Time Regained, Marcel Proust's autobiographical novel, chronicles the role of experience and memory later in his life.
After moving here two years ago, Tom Grubisich greatly relates this book to Charleston.
The once Washington Post editor and reporter says, "I became fascinated with Charleston because it reminded me of how Proust wrote about Paris and his boyhood communities--the steeples would trigger his memory, tripping on broken pavement stones would trigger his memory. It's uncanny. I try to think of Charleston the way Proust thought of Paris. You have to heighten your senses. The smells, the sounds of bells; I try to tune myself to these things."
Tom, at 77, is aware of Charleston's potential, its urban development.
"Within 5 years, within 10 years--you're young yet--there will be some kind of flowering of new expression in the arts, history, scholarship, of some sort. Charleston might be a big center of this."
Tom is still extending his career as a journalist. He's "not resigned to the rocking chair." In the two years Tom has spent in Charleston, he has addressed way more progressive issues than most people who have lived here all their lives, like the diversity gap in education and John C. Calhoun's role in the Civil War.
Just as he did in Virginia, Tom has started a publication in Charleston. Local America is online and covers these exact topics that might be harder to get into the local conservative print publications. Charleston is the demo of this online publication, and Tom hopes to grow it to other locations.
"This city is 330 years old. You walk around it and see a house. You go back 250 years in your head, and it won't be what it is today: perfectly restored; you don't just see the pretty picture. That's what I am doing now."
Tom thinks that including Charleston's history that isn't as pretty as its landscapes, including it on our guidebooks for tourism and everyday life, is important to progressing the city as a whole.
"I think this generation has a real chance of changing Charleston."
Story by: Elizabeth Bowers
Photography by: Karson Photography