Friday, October 8, 2010

Wandering Toes

Hauled ass last weekend for a very much needed break from the usual crap I whine and moan about on a far to regular basis. Headed down to the coast and pretty much went where the urge took me, like where else would I go and do?

Right here we have a testament to one man's determination, all through the 80's a gentleman whose name I actually use to know began a project to build his own shrimp boat. On many trips going to Charleston my grandparents and I would pass this area and see his dream slowly being built. He gained some local fame when one of the Charleston television stations came out to do an interview. Unfortunately, if what I hear is true, when Hurricane Hugo blew through in 1989 it knocked the boat off its mount and for some reason the guy never had it remounted and needless to say because of that, never finish it. I do know he passed away a few years later and there the boat sits. I am curious about one thing, given the number of years that have passed and with the brutal salt air and sun the white paint should have long since faded. I figure someone may be taking care of it.

Couple of guys taking it easy fishing on the south end of Pawleys Island. If I am ever so lucky as to actually retire, a possibility that doesn't look very good right now, I can see myself doing pretty much the same on a regular basis.

At one time such fishing excursions would be all night affairs with tents and campfires. At night we would go flounder gigging which involved a six foot pole with a stainless steel trident head at the end. You would then walk the shallows in the creek dividing the island from the mainline and while shining a flashlight in the water look for the flounder hiding in the sand. Yeah, it was pretty ugly way for the fish to die but the fishermen had to deal with nearly invisible jellyfish drifting in the water and the occasional shark that swam into the creek. Everyone who ever went gigging has been stung by jellyfish, from past experience they have a tendency to somehow come up from behind in a group. After the first sting you have to be careful and not panic, if for some reason you lose your balance and stumble or even fall the followup sting can hit very vital and delicate areas. As for any shark swimming in the creek they are usually not a problem, now that does not include some redneck deciding he wants to impersonate Captain Ahab and use his gig to spear the mighty beast. That just pisses off the shark and the results are never good for the redneck.

Nice picture of a private pier on the creek side of Pawleys. Ain't nothing like sitting on one of those and watching the sunset, throw in the sounds of the marsh grass rustling in the wind you have something approaching paradise.

Back in 1984 the group I hung out with had a party on that pier a couple of days after we all graduated from high school. It was about twenty-five people in all and like all stupid kids we talked about everything we would do. You can imagine what all that entailed with wild dreams of success and fame. My own journeys soon took me away with only a brief return in the early 90's but I was gone again by 1993. Except for two people I have lost track with all those that watched that final sunset of our childhood. I know they are around, somewhere, and wonder if they remember that day like I do.

Wiggles and I began our trip home Sunday morning and stopped for the first time at the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. It has a great playground for kids and this expanse of grass that had people laying out in the sun. I could have easily laid a blanket out and napped the rest of the day.

We had planned on going into Charleston and doing some more sightseeing but Wiggles suddenly remembered a school project resulting in us hitting warp drive for the house after we were done here.

Further out is a huge pier and Wiggles and I walked it and talked with others either strolling like we were or fishing. In the distance you can see the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on permanent display at Patriots Point.

The super cute Wiggles fell in with a couple of small boys playing on the pier while their parents enjoyed the nice but windy day. Got me wondering how I would deal with her entering the teenage years, dealing with my son's insane hormone induced behavior has been hard enough and he has yet to get his driver's permit. I can't imagine how I will deal with Wiggles getting "interested" in boys and dear god, the idea of her driving sends chills down my spine already. I do know that if any boy ever hurts her I will most certainly be in deep legal trouble soon after that.

Didn't get any of the details on this statue but as you can see its either a mother or wife holding the folded American flag the next of kin receives at a military funeral. Its a nice gesture by the city but for reasons I have whined about many times before I believe an ultimately empty act. But I'm sure it brings at least some small comfort to the parents of a service man or woman that have lost their child while wearing the uniform.

Sorry about the shaky video below, didn't plan on including it but threw it in on a whim. I filmed it Saturday morning right after we arrived and was somewhat shaken by the memories that hit me as my feet sunk into that soft white sand. They say home is the place you feel most comfortable and if that is the case this place is it for me. Standing there I clearly saw many of my past experiences on those shores from building sand castles as a kid, fishing with my grandfather as the sun rises, learning to surf on my uncle's old surfboard, to walking in the ocean holding hands with old girlfriends. There are many things about South Carolina that frankly embarrasses me, but while I have been lucky enough to see and enjoy some of the world my true home will always be that island.



Ranch Chimp said...

I was just dropping by for Hell of it. But great picture's .... as far as .... this is what you live around man? Damn that look's beautiful! I hear anywayz ... that South Carolina is really a real cool place to visit and party as well! ... I only passed through there decade's ago, but spent a brief time not far in the City of Atlanta(GA) .. I live in the City of Dallas(TX) these day's. Kind of reminded me of year's back when I stayed in Houston, we would go on a few weekend's down in Seabrook (coast suburbia) and this dude we knew had a beach home, small dumpy place elevated on stilt's but cool hangout ... he laid net's and got Gulf crab and boil them in big pot, then we would get stoned, drink beer all night out on the deck over looking the Gulf, have music cranking and munch out with hot sauce covered grub! Those were the day's!

Later ....

Beach Bum said...

South Carolina is a nice place if you can force yourself ignore both the idiots and the insane which are very often one in the same.

