Monday, October 31, 2005

BAT MOBILE or Bat Out of Hell

In this blog we always stress driving safety and speak modestly of the virtues of the Windveil, but we've jut got to admit that this car runs like a bat out of hell.

Folks O' faith tell us that once in hell, one doesn't generally get out, but we're wondering how a bat gets into hell in the first place. Well, if bats could drive, this would be their exit visa.

In observance of this, the day before Halloween, we decided to make the most of the bat metaphor. While the real Bat Mobile is black and Bruce Wayne had the day off to make apple juice, we decided to become the Bat Mobile and fly our own course. Where would YOU go if you had such a bee under the bonnet? Well, Bat Cave, N.C., of course !

Bat Cave is an attractive little town in Western North Carolina tucked away at the edge of Henderson County on Hwy 64. It's an easy drive from Asheville or Hendersonville, but the problem is that you don't actually know when you're there at least not right away. In our drive we passed in and out then in an almost back out before finding out that where we were. We were there, but the official town sign which greets almost every town in the 100 counties of the Tar Heel State, was NOT to be found. Every town has a sign to proudly proclaim it's existence, but not Bat Cave. No way.

We discussed the problem in depth in today's trip with the proprietor of the establishment pictured above. He told us that owing to the odd name of the town, all road signs had been stolen so many times that they stopped counting and stopped replacing them as well. The point of the trip, however, had been to take a photo of the Mustang as it entered the town, but with none to be found, we draw up at the Bat Cave Apple House, a far cry from a sinister looking sign, but proof enough that we were there. The only signs we could find were plastic automobile license plates with " Bat Cave " cast upon them for Five U.S. Bucks each. We decided to put that toward a nice bottle of honey and use this picture instead.

Windveil may not much resemble that first Bat Mobile, but it is fleet of foot and seems quite up to the task. Hey, it's a much nicer looking car than most others in the road and while it may leave a little rubber on the road, it won't leave any guano.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Equine Rivalry

The 2005 GT is a revival car, a retro edition which suggests the early model designs of its 40 year history. Interestingly, the word " MUSTANG " appears nowhere on the body of the GT, but the famous logo from the early years, the galloping pony, does. Additionally, the Mustang is the last surviving member of a class of intermediate sized muscle vehicles which were called " pony cars ".

Just south of McClellanville, SC, this pony pulled up at the Kick' N Horse Saloon in a gesture of equine rivalry. We are first of all parked in the No Parking zone in defiance of a sign placed by the management rather than the law. We're not sure who the law is out in these parts and even less certain of the management. We are certain enough to know that it's a good idea to keep the motor running when making an incursion such as this in their coral.

The folks who populate and patronize the Saloon saddle up on two-wheelers. This is a biker haven, a place where a sunrise service is held on Easter Sundays, but probably not in quite the same format as most church folk are accoustomed. Their sacrements tend toward a different style.

There was a small gathering off camera most of whom appeared to be smiling, but once this photo was snapped it seemed incumbent to hoof it on out of there. Not that we sensed any ill will or negative reception, but this pony was champing at the bit to keep rolling.

Monday, October 24, 2005

See Wee'd

It's not seaweed, but a great sea feed which we see in Seewee. Here in a blue on blue moment, the Windveil has pulled up to the door at Seewee Restaurant near Awendaw, SC, on Hwy 17 North, only to find it closed as it is on any given Sunday. It's not that we forgot it was closed on Sunday nor did we fail to notice that it was in fact Sunday, but felt the need to add this image to our album as we were in the area on a very different mission: A survey of the surface of Hwy 402, Steed Creek Road which is at the center of a firestorm of controversy over the repaving of that well worn ribbon of asphault between Moncks Corner and Hwy 17 near Awendaw. See that report later this week.

That survey having just been completed, we dashed up to the Seewee Restaurant to make sure that they had not been bought out by Wal-mart or turned into yet another Gilligan's. Fortunately, they have not. They have good and honest food with menu items you could easily imagine, some you might not, but they do something to eggplant which seems unknown to other restaurants. We're not affiliated with or in any way paid off by the folks here, but if they did happen to comp us on one of their very fine meals, you'll certainly hear much more about the place right here.

