The successful Friends of the Waccamaw Library (FOWL) 1st Thursday Speaker Series returns for another much anticipated run in Spring 2023. The 1st Thursday Series is one of the Library’s featured programs. Although subjects of presentations are eclectic, most highlight a facet of Southern or Lowcountry culture, such as the area’s fascinating, diverse histories; elements of the coastal ecology; or the unique language, customs, literature, and arts inspired by the region. Presentations will be held in person at the Waccamaw Library, located at 41 St. Paul Place, Pawleys Island, SC 29585. All 1st Thursday events begin at 10:00 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month (i.e., January 5, February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, and June 1), and are free and open to the public. If you miss a presentation, videos are available afterwards on the Georgetown County Library YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/user/GeorgetownCountyLibr
The lineup for Spring 2023 features an engaging array of speakers and topics: Joy Brown will describe new, nature-based approaches to coastal flooding in Georgetown County offered by The Nature Conservancy’s North Coast Resilience Project; Dr. Erin R. McCoy will dive deep into the meanings and cultural significance of popular music and lyrics during the Viet Nam War period; Cindy Hedrick, author and former director of SC CARES animal sanctuary, will discuss how eliminating meat-based diets benefits the health of individuals, animals, and the global ecology; Marshall Chapman—a South Carolina native, author, and accomplished singer-songwriter—will share her experiences from the Nashville music scene with fellow “outlaw” country artists including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson; historian Kevin Duffus will describe the harrowing scene of a German U-boat’s torpedo attack on a British tanker off the North Carolina coast in 1918 and the heroic rescue efforts that ensued; and astronomer Ian Hewitt will explore with us the amazing constellations that fill our heavens.
Specific dates, titles, and topic descriptions are included below:
- Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.: Joy Brown, “The Nature Conservancy’s North Coast Resilience Project: A New Approach to Coastal Flooding”: South Carolina’s North Coast (i.e., Georgetown and Horry Counties) is known for its waters, from the rolling waves curling up on its sunny beaches to the beautiful currents of its broad, winding rivers. Yet, with all that water, comes greater flood risk. North Coast communities have undergone an increase of flood events from rainfall, storm surge, and tidal events. Created in 2016 by The Nature Conservancy, the North Coast Resilience Project (NCRP) incorporates nature-based solutions to mitigate for flooding impacts and create more resilient communities. Joy Brown, Marine Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy, will describe the NCRP’s diverse approaches for building ecological resiliency, such as restoring wetlands and creating stormwater infrastructure and living shorelines.
- Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.: Erin R. McCoy, Ph.D., “Music and the Viet Nam War”: Surveying different genres of music and lyrics from the Viet Nam War era, from Top 40 hits to deep cuts, Erin McCoy will explore the music’s global culture as well as the songs’ social and historical contexts. Dr. McCoy is author of A War Tour of Viet Nam: A Cultural History (McFarland 2021) and Associate Professor of English & Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.
- Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.: Cindy Hedrick, “Veganism: Breaking an Unhealthy Food Chain”: As former director of SC CARES sanctuary for farm and exotic animals, Cindy Hedrick respected all animals as sentient beings. Hedrick’s new book No Voice…Our Choice (CLASS 2021) powerfully chronicles the modern food chain’s damaging impacts on animals, humans, and the planet. Espousing the value of a vegan lifestyle, the book is an ultimately optimistic call for a healthier, sustainable future.
- Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.: Marshall Chapman, “Tales from Outlaw Country: A South Carolina Star’s Time in Nashville”: South Carolina native and acclaimed singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman was an integral member of the 1970s “outlaw country” music scene, alongside Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. Chapman is also an accomplished author, whose books include They Came to Nashville (Vanderbilt 2010) and Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller (St. Martin’s 2003).
*Chapman will perform a free concert at Waccamaw Library on Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m.
- Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.: Kevin Duffus, “Into the Burning Sea: A Heroic World War I Rescue Mission on the North Carolina Coast”: Author and historian Kevin Duffus relates the dramatic tale of the British tanker Mirlo after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Hatteras Island in August 1918. Duffus recounts the courageous lifesaving efforts of local Coast Guard members as they entered the terrifying scene to rescue sailors from the perilous inferno of the burning, foundering vessel.
- Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.: Ian Hewitt, M.S., “Stories of the Constellations”: Astronomer Ian Hewitt will guide participants through the star-studded night skies, providing background for us to enjoy fully the wonders of the constellations. A NASA Solar System Ambassador, Hewitt teaches Astronomy at Coastal Carolina University and previously served as Research Adjunct with the Astronomy & Astrophysics Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.