Friday, March 22, 2013

Nuthin Could be Finah

Thought for the day:  Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina. One went to Hollywood and became a famous movie star, while the other one, a bit of a slacker, stayed behind in the cotton fields and never amounted to much. I guess you could say the second one was the lesser of two weevils.

palmetto trees
Okeydokey, it's time for another whirlwind tour. Up this week: the lovely little state of South Carolina, AKA the Palmetto State.

A fitting nickname, don't you think? I mean, not only are there more palmettos in  South Carolina than there are Republicans in Texas, but the tree has a certain claim to fame in the state's history, as well. As the story goes, the walls of the American fort on Sullivan Island in Charleston Harbor were built with palmetto logs. Spongy palmetto logs. How spongy, you say? During the Revolutionary War, British cannonballs allegedly bounced right off of them. Now, I'm not saying the story is true, and I'm not saying it isn't true. But you have to admit, it's an interesting tale.

Before South Carolina adopted the Palmetto nickname, it was known as the Iodine State, a rather stinging moniker that stained the state's good name. Okay, so it wasn't an awful nickname, but not nearly as pleasant as the image of palm trees swaying in the breeze, either. The state is also a big rice grower, and boasts the largest gingko farm in the world. The gingko, the oldest living tree specimen in the world, dates back 150 to 200 million years, and is actually considered a living fossil. So South Carolina folks should be happy their state motto isn't something about it being the home of living fossils. (Some senior citizens might take offense at that...)

Okay, enough chatter. Let's check out some pictures, shall we?

Fort Sumter, located in Charleston Harbor, is the historical site of the first Civil War battle.

Cowpens National Battlefield, a Revolutionary War historical site, is located in Chesnee. There, you can see some of the original settlers' cabins like this one at the left.

Not to be confused with the battlefield, there is also a Cowpens Depot and Museum located in the city of Cowpens. Housed in a 100-year-old train depot, this museum is a showplace for relics belonging to the crew of the U.S.S. Cowpens, a WWII aircraft carrier.


This is an 1860's artist's sketch of the Confederacy's submarine the Hunley, which was discovered and raised from her watery grave in 2000. She is now preserved in a 90,000-gallon tank in Charleston's Hunley Museum, where you can also see numerous artifacts and learn all about this fascinating 40-foot craft and the men who served as her crew.

But South Carolina isn't all about military war. No sirree, it's also about a war of... peaches. Although South Carolina is the largest producer of peaches in the country, Georgia had the temerity to call itself the Peach State. No problem. Gaffney, South Carolina built the Peachoid, a water tower that looks like a giant peach. This distinctive landmark, clearly visible from the Interstate, delivers a silent non-combatant message, as it stands proudly in the midst of miles and miles of  peach groves and stands offering everything peachy for sale. (And yes, Georgia also has a peachy water tower, but not on the Interstate.)



Depicted in this life-size weather vane atop the 1886 Opera House in Camden is a noble Catawba Indian named King Haigler. He's known as the patron saint of Camden because of the way he befriended and helped early settlers in the area.


The Grand Strand is an exquisite arc of beach lands that stretches more than sixty miles. Pictured at left is Myrtle Beach, one of the many popular vacation destinations along the coast. This part of the state brings to mind such things as sea oats, sandpipers, boating, fishing, crabbing, seafood, beach music and boardwalks. Places where you can have fun in a crowd, or enjoy a secluded walk on the beach at sunrise.

Oh, and along with beach music, we can't forget to mention the shag, the official state dance. This swing dance originated in South Carolina in the '20s, and is still wildly popular today. In some ways, it's very similar to the jitterbug, but ... smoooooother. Wanta see?





The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame can be found in Aiken, South Carolina.






Irmo's Lake Murray looks lovely, doesn't it? Hiding beneath its tranquil surface may dwell a mysterious monster. Its first reported sighting came in 1973, and every few years since, numerous additional sightings have been reported. Invariably described as a cross between an enormous snake and a prehistoric monster, it sounds like a cousin to the famous Nessie.


One more short video before we move on to check out some of the nutso laws, okay? Fountain Head, South Carolina's most famous native son is Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates. He lost his leg in a cotton gin accident at the age of twelve, but that didn't stop him. He went on to become a famous dancer, who appeared on Ed Sullivan's show many times. Here's a peek at him in action:


If you'd like to get a real feel for South Carolina, I suggest you read some of Pat Conroy's books. Not only will you fall in love with his writing and stories, you just may become a little enamored with the state itself. Walking the streets of Charleston in the late afternoons of August was like walking through gauze or inhaling damaged silk. [Pat Conroy]

Okay, ready to check out some of those cockamamie laws still hanging out on the books in South Carolina?


