I End My Self Imposed Exile From My Hometown and My Homestate

My hometown newspaper wrote a long article about me in June of 2010. The reporter from the Times and Democrat talked with me at length about growing up in Orangeburg, SC and the trauma I experienced as a young teenager over the deaths of my parents and grandparents, all of whom died by the time I was sixteen. He further wrote about my feelings of isolation over being gay, which separated me from my childhood friends with whom I only recently became – happily – reacquainted with.

In addition to the scanned article, there is also a copy of the article on their website here.

Additional articles have been published about me in the Times and Democrat:

Times & Democrat Article #1

“Listening to these improbable tales made me an heir to the wonderful oral tradition which has always marked the South and southern writers. This tradition requires most everyone to talk – all the time. To be a part, you can’t just talk for 20 or 30 minutes a day about who was pregnant before marriage, etc. Anybody can do that. No, you have to be able to talk the bark off a tree. Every day. That’s why so many Southerners have turned to writing. They are trying to get away from their relatives who won’t shut up.”

Times & Democrat Article #2

An ironic twist to the story that seems tailor-made for a novelist became all too real for McCain. Just three days after signing the final proof of his book on Dec. 1, 2008, McCain was diagnosed with lymphoma. It was detected after he sought medical attention for a dental infection that made his face swell.

“My mother, who was born and raised in Orangeburg, died of cancer when I was a junior at Orangeburg High School,” McCain said. “My parents and grandparents had all died by the time I was 16. Cancer is a family enemy.

“Being diagnosed with cancer is the physical equivalent of being hit by an arrow in the chest. You can’t pull it out or forget it, and it won’t go away.”

McCain was cured following two treatments at the National Cancer Institute. He says “by the grace of God” his form of lymphoma was one for which there is a miracle drug.

“This was during an advanced clinical trial,” McCain said. “The swelling in my face was gone after the first session. The NIH does thousands of clinical trials, and this was medical care for free.”

“I would have people know that after a cancer diagnosis, where you feel completely helpless, raising money for the cancer center gives you hope. What else can you ask for?”

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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