The Postal Service's unofficial motto is "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Substitute "derecho" for "snow" and one has a
motto that pretty much captures the spirit of the organizers and volunteers of the annual Live on the Levee series of free concerts every Friday night in summer in Charleston.
Live on the Levee just completed its ninth season of providing unity and entertainment to the community. The series began with a concert by the Esquires, now the traditional kick-off concert, on June 25, 2004.
Charleston City Councilman Tom Lane explained the purpose of the concert series back in 2004.
"Anything that draws people to Charleston and keeps them downtown will make it better," Lane said. "The more we do, the more people want to be here."
Making that work takes some doing by volunteers, especially those who raise the money and line up the acts. Two years ago, Moses Auto Group stepped up to be the lead sponsor for the series.
Attendance has grown. An estimated 4,500 people attended the Davisson Brothers concert on June 8. A light night now is a crowd of 1,000.
"We've gone from, 'Geez, why are they closing down the Boulevard again?' to 'Who's at Live on the Levee tonight?'" said Adam Harris, producer for Mountain Stage. He also lends a hand for events such as Live on the Levee and FestivALL.
"This year, the crowds have been phenomenal," Jim Strawn, the chief fundraiser for the concerts, told the Daily Mail's Monica Orosz.
The most exciting night of this season was the June 29 derecho, which hit in the middle of Sasha Colette's set. Harris was on stage trying to save expensive equipment as the wind and the rain blew in. A light rigging over his head began to sway.
"I'm thinking, 'If I die, at least I died doing something I loved,'" Harris said.
That's a spirit that cannot be beat, and a spirit Charleston could use more of.