Charleston Harbor Dolphin Sunset Sail

Live Painting Events at The Wells Gallery – 1 – 6pm

Visit the Wells Gallery, the premier gallery of The Sanctuary Resort, for live painting events every month that feature at least one of their 20 nationally renowned artists.  Rick McClure and Junko Ono Rothwell painting live in the gallery, August 8th & 9th from 1-6pm each day.

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Best Charleston, SC Brunches…You Don’t Even Know About

ShrimpandGrits

Brunch is a weekly holiday in Charleston. It is a time where friends and family congregate for the common goal of food and drink. Whether it is an Eggs Benedict, French Toast, Waffles and Chicken or a Mimosa, brunch is an important part our our week. Here are a few places that may have not been on your radar but need to be.

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Categories: Brunch, Charleston, Chuck Town, culinary, Dining, Downtown, Eating, Food, Foodies, Lowcountry, Mount Pleasant, Small business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Holy City Happenings This Week – 7/8/14 – 7/12/14

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Black Belt Salsa Classes @ the Cannon Street YMCA – 7:30 pm- 9 p.m.
Sessions for all levels- beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Class dates are July 8, 15, 22, and 29. Tuition is $60 due @ first session. If you have any questions, you can contact Yaenette  @ 843-345-1791or YaenetteSalsa@gmail.com. Please arrive 30 minutes early to class in comfy shoes!
Yoga Under the Oaks @ Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site – 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Price: $10 (only cash will be accepted). Will be followed by happy hour @ the Legare-Waring House from7-8 p.m. If there is inclement weather, the location will be moved to Founders Hall. Catering provided by Coastal Crust.
Wednesday July 9, 2014
-July Member Mixer @ Lowcountry Local First – 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Check out Lowcountry Local First as they show off their newest work, Local Works. They will be celebrating with Firefly Vodka Moonshine and treats by Wholly Cow Ice Cream, L.L.C., Roti Rolls, and more. You also have the chance to come meet the local craftsmen and volunteers who made this event happen.  RSVP Larry@lowcountrylocalfirst.org. Free to LLF members and $20 for non-members.
-Toddler Days with Superheroes @ The Charleston Museum – 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
$6 for Museum members and $9 for non-members- price includes Museum entry and a program for one kid and 1 adult. Designed for children 18 months to 3 years old, each program includes finger painting, a puppet stage, a sandbox, and craft projects.
-Kid Tours @ The Charleston Museum- 3:30 p.m. Free for Museum members and free with entry to museum. For non-members: $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and kids under the age of 3 are free. Kid Tours continues for the rest of July and includes a craft project or activity acquainting the younger ones with Ancient Egypt.
Thursday July 10, 2014
The Chucktown Throwdown Cornhole Tournament Qualifer – 6:30 p.m. @ Sparians – River Bowl Charleston
This is one of the qualifiers for the upcoming Chucktown Throwdown Cornhole Tournament happening on September 21st. The qualifiers are free to enter and prizes may be available. All funds from the Main Event will be going to benefit Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Winwood Farms, etc.
IMG_28131-335x251-The 2nd Annual Lebowski Bash – 7:30 p.m.
Charleston Music Hall will be celebrating Jeff Bridge’s character in The Big Lebowski, now a cult icon. Attendees will be encouraged to dress up as their favorite character. After the movie, we will all walk to The Alley for a free White Russian and throwing rocks while listening to the DJ play.
-The 2nd Charleston NotWedding @ Boone Hall Plantation– 7 p.m.
Price: $40 for VIP and $30 for general admission. This allows those planning a wedding to get the feel for what a real wedding is like.
Yappy Hour @ James Island County Park.
Price: $1 or free to Gold Members. Have a chance to meet other dog walkers as well as scope out the parks. Dogs that are sick, too mean, too young for shots, or in heat are not permitted.
-Throwback Thursdays Outdoor Film Fest @ Cinebarre
Admission = free. Film of the night will be the ’70’s hit, Jaws.
Partakers can enjoy $5 select bourbons, $5 Double Standards, $20 punch bowls, beer specials and free bar snacks. Local musician David Higgins will be performing beginning @ 10 p.m. and there will be a photo booth available at the event.
Friday July 11, 2014
Weekend of Floyd & Zeppelin’s Music – 8:30 pm. On July 11th to July 12th @ 11 p.m.
Price: $13 in advance and $15 day of show. Purchase both days in advance for $20! VIP tix available. Doors open @ 5:00 p.m.Show starts @ 8:30 both nights. The Ordinary Men will be playing on Friday and Wax Groove Revival will be grooving on Saturday. N8 Audio & Lighting and Magic Lantern Productions will be throwing it down on sound.
Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series Present Da’Gullah Roots @ James Island County Park – 8:30 p.m. 
Chill out with some eclectic reggae in a beautiful outdoor atmosphere. Doors open @ 7:30 p.m. Music begins @ 8:30 p.m.
$8 for general admission for those 13 and up. Free for those 12 and under for Gold Pass members.
-Music on the Green @ Freshfields Village – 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
One of the Carolinas’ hit party bands will be playing tunes from the 60s to today. Price: Free.
 
