Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another Successful Third Thursday In Summerville-Drumming Up Some Business For The Local Economy

Drum circle in Hutchinson Square
There was the sound of off-kiltered drumming in the shade of the big oak trees of Summerville's Hutchinson Square. The famed square in the center of town, which hosts various exhibits throughout the year, was the fitting location for the scheduled drum circle of this weeks Third Thursday. A drum circle is described as any group of people who informally gather together to beat on drums. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. Easier said than done when the circle consists of people from the community with no percussion training of any sort, but that is what makes it fun. And that is what Third Thursday is all about, community.

There was a variety of live music throughout the downtown area from Hutchinson Square to Short Central, a quaint pedestrian-only side street where art and craft displays are set up in front of the various eclectic shops and galleries lining it on both sides. An older gentleman was serenading the ladies passing by with songs from the distant past. He was very good. Chelsea Summers was at her usual place outside of her mother's store on W Richardson singing with her guitar in hand and signing copies of her recently released CD. I was introduced to a young boy by the name of Tristan LaMunion. Tristan is an aspiring axe man and plays in a local grocery store.

My first stop of the night was Hutchinson Square where I took some video of the drum circle. I was tempted to join in, but the group I was with wasn't the least bit interested in pounding on a bunch of drums. Food was more of a priority. The Montreax was the next stop where I forked down a Caesar Salad and sucked up some coke, the drink. The crowd was on the light side as it was still early. A young man had gotten up to perform and sang songs like "Cause I'm a picker, I'm a grinner, I'm a lover and I'm a sinner." Impossible to say those words without adding the melody. From there, strolled over to Short Central. Sam Singleton, an extraordinary balladeer, was enchanting the shopping crowd with his soulful style of singing. All the shops were open for business, each with a spread of choice wines, beer, and cheeses for their patrons to sample, a tradition of Third Thursday.

Third Thursday is all about promoting Summerville businesses, an event sponsored by Summerville D.R.E.A.M. to assist store owners in gaining exposure and much needed profit for maintaining a thriving downtown district. Downtown Crossing and Art and Soul were two businesses on my list to visit this night.

135 Central Ave
Downtown Crossing is a quaint space of neatly organized hand-made products. "We make all the items in the store, there are no consignments," Sarah informed me. Sarah is one of two owners. She is partners with a college friend, Jewel, who happens to be her sister-in-law. They attended Charleston Southern. So, the store is family owned and family run. Sarah graciously pointed out the different hand-made accessories and home goods avaiable and informed me of its maker. There is a loft above the sales floor utilized as a work space for creating their complete line of goods. Jewel is also a writer. She just released her own book called "Road Trip To Love" based on her own experiences. You can aquire a copy on Amazon or if you visit her store at 135 Central Ave, she would more than likely be happy to provide you with a copy. To view their line of product click on Downtown Crossing. "Family owned, family made" is the store's motto.
Sarah, one of the partners
Jewel's book
113 West 2nd South Street
My next appointed stop was Art And Soul, a business where a lot is going on. You can't miss it, a brand new sign larger-than-life marks its location. The inside is equally large and spacious, enough room to host "Dancing with the Stars." I introduced myself to Pamela Ward, the owner, who was quite busy, but took the time to explain what Art and Soul is about. There were french mimes present, live entertainment, french food, face painting, and a free photo booth for families. I saw several familiar faces while I was there. The center serves as a venue for children's parties, adult gatherings, meetings, classes, seminar space, and weekend venues for musicians. It is also a tourism and travel company that arranges unique retreats, trips and tours for locals and tourists with costumed, historic tour guides. Artful Dodgers Actors  there and will be offering theater for children and adults. Every year they have a "Fezziwig Party", a character from the beloved, famous holiday story written by Charles Dickens. Fezziwig knew how to throw a party and so does Art and Soul. Check them out at their Facebook page or call 843- 224-4133.
Leslie Vicary and Pamela Ward
Lesley Vicary will be featured in the "Last Flapper", a one-woman play based on the life and writings of Zelda Fitzgerald. The play will be at the South of Broadway Theatre Company starting September 7th. Call 843-745-0317 for reservations or click on dates and tickets.

We ended the night drinking the traditional Yuengling while listening to Chelsea sing at Aura Lee's and then last-but-not-least, Accent on Wine to indulge in a glass of grapy goodness and a platter called the "Drunken Goat", a cheese which has been “made drunk” by submerging it in a wine (Mourvèdre grapes) for 72 hours. The process gives the rind a vivid purple hue. The cheese has a mild, sweet, and fruity taste. Doesn't that description make your mouth water.
Chelsea and Tristan
It was another successful Third Thursday in historic Summerville despite the fact it was competing with "meet the teacher night" at the local schools. See you at the next installment in September when summer will be nearing its end.

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