Sunday, January 29, 2006

GT visits G-Town

Certainly there are those who must wonder why, with all of the living history, the colorful shops, the gritty urbanscapes, the natural wonders which roll down from our mountains to the ocean at our door, why then do we pause and post these painted imitations of life, these blasted massive murals.

Since April of 2005, not yet a year, we've visited more than half of South Carolina's forty-six counties, made incursions into the mountains of Western North Carolina and will soon roll into Georgia. We don't catch many sunrises, but we've caught every sunset since then and put the GT into every lush nook and cranny which nature and the existing road bed will allow. We're nuts about nature, but we are also students of the human condition and murals ( they're actually frescos ) like this one of Historic Georgetown, aid in this study.

As massive undertakings, these frescos are usually created for one of two reasons: 1 - To give color and charm to an otherwise blank, hideous or unfashionable surface or 2 - To puff up the chest of community pride and honor the town or its history. Georgetown is doing a little of both above captioned photo.

The scene above portrays commercial and residential structures which face the water along Georgetown's Front Street commercial corridor. We found it disarmingly realistic. Our only concern is that it is such a good job that some tourist on a cell phone looking for that depicted row of restaurants, bars and shops might drive right into this rather rigid canvas. Heaven forbid that such a thing should happen, but if it did only once, expect to see a life sized fresco of one of those ambulance chasing lawyers erected next door, next day.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Reflections in a Golden Grid

Here's where one of our reader pals at first thought that a picture had been posted to THIS blog of something other than the Mustang. On a moment's reflection he realized that he had been wrong.

This photo is one of very few, perhaps the only one in which the car is moving. This is Windveil's reflection in the numerous panes of a building on Forest Drive in Columbia. We don't recommend taking a picture of and from a moving car. Anyone who has ever driven down Forest Drive will know this building in which all passers by and the stationary objects are always reflected.

We do not believe that anyone has ever passed this building without at least sneaking a quick glance at their reflected image. It's one of the many delights of the Midlands for those who find themselves in a reflective mood.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Font of All Midland Bloggers' Knowledge

Having just graced the cover of a monthly lowcountry S.C. magazine, Windveil hits the paper trail or more precisely the information highway, a/k/a, The Internet. Having made a little bit of news ourselves, we decided to find out where the real news, the inside information, the scoops, the knowledge comes from. We are after all ourselves a blog and we wish that we knew more about our state. This, of course, IS the reason why we are always rolling.

Sampling the blogs of the Midlands is a good place to start. All information comes from the Midlands. It seems like all of the insiders are IN the Midlands. There are so many insiders inside of the Midlands that they have to send out for outsiders when they run low.

Our most recent peek into the Midlands bloggers cornucopia of information was all the call we needed to hit the information highway which leads to or perhaps originates in the Midlands. That's it, it flows out from the Midlands on down to the uninitiated, the unlearned, the outsiders. So our trip is actually swimming upstream against the current of current events and up into the spawning grounds of all inside information, of all ...truth.

Well, by golly, not all of our trips are this successful, but we have clearly penetrated into the source of all inside information, to the Font of All Knowledge for the bloggers of the Midlands. Here, faithful readers, in the above posted photo is where they get it all. That's one small step for Mustang and one giant leap for outsiders.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mustang Rolling off the Press

Extra ! Extra ! Read all about it. No, it's not a Photoshop mock up. The Mustang is rolling off the presses of ' ISLAND LIFE ' , a magazine with a wide circulation among the sea islands which surround Charleston, S.C.

The monthly 'ISLAND LIFE' is the brainchild of Linda Benedict who received some printouts from MUSTANG ROLLING and decided to run a feature on Windveil. Faithful readers will recognize the cover shot which appeared in this blog a few weeks back. Ms. Benedict is running a series of photographs of Windveil taken on each of the islands and proposes a contest for her readers in which they try to identify each of these locations.

When the car rolled out of Jones Ford in April of 2005 with 8 miles on the odometer, it was clear that it was going to be fun, but we never guessed how many places it would take us, how many sights we'd see or that it would find its way to the cover of a magazine. It's not a giveaway magazine as people pay to read it and that's even more flattering.