Saturday July 12, 2014
10429851_1449862045290291_3369742797993400278_nBetty Swem’s Novel Writing Class – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Novel writing workshop for all ages and levels. $25/ each class. Either can be paid before or during class. Classes designed for writers of any genre. You can sign up online or send an e-mail to localauthors@writeandread.net. This is an ongoing event.
-Special Event “Poultry Day” @ The Awendaw Farmers & Crafters Market – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Poultry sale, education, & crafting with poultry for the kids as well as food available from 10-2. Farmer’s & Crafters Market from 10-3 and Pet Vet from 2-3.
Categories: arts, Boone Hall Plantation, Bourbon, Calendar, Charleston, Cheap, Children, Chuck Town, cinema, community, concert, Dating, Deals, Dogs, Downtown, education, events, families, family, festival, Food, James Island Country Park, Lowcountry, Mount Pleasant, movies, Outdoor adventures, Uncategorized, vodka, Whiskey | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Going Down in Chucktown this Week – July 1st – 5th

Tuesday, July 1
-“Summer Dreams” Art Show Featuring Donna Boerema @ The Orange Spot Coffee House – 6-8 p.m.
 Local artist Donna Boerema displays her works of recycled window frames and glass to create pieces of art.  Check out more details on their Facebook page.
-Artful Dodgers + Emerald Empire Band @ The Charleston Pour House – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 2

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Barn Jam @ Awendaw Green – 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Featuring music from  Layla Southern, Tim Easton, David Dondero, Chelsea Summers, Dee Dee Cumbee and Thunder Alley and The Izm.  Come and have a jam good time!

Monthly Vegan Potluck @ Earth Fare – 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 3
There will be drink specials,  music DJ Trav and DJ Jake B, GO GO DANCERS, VIP options, and more than mentioned here.
4th of July Weekend Kickoff – 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
There will country music, hot dogs, hamburgers, and beer trucks @ the Visitor’s Center. After-party @ Club Trio – free entry if you show wristband. King of Pops will also be there to help you chill with some popsicles.  Purchase tickets from Holy City Entertainment.
Come celebrate 4th of July with a GLBT twist. For the event, there will be vintage kings and pin-up girls inspired by 1940’s attire.
$10 for 21+
$15 for Under 21
Opening by: Weigh Station. $10/advance $12/day-of-show
Friday, July 4
Featuring live music from The Explorers Club and East Coast Party Band. Cash bar, and food and beverage are available for purchase from Sticky Fingers Smokehouse Express.
Summerville DREAM and The Town of Summerville joined forces to bring you a rocking party @ Gahagan Park that includes a Kid’s Zone, Beer Garden, food vendors, costume contests, a parade, and a chance to take a trolley to the event free of charged followed by a fireworks finale.
-Red, White, BOOM! – 4th of July Birthday Bash @ Cha Cha’s Tequila Bar – 6 p.m. – close
No cover charge.
$2 jello shots & $2 Bourbon
Sounds provided by: DJ Rehab and DJ Smartz
Saturday, July 5
Food, trivia, giveaways, and a cornhole tournament @ The Planet Vape to celebrate our country’s independence.
-Red, White, & Blue (Day/Night) Party @ The Ville in Summerville – 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Sponsored by Jose Cuervo Cinge. $4 Jose Cuervo Cinge & $1 Jello Shots! Other amenities include a VIP room and DJ’s.
-Pop Up Shop @ King Dusko – 4 p.m.
Merman Supply Company will be kicking off their 2014 line with some new gear for both the girls & the boys.
2 local jewelers- STONENATION and thistle & thatch will be featured, and SilentCity sounds will be putting on a Silent Disco after 10 p.m.
Categories: Charleston, Chuck Town, community, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trees, bees and dirty knees

OPA PNGA few blogs back, I went on a downtown library date at the suggestion of Ben with On Purpose Adventures/Dating.  We had such a good time with his first suggestion that I decided to look back at his other ideas and the man is full of great local freebies. If you ever catch yourself saying,“I have nothing to do!”ask this guy for date help, or just check out his FB page to make you look really boring.  That man is way too busy! Did you see his awesome RiverDog ZombieDog?

