The Divided States of America

Just avoid talk of religion, politics or money with our friends and family at our Fourth of July gathering, and all will be well? Not anymore. It seems there is little we can talk about with each other that won’t result in at least a war of words, and at most, a brawl.

[Op ed columnists have long been among the most admired writers to Patra Taylor. In January 2019, she decided to jump into the churning waters of opinion writing with her own iteration she calls RAWW, Rants of an Angry White Woman…quite a transformation from the humor she specialized in for a decade and a half.]

One nation under God…not anymore

The Divided States of America appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Photo of couple arguing.Charleston Mercury. Continue reading “The Divided States of America”

Sasquatch, Ceaușescu and summer

I knew only because I live with a know-it-all brainbox who believes it’s his solemn responsibility to educate those of us who are “less fortunate” in the IQ department.

Here’s more senior humor from one of the Charleston Mercury columnists, Patra Taylor.

Let Sleeping Bigfoot Lovers (and dogs) Lie

“…eep already?”

“Huh?” I opened one eye just enough to see my husband’s silhouette in the doorway, the harsh light from the hallway making that eye hurt.

“Are you asleep already?”

“What was your first clue, genius?” I didn’t actually say that out loud because I was incapable of speech at the moment. But the fact is, my husband is one of those genius types…a real egghead leaning hard into eccentricity. Like most geniuses, my beloved husband is just one silk-lined smoking jacket away from full-blown weirdness. Continue reading “Sasquatch, Ceaușescu and summer”

A game of Beat the Clock and a kiss goodnight

I wondered silently if I’d remembered to take my Metamucil that morning, and if McDonald’s would do for our graduation dinner.

[As our son, Benn, was graduating kindergarten, my husband and I had no idea that one day he would be an enthusiastic agricultural student at Clemson University, racking up 4.0 averages during his first four semesters. And where did he get his love of farming? (Don’t look at me.) From Arnold Ziffel, of course.]

Green Acres is the Place to Be

As the dog days of summer overtake me, I like to reflect on the pleasant, yet unusual way my summer began – at a kindergarten graduation. Participating in the pomp and circumstance of five- and six-year-olds engaged in their last hurray of innocence is an activity enjoyed mainly by young, enthusiastic parents, and wise, seasoned grandparents. Continue reading “A game of Beat the Clock and a kiss goodnight”

Capturing the essence

Inspired by her dogs, and by the sunlit beaches, rocky coastline and the shady woods of Martha’s Vineyard and New England, she began photographing her “best friends” against this stunning natural backdrop.

The art of Debra Marlin

Leafing through the brittle, yellowed pages of Debra Marlin’s childhood photo album speaks as much to her future as it does her past. On page after page, Debra is seen posing, smiling brightly for the camera, with at least one of her father’s prized German shepherds at her side. Spotting a picture of Debra alone is rare. Continue reading “Capturing the essence”

Eliza Lucas Pinckney lives!

“A people who mean to be their own governors,” said Eliza Lucas Pinckney, “must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

[In this item, feature writer, Patra Taylor, introduces the latest trend in Charleston party-going.]

Charleston is abuzz with sightings of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, the first woman to be inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame. At the age of 16, Pinckney, took over the management of Wappoo Plantation and her family’s other two agricultural properties in 1739. Through her extensive knowledge of botany, she went on to develop indigo as one of South Carolina’s most important cash crops, revolutionizing the colonial economy prior to the Revolutionary War, and forever preserving her place in American history. Continue reading “Eliza Lucas Pinckney lives!”

The wolf, the chocolates and the curse jar, Part 2

After watching “Southern Charm,” I realized that those of us born in the land of Sherman are not alone when it comes to our foul mouths.

[Here’s a bit of senior humor by one of the Charleston Mercury columnists, Patra Taylor.]

Forget the chocolates…

After two months of soulful introspection, I have determined that there are two kinds of cursing: environmental and situational. Figuring this out is a result of resolving to purge myself of the curse of cursing after learning that my fellow-Ohioans are the foulest mouthed folks in the nation. Continue reading “The wolf, the chocolates and the curse jar, Part 2”

Beyond the marker

“Mulberry Methodist and many of the rural churches and temples I’ve photographed are in dilapidated condition, and no one seems to have the resources to preserve what was important enough to place on the National Register of Historic Places.”

Sacred Spaces

Beyond the marker is the third in a series by Patra Taylor about Preservation South Carolina’s efforts to save the state’s rural historic churches and temples.

If you wish to start from the beginning…

The first in the series, The journey begins, appeared in the March 2019 issue. Here’s an excerpt: Having lived in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville during his adult life, Fitzpatrick knew South Carolina’s history through the lens of big cities. But the towns and districts he’d passed traveling from one city to the next never registered with him…until now.”

The second in the series, The road to Prosperity, appeared in the April 2019 issue. Here’s an excerpt:  “Our work is not about the monumental architecture,” states Bedenbaugh. “It’s about the monumental stories. History is a man-made thing. It’s about the human experience.”

Continue reading “Beyond the marker”