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
Author: Jim Garvey
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
Here are two reactions to downtown Augusta. In 1979, a young candidate for a job in the English department at Augusta College – we’ll call him Jim Garvey – got his first tour of downtown Augusta. On Greene Street he saw a huge Catholic church, empty and abandoned, with a for sale sign out front. All along Broad Street, a handsome cityscape of 19th-century buildings, stood empty storefronts. No people walked the sidewalks, no cars were parked in the lined spaces. Whoa, he thought, this place is dead. n 2015, a candidate for a job in the department of art at Augusta University—Scott...Read More
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