Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ghost goblins and things that go bump in the night in Charleston

The sky looks as if it is painted a soft gray, it almost does not look real it is so delicate. The
The Battery

chill in the air is unusual for Charleston, even in the winter the low country usually keeps a mild temperature, although at times cold temperatures and occasional snow flurries assault us, they are not what you see in the north, and Charleston remains the subtropical paradise of the Low country. 

I turned the corner of King Street, which stretches from one end of downtown to the other. If I walk straight down King to the east I find myself in a middle class neighborhood, hardworking people who commute downtown, live in nice brick homes with fenced in yards, lots of greenery and trees. However, to the west is the poor area, people who work hard for little, live in older homes smaller green yards, trees outside the fence. In This area people sit on their front porches or stand around in front of the corner stores talking about the latest gossip, what is happening in the city? They do not worry about what they will do tomorrow, they already know they will get up go to work and return home to the same routine. 

In between these two areas is the historical downtown, the Battery. The Grandstand stands in the park. I can still hear music playing in the bandstand, from a time long ago. I sense, more than see, women in long dresses, hats and parasols. Men in fedoras walking gallantly next to them tipping their hats to passing women. 

In the middle of this park, pointed out to an island, is cannon. The cannon is silent:  standing next to  
it is a soldier, dressed in tattered gray standing ramrod straight.
 He looking out across the Cooper River at Fort Sumter. Solemn, his gun at his side as he stands at attention watching, waiting, for what? I shake my head and look again. He is gone in a flash, and so are the women, they are replaced with college students playing ball and occupants of the old elegant homes, walking their dogs. Charleston returns to the present, if only for a moment. I sit on a bench and enjoy my world. 

A young woman, a tourist sits down beside me on the bench. “My name is Linda,” she speaks eagerly, “do you live in Charleston?”

Charleston breeds an air of friendliness, found in most southern towns, but for some reason more so here, I answer yes, and tell her my name is Diane. 

“People have such stories here.” “Stories of ghosts, the supernatural. I don't suppose you know any?”

I tell her the story of a church steeple that stood so tall, the union army used to aim for it, right in the  

“Where did the voice come from“, she asked “a ghost?”
center of town in the middle of winter. The winter was the coldest one the people had experienced, but the constant shelling of the church kept the people running out of their homes to safety. Children were freezing the army kept shelling. One day the townspeople gathered in the church and prayed for God to protect them, their children were cold, from somewhere a voice told the people to their hearts: not a voice out loud, to paint the steeple black so it would not be seen in the dark night. The next morning the people did, wondering at the experience; the shelling stopped.
it is a soldier, dressed in tattered gray standing ramrod straight.
I shook my head, then I tell her about 41 pirates hung, not too far from here, 41 members of Bonny’s group, all hung on the Battery. The old-timers say it, they walk here, they whisper but we never see them. Like most parts of Charleston, we sense their presence, their contribution to the past of this city. I tell her of pirate ships, earthquakes that took many lives and a war that went on for three long years. We see Charleston as Charleston is and was. The past more often than not: meshing with the present in this city.

What about the voice in the steeple, she ask was it the spirit of a dead soldier?
“No, I replied picking up my purse, “God spoke to the people“. 

“God“, she scoffed “I don’t believe in God” 
To myself I smiled. “You will believe in a ghost but not in the almighty?” 

“Of course not give me a good reason to believe in something you cannot see?”

Linda fumed as she gathered her belongings and huffed away. She had come to Charleston looking for Ghosts
not for God. 
So I wonder, how can you believe in spirits and not the mightiest one of all?

I smiled to myself; I get the reaction a lot. People do not wish to believe in a tangible God, but they chose to believe in ghosts and spirits walking the earth.

The truth is, the spirit that walks Charleston is history. We are called the Holy city for a good reason. I smiled as I continued my walk through my city feeling the warmth of history and He who blessed us. 
The women in their long beautiful dresses bowed their heads. 
You just have to love Charleston

My thanks to Glimpse of Charleston for letting me raid their picture file. They are awesome and so are the owners :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Marine Corps

During the American Revolution, many important political discussions took place in the inns and taverns of Philadelphia, including the founding of the Marine Corps.

A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.

The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines.
As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776.

Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.