While they're not many Windveil Blue 2005 GT's out on the road yet, with our luck, someone else has one, will drive up to Seewee and snag that free meal which rightfully is ours. There's no justice on the road, but some good eating to be had near Awendaw.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Chapel of Ease, not the Alamo

Don't expect Davie Crockett to jump in the GT and charge Santa Ana. The GT is a good steed, but this ain't the Alamo and I have the keys.

This historic structure survives as a facade only. This was the Pon Pon Chapel of Ease located in what once was St. Bartholomew's Parish, organized in 1706. It had been attacked by Yemassee Indians in 1715, was rebuilt and later burned around 1796 and was thereafter known as the " Burnt Church ". Considering the fact that three walls and the roof are missing, it might be considered the Chapel of Breeze these days.

Not far from here is the small town of Jacksonboro once well known for rendering shad in many ways: fried, more often baked to dissolve their network of fine bones and perhaps even burnt at times when cooks imbibed themselves into a different state of ease.

Of course, the shad body was purely secondary to the prized part of that fish: the roe. In season, the more neatly dressed and less well initiated shad roe fans would encircle the Edisto Motel and Restaurant to wait longer than sane folks should to be fed this delicacy. Meanwhile, tuned in devotees just pulled in a few hundred feet down the road to Billy Morris's where the same shad roe was served in homey style and washed down with good booze if so desired. You ate with a purely local crowd which had little interest appearance and no interest in waiting in lines, but lived for and love to eat shad roe. Sadly both restaurants have closed, gone with the winds of change which have blown in franchise and chain store eateries and winnowed away so many colorful, independent and locally owned businesses.

I'll let others remember the Alamo and I'll remember those who rendered the shad roe.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wayne's World: Crickets to Tickets

The GT is backed up to the cricket box at Wayne's, near Rosinville, SC, a nice little place which is listed on Windviel's Top Twenty approved country stores in S.C. We thought about taking on a load of crickets to release in church on Sunday, but settled instead on a small Coke and a Butterfinger ice cream bar.
Next to the cricket box is a set of Crappie poles which is not a negative evaluation, but a time honored means of snagging the fish which bears that odd name. Next to those is one of the very last standing pay phones in the Free World.

Upon entering the store one is confronted with an astounding array of candies, a great variety of beer, countless fishing tackle, NASCAR notions, bug sprays, PayDays, a lazarette of cigarettes, the place you pay for your crickets and lottery tickets and the very nice lady behind the counter who drives that motorcycle out front. They have the cleanest rest room of any of the top 20 on the list, nicer than some expensive restaurants.

They've got nearly everything, but as far as we can Wayne. We wondered if he's a silent partner, the unseen guiding hand or perhaps he's the one who has to go out and catch all those crickets.

Monday, October 17, 2005

GT in East Berlin

Just kidding. Actually there's no longer an "East" Berlin and unfortunately there are no longer 3 nice old buildings on the main street of St. George, S.C. This does look like the morning after an Allied bombing raid, however, a fire ended such urban renewal as might have been planned for this section. Perhaps that fire hydrant at the far left of the photo may have prevented even greater destruction.

Fragile plans to revitalize many small towns in South Carolina have enjoyed mixed success, but this may not be one of them. Windviel will blow back through St. George on future tours to report such progress as we hope will obtain. In most of these hamlets if three buildings were to be reused the smart money would predict a Dollar Store, a Chinese buffet and a convenience store. With a clear slate for these spaces perhaps they can break out of that rut in order that good opportunities might rise from these ashes.

If Elloree, SC, a subject for future reporting, can turn two main street blocks into attractive and active businesses, St. George with even better highway access could do as well. We shall see.

Faithful readers will recall the recent photo and story about the GT sustaining a right rear puncture and the subsequent changing of that flat tire at a remote and beautiful river landing. Does this picture suggest where that nail might have joined us ?

