Meeting the Man Who Played Dave

IMG_0653I recently met Teddy Palmer at a party in Aiken, South Carolina. During the course of our chat, we discovered that we had a mutual friend: I had written a biography of the great Southern artisan, Dave the Potter, and Teddy had played Dave in a recent film. My book is Carolina Clay; his film is Horse Creek Valley: A Tale Worth the Telling. It’s a fine documentary created by Christi and Jamie Koelker of Storyline Media.

I had tried to step into Dave’s shoes when I was writing about him. Here, at the party, I was talking to someone who had dared to take on his persona for the P1161628_2_2cameras. I said how difficult I had found it to reach across the decades and try to do such a thing. I think we decided it was ultimately impossible—but something you had to attempt. That’s what creative people do.

I asked Teddy to send me any pictures he might have of himself as Dave. He forwarded me these wonderful shots taken on location. The other actor is Juanita Palmer, Teddy’s wife, who played Dave’s wife.

Horse Creek Valley is a one-hour broadcast documentary, which covers 12,000 years of history in one extraordinary South Carolina valley. It is a 2012 Telly Award winner. Your can see clips from it at

Though I’m interviewed in the film, in the section on the Horse Creek potteries, I had never met Teddy until that night at the party. He has a new fan!P1161644

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