Lunch #9: Tim Hussey Doesn’t Do Lunch

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(Top picture: Tim Hussey in his studio. Above picture: Tim & Elise Hussey in studio)

Abstract artist, Tim Hussey is too busy painting most days around noon, but he does do a good opening in his new studio, on way Upper King, to present his work. Tim is featured in the forthcoming book, Charleston, a Good Life, that I am doing with photographer, Ben Gately Williams. Tim is another “interesting person, doing interesting things, in an interesting place.” I recently met with Tim in his studio, which has a story unto itself. Prior to Hussey converting it to an artist’s space, for 30 years it was a neighborhood convenience store known as “The L’il Store.” While it also sold the usual grocery items, the store also carried beer and liquor, unlicensed to do so,  but nobody seemed to mind for three decades- that’s Charleston!

Tim grew up south of Broad, and his best childhood friend was Shepard Fairey, known to many as the creator of the Obama “Hope” poster. Tim attended Porter-Gaud, but his and Shepard’s real loves were skateboarding and surfing. Tim was, admittedly, not a very good student, but he excelled at art. So, when it came to apply for college, his art teacher at P-G encouraged him to submit the best portfolio he could assemble to the Rhode Island School of Design. Tim was accepted, and so was Fairey; off the two went.

After college, Hussey’s and Fairey’s paths diverged, but they stayed close friends. Tim headed to New York where he worked for MTV painting scenes behind the VJ’s, while on camera. He also learned graphic design, and moonlighted doing art direction for Harper’s Bazaar, GQ and other magazines. Tim says that he still does magazine art direction, as time permits, for a small group of loyal magazine clients. A local factoid for Tim was that he was the first art director, and worked on the first few issues of Garden & Gun.

Speaking with Tim, it appears that two milestone years stand out: 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Tim decided to make painting his priority. 2010 was a breakout year for Tim: he had his first gallery retrospective, a documentary film was made about his life and work, he turned forty, and he met his wife to be, Elise.

In 2012, Tim decided it was time for new professional challenges. It was time to leave the coddled world of Charleston, and head to Los Angeles, where the art scene is dynamic, challenging and competitive. He and Elise headed out to the West Coast, for what they thought would be a year, and stayed for three. Fortunately for Tim, his childhood friend, Shepard Fairey, was a celebrity in the L.A. art world, and helped Tim make excellent contacts. Now, Tim and Elise are back in Charleston, which they want to be there home base, but it is clear that they want to spend part of their lives, going forward, in L.A. and France.

Charleston, a Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in early 2017. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Lunch #8: Tally-ho!

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(Susan Whitfield, Ned Brown and Kelly Carr)

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(Middleton Place Hounds. The lead dog is named “Trump”; once he starts yapping, he never shuts up- how appropriately named!)

Since I was having lunch with my good friend, Susan Whitfield, and her longtime Upperville, Va. to Charleston transplant pal, Kelly Carr, both members of Middleton Place Hounds, I was curious as to the derivation of this foxhunting cry. It was first used in the States around 1802 when a fox was spotted, but has an earlier derivation. Apparently, it was a French war cry in the 13th century when the leader of a mounted cavalry  would shout “Taille”, referring to the leading edge of a sabre, and “Haut” meaning high, or to raise. Now, proper French pronunciation for Taille is “Tie” and Haut is pronounced “O”, like the letter. I am reasonably sure it was an early Charlestonian, who came up with Tally-ho, much the same as some Anglophile butchered Huger into “Oogee” and Legare into “Legree”; I’ll let you look-up the proper French pronunciation, but next time you are in France, and need to take a train, don’t ask, “Ou est Le Gree?” for directions.

Back to the lunch with the ladies….

Middleton Place House Hounds is featured in my forthcoming book, Charleston, a Good Life, done along with photographer and co-author, Ben Gately Williams. We profiled the hunt club, because it is interesting, charming and a traditional part of the Lowcountry horse culture. Since both gals cut their hunting teeth riding in the hills of Miiddleburg, Upperville and “further upper” in Virginia, I wanted to hear their thoughts on hunting in the Lowcountry.

Susan chimed-in with, “In Virginia, people ride to hunt, whereas here, people hunt to ride.” I learned that here the hunt is a “drag” (no Vulpes), which the dogs follow; so, the hunt knows where the ride will start, follow and end. In Virginia, they are often going for the red, furry critter, which can require jumps over stone walls, ravines and all sorts of fun obstacles. Not so much here: the terrain is relatively flat, a few low jumps over fallen trees, and often, spectators in vehicles can follow the hunt. The upside to hunting at Middleton is that it is less than a thirty minute drive from downtown Charleston, so the hunt doesn’t have to be an all-day affair; in Virginia, it is.

