Current Posts

Renato Moncini The First Artist of Space

Published in the July, 2013 online issue of fete Greenville. Unfortunately, the article is no longer available on the fete Greenville website but can be found on SCRIBD by clicking the highlighted link above.  I also typed the text and included it below, as the original copy is reproduced and difficult to read. The photos used in the original article are included so you have the opportunity to see some of Mr. Moncini’s most iconic works.

 

 

Born and raised outside Pisa, Italy, Renato Moncini by his own admission didn’t receive a great deal of formal education past high school. But when you hear the story of his life, you realize that in many cases, especially his, God given talent trumps anything from a book or classroom.

After graduating high school he attended a local vocational school and subsequently went to work for the Piaggio factory in Pontadera, Italy, welding Vespa scooters. His interest in both continues to this day. Driving in for my interview I passed through gorgeous hand welded iron gates; while parked on the back patio was a pristine blue Vespa.

At that time mandatory military service was required so Moncini joined the Italian Air Force as an engineer. Arriving in the United States in the late 1950’s as part of a cooperative air defense program between the two countries, he met and married the love of his life Faye, and decided to settle in the States after fulfilling his military obligations.

Moncini initially worked for a government contractor before being hired by NASA in 1965 as a full-time illustrator based at the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He told me, “I could barely speak English…and am so blessed for the position I was able to obtain.” Moncini’s 14 years at NASA occurred during the height of our nation’s space program, “We were on the edge of technology.” During this time he created thousands of full-color illustrations of space, shuttles, rocker launches, technological machinery and space landscapes, as well as rush jobs for emergencies like the famous, “Houston, we have a problem” Apollo 13 mission in 1970. Moncini illustrated all the Cape Canaveral rocket launches and many of his works, to this day, hang in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Relocating to Greenville to work for Fluor Daniel, Moncini retired in 1993 and now keeps himself busy with everything from gardening; he grows all his own herbs; to cooking; I left with a bag full of wonderful homemade raisin cashew biscotti; home improvements and of course drawing and painting.

On July 5th the T.L. Norris Gallery presents Renato Moncini: The First Artist of Space Exhibit. The opening meet the artist reception will be held that evening from 5:30 to 9:00PM.  Come marvel over some of America’s most iconic historical illustrations of the space race and meet in person the gentleman responsible for bringing them to life. The entire exhibit will be open to the public through July 31st.

 

What a Compliment!

8/2013 I’ve had the pleasure of doing this professionally for many years now and while I’ve gotten many compliments over those years, this is one of the most heartfelt words of praise I’ve ever received. Renato Moncini is a dear sweet humble gentleman who was a pleasure to interview and whose work captured NASA and its many space shuttle launches during the height of America’s space race. If you missed reading the piece when it was originally published in Fete Greenville, here is the Renato Moncini story.

“Dear Jay Thank you for the link to FETE, I went to Staple and print copies directly from the internet, came out beuatiful, I’m using these for a comprehensive booklet to sent to my relatives here and Italy. I was able to read for the first time the article of Lee Ann, I need to tell her that was the best i ever had , was precise and well written. I have a print foe both of you genius. if you can, come by, thanks so much.”
Renato”

 

I would love to hear your comments after reading about this amazing and interesting man.

 

 

No One Left Behind at Upstate Warrior Solution

Dedicated to helping the Upstate of South Carolina’s returning military personnel and their families, Paul Howell and his work through Upstate Warrior Solution is making a difference on so many levels. After reading my fete Greenville November 2014 article, I hope you will make a pledge to get involved. If not in this endeavor, then something else-anything else that may touch your heart. In today’s chaotic world we all should take that extra step and offer assistance to those in need.

upstate warrior solution

While writing for fete Greenville, I was given the opportunity to feature two local non-profit organizations dedicated to the Upstate’s military veterans in back to back issues. My November 2014 article was devoted to Upstate Warrior Solution and the December 2014 piece was on Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina. Interviewing Paul Howell and compiling the research for both these articles touched my heart.

There is contact information for Upstate Warrior Solution and Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina at the end of each respective article and I sincerely hope you’ll be inspired to get involved.

Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina

In all the words I’ve written over the past 25 years, these were and still are the most meaningful. Please read the December, 2014 online issue of fete Greenville and always remember, “they gave their all so we could be free.”

honor flight general
upstate sc honor flight 2

While writing for fete Greenville, I was given the opportunity to feature two local non-profit organizations dedicated to the Upstate’s military veterans in back to back issues. My November 2014 article was devoted to Upstate Warrior Solution and the December 2014 piece was on Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina. Interviewing Paul Howell and compiling the research for both these articles touched my heart.

There is contact information for Upstate Warrior Solution and Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina at the end of each respective article and I sincerely hope you’ll be inspired to get involved.

A Traditional Neighborhood

Published in Realtors’ Who’s Who East of the Cooper 2002 issue and the East Cooper Newcomers Directory 2003 Spring/Fall Edition 

Hibben is Reminiscent of a Small Southern Village 

Located in Belle Hall Plantation just minutes from I-526 in Mt. Pleasant, the community of Hibben is a peaceful respite from the stress of daily life. Reminiscent of a traditional small Southern, the streets of Hibben meander around grand oaks, saltwater marshes, community green spaces and nature preserves.

Covering more than 110 acres and overlooking the Wando River, Hibben shares community amenities, including an Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts, playgrounds and a state-of-the-art clubhouse, with the neighboring subdivisions in Belle Hall Plantation. Hibben, which eventually will include 300 homes, offers a wide variety of wooded home sites. Future phases of the subdivision will feature more than 40 marsh- or creek-view lots.

While traditional neighborhood developments are urban in theory, public opinion surveys have indicated that prospective homeowners want more green space. All home sites at Hibben are at least 10 feet wider and 10 feet deeper than lots at other traditionally designed neighborhoods.

“At Hibben we are sensitive in how our homes relate to the environment,” said Mark Regalbuto of Crescent Real Estate, which is marketing Hibben. “We want to retain as much of the natural pristine beauty as possible.”

Conceptualized as a traditional neighborhood design, Hibben’s real focus is its authenticity, balanced with affordability. Floor plans, in a variety of period styles, capture the true feeling of small-town Southern charm. While traditional neighborhood design is conducive and appealing to an eclectic, diverse grouping of people, in practice it is very expensive to develop. Most traditional neighborhood developments demand authenticity in every respect, driving up not only construction expenses but also long-term home maintenance costs.

Hibben, on the other hand, has chosen a true traditional neighborhood design but with modern construction materials to reduce costs. For example, instead of exterior wood siding, which is costly to install and maintain, Hibben uses cement fiber siding such as Hardiplank, which offers the distinctive look of wood combined with low maintenance and durability. These economics-based measures allow Hibben to adhere to architectural guidelines governing style while still providing the affordability that draws a wide variety of homeowners.

Since Hibben appeals to newlyweds, executives, young families with children and empty-nesters looking to downsize, homes vary in size from 1,400 square feet to 4,000 square foot. And at $165 a square foot, Hibben offers an affordability that is hard in find in Mt. Pleasant.

Simonini Builders, The Lantana Company, Driftwood Construction, Palladio Homes, Heyward Builders, Robert Benjamin Homes, Custom Homes of Carolina and Airlie Homes are some of the outstanding preferred builders available to help prospective homeowners with all their construction decisions.

**Author’s Note: While this article was posted on leeanncarter.net on 8/7/19, it was originally published in print sometime around 2002/2003.