"Although everything we love – people, places, possessions – can and likely will eventually be taken from us, the radiant vestiges those loves leave in the soul are permanently ours, and this is the only permanence we'll ever know.” – Maria Popova
We lost a luminary last week. Ken Burger passed on Thursday, October 20, leaving a large community of friends, family and fans wanting more. I was fortunate to spend many 2nd Sundays on King Street with Ken, watching him interact with strangers and friends — of course Ken knew no strangers. He spoke passionately about his loves, Bonnie and family, sports and writing. He generously advised me on many occasions, and modeled a life I strive to live. “It will all come around,” he would say, “It will all make sense.” You could get Ken’s undivided attention by asking a question; he was that generous. And gifted. Listening to a past interview on NPR, it was easy for me to become lost in his storytelling. He was passionate, he was a luminary and he will be remembered.
Another change takes one luminary to new chapter. I have a feeling Mayor Riley will continue to lead, inspire and influence. Forever humble, he says it was easy to be Mayor in such a great community, but we know it wasn’t. His great vision and relentless drive changed Charleston forever, and also modeled a life I strive to live. He made King Street come together with great foresight, and when he asked me and my partner to put together what would become 2nd Sunday on King Street, we didn’t think twice. His only condition was, “We have enough festivals. Make it a day where everyone can enjoy King Street as it is on a regular day, but without the cars.” Now launching the 61st 2nd Sunday, we still keep the distractions to a minimum and the environment as classy as King Street. The spirit takes care of itself.
Both Ken Burger and Mayor Riley were speakers at Small Business Lunch at Halls. Both shook every hand or hugged everybody in the crowd. Each gave off a personal magnetism that is hard to forget. A quick look at SmallBusinessLunchatHalls.com will provide a list of many movers and shakers from the Charleston community who generously shared their missions and stories with others over lunch as only Halls Chophouse can serve. Luminaries.
Up comes another of Charleston’s bright lights, Christine Osborne. On Thursday, November 5th she’ll take the Halls podium to tell her story of entrepreneurial success with her Wonder Works stores, children’s philanthropy and new consulting mission. From her bio: “With the uncanny ability to spot a craze and hot items before they even hit the shelves, Christine leads her team with a passion to provide children and families with the most magical toys that help develop social, mental and physical skills while inspiring fun, creativity and imagination. She and Wonder Works toy stores have won countless awards and recognitions based on the business’ success, achievements and community involvement.” She is a notable philanthropist and influencer in the toy industry, and the board for her new consulting business includes several toy manufactures that will help create the next groundbreaking products.
Now, drop everything and go to www.christmasonkingstreet.com. Hear the plans, projects and events that will make holiday memories on King Street and throughout downtown. There’s A Night in Wine Country December 4th, its 2nd year better than the first. Tickets will help reimburse the American Red Cross SC Flood Relief for their past and continuing support. Then on December 11 the Shop and Stroll extravaganza has fun, refreshments and the best door prize raffle anywhere. Tickets will benefit the Charleston Animal Society. Those two are the “get your tickets now” events, and there are more. Check it out or call 843.303.1113 for details.