Some of us stuck in the pluff mud of life have always been charmed by Charleston.
It’s our Paris, when the Pritchardville Fire Tower won’t do.
This week, that charm turned out to be only a selfie-stick away. I stumbled into Kathryn Dennis in her real reality at the Apple store on King Street. She stars in the Bravo reality TV show, “Southern Charm,” with its third season from Charleston starting April 4.
People have been known to mutter as they finish pretending they didn’t watch another episode, like it was a wreck on the highway, that it is neither Southern nor charming. I disagree. I watched it because it also stars Shep Rose, a charming Southern boy raised by a good muhthah and fahthah right here on Hilton Head Island.
And as we got our iPhones tuned up, I found Kathryn Dennis to be perfectly charming. This was a little surprising because on the show (which is actual reality) she seems to simmer somewhere between a conniption fit and a full-fledged hissy fit.
She is the lover/antagonist of Thomas Ravenel, or is it the other way around? “T Rav” is our wealthy former state treasurer who has duly repaid society after getting busted on a drug charge. His daddy is “Uncle Arthur” Ravenel Jr., who left Congress for a more powerful job. He became a South Carolina state senator, where he got Charleston’s lovely new bridge built and named for him.
I had a burning desire to fill a seat my father had lost by assassination ...
Kathryn Dennis’ grandfather, Sen. Rembert C. Dennis
Kathryn Calhoun Dennis is a granddaughter of Rembert C. Dennis. A big building on the Statehouse grounds is named for him. He was a state senator for 46 years, including 12 as the most powerful man in the free world: chairman of the S.C. Senate Finance Committee.
“I had a burning desire to fill a seat my father had lost by assassination and my mother had lost because it was too early for women to be accepted for higher office,” Rembert Dennis wrote. Kathryn’s great-grandfather was killed by a man named Sparky, apparently working on behalf of bootleggers, before reality had found a TV.
As for our own Shep Rose, his people are Boykins. They gave us South Carolina’s official state dog, the Boykin spaniel.
If this ain’t Southern, I’ll kiss your grits.
Charming Kathryn Dennis told me she is the most normal one on the show besides Shep.
I can report as a true fact, for your ears only, that Kathryn is thin as rope after the recent birth of her second child with T-Rav. Insiders (people who read “Us” magazine or the Tamara Tattles blog) tell me she was criticized by the viewing public for her weight gain after the first child was born.
As Kathryn kindly posed for photos and videos, I whispered to my bae that I didn’t want T-Rav coming after me. Oh, she said, they’re finished. But he has the children two days a week.
With that, I slithered back out onto King Street, my iPhone brain back in the game and my own Charleston reality calling from 82 Queen: a cup of she crab soup and a plate of fish and grits.
Rolling back down the King’s Highway to the pluff mud of home, I decided I’d rather channel my own reality. The Jesus crabs at Fishnet Seafood, the Temple of Sport, Harriet Tubman’s bridge, plantation gates, silver railroad tracks, hot boiled peanuts, firecrackers, she crabs, and Sheldon’s African village. Charming.