Walter Edgar's Journal

All Stations: Fri, 12-1 pm | News & Talk Stations: Sun, 4-5 pm

Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and the American South. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

Walter Edgar's Journal, Podcast Archive, May 2008 - August 2014

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed on Walter Edgar's Journal are not necessarily those of South Carolina Public Radio.

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Early American Flag

  Several miles outside of Moncks Corner is, arguably, the most significant extant Revolutionary War site in South Carolina. Fair Lawn Plantation’s Revolutionary War significance stems from historic battles, events, famous people, geographic location, and landscape architecture. Near Stony Landing on Biggin Creek, the fortified Colleton house and separate redoubt fort played a substantial role on many occasions as a post, support base, and hospital.

The Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust and The South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust are partnering in a project to protect and preserve Fort Fair Lawn. SC Battleground Preservation Trust Director Douglas Bostick talks with Walter Edgar about this site, and some of the other Revolutionary War sites the Trust is working to preserve.

All Stations: Friday, Nov 6, 12 pm | News Stations: Sunday, Nov 8, 4 pm

North Inlet - Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Aerial view of meandering tidal creeks and extensive pristine marshes in North Inlet Estuary. Vicinity of Georgetown, South Carolina.
NOAA Photo Library/Flickr

  Dr. Maria Whitehead is Project Director of Winyah Bay and Pee Dee River Basin for The Nature Conservancy. Winyah Bay is comprised of 525,000 total acres and encompasses the lower drainage of the Black, Big Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Sampit, and Waccamaw rivers.

This vital watershed sustains 123,000 acres of forested wetlands and 23,000 acres of tidal freshwater marshes that support the annual use of up to 40,000 migratory waterfowl, 6 federally threatened and endangered species, and numerous species of migratory songbirds. These wetlands and associated uplands are of national significance. In collaboration with the Winyah Bay Task Force, The Nature Conservancy has also protected Sandy Island, located in Winyah Bay.

All Stations: Fri, Oct 30, 12 pm | News Sations: Sun, Nov 01, 4 pm

 The late Ken Burger’s A Sporting Life (Evening Post Books, 2015) is a collection of his best and most requested columns from his legendary career as a sports writer for the Charleston Post & Courier. At the end of each piece is a post script - updating the reader about the person or event. This book resonates with Southerners, who recognize and relate to the locations, mannerisms, and mascots. But, it is universal in its humanity and emotion.

Ken joined Walter Edgar in our studio not long ago for what turned out to be our their last conversation. He talked about the book, his career, and sports.

All Stations: Fri, Oct 23, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Oct 25, 4 pm

Ted and Matt Lee

  The Lee Bros., who have popularized Southern cooking with a series of popular cookbooks, television appearances, and articles, are hosts of the new TV series, Southern Uncovered with the Lee Bros. They are also currently are contributing editors at Travel + Leisure and frequently write food stories for Bon Appetit, The New York Times, Fine Cooking and Food & Wine, among other publications. Matt and Ted joined Walter Edgar recently to talk about the new show, Southern food and culture, and their latest projects.

-- All Stations: Fri, Oct 16, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Oct 18, 4 pm --


Harper Lee being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007.
White House photo by Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons

  Dr. Robert Brinkmeyer, Director of the Institute of Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, talks with Walter Edgar about Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchmen (Harper Collins, 2015), as well as To Kill a Mockingbird and its place in Southern literature.

Walter Edgar's Journal
All Stations: Fri, Oct 9, 12 pm
News Stations: Sun, Oct 11, 4 pm

  This week's special Pledge Edition of Walter Edgar's Journal features an encore of segments from Walter's January 16th conversation with South Carolina author Ron Rash.

-- All Stations: Fri, Oct 2, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Oct 4, 4 pm --

Georgia O'Keeffe
Alfred Stieglitz [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  In 1915, Georgia O'Keeffe radically redefined herself as an artist. Rejecting all she had done before, she found her voice with a series of black and white charcoal drawings she collectively titled, Specials. Her great Charleston friend, Anita Pollitzer, took these drawings, unbeknownst to the artist, and showed them to Alfred Stieglitz (noted American photographer, gallery owner, and promoter of modern art) who proclaimed, "At last, a woman on paper." This was the beginning of one of the most important careers in all of American art.

Will South, of the Columbia Museum of Art, and Dr. Erika Doss, of the University of Notre Dame, talk about O’Keeffe’s life and work, including the Specials, which she created while teaching at Columbia College in 1915 and 1916. They’ll also talk about the ongoing O’Keeffe exhibition at the Museum, Her Carolina Story.