  • By law, if a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, the marriage must take place. (Um, suppose he is already married?)
  • Railroad companies may be held liable for scaring horses.
  • Fortune tellers must obtain a special permit from the state.
  • Dance halls may not open on Sundays, and no work may be done on Sundays, but it is legal for a man to beat his wife on the courthouse steps on a Sunday. (Don't lift a finger on the Sabbath, unless it's to keep the little woman in line?)
  • Musical instruments may not be sold on Sundays, but light bulbs can. (Ah-HA! I see de light!)
  • It's against the law to perform a U-turn within one thousand feet of an intersection.
  • It's considered an offense to get a tattoo. (Well, yeah, some of them are pretty offensive.)
  • Horses may not be kept in bathtubs. (What the hay?)
  • It's only legal to fire a missile if you get a permit. (All righty then.)
  • Every adult male must bring a rifle to church on Sunday to ward off Indian attacks. (Believe it or not, a similar law is being considered by our state politicians right now.)
  • It's a capital offense to accidentally kill someone while attempting suicide. (Oopsie.)
  • Watch out! In Charleston, the fire department is allowed to blow up your house.
  • In Clemson,  lifeguards must be present at apartment complex pools, but um... only after 11:00 P.M. 
  • Also, bitches in heat must be confined. (Can they have gentlemen callers?)
  • In Fountain Inn, horses must wear pants at all times. 
  • In Greenville, the drinking age on Furman University campus is sixty.
  • In Lancaster county, it's illegal to dance in public.
  • And finally, in Spartanburg, it's against the law to eat watermelon in the Magnolia Street cemetery.
Ordinarily, this is where I'd tell you it's time for (ta-DA!) The Weirdest News Stories of the Week, but not this time. This is the final week for Suze's Tiny Harmonies haiku challenge, so I'm gonna end this post with that. She didn't provide a picture to go along with her themes this time, so I'll pick my own. Three themes to choose from this week, too: quench, the real, and loam.  Or, do all three... Okay, let's see what I've got:

This tiny otter is harmoniously quenching HIS thirst. 
From cradle to grave,
The wise man's thirst for wisdom
Will never be quenched.
***
Anyone know me?
Not the aging shell you see—
The real soul I am.
***
Dirt, dark as coffee,
Sweet verdant stubble of spring:
Rain-blessed scents of life.



How about you? Care to try your hand at writing a haiku as part of your comment? The basic formula is three lines consisting of five, seven, and then another five syllables. (Watch out! It's addictive!) Thanks, Suze.

                                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

104 comments:

  1. Wow, what a post - beautiful, informative and then finishing with a very, very cute otter and your awe-inspiring haiku. (Just call me a wimp, I am not ready to comment in haiku - and may never be.)

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it, but don't count writing a haiku out yet. I didn't even think I liked them, let alone have any interest in writing one. What can I say? I was wrong.

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  2. I'd love to learn how to 'shag' like that (even at my age)!! And ain't that peg-leg wonderful.

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    1. Go for it! The shag is totally smooth, and isn't nearly as hard on the body as some of the old jitterbug moves. And yes, "Peg Leg" was pretty amazing. Always upbeat, too.

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  3. When my family watched the film, "Amelie", we saw some footage of Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates talking and dancing along. Norma and I remembered him from the Sullivan show and decided every generation needs to learn about him. Thanks for including him in your wonderful SC post!

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    1. Oh, cool that you and Norma remember seeing "Peg Leg" on Ed Sullivan's really good shew. I never saw the movie "Amelie", but I certainly remember seeing him on TV.

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    2. "Amelie" is my favorite French movie.

      Love,
      Janie

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  4. What? South carolina has some wackedy wack laws!! Love the pics and the small otter...smiles all around!

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    1. I'm thinking EVERY state has some wackedy wack laws. Glad ya liked the pics. A big smile back atcha.

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  5. Those laws are crazy for sure.
    That settlers cottage looks so tiny!
    Hard to imagine an entire family living in there.
    It's more like something people these days would build as a cubby house for the kids.

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    1. Cottages used to be a LOT smaller than what we see these days, weren't they? Many of them were "open concept", too, with no inner walls, and in many cases, the whole family shared a single bed. Nowadays, in a lot of families, nobody even wants to share a bathroom.

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  6. Crazy laws on those books.I guess they don't allow anything on Sunday. And I didn't know SC had more peaches than GA. Thanks for that.

    Love the haikus. Really nice job.

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    1. No they allow SOME things on Sunday... like it's okay for a man to beat his wife on the courthouse steps on a Sunday!

