Monday, April 30, 2012

The Angel Tree

Can you believe the size of this oak?!

The Angel Oak is a Southern live oak tree located in Angel Oak Park, on Johns Island, South Carolina. It may be the oldest tree east of the Mississippi River and is certainly one of the most beautiful.

The Angel Oak is property of and maintained by the City of Charleston, South Carolina. The tree could be as old as 1500 years but attempts to age the tree have failed. It stands 65 feet tall and the crown covers an area of 17,000 square feet. Its longest limb is 89 feet long.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Beaufort Bridge

Unlike the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, SC, this bridge in Beaufort is an earlier vintage.  Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry. The city is renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character through its impressive antebellum architecture

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Camera Critters-Who Could Resist?!

This puppy is doing what all little canines do...races around madly, rests a bit, and then collapses until the next go-around!

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Recognition Day Parade

Recognition Day, when the Knobs complete their freshman year and advance to the next level, includes a parade on one of the main streets of Charleston.

The people of the city line the streets along the curb to view the cadets as they pass by.

We didn't know about this tradition, but were delighted to see this large group of cadets, including some females, as they marched along in their summer uniform.

This occurred several hours after we had left the campus...our Citadel day in Charleston.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Citadel Wedding

Outside the chapel on The Citadel campus we saw these six handsomely uniformed cadets.  They were waiting for a wedding ceremony to end inside so that they could put the finishing touches on the event.  Like other military schools I assume that they will provide a traditional cross swords pathway for the bride and groom.  We left before the service ended so we didn't observe what occurred...something special and memorable, I'm sure.  We discovered that five of these young men are southerners but one  is from the East coast.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The Corps of Cadets at The Citadel was all male until 1995 when Shannon Faulkner won a legal battle to enroll but she dropped out after less than a week. A Supreme Court ruling in a discrimination lawsuit against VMI eventually compelled the school to admit women and the first group of 4 female cadets matriculated in August, 1996. Using credits from another college Nancy Mace completed her degree in 3 years and became the first female graduate in Corps history on May 9, 1999; women currently comprise 7% of cadets.

To see more ABC Wednesday photos, go here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Ordeal: ABC Wednesday "O"

When we visited the campus of the Citadel it was a week-end with visiting parents and family members.  Because I am among the uninitiated, I'm still not quite sure what was occurring.  Large groups of cadets ran from the barracks and around the Parade Grounds.  Before each group finished and returned to their barracks, several individuals had to be helped in order to finish.  The harness-type backpacks apparently had a cooling device on the back for the health and comfort of some who needed them.  I got this information from some of the family bystanders who were watching from the curb as we were.  It was a parade-of-sorts involving the Knobs. . . a recognition day, I guess. Knobs are so-called because of their shaved heads.

Recognition Day signifies the end of the freshman journey as knobs. The regimented knob lifestyle -- short haircuts, frequent bracing, walking fast paced in single file -- will cease on Recognition Day. It is the culmination of the rigid discipline endured throughout knob year and the beginning of a new era.  

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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Citadel: Old and New

The original site of The Citadel was on what is now Marion Square in the City of Charleston.  The gate below is the entrance to the current site of the college.

If you go here, you'll learn more than you'll ever need to know about The Citadel. It's a fun place to visit; lots of handsome young Southern boys here with a handful of female cadets among them.

"The mission of The Citadel is to offer an exceptional educational experience in a military setting and produce principled leaders who are successful in all walks of life by developing the 4 pillars: academics, military, physical training and moral/ethical training. Cadets learn teamwork, discipline, physical and mental strength and honor through the experience of the first year fourth class system. Small classes and a highly qualified faculty provide an exceptional academic experience." (CREDIT: WIKIPEDIA)

32 years ago one of South Carolina's sons, Pat Conroy, published a fictionalized novel about life at a military college, The Lords of Discipline. Since I have read almost all of his books, I decided to reread it.  It 's just as powerful the second time around.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ravenel Bridge: Sunday Bridges

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, also known as the New Cooper River Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River in South Carolina, connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. The eight lane bridge satisfied the capacity of U.S. Route 17 when it opened in 2005 to replace two obsolete cantilever truss bridges. The bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet (471 m), the third longest among cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere. It was built using the design-build method and was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Jim and I were fascinated by the design of bridges we saw in Georgia and South Carolina.  This one is a marvel of engineering.  We crossed it many times because we rented a condo in Mount Pleasant, just across the river from Charleston.  We always saw many people either jogging or walking across this bridge whenever we crossed it by our car.

To see more Sunday Bridges, click here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cat Nap-Camera Critters

I think that this highly literate cat belongs to someone in the Blue Bicycle Bookstore on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

A Cute Ranger

Olivia is probably the cutest Ranger I've ever seen at a Federal monument!  She gave us the introductory but brief history lesson/lecture at Fort Sumter after we got off the ferry and before we all left the area to explore more of the fort ourselves. Olivia is both well-trained and articulate.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC

Exactly 151 years later on April 12 DH and I arrived at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.  It is an historical site that should be visited by all visitors to the city.  The museum there is small but excellent.  We were reminded again about the ways in which the Civil War changed the face of our nation in many, many significant ways: socially, economically and racially. The Fort is a treasure.

