My love of Charleston – from 13 years ago…

The other night, I was sitting on my piazza with a friend and just for kicks, we were going through our old diaries.  I found an entry dated 10/8/1996, written a month and a half after I had left Charleston post-college, moved back to Atlanta and was contemplating what to do with my life.  It rang so true still today, and reminded me of the powerful draw this beautiful city has always had on me.  As I say to people with a wink, who might be visiting or moving here…”You better be careful, because Charleston gets under your skin, and you’ll never want to leave her. And if you do, you’ll always want to come back.”

So here is the 1996 entry.  Please forgive my 22-yr old angst…

“Reading the book Beach Music was weird for me.  It was a good book, but mostly it reminded me of how much I miss Charleston.  I have a strange way of dealing with goodbyes.  I think I have reached a point where I am over it, where I have moved on, then all of a sudden the pangs of missing move in.

I miss the sunrises and sunsets, watching the sky turn pink and yellow and red and purple over the Connector.  I miss the citrus colored houses – all unique and old.  I miss the smell of low tide and the sound and tenderness of the water.  I miss the big oaks with the eerie moss, and the palmetto trees.  I miss people walking around and sunshine.  I miss the courtyards with all the slate and the banana trees and the stone walls.  The squirrels, the birds, the flowers, the marsh, the bridges, the sand, the pluff mud and the saxophone man.  But mostly I miss the interweaving of the town and the people, its spirit and the soul.  I miss the wonder of every single day…”

Sunset over the Connector

Sunset over the Connector

So please don’t leave me alone with my 22-yr-old angst.  Tell me your lovelorn tales of Charleston!

6 Responses to “My love of Charleston – from 13 years ago…

  • I was born here and lived in Ansonborough when it had sunk to its lowest (early 1950s). My grade school was “around the corner” on Anson Street and- like all my friends – we rented. Nobody owned their houses and pictures from then show a ragged,ramshackle neighborhood.

    After graduating from Bishop England I joined the Marines and took off. The joke then was “welcome to Charleston, set your watch back 100 years.”

    I returned 16 years ago and am VERY pleased how my town was treated in my absence! Preservation was the guideline and pride of ownership is the rule.

    Yes, pluff mud is in my veins I guess.

    • Thanks Chuck! It’s amazing to see how Charleston has changed so much in the past 50 years. So many neighborhoods like Ansonborough were once ramshackle and are now shiny gems! Even the past 10 years have seen changes at an incredible rate don’t you think?

  • Fantastic Post!

    This really reminds me of what I love about this place. I remember being home in NY, for the summer after I graduated from CofC and knowing that I wanted to come back in the Fall even though I had no reason to do so!

    Luckily I followed my gut and am lucky enough to sill live here today.

    Great post Kristin.


  • markrfuchs
    15 years ago

    Hey, Kristin, not bad for a 22 year old grad. You mentioned everything important except the palmetto bugs! I love Charleston for all of the same reasons you talked about, and because it reminds me of the place I was born, New Orleans, LA. My father’s side of the family lived in the French Quarter and my mother’s in the Irish Channel. Like New Orleans, Charleston has a European feel and the look of the old world. The market is a real cultural throw back to a simpler time. The food and music of Charleston also reminds me of New Orleans.
    Thank you for sharing your angst.

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