I’ve been absent from posting as my wife and I just spent the last week on vacation. I have been monitoring the primaries and all things politic, but have tried to stay away from the bulk of the ugliness for the past week.
This was a little road trip south from Richmond to places heretofore unseen by us. We went to Charleston, SC for a few days, down to Savannah, GA, then spun around and headed back north along old Highway 17. Along the way we saw the 1500 year old Angel Oak, Fort Sumter, found the ultimate pecan pie, chicken and dumplings and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
As we headed north from Charleston to Pawley’s Island we decided to go to historic Georgetown, NC, the third oldest town in NC. Once a thriving rice producer along the coast, it never recovered after the loss of its labor force working the paddies after the abolition of slavery. The rice industry in Georgetown died. Georgetown is past its heyday. It’s just a quaint little seaside town now.
Couldn’t they have just paid the former slaves to produce rice? You know? Just made them employees? I don’t know the economics or the facts, but I just wonder about stuff like that.
But that’s not the point of this post. Just an exit question.
So we wheel into Georgetown midafternoon on a Tuesday to have a look.
We drove down Front Street only to run into a traffic jam. Traffic jam? What?
It turned out that there was some sort of street festival, which seemed peculiar for a Tuesday but who am I, a stranger in a strange land, to question the local customs?
I back pedaled and did a flanking maneuver around the town to approach it from the other side.
I’m good. I’m slippery and traffic jam head fakes are more important to me than priceless photos of the vacation, special moments, meals, and all other things associated with vacationing. That’s all child’s play. Navigating around obstacles, obstructions and idiots are the things that vacations are made of.
Needless to say, we got a primo parking spot at the anterior of the festival.
Everything leading up to this moment is ancillary and really not the thrust of this post. Weird shit was about to happen.
We begin our journey into the festival in historic Georgetown where bunting and flags festoon the main street, vendors have their booths set up and it looks to be an idyllic scene of Americana. But there seemed to be a paucity of people, even for this small seaside town. But, who am I to question the poor turnout? I’m just dropping in on the scene. I have no advance knowledge of the local area or what to expect.
Further adding to my confusion was the movie marquee which read
HAPPY 4th of JULY
It’s September 14th, but it could just be that the theater fired the sign boy on July 5th and they never got around to dealing with it. Let’s move on.
The wife tells me she saw some people dressed in colonial regalia dart into the theater while my eyes were fixed upon the radiant beauty wearing a blue satin gown and tiara, with a sash sporting some sort of lettering sitting in a chair eating a salad. As I walked by I didn’t mean to stare, not quite leering buy nearly, but she recognized my desire to read the words and she kindly adjusted her sash so that I could read…Miss Crustacean.
It is probably important for me to clarify that I have had no psychotropic substances since sometime in the 80s. OK, maybe the early 90s. But something weird was happening here. I just thought that this was important to note at this time, because this story is starting to sound like some sort of John Lennon psychedelic song.
Let me just state for the record that there were NO men with Kaleidoscope Ties, NO Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds or any of that. No Fear and Loathing. I may have had an extra cup of coffee that day but that was it. Honest.
The weirdness was starting to build. There were vendors with product, but nobody buying. Nothing for sale.
There was a long table overlooking the harbor with the remains of a crab eating contest, but none of that crabby smell and nobody was even hanging out there. Not even seagulls were attacking a vacated table of crab leavings.
And everyone. I mean everyone was in the shade eating lunch.
AT THE SAME TIME.
I finally became so unnerved that I asked one of the local cops what was going on and in retrospect I should have figured it out myself…but I’m just not that bright.
I was informed that a movie was being filmed and they were all on lunch break. We continued to wander and I saw the Director’s chair. Barry Levinson. Hmmm. Sounds kinda familiar.
Rain Main, Good Morning Vietnam, Diner and other really, really famous films, are among his accomplishments.
Oh, and Miss Crustacean? It turns out that she meets a ‘sad end’ in the film.
Such a nice girl. She rearranged her sash for me.