I digress, but another one of the date suggestions he gave to us was to go on a Geocache.  What the heck is Geocaching, you ask?  Well, it requires a good GPS app like Google Maps, some passion for treasure hunting, a bit of patience and an eagle eye to seek out your pot at the end of the rainbow. Are you waiting for a dinner reservation somewhere? I can guarantee there is a Geocache within scouting distance.  I initially dismissed this date idea since I’m just not tech savvy. GPS/smart phone gadgets intimidate me, but my man, Mr. D, who doesn’t prefer a flip phone from the old ages, wanted to give this date suggestion a whirl.  How could I say no? It was another chance to explore our fabulous city for free.

geocache-labelWe took on North Charleston/Park Circle for an afternoon. Pulling the truck into a church parking lot, we unloaded our bikes and headed down the street to the first GPS coordinates, just down the way from EVO.  The geo community site offered only one simple clue to help guide you in locating the smallest of small caches.  It’s shocking…hmm.

We were an entertaining sight to others who watched as Mr. D wandered around with his giant phone outstretched in front of him, trying to narrow down the location. I got down on hands and knees to peer under cob web and dirt encrusted possibilities.  We even got asked if we needed help finding our keys.  Well, I’ll be honest; that first one was a bit tricky. I experienced first-hand what other “cachers” had rightly warned me about in their online feedback. It took me looking in the same place three times to finally find the little bugger, but it was me – competitive me – and not Mr. D who found the small-as-my-pinky, silver, magnetic bullet that held a book of signatures curled onto a piece of paper tucked inside.  I was proud of myself for not giving up when draft beer at DIG was calling my name and found that I was immediately addicted to the hunt.  Excited to find the next hidden booty, we peddled to the local pond and as I ranaway from some scary geese, Mr. D hauled the medium sized container out of the bushes. We plopped down on the grass and looked through all the little tokens that people had left inside the green container.  The afternoon went on with one cache that must have been stolen, one snuggled next to a bunch of busy bees, and if any of you ever find the one on the Frisbee golf course, you must tell us where it is!

goodies insideThe only thing missing was a picnic basket full of Southern Season cheeses and a beautiful red wine stashed at our last find.  Since then, we’ve found a great hide after a visit to the Frothy Beard and I also had the skills to find another tiny, silver gem in a West Ashley parking lot while we waited for my foster dog from Carolina Coonhound (I haven’t lost another one yet – cross your fingers). You will never look at your environment again without wondering how many caches there are out there.  So, get out into our city with a friend or your family and start looking!

 

A warm Welcome Back to Tatiana Fisher as our main contributing writer and blogger.  We look forward to sharing more adventures of hers!  You can check out her blog for more fun times.

 

Categories: Bars, Charleston, Charleston County Public Library, community, Dating, exploration, family, Lowcountry, North Charleston, On Purpose Adventures, Outdoor adventures, Park Circle, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Injustice in South Carolina and Mississippi – Remembering George Stinney and Emmett Till

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Some of you may know the names George Stinney and Emmett Till, but if you have not, their story and legacy are very important.

George Stinney

Seventy years ago, South Carolina became host to the youngest execution in the United States in the 20th Century. George Stinney was arrested on suspicion of murdering two girls, Betty June Binnicker, age 11, and Mary Emma Thames, age 8, in Alcolu, South Carolina in Clarendon County on March 23, 1944. Alcolu was a small, working class, mill town, where whites and blacks were separated by railroad tracks. The girls had disappeared while out riding their bicycles looking for flowers. As they passed the Stinney property, they asked young George Stinney and his sister, Katherine, if they knew where to find “maypops”, a local name for passionflowers. When the girls did not return, search parties were organized, with hundreds of volunteers. The bodies of the girls were found the next morning in a ditch filled with muddy water. Both had suffered severe head wounds.

On June 16th, less than two months after the initial arrest, George Stinney at age 14 took his last breath on Earth. With no physical evidence, a jury of 12 white adults, a two hour and thirty minute trial and no defense witnesses, George was found guilty and sentenced to the electric chair.

