Sights and Sounds Around Summerville

Dear Reader:

It suddenly hit me when I had time to slow down and relax this weekend (except during the Clemson-Syracuse game) that I had missed a lot of “going-on’s” in Summerville while I had been gone most of September… in the mountains, Columbia,  Walterboro, and Mt. Pleasant.

I know this sounds rather narcissist but don’t we all (at least sometimes) still think like children ..that the world is supposed to rotate around our schedules and not it’s schedule? How could the Sweet Tea Festival have scheduled its annual event the same time as Jake’s and my ensuing birthday celebrations? Bummer!

You might remember from the Azalea Magazine (local magazine) excerpts in my blog post last week that contained one article on Kevin Morrissey. He is a hometown boy, who is making a name for himself…not only as a teacher, but as an artist who creates artistic/spiritual designs on carpentry tools like saws and hammers.

He was asked to paint a mural on the side of the Visitor’s Center/Chamber of Commerce for the Sweet Tea Festival this year.. No doubt there is quite a story behind this daunting endeavor. I can only imagine the challenges of volatile weather…especially rain. But it turned out beautifully!

And speaking of tea…for whatever reason I have craved cold, iced sweet tea all summer. However, I have made one ‘health’ concession…I ask for half and half tea…(but then I never fail to ask the waitress or waiter to wait and add the sweet tea half on top.) 🙂 *There are only so many compromises a southern gal can make with the ancient  ‘moderation in all things’ philosophy…especially when it comes to sweet tea….not even Aristotle is allowed to play around with southern tradition!

Just looking at some of the posters publicizing the event makes me thirsty!


As a retired history teacher I do get tickled over the controversy surrounding the claim that our little town of Summerville, SC created and served the first sweet tea. We certainly have a few excerpts dating back to the Civil War and post-Civil War period that (perhaps) points in that direction but we have also been challenged by other towns claiming they served the first sweet tea.

You know what? In the end it doesn’t matter…because, with time, the story behind the claim will begin with “Legend says that...” (ambiguity at its best) and the story will just become even more enticing. As far as we Summervillians are concerned…our town is certainly sweet enough to be the original home to sweet tea and if you don’t believe us…come sit down and order some of this delicious drink…it will make a believer out of you too!

*If nothing else Summerville did build the largest glass of tea in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. In June of 2015 the container held over 1,400 gallons of brew made from 116 pounds of tea leaves from the Charleston Tea Plantation. Named “Mason” it went on display downtown celebrating National and World Tea Celebration Day.

AND…if you want something to go along with that glass of tea…how about some pasta because yesterday was Summerville Italian “Feast” Festival Day in downtown Summerville. No one really has to leave Summerville any more to travel to Charleston for entertainment…we have enough going on here to keep one hopping, eating, and drinking as much as you wish. Go Summerville!

So until tomorrow…There are so many stories surrounding us in our daily lives in our hometowns…take the back roads and learn more about the history of your town and its diversities that make us special!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Oops! I was just about to forget…Today is the first day of October…so remember to say “rabbit” first thing when you get up and then have a wonderful month…not hard to do since October is pretty wonderful all on its own!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Sights and Sounds Around Summerville

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    Because of you, I got my first text this morning at 6:30 saying, “Happy Rabbit Day!”. This was sent by a very special person, and I’m guessing you know who. As far as sweet tea goes, there is nothing quite like it. I try so hard to say to the waitress, “No sugar in the tea, please”, but I guess as Flip Wilson used to say, “The devil won’t let me do it.” I mean …artificially sweeten tea…really?


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am with you Jo…why go artificially when you can have the real thing? Defies logic. Could it be our adorable Colby sending you a “Happy Rabbit Day”….Sherlock Holmes deducts it is!


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