Monday, April 23, 2012

In which we learn St. George's Day has nothing to do with grits...

Your loyal blogger wishes you a very, very happy St. George's Day! Amongst your rose-wearing, Jerusalem-singing, and dragon-slaying today, why not consider some ticket-buying? Today marks the 448th birthday of William Shakespeare, and to celebrate, the Library Society is hosting a big birthday party for the bard on this Thursday. The Charleston Renaissance Ensemble - Piccolo Spoleto favourites and the premiere Early Music group in the area - will be singing tunes from Shakespeare's time. And as a very, very special guest, bestselling author, sometimes actor, and perpetual raconteur Bernard Cornwell will be joining in, favouring us with dramatic readings from Shakespeare.

Tickets are $15, and children are allowed in for free.
Get them online here, by calling 1.888.718.4253, or at the front desk of the Library Society.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How you know a Wide Angle is great: the speaker's so interesting I didn't even talk about the food.

Your loyal blogger loves his job. Truly, madly, deeply loves his job. Being able to share our collections and events with our patrons and guests is too much fun.


When someone's got a job title as cool as "Chairman of Vibe", I've got to admit... I get a little jealous. And this Friday, that's just who's coming. Our Wide Angle Lunches are back for Series IV, and Robert Hicks kicks off the season. 

Hicks is the "Chairman of Vibe" for BB King's blues clubs, which sounds like the coolest job ever. [Even if that was just the fancy name for the guy who scrubs the plates, it would almost be worth it, just for the business cards...] He got there by being a major country and alt-rock music manager and publisher. In addition to that, he's a major collector of Southern and outsider art, and has been named one of Art & Antiques Top 100 Collectors in the US. And in addition to that, he's the chair of Tennessee's Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, the driving force behind the preservation of Franklin battlefield, and (yet another awesome title), 2005's "Tennesseean of the Year".

He lives in an 18th century log cabin.

Living in an18th Century Log Cabin is almost as
 cool as being this guy's Chairman of Vibe.

Oh, he also happens to be a New York Times bestselling novelist, the topic he'll be discussing at Friday's Wide Angle Lunch. Come join us at 12:30PM here at the Library for Hicks on "The Power of Fiction in Preserving History". Get your tix now through Showclix.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yes, this is a Carolina Day post, two months early...

As some of our New England friends might know, today is Patriots' Day. Not to be confused with Patriot Day, which is September 11th, or Patriotes Day, the national holiday of Quebec, Patriots' Day occurs every third day in April and commemorates the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord. In Massachusetts, Maine, and (for some reason) Wisconsin, it's an official holiday.

I mention this because it's a good segue into mentioning South Carolina's own Revolutionary War holiday, Carolina Day. Celebrated on the 28th of June, Carolina Day marks the 1776 defeat of a British invasion force at the Battle of Sullivans Island. Today it's the day when all of Charleston's venerable cultural institutions meet at Washington Park and march down Meeting Street to the Battery for a wreath laying and some speechifying at the base of Sergeant Jasper's statue.

Carolina Day is also when all the venerable members of said institutions don their seersucker and turn Meeting Street into a river of blue-and-white pinstripes. This is, of course, done solely for participants own comfort, though it does seem to turn into a spectacle for the tourists. The important thing is this: make sure you're ready to march with the Library Society (the oldest and most venerable cultural institution in the South) by picking up your official Ben Silver Library Society tie.

Lest you think this is a bit early for your loyal blogger to be discussing June events, I promise that one of our patrons was in last Friday encouraging the writing of this post. In a good year, we might have about a dozen folks march with the Library in the parade. Said encouraging patron is not settling for anything less than fifty this year. Good for him: I know I'll be there.

And that golden hope brings me back to Patriots Day... our friends in Massachusetts have figured out a great way to boost the popularity of their Revolutionary parade: not only do the schools and government offices close; not only do the Sox play an early home game; but it's also the day the Boston Marathon is always held. And don't feel bad that their patriotic fete gets 25,000 attendants, while our Carolina Day struggles for a few hundred... unlike our Northern friends, we aren't all trying to finish the parade as quickly as possible!