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"S" is for Sinclair, Bennie Lee [1939-2000]. Novelist, poet. A Greenville native, Sinclair published her first poem at the age of six. The overwhelming critical praise and attention cause her to stop writing for a number of years. In 1986 she was appointed the state’s fifth poet laureate, a position she held for the remainder of her life. She taught writing at Furman and conducted poetry workshops at Notre Dame, Western Carolina, and Brevard College. For twenty-eight years she taught in the schools of South Carolina through the Arts Commission’s Artist-in-Residence program.

"S" is for Sims, James Marion [1813-1883]. Gynecologist, surgeon. A native of Lancaster District, Sims obtained his medical Degree from Jefferson Medical College and then established a practice in Alabama. Between 1844 and 1849 he developed a surgical method for the repair of the debilitating condition known as vesico-vaginal fistula. Among his patients were a number of slave women. Having perfected his surgery in repeated experiments on his slave patients, he moved to New York where he opened a charity hospital to instruct fellow physicians.

"S" is for Simpsonville [Greenville County; population 14,352]. Incorporated in 1901, Simpsonville began many decades earlier as a crossroads hamlet where the Old Stage Road intersected a former Cherokee trail. In 1838, Peter Simpson established a blacksmith operation at the crossroads. Other enterprises soon followed and the settlement became known as Simpsonville. In the mid-1880s, the completion of the Greenville and Laurens Railroad near the town brought growth and development. In 1886, the post office officially became known as Simpsonville.

Marian McPartland and and Dizzy Gillespie during a recording session for "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz."
SC Public Radio

(Originally broadcast 11/04/16) - In An Encyclopedia of South Carolina Jazz and Blues Musicians, Benjamin Franklin V documents the careers of South Carolina jazz and blues musicians from the nineteenth century to the present. The musicians range from the renowned (James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie), to the notable (Freddie Green, Josh White), to the largely forgotten (Fud Livingston, Josie Miles), to the obscure (Lottie Frost Hightower, Horace "Spoons" Williams), to the unknown (Vince Arnold, Johnny Wilson).

"S" is for Simons and Lapham. The architectural firm of Simons & Lapham was formed by Albert Simons and Samuel Lapham in 1920. Albert Simons received his degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Lapham obtained his degree in architecture from M.I. T. In the 1920s the firm was busy with commissions for new houses and restorations.

"U" is for Union County [514 square miles; population 29,881]. The General Assembly created the county in 1785 and its boundaries remained the same until 1897 when it lost its two northernmost townships in the creation of Cherokee County. The first Europeans arrived in the 1750s and, to save effort, the various religious denominations built a single place of worship and called it a “union” church—and that was the origin of the county's name.

"T" is for Table Rock in Greenville County. Table Rock is a small mountain that rises 3,197 feet above sea level and has a relatively broad summit shaped like a table, a characteristic that is said to have inspired the name given to it long ago by the Cherokee. Like Caesars Head and Sassafras Mountain, Table Rock was formed nearly 430 million years ago when either a continental fragment or island moved as one tectonic plate slid under another.

"D" is for Daniel, Charles Ezra [1895-1964]. Businessman. U.S. Senator. A native of Georgia, Daniel moved with his family to Anderson where he entered business and would become 20th century South Carolina’s most successful businessman. After service in World War I, he returned home and began building mill houses. In 1934, he established Daniel Construction Company. His firm had a reputation for cost and quality control that won building contracts first in South Carolina, then the South, and eventually around the world.

"C" is for Calhoun, John Caldwell [1782-1850]. Congressman, secretary of war, secretary of state, vice president of the United States, United States senator.  In 1810, Calhoun won a seat in Congress, thus beginning a long, distinguished, and controversial career in national politics. He was President Monroe's secretary of war and later vice president under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Resigning from office, Calhoun was elected to the U.S. Senate where he became a national figure.

"B" is for Baldwin, William Plews, III [born 1944]. Novelist. Born in McClellandville, Baldwin was reared in the Carolina lowcountry. He is a “would-be” architect with two degrees from Clemson—one in history and the other in English. After college, he returned to McClellanville where he has made a living by crabbing, oystering, shrimping,  serving as a magistrate, writing screenplays for Hollywood, and writing fiction. His first novel, The Hard to Catch Mercy [1993] was universally well-received.