I also learned that the local hunt club is quite the social group. During the season, there are multiple breakfasts (with adult beverages) following the hunts, social events either at Middleton Place stables and in-town, and the club even welcomes non-riders as members. The day we were photographing the hunt for the book, many riders saddled-up with Mimosas or champagne.

We continued the lunch conversation with lots of local gossip (not to be repeated here), the advantages of living in Charleston: climate, cuisine, history- all the good stuff included in Charleston, a Good Life. The downside: you have to get away regularly, or your mind will go numb, and most men here do not know how to dress properly (Guys, if the woman you are with makes an effort to dress-up, make the same effort on your part, and leave the wrap-around sunglasses dangling around your neck on a Croakie in the truck).

Also spotted at SNOB that day for lunch were: Mitchell Crosby, Chris Price, Larry Speltz, Beverly Frost, the “$9.95 SNOB Lunch Express Founder” Dick Elliott, Franz Meier, Jim & Pat Lombard (at their bar spots), Charles Waring , Merrill Benfield and Frank Norvell.

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Lunch #7: Good Service Has No Price

Pictured above: Rachel Phillips, Laura Rodrigo and Megan Lawson Holmes. Photo #2: N.B., Megan Holmes, and Exec. Chef Frank Lee- Charleston, S.C.

Rich people will pay almost anything for good service. They can buy virtually anything; but their time, and how they use it, is their most precious possession. So, if someone else can be handling a task for them, while they do something more productive or pleasurable, they will pay for it. For instance, some years back, I met a gentleman at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. When I tactfully got around to asking what he did, his reply was, “I buy and sell cars for wealthy clients here and in Palm Beach.” I asked him to explain further how this works; “A Client calls and says that he wants a low mileage Bentley convertible for his Hampton’s house. I do the search, find the car, check it out, have it shipped to his house, and it’s waiting for him in his driveway. All he has to do is wire me the funds, I take my fee, and pay the seller. Then, we find another car for his Palm Beach house. And when he gets tired of any of the cars, I sell them, collect my fee, and find him a new one.” So, the wealthy client doesn’t spend his time on Autotrader.com (like you or I), and can be doing something else. I learned this gentleman has a home in the Hamptons, another near Palm Beach, and spends his time hanging-out with his clients.

Which brings me to my lovely and talented lunch partner, Megan Lawson Holmes, Founder of Charleston Concierge Company , who lunched with me recently at SNOB. Megan identified a real estate and hospitality niche in Charleston, that I was unaware of. Apparently homes in Elliotborough and Cannonborough are in an “Accommodations Overlay” district that permits nightly rentals. The city approved this zoning relaxation as a way to encourage a more rapid rate of investment in these two neighborhoods. Well, it has worked. Wealthy outside investors can get a foothold into the downtown Charleston real estate market, and hopefully not have their asset sit idle.

Here’s where Megan’s company comes in. She manages the property for the owners. She handles the rentals (some upwards of $1,000 per night); and for anyone staying in one of her client’s properties, she handles reservations to make their stay in Charleston more enjoyable. Investors love the concept, because their short-term rental income can be upwards of three times what long-term rental might be. “Brilliant” as the Brits say. While Charleston Concierge Company has become a leading luxury property rental management company in the “Accommodations Overlay” district, it has also attracted  competitors. The other real estate firms also offer concierge services with their rentals. Nevertheless, Megan is sanguine, “I can play with the big boys, because its me, the owner of the company, providing the personal service.”

Megan is profiled in our forthcoming book, Charleston, A Good Life, along with two of her friends (Rachel Phillips and Laura Rodrigo)- three interesting people, doing interesting things, in a unique place.

A final comment about SNOB for the owners: How much would it hurt financially to return the Lunch Express from $12.95 back to the $10.95 it was six months ago? I know “two bucks is two bucks”, but you get a large, loyal, local luncheon crowd everyday. It would be a reciprocal gesture of loyalty to your patrons. Please reconsider

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Lunch #6: Stitching a Family Legacy

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Ben Gately Williams and I had the privilege of visiting Airy Hall Plantation yesterday, which is about forty miles south of Charleston, in Colleton County, and magnificently situated on the Ashepoo River. The property originally was purchased by Frederick Gilbert “Commodore” Bourne, an early President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Bourne earned his nickname as the former head of the New York Yacht Club, and he was an early member of the Jekyll Island Club, or the “Millionaire’s Club”, back in the late nineteenth century. The Limehouse family has owned it since 1978. The house is a stately Georgian brick structure, which Frankie Limehouse has decorated beautifully, and leading up to it is an alley of old Live Oak trees strewn with Spanish Moss.