From the Manual

Marines Generally known as Jarheads are the first in any campaign and the last out. Celebrating their birthday is a long tradition in the special culture of the Marines. 

They are the elite of all of the forces, and most well known for the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II
Thank you, guys. We sure will OOHRAH

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Never Give Up

I woke up this morning feeling a little put out. You know the mornings or times where there is so much on your plate you feel Why bother any more?
I know God does nt want us to feel this way, he wants us to look forward, to count on him to make things right. And that is why, we are to trust and know He is God. 

When I get this way, I get into my Bible and read encouraging verses. I read His promises, usually it helps; Today it didn't.
My grandmother used to say, don't look backward look forward, always seach for someone or something that is worse then you are: then count your blessings.
grandma won.
I  scrolled through facebook and found the usual sayings, cheerful posts, but I ran into a video posted by someone I am not even friends with. Where did this come from I wondered. I felt compelled to watch it; and felt so ashamed of my self, and you will see why,

His name is Kayden. Kayden was born with a disease, and he is finally getting a chance to walk. 
This video made me cry because I was fretting about things I could fix. kayden has won life. 
He's got it.
May your life be as joyful as his.

Go Kayden!!!!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Do I have to give candy?

Dear Prudence,
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously, this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what is the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday. But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
—Halloween for the 99 Percent

Last year a woman was so worried about poor, overweight children, she took it upon herself to decide which kids got candy and which she would give fruit or water. I guess she felt it was her duty to get these kids in shape. In one way, it was a noble effort. However, in other ways: it was wrong on so many levels.
First, let me tell you women, I am sure the poor kids all over America were happy you cared.
When I was a child, growing up in Palo Alto, California (not your typically poor area, believe me) I went trick or treating with the kids in my neighborhood. We would walk all over the city, ring the doorbell and shout trick or treat to whomever answered the door.
Now if you do not know about Palo Alto, it is full of Stanford University professors, lawyers, executives from Hewlett –Packard and IBM.
Now, the kids in my neighborhood? We were not the kids of those people; we were the kids of the people who worked for those people. Still no one said anything when we knocked on the door; they just dumped candy in our bags and smiled. Were rich people nicer then?
Being rich is hard. People are always asking for things.
I actually feel sorry for the writer, she says, I know I should feel like a bad person…but-
I hate to tell you, that Reese’s’ is not going to do anything but give a child a few minutes of joy: Did you think perhaps they live in neighbors where candy is a high commodity? Rent and food take priority.
In addition, you know what?  Giving the kids fruit and water because you have decided they are overweight will just hurt their psyche, and perhaps they will develop issues.
Seriously, though, I would like to thank both of you for your concern for these children. It shines right through.
For the little girl whose mom drives her over to your neighborhood, because her own is full of gangs, and drive byes…she can relax a little in your neighborhood. Luckily, her mom does not know about you, miss 99 percent.
For the little boy that had health problems, and cannot lose weight because his diet is cheap foods, rice, potatoes, his mom cannot afford the green leafy veggies that would so help his problem.
Let us kook in your own neighborhood:
How about the three year old dressed to go out to trick or treat and her mother’s boyfriend beat her to death. Because in her excitement she soiled her pants
Luckily, she is not coming to your door. You can save the candy.
If I had a chance to speak to both of you women, I would tell you this:
Kids should not hurt. Not ever. Not by words, not by hitting…
Adults should not be the cause of their pain. Lock your door, leave town, turn your light off You don’t have to give out candy …As a matter of fact spare the kids your contempt, go watch a movie.Now, go put your brooms away.
Dear 99,
In the urban neighborhood where I used to live, families who were not from the immediate area would come in fairly large groups to trick-or-treat on our streets, which were safe, well-lit, and full of people overstocked with candy. It was delightful to see the little mermaids, spider-men, ghosts, and the occasional axe murderer excitedly run up and down our front steps, having the time of their lives. So we’d spend an extra $20 to make sure we had enough candy for kids who weren’t as fortunate as ours. There you are, 99, on the impoverished side of Greenwich or Beverly Hills, with the other struggling lawyers, doctors, and business owners. Your whine makes me kind of wish that people from the actual poor side of town come this year not with scary costumes but with real pitchforks. Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of the kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 percent live.
Credit for the letter goes to Dear Prudence publication date Oct.23, 2014 Slate mag.