-- All Stations: Fri, Sep 25, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Sep 27, 4 pm --

The Shifting Meaning of the Confederate Battle Flag

Sep 14, 2015

    Since the early 1960s the Confederate battle flag had been flying at the South Carolina State House--at first, on the Capitol dome; then, as the result of an NAACP boycott of businesses in the state, it was moved to the Confederate Soldiers monument. On July 10, 2015, as a result of growing public pressure following the shooting deaths of the pastor and eight parishioners of Emanuel A. M. E. Church in Charleston, the flag was removed to a museum.

This week on Walter Edgar's Journal, Dr. Bobby Donaldson, a historian from the University of South Carolina, and Dr. James Cobb, Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Georgia, join Dr. Edgar to look at the history of the battle flag and other Confederate symbols, and at how their meanings have changed over the years. 

All Stations: Fri, Sep 18, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Sep 20, 4 pm

  South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal is retiring at the end of 2015. First elected to the court in 1988, Toal has served as its chief since 2000. This week on Walter Edgar's Journal, Toal joins Dr, Edgar to talk about her career and about the changes she has helped bring to South Carolina’s court systems. And she gives a preview of her upcoming James Otis Lecture, September 18th.

All Stations: Fri, Sep 11, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Sep 13, 4 pm

James McTeer II
Hub City Writers Project

(Originally broadcast 06/30/15) --Betsy Teter, Executive Director--and one of the co-founders--of the Hub City Writer's Project talks with Walter Edgar about twenty years of Hub City. Novelist James McTeer II joins the conversation to talk about, Minnow, the winner of the South Carolina First Novel Prize, sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press.

Dr. John Marzsalek
Mississippi State University

  In his book, Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order (Free Press, 1992) John F. Marszalek presents general William Tecumseh Sherman as a complicated man who, fearing anarchy, searched for the order that he hoped would make his life a success. Dr. Marszalek talks with Walter Edgar about Sherman as a military commander who came to abhor what he saw as the senseless slaughter of the War, and who sought a different strategy to bring the South to surrender. (Originally broadcast 04/10/15)

---All Stations: Fri, Aug 28, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 30, 4 pm---

  (Originally broadcast 03/20/15) --- In a remarkable reappraisal of Lincoln, the distinguished historian O. Vernon Burton shows how the president’s authentic Southernness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right to be expanded to all Americans. In the violent decades to follow, the extent of that freedom would be contested but not its central place in what defined the country.

This conversation was recorded before a live audience as part of the series Conversations on the Civil War, sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Humanities and Institute for Southern Studies.

--- All Stations: Fri, Aug 21, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 23, 4 pm ---

Lowcountry Fiction

Aug 10, 2015

  Walter Edgar welcomes two old friends to Walter Edgar's Jounral this week, Dorothea Benton Frank and Mary Alice Monroe. Monroe talks about her new novel, The Summer’s End (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2015), the final installment her Lowcountry Summer trilogy of books. In All the Single Ladies (Harper Collins, 2015), Dorothea Benton Frank again takes us deep into the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where three unsuspecting women are brought together by tragedy and mystery.

--All Stations: Fri, Aug 14, 12 pm; News Stations: Sun, Aug 16, 4pm---

  --- All Stations: Fri, Aug 7, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 9, 4 pm ---

(Originally Broadcast 02/06/15) - The topic on this week's Walter Edgar's Journal is Collecting--antiques, fine art, and decorative art. Southern art—and South Carolina art in particular—has become increasingly desirable to collectors as well as average art collectors in the last ten years. There is even a market for 20th century furniture and decorative items. But, with sea change in the auction business brought about by the World Wide Web, prices and desirability of certain objects can rise and fall drastically, in a short period of time.

Dr. Edgar is joined by two guests who can offer perspective on collecting; Ronald Long, President of Columbia’s Charlton Hall Gallery, and Callie Belser, a South Carolinian who is currently Associate Vice President, Specialist, 20th Century Decorative Arts and Design at Christie’s, NY.

  --- All Stations: Fri, Jul 31, 12pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 2, 4pm --- 

(Originally broadcast 12/15/14) - The story of Catholic Hill in the Colleton County town of Ritter serves as a metaphor for black Catholics in South Carolina. While the Catholic Hill experience is unique in many respects, it is emblematic of the struggle for the faith in the way that the people of Catholic Hill maintained their identity despite decades of hardship and neglect. Professor Allison McCletchie, of Claflin University, is leading a small team that is creating an ethnography of Catholic Hill. She joins Dr. Edgar along with Catholic Hill native Davetta Greene to talk about the community's past and present.

