Charleston

World War II Veterans A Vanishing Generation

Oct 25, 2017
Families say goodbye to USS Yorktown veterans.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

95 year old Bill Watkinson and 97 year-old Arthur Leach have been coming to the USS Yorktown Reunions just outside of Charleston for decades.  Both were fighter pilots aboard the ship during World War II. But each year, they find fewer of their own.

"It's interesting to see those of us who are still standing and those of us missing," said Watkinson.  "The missing list is getting pretty long.

Dylann Roof, on federal death row for gunning down nine people two years ago at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., wants his legal team dismissed because of the lawyers' ethnicity as he seeks to have his conviction and death sentence overturned.

"My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, are Jewish and Indian respectively," Roof wrote in a letter filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case."

Once Irma hit, Joseph Jones of had second thoughts about his decision to ride out the storm at home.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

The blistering sun is back.   But Monday's swollen flood waters from Tropical Storm Irma are slowly seeping away,  leaving a once anxious Charleston community relieved, yet tender.

"When the wind got a little stronger, nothing compared to Hugo, but I started to think my son might be right.  I should have left," said 76 year-old Joseph Jones.  He lives two blocks from the intra-coastal waterway and rode out Hurricane Hugo in his small, ground level, one story home.  "But after a while, when the water started receding after Irma, I knew I made the right decision."  He says his home saw no real damage.  But mentally he feels raw.

Updates on Tropical Storm Irma, plus a live report from harbor side in Charleston by Victoria Hansen.

Now Tropical Storm Irma is going to cause widespread flooding in Charleston at high tide today.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg on the effect of the high tides on Irma's storm surge.

Flooded dunes on Sullivan's Island before Hurricane Irma hit the Carolina coast.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Tourists are attracted to Charleston not just for its history, but also for its beautiful ocean views and beach access. But the ocean’s rising levels also pose a major threat to coastal cities like Charleston, especially when they combine with large rain events like the hurricanes the city has weathered over past years. Since 2014, Charleston’s streets have been flooded consistently more often, from 11 days in 2014, to 38 days in 2015 and 50 days in 2016. 

The first historic home to be given city approval to elevate to meet flood requirements sits near Colonial Lake in downtown Charleston.
Alexandra Olgin/SC Public Radio

Jack Margolies is somewhat of a pioneer in Charleston historic preservation circles. He is the first to get approval to elevate his 1859 two-story yellow home to meet flood requirements.

“Basically they’re going to jack it up," he said. "They’ll put rods underneath house and all the rods will be synchronized to go up certain height at same time.”

Margolies got the go ahead by the Board of Architectural Review– a body that ok’s any changes to historic homes. This is the second time he has tried to get approval to elevate his home. Margolies believes this year he had the right circumstances because much of his home was destroyed during a fire and the place required major construction. 

Under the approved elevation proposal he will be raising his home about two more feet which includes altering the red brick steps and iron banister that lead to his Charleston style southern facing piazza. But he’s is careful to explain that the entrance will look straight out of the 19th century.

“An expert could come by and could possibly notice the difference. But the average tourist walking by the average Charlestonian wouldn’t notice any difference.”

We Are Charleston

Dec 26, 2016
Bernard Powers, Marjory Wentworth, and Herb Fraizer, authors of We Are Charleston.
Jack Alterman

(Originally broadcast 08/19/16) - This week’s guests on Walter Edgar's Journal are the authors of the book We Are Charleston (2016 Thomas Nelson), a multi-layered exploration of the tragic events experienced by South Carolina’s famed Mother Emanuel in June of 2015.

StoryCorps: Christmas on Daufuskie Island

Nov 15, 2016
Dr. J. Herman Blake and Dr. Emily Moore, Charleston, 2012
StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. In 2012, the StoryCorps mobile booth came to Charleston. Here’s Dr. J. Herman Blake talking with his wife and co-researcher Dr. Emily Moore.

