Selling someone on South Carolina

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

When we returned in early July from our family gathering/ graduation celebration in New York, we were down to just one extra passenger – Aiden.

He and his mother had ridden out with us while his father played with his new toy, riding his motorcycle out to Warwick.

We had figured on Julia and Aiden coming back with us but, like all plans we seem to be involved in, it was subject to change at the last moment.

At the same time we were heading west to Wisconsin, one of our nieces was heading south – moving to South Carolina, to be precise.

Alex and Julia volunteered to help Catilin make the move – any excuse for a visit to the land of sun and seafood.

Unfortunately, we weren’t asked to go along – just to take Aiden home with us.

Actually, we had already made a commitment to stop in Ohio and stay a few days with Terry’s cousin outside Columbus, so we really couldn’t have made the trip south – though we might have sacrificed and made the trip.

It was a chance for Alex to prove to his wife that South Carolina does have some redeeming qualities.

It seems the only time Julia had spent in South Carolina before this was a relaxing stay at one of the Palmetto State’s more alluring attractions – Fort Jackson.

Seems she did her Army basic and advanced training there some years back and, for whatever reason, that colored her opinion of the entire state negatively.

Never mind that they call Fort Jackson “Relaxin’ Jackson” in the Army – there’s nothing really relaxing or attractive about Army basic or advanced training.

And I don’t care what Army base you’re talking about, none of them rank high as tourist attractions or vacation spots.

You could plunk an Army base down in the middle of the Bahamas and it still would not be a memorable place to stay if you’re there for Army training.

And I have yet to find any Army base located anywhere even remotely similar to the middle of the Bahamas – except maybe for the heat.

So Alex – and the rest of the family – have spent years trying to convince Julia that South Carolina can be a great place to visit and have fun – all to no avail before this point.

This despite our many great experiences visiting the Low Country when my parents were living there in retirement – something Julia didn’t get to enjoy, as she wasn’t part of the family yet.

They got Catilin moved in to her new home in Myrtle Beach and then took off for Charleston, about two hours away, to show Julia the good side of South Carolina.

Had we known they were going to do that, we probably would have followed them down and joined in the fun – never mind the fact that Terry and I both had to back to work in just a few days.

Maybe we could have claimed we both came down with a case of Palmetto Fever?

Instead, we got regular Facebook updates and photos as the three of them revisited all the old familiar haunts in Charleston and stuffed themselves with the local food and drink – which is way, way better than Army chow at Fort Jackson or any other base, I can assure you.

Whether it was the local scenery, the food, the tourist attractions or just the change from Wisconsin, it was all apparently enough to convince Julia that South Carolina is not so bad after all.

NEXT WEEK: Stuck in the Buckeye State instead of the Palmetto State.


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