Damon L. Fordham of Mount Pleasant has won The Post and Courier Golden Pen award for November for his letter to the editor, "Every building has a history."
The letter began: "It was with great interest that I read the Nov. 12 story about the removal of the building at 198 Spring St. to make way for the planned Crosstown Plaza. In the 1950s, that building was owned by R.B. Hughes, who helped build a number of local bridges, and his wife Minnie, a schoolteacher for whom the elementary school in Hollywood, S.C., is named."
And: "Around the middle of that decade, they took in my mother, Pearl Fordham of Mount Pleasant, who had just taken a job as a registered nurse at the old Medical College of South Carolina. She stayed with them until she married my father in 1960, four years before I was born, and returned to Mount Pleasant."
Mr. Fordham added: "During my childhood and after the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Hughes, my parents would frequently visit the tiny, elderly, bespectacled, retired schoolteacher we called Aunt Pauline at 198 Spring St. Not only was she a kind lady, but her house was a source of fascination for my young mind. She had an old fashioned candlestick telephone that most people today would recognize from the old 'Andy Griffith' television show, as well as a floor-model-sized radio. Her house was filled with Life magazines, which hypnotized me with pictures and stories of people and places such as Vietnam, Africa, China, the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, all giving me an early look at the world beyond my environment and feeding my later interest in history."
The letter concluded: "Aunt Pauline passed in the late 1980s, and so have my parents since then. But whenever I pass the house at 198 Spring St. with friends, I tell them of these memories as a reminder that every building has a history."
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.