Marlanda Dekine and Scott Neely
Spartanburg County Foundation

Speaking Down Barriers is a non-profit group created by Marlanda Dekine and Scott Neely with a goal to “[transform] our life together across our differences through performance, consultation, trainings, and dialogue.” Dekine and Neely join Dr. Edgar to talk about the program’s efforts and goals.

"A" is for the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1990, the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge is part of the federal system of refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge represents the federal role in the larger ACE Basin Project with units on the Combahee and Edisto Rivers. The headquarters is located at the Grove, an early nineteenth-century plantation house. With a total of nearly 12,000 acres, the refuge is managed for wildlife with careful attention given to habitat preservation.

"Y" is for Yeamans, Sir John [1611-1674]. Governor. Yeamans was born in Bristol, England and was a Royalist officer during the English Civil War. In 1659, he and other Royalists fled to Barbados where he became a large landowner, judge and member of the council. After his business partner died under mysterious circumstances, he lost no time in marrying the wealthy widow. In 1665 Yeamans briefly led then abandoned the settlers of the unsuccessful colony at Cape Fear. The Lords Proprietors named him the third Landgrave of Carolina.

"W" is for Walhalla

Jan 4, 2017

"W" is for Walhalla, a town in Oconee County [population 3,801].  Founded in 1850, Walhalla drew its name from the Norse mythology and means “Garden of the Gods.” The earliest settlers were German immigrants, members of the German Colonization Society, who purchased thousands of acres in Pickens District and established the little town. Located on a ridge at the foot of Stumphouse Mountain, St. John’s Lutheran Church was one of the first buildings in the attractive village of four hundred. During the Civil War the town became a haven for lowcountry refugees.

Sandra E. Johnson
Courtesy of the author

Sandra E. Johnson talks with Walter Edgar about her latest novel, Flowers for the Living. The novel tells the story of how a suicidal African-American teenager's forcing a young white cop to kill him devastates the teenager’s mother as well the rookie cop. It also sparks a massive race riot and puts the mother and rookie in the cross hairs of a deranged gunman.

"V" is for Verner, Elizabeth O'Neill [1883-1979]. Artist. A native of Charleston, Verner attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Returning home, she was active in numerous art organizations such as the Charleston Etcher' Club and the Southern States Art League. She emerged as a leading figure of the Charleston Renaissance alongside her mentor, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith. Early in her career she focused on etchings of Charleston street scenes that depicted the city's architectural heritage and its African-American residents.

"U" is for the Union Daily Times, a daily evening newspaper with a circulation of 6,355, published in the city of Union. The paper claimed to be the county's oldest enterprise as the successor to the weekly Unionville Journal that began publishing in 1850. The Journal later became the Times, but its editorial philosophy did not: it was a radical states' rights publication with the masthead notice: “The Constitution as our fathers gave it, or separate independence.” The newspaper survived the Civil War and several name changes.

"F" is for Fraiser, Joseph William

"E" is for the Enterprise Railroad

"D" is for the Dock Street Theatre

"C" is for Chalmers, Lionel

We Are Charleston

Dec 26, 2016
Bernard Powers, Marjory Wentworth, and Herb Fraizer, authors of We Are Charleston.
Jack Alterman

(Originally broadcast 08/19/16) - This week’s guests on Walter Edgar's Journal are the authors of the book We Are Charleston (2016 Thomas Nelson), a multi-layered exploration of the tragic events experienced by South Carolina’s famed Mother Emanuel in June of 2015.

"B" is for Bennett, Thomas, Jr.

"A" is for Asian Religions

"A" is for the A. M. E. Church

"T" is for Truck Farming

"S" is for Sayre, Christopher Gadsden

Garden...and Gun?

Dec 19, 2016
Garden and Gun logo
Garden and Gun magazine

(Originally broadcast 09/03/16) - Yes, Garden & Gun--a magazine that covers “the best of the South,” including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. With a national audience of more than one million passionate and engaged readers, the magazine has won numerous awards for its journalism, design, and overall excellence.

"R" Is For the Richardson Waltz

"Y" is for Yarborough, William Caleb [born 1940], Race car driver. A native of Sardis in Florence County, “Cale” Yarborough had an adventurous and daredevil nature that led to his early success on local dirt tracks. In 1957 he lied about his age and raced in his first Southern 500 at Darlington. He soon became a NASCAR legend with a driving career that lasted from 1957 to 1988. As of 2004 he was the only driver to win three successive Winston Cup championships and his 83 victories place him fifth on the all-time win list.

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