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Well, at the locked gate to a place called "Mikewood", former country "estate" of the author of the book, "EDISTO", on the Edisto River just off secondary road S-15-35 in Colleton County where spent shell casings are plentiful and the mosquitoes are a big as doves. The author's posted handwritten note asked gentlemen to urinate "outside when you can, on ant hills if you will." It was all a bit this side of Tara and women stayed away from the place in droves while the men waded in during frequent flooding of the property.

Friday, October 14, 2005

3 Bridges & GT

Here the GT is prowling the marshes of the Cooper River in Charleston,SC. In the background are 3 bridges: The 1929 John P. Grace, the 1969 Silas Pearman, both steel cantilevered bridges, and the new Arthur Ravenel , Jr. Bridge, the longest cable stayed bridge in North America

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hauling Ashes

I ducked into this antique store in Summerville, looking for an ashtray for my new office since the GT can't haul any sideboards or wardrobes. I forgot that they smoked, but that I did not and gave up the project. Alcohol played no part in this decision.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Pony Throws a Shoe

Pony Throws a Shoe, originally uploaded by PALMETT0.

The pony threw it's first shoe on a visit to a scenic and remote landing at Huger, SC. A FLAT TIRE ! A flat tire way off the beaten path.

With great relief it was discovered that not only was there a spare, but it was properly inflated and came with a working jack. I keep forgetting that it is a new car.

Not only did the spare work, but the dealer replaced the tire...under warranty !

The service one gets at some dealers is just a little worse than a trip to the electric chair. It's considered normal for many dealers to laugh one off the lot when they come back with a problem under warranty.

Fortunately, I had faith in my dealer before buying the car. Good old Jones Ford took good care of us today. I even had a chance to visit with the fellow who sold me the car, Anthony McCown, who has been very helpful before, during and after the sale.

It's nice and sadly rare to deal with an outfit which could screw you, but doesn't, which doesn't have to be so helpful, but is.

They keep this Mustang Rolling and I'm glad to be back on the road.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Of Mustang and Military Mannequins

The GT shares the spotlight with an interesting shrine found on Hwy 15 just north of St. George.

On stage are a set of female mannequins each dressed in a different uniform representing branches of US Military one of which is in a wheelchair with an IV dangling. At first glance they look real in this startling memorial.

It seemed an interesting backdrop, but a local citizen circled during the taking of this snapshot, stalked the GT upon departure all the way to a gas station several miles away then took down the license number in a menacing gesture. It was a middle-aged lady who resembled one of the mannequins, but was slightly more limber.

Note the small helicopter suspended over the GT in the picture. This may be a robotic drone sent to hunt down the Winveil so the GT is now stashed under camouflaged netting until this threat passes. Of course, with so few GT's yet released to the public, it may well have been mistaken for a UFO, there being one currently stationed in Bowman. So, the gal in the '91 Crown Vic must be with Homeland Security and what a relief that is.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Wine List: Packard '37 or '05 GT ?

The GT takes a back seat to this classic 1937 Packard, one of the most beautiful American made cars in history. I spotted the Packard parked at a roadside grape stand while easing down Hwy 17 South toward Jacksonboro.

As to vintage, the GT, though Retro, is strictly Beaujolais Nouveau, while the Packard is more on the lines of a Chateau Lafite-Rothchild so it is shown due respect above. The GT is available by the glass, but if you want a bottle of Packard 1937, you'd better get a second mortgage.

On this sunny day, it's owner dusted it off and drove it out of the wine seller for all to enjoy. To several young island boys, these cars side by side looked like alien spacecraft. They will be checking out the "NATIONAL ENQUIRER" at the check out to see if these cars made the front page.

I had a nice talk with the Packard's owner, passed on the grapes and eased down the road to uncork the GT for a stretch. I felt that like a good red wine, the GT should "breathe" a little and set it's singing wheels to that task.

I had been very taken with the deep cobalt blue of the Packard, but certainly the GT remains closer to the heart because it is eye-blue

Thursday, October 06, 2005

3 Generations

There was no way to pass up a visit to Rock's Ford Goodies and a chance to sniff the tailpipes of an '89 Fox Body Mustang GT in red and the black 1995 GT. 3 Generations of the Pony Car, both of which have the 5.0 Liter engine, 5 speed manual transmission and are for sale.