Margaret Bradham Thornton
Louise Fields

  Charleston native Margaret Bradham Thornton is the editor of the highly praised Tennessee Williams’ Notebooks (2006, Yale Press), for which she received the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Her latest work is the novel, Charleston (2014, Harper Collins), which Walter Isaacson calls a "lyrical tale [which] explores the emotional terrain of love, loss, and memory." She talks with Walter Edgar this week about her life growing up in Charleston, her career, and the vital role of literature in her life.

  --- All Stations: Fri, Jul 17, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jul 19, 4 pm ---

(Originally broadcast 01/16/15) ---  Bestselling author Ron Rash returns to Walter Edgar’s Journal to talk about his life and work. He’ll also tell Dr. Edgar about The Ron Rash Reader (USC Press, 2014), the 20th anniversary edition of The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth (USC Press, 2014) as well as his collection entitled Something Rich and Strange (Harper Collins, 2014).  And he’ll talk about co-writing the screenplay for the film Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, and based on Rash’s 2008 bestselling novel.

The scene outside Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Sunday, June 21, 2015
Linda O'Bryon

--- All stations: Fri, Jul 10, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jul 12, 4 pm ---

  The shooting deaths of nine members of Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church in June shocked the nation. However, the history of “Mother Emanuel,” and, indeed, the black church in South Carolina, is one of repression and resistance, spiritual succor and political action, as well as education and aspiration. Dr. Bobby Donaldson of the University of South Carolina and Dr. Jon N. Hale of the College of Charleston talk with Walter Edgar about this history.

James McTeer II
Hub City Writers Project

Betsy Teter, Executive Director--and one of the co-founders--of the Hub City Writer's Project talks with Walter Edgar about twenty years of Hub City. Novelist James McTeer II joins the conversation to talk about, Minnow, the winner of the South Carolina First Novel Prize, sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press.

Extreme Barbecue

Jun 29, 2015
Dan Huntley

---All stations: Fri, Jul 3, 12 pm | News stations: Sun, Jul 5, 4 pm---

 (Originally broadcast 06/29/07) - -- For 24 years, Dan Huntley was a reporter/columnist for The Charlotte Observer. As a recipient of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, he had the opportunity to travel and cook in Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and the Greek Peloponnese. He soon realized that the Carolina pig pickings that he’s done since he was a teenager were part of a much larger food world. He then developed his own barbeque sauce, Carolina Pig Pucker, co-authored (with Lisa Grace Lednicer) a book, Extreme Barbecue, and started a catering business, Outdoor Feasts catering.

In this encore from 2007, Dan talks "contraption cooking" with Walter Edgar.

Denmark Vesey
Courtesy National Park Service

  There's a long history to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., — affectionately known as "Mother Emanuel" — where nine churchgoers were allegedly shot and killed by 21-year-old Dylann Roof on Wednesday night. Part of that history involves Denmark Vesey, a West Indian slave, and later a freedman, who planned what would have been one of the largest slave rebellions in the United States had word of the plans not been leaked.

The revolt was to take place on Bastille Day, July 17, 1822, and was in reaction to the city of Charleston's suppression of the African Church, which boasted a membership of over three thousand in 1820. News of the plan leaked and Charleston authorities arrested the plot's leaders before the uprising could begin.

Dr. Bernard E. Powers, Jr., Professor of History and Director of African-American Studies at the College of Charleston, joins Dr. Edgar to talk about Denmark Vesey and why his name still has resonance today. (Originally broadcast 03/14/08)

The Storied South

Jun 15, 2015
William Ferris
University of North Carolina Press

  --- All Stations: Fri, Jun 19, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jun 21, 4 pm ---

This week on Walter Edgar's Journal, Dr. William Ferris, renowned folklorist and historian, tells the stories and history of The Storied South - Voices of Writers and Artists (UNC Press, 2013). The Storied South features the voices of twenty-six of the most luminous artists and thinkers in the American cultural firmament, from Eudora Welty, Pete Seeger, and Alice Walker to William Eggleston, Bobby Rush, and C. Vann Woodward. 

The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera

Jun 8, 2015
Cover detail from "The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera."
University of Georgia Press

      (Originally broadcast 10/30/12) - In his book, The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera, Dr. Harvey H. Jackson III traces the development of the Florida-Alabama coast as a tourist destination from the late 1920s and early 1930s, when it was sparsely populated with "small fishing villages," through to the tragic and devastating BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.

America at the Movies: Greenville Chatauqua

Jun 1, 2015
Walt and Mickey
Greenville Chautauqua

  Greenville Chautauqua has been performing educational interactive historical theater continuously since 1999. The group's administrator, Caroline McIntyre is our guest, along with local historian Judy Bainbridge and presenter Leslie Goddard. They will talk about this year's program, America at the Movies. Presenters will portray Mary Pickford, Orson Welles, Gordon Parks, and Walt Disney.

