Back in the summer, the parents of our second daughter (that sounds so much better than daughter-in-law) invited us to mark our calendar for October 10, 2015 and join them at the College of Charleston School of the Arts Silver Celebration. As we like to eat, drink and be merry we graciously accepted and looked forward to spending the evening with the folks who raised the woman who makes our oldest son’s eyes sparkle.
At this point, just about everyone knows about the record-breaking, drought-busting rainfall that occurred in South Carolina the first week in October. Downtown Charleston was basically closed to all incoming traffic while parts of Columbia and Georgetown received more than 20 inches of rain. Portions of major highways and roadways were closed to vehicular traffic and the only feasible mode of transportation seemed to be small watercraft. So we were all thankful that the Silver Celebration had been planned for the following weekend.
In Charleston the flood waters had receded, the city had pretty much dried out and life went on. The College was back in session and preparations for the Silver Celebration were heading down the home stretch. So the Great Randini and I packed our bags.
It was drizzling Saturday morning and having just had the lawn aerated and reseeded, I thought our timing was impeccable. However, as we headed down the road, the skies over Fort Mill cracked wide open dumping copious amounts of liquid sunshine upon us which followed us almost all the way to Charleston.
I’d be lying if I said I only checked the weather app for the Charleston forecast once or twice. Initially the rain was supposed to hit Charleston around 4 PM and continue through the evening. However, the closer we got to Charleston, the earlier the rain was supposed to start and the longer it was supposed to last. I had visions of backstroking down Calhoun Street to get to the Gaillard. I knew Joanna must have been on pins and needles at that point as she had an integral part in the planning and execution of this gala.
Fortunately, somewhere along the way, the skies ran out of rain or decided on a different destination for their deluge. Downtown Charleston was dry and breezy as we picked up our first daughter, who was serving as a volunteer for the evening and miraculously found a free parking spot right out front. (Sorry, Jonathan, we should have left that for y’all, we forgot your car would be loaded with laptops, tablets, cameras, etc.)
If you grew up in Charleston, then you must remember the old Gaillard. It was built in the late 60s and reflected the building style of that period. I don’t think it was ever called pretty (inside or out) but it served its purpose. Thus, when time came for a new performing arts center, it was decided to strip the old Gaillard down to its framework upon which the new and improved Gaillard would be built. You really do need to see it. Prepare to be impressed. The lobby is only a sneak preview of the wonders that await. The Grand Ballroom, the site of the Silver Celebration (which was their first event) definitely lives up to its name.
We ate, we drank, we were merry and I won a gorgeous Abigail Heche quilt in the silent auction. Being the crowd-watcher that I am, I do believe the evening was a great success. Just ask “The Porch Ladies.” A lot of people put in a great deal of time and effort to pull off this wonderful evening. I hope they know how much we all enjoyed the fruits of their labor.
Thanks, Dick and Janet, for including us at your table. We really enjoyed spending time with the two of you watching our “kids” help to promote The College of Charleston School of the Arts in such grand fashion.