South Carolina Governor Olin Johnston could have given Stinney life in prison if he wanted. He had 54 days between the time the black teen was convicted of killing two white girls and his march to the electric chair with a Bible in his arm.
But Johnston was running for U.S. Senate in 1944, facing a challenger who took a much harder line on segregation. He refused clemency for Stinney, saying he trusted the police, prosecutor and jury. At 14, Stinney was the youngest person executed in this country in the past 100 years, according to statistics gathered by the Death Penalty Information Center.

In a time of extreme racial separation, a country torn by World War II and a political agenda, a young man had his life taken from him by a political system that wanted justice and was blinded by prejudice, color differentiation and ambition.

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Seventy years later, questions still remain unanswered and many are fighting to clear the name of this young man.

Here are a few key facts you should know about this case:

  • The prosecution called only three witnesses: The police officer that found the bodies of the two girls and the two doctors that performed the autopsy.
  • The execution happened during the final stages of World War II and just after the Invasion of Normandy and potentially drawing national attention away from this case.
  • The defense did not call any witnesses.
  • The trial lasted 2 ½ hours
  • The deliberation lasted 10 minutes
  • The jury consisted of all white adults due to segregation laws at the time.
  • George was arrested by police when his mother was not home.
  • The bible he had when he was walking to the electric chair was used as a booster because he could not reach the head gear.
  • On October 25, 2013, Steve McKenzie, Ray Chandler and Matt Burgess of Coffey, Chandler & McKenzie, P.A filed a motion to reopen the case and clear the name of George Stinney

Emmett Till

In 1955, Emmett Louis “Bobo” Till, a black teenager, age 14 from Chicago, Illinois, went to Money, Mississippi to visit relatives. During a trip to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market with some friends, he whistled at a twenty-one year old white woman named Carolyn Bryant, the wife of the store’s owner. The events at the store spread around town and eventually to Mr. Bryant. Ms. Bryant claimed Till grabbed her by the waist and spoke dirty towards her.

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Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Bryant’s husband Roy and her brother-in-law J.W. Milam kidnapped Till, tortured, gouged his eye out and shot Emmett. Emmett’s mangled body was found a few days later. A local jury acquitted Milam and Bryant of murder, but the pair later acknowledged that they had slain the fourteen-year-old Till.

Born July 25, 1941 and killed on August 28, 1955, Emmett Till only witnessed 14 short years on this Earth before his life was brutally taken from him for the crime of a complimentary whistle at an older white woman in the South.

Two incidences, eleven years apart in South Carolina and Mississippi respectively, taking the lives of two young men who would not live to see age 15 still remain a vital part of Southern history. Both young mean were victims of a time when the color of your skin determined your place in the world. Have we learned our lessons from the past and cleared our minds to the idea of equality, community, compassion and love? Only time will tell.

Categories: George Stinney, Injustice, Murder, Politics, South, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

People of Charleston Slideshow

What’s not to love about the fantastic people who make Charleston the place to be?

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Categories: Beach, Charleston, Children, Chuck Town, Downtown, family, festival, Firefly Distillery, Irvin House Vineyards, King Street, Lowcountry, Mayor, Mount Pleasant, Music, Party, Sullivan's Island, Theme, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Rescue Fostering with Charleston Animal Society

I think only succeeding once out of three tries justifies failure, so should I just give up? I should have given up when some guy pulled his car up next to me, rolled down the window and yelled, “Get in!” Oh my God, he thought I was a hooker! It was an innocent mistake. I was dressed in old moccasins, a cotton beach skirt, and loose tank top yelling, “Bambi come here, Bambi”. The sun was fading and apparently the nightlife was getting frisky, in my Hanahan hood. I’m pretty sure my look of absolute horror made him pull away without another word. I remember being so embarrassed to be yelling Bambi as my neighbors drank Forties malt liquor (it was a scene straight out of Friday), laughing at the little white girl stalking about abandoned houses as they sat comfortably on their front porches, enjoying the cool down of the evening. Yes, embarrassed, and maybe second-thinking my move from a safe tourist town to what I tell my boyfriend is an “up and coming” area, that in reality has a very high crime rate. Was I risking my life for a skinny dog named freaking Bambi?

Dog 1My first foster dog from Charleston Animal Society had bailed over a low part of my fence and my loyal black lab Hagan ran into my bedroom to tattle on her with a rare, high-pitch whine. I figured out the cause of his distress when I saw through my window my new dog dash down the street. I threw on some shoes, grabbed a leash and started running after her.

