If you live in the Augusta-Aiken area, your yard was once a piece of a forest. Your lawn and garden were the domain of the longleaf pine. That longleaf forest covered 90 million acres. It ran all the way from the sand hills to the sea, down to Florida, up to Virginia, and out to Texas. No roads cut through it, just Indian trails. Augusta and Aiken stand at the western edge of that longleaf forest, at the fall line where the coastal plain gives way to the hilly Piedmont, and the longleaf pines give way to hardwoods. You...Read More
Author: Jim Garvey
Photo courtesy of Mark Swanson If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the road to Broadway is paved with inspiration, perspiration, and their companions: trepidation, exasperation, desperation, determination, and if all goes well, celebration. Mark Swanson knows that road. Every block of it. Figuring 20 New York City blocks to the mile, Augusta’s Le Chat Noir is about 13,341 blocks off-Broadway. That’s where Mark Swanson started with his first full-length musical, Misconception, an edgy Christmas romp written for Le Chat Noir in 2011. But his second musical, A Scythe of Time, made a leap of 13,337...Read More
My inner mountain man began to stir this summer. I didn’t even know I had an inner mountain man. But suddenly here he was, grunting and spitting, prodded to life by an invitation from a friend: would I like to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire with him? It would include climbing Mount Washington—6,288 feet of the meanest mountain east of the Mississippi. Up to now I’d been pretty content with my sedentary life: 40 years teaching literature at Augusta University, writing, then in retirement acting a bit, generally playing one silly geezer or another....Read More
Artist Award Henry Wynn Henry Wynn likes to play the guitar, likes to draw and likes to deflect attention from himself. Sorry, Henry. “I hope they don’t make me do any public speaking at the award banquet. I get real nervous. It starts in the brain and moves to the fingers.” That can be a real problem for a finger-picking guitarist. But Wynn’s managed to fend off those nerves successfully enough that among the groups he plays with he’s booked pretty solid every week at restaurants, weddings and parties. Sometimes it’s just he and his son, also Henry,...Read More
We start with the river and a ditch. In the early days, when Augusta was a country town, the Savannah River provided Augusta with the water it needed to live and washed downstream the sewage and other wastes Augustans needed to get rid of. But the city grew and grew, and by the 1880s, Augusta was gagging on the waste it produced each day. Its solution was to dig a ditch from downtown south into the Phinizy Swamp where the ditch flowed into Butler Creek. For the better part of a century, raw sewage flowed down the ditch into...Read More
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