Ben and I were visiting Airy Hall for our forthcoming book, Charleston, a Good Life, and to profile three generations of the Limehouse family in business and public service. I particularly like the picture of Buck and granddaughter, Eliza Limehouse (daughter of Chip and Sue); she with the purple hair and the “wrist party” going on. Lize has a successful jewelry business, and recently launched Plantation Candles. I kidded with Buck and Chip, that she will probably make more money than both of them; dad and granddad are noticeably proud.

After the photo shoot, Buck and I sat in his library, winter fire ablaze, to talk business, politics and Charleston history. Early in Buck’s career, he gave up his successful insurance business in Florida to move to Washington, D.C., and take a top position in the Republican National Committee. It was a pivotal decision, putting him in contact with key players in his party, which would eventually help him in business, and lead to top positions in public service for South Carolina and Georgia. Even today in powerful Washington circles, if you mention Buck Limehouse and South Carolina, the response is universally the same: Buck is the “real deal” and can “walk the talk.”

Awhile back, Chip Limehouse and I sat down for lunch at SNOB , to discuss his post political career. Chip wanted to take a break from politics, but I definitely believe he will continue to be involved in public service. And he should; he did a remarkable job as head of the Charleston Airport Authority, luring Southwest, and planning the airport expansion.

While Buck Limehouse walked me to my car yesterday, I asked him if he saw a future for granddaughter Eliza in politics? Buck smiled and said, “Governor; she’s a take charge kinda gal.”

Ps. A very happy forthcoming 55th wedding anniversary to Buck and Frankie. Congratulations!

Also seen at SNOB the day Chip and I had lunch: Mims Roberts, Chris Price, Judy Cassatt, Judy Tarleton, Angela Mack, Pat & Jim Lombard and Dick Elliott.

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Lunch #5: Daughter of an American Legend

My friend, Mary Aarons from Gloucester, Mass, was in town last week on business, and seeing the sights. For those of you who read this blog about “interesting Charleston residents doing interesting things” you might ask, “who is Mary Aarons?” Mary is a book publishing professional, and has been very helpful to Ben Gately Williams and me with our forthcoming book Charleston, a Good Life. It was Mary’s late father, Slim Aarons, who was the inspiration behind our book, and the series of books we plan to do.

For those of you who do not know Slim Aarons by name, he was one of America’s best known photographers from the late 1940’s through the 1980’s. You’ve seen his work, and may not have known it; click here to see samples. After World War II, Slim headed for Hollywood, where he photographed all the great stars: Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Marilyn Monroe and on. From Hollywood, Slim began travelling the world photographing “beautiful people, in beautiful places, doing beautiful things.” Slim became the international jet set and society photographer that everyone, who was anyone, knew and trusted. There are literally at least six coffee table size books today of Slim’s images from: Palm Beach, Jamaica, Marbella (Spain), the French Riviera, St. Moritz, Gstaad and on dozens of private yachts. If you enjoy lifestyle photography, order any of Slim’s books; they are exquisitely beautiful.

Is Slim Aarons still remembered professionally today? There isn’t a top photographer, magazine editor or art director today, who doesn’t refer to Slim’s iconic work. After lunch, Mary and I stopped by Garden & Gun’s spectacular new offices in the Cigar Factory, to visit with Editor-in-Chief David DiBenedetto, and Art Director, Marshall McKinney. Marshall mentioned that the December 2015 cover of Vanity Fair with Bill Murray astride a blow-up horse in a swimming pool, photographed by the great Bruce Weber, was a direct Slim Aarons copy from decades ago- the greats copy the greats.

Mary enjoyed her lunch at SNOB and loves COOKS! Also seen at SNOB, while we were there: Johnny Maybank, Tommy Bennett, Merrill Benfield, Bill Hall, Sr., Dick Elliott, Judy Tarleton and Chris Price.

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Lunch #4: In A Good Place

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I like politicians and the political process. I especially like Members of Congress and their senior staff. After all, it is a very select club of 535 individuals who direct our country.