Anyone who's reach includes the sea islands of lowcountry South Carolina might want to have a look at this and future issues. Ms. Benedict has put together an interesting and informative publication. Anyone outside that realm might want to write the magazine, ISLAND LIFE, PO Box 447, Johns Island, SC 29457.

You can keep with life on these charming sea islands and keep up with us as well.

Happy Motoring and Good Reading.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Part 1: Mustang Visits the Governor

Well, these aren't the Pearly Gates, but they guard the hallowed grounds of the Governor's Mansion of South Carolina at Columbia, the state capital. Windveil pauses on the way out after a gracious reception and a long conference with the state's Chief Executive.

It was an illuminating session in which we discussed the burning issues of the day: property tax reform, recruiting new industry to the state and lifting the statewide speed limit to 90 miles per hour. Before I had the chance to ask for appointments for some of my friends to high paying state jobs, our time ran out. The Governor walked out and admired the blue Mustang as he pondered equipping the Highway Patrol with a fleet of them. While we chatted he couldn't resist the temptation to touch it then offered to wax the car right then and there. What hospitality ....and didn't he put killer shine on that Pony car !

After all the time the Governor shared with us, we felt that we should be moving along. He reluctantly let us leave, but only on the condition that we take him on our next barbecue run. We just said, " well, we'll have to see about that " and the gates closed behind us....

Part 2: May I help you !

Oooops, it must have been a dream. You are seeing as much as we did of the Governor's Mansion. Actually, the gates never really opened.

When Windveil pulled up at the gate and the previous photo was made, we heard a polite, but very authoritative voice call out, " May I Help YOU !" The officer wanted to know what that blue car was doing backed up against the Governor's gates to which we replied, " Well, sir, we travel to all sorts of interesting places and take pictures of the car which we share with others on the internet.....".

Before the officer turned to walk back into the compound, he simply said, " Uh Huh ". And that, as they say, was that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Did you hear the one about the Farmer's Daughter and the Traveling GT?

Say, did you ever hear the one about the Farmer's Daughter and the Traveling GT? Well, it seems there was a sweet young unspoiled daughter of a farmer out in the rural midlands of South Carolina. Being his only daughter, she was naturally the apple of the old boy's eye so he kept her at long and honest toil within the sanctuary of those many innocent acres of cultivated land. Even though she had reached majority, the Farmer, kept her from the temptations of a sinful world....for her own good.

One sunny day after considerable labor in the fields she had dismounted the tractor which she rode side saddle, of course. While taking a few reflective moments rest, along came a Windveil Blue Mustang GT along side of the tractor. A local tractor, it reasoned, would be the best source of directions if lost in the rural midlands which indeed it was.

The Farmer, a caring and traditional man, had sternly advised his daughter to avoid conversations and especially contact with strange machinery, lest, he feared she might become deflowered by some worldly sophisticated implement from the wicked city.

During their conversation, the tractor had laid out directions for the GT's return to the intended path. After their friendly conversation the tractor allowed as how we was a bit too old and did live on the Farmer's land, under the Farmer's watchful eye and had never followed any of his more earthy instincts toward the daughter. He had plowed only the Farmer's fields. He felt, however, that the young, dashing stranger might catch her eye and have his way. The GT was cautious because it did not have it's dirt track tires mounted and was reluctant to get into the field without off road rubber.

In due course, the tractor eased back to its duties on its own, the daughter became caught up in the glitter and deep voice of the GT's un-muffled mufflers. Let's just say that this was a case of the tractor rolling hay while the Mustang was rolling IN the hay.

After a while and before the sun set or the Farmer came looking, the GT cranked up and made it's way back down to the Lowcountry. Since the GT is a native of the coastal paradise of South Carolina, it is only natural that it would be more at home near the rivers, creeks, estuaries and the ocean which grace that more livable environment. After returning to the coast it seemed to pause more frequently at those sites. A few days later , it sent an anonymous e-mail to the Farmer which read, " Dear Sir, ever since I met your daughter, I can't seem to pass no water ".