Edwin McCain and his band on stage at the Charleston Music Hall.
SCETV

In cooperation with South Carolina ETV, the Charleston Music Hall has been the scene of a growing series of televised concerts known as Live at the Charleston Music Hall. Co-produced and hosted by Mark Bryan, guitarist of South Carolina’s Hootie and the Blowfish, the series has provided four shows for ETV and South Carolina Public Radio.

Detail from "The Reserve in Summer." (Alice Ravenel Huger Smith)
Gibbes Museum

  The Middleton Place Foundation is helping to share the artistic legacy of Charleston Renaissance artist Alice Ravenel Huger Smith with exhibits at the Middleton Place House Museum and the Edmondston-Alston House, a Smith exhibit from October 23, 2016, to June 17, 2017.

ETV's Smart Cat greets a young visitor at SC Public Radio Night at the Charleston Riverdogs baseball game.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The Charleston Riverdogs minor league baseball team recently hosted South Carolina Public Radio at a game against the Columbia Fireflies. SC Public Radio’s Kate McKinney threw out the first ball, and staffers Alexandra Olgin and Tut Underwood also were in attendance, as was Osei Chandler, host of SC Public Radio’s Roots Musik Karamu, which he calls the longest-running reggae music program on radio.

Garden...and Gun?

Aug 29, 2016
Garden and Gun logo
Garden and Gun magazine

    Yes, Garden & Gun--a magazine that covers “the best of the South,” including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. With a national audience of more than one million passionate and engaged readers, the magazine has won numerous awards for its journalism, design, and overall excellence.

We Are Charleston

Aug 18, 2016
Bernard Powers, Marjory Wentworth, and Herb Fraizer, authors of We Are Charleston.
Jack Alterman

  This week’s guests on Walter Edgar's Journal are the authors of the book We Are Charleston (2016 Thomas Nelson), a multi-layered exploration of the tragic events experienced by South Carolina’s famed Mother Emanuel in June of 2015.

  "C" is for Charleston Riot (1919). This riot was the earliest major incident in a nationwide outbreak of racial violence that came to be known as the “Red Summer.” Race riots erupted in two dozen American communities between April and October. The trouble began on May 11th with rumors that a black man had shot a white sailor. White servicemen, accompanied by local whites, began destroying black businesses and attacking black passersby. Black Charlestonians defended themselves.

Sen. Clemente Pinckey
SC Senate

  On June 17, 2015 the state and the nation were shocked by the horrific shootings at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church.  Nine people attending bible study at the church, including the church’s pastor State Sen. Clemente Pinckney of Jasper County were killed.  The death of Pinckney, a popular and respected member of the Senate, rocked the Statehouse, and set-off a chain of events that culminated three weeks later with the removal of the confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest AME church in the south. It is often referred to as "Mother Emanuel".
Spencer Means/Flickr

  The slayings of nine worshipers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston a year ago was a wrenching experience for South Carolina and the nation.  To try to find some understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath, three Charleston writers came together to produce a book to document their thoughts and observations.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley on SCETV's program "Palmetto Focus."
SCETV

  The murders at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. last June thrust two of the state’s top public officials into the forefront.  Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, and then Mayor of Charleston Joe Riley, a Democrat.  Both leaders received praise for their roles in the aftermath.

The two were co-recipients of this year’s leadership awards from Furman University’s Riley Institute.

Participants in "Black Lives Matter" march in Charleston, SC, June 20, 2015.
Jeanette Guinn

  In the days after the Emmanuel AME Church murders of 2015, Joy Vandervort Cobb, gave a memorable interview about the community’s response to the tragedy. She returns on the one-year anniversary to tell us what has changed, and what has not.

Cobb is an actress, professor, and activist who will be performing in Citizen: An American Lyric at the PURE Theatre.

Alexandra Olgin

    

  At a small Baptist congregation a half hour north of Charleston, Melvin Graham Jr. is praying.

A laminated bookmark with a picture of his sister Cynthia Graham Hurd marks his bible. She was murdered on June 17, 2015 in the basement of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church along with eight others. Graham said he and his siblings plan to remember their sister through her passion.