The cannon at the top is the one that made the first shot from the fort after it was fired upon by South Carolina Confederate troops from nearby Fort Johnson--the start of a two-day bombardment that resulted in the surrender of Fort Sumter by Union troops. But that was not the end...just the beginning of a long siege and a war that cost our nation more than bargained for at the beginning of the Civil War.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ABC WEDNESDAY-"N": A Nautical theme #2

Someone is busy in Charleston Harbor.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ABC WEDNESDAY-"N": A Nautical theme

This anchor rests on a collection of shells...part of the refuse from the dinner entrees at a very good seafood restaurant in Port Royal, South Carolina.

For more ABC Wednesday posts, please check here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

"A slack line"

 I met both Becca and Taylor in the waterfront park in Beaufort.  I watched in fascination as they both practiced balancing and walking on "the slack line." Both are beautifully agile young women. I politely declined their kind offer to show me how to do it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Dream House!

Beaufort, South Carolina is a sweet little town, and I would love to live least for the summer.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tucker, Camera Critter

I met Tucker while walking in a park in Beaufort, SC.  His companion Roo was camera shy and wasn't interested in having his photo taken.  Tucker and Roo's mistress was enjoying the summer air at a table while working on her laptop so I tried not to disturb the scene too much.

For more photos of other camera critters, please click here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Knock! Knock! Who's There?

We did a great deal of walking during our stay in Savannah and we saw many unique and individual door decorations. One of the many things that made walking interesting.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist-Savannah, GA

On Easter Sunday, DH and I attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Ga.  The announcement at the beginning of the service, indicating that photos without a flash would be allowed surprised me, but, luckily, I had my camera with me (like any other serious blogger).  I took some photos that I would not have dared to take otherwise.  For those who are unfamiliar with Roman Catholicism, the top photo records the consecration of the wine which is a sacred and holy part of the Mass. The bottom photo was taken at one of the side altars, which would have been perfect for Good Friday.

Despite the massive building, the service on Easter Sunday felt quite intimate because of the southern hospitality and welcoming nature of the parishioners and the priest, who suggested that we continue to celebrate the season by doing something nice for ourselves and others on every day this coming week which is still "Easter Week."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spanish Moss-ABC WEDNESDAY "M"

Colonial Park Cemetery has many trees loaded with Spanish moss.  To a Midwesterner it's a very unusual sight.

In the southeastern United States, the following tale is told:
As the story goes; there was once a traveler who came with his Spanish fiancée in the 1700s to start a plantation near the city of Charleston SC. She was a beautiful bride-to-be with long flowing raven hair. As the couple was walking over the plantation sight[sic] near the forest, and making plans for their future, they were suddenly attacked by a band of Cherokee who were not happy to share the land of their forefathers with strangers. As a final warning to stay away from the Cherokee nation, they cut off the long dark hair of the bride-to-be and threw it up in an old live oak tree. As the people came back day after day and week after week, they began to notice the hair had shriveled and turned grey and had begun spreading from tree to tree. Over the years the moss spread from South Carolina to Georgia and Florida. (Credit: Wiki)

Many other ABC Wednesday posts can be seen here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mercer Williams House-ABC WEDNESDAY-"M"

,Welcome to the Mercer Williams House Museum  and Carriage House Shop. If you haven't read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, perhaps you have seen the movie.  This is the house where Jim Williams lived and where the tragedy occurred. Behind the window to the left of the front entrance is Williams' office where the deed was done.

Construction began in 1860 for General Hugh W. Mercer, grandfather of musician Johnny Mercer.  Interrupted by the Civil War, it was completed in 1868 for John R. Wilder. When Jim Williams, a dedicated private restorationist and international art dealer bought the Mercer House in early 1969, it had been vacant almost a decade. The Carriage House on the right has been turned into an antique shop.

As a private residence it had many celebrity visitors, including Margaret Thatcher, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Ladybird Johnson, and General Colin Powell.

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Monday, April 09, 2012

Flannery O'Connor

A formal photograph of Flannery O'Connor and her mother.  The caretaker and guide who lives on the top floor of the house gives a fact-filled and interesting tour of the home where O'Connor spent much of her early childhood. I loved the artifacts and the anecdotes almost as much as I enjoyed her short stories.  One of my favorite college memories involves participating in a dramatic group presentation of one of her weird short stories for a theatre class.  What a loss for literature in general and Southern literature in particular when she died at age 39 of lupus, as did her own father.

Sunday, April 08, 2012



Saturday, April 07, 2012

Historical Savannah Sign

The wonderful, friendly man who lives next door to our rental in Savannah explained the meaning of this sign affixed to his house.  At one time in the history of the city, any dwelling with this sign had to be helped first in the event of a fire involving several buildings.  Obviously it no longer is accurate and the plaque is now just an artifact, but imagine!!