Sunday, April 18, 2010



Two recent posts about Fishing trips, have garnered a response concerning the name of a Fish. This has generated enough memory for a post!

I came to SC via Plant City, Florida, (23 miles east of Tampa). I grew up on Indian Rocks Beach- every summer, and watched the Gasparilla Parade (for the Pirate Jose Gaspar!), The Blue Angel's, and Thunderbird's at McDill Air Force Base, and attended,  The Tampa State Fair, with  Midget Dirt Car Racing with my Granddad!! (No--Midget Wrestling and Dwarf tossing came much later!), and the now Infamous Strawberry Festival, in Plant City. One of my Buddies I am fishing with this weekend is a Huge Berry Farmer in Fla. still. He went to Newberry College on a Baseball scholarship, and the other buddy who is hosting the trip, went to Newberry College on a Football Scholarship. So we were together for a couple years of college in the same state!. They were frat rats, ATO, and I made sure to visit every chance I got- Newberry is 30 minutes from Columbia.

It was truly Animal House- It really was!

Ocala National Forest was my Hunting and Fishing grounds, as well as 1,000 Islands at Lands End in Naples. Literally, it is a far South as you can drive on the Gulf Coast. Next stop by boat--The Fla. Keys! The Reef's off Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The Swamps of Central Florida, Canoe trips down pristine crystal clear Rivers, replete with Manatees', before it was cool to Buy them to conserve them. We "owned" one named Phil. That was Sandi's Dad's name- Manatee! Odd name for a man, huh?. Every year you waited to see if Phil showed up at Blue Springs. You can tell them by the Scars on them from, Prop cuts from Speedboat's, from rich A**holes, who do not know what a No Wake Zone is in a River!  The are Sea Cows by the way! Manatee is a County!

So this all changed in the Summer of 1972, when I left Civilization and moved to SC, via a Football Scholarship. I sucked, but I wanted out of Fla. so badly at the time I would have gone anywhere. I did not want to continue Citrus Growing at the time. Working in 120 degree Orange Groves was not beneath me...but I wanted OUT!!!

Turns out I made a wise decision as Tropicana and the Conglomerates bought up all the groves, and sold out to Brazil, who undercut our labor, forcing Independent growers like my Dad out of Business. I turned down the Florida Gators scholarship to get away from home. They were NOT a Football powerhouse in the 1970's. But I digress. That is what got me here, at 17 years of Age. I would turn 18 in August, and guess what the Beer drinking age was in SC! Yep, 18!!!  can you say...Flunk out of College and get caught Drinking by the Coaches the first week of Spring Practice. NOT a great start!

OK: This is the Point, forget all that above!



Another universe? Yes....when I crossed the state line from Georgia into SC I entered into the NEW NAME ZONE!!!!!

As I drove into SC I stopped a a Burger joint and ordered a Double Cheeseburger. I knew something was amiss when I was asked, "Do you want Chili on that?" WT..???? No, I stammered, just the usual stuff...  thinking it was simply a misunderstanding I drove on.

I then stopped at a BBQ joint. OK...can You imaginge? I'm from Florida...BBQ is RED!!! Ketchup based and Hot! I was asked, "Do you want slaw on that?" Thinking I misheard I stated, yes I'll have some slaw. Again, "Do you want that ON the Sammich"? WT......??? Uh, "OK!" I was caught off guard. Imagine my greater surprise when I opened my sammich and saw  ORANGE BBQ! 

Me: I tentatiely asked, "Is this the BBQ"? Mistake....

They: "What do you mean....?"

Me: "Well, it's Orangy looking?" 

They, with a smile: "You aren't from around here are you?"

Me: "What gave it away?"

They: "You don't have an accent."

Me: "What do you mean I don't have an accent?" I didn't, turns out being from Fla. you have a neutral accent! People were always asking me where I was from, especially if I was on the phone. 

I'd say "Fargo". That worked well until that Movie came out!  BUSTED!

Now I sound like the biggest Bubba in the World, after being around my Paramedic Hunting buddies from SC, and marrying a girl from Sumter. It is 3 syllables- Sum p a ta! Here is pronounced, he e ya! Clemson and Sumter, both have a "P" magically imposed in the middle of them! I TYPE with a Southern drawl!

"Lord, If you get me home I promise".... Turns out He couldn't understand a word I was saying. Thought I was praying in Tongues! Something about a Tower and Babble!

OK, so so far we have

1. Cheeseburger..... "do you want chili on that?"

2. BBQ- Orange, "Do you want slaw ON that?"      
OK, so it's mustard based and now I LOVE IT- with the Slaw on IT!

3. And the last Straw. "Would you like to go fishing?!" OMG yes! "Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank you!" Normalcy at last!