      South Carolina also has the best tasting peaches, as far as I'm concerned. We drive up there just to get baskets of peaches.

      Thank yew... so glad you like haiku.

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  7. Loved the haikus.

    I've only driven through SC on the way to NC. I guess I should stop and see the sights some time. The photo of Myrtle Beach was stunning.

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    1. Depending on when you next drive through South Carolina, I'd recommend that you stop and buy a basket of peaches, too!

      Myrtle Beach is stunning. But it's a lot more crowded there now than what it used to be when we used to take the kids there for vacation.

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  8. The otter is cute,
    Greedily quenching its thirst,
    Standing tall, reaching.

    Ha. It is obviously too early for me to attempt a haiku. I do have a funny limerick about South Carolina, though ... nah, better not. ;)

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    1. YAY! Good job! Fun, too, wasn't it?

      I must admit, I have a weakness for limericks, too...

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  9. Wow now those are some seriously random laws. I wonder if they ever enforce them? I read somewhere recently some of Kentucky's (where I live) obscure laws but I must admit that SC's laws take the cake :)

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    1. So far, in all the states I've covered to this point, they ALL have bizarre laws laying around on their books. Unenforced, of course... although why they don't simply remove them is beyond me. (Someone told me there's an unofficial competition between the states as to who has the weirdest laws.)

      KY has some weirdos, too. Like, would you believe it's illegal for pigeons to fly over Bellevue? I mean, that's just plain silly. What harm is "flying over"? They oughta make it illegal for them to, um, "bomb" the city as they fly over.

      (If you wanta see the KY post, it was written 12/16/11, and is titled "Smiley Pete and the Amazing Dog Poo Lottery.")

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  10. Oh, that otter is so cute!

    I've been to Charleston. LOVED it. Me and the hubby literally ATE out way thru that city. Best food I ever had!

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    1. Isn't he a cutie?

      Yes, there's definitely some good food there, especially if you like seafood.

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  11. I'd break a hip doing that dance
    The cat just runs around and does a little prance
    That is one big arse peach too
    And if you mess with anyone there that arrow may hit you in the gazoo haha

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    1. Oh, no, it's in the bag!
      Anyone can do the shag.
      Just pretend your name is Elvis,
      And real smooth-like, swivel your pelvis.
      That's it! Now, cut a rug!
      Act like your feet are squishing a bug.
      Spin around, and keep your knees real loose,
      And wobble your head like a long-necked goose...
      Oh, yeah... that's the shag!

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  12. I love your haiku, very visceral and vibrant.
    South Carolina sounds different than I remember it as a boy. I must travel back there and become reacquainted.

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    1. Thank you!

      I doubt if anyplace is the same as what we remember from childhood. The years have a way of overgrowing our memories.

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  13. I'm with Laoch, Sus. I love your haiku, too. The second especially, I think, but the the last one I can almost smell and that smell is a really nice one.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked them. (You changed your image again!)

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  14. Nothing as thick as August air at noon in Surfside.

    In the mornings of my boyhood, I would awaken to the sound of "boomers" - the big offshore waves making their way ashore after a storm had passed out at sea.

    Glorious part of the world as a child. Sugar sand beaches. Hickory nuts. Grapes growing wild in the woods. Live oaks. Dogwoods.

    Don't play with the Spanish Moss. You'll get redbugs.

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    1. I dunno... the summer air's pretty thick here in Georgia, too. Ditto in Maryland, where the humidity's so high, it feels like you're breathing underwater.

      Beautiful boyhood memories, but your warning about the moss is quite a few years too late. I had to learn the hard way.

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  15. The Peachoid is featured in the new Netflix series, "House of Cards." Fair warning: it's not exactly regarded reverently.

    I like your haiku, especially the third one. I love springtime in the South - every bid as rewarding as autumn in New England, and just as painfully short.

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    1. Horrors! You mean the South Carolina folks don't think their Peachoid is just peachy?

      Thanks. I love spring, too, and with all of its flowers and trees, think Atlanta is one of the prettiest places in the world in springtime. (If you don't mind shoveling pollen.) But you're right; it seems like most years, we rush through a couple weeks of moderate temperatures, and then jump right into summer.

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    2. That was supposed to say every bit, not bid. My mind was definitely elsewhere at 10:22 this morn.

      I grew up in the DC area - same story with spring. It's wonderful, but you know there's a price to pay!

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    3. I grew up in Baltimore, (county) so D.C. wasn't all that far away, and when I was at University of MD, we spent quite a few weekends in D.C. and Georgetown. There was a great little coffeehouse in G'town we especially liked. Poetry and open mikes... and spoons tapping on coffee mugs instead of clapping. (Coffee with ice cream in it, even!) But that was back in the Dark Ages.

