Crossing the North Bridge the other day into what used to be the North Area, I began to ponder my hometown and it's name.To the TV news North Charleston is a place to go when they need a quick story on crime or poverty, same with the newspapers. To them were a city of wannabe's,should have been's of, or never was's. A place to collect the cast offs of downtown society, basically were the servant quarters to their plantation at the mouth of the Ashley and Cooper. I don't see it that way.
Even before the city was the city, when we were the first district, it was the North Area that did the heavy lifting. While Downtown attracted the tourist and world wide acclaim, it was the dedicated folks from the other side of the tracks that drove the economic engine of the entire area. How many Parks Auto parts stores have you noticed on the Battery, or any of the other thousands of essential business's that form the backbone of the Charleston area. While the hotels and restaurants of the peninsula maybe world class, its the world class employees that make them tick. If you checked the personnel files of their employees I'd be willing to bet you'd find alot more home address's from Montague and Spruill Ave's. than Tradd St. or than East Bay. For 200 years we've cleaned up behind and fixed all the messes of our prima donna sister city to the south. Hour to hour and day to day it's our citizens that continue to this day to build both cities.
Stepchild to the "City Of"(just sounds pretentious doesn't it?) North Charleston committed what amount to it's own version of "Original Sin" when it chose its name. Just like in the world of colleges football, who can name a great directional city? North New York, West Chicago, South San Francisco? We might as well have been named Nowhere, or the City To Be Named Later, but even these names are recognizable compared to North Charleston. Was it a lack of effort, a shortage of time, or blind ignorance that guided our founders to give us this moniker?
I've thought about what I would name our area and I came up with a few suggestions,,,,Cooper River, Chicora, and Iron Dog come to mind right away.Noisette or Port City would also be good choices. All these names though describe where we are, but not who we are. When I think of my home town and its citizen its not the geography but the people that I think of. In that vane If given the choice of what the sign entering the city would say I would have to choose from the following list, HEART,SC, COURAGE,SC, HERO,SC, SACRIFICE,SC BLUE COLLAR,SC, INTEGRITY,SC, DETERMINATION,SC and of course SOUL,SC