Me: What are we going fishing for, Bass?

He: No, Crappie!

Long long pause.

Me: "wwwwwwhat?" BBQ and Burger Flashback.......

He:  "We're going Crappie Fishing". 

Yeah, you got that right! And I don't even know what it is- but it's going to be bad.............

After much discussion I finally figured it out and said--"Oh, You mean Speckled Perch?"

Long long pause.

He: "No, Crappie."  

That's when the first shot rang out!

So. I am now deeply entrenched in SC lore. Ballet, consists of 3 people doing all the parts of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. Every Year- Year after Year--they now just WALK through it! 

Our Philharmonic is two Tubas a Drum and a Hobo. Yes- he sits by a small fire in the back. Oboe was NOT in the vocabulary!

Our Orchestra and Ballet Troupe are CRAPPIE!!!!!!!   Sound of second gunshot!

It really isn't all that bad. Columbia has made great strides to bring Art and Renovation with Upscale restaurants- Like Captain D's and O'Charleys to an area called the Vista. It is replete with Art Galleries, Antique shops, and Specialty Shops- aka- Flea Markets! LOL.
American Pickers eat your hearts out!
We have free concerts at Finley Park, which has a Beautiful Fountain, and an excellent Family Night Out series, with Excellent Local Blues and Jazz Bands--did I mention they are FREE! Take your blankies and chairs! NO ALCOHOL!  It's the Bible Belt...but it does make for great Family Entertainment.

 I mean who would pay for that...... Yes, I know, a lot of people. And by a lot I mean 6 or 15.

Now that we have the Colonial Center, ( 18,000- 19,000 seats), we have had some big name acts finally coming back through SC, that used to bypass us and go to Grenville, or Charlotte. Pink Floyd went to Grenville with the laser show! I WAS PISSED! As if I couldn't drive an Hour and a Half. But since I quit smoking Pot many moons ago- what would be the Point? Also MONSTER TRUCK SHOWS!!! Indoors!

Before I left Fla, My first Two Concerts Ever were: in Tampa,

Sly and the Family Stone--we were 4  white peeps drinking Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill, at the concert, and they blew us away,  we were welcomed with open arms! (in 1970!)  Music- the great bringer togetherer!! &  #2- Three Dog Night.

At the Old Carolina Coliseum, which lost all the current Big Name groups until the Colonial Center was Built to replace it, I saw: 

Styx, Foreigner, The Eagles, Boston, Kansas, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beach Boys, Springsteen, Heart, 38 Special, Bob Dylan, Bob Seegar, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Marshall Tucker, Nazareth, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young,  Tom Jones (OK- that was in Vegas and he didn't suck).

I was on room restriction for being drunk in Public while playing Football, and had Jethro Tull tickets and couldn't go! I was flown to SC and had front row seats for Neil Diamond--AWESOME!!!! we call him Squat Ruby. Gordon Lightfoot- is Fruitoff HeavyHand, and so on! Pot was wonderful in the 70's! I wish I remembered those concerts. Pot Brownies--resembling Hay with Icing! These are some that I remember.

I saw Old Calcutta in SC!!! The Bible belt. Titties in SC!

We have had Sir Elton John and Billy Joel together, The Boss Himself- again, Prince aka, Symbol Dude, whomever, in a brilliant Musical show- Musicology. Bob Seegar- again, Jimmy Buffet for the 6th time. I actually played Softball with him and his crew and he broke his ankle!..hell he'll play in your back yard nowadays! Jeff Beck gave a free concert for only several hundred select USC students. It was intimate and awesome. We saw Sir Paul McCartney live at Carolina Stadium where I played Ball!!!!! The Biker Like an Icon Tour Years back. Greatest night of my life--it was the absolute most perfect evening, concert, seats, everything all rolled into one. Linda was still alive and played and sang!

Except my Favoritest Cat in the whole world died that same day! Doc #1. Bitter-Sweet Day!

Todd Rundgren--Utopia, was a free concert--It had better been- Stinker! He and his lady came up to Campus and went Streaking! We talked to him, and he was really nice and his girlfriend was absolutely beautiful. She had a name, and was like a known model or someBODY but who cares! And what a body! Seriously, that was a beautiful young lady! My leg was on The National News! I was sitting in a Dorm Window by a Big Sign. Hundreds of people streaked right through the middle of Campus. MY  LEFT LEG IS FAMOUS!


And a very long post!. This is/was cathartic! No High Colonic tonight! Crappie took care of that!