“We came up with the idea of giving away books in June, in honor of her, because June is her birthday,” said Graham. 

Hearts Mend Hearts

Jun 13, 2016
A mandala drawn by a participant in the Hearts Mend Hearts art therapy workshops that took place at the Charleston County Library.
heartsmendhearts.com

  Dianne Tennyson-Vincent, along with Laura De La Maza, began the art therapy organization called Hearts Mend Hearts.  Both women have a background in therapy, art and teaching.  The organization began after the killings last June at Mother Emmanuel AME Church  of nine parishioners. 

Porgy (Lester Lynch) and Bess (Alyson Cambridge).
Julia Lynn Photography

The iconic opera of the Jazz Age, Porgy and Bess, by George and Ira Gershwin with DuBose Heyward, returns to Charleston, its city of origin, in a Spoleto Festival USA production. David Herskovits, whose 1998 production of Mamba’s Daughters by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward won an OBIE award and sold out at Spoleto Festival USA in 1999, returns to direct. Celebrated Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green is Visual Designer, creating the fictional "Catfish Row," based on the actual "Cabbage Row."

Portraits from King St-500 Block
Jack Alterman

A Charleston native and skilled photographer, Jack Alterman is best known for his diverse portraits of Charlestonians. His newest exhibition, King Street – Faces of the 500 Block is currently being presented as part of Piccolo Spoleto in the previously closed-down Morris Sokol furniture store. The show is comprised of Alterman's portraits of the people who used to live in the 500 block area of Upper King St.

Colonial style window
iStock photo © Massimo Fanelli

  The Charleston World Heritage Commission's mission is to nominate iconic buildings and landscapes representative of the Charleston Lowcountry, plantation-driven culture as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the highest cultural and historic designation bestowed on a place or site.

Cast and chorus in Act II of Porgy and Bess. The scene features a wrought iron gate that is a tribute to renowned Charleston blacksmith, Philip Simmons.
Julia Lynn Photography

Cabbage Row, in the Charleston of the 1920s, was the inspiration for "Catfish Row" in DuBose Heyward’s novel, Porgy​, and is the setting for Porgy and Bess. The opera by George and Ira Gershwin with a libretto by Hayward, is brought to life on the new Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall stage, just blocks from the historical Cabbage Row.

Grace Notes: Reflections for Now

Jun 1, 2016
Carrie Mae Weems, 2013.
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

  Always focused on social justice, acclaimed visual artist Carrie Mae Weems offers up Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, a provocative performance of music, song, text, spoken word, and video projection that explores our historical moment.

  Cathryn Zommer is the Executive Director of arts partnership organization, Enough Pie. As part of Piccolo Spoleto, Enough Pie is holding their fourth annual event in a series entitled “Awakening.”  Awakening IV: Indigo is all about blue.

Spoleto Festival USA's Resident Conductor & Director of Orchestral Activities, John Kennedy.
Julia Lynn Photography

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s sobering tale, Helmut Lachenmann's opera, The Little Match Girl, explores the character's last moments as she gazes into the dreams and memories conjured by the flames of the matched she lights in a vain attempt to keep from freezing to death. Working in collaboration with visual artists, Blind Summit Theatre and Improbable theater company, 106 members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra perform this astonishingly evocative score, full of clicks, crackles, knocks, and hisses, under the baton of John Kennedy.

Long-Time Spoleto Vocal Coach Relishes Her Work

Jun 1, 2016
Jake (Sidney Outlaw) and far right, Sportin' Life (Victor Ryan Robertson) and cast and chorus.
Julia Lynn Photography

    Dianne Richardson has been vocal coach for Spoleto performers since the beginning. She began her work, playing piano at rehearsals as well as coaching, at the invitation of festival founder Gian Carlo Menotti. In the early days, productions performed at Spoleto Festival USA would finish their run, then move to the Spoleto Festival in Italy.

Richardson says that, of all the wonderful productions on which she has worked at Spoleto, including Elektra, Salome and Die MeistersingerPorgy and Bess is her favorite.

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