O Hour, Charleston,SC

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Diary of a Hurricane Blogger: Snoopy Dancing Through Life

Diary of a Hurricane Blogger: Snoopy Dancing Through Life: Everyone knows Peanuts, the great Charles Schultz characters that are a part of every Americans families collective psyche. Charlie Brow...

Snoopy Dancing Through Life

    Everyone knows Peanuts, the great Charles Schultz characters that are a part of every Americans families collective psyche. Charlie Brown, Linus ,Sally, Lucy and of course Snoopy and the gang are as much our friends as the the kids next door. From our earliest childhood ,we've loved, laughed and felt their youthful  angst like it was our own. Just like an old friend from our childhood we know that their always with us. As sure as spring follows winter we know that every Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas we will all make that cycle and come full circle to find that we've run right back into the wide eyed optimism of our youth  . Fifty year old kids sitting in front of the TV, but in our hearts were right there in that pumpkin patch with Charlie Brown and Linus still waiting on the Great Pumpkin to rise.
      There is a scene in every story, where snoopy, in a moment of unbridled joy begins to dance. Sometimes with the whole gang, often by himself, nose to the sky, his beagle ears flopping in the breeze, carefree, full of complete and utter happiness. Oh to be a character in a cartoon.
       Unlike our cartoon friends though we have to live in the real world. Cars, cell phones and mostly real life always seem to want to get in the way of our own storybook endings. Hard choices seem to always be followed by even tougher ones, and everyone knows the reward for hard work is well,,, more hard work. I don't seem to remember Charlie Brown ever re-financing his house, or having to deal with an aging parent, or pulling a 100 + hour work week. These things just aren't that much fun, but they are part and parcel of living in today's Twitterworld.  Sometimes its easy to forget that its the joy that we live for. Maybe in our hot-cold, east-west, good-bad world its the daily grind that makes the peace of home and family that much sweeter, just as darkness makes the daylight seem brighter.
      "This too shall pass", to me has always been not only one of the most comforting, but also worrying quotes that sometimes bounces through my South Carolina educated head from time to time. In context not only does it imply that our pain will pass, but also that the joyous times we so carefully and lovingly store away in our memories are fleeting and transcendent . Too easy is it to step on life's carousel and focus on the ride and not the blur of the world as it swirls by seemingly just out of our reach.
     My suggestion is to remember our schultzian counterparts and just step off life's amazing ride for a second and do a little Snoopy Dance every now and again. Sounds simple I know but it's harder in practice than theory. Go home, turn off the TV,the I Pod's, the computer and especially the phones. No e-mails, no Twit's, no texting ,,,,,NO CHEATING.  Pull out a board game or a deck of cards, it doesn't matter. What does matter are the people at the table, and while your there talk,,,,,,,face to face. I'll bet it wont be long before you too will be nose to the sky, beagle ears flopping in the breeze, dancing with your own "Peanuts" gang to sound of Schroeder's Piano.

Or as Charlie Browns Teacher Would Say,  "Whah Whah,,Whah Whah Whah Whah Whah...."

Monday, January 2, 2012

North Charleston, Your From Where?

Cooper River in North Charleston
   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