Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

The Rejected Radio Free Charleston Shirt

You may have noticed, if you’ve been watching Radio Free Charleston, that in each episode I wear a different T-shirt, and that shirt is then the source for the episode’s name. I’ve got the wardrobe for the first dozen or so shows lined up already, but there was one shirt that I rejected. You can see it below.

This shirt dates back to 1989, when I was working for WVNS Radio, and preparing to launch the original incarnation of Radio Free Charleston. I was not an enthusiastic supporter of the Sternwheel Regatta–working in Charleston, but living elsewhere, and having to reroute my commute for two weeks was about as appealing then as the user fee is today. Sadly, being an employee of the radio station that was sponsoring some of the events meant that I had to put in a token appearance, even though I always avoided the Regatta like the plague. I just don’t care for crowds, and the choice of musical acts is rarely to my tastes. Plus, I think the whole idea of Charleston being a “river town” is more than a little contrived.

So I had this shirt made up, and wore it to the station events. Oddly enough, it was the hit of the party! Even city officials were so burned out on the Regatta by the time it actually got underway that they felt pretty much the same way. Ironically, I had a great time at the Regatta that year. I got to meet and hang out with Cheap Trick, and watched most of their concert from the roof of the covered driveway at the Charleston House Holiday Inn. I don’t think I’ve been back to the Regatta since–quit while you’re ahead, I guess.

As for why this shirt was rejected from the current Radio Free Charleston video podcast, well, it wasn’t a matter of taste–it was a matter of timing. I had planned to wear this for episode five, but now the production schedule has slid somewhat, and episode five won’t be posted for your enjoyment until after this year’s Sternwheelless Regatta is over. So I present this shirt here, for your amusement, and will find a new one to wear on the next show.


  1. Anonymous

    That’s the shirt you should be selling.

  2. Mr. Satan

    Yeah, I want one of those.

    What’s a “Regatta”?

    –the debbil

  3. Rebecca


    You should sell those!

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