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    4. Always pleased to find a fellow Marylander! I'm from Montgomery County.

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  16. Great post and here I always thought Georgia had a lock on the peaches :)

    Love those pictures, too. I've never been to Fort Sumter, but it looks like a great place to check out.

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    1. It's kinda funny. Georgia peaches are sometimes easier to find in Maryland grocery stores than they are here in Georgia. And as much as I do love Georgia peaches, I've gotta admit: South Carolina's are better.

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  17. Twelve Thirty Four comes
    And with it my real true friend
    Her gift at day's end

    Mwah! xox Skippy

    [Medicated and caffeinated, I think I hit that one out of the park! heehee Actually, I am surprised I can type most days. ::wink:: Love ya!]

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    1. Awwww, that's the sweetest haiku ever! I LOVE it. Thank you.

      Mwah! Happy weekend, kiddo. 12:34

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  18. PS - I love the "grown up" Tadpole as your header. Cute. Although I do love me some Mrs. Spud.

    Have a great weekend.

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  19. "...Iodine State, a rather stinging moniker that stained the state's good name." Loved that!

    I've been to Charleston and the little towns on down the southern coast from there. Loved it all!

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    1. Ah, a fellow punster, eh? Nice to know I'm not the only one with a cornball sense of humor.

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  20. Well I've got two feet and I certainly can't move like ol Pegleg.

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    1. Yeah, you and me both. I would seriously hurt myself if I tried to dance like him.

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  21. I liked your joke. lol

    Iodine is not a great nickname. Palmetto is much better.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Always glad to make ya laugh.

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  22. Hi Susan .. Peg Legs puts us to shame .. lucky chap that he was able to dance without injuring that leg ..

    You do come up with the most amazing stories .. the Palmetto one re the cannon balls did amuse me when I read it .. and I wonder?! One day I'll get a chance to try your peaches ..

    Cheers and Haiku is off - sorry! ... Hilary

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    1. Peg Leg is something else, isn't he? I don't think he considered that missing leg to be a handicap at all.

      As for the cannonballs bouncing off those palmetto logs, something tells me the British take on that story might vary a wee bit.

      Cheers, Hilary. Have a super weekend.

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  23. shag means something VERY DIFFERENT in the UK

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    1. Well, um, there's a dance, and there's a... "dance". (The hip action's similar...)

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  24. I would love to haiku you, but I can't. I gave in and took a pain pill. I love the guy dancing with whatever his leg was made from. Pat Conroy and I have been having a torrid affair since I met him a couple of years ago and he invited me to his hotel room to read poetry (don't tell Mrs. Conroy). I don't know if I've been to South Carolina. I think not, but maybe I was asleep or The Hurricane was carsick or it made no impression on me. I realize my behavior today is quite shocking, and I apologize for not knowing where I've been and I'm not really sure where I am now.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Uh-oh, sorry you had to take a pain pill, but if ya needed it, I'm glad you had it to take. (Does that make sense? And I'm NOT on pain meds...)

      Okay, I'll give ya a pass on the haiku for now. Maybe next time. Happy weekend.

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  25. Susan, you crack me UP!! :oD I don't even know where to begin. But it does occur to me that those horses who have to wear pants should later be allowed in a bath tub.

    Oh, the haiku is a treat as well.

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    1. Thanks. I LOVE to crack people up! And funny, but I was thinking the same thing about those horses...

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  26. I loved the video of the shag, although the name brings something other than dance to mind..

    and I want that baby otter. He's freaking cute as hell!

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    1. Why, Miss Marcy! I nevah! (Well, maybe a time or two...)

      That baby otter is adorable, but he probably smells like rotten fish. Just saying...

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  27. I've been to South Carolina but admittedly know nothing about it. I like the photos. I wouldn't mind living in that old "original settler's cabin" and have that gigantic peach in my front yard. Who knows, I might even learn to do the shag.........but I won't try to shag in Lancaster County.....

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    1. One thing for sure. I think you'd be more suited to life in South Carolina than you are to the windy dustbowl where you're living now. (And you could definitely eat all the peaches your little heart desired and llearn to shag there!

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  28. I think every state must have, still on the books, some very random laws ! But I think if the horse has to wear pants he darn well should be able to have a bath if he wants.

    Great haiku, I am going to miss reading every ones. They are all so very different and most interesting.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Durn tootin'! I was thinking the same thing about those horses. And you're right about the laws. Of all the states I've covered so far, (I'm working in alphabetical order) they've ALL had some real lulus.

