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For reference, this was the "other guy."

Built RAM tough

Like I said, not a scratch.

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Mom always said the car had a bad blind spot

Oops.

I'd say "you should see the other guy," but his truck didn't take a scratch. Some people are lucky that way.

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A full house showed up for this evening game. We were hoping for a win. I doubt any of us were expecting a blow out. Final score: South Carolina 20, UGA 52.

South Carolina 20, UGA 52

Losing to South Carolina last year derailed our season, so it was especially delicious taking the wood to Steve Spurrier's 2015 team. That they appeared light on talent was the usual problem for USC. That they were also undisciplined was less common for a Spurrier team. Is this year an aberration, or is Spurrier losing his touch? I guess we'll find out when we meet in 2016.

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Vacation Final Day: Road Trip

Brian works for a certain giant hotel conglomerate, so we thought we'd get a great rate staying in a hotel in North Charleston. Turns out he can't specify what kind of room he wants when he travels, so they tried to stick us with smoking. We politely declined.

That meant we had to find new digs somewhere else. This apparent fiasco turned out to be a boon. If you remember the first post in this series, you'll see we couldn't have been luckier in finding a room near Dairy Land.

We began the final day of our trip exploring this picturesque small town where it turns out the Tuskegee Airmen had received their final training during World War II.

Say, there's some handsome fellow blocking my camera

There's a monument to theft behind me

Lest you think I'm just being a camera hog and that my big head is obscuring the full name of this glorious town, here's proof of what they put on their own trashcans.

In my city, the trash cans will be self-propelled

Once Brian had finally had enough of Walter taking pictures of Walter, we hit the road. We chose to take the back roads home and drove through several small towns. You see the strangest things that way. Like this sign advertising a real restaurant in Bamberg, SC:

And she's open for business

We drove through the practically deserted Blackville, SC and passed the Oliver Hardy Museum in Harlem, GA. We saw the smoldering ruin of the historic Sparta, GA courthouse that burned down mysteriously last August. Quite by accident, we found ourselves driving past Rock Hawk in Putnam County. Though both of us had visited Rock Hawk's bigger brother, Rock Eagle in Eatonton, neither of us had heard of Rock Hawk. So we dropped in for a look.

After climbing the observation tower, I'd love to tell you that I got some breathtaking pictures of an magnificent unexplained effigy, but my simple digital camera wasn't up to the task. You'd need a wide angle lens to take a picture that looks like anything other than a loose pile of rocks.

However, the Rock Hawk Effigy, Education Trails & Park contained much more than just the effigy itself. It was once the homestead of the slave-owning Little family, and they have two overgrown cemeteries hidden in the woods on the property. That was worth a brief hike through the tick-filled woods.

Grave of C.S.A. soldier Algernon Little

And that just about wraps up my vacation. I look forward to my next trip, wherever it might take me.

Seriously. Dairy Land is good

(Hopefully, it will take me back to Dairy Land.)

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Vacation Day 4: Charleston and Beaufort, SC

By day 4, Brian and I had visited almost everything we knew we wanted to see in Charleston, so we were looking for things a little off the more beaten paths. We decided to start the day by paying a visit to the only thing in Charleston that had lived through the American Revolution.

Not pictured here: its crutches

They estimate at the Angel Oak may be 400 years old. It looks it.

The thing that I wanted to do next was visit Magnolia Cemetery. Newnan's Oak Hill Cemetery is older, but Magnolia is much, much larger and, though I hate to say it, it's also much, much prettier. (What's with naming cemeteries after trees, anyway?)

Grave of C.S.A. Major Henry Edward Young, Assistant Adjutant General to Robert E. Lee

Magnolia is adjacent to a complex of cemeteries, including St. Lawrence and the Lutheran's Bethany Cemetery filled with tombstones inscribed in German. The area is full of many stunning tributes to the dead.

Grave of Thomas Alford Coffin

Monument to Edward and Laura McDowell

Mausoleum of William Smith, the rightest man in Charleston

Grave of William McLean

Crypt of James Schoolbred Gibbes, founder of the Charleston museum of art

Monument to C.S.A. Brigadier General Micah J. Jenkins

Graves of the daughters of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Grave of Benjamin Issac Simmons

Naturally, being a cemetery in Charleston, SC, it is chock full of monuments to dead Confederates. The men who died testing and running the world's first submarine to sink a ship, the H.L. Hunley, are all buried here (the ill-fated ship killed more Confederates than Yankees), as are many other C.S.A. officers, soldiers, and officials. There's even a monument to all the Germans who fought for the South.

