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If Rumors Were Horses

by | Mar 18, 2024 | 0 comments


Against the Grain V36#1

Little glimmers of the coming spring are appearing here in SC — daffodils and crocuses are blooming already, and some of us are dreading the approach of mass quantities of pollen that will be blanketing our cars, porches, and anything that sits still more than a few minutes outdoors soon.  Good for bees, bad for allergies! 

New Jobs and Retirements

Like WOW!  Ruth Knight, Anthony Watkinson’s high-flying daughter, has been appointed The Royal Household’s first Head of Sustainability.  Ruth previously worked in similar roles at English Heritage, the Church of England, and the Greater London Authority.  King Charles III has been a long-time advocate for environmental sustainability, and Ruth’s appointment will help strengthen this commitment across The Royal Family’s properties and practices.  Cool!

And here’s another cool story!  The eagle-eyed Ramune Kubilius sends us word of the retirement of JP Marton at UVM Davis Center.  JP Marton, a retired custodian at the University of Vermont, is a well-loved figure in the community.  He noticed that students had a passion for reading, so he created the Book Nook in Brennan’s Pub.  The Book Nook is a collection of donated books that encourages the exchange of literature and ideas.  Since it started in 2010, it has tripled in size.  Check out the article to learn more about JP and the literary haven at the Davis Center:  Beloved UVM Davis Center Employee JP Marton Retires After 15 Years, But His “Book Nook” is Just Getting Started.

Another report brought to us by Ramune — Dan Doody of Doody Enterprises, Inc, has retired.  Some excerpts from his farewell letter Hail and Farewell!: “At the end of 2023, we announced that Tim Butzen is now the owner of Doody Enterprises, Inc. and that I am retiring after a fulfilling 46-year career in medical publishing.  Tim graciously extended to me the opportunity to offer some valedictory thoughts in this space.  To have the sustained success Doody Enterprises, Inc. has enjoyed over the last 31 years is attributable to many factors.  First, we have had exceptional employees throughout the years, talented, dedicated, and a pleasure to be around.  The company’s operations have run on strong foundational software.  Plenty of good fortune played a role as well.  Often the company was in the right place at the right time when a growth opportunity presented itself.”  (DCT Featured Article – February 13, 2024) ATG has reached out to Dan (via Ramune!) to request an interview.  Stay tuned for more! 

100th Anniversary Celebration

Leah Hinds (R) and Caroline Goldsmith (L)

On February 7th, 1924, the Francis Marion Hotel opened its doors in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, heralding a new era of Charleston hospitality.  Over the last 100 years, generations of guests and staff have celebrated special occasions and created lifelong memories.  The Francis Marion is thrilled to commemorate this milestone with the community that has supported and honored it for an entire century!  Leah Hinds and Caroline Goldsmith attended the glamorous event and were charmed by the décor, the music, the food, and they even had a red carpet entrance!  The delightful Gayle Karolczyk, Executive General Manager at the Francis Marion, has worked with us for years and years to host the conference and make the Francis Marion Hotel our long-time headquarter location.  Gayle gave the conference a shout out and we got a round of applause during her speech at dinner since we’re the longest consecutively running event that’s been hosted at the hotel — 25 years since the event moved from being hosted at the College of Charleston Lightsey Conference Center.  Thank you to Gayle, Stephen, Marie, Jaime, and the rest of the team for being so great to work with and for making the conference extra special each year.

Food and Bev

Do you like oysters?  How does over 50,000 pounds of oysters sound?  The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the world’s largest oyster festival!  This year was the 40th anniversary of this favorite event of many, and was held on Sunday, February 4, at Boone Hall Plantation.  Highlights included live music on the main stage, raw oyster eating and shucking contests, wine, a selection of domestic and imported beers, specialty cocktails, a Children’s Area (“Pluff-a-Palooza”) and a Food Court showcasing a variety of local favorite restaurants to satisfy everyone’s taste.

Last time our editor Leah Hinds and her family were in downtown Charleston, they made a pilgrimage to the upper end of King Street to visit Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ.  Their party of 5 ordered one “Pitmaster Combo,” which included whole hog bbq, pulled pork shoulder, smoked chicken, smoked turkey, cheddarwurst sausage, brisket & ribs along with 4 side dishes (mac and cheese, collard greens, French fries, and baked beans).  Add to that a dozen smoked dry rubbed wings, and there was more food than the group could hold!  All of it was delicious and the leftovers were even better the next day.  Highly recommend!


Matthew Ismail

Matthew Ismail, Editor in Chief of the Charleston Briefings and ATG the Podcast interviewer extraordinaire, has gone from Mexico to Vietnam to Kuala Lumpur!  Matthew is traveling the world and has been conducting interviews on location wherever he goes.  Sad news, though, that Matthew will be stepping away from his duties with Charleston at the end of this month.  From Matthew:  “It’s hard to maintain the contacts and the professional currency when you’re out of circulation.  It saved my life when I was working in libraries to be able to be engaged with a dynamic environment like Charleston.  But now I am more distant from the day-to-day aspects of the work and I’m not sure I am going to be contributing anything of much worth anymore, anyway.”  We disagree about his contributions but wish him all the best in his travels as he explores the globe!

Jonathan Michael, CFO of Annual Reviews, and his lovely wife Ellen were also traveling to Vietnam recently.  They enjoy riding bikes and took a long bike trip across the country.  Ellen has a bakery with the MOST delicious middle eastern cookies and cakes, and they’re as healthy as they are delicious.  She brought some to South Carolina when they attended the Charleston Conference last November!

Upcoming Events

He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere!  Sven Fund is organizing our next installment of the Charleston In Between virtual conferences on the topic of Publishing Integrity on March 19-20.  Featuring an anonymous presentation from someone who published with a papermill, Curtis Brundy (Iowa State University) presenting on Institutions, libraries, & their pivotal role in research integrity.  Nandita Quaderi (Clarivate) will define industry standards in integrity.  We’ll have a small publisher’s perspective from John Chen of Tech Science Press, the large publisher’s perspective from Michael Streeter at Wiley, and ask the question “Can Technology Help?  Why Hasn’t It So Far?” with Phill Jones of More Brains.  See the full agenda and register — you won’t want to miss this!

The 2024 Fiesole Retreat will meet in Cape Town, South Africa, to discuss “Connecting Global North and Global South: African Perspectives in Scholarly Communications” May 7-8.  This exciting program will feature a keynote presentation from Kepi Madumo, National Librarian & CEO – National Library of South Africa, Gauteng, South Africa, as well as several panels on topics such as Framing current scholarly communications challenges and opportunities for Africa, Equity and Inclusion in the Journal Ecosystem:  Access, Discovery and Exploration, North and South Partnering for Academic Open Access Monographs, and Empowering Narratives:  Bridging Gaps in African Research, Knowledge Dissemination, and Cultural Preservation.  The focus will be on presentations by African librarians and researchers on the unique issues and challenges they face.  Registration is open at https://www.fiesoleretreat.org/capetown_2024, and scholarships are available for local librarians and researchers to attend through generous sponsorships from The Elsevier Foundation, Cambridge University Press, and OCLC.

That’s it for now, but please send your “Rumors” our way for publication here or on the Charleston Hub in Katina’s “Tea Time” blog:  <editors@against-the-grain.com>.  Take care and see you next time!  


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