The first Chautauqua, the New York State Assembly, was organized in 1874 by Methodist minister John Heyl Vincent and businessman Lewis Miller at a campsite on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in New York State as an outdoor adult education program for Sunday School teachers. In the outdoor setting on a lake resort the education program merged with family entertainment and recreation.

Preserving our History for our Future

May 25, 2015

  - All Stations: Fri, May 29, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, May 31, 4 pm - 

(Originally broadcast 01/09/15) - The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit organization operating in South Carolina since 1990, dedicated to preserving and protecting the historic structures of our state. Executive Director Michael Bedenbaugh drops by our studio to talk with Walter Edgar about some recent success stories—including the preservation of Greenville’s Wilkins House, and the rehabilitation of the Frances Jones House as part of the Daufuskie Endangered Places Program.

---All Stations: Fri, May 22, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, May 24, 4 pm--- (Originally broadcast 01/10/14) - In the years following World War I, the New Orleans French Quarter attracted artists and writers with low rent, a faded charm, and colorful street life. By the 1920s Jackson Square became the center of a vibrant but short-lived bohemia. A young William Faulkner and his roommate William Spratling, an artist who taught at Tulane, were among the "artful and crafty ones of the French Quarter." In Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s (LSU Press, 2012) John Shelton Reed introduces Faulkner's circle of friends ranging from the distinguished Sherwood Anderson to a gender-bending Mardi Gras costume designer and brings to life the people and places of New Orleans in the jazz age.

Dr. John Shelton Reed is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he was director of the Howard Odum Institute for Research in Social Science for twelve years and helped to found the university's Center for the Study of the American South and the quarterly Southern Cultures.

On Walter Edgar's Journal: Hometown Teams

May 8, 2015
Home plate

----All Stations: Fri, May 15, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, May 18, 4 pm----

  Nowhere do Americans more intimately connect to sports than in their hometowns.  Six South Carolina communities, in cooperation with The Humanities Council SC, will celebrate this connection as they host Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program.

Hometown Teams will be on view through December 13, 2015 in South Carolina.  Upcoming locations, in order, are Gaffney; Belton; Georgetown; Slater; and Manning. Each community has been expressly chosen by The Humanities Council SC to host Hometown Teams as part of the MoMS program, which is a unique national/state/local partnership that brings exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations.

Joining Dr. Edgar to talk about Hometown Teams are T. J. Wallace from the Humanities Council SC, Fritz Hamer from South Caroliniana Library, and Alison Darby from Belton Area Museum Association.

At Home - Charleston

May 4, 2015
Colonial style window
iStock photo © Massimo Fanelli

- All Stations: Fri, May 8, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, May 10, 4 pm ---

In Catherine H. Forrester’s At Home-Charleston (Wimmer Cookbooks, 2006), the historic Thomas Rose House serves as the stunning backdrop to the intriguing tales of Forrester’s grandmother Juliette Wiles Staats’ entertaining and the distinctive social traditions of one of America’s most celebrated cities.

Gathering lively tidbits from Staats’ meticulous records—handwritten file cards, detailed party books and hand bound journals, Forrester leads readers into the peninsula’s private world of elegant entertaining. Cathy Forrester talks with Dr. Edgar about the book, her family, and life in Charleston.

Walter Edgar's Journal Pre-empted this Week

May 1, 2015

  Walter Edgar's Journal is pre-empted Friday, May 1 and Sunday, May 3 (News Stations)  by the ETV Radio special Women in Public Media. The Journal will return May 15 and 17.

The Other Brother

Apr 13, 2015

- All Stations: Fri, Apr 17, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Apr 19, 4 pm -

  (Originally broadcast 09/05/14) - The Other Brother is a film about the ‘genetics’ of art and sibling estrangement. The subject is art but the story is universal. Two brothers, estranged since 1948, share an exceptional bond. One is an art-world insider, and one lived alone in a world of art.

The younger brother, Tom Flowers (who is now 85), received his undergraduate degree from Furman University and his MFA from the University of Iowa. He returned to Furman University for a 35-year teaching career in painting, during twenty-five of which he served as Chair of the Art Department.

 The older brother, Jesse Flowers, joined the service right after dropping out of high school and became a recluse soon after serving as a medic during the end of WWII. He lived in a dirt-floor shack without plumbing. The only visitors he allowed were his mother and, after her passing, his sisters.

Tom Flowers, his son, artist Mark Flowers, and Mark's wife, artist and filmmaker Kristy Higby talk with Dr. Edgar about The Other Brother.