A Character Waiting in the Wings – Charleston, SC


Viewed as a whole, that bit of drifted yesterday caught between time and the rivers, called Charleston, is a city set in a garden.” -E.T.H. Shaffer

Standing on a corner, talking in his soft Charleston voice, I passed Ashley Wilkes, alive and well. Five feet eight inches, slender, his blue eyes matched the oxford cloth shirt he was wearing with the cuffs rolled back several turns. This man appeared as perfect window dressing for the garden tour I was walking. His bow tie and good dress pants seemed a perfect costume for the southern gentleman. Talking to several garden guides stationed on the corner, I assumed he was standing outside his home, a place filled with antiques and portraits of his or someone else’s ancestors. I wondered to myself, could this man have survived anywhere else but here in Charleston?

Continuing on over the cobblestones as the light retreated from the gardens, an aura of mystery seeped into the twilight. It was a moment in time I will always remember. There is now a character waiting in the wings to have me write his story.

This reflection is written for Taimi Anderson-my companion on that cobblestone night


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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