As you can see, there are many spectacular monuments here, I couldn't stop snapping pictures. I took nearly 200. (Thank you digital camera technology!) Brian gave up trying to follow me and sat in his car playing with his smart phone. I tell you, kids today! Who'd rather look at digital pixels than fine statuary like these?

Grave of Eliza Barnwell Heyward

Grave of 3-year-old Annie Ker Aiken

This cemetery is so big, there are even duplicate monuments. All three of these angels (watching over Patrick Darcy, Ellen Turner, and Micheal Shanahan respectively) are the same statue!

In a cemetery this size, the statuary is only part of the pleasure. There are a nearly endless variety of entertaining monuments. For example, C.S.A. Captain John C. Mitchell, who died during the Yankee siege of Fort Sumter in 1864, has his last words: "I willingly give my life for South Carolina. Oh! That I could have died for Ireland!" The tombstone for Corporal Allan Jackson explains that he survived being shot at the Battle of Fredericksburg only to die of Typhoid Fever in Richmond. And don't forget such great names as Harry Brotherhood and Dr. B.A. Muckenfuss. But my favorite tombstone of all:

Grave of Leonard Talbert Owens: Be Careful!

After Brian finally dragged me from the cemeteries, we headed into downtown Charleston to visit the Charleston City Hall. Originally built as the Charleston branch of the Bank of the United States, it now houses the mayor's office and an absolutely stunning council chamber containing several original commissions of famous southerners like George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and John C. Calhoun. (Flash photography was prohibited, but I'm sure no pictures could do it justice.)

Looking for one more thing to see before turning in for the night, we drove an hour to Beaufort, SC. We got there just as the sun was setting, and barely had enough time to photograph the Hunting Island Lighthouse before they closed the park gates.

Turn out the light, the party's over

Given how little light there was, I think this picture came out really well.

One more day to document. More to come.

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Vacation Day 3: Patriots Point and Fort Sumter

Patriots Point is a museum primarily anchored by its star attraction, the USS Yorktown.

What a pretty day

Even at the rip old age of 72, she's an impressive ship. She survived World War II and lived to pull Apollo astronauts out of the sea. But she's showing her age in places: Brian got rust stains all over his white shirt while descending from her bridge.

Hey, where did those clouds come from?

The volunteer docents — all exceedingly friendly old sailors — were disappointed by our refusal to take the guided audio tour, but they agreed that we were short on time since we also planned to take the ferry to Fort Sumter. We hustled out to the flight deck and looked around as best we could in the time Brian and I had allotted ourselves. The ship is so big, it would probably take two days to explore fully.

Yes, that is definitely rain

Compared to a 20th century aircraft carrier, Fort Sumter feels tiny. Otherwise, its a good looking ruin on a man-made island in the middle of the busy Charleston Harbor. It's small size seems disproportionate to its importance in the Civil War. The big, black battery that now takes up most of the island didn't exist in 1861, so maybe Sumter had more room for whipping slaves back in the day.

Lightning does what the Union couldn't: close Fort Sumter

We were harried by rain all afternoon, and the recurring thunderstorms that washed over the harbor also kept us from seeing most of the island. The rain came in wave after wave, chasing us back to shore. The ferry ride back was a wet one.

Batten down the hatches!

Returning to Patriots Point, we toured the USS Laffey destroyer and USS Clagmore submarine before taking another shot at the Yorktown. This time we walked through the galley where we saw the Navy's super scientific recipe for Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwiches (Sandwiches No.N 014 00).

Ingredient:

  • Bread, White
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly, Grape

Method:

  1. Spread each slice of bread with 1 Tb peanut butter. Spread 1 slice bread with 1 Tb jelly. Top with second slice.
  2. Cut each sandwich in half.

Notes:

  1. in step 1, jam may be used.

And that, boys and girls, is how we won the war.

Banksy was here

More to Come.

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Vacation Days 1 & 2: Charleston, South Carolina

The first day of my vacation was mostly a travel day. We got a late start and only had time for a brief orientation drive through Charleston before they closed the bridges. ("Bridges closed for maintenance," according to the local news. Nearly the whole town shuts down at 5PM, so I guess they figured anyone not out by sundown was getting what was coming to them.)

On the recommendation of my old friend Jason, we took dinner at Ye Olde Fashioned Cafe & Ice Cream. Their chili dog was worth the drive into South Carolina. Good call, Jason.

Tuesday morning, my traveling companion, Brian, and I set out to see some old stuff in historic downtown Charleston. And we found it!

What doesn't belong in this picture? The telephone!

For all the old buildings in town, the thing that stood out most was the presence of a telephone booth. They literally don't make these like they used to.

