This is a week belated but now I am in New York so here goes:
1. Music: James Brown was born in the state; my favorite James Brown song is Bewildered. Reverend Gary Davis is associated with North Carolina but he too was born in the state; try Sally Where’d You Get Your Liquor From? My favorite Dizzy Gillespie album is Dizzy’s Big 4.
2. Comedian: I’ve enjoyed a few clips of Stephen Colbert, though I do not pretend to have a good sense of his average quality.
3. Artist: Jasper Johns, though Georgia claims him too.
4. Political theorist: John Calhoun was brilliant, despite his repugnance on a number of obvious dimensions.
5. Federal Reserve chairman: Guess.
I can’t say I like Robert Jordan or Andrew Jackson or John Watson or John Edwards or Jesse Jackson. My father loved Barton MacLane but he never much registered with me.
This list is so thin I must be failing and forgetting people. I feel that many movies have been set in Charleston, or other parts of the state, but I can’t think of one of them, much less a good one. Nonetheless the peaks on the above list are high.