Flummerfelt to retire from Spoleto Festival

Joseph Flummerfelt retired from Spoleto Festival USA in 2013 after 36 years as director of choral activities. He died March 1.

There is so much to be said about Joe Flummerfelt, this wonderful, well-loved conductor who became part of Charleston’s musical life.

I moved to Charleston in 1976 at the time the Spoleto Festival was being organized, and had formed the Singers’ Guild (now the CSO Chorus).

Dr. Flummerfelt invited us to join the Westminster Choir in a performance of Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass, an extremely difficult work. That was the beginning of a 24-year relationship with the choirs. Since that time, they have performed many major choral pieces.

The maestro’s final concert was the Verdi Requiem, sung under his direction with the Westminster Choir and the CSO Chorus (Rob Taylor, conductor) and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. He was able to inspire us all with his deep spiritual understanding of the texts and music, with language all could understand. We were all devoted to him.

Over the years, Joe and I developed a close friendship. His final visit with me was in January, just before he caught the plane back to his home in Indianapolis. He came for a quick visit and stayed one hour. We reminisced about the early days of the Spoleto Festival and the many singers who had been with us over all these years. He hugged me and was through the door when he turned and gave me a second hug. Most unusual.

The New York Times called him the most eminent choral director since Robert Shaw. We call him our great friend.


Rifle Range Road

Mount Pleasant

Vietnam photos

Amazing, just amazing: the May 27 front-page story in The Post and Courier about Janna Hoehn and her quest to find photographs of the more than 58,000 men who died in the Vietnam War.

Her success in finding the photographs of 891 of the 895 South Carolina men who lost their lives in that war made for a really special front page.

It is easily a labor of love for The Post and Courier and this article written by Thomas Novelly. Very special.

It would really be an incredible end to this story if photographs of the four men missing from this amazing montage were actually found.

To Ms. Hoehn: Thank you so much for your dedication to this truly noble quest.


Waterfront Drive

Mount Pleasant

Nursing uniforms

As a registered nurse, I feel compelled to comment on the photograph of the graduating class from The Citadel in the May 4 Post and Courier.

I felt embarrassed and saddened to see how these nurses were dressed. Wearing scrub suits for their graduation picture looked terrible. They were wrinkled. Some were uniformed and some wore long sleeves, while others did not.

When I graduated in 1970, we were so proud to be able to wear our white uniforms, white shoes, hose and our caps and pins.

Our uniforms were clean, our shoes polished and our hair was pulled up so it did not touch our collars. We wore our pins with pride.

We had worked so hard to accomplish our goals. What has happened to our profession?

Many patients and their families have told me how much they appreciated the way we looked. They could tell the nurses from everyone else.

It’s my wish that the pendulum swings back the other way. Nurses need to look back at what we worked so hard to accomplish and be proud of who we are.


Beacon Hill Lane


Storm thoughts

Two thoughts came to mind after reading the story about the horrific hurricane that came ashore at Mexico Beach, Florida.

The first is how some homeowners are raising their homes. In basketball, every point counts. And in flood insurance, every inch counts.

My 100-year-old stick-built home came within inches of flooding during Hurricane Hugo (1989) but luckily stayed dry.

Second is the word “overbuilt.” After our Hugo nightmare, there was an engineer’s overbuilt home left on Isle of Palms’ front beach with nothing missing but the steps.

I’d much rather be lucky than good so I’m asking Mother Nature to keep Charleston in the palm of her hand.


Jasper Boulevard

Sullivan’s Island

Traffic warnings

I live in Lawton Harbor on James Island. It is a quiet neighborhood with multiple stop signs and speed bumps.

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At Affirmation Boulevard and Lawton Harbor Drive, we have one of our many three-way stop signs. They’re prolific but mostly useless.

Also, we have a speed bump some 200 yards from the intersection.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, a police officer was awaiting drivers who would slide through the stop sign. No traffic. No accidents.

I asked if he was doing God’s work. He said he was.

Maybe someone complained. Maybe the officer was only giving out warnings, but this was a waste of officer manpower.

There must be something this officer could have been doing to protect our community. Ridiculous.


Cecilia Cove Drive


I-20 nightmare

Having adult children living in Atlanta, my wife and I travel there often for short visits. The situation in Columbia with the widening of I-20 is a mess going in both directions.

With that said, let me get something off my chest. On the way back from Atlanta, there is a sign that says: “Charleston Right Lane.”

I breathe a sigh of relief, homeward-bound at last. But as you exit I-20, another sign says “Columbia Only,” leaving you in a conundrum with little space to react.

It’s sad to say, but I have been doing this for years and am still perplexed at what to do. And another front seat driver doesn’t help.

Several times I veered right, only to end up with a 40-minute detour onto I-77 and back to I-26.

I am sure others have shared my fate and, God forbid, tourists laden with money to spend in our fair city have suffered the same. A new sign that says “Columbia and Charleston Only” would solve this problem.


Knottingham Drive

Goose Greek

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