      Thanks. I'm glad you liked the haiku. Much to my surprise, I've enjoyed reading and writing them, too. I only participated to support Suze, but in the process, discovered that I actually like the format. A LOT. Maybe she (or somebody else) will kick off another haiku challenge. (Maybe... you?)

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  29. Susan,
    Love this post. Carolinas were some fond memories for dancing when I lived in Florida. Drinking age 60... that's a hoot.
    The Shag was the forerunner of West Coast Swing. I took lessons from some of the old guys who started it (only they were young then, come to think about it.) The big diff was the Shag swiveled the feet and WCS you stepped out with the heel lead. Oh yes, fun days.
    Well, you little "Georgah Peach" see ya lattah.

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    1. That drinking age of sixty cracked me up, too. I reckon that cuts down on most of the undergraduate drinking, huh? (But the profs might come to class a little tipsy.)

      I'm so glad you stopped by to see this post. I just KNEW you were a shag dancer! That swivel looks sooooo smooth, and I could just imagine you showing 'em how.

      Technically, I'm a "transplant", so even though I've been living in Georgia for more than forty years, I'm still a Maryland crab at heart...

      Happy weekend.

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  30. I lived in South Carolina for seven years and did not know that it once was nicknamed the "Iodine State." Shame on me!

    I still miss South Carolina and do go back occasionally to visit, especially since I have a very cute granddaughter (well, along with my son and daughter-in-law) living near Greenville.

    We lived near Columbia, and regarding the summers in Columbia, someone described it this way: There's nothing between Columbia, South Carolina, in the summer and hell but an open screen door.

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    1. I love that description of Columbia summers. Sounds a lot like Atlanta. Not to mention where you're living now.

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  31. I do love Charleston and all its history. The food is really good also. However, what I like about it the most is its friendliness. You can't beat southern charm.

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    1. There is a certain something about Southern charm, but ya know what? I think people have a tendency to be friendly just about everywhere, given the opportunity. They might not be used to initiating it, but most will respond in kind. (Or look at you as though you had two heads. Some places, it's a toss-up.)

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  32. You've done it again
    So much fun in one posting!
    Yammy Fridays rock!

    I absolutely love this one though. Any time you put dances in, I'm a goner. I never ever heard of the Carolina Shag. My Stepdad was an Arthur Murray (remember them?) instructor and he taught us all the usual moves- now I'll wonder if he knew this one and never taught us. It sure is one I'd want to have known. Thanks Susan. I could watch that forever!

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    1. HA! You DID it! Great haiku, kiddo.

      Neat-o that your dad was a Arthur Murray instructor. I reckon that means you're some kinda terrific dancer. Maybe he didn't teach y'all the shag because he didn't consider it to be a "classic" dance? Dunno. But it sure is fun, and there are still shag contests throughout the southeast (maybe other areas, too... not sure) every year.

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  33. I love log cabins. I've seen them during my travels, but never in Florida.

    That huge peach is awesome.

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    1. I love looking at log cabins, but not so much actually staying in one. We stayed in a 100+ year old cabin in the mountains one time. Once was enough. Teeny tiny rooms, and the narrowest steps you've ever seen leading up to the sleeping loft... where the bed was so small, even MY feet hung over the edge. Ants everywhere. And an antique stove to cook on in the kitchen, as well. It was an interesting experience, but not one I'd care to repeat.

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  34. Part 1 Of 2:

    SUSAN ~

    I really enjoyed this post; it brought back some great memories.

    >> . . . The state is also a big rice grower, and boasts the largest gingko farm in the world. The gingko, the oldest living tree specimen in the world, dates back 150 to 200 million years, and is actually considered a living fossil.

    I think I once knew that but “forgot” about it.
    [Get the pun?]

    I was all prepared to give you grief about how you could mention South Carolina without mentioning ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and “Mayberry”, but then I remembered (thank you, Gingko!) that would be NORTH, not SOUTH, Carolina. So you’re off the hook… but if you ever do a post about N.C., you bettah remember (think: Gingko).

    >> . . . Pictured at left is Myrtle Beach, one of the many popular vacation destinations along the coast. This part of the state brings to mind such things as sea oats, sandpipers, boating, fishing, crabbing, seafood, beach music and boardwalks.

    Actually, the very first thing it brings to MY mind is Miniature Golf Courses. On a coast-to-coast (New York City to Los Angeles) road trip I took with my artist buddy Eric in 1983, we drove down the Eastern Seaboard, passing through Myrtle Beach. I had never seen so many Miniature Golf Courses in my life! I later learned that Myrtle Beach was (maybe still is) the Miniature Golf Course capital of the world.

    You mentioned Charleston… every time Charleston is mentioned I want to kick my own a##!