Thanks for dropping by and come again.

okjimm said...

wow....sounds like a great trip. Swap you two acres of pine forest for some coast line? Hey...throw in a beer too.

Chef Cthulhu said...

Nice pics.

Pantyhose help for dealing with jellyfish. I learned this from my brother in law last time I visited him in Australia. We went net casting and when we got out of his truck at the beach he handed me a pair of pantyhose and said "Put these on" as he proceeded to do the same. I thought he was either a drag queen or absolutely nuts, but he swore up and down they take some of the sting out. And with the box jellyfish they have down in Queensland, that's a good thing!

Beach Bum said...

Okjimm: Throw in? Now I threw away several such empty items.

Chef: I haven't flounder gigged in years and even now given the redneck attitude and homophobia I doubt many would go that route.

Marja said...

Oh what a wonderful pictures and great to see one through a window of the past. Nice these triggers which take you back and a strange experience when your children are about to enter a simular world. They will be fine. The boys will stay away after reading your blog

B.E. Earl said...

We're headed back to SC at the end of the month. Mt. Pleasant and Charleston (with at least one day over at Folly Beach). We love it down there.

Beach Bum said...

Marja: Pawleys almost overwhelms me with things from the past. Actually I almost worry about the boys as far as my daughter is concerned.

B.E. Earl: If I am luck I will one day live in Charleston, or at least return to the coast. Have a good time, and be sure to get a bowl of she-crab soup while down here.

Pixel Peeper said...

Looks like you had a nice and relaxing weekend in Charleston. There's just something about the feel of sand in your toes, the smell of salt air, and the sound of waves to set things right.

Visited the USS Yorktown about four years ago; that was the last time I was in Charleston.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

A redneck vs. a shark, double b? That sound like a dreadful mismatch.....Only in this situation, I'll definitely be rooting for the favorite.

Beach Bum said...

Pixel: My kids and I hit the Yorktown every once and awhile, in fact I almost went that day but I hadn't ever been to the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and wanted to see it. When Wiggles remembered the class project we had to leave quickly.

Yeah, I'm not a very relgious person but I am spiritual and being alone on the beach in some way puts me in touch with God.

Will: A very early, long winded, and boring post on this blog has me writing about a redneck verus shark encounter with the rednecks running away in shame and the shark "walking" itself back into the ocean. Serious as a heart attack, I saw everything I wrote and kicked myself for not taking my camera onto the beach that morning. Heavy showers were rolling through the area and I wanted to protect my camera but I have kicked myself countless times for not taking the chance. The pictures would have been freaking awesome.

bettyl said...

Those are some great photos. Thanks for sharing a bit of your time off.

Beach Bum said...

Bettyl: Thanks for dropping by, will add you to my blogroll.

Teresa said...

Beach, I understand what water, sand and waves can do for a soul. Sometimes ya just got to bring those memories up, close your eyes, swirl them around, catch the scents and smile. Some memories you just have savor.

Oh and nix the elevator fantasy, she might call security (:

Liberality said...

Home is where the heart is. The land is not to blame for the natives that squat upon it. Happy Columbus day, OR NOT!!! :)

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Even footage of these clowns getting stung by the jellyfish would have been priceless. I have a very strong suspicion that next time, you WILL be ready.

Beach Bum said...

Teresa: Yeah, my history with Pawleys is intense and the memories can make me sound all serious and sad sometimes but like you said I'm just savoring them. I have every intention to make many more.

As for the elevator fantasy, thats just the idle and harmless musings of someone with a little too much time and imagination.

Liberality: I skipped Columbus Day, only regular Monday night football, no beer, and I had to work. As for South Carolina it is a beautiful place as long as I can't see a golf course.

Will: As far as jelly fish are concerned I have experience to write from, especially one incident while I was on my surfboard.

MRMacrum said...

You revisiting the areas of your youth was well received and understood here. Mentioning gigging brought back my memories of slogging around the mangroves in Tampa Bay as a youngster of 110 or 11 trying to spear anything that might pop up.

Your image of the marooned shrimp boat is a poignant statement on the condition of the fisheries off the Atlantic seaboard. Sadly, I see more and ore boats up here floating in seas of weeds and pucker than I have ever seen before.

I hope you came back from the weekend refreshed and not depressed.

Cloudia said...

I enjoyed this ramble! Thanks

Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Beach Bum said...

Crum: Gigging was damn good fun for the things we caught and fun trying to avoid anything that could sting or bite our asses. Saw a few small sharks but never biten but I was stung many times. You know you have a buddy when he falls into the water laughing his ass off and gets stung watching me dance around trying to avoid the jelly fish stinging me. Sorry bastard, I really need to go back to Georgetown one weekend and kick his ass-excuse me I digress.

Depressed? Nah, just wish I could have stayed longer.

lime said...

sounds like a much needed respite. sorry i am late to the show here but on a cold, blustery day this warmed me a bit so thanks.

Beach Bum said...

Lime: I know the feeling about being late, right now I have plenty of time to make comments but can't sit down for an extended period and write to save my life.

This summer was a bust for me since I wasn't able to do my normal trips down to the coast. When I finally got down there I about striped the mental gears in head trying to relax. It was a nice weekend, just wish Wiggles' school project hadn't got lost in the weekly rush forcing us to return home before walking around Charleston.

Joan Perry; Sidewalk Curator said...

I have almost exactly the same shot of the boat laying on it's side. I look for it every time I go that way.