by Susan Lucas
Last week Mary Norton stepped up to the mike at Halls Chophouse, invited by the Hall Family and the King Street Marketing Group. Speakers at this monthly event which is nearly two years running have spanned diverse and influential circles. They include Mayor Riley, Helen Hill, Tommy Baker, General James E. Livingston, Founder of Cos Bar Lily Garfield and Police Chief Greg Mullen, to name a few.
The speakers aren’t asked for their agenda or talking points in advance, each is given a 20-30 minute window to deliver whatever message they want, and most stick around to answer questions afterward. The speakers are real, genuine and approachable. Ken Burger personally greeted every person who walked in the door. Fire Chief Karen Brack had the longest Q&A of anybody.
Mary was a first. She told her story of life as an entrepreneurial star who fell from grace in a series of corporate missteps that robbed her of her name and reputation. She made everyone laugh and made them cry, prompting a tissue rescue and comic relief by Jeanne Hall. Most of all she left her audience wanting more Mary. She told the naked truth about her life and career, that in spite of her bubbly, bright personality and core of spiritual optimism she, like each of us, has experienced dark, life sucking moments. She colorfully related many of those dark times and also the peak experiences that shaped her. One businessman said he wanted both of his adult daughters to hear Mary speak, there were such lessons to be learned. She hugged everyone on the way out; Mary is a hugger.
For information about Small Business Lunch at Halls, go to www.smallbusinesslunchathalls.com. There’s a great business story every month, and usually a great personal one as well.
Another great King Street story is 2nd Sunday. People love it. It’s impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t been to this magical monthly event why everyone is walking around with a smile on their face. It reminds those of us “from off” why we came to Charleston, because we have time to take a leisurely stroll and remember our first sightings of historic architecture, brick streets, sidewalks, alleys, tiny boutiques, cafés, seeing a city on foot and Southern hospitality. It’s a place to run into people you know because so many people who come to 2nd Sunday live right here. Some don’t even make the closed-to-traffic portion of King Street, they just come downtown because it’s the day to, and that’s a wonderful thing. Every month, rain or shine, 2nd Sunday on King Street continues to delight.
Would you like to receive our King Street and Charleston Peninsula News each month? Click here to register.