I wanted to help. I wanted to provide for a poor abused animal, rehab the precious thing and then find an amazing forever home for her. One dog at a time, every little effort helps in animal rescue. I didn’t foresee an escapee in my rescue fantasy!

I cornered Bambi in an empty back yard of a house for sale and felt triumphant walking her back down my street, neighbors cheering. Then my cheap, old moccasin slippers caught on a crack in the pavement, and I literally went head over tea kettle to the ground. It could have been a scene out of a wile e coyote cartoon- except if I was a cartoon it would have been less road burn- but I swear I heard a “meep, meep” from my road running away dog. The leash had come out of my hand, and I saw that thick pink line to success go flying down the road. The neighbors went silent. We never found Bambi. I like to think she ran all the way back to her real home in the country and is curled up in a big dog bed, having nightmares of the wannabe Pocahontas chasing after her. Failure dog #1

Dog 2I gave it a month or so and decided to try again. Home came one of the skinniest dogs I had ever seen in rescue. I would walk by her cell and, even though she could barely get around, she would try to get up to say hi to me. I grabbed her up in my arms and rushed her home. Animal bleeding heart to the rescue! She was fearful of everything but my handsome Hagan was the dog that all the gals get a crush on. So we used that to get her in and out of the house until she started to trust us. She wasn’t house trained or crate trained and went through a longer foster home adjustment time than usual, but all of us grew very fond of our Olive Oyle. She gained weight, house manners and confidence and was adopted in a few months. Success dog #2

Dog number three would dance around her dinner bowl, whole butt wiggling and feet tapping and that was the inspiration for her name Treme. She had a little bit of music in her step, just like the music coming from that neighborhood of New Orleans gives you. Treme had no accidents in the house and thought we were awesome. Hagan was so excited to share a yard with someone new that he ran figure eights around her with a huge grin on his face as she loped around, stretching her long legs. She was great at cuddles, and a super star at the dog park. I was going to get this one adopted quickly.

Dog 3Jackson, WY is one of the most dog friendly towns in the country. No leash laws, bring them to work, take them hiking and watch them bound ahead of you with fellow happy Jackson dogs. This is what my dog grew up with, and I love to sneak out to the bigger parks and let my athletic boy bounce like a deer through the bush on occasion. I didn’t think twice when I got to Santee Park and let the two of them out of the back of the truck. I had every intention of hooking a leash on Treme and doing a couple of miles, working on leash manners as Hagan ran free. With the same damn pink leash in hand, I locked the truck and called Treme to me. My best friend owns a hound, and I knew that look: good things never came from that look. She paused, even turned to me, but wait, eyes lit up, nose catching the wind as she wrinkled her sparkling brown eyes, and I saw her ponder the decision. Go to the great human with leash or she was out of there! I had hardy sneakers on this time, and I booked after her. Even Hagan belted behind her, but the smells in the wind and a hound’s endurance won out and she disappeared. Hagan would catch a whiff of the elusive girl and take off. I pictured my loyal Lab dragging that little dog back, teeth wrapped gently around the collar, and we would all laugh at her silly hound ways! Instead, the park was closing in five minutes, and I was one dog short. I had no witnesses this time in my search and rescue attempt as I broke God knows what laws and snuck through the gaps in the fence, back into the park as the sun started to set. I ended up going home when I couldn’t see anymore and had nightmares of gators chomping Treme for dinner when she paused from her gone-with-the-wind run for a drink of fresh water. Well, thankfully, she was picked up the next day and taken back to CAS. Failure dog #3.

Dog 4When I quit CAS, I pacified myself of leaving animal rescue, my PASSION, by trying to foster, but maybe my talents could be used in a different outlet? Or maybe the fourth try will be the best?

If you are up for a satisfying challenge, Charleston Animal Society can always use Foster Ambassadors. They will find a dog (or cat) that will fit into your lifestyle and send you home with food, supplies and an adoption vest. You can take that dog out to events around town, dog parks etc and get them adopted. It is a great motivator to get out and be involved in our city’s endless events and literally save a dog’s life.

Written by Contributing Writer Tatiana Fisher.  Want more laughs? Read her other ghost walk,  dating, and outdoor  adventures!

Categories: Charleston, Charleston Animal Society, Dogs, family, Fostering, Lowcountry, North Charleston, Small business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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