    There used to be an attraction in Disneyland’s ‘Tomorrowland’ - a theatre called Circle-Vision 360 - where for free, you could watch a movie “in the round” titled ‘America The Beautiful’. It was fantastic; one of the best things I’ve ever seen. I never went to Disneyland without watching ‘America The Beautiful’ at some point in the day.

    The site below (see the URL) records every bit of dialogue and music from the movie, which is simply incredible!

    http://dldhistory.com/2k11attract.asp?Page=3&Ident=436&PicPage=1&Filter=Spiel

    I loved the ENTIRE movie, but there was one short piece of it that was my absolute favorite:

    [music: "Swanee River"]
    “Now a journey into yesterday. A lovely setting outside Charleston, South Carolina, where the city actually had its beginning long ago.”


    At that point, we were seeing a gorgeous little river with weeping willows and tall green reeds growing all around. I thought it was the most beautiful scene I’d ever viewed (and it still is to this day, possibly matched only by Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park).

    During that same 1983 road trip with my artist friend Eric, we drove into Charleston and stopped briefly, took a picture of our VW Bug on an old street, then headed on down South. It was only a few years later that I was reminded that the “Swanee River” scene in ‘America The Beautiful’ had been filmed just outside Charleston, S.C. I have never stopped kicking my own a## for not remembering, locating, and visiting that site in ’83. (I know I’ll never get back there again.)

    Kinda like my story about having missed ‘The Oregon Vortex’, huh? I was there yet missed it. Uhp! I’m an idiot!

    Continued Below...

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    1. Yeah, I get your pun! Reminds me of what my hubby and I say when Alex Trebeck calls something "memorable". It can't be all that memorable if we don't REMEMBER it.

      I've been covering the states in alphabetical order, so I already did North Carolina. Don't remember if I mentioned Andy Griffith or not, though. (Guess I need some more of that gingko stuff.)

      Ah, yes, miniature golf. We played many a game of miniature golf there, for sure. And went to a bunch of all-you-can-eat seafood buffets, too. We allowed each of our kids to invite a friend to come to the beach with us, so one year we had four teenage boys with us, two of whom were on the high school football team. Those boys could EAT! The girls weren't bottomless pits like the boys were, but honest to goodness, the boys ate so much, it's a wonder we didn't get tossed out of the restaurants.

      As far as missing out on visiting that spot in Charleston, think of it this way. You have the image of it at its best from the movie. The reality might leave a little bit to be desired. I mean, how awful would it be to see a fast food restaurant sitting in that spot now?

      Now, as to the vortex? Um, I got nothing. You shoulda gone to see that one, dude...

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    2. SUSAN ~
      It sounds like you're saying you lived in South Carolina. That right?

      Regarding the spot just outside Charleston: I believe I may have located it on a map once years ago, and it was like a state park or some sort of protected 'historical' area (can't recall the name now), so there's a high likelihood it would look pretty much the same today, sans a fast food restaurant. So... yeah... still kicking my own a##.

      I wrote that there was a "river" there, but that was a wrong word choice. More like a "lazy stream". The scene was not unlike this:

      http://img13.imageshost.ru/img/2012/04/17/image_4f8d1d9311b9a.jpg

      Andy Griffith grew up in a very small town in North Carolina called Mt. Airy, which became the basis for his vision of Mayberry. My Brother and I are such fans of the show (the black & white episodes with Don Knotts) that we even made a trip to Mt. Airy once.

      Would you mind providing me with the URL to the blog bit you did 'bout Californy? (I looked at the sidebar but didn't see a link.) Thanks!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Undrground'

      Delete
    3. Oops, almost missed this one.

      No, we never lived in South Carolina, but Myrtle Beach was a good place to go on vacation when our kids were growing up... there, and Panama City. (FL)

      We've been through Mt. Airy before, while driving from here up to Maryland. Pretty neat. Maybe one one of these days, we'll stop there and look around. If I remember right, there was an Aunt Bea's diner or restaurant of some kind.

      As soon as I come up with the info on the California post, I'll letcha know.

      Delete
    4. Got it!

      http://susan-swiderski.blogspot.com/2011/08/mellow-baby-mellow.html

      ta-DA!

      Delete
  35. Part 2 Of 2:

    However, one place in the Disney movie ‘America The Beautiful’ that I DIDN’T miss was this:

    “A different mood in a different town: a wild ride of hook and ladder company through the streets of Los Angeles.”

    That was so cool! They had mounted a camera on the back end of a hook and ladder fire truck, and as it swung around a corner in L.A.’s ‘Westwood Village’ the viewer, standing in the theatre, REALLY felt like they were toppling over sideways! (There were a few “effects” like that in the movie, but the “hook and ladder” one was the most pronounced!

