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Posts tagged ‘Charleston’

Charleston Cherry

Charleston Cherry
by Gabriel Constans

The Charleston was the ballroom sensation of the 1920s. Named for Charleston, South Carolina, it is believed to have evolved from African-Americans dance steps then common, called the Jay-Bird and the Juba. It began simply as a rhythmic twisting of the feet, but when it reached Harlem it took on a fast, flapping kick. In 1923, a revue called Runnin’ Wild was presented in New York City by Cecil Mack and James P. Johnson. It featured the Charleston and ignited the public’s demand for this dance throughout the land. You’ll enjoy this cool Southern thirst-quencher any time of the year.

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Yield: 4 1/2 cups

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 frozen banana (slices)
20 pitted cherries
1 ripe banana
2 cups filtered water

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on high speed for 30 seconds.
Pour into tall glasses and try to drink while dancing.

South of Bend by Pat Conroy

OK, I can’t wait any longer. I’ve tried to get through Pat Conroy’s latest novel South of Broad (2010) for months now to write a review and can’t get past the first chapter. It’s too good. Might as well leave it alone and enjoy it piecemeal.

Conroy’s use of language is so delicious, that I keep devouring the same lines over and over again. Each paragraph is a masterpiece of description, dialogue, nuance and narration. Every time I have a little time to sit down and read, I get caught up in the first course and don’t seem to proceed to the next entree.

The story takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, which in many ways is like another character in and of its self. It’s about a the boy Leopold Bloom King, how he becomes a man, the community that surrounds him and how he and his family react to and live with the suicide of his older idolized brother Steve.

Here is but one example of the languid language that stops me in my tracks. The narrator, Leopold, says, “I carry the delicate porcelain beauty of Charleston like the hinged shell of some soft-tissue mollusk. My soul is peninsula-shaped and sun-hardened and river-swollen.”

Other than taking one quote after another from the novel, there isn’t much more I can say. Pat Conroy’s Beach Music has always been one of my favorite novels of all time and if I can ever get through South of Broad, I’m sure it will have my equal appreciation and praise.

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