Americans, invade Normandy (Farms)

Your Rambler rues few developments like the ubiquity of coffee from that West Coast mermaid — bitter, burnt and backing bad politics. For others steering clear of that place, who find themselves Downtown or in South Windermere, I can fully endorse the java at Normandy Farms. It is not only delicious and comes at a reasonable price:  We really like that it doesn’t fund quixotic presidential campaigns (Howard Schultz, we hardly knew ye) and we doubt the baristas have ever been instructed to “start conversations about racism.”

Davenport:  An eye for integrity

The Holy City lost a towering figure with the passing of K. Richard “Dick” Davenport on October 10. The much beloved Charlestonian was the longtime owner of Jackson Davenport Opticians, but his life of leadership extended well beyond what “eyes can see.” Working for Woolworths in his younger years, he followed MLK through the South implementing integrated lunch counters. He worked tirelessly to support Downtown’s economy; for a range of local organizations such as the CSO, the Farmer’s Market, Hospice of Charleston and many more besides. Known for giving others a second chance, we now mourn his passing and cheer the faithful gent to his final reward.

Dutch courage … and kookiness

Usually our news from the Netherlands comes from friendly Frisian Hans Offringa, 50 percent of our much-loved “Whisky Couple.” Well, this isn’t booze news, but thinking about it will make you want to take a stiff drink. On October 13, in Ruinerwold, NL, a disheveled young man wandered into a bar, ordered five beers and told the barkeep he wanted to change his lifestyle. Sounds common enough, until his story came out:  He was the oldest of five siblings living on a nearby farm where they have been holed up in a secret basement behind a hidden door “awaiting the end of time” for nearly a decade. Further details are unclear, but your Rambler notes the family hopped down the mole hole very shortly after Mr. Obama’s first inauguration …

Off the rocker, into the penthouse

Although the mentally ill of South Carolina have had other quarters since 1990, the age-old cry of Palmetto State mothers at their wits end may soon become a positive thing:  “You children are going to send me to Bull Street” could be less imprecation and more welcomed invitation with the recent news that the historic former state mental hospital will soon be converted to luxury apartments. With gardens, a dog park and a pool, the venerable structure will be fine digs and the only insanity one needs to show to get in is a willingness to live in Columbia. 

Charitable notice

For those with wee ones still sitting on a horde of Halloween goodies and looking to whittle down the pile, the newsroom fellows tell me donations of unopened candy are being accepted at Charleston Mercury World Headquarters, 180 East Bay St., Downtown. All proceeds go to the International Journalists Without Candy fund, and are warmly appreciated.

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