Not bad for a smartphone snap from a moving vehicle, huh?
Still LOVE this church. Okay, so it has taken the JurassiGoth three weeks, but she’s now getting around to her South Kakilaki trip.
First, getting to see some VIPJs (Very Important People to the JurassiGoth) was the best part. Due to overestimation of how quickly one could recover from 2 and 1/2 years of unemployment and underestimation of the ability of gas prices to know no ceiling, it took 7 months of being back on the (B)East Coast before I could make the trip.
So glad I took a stand against boss and family and made the trip. It was great to see the peeps that were able to carve out the time. For those that were not, never fear. I shall return, and y’all are on deck, JSYK.
I hope it never ceases to amaze me how, after many years and an entire continent’s distance, it was just like I had only left to go back to my house for the evening. As in the case with “Neecey,” like I just gone back to my room for the night. Things were easy and honest. I am grateful beyond words for the friendship of the two very special humans with whom I spent time.
*The JurassiGoth pauses. Dots heavily lined eyes with a tissue. Proceeds.**
Then, there were the two places of fond and not-so-fond memory: Camden and Charleston.
I have to confess to realizing I never really gave Camden its due credit. Driving through the town, I had forgotten how picturesque it can be. I saw all the places haunted by the ghosts of my teenage self. Like Hogwarts, I saw my 16 year-old visage passing through the streets right next to my friends’ kids. I just hope I’m more Nearly-Headless Nick than Moaning Myrtle.
The sight of hotels and gas stations instead of forests and fields close by my adolescent home made me a little sad. So did the empty lot where the ancient English building at the old Camden High (now Camden Middle) School once stood. While I know it was a bat-guano-ridden fire hazard (GULP) two decades ago when I attended, I still can’t help wondering if they could have saved it somehow. Plus, I don’t know how Kershaw County School District can live with itself, knowing it has rendered hundreds of bats homeless.
Pleasurable and painful memories alike abound in that little burg. Maybe one day, darklings, the JurassiGoth will hold forth about them. But for now, on to Charleston.
So, the second part of my journey was the famed South Carolina port–and surrounding towns. I do loves me the SC Low Country and if I were to ever live in that state again, Charleston/Walterboro/Beaufort is where I would perch. I spent the evening with Neecey and his (yes, he. Inside story. Just go with it.) family on the crick in the sticks. He told me I would think I had gone too far or the wrong way as I was searching for his folks’ place. I didn’t believe him. I should have. I did, in fact, start to wonder for about 10 minutes prior to finding the road on which they dwell.
But GOR-GEOUS is the place and well worth the trip. After 10 years in LA, the silence made me a little nervous that night. Don’t get it twisted, though. I could quickly and easily get used to it. A leisurely good time was had by all and the next day, Neecey indulged my desire to venture into Charles-town.
The main business of Charleston is being Charleston. Tourism is the heavyweight champion business, so the benefit for those of us who live or have lived there is that it doesn’t change much. Outside of some cosmetic changes, that little city is still the city I loved during my first attempt at higher education. That strange mixture of Southern charm, historical authenticity, artsy culture and laid-back college vibe still permeates the air of The Battery. Hey, Oprah owns a home there. Do you need to know more?
I got so little time with the city or my friend, however, that I have nothing else to report. Again, I will be returning, so there shall be more.
The same goes for my friend in Camden and that little town. The second day of the trip, I realized I had been too ambitious and excited in my planning. I did not even get to Columbia, the state capital and another town that holds many memories, during this trip. I realized that 8 formative years of my life could not, in fact, be squeezed into 4 days.
I am already sculpting my next trips. One will be devoted exclusively to Camden/Columbia areas and the other to the Charleston area. That way, I’ll have plenty of time to get to all the old haunts and new jaunts.
And maybe I can finally score that WUSC t-shirt for Dr. Snott.