First thing first: my mother, Marianne Wichmann, a Grand Dame of Charleston, who leads the Charleston Tea Party Walking Tour, (843-722-1779) is having her birthday in April. EVERYBODY wants to know how old she is. She is young enough still to be vain about her age and would murder me if I told anyone how old she is going to be this month. (But if you promise not to tell and promise to go on her tour, I will tell you this much of this best kept international secret. She soon will be celebrating one of the last years of her seventh decade. Shhh!)
The reason I dare to share this much personal information on my beloved mother is because I want you to come on her tour A, to celebrate her and to cheer her on. My English mother had the good sense to marry a Charlestonian and to have me born here in Charleston, The Holy City By the Sea, over a half century ago, one of the biggest blessings of my life. As Mr. Willie McLeod of McLeod Plantation said, she was a brave woman to leave family, friends, and her native land of England to come here to the unknown. My father had bought a classic wooden sailing yacht in England, a dime a dozen in the 1950’s, and met her at the Burnham -on-Crouch Royal Yacht Club near where he was restoring his boat in dry dock. She proved to be a tireless worker AND a match for Ingrid Bergman. Never has she lost her essential beauty or her industrious spirit, though her speed has slowed to the pace of ordinary people now.
Why do I want you to come on my mother’s tour over my own private tour? Because I do not want you to miss it! I want to give her the gift of your company, because she feels MOST ALIVE when giving a tour to more than two people. It is her raison d’etre. I want these remaining years while she has the health, vigor, and faculties to be her best years in her tour business. She does not do computers. Neither did I until Delia’s Godfather, Dr. Daniel Massi, went off to Honduras to be a missionary pathologist. He said I would not be able to communicate with him without doing emails. Then entered friend King Midas Cooper Ray, who came over when I was dead in the water with only paper advertising and my over 20 yr old business name Tea Party suddenly having another connotation . “What! You don’t have a web site? Where’s your computer?” Upstairs we went and emerged in no time with a wordpress website on which I have been writing ever since.
Where would we be without friends and family? My mother is not of this world; consequently, it is up to me to tell you she is worth it! Her tour is $25; (mine is $100). Hers is a walking tour for small groups ending with an invitation to Tea in her little garden South of Broad. She gives you the essential tour of the heart of the old walled city area. EVERYONE SHOULD DO TOUR A WITH MY MOTHER BEFORE MY TOUR B. 843-722-1779
SPECIAL OFFER FOR COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON AND CITADEL STUDENTS: (843-577-5896) I am very busy many days this spring with tours for special groups from those celebrating birthdays to weddings, anniversaries, and graduations, however, I will take College of Charleston and Citadel students for free when accompanied by their parents or 2 paying adults. Why? Because I am a grateful, successful College of Charleston graduate, who wants to insure that the students GET the essentials about Charleston history before leaving college life. I was blessed to work for Historic Charleston Foundation during college, thereby receiving a dual education and strong foundation from the ground up. I breeze through the College of Charleston often on my private tour in my van. The College of Charleston was founded by Bishop Robert Smith on the Glebe, the lands of the church given by colonist Affra Coming to St. Philips, thus St. Philips Street; Glebe St ; Coming St; and Smith St.
I am grateful to my mother who has been there for me all my life as the most devoted mother, friend, grandmother to my three teenagers, and coworker.
Call Marianne Wichmann for reservations for the Charleston Tea Party Walking Tour– 843-722-1779.