    I knew EXACTLY where that scene had been filmed because I was born in ‘Westwood Village’ (at the UCLA Medical Center), I used to try to pick up girls in the Village during my teenage years, and I later worked at UCLA for 8+ years.

    In fact, by the grace of God, I was fortunate to have eventually been able to personally visit a fair number of the places recorded in the Circle-Vision 360 ‘America The Beautiful’ movie. (Heck, I was even in Charleston once, but it was before I knew about Gingko.)

    From cradle to grave,
    The wise man's thirst for wisdom
    Will never be quenched.
    ***
    Anyone know me?
    Not the aging shell you see—
    The real soul I am.
    ***
    Dirt, dark as coffee,
    Sweet verdant stubble of spring:
    Rain-blessed scents of life.


    Hokey-Smoke, Susan! When it comes to Haiku, you REALLY have a “gift”! I have written a little Haiku myself, just goofing around, but YOU— yours is serious “art”! I had read some other Haiku you’d posted on this blog previously and thought maybe you had just gotten “lucky”, but that’s B.S.! You have a fantastic gift when it comes to Haiku and you could publish and sell books of it.

    I’m TOTALLY serious! You write the best Haiku I have ever read. Forget the YA SciFi/Fantasy (or whatever you’re working on – I just guessed YA SF/F because it seems EVERY woman in America is trying to write that crap today) and concentrate on the Haiku… it’s 4 U!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, a two-part response! I feel honored.

      That movie must be marvelous to evoke so much enthusiasm from you. Not that you aren't naturally ebullient by nature, mind you, but you usually keep it more, um, under wraps, shall we say. Seriously, it's really nice to see you so upbeat about something you enjoyed so much. (Watch out! Keep it up, and you might actually feel a twitch of optimism stirring!)

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my haiku. It isn't something I ever dabbled in before, because, quite frankly, I didn't think I cared for it. But I was wrong. It's really fun to try to capture thoughts in such a succinct format. Not ready to throw away my book in favor of writing haiku, though. (I mean, who would buy THAT? How many copies YOU want?)

      My novel isn't YA, Sci-Fi, OR fantasy. More mainstream slice-of-life stuff. I considered it to be women's lit bordering on literary, but the handful of men who insisted on reading it all claim to love it, too. Taking that with a grain of salt, though. Not sure if they really liked the book, or simply like ME.

      Anyhow, thanks for your thoughtful comment. It feels like I just enjoyed a good chat with a friend.

      Delete
    2. >> . . . Watch out! Keep it up, and you might actually feel a twitch of optimism stirring!

      Thanks for the reality check.
      (I had forgotten to take my meds.)

      In all seriousness, I WOULD buy a book of your Haiku. Maybe even two (one to send as a gift).

      For Christmas, a nice friend of mine gave me a book of Haiku written by a guy who is very famous for that poetic form. Yours is better... BY FAR! (Think about that.)

      Very, very glad to hear that you are the only woman wannabe writer alive today who is not writing YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy. That means the only competition your writing has is YOU. However, you might want to include at least a couple vampires and/or zombies, just to make certain you secure a publication deal.

      More than once, Arlee Bird of 'Tossing It Out' has kindly said openly on his blog that he appreciates me for having inspired him to think of a blog's comment section as more of discussion place than a comment section.

      I know most bloggers probably just want little "Atta Boy" comments submitted to their blogs, but even my shorter "Atta Boy" comments are often longer than most people's longer comments. It must just be an effect of my joyful worldview and love of life, eh?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Thanks. I'll keep your haiku book idea in mind, but don't hold your breath. And nope, no zombies or vampires are gonna crash my book. Just not my thing.

      I, too, like the idea of the comment section being used for interaction. That's why I always respond to comments. (Those attaboy comments don't breed much in the way of interaction, though. I mean, what ya gonna say. Um... thanks?)

      And yes, indeed, I'm sure that under that crusty cynical exterior beats a heart of gold... that (gasp!) enjoys life.

      Delete
  36. I'm afraid you probably don't want to see my attempts at poetry :) There's a reason I stick to prose, lol! Okay, so why was S. Carolina known as the iodine state? I'm totally curious now. And I am really wanting to see this gingko farm--my favorite tree, and I love them in the fall. Plus, beaches... Great post, and love the laws (and the otter--too cute!).


    Also, thank you a MILLION times over for the lovely review on Amazon--I can't tell you how much that means to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, your prose is good enough, no need to worry about trying poetry.

      South Carolina was called the Iodine State because vegetables grown there contain such a high percentage of iodine. Probably something to do with the soil.

