Myrtle Beach

It was the coldest morning of the year so far, so I decided to go to the beach. I like the beach when it’s cold and dreary; the sunshine depresses me…

The last time I made the Charlotte-Myrtle Beach drive was probably in September of 1986. I was moving to Charlotte from Myrtle Beach, where I’d spent the previous four months in a state of suspended animation. The drive goes much faster now, just a little over three hours, even though seven different highways (US Routes 74, 601, 52, 76, 501, and 17 and SC Route 151) are involved. I love being back on the east coast…

I guess it was a relatively uneventful trip. I came, I drove around, I took pictures, I ate, I slept, and then I did it all again in reverse. But it did wonders for my mood. And it was fun finding places I remembered from my trips there as a child and my tenure as a semi-adult resident…

Highlights:

  • Realizing just how cheap and convenient everything is durig the off-season. I parked on the street in front of the Pavillion at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon and had an enormous $30.00 room…
  • Roaming around the Gay Dolphin and looking through the very same postcards that were on sale when I was 16. Annd buying some of them…
  • Seeing how many older motels have managed to survive the high-rise onslaught…
  • A last look at the carcass of Myrtle Square Mall before it gets bulldozed…
  • Hearing, of all obscure songs, “Hold On” by Ian Gomm while browsing for snacks in the Piggly Wiggly. The fact that you probably don’t recognize the song demonstrates how odd it was for me to have heard it there…
  • Running across this book and using it to try and get some “before and after shots” I may post some day…
  • A big mess of fried fish at Hoskins on Ocean Drive…
  • Breakfast at Dino’s Pancake House, a place I loved as a kid because I thought it was named for Dino the dinosuar…
  • My sighting of the last remaning Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken in the world…

Observations:

  • WKZQ (the definitive Myrtle Beach station of my generation) has gone from being a better than average top 40 station in the 1970s and 1980s to a better than average “new rock” station today…
  • Apparently, only old people are allowed in Myrtle Beach in November…
  • There’s a lot more commerce in the western part of town than when I lived there, including the Kroger I wanted so desperately in 1986 so I wouldn’t have to shop at Food Lion…
  • Myrtle Beach is a really nice place if you (a) don’t go there during the summer, and (b) don’t have to live there…

Pictures (click the thumbnail for a bigger version):

Yogi and the Gang

From Hartsville, South Carolina. It’s apparently the only Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken left in the world. I’d read that it was there, but had completely forgotten until I drove by it this afternoon on the way home…

Greensboro had one too. As I remember, it opened and closed within the space of about a year when I was seven or eight years old. Yogi’s was a national (or at least regional) franchise in the early 1970s, along with such other memorables as Minnie Pearl’s, Heap Big Beef, and Lum’s, home of the Ollieburger…

It’s a pity I’d already eaten today…

Yogi Bear Graveyard

It’s the Toilets, Stupid

Just for the record, I’ve decided that my first priority in buying a house is not the number of bedrooms, the size of the yard, the neighborhood, or anything of the sort. My first priority in buying a house is to find one that still has its original bathroom fixtures rather than the USELESS FUCKING LOW-FLOW TOILETS I’ve had to live with (by law) for so many years now…

Sorry. It needed to be said. And many of you were thinking the same thing, no matter how environmentally-minded you like to believe yourself to be…

Road Trip

 

I’m going to Myrtle Beach tomorrow…

Why would I do this in mid-November on the coldest weekend of the year so far?

Because I’ve been wanting to for a few months now. Because I found a room at the Red Roof Inn for about thirty bucks. Because I’m very excited about spending a freezing cold night by the sea. Because I haven’t had a chance to poke around down there all by myself in almost twenty years. Because I’m in a bit of a funk and need to get out of this apartment for a while. And pretty much just because I damned well feel like it…

Groceteria Message Board

I didn’t mention it here before, but in case anyone cares, I added a new message board over at my other site. I won’t be doing that here, mainly because pretty much no one uses the message board at this site anymore and it’s not really worth the extra effort and server load. But the new one’s pretty cool for an open source freebie

Early Morning in Charlotte

The neighborhood Wal-Mart Supercenter is strangely pleasant at 5:30 in the morning. Employees outnumber customers about two to one, there are no lines, and everyone is really friendly and says “hello” when you walk by. Actually, this being the south, they all say “hey”…

I drowned my sorrows after dropping Mark off at the airport (he’s spending another month working in San Francisco) by picking up some of those great cinammon buns that are only $1.44 for a four-pack. I also discovered that Antichrist Inc. sells its own brand of (passably good) English toasting bread…

I love roaming around town at odd hours when there’s no one else on the streets. Maybe it’s my antisocial nature, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, even though this particular morning was the coldest one of the year so far…

Mmmm. Hard freeze…