Andy Brack

Georgia farmers spread fertilizer with a four-mule team around 1940. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott via Farm Security Administration.

BRACK: From a tenant South to the tech South

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Last year at Elvis Presley’s boyhood home in Tupelo, Miss., I was thrilled to see a white metal bowl with a red rim. It was the same kind of bowl my grandmother used to make biscuits.

A lot of things in the two-room home looked familiar – an oilcloth on a kitchen table, the icebox, pieces of furniture, a butter churn, a metal flour sifter.

by · 06/04/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
Too tight; Jackets, sleeves too short.

BRACK: Guys need to buy clothes that fit

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Count me as a guy who doesn’t get what’s going on with men’s clothes these days.

Jackets, shirts, pants – too many that are too small and too tight. Whether it’s the guy in front of me at church, the hipster at a civic club meeting or the hero out and about at the grocery store, I don’t need to see that much of any guy.

Clothes need to fit, not be plastered onto a body. And plaid needs to be reserved for a special place in hell.

by · 05/29/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
A clever window display in Soho catches the eye.

BRACK: Navigating news in times of scandal and hyperbole

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | With scandal swirling throughout Washington and more indictments stemming from a corruption probe in Columbia, it is becoming harder to keep up with what’s really happening in government and politics.

Part of the problem is the Internet, which overturned the news apple cart by diversifying and segmenting sources of news into so many streams that it can be difficult to figure out which are credible. There are traditional media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – which operate under an old model of hiring professionals to report news as they see it and digest information critically to make it understandable.

by · 05/22/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  The legislature takes a wild ride in 2017 session

BRACK: The legislature takes a wild ride in 2017 session

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The General Assembly’s 2017 legislative session is sure to be remembered for a long time as a wild ride.

Two things stand out. First, who in the world would have thought the Republican-led legislature would have given millions of dollars in tax relief to working people in South Carolina in a bill to hike taxes to fix roads? Most of the time, tax breaks go to the rich.

by · 05/16/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
Close-up of Penchick by South Carolina artist Melvin Way.

BRACK: S.C. artists well-represented in national museum

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The creativity, inventiveness and talent of people who grow up and live in the South, and particularly South Carolina, never ceases to amaze.

A week ago during a visit to Washington, D.C., we stumbled upon the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), also home to the National Portrait Gallery. We were familiar with all sorts of other Smithsonian museums, but had never heard of this one, located a few blocks north of the National Mall.

by · 05/08/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  A pat on the back for Grooms, Sheheen for practical roads bill

BRACK: A pat on the back for Grooms, Sheheen for practical roads bill

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Larry Grooms and Vincent Sheheen pored over spreadsheets for weeks looking for a solution that hornswoggled their state Senate colleagues for three years: A practical way to raise the state’s gas tax to fix roads.

By Wednesday, an idea by Republican Grooms – allowing state drivers to get rebates of their portion of the 12-cents-per-gallon hike in the gas user fee – blended with tax cut priorities by Sheheen, a Democrat, to cobble together a piece of winning legislation. While Sheheen brought a solid bloc of the minority Democrats to the table, Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, and Grooms delivered a group of moderate Republicans who stuck together, vote after vote, to thwart filibuster threats and get the bill passed.

by · 04/30/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  We’ve all got the “Pothole Blues”

BRACK: We’ve all got the “Pothole Blues”

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Sometimes the only way to make a point and make sure it gets through is through humor.

As the state Senate stumbles drunkenly to find a way to figure out a way to fix state roads and bridges, former gubernatorial candidate Tom Ervin of Greenville turned to song to make his point.

He wrote – and had recorded – an aptly-named song, “Pothole Blues,” as first reported Sunday by our sister publication, Statehouse Report.

He says he’s gotten so frustrated by the continued “lack of vision and failed leadership” by state senators and Gov. Henry McMaster in funding the billions of dollars of needs for state road and bridge repairs” that he had to do something.

by · 04/24/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

BRACK: New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Sculptor Rick Weaver captured the body language of Fritz Hollings just right in a new statue unveiled Monday as former colleagues heaped praises on the retired senator, now 95.

Three things stand out in the bronze figure – the warm, but determined, look on Hollings’ face; how his left hand is grasping a rolled-up document; and, most notably, an outstretched right hand, a familiar gesture to many of the senator’s former staffers and friends.

“I asked him what he felt was the quality he possessed that allowed him to succeed in his work,” Charlottesville, Va., sculptor Weaver said in the ceremony program. “He said very quickly, ‘My ability to make friends.’ So in subtle ways, I tried to show that – his hand gesture, him turning to face someone. I wanted to convey how actively engaged he was all his life.”

by · 04/18/2017 · 4 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: City must find courage to stem growth of hotels

BRACK: City must find courage to stem growth of hotels

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | It’s pretty sad – and kind of amazing – that a 10-year-old can reach a common-sense conclusion that seems to elude a majority of Einstein members of Charleston City Council and its planning commission.

“Daddy, we don’t need any more hotels,” my daughter said while looking recently at the skyline pollution of crane after crane.

No, honey, we don’t. What we need are city leaders who will start listening and thinking about the continuing glut of hotels and what greed to build more will cause down the line.

by · 04/10/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
Pug Ravenel, known as a trailblazing political figure in South Carolina, also was a star Harvard quarterback who made national news.

BRACK: Remembering Pug Ravenel

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Pug Ravenel’s intensity on the football field – his zeal to be the best – stretched into the political arena years later when he inspired young men and women who wanted to change how politics worked in the state. His “reformer” spirit guided newcomers like Joe Riley, who became Charleston’s longtime mayor.

Ravenel, who later ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against Strom Thurmond in 1978 and for Congress two years later, outlined a new path in politics in South Carolina. As one Facebook observer noted, “South Carolina lost so much for not electing him three times.”

We’ll miss Pug’s intensity, his piercing intellect, his openness to new things and his thoughtful energy fueled by ideas and common sense.

by · 03/27/2017 · 8 comments · Andy Brack, Views