BACK/THEN: On the Bad Streets of Ann Magnuson’s Charleston Upbringing

Charleston, W.V. | Photo reprinted with permission from my

By Ann Magnuson | Adapted from a Facebook post | august2.2021

This was the “bad” street in my home town. We had to roll up the windows and lock the doors whenever we drove on Summers Street! But here it is before World War II. When the streamlined modern Greyhound Bus Station was “respectable.” Sadly they tore it down! Also the Kearse movie palace, where I saw many a movie.

I have a LOT of dreams about this street. “Midnight Cowboy” played at the X-rated theater there. Appropriate, as it was kinda our Times Square! Back in the 1960s, Summers Street was loaded with gorgeous neon which, to this child’s mind, made it feel like I was inside a humongous Christmas tree at night. Even trippier in the rain!

My dreams are usually a mash up of this street and NYC. Lately, this mash-up dreamy cityscape has been populated by old friends and young hipsters lured by the cool old buildings and cheap rents.

Make it so!

Ann Magnuson, a native of Charleston, W.Va., is an American actress, performance artist and nightclub performer, at least, according to her Wikipedia page. For a fuller portrait, check out her website, where a podcast host perhaps puts it best: “Ann Magnuson lives her life as a work of art.”

1) EDITORS/NOTE: Hellzones & Heroes, Painters & Clouds, Gardens & Grief
2) HERO OF THE OPEN HEART: The Long, Strange Trip of Dave Evans’ Notable Life
3) BACK/THEN: On the Bad Streets of Ann Magnuson’s Charleston Upbringing
4) MEMOIR: ‘The Garden and the Grief’ by Connie Kinsey
5) ART/WORK: Sharon Lynn and the Paths Taken
6) PHOTOSHOW: A high-up visit to Robert Singleton’s WV studio
7) VIDEOS: The Pillars of the WV Climate Alliance


BREAKING: We Interrupt this Insurrection for David Bowie News: jan8.2021: Why David Bowie still matters by West Virginia native Ann Magnsuon, plus historic footage of Ann channeling Bowie at the Empty Glass in West Virginia’s capital city on July 15, 2010.

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