Jean's Take

A blog about words, women, & whimsy

Charleston is much more than a dance!

Almost since the day I was born, I have loved the Charleston.  Give me a Fox Trot, Rhythm and Blues, Rock–and I Charleston Around the Clock, Twist–one of the best, but almost any rhythm fits.  The mention of Charleston and my insides start jumping, my feet want to move, and I can’t stop humming for the rest of the day.  Charleston equaled Dance until last week and I went to Charleston, South Carolina, to visit my grandson who is a sophomore at the College of Charleston.

  • Did you know that the College was founded in 1770, the 13th oldest in the US and is covered with Live Oaks covered with Spanish Moss?
  • Did you know that Live Oaks are called Live Oaks because their leaves never turn brown and die and that Spanish Moss is so absorbent that it has been used to diaper babies?
  • Did you know that ‘Rainbow Row’ is a street of preserved row-houses from the 1770’s painted shades of pink, blue, green and yellow–and started with yellow?
  • Did you know that Charleston is the best preserved of old Southern Cities–only younger than St. Augustine, Fla.; that the slave market is now a market with booths and stores of almost anything–except slaves, they’re illegal now–and is only closed Christmas Day; that windows on the fronts of homes functioned as doors, that porches were placed on the sides to catch breeze from the sea; that Charleston is a peninsula coddled by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers and the Atlantic Ocean; that a statue of John C. Calhoun (he’s buried there) stands tall to remind us that South Carolina stands for States Rights and Fort Sumter in its harbor to remind us of the first battle of the Civil War?

All we call Southern from grits and catfish to charm and elegant manners stand side by side with Charleston’s prideful past.  Yes, Charleston is much more than a dance!



Anthropologists and Late-Bloomers


Kudos to Murkowski and to Alaska!


  1. Hello Jean. Int’g note about Spanish Moss. While on a guided tour at a Maori village in N.Z., I asked our charming woman guide how Maori women managed their menstrual blood. Guess what? they use a moss similar to Spanish Moss to absorb it. Our guide charmingly told us how she said to her mother one day “You know mother, they have pads now that you can buy”. Mother’s reply:”why would I want to pay for pads when I have this natural material that costs nothing?” I’ve often thought of that lovely response as a highlight of my visit there.

    • Jean

      What a delightful note. It’s always good to hear from you and fascinated by your info. I always thought Moss was hanging from the trees to tell me that it was very humid there and I wouldn’t want to live there at all. You are a fascinating woman, Margaret. Why don’t you write your story for me? Thanks for stopping in. Jean

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