Friday, October 8, 2010
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.