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Beam Me Up, Windveil: GT meets UFO

Every community likes to have a landmark, some outstanding attraction which draws interest, tourists and, of course, revenue. It might come in the form of some historic structure, a famous battlefield, a lighthouse. Even if it can't be a cash cow at least the local leaders would like it to have some pedigree. Some desperate towns even glorify an infamous crime scene or the birthplace of a national scoundrel.

Windveil was cruising Hwy 15 in Orangeburg County and downshifted to meet the speed limit of Bowman, SC. It's a pleasant community, not exactly Cape Canaveral, but ..nice. One block of the main street and there IT was! Nothing prepares one for this and there are no signs bragging over this local treasure, but Bowman has a UFO. Well, it's not just your average transient UFO, but an Official UFO Welcome Center.

Since we wanted to feel welcome in Bowman, we pulled up right under the giant blue flying saucer which is so labeled. Most hotels have a courtesy van, but here they've got a UFO pick up truck. On entering we find that it is, in fact, inhabited. A cheerful gentleman, our host seemed anything, but a cynical promoter. He patiently conducts a tour of the "spacecraft" and fields questions of which there are many.

The fellow lays out the whole story without a trace of irony. He seems to believe it all and who are we to hold otherwise. When you take Hwy 15 and reverse it, you get 51, as in Area 51. Pretty conclusive. Besides, this saves us a costly drive to Roswell, New Mexico

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

1 Soy Latte and 2 Chicken Necks to go, please

There's not much need to ask for a soy latte here or a fussy little Brie here. They have cheese in a large wheel in the cooler right next to the liver pudding and the chicken necks. You probably won't find that killer Chardony here, but Budwiser is in stock. No sushi today, but they do have very good hot dogs.

Tracking down colorful and independent enterprises is an integral part of the blog. We've got a nice catch here just off of the Maybank Highway on Wadmalaw Island, SC. This store has been around for quite a few years and still remains in the family. Such places are vanishing from the planet faster than freshman virtue at a fraternity party. Catching up with the survivors requires a swift mount. We've got to run because the next one down the road might be out of business before we hit 4th gear.

Speaking of running, don't mistake the Citrate of Magnesia for a bottle of Heineken as they look the same, but one gets your attention a lot faster.

We just pulled over here because we had run out of Magic Shaving Powder.

Happy Motoring.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Milking the Mustang Theme

There may be those readers who feel that we've milked this Mustang theme dry. Not so. Every time we think we've seen it all, there something new comes around. What is pictured above is not exactly new, but it just keeps coming around and around and around.

No, we're not paid by, promoting or other wise part of Coburg Dairy, but their famous rotating cow is part of the Charleston West of the Ashley community. This is a mechanical cow moored to a rotating platform under the large circular logo of Coburg Dairy all of which occupies the highly visible corner of St. Andrews Shopping Center on Hwy 17 South.

We can't quite recall when that cow was not up there spinning around. It began as do most beloved community treasures, as a rather gaudy and obtrusive product promotion. Some folks thought it was a bit much, tasteless, goofy, even garish back in a time when advertising was cautiously creative and most sponsors were prominent local family companies.

Today, it would be easier obtain a permit to shoot sea turtles under the full moon than be allowed to remove this cow. There would be wholesale revolt, the paper would condemn and the citizens would hang anyone who as much as attempted to undermine this shrine from the highest point of the Firestone sign.

A while back some Citadel cadets tried to ride the cow and got busted and busted up. There was an attempted abduction. Vandals have struck and the weather has been unkind, but the Coburg Cow has come through it all. The cow is even seasonal now as it touted Coburg's Eggnog during the Christmas season.

We aren't giving anyone any free plugs here, but if the Hanckels should send us a quart of their good eggnog, we won't send it back. Keep that bovine turning.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Time and Tide and the Other Magnolia

Yesterday it was Magnolia Plantation Gardens. Today it is Magnolia Cemetery, a beautiful 128 acre tract of land located on the banks of the Cooper River at Charleston, SC. The headstones, monuments and crypts include some of the most lovely and intriguing artwork to be found in any resting place in the country.