Rep. (and former SC Gov.) Mark Sanford and I met for lunch to catch-up. While Mark is a Repub, and I a Dem, our fiscal policies are similar. We are also both “in the game” on Capitol Hill; although he gets to vote, and I don’t- big difference. It is enjoyable for both of us to have someone to talk to about Congress while here in Charleston. In DC, everyone is going 90 mph in their own directions- no time.

I didn’t know the previous Mark Sanford: rising Congressman, then Governor, talk about him being a presidential candidate, and then it all imploded. What I respect about people who run for office is that they put themselves out there to ask people to vote for them. What I admire about Mark Sanford is that after his Icarus-like fall, he put himself out there again, and won- incredible. (Note: In a town that often takes sides in a divorce, I know Jenny Sanford a bit, and I like her. And I will tell you that Jenny is still well-regarded by many in DC.)

Mark and I had the requisite chat about the shape of the presidential race, and then we talked about his being back in the House. First, from my perspective, Mark Sanford represents one of the premier districts (out of 435) in the country. It is geographically easy to travel, and who wouldn’t love to represent the Charleston area, Beaufort and Hilton Head? Mark is first appreciative to be back in the political game in a substantive way. Second, he is a member on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and he is on key subcommittees impacting aviation (read: Boeing) and maritime (read: port growth). And let’s not forget more Federal tax dollars we could use to fix our SC roads and bridges.

What I liked about our conversation is that his goals have changed. Where the pre-crash Mark was on an ambitious trajectory, the current Rep. Mark Sanford is in a calmer place. He is enjoying being back in Congress, and representing his constituents. We talked about his desire to revive a retreat he used to hold at the family farm, Coosaw,  near Beaufort, when he was Governor. The event was a large, informal open house with many people coming to hear interesting speakers, partake in cookouts, and enjoy good conversation.

I noted during our lunch at SNOB the number of people who stopped by to say “hi” to Mark. Time moves on, people move on, and Mark Sanford is in a good place. Mark is profiled in our forthcoming book, Charleston, A Good Life.

Also spotted during our lunch at SNOB were: Hilton Smith, Geof Groat, Adm. James Whittaker, Merrill Benfield, Steve Connor, Jimmy Haygood and Charles Waring.

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Lunch #3: Author & Ashley Hall

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John Thompson, author, with middle-schooler and fan, Abbey Force

 

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Ashley Hall Senior, Liza Thompson (left, and daughter of John) with Head of School, Jill Muti

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Paula Edwards Harrell, AH Dir. of Communications & Marketing (left) with 3 AH Seniors

A short hiatus during the holidays from doing my SNOB luncheon blog, but now I am back at profiling “interesting people doing interesting things in our interesting place”, while weaving-in a bit about Ben Gately Williams’ and my forthcoming book, Charleston, A Good Life.

The lunch occasion was with Charleston resident, John Thompson, who has become a successful author writing books targeted to middle-school children, a rather clever market niche, I might add. John also writes books for adults. You can find his works at booksbyjohnthompson.com. John’s first award-winning book for children, Girl From Felony Bay, is being followed by sequel, Disappearance At Hangman’s Bluff. The lead character in the Girl From Felony Bay is Abbey Force, and by coincidence, that is the real life name of girl pictured above, while John was speaking at a local school.

John came to Charleston, a refugee from Wall Street (former Solomon Brothers), whereupon he launched a new career. He is married to Julia Forster, Director of Development at the Spoleto Festival, and their family makes its home on East Battery. Their daughter, Liza, an Ashley Hall Senior, is pictured above with Head of School, Jill Muti.

Ben Gately and I are particularly pleased and appreciative that Jill allowed us to profile Ashley Hall, she and several of her graduating seniors for Charleston, A Good Life. Ashley Hall is the only girls K through 12 grades school in South Carolina. I learned from Jill that girls generally learn differently than boys, and the girls develop their self-confidence much easier in a same sex school environment. As Jill remarked to me with a smile, “Our girls aren’t pushovers”;  I can certainly attest to that. One of the first people I met first coming to Charleston over 25 years ago was then private tour guide, Jane Thornhill. And as all who know Big Jane, even today, she definitely does not lack for confidence. Ashley Hall left its mark.

Also spotted at SNOB the day John Thompson and I had lunch were: John Winthrop, Cathryn Zommer, Ann Long Merck, Joe Qualey, Denva Simpson, Caroline Rivers, Steve Connor and Tommy Hall.