Pony sale

Another shot of the red and black GT's for sale at Rock's Ford Goodies on Hwy 61 near Rideville, S.C., a petting zoo for Mustangs. Give them a nice home and a chance to play on the road with their Windviel Blue cousin which is NOT for sale.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Country Store

Windveil blew in to this favorite stop on Hwy 176 recently. This is " THE " Country Store because that's it's name, but it is the quintessential country store at least as survives today. They have two gas pumps and an inventory with everything from Magic Shaving Powder to cigarette lighter flints, jelly roll to " Coconut Slice " candy ( simulated ) and the old standby in every country store: Citrate of Magnesia which mischief makers will substitute for Seven-Up or Sprite at parties. The victim gets the punch line of this little joke in short order.

I always stop by to check on their specialty: boiled peanuts which they cook right there at the store. These are the green, tender variety the smallest of which you can eat shell and all.

When I travel the back roads I seldom pass one of these little stores, but this is one of my favorites. It's is run by a nice couple with deep ties to this rural community and very little envy for the fast moving world of the interstate.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

GT at Hayne's Tomb

Deep within a wooded area near Jacksonboro, SC, is the tomb of South Carolina Revolutionary War hero, Isaac Hayne. Hayne, long a respected even sacred name in this state, was executed in Charleston by British occupying forces. In violation of all rules of military conduct in war, he was hanged like a common felon, a travesty recorded in stone upon his tomb.

The pastoral scene above is Hayne's garden, a short distance from the ruins of Pon Pon Chapel of Ease which may well pop up in another posting.

There are many such beautiful and historic sites in the state which are by nature and later necessity hidden from public view.

This little blue car is curious and persistent. Ask not for whom the GT rolls. It rolls for thee

Monday, October 03, 2005

State of Grace

The GT is at the foot of the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge, born in 1929 on the cusp of the Great Depression and died in 2005 in the midst of the great bull market in real estate, the orgy of urban sprawl.

The bridge replaced a ferry which conducted people, creatures and cars to and from the Charleston peninsula and the community of Hungryneck or Mt. Pleasant as it's legally known or what's left of that once tranquil town.

This bridge was joined, not replaced, in 1969 by the Silas Pearman Bridge seen on the left of The Grace, a structure almost obsolete once built.

Both are now replaced by the Arthur Ravenel, Jr., Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

In this picture the sun is literally and figuratively setting on the wonderful old Grace Bridge.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pig in at Polk's

Pig in a Polk
Originally uploaded by PALMETT0.

After zooming through 130 miles of Jasper, Hampton, and Allendale Counties on a wild goose chase for steak, I came upon Polk's pork place while poking along a Colleton County road today. The GT is poised for a quick escape, just a standard precaution when entering any unknown rural restaurant where discretion may be the better part of valor. Well, if a fellow looks like a sweet potato the common taters might have something to say about that.

It turned out to be a friendly buffet style family place serving good old country style trimmings with Polk's tasty pork "barbecue" which I have obviously misspelled if you consult the sign above. They meet what I consider the legal requirements for such establishments the first 5 of which are: 1-Must be a concrete block structure 2-Rural location, 3-Vinyl tablecloths, 4-No booze, 5-Posted Rules! Old Glory aloft is always a plus. I mean who wants to stumble into some Norwegian or German joint at such at time. You should be Russian to get there, but if you are Finnish, you've got to leave. Bone-apres-teat.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Originally uploaded by PALMETT0.

The ROCK gives the GT the once over while savoring his toothpick, a replacement for the cigarettes he gave up many years back. He is Mr. Ford or Dr. Mustang, a man who knows the "Blue Oval" better than anyone in the region. He seems to approve of Windviel Blue on his lot. We are between The ROCK and a Ford Place.


Originally uploaded by PALMETT0.

This 1972 Mustang, while not in exactly "Cherry" condition, is a classic offered by Rock's. Some cosmetic work needed.