Magnolia is the final home for the crew of the Confederate submarine, the H.L. HUNLEY which was raised from Charleston Harbor where it sank during the Civil War. Charlestonians of greater and lesser stations in life are all on the same plane here.

The cemetery dates back to around 1850. The three bridges in the background date to 1929, The John P. Grace Memorial, 1966, The Silas Pearman Bridge and 2005, the Arthur Ravenel, Jr., Bridge. The Ravenel Bridge is that which has the two looming " A " frame towers and will survive both of the others which no longer carry traffic and are now being dismantled. Those two bridges are passing from the scene and will be buried at sea to form fish breeding reefs.

The older bridges which were memorials are themselves being laid to rest. The statue commemorates both the passing of mortals as well as Christian faith in the future. The brownish growth in the midground is marsh grass which presides over the pluff mud and estuaries which are the cradle of much of the sea life of our coast. It will return to a lush green in the spring as it continually marks the seasons

We tend to think of cemeteries as the end of the line for folks, but here at Magnolia the artful monuments clearly express a hope for eternal life. The old bridges give way to the new and live on in the form of their successors. The marsh continues in it's ancient cycle, waxing and waning with the tide itself.

One a bright winter afternoon, this place offers a chance for reflection upon the impermanence of life and the persistence of the spirit. It is an inspiring pause along the road upon which we roll.

Steel at Magnolia's

Here we have historic and beautiful Magnolia Plantation visited by a bit of good old De-troit steel. Actually, there's a good measure of Canadian effort in the Mustang as well, but as far as we know nothing from the Middle East except what's in the tank.

This comfy little abode dates to pre-Revolutionary times, has gone through several major renovations and has even been dismantled and reassembled owing to concerns over General Sherman's uninvited Southern tours. If the stucco on the Plantation house looks like common Portland Cement, it's not. The stucco is made from phosphate material mined right there on Magnolia's grounds.

The Plantation has several gardens which date further back than the main house. The Barbados Garden is the oldest in the US. There is also a garden maze which is modeled after one designed by King Henry VIII who reportedly used it to lure maidens for purposes which date back to the very first garden. We did not, however, see any apple trees about the place.

Not included in the above photo is one of the most photographed scenes in Low Country, South Carolina. A simple wooden structure called " The Long White Bridge ", one of seven on the place, but it's been photographed more than the house, the gardens or even this Blue Mustang GT. We couldn't devise an environmentally sound or automotively safe way to get the car upon or very close to that famous bridge, but we will come another day and find a way.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mustang Hideout and Who Drives That Car ?

In the last few months we've picked up some visitors to this blog and they probably wonder sometimes, " what's going on here ?" They wonder what's it all about, but frankly we're not too far ahead of you.

The Batmobile was garaged in the Bat Cave, of course, ready at a moment's notice for Batman and Robin to jump aboard. We're on a slightly reduced budget from that of Bruce Wayne. Here for the first time we reveal the hiding place for the Windveil Blue Mustang. We cannot, of course, provide too many particulars, but one can clearly see that the car is emerging from a barn and there aren't many barns in your larger cities. So, it's rural. The barn is a hardened shelter ( tin roof ) and provides strategic cover from orbiting CIA satellites which are trying to get a fix on our location.

When the weather's right and the mood strikes, the barn doors burst open and out it comes. The decision to launch is based upon specific criteria. If intelligence reports suggest that a new barbecue restaurant has opened or there's better light for photography a few counties away or an obscure folk festival has set up in a neighboring state, we launch.

Of all the questions which readers might ask, if in fact they asked any at all, would be, " who drives that car "? Well, of course, that's an integral part of this operation. The driver has always stayed out of the limelight allowing the car to take center stage. It's time, however, for the driver to step forward. He spends a lot of time in that darkened barn so he's a little pale. There he is standing in front of that green door on the left of the GT. He's waving to one and all and thanking you for reading our blog.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Medium IS the message: The Boat

Here we are at what has become one of the most popular community bulletin boards in the low country. The roads into other neighborhoods are often posted with a host of all sorts of signs and placards staked, stapled or stuck in places of public view. It all kind of runs together with a mundane sameness.