      My pleasure. I truly loved your book. It totally took me outside the box where my usual reading material lies, but that just means I need to build a bigger box!

      Delete
  37. I kept highlighting things to comment on in this post. Alas, there were too many. Enjoyed the post, Susan. As always, I love your sense of humor. :)

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  38. Susan, how y'all doing? Don't worry and I shall keep my comment mercifully short. And none of that silly rhyming by me or the fantastic stuff that Penny does.

    You know what, your articles are always full of it. Full of interesting and amusing facts. I'm learning so much more about the U.S. of A. thanks to you.

    I reckon that South Carolina is south of North Carolina. And yes vice versa. Have a lovely Sunday.

    Penny's human,

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Gary. Doing fine here. I hope you and Penny are, too. Believe it or not, you're not the first to tell me I'm "full of it"... HA!

      Take care.

      Delete
  39. That last haiku should be in the dictionary when you look up "loam." Nice!

    Your second one is how I feel when I log onto facebook... which is getting to be a less frequent occurrence. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear sir.

      Yeah, I don't go onto FB very often, either. Just another hole to throw time into.

      Delete
  40. Wow! and I thought Romania's having wierd laws!

    great pics, Susan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of the states have some archaic laws on their books, but luckily, they're just hanging around. (They aren't enforced.)

      Thanks so much for signing on as a new follower. Welcome aboard!

      Delete
  41. Wow Susan you sure pack a lot into your incredible posts- this is better than the travel channel- lol!! We love Charleston- have been wanting to go back there--I was there when they raised the Hunley-- what an incredible piece of history!

    Thanks for your visits and comments-- you mean the world to me!

    Vicki

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    Replies
    1. Oh, how neat that you were in Charleston when the Hunley was raised! We watched it on TV, but that couldn't possibly have been as exciting as being there in person. And YOU, my dear, are the REAL Blogosphere's "Travel Channel". Good to hear from you again.

      Delete
  42. Hi Susan! Another wonderful and very informative post. I learned so much about So. Carolina and hope that I can visit there someday. It is beautiful. I loved the videos and the list of laws too.

    I haven't done a Haiku since junior high, but I'll give it a try very soon. Thanks so much for stopping by and saying nice things about me getting my new job!

    Kathy M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      You're such a creative sort, I wouldn't be surprised if you had those 3-year-olds composing haiku!

      Delete
  43. the Peachoid

    Don't know if you have Netflix but the Peachoid played a huge part in an episode of the Netflix original show called "House of Cards."

    As for Charleston it is, in my ever humble opinion the one redeeming aspect of the overly large asylum called South Carolina. I can write such things since I live there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, we don't have Netflix, but somebody else commented about the Peachoid being featured in that show. We used to go to a big hamfest in Shelby every year, and a bunch of hams stayed at a Holiday Inn right there at that peachy exit in Gaffney.

      Well, I'm glad Charleston redeems the state for you. It really IS beautiful there, and I'd love to go back someday to see the Hunley in person.

      Delete
  44. I loved reading this post Susan. Wonderful, interesting and informative! Thanks for sharing!

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  45. Awesome post, Susan. Especially pertinent since we've been talking about visiting Charleston since we moved to Atlanta from the West Coast three years ago. Yeah, I know it's only three hundred miles away, but it took us two years just to get to Savannah. :)

    ~VR Barkowski

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      Charleston is definitely worth the trip... but I really love Savannah, too. And Jekyll Island... and Sea Island... and Tybee Island. Good beaches, and good seafood.

      Delete
  46. Need to complain. These posts are too entertaining, and I'm worn out now! Not such a terrible complaint really! Loved the last haiku best :-)

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  47. I would love to visit Charleston. Horses should wear pants, and now that you mention it, it wouldn't be a bad idea for those uncontrollable birds too! Loved all of your Haikus Susan! Since you asked, I remember one that I wrote in junior high. Mine does not compare with yours.
    He walked through the desert
    His voice penetrates through you
    A man with much charm.

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    Replies
    1. Charleston is really beautiful... with all the old Southern mansions, huge trees dripping with Spanish moss, and old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage rides through town. Very romantic. (AND they've got seafood!)

      Thanks. Glad ya liked the haiku. Not something I've had any experience with before, but it was fun to dabble in them. Your haiku is loverly, and I'm really impressed you can remember it from junior high days. Makes me wonder who the poem is about... It makes me think of Jesus.

      Delete
  48. What an unusual lot of animal paintings. You obviously enjoy painting them. Lots of animal paintings can be browsed at wahooart.com who supplies canvas prints from the images. How about this one?: by Archibald Thorburn, a Scottish bird artist, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8DP2A6, of a Great Auk.

    ReplyDelete