Of course, the town is chock full of history. We started in the Charleston Museum ("oldest museum in the United States") and worked our way south down Charleston's "museum mile." We didn't spend much money on admission on the historic houses because I spent all our time in church graveyards.

Reft in Peace

Desire Peronneau does not have the best tombstone at Circular Congregational Church, just the best tombstone in a picture I took. (The best overall tombstone belongs to "The mortal part of" Mary Smith, "Who after happily exemplifying the Conjugal and Maternal virtues for upwards of 37 Years Was fuddenly arrefted by the hand of Death to the no fmall grief of her numerous Relations and Friends" in 1795.)

This is a marker, not a tombstone: no one knows where Andrew Jackson's mom is buried

Charles Town became Charleston in 1783. That didn't do much to help Mrs. Jackson, whose final resting place remains a mystery.

The Pinckney name is on every other thing in town, so it might as well be on this plaque too

Quick history: Pinckney's opposition in those presidential elections were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Obviously, Pinckney lost both times. Badly. John Rutledge remains the only man ejected forcibly from the Supreme Court. John's brother, Ed, youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, is buried in the only graveyard in town I didn't find the entrance to. I had to leave myself at least one reason to go back.

After the town closed on day 2, we trekked over to Sullivan's island to take a look at Fort Moultrie, the location of the battle that gave South Carolina its nickname and flag. But as it was after 5PM, the place was locked up tighter than a... well, a fort. Day three would give us a closer look at Charleston's military history when we took the boat to Fort Sumter.

More to come.

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I just got back from a week-long trip to Charleston, South Carolina (and the surrounding region). The highlights might not be what you'd expect.

Heaven is Dairy Land

I'll have more to say once I have a chance to pick through my photos. More to come.

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This year's home opener pitted #11 UGA against #6 South Carolina. Kickoff was at 4:30 PM, which would have been great if I didn't have a poison ivy rash on my chest. Let me tell you, 4 hours in the sun and heat with a poison ivy rash is no fun. Thankfully, watching the Dawgs beat up on the Gamecocks was more than enough fun to make up for it.

USC 30, UGA 41

I had my doubts about the new Nike font and numerals on this year's uniforms, but I have to say that it looks pretty good. (You can see the font in the end zones in the picture above.) Even better was the fact that the Georgia "G" has returned to the goal lines! After being gone for the past few years, I'm super stoked to see it return.

Hopefully this week is a sign of good things to come.

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I welcomed football season with a trip to Eastman, Georgia, to watch the football team of the school at which my brother teaches. They weren't very good, and I say that generously.

Laney 26, Dodge County 13.

The Dodge County High School Indians lost to the Lucy C. Laney High School Wildcats, 26-13. I had a very enjoyable time, despite the behavior of the children in attendance who insisted on running up and down the metal bleachers in their flip flops. It was surprisingly loud for a high school football game. Fans attending a UGA game would have been proud of the support shown by the home team.

Quite by accident on the way out of town after the game, I discovered a memorial to Mr. Angel, the first recognized Bulldog mascot of the University of Georgia. The monument was dated 2008, and a bit of research after the fact revealed that it was built only after the dog was snubbed by an official UGA mascot list snubbed the poor fellow in 2006. It's a pretty cool monument for a dog with such a silly name.

All of Georgia's mascots should be called Mr. Angel.

The next day, the Bulldog's current mascot, Russ, wisely chose to hide in his doghouse and not to show his face in Georgia's latest loss. The University of South Carolina came to town and quite simply outplayed UGA on the way to a 45-42 victory. At least the Georgia coaches aren't directly to blame for the loss. Bobo's play-calling was generally far better than usual, and the team appeared ready to play, if unable to find an answer for the superior talent of USC's Marcus Lattimore.

Walking into the game, Trey and I had a conversation with a pair of South Carolina fans who claimed to be attending their first game in Athens. They were extremely concerned about potential maltreatment by the UGA fans, who they claim have an especially bad reputation in South Carolina and throughout the SEC. I've always felt that UGA fans are unusually gracious when compared to those found in some other stadiums. But later during the game, two drunk, obnoxious Georgia fans managed to offend nearly a dozen other UGA fans sitting nearby. If we can't stand our own fans, I can't imagine that we are engendering much love outside our home field.

As you can see in the Flash file above showcasing nightfall in Athens, the field markings and stadium scoreboard have been redesigned for 2011. It's not an improvement, but it's better than the uniforms worn last week. If nothing else, the Georgia "G" needs to be returned to the goal line where it belongs. Georgia needs all the help they can get finding it.

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