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Lunch #2: SC Low Country Coastal Conservation

 

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Pictured above (left to right) are Ned Brown (Author), Jennifer Davis (Owner/Broker of Domicile Real Estate in Charleston), and Dana Beach (Executive Director, Coastal Conservation League of South Carolina).

 Dana Beach is profiled in our forthcoming book (to be released Fall 2016), Charleston, A Good Life, which I am co-authoring with photographer, Ben Gately Williams. We selected Dana for his remarkable three decades of work protecting the Low Country coastline. When Dana arrived in Charleston in the mid-1980’s, only 300,000 acres were permanently protected– almost all publicly owned.; today, over 1.2 million acres have been secured, more than half with perpetual conservation easements. And, Dana says that he and his conservation partners are just getting started; their goal is to protect another four million acres from development just behind the coastline. The Conservation League’s latest initiative, Growfood Carolina, focuses on assisting and preserving small, independently-owned farms providing fresh, local produce to Charleston’s nationally acclaimed restaurants. Dana also writes a very informative e-mail newsletter every couple of weeks on all matters related to protecting what’s special about Charleston. I am sure he would be happy to add you to the list if you e-mail him at danabeach@scccl.org.

Jennifer Davis I only knew by her excellent reputation, and she is on the Board of Coastal Conservation. We met for the first time over lunch at SNOB. She didn’t know it, but I was immediately smitten, because her profile reminded me of the first teenage girl I had a crush on, Candice Bergen; she was stunning at seventeen, and I was a scrawny eleven year old.  Jennifer Davis I found smart, self-assured and great company. Growing up in Camden, South Carolina, where her father trained steeplechase horses. Boarding school at Foxcroft (more horses), and college at Boston University and the New School in NYC. What I really liked was her early career job as an events coordinator for the New York Racing Association (even more horses). Who wouldn’t like a job where you can party at Belmont Park, with August at the track in Saratoga, and get paid?

Eventually, career and family (mother of four) brought her to Beaufort, where she bought and restored over twenty historical homes. Starting Domicile, she wanted her own firm that could broker both commercial and residential real estate. She also tapped into a Charleston market that wants to “soft sell” and not publicly list their homes- a very common practice with high end real estate brokers in NYC like Alice Mason and Edward Lee Cave. Jennifer has also developed a clientele that is considering Charleston real estate for investment purposes.

It was a delightful, informative lunch with two interesting Charleston residents. Also spotted at SNOB for lunch were: Lou Hammond, Dick Elliott, John Winthrop, David Spell, Mitchell Crosby, Kitty Robinson, Barbara Fredericks, Ann Alstock, Megan Lawson Holmes and Rachel Phillips.

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals, the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Charleston, A Good Life. by: Ned Brown

SNOBRobert RosenSNOB (2)Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals, the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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Pictured above are Charleston divorce super-lawyers, Robert Rosen and Marie-Louise Ramsdale, two “frienemies”, who often represent opposing parties. Weddings, in Charleston, have become an industry unto themselves. Each week, over 120 weddings take place in Charleston, small to extravagant. While the book will profile a wedding planner, Cibi of Cibi Events, we wanted to follow it with a portrait titled, “But, Just In Case”; hence our two subjects above.

Robert Rosen and I met recently for lunch at SNOB. I did not know Robert well, but I did know that he is a published author, and an expert on Jewish history in Charleston, which is what we discussed. During the course of research for the book, I discovered that Sephardic Jews in Barbados and Jamaica likely had a more instrumental role in the founding and early growth of Charleston than what has been previously told. The Jewish families that fled Brazil in 1640, and arrived in Barbados, brought with them the secrets of sugarcane production, and rum distilling; it immediately transformed Barbados into an economic powerhouse in the British Empire. In 1655, the British captured Jamaica from the Spanish, with the intelligence and assistance of the Sephardic Jews living there.

While the first English settlers of Charles Town (Charleston) arrived in 1670, it was the second ship of settlers, arriving from Barbados two years later, comprised of many of the families with names we recognize today; that voyage was underwritten by Barbadian (Christian and Jewish) business interests. By the mid-eighteenth century prominent, wealthy, and politically connected Sephardic Jews in London and Jamaica, like the Lindos and daCostas, arrived in Charleston . More to come in Charleston, A Good Life….

Also seen during our lunch at SNOB were Charlestonians: Ben Moore, Tommy Baker, Sue Limehouse, Tripp Wiles, Linn Lesesne, Lou Hammond, Helen Hill, Peter Lehman, John & Jannette Alexander.