Son, husband, father, law partner, “young Turk,” church Elder – W. Brantley Harvey Jr. has had many titles in his 85 years on this earth. This “favorite son” of the Lowcountry has co-written with Cheryl Lopanik Paschal the stories of his lifetime in his recent memoir, W. Brantley Harvey Jr. – Palmetto Patriot.
It’s a collection of his memories of the city of Beaufort’s past as well as a testament to a vibrant period in South Carolina politics when he served first in the S.C. House of Representatives and then as a Democratic Lieutenant Governor standing beside Republican Gov. Jim Edwards.
“From history, we can learn vicariously. That’s why I have always been an avid student of history,” Harvey writes for the back cover of his memoir.
Growing up as the only child of a busy attorney who himself served elected office in Columbia, Harvey has great memories of an earlier Beaufort when he and his friends, including former Beaufort Mayor Henry Chambers, spent as much time on the Lowcountry water as they did on the land.
He writes about legal cases which helped shape Beaufort County’s destiny including the early real estate development days on Hilton Head Island with Charles Fraser and the battle for BASF, a metals manufacturing operation proposed for Victoria Bluff, near Bluffton.
Elected in 1958 to the S.C. House of Representatives, Harvey represented Beaufort County for 14 years along with the late Wilton Graves from south of the Broad River. The two, working with the late state Sen. Jimmy Waddell, held rein over the State Senate, giving the Lowcountry a powerful voice in the statewide politics.
He was part of the legislative caucus nicknamed the “young Turks” because of their efforts to challenge the status quo in state politics, a challenge that included the continued segregation of public schools after the Supreme Court ruling declaring it unconstitutional.
After an unsuccessful bid for the governor’s office in 1979, Harvey’s public service continued on the S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism Commission and then the S.C. Highway Commission and state Technical Education Board.
Even upon “retirement” from his law practice and political life, Harvey’s adventures continued with international travel, sharing time and energy with his family, friends and now, his readers.
Harvey will be signing his book on Friday, Dec. 4, during Night on the Town, at McIntosh Book Store on Bay Street. He will be accompanied by other authors including Pierre McGowan author of The Gullah Mailman; David B. Grim, Swift Currents; James McTeer, Minnow; David Lucas of Bishopville, The Rice King; and Charlotte Dixon of Orangeburg, Grandmother, Me and the Stocking Tree. For more information, contact McIntosh Book Store, 843-524-1119.