SCIWAY News No. 57 – July 2008
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In This Issue
1. In The Nick of Time: SC City NicknamesEach time we ask for your contributions to one of our guides, we're always lucky to be rewarded with interesting stories. Your letters with nicknames for South Carolina cities were no exception. Here are just a few of our favorites ...
Other monikers may create some "friendly" competition – as in the case of Newberry and St George. The first claims to be the City of Friendly Folks, while the latter calls itself the Town of Friendly People.
For your reading pleasure, we're pleased to present our SC City Nicknames Guide. While a solid start, we know there are more city and town nicknames eager to make it on our list. Send us a note if you know of one we don't have. By sharing your stories, you highlight the sense of place that ties South Carolina's history, people, and landscapes together.
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2. July's Top Ten – Notable SC WebsitesBin Yah: There's No Place Like Home - Documentary on the potential loss of Mt Pleasant's historic African-American communities to urban sprawl
Button King - Bishopville artist Dalton Stevens displays his button art - You've just got to see this to believe it!
City of Barnwell - Includes calendar of events, FAQs, and a list of helpful links to businesses and organizations in the Barnwell community
DoTheLightSwitch.com - Information from the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina on how to save energy and money by using compact fluorescent light bulbs - resource no longer exists
Great Dane Rescue of South Carolina - No-kill sanctuary for abused, neglected, and abandoned Danes throughout the state
Hard Rock Park - Myrtle Beach's newest attraction - Learn about rides and buy tickets online - Update: Park closed in Sep 2008 - site no longer available
League of Women Voters of the Clemson Area - Nonpartisan political organization advocates education and citizen participation
Marion County Economic Development Commission - Promotes new businesses and relocation of existing businesses to Marion County
Shout About Carolina - Blog highlights family-friendly places in SC - Tips, photos, and videos will help you make the most of your vacation
Your Rec Connection - Great guide to Greenville County parks and events - site no longer exists
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3. The Shag: Our Swingin' State DanceThe Carolina Shag was designated the official state dance of South Carolina in 1984, but for more than a half-century, it has been synonymous with warm sand, cold beer, and beach music. A form of Southern swing, it's said to have begun along the Grand Strand as early as the 1920's. The Shag's smooth rhythm has been described as "the jitterbug on Quaaludes" 1 – indeed, the gliding steps may have begun as an adaptation to avoid kicking up sand. (Some also say limiting upper body movement helped prevent spilled drinks!)
The Shag may have originated in part at Charlie's Place, a black nightclub in Myrtle Beach owned by Charlie Fitzgerald. Charlie's Place was located in an African-American section of town called The Hill, and despite segregation laws and customs, white and black dancers alike packed the club each night to dance to the music they loved.
As Beach Shagger's Hall of Famer Harry Driver explains, "We were totally integrated because the blacks and whites had nothing in our minds that made us think we were different. We loved music, we loved dancing, and that was the common bond between us." 2
Before World War II, the Shag was danced to what was then referred to as race music and is now known as rhythm and blues. (Beach music was a later off-shoot of R&B.) Considered illicit, the music was uncommon on radio stations. Many white teenagers flocked to black nightclubs and "juke joints" where it was a staple. The intermingling of blacks and whites, especially in the form of a somewhat suggestive dance, flew in the face of Jim Crow and occasionally met with severe consequences.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, shag or shagging can refer to an act of sexual intercourse. At The Pad, once a hotbed of Shag culture, townsfolk insisted that latticework be constructed over the lower part of the building to prevent anyone from inadvertently seeing the risque moves within. 3
Over the years, the Shag has become a South Carolina institution with a devoted following. Numerous organizations have developed to support and promote the dance that has embedded itself in our culture. Take a moment to explore SCIWAY's Guide to the Shag. There you'll find videos, a directory of Shag festivals and events, SC Shag organizations and venues, info on classic Shag bands, and much more.
One final note: The Shag was designated the state dance of North Carolina in 2005 – copycats! :)
4. SC Picture of the MonthColorful hot air balloons rise to float in Anderson's azure summer sky.
Each year over the Labor Day weekend, Anderson celebrates the Great Southeast Balloon Fest, a three-day festival that welcomes 80+ hot air balloons. The event also features live music, a car show, arts and crafts, and kids' activities. Thanks to Glenn Brill of Anderson for sharing this colorful shot with us.
5. Upcoming SC Festivals & EventsFor a complete calendar of South Carolina festivals and events, visit http://www.sciway.net/calendar.html. Here are just a few of July and early August's highlights:
South Carolina Festival of Discovery - SC history, traditions, and culture - Food, music, and amusement rides - July 10-12
SC Genealogical Society Annual Workshop - Columbia - Classes, speakers - July 11-12 - page no longer exists
Beaufort Water Festival - Music, dances, fireworks, Blessing of the Fleet - July 11-20 - site not available
Jammin' in July - Historic Camden - Outdoor music festival - July 12
Battle of Huck's Defeat Reenactment - Historic Brattonsville, York County - Revolutionary War demonstrations, music, theatrical performances - July 12-13 - page no longer exists
Junior SOS - North Myrtle Beach - Youth shag dancing competition - July 15-20
Pageland Watermelon Festival - Music, food, crafts, rodeo, classic car cruise - July 18-20 - site not available
Big League World Series - Easley - Baseball tournament for players ages 16-18 - July 26-August 2
Little Mountain Reunion Festival - Newberry County - Rides, food, arts, crafts, parade - August 1-2
Fried Green Tomato Festival - Beech Island, Aiken County - Food, live music, car & bike show - August 2
Hunting Island State Park 75th Anniversary Celebration - Tours, kayaking lessons, sandcastle contests, wildlife demonstrations - August 2-3 - site not available
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6. Heritage Corridor Provides Perfect SC "Stay-Cation"If one of the newly coined "stay-cations" seems right up your alley this year, consider the SC Heritage Corridor's Discovery Route. Stretching 240 miles from Charleston to Pickens, with suggested stops at state parks, county museums, and "discovery sites," the trip is perfect for both adults and children. Diverse bits of our heritage come together across the 14-county journey, joining to tell a more seamless account of SC's history.
The corridor is divided into four regions, making the trip more manageable. We recently followed the route through Region 3 of the Heritage Corridor. Here you can trace the path of what was once America's longest railroad, pamper yourself in the one-time winter resort town of Aiken, and even taste water from an artesian well that was deeded to God by its last owner!
You should devote at least two days to this trip. Spend the first exploring small towns such as Blackville and Branchville, the epitome of rural SC life and perfect places for history buffs to brush up on the significance of railroads and agriculture in 19th century South Carolina. Here are some of our favorite highlights:
On the second day, change gears and head to the City of Aiken, a popular winter colony in the late 1800's which has retained its upscale feel. It too was influenced by the railroad; in fact, the town is named after William Aiken, Sr., first president of the South Carolina Railroad.
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