Visitors to Folly Beach, however, are greeted by messages painted on a BOAT. Over a period of several years this boat has sustained countless coats of paint and is probably the best preserved watercraft in the universe. If the Titanic had had that much paint on its hull, the iceberg might not have punctured it.

The idea is that one paints a background presumably using a roller then writes their message in a contrasting color with a small brush. The next customer paints over the previous message and so on and on. There seems no set rule as to how long each message is allowed to stand, but logically its tenure depends upon the urgency of the next messenger.

Once we pulled up next to the boat we noticed that creativity is not limited to the boat, but is shared with the pavement as can be seen above. We can't be certain whether artistic talents are larger than the boat alone or if they just brought a little too much paint. The medium is often the message in this case.

We kept the motor running in order that we might get out of the way of the next message painter lest that Windveil Blue finish get painted over with a fish fry proclamation.

It looks like fun, but we'll just stick to this blog for posting our messages.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Suga Shack and the Yuppie Tsunami

Well, it's short and it's sweet and is perched right on Spring Street. Of course, there being insufficient room on the sign for " sugar " and in taking the advantage of the Sweet Shop Rules of Poetic License, they used the diminutive, " SUGA ". While some of their patrons may be hooked on something other than phonics, we all recognize their intent phonetically. The Suga Shack sits on the north side of Spring Street between Coming and Rutledge in what remains yet a neighborhood.

This is another in our series on places of character, color and individuality which do not seem long for this world. The rising tide of re-gentrification which is rolling up the peninsula in the form of a yuppie tsunami will certainly cream the Suga Shack. Developers will kick the Crapachino out this charming little place.

While there may be a building code flaw here or there, the place certainly meets the city's height ordinance. There appears to be some off street parking, but we're not sure whether that's a patron's blue truck which has some grass growing up into it's wheel wells. The Shack is certainly not blocking the air flow to that snappy HVAC system of the building on the left.

When we have a look at the " comps ", the comparable property values so embraced by appraisers, the Suga Shack moves close to the head of the class. That Charleston Single House to the east ( right ) appears to have been abandoned by its original porches after which they went for brick. There is a lapse in the bricks for now, but the fresh pine 2 x 4's suggest another chapter in the works.

We hope that the Shack will endure, that they own the place and can afford to thumb their noses at the grand design which we hear thundering down Spring Street at this very moment. Being sensible, it is clear that there is no place for such places in that grand design which is one of the things which bothers us about that grand design. Good luck.

Monday, January 02, 2006


. In our vast and complex world sometimes like minded creatures find each other. Two creatures which feel the need for speed had a recent rendezvous. They are the GT and the F-4 C, but little did we know of the history of ANNETTE.

Faithful readers will recognize the Windveil blue Mustang GT and the faithful defenders of our country will recognize the McDonnell-Douglas Phantom F-4 C. Windveil encountered this beauty which is on display at the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina at Charleston.

The crest with a hammer represents the U.S. Air Force 558th Tactical Fighter Squadron. A bit of research has revealed that First Lieutenant Buck Shuler, Jr. flew this F-4, named after his wife Annette, out of Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in South Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.

In November 2005, the son of the fighter pilot who flew ANNETTE after Buck Shuler was looking on the internet for a model of this aircraft. The last time they had seen the actual aircraft was at Davis Monthom AFB in Arizonia in the early to mid 70's and it was slated to be cut up for scrap. All he had hoped for was little diecast metal model of this aircraft, but to his great surprise he learned through the son of Buck Shuler, Jr., that ANNETTE had been preserved and was on display at the Citadel. It must have felt like finding a long lost family member.

When we encountered ANNETTE we were pleased to be able to share a moment with this beautiful aircraft. So often we look casually upon what we think of simply as machines and equipment without considering the human stories which are interwoven with them. ANNETTE has already written all of her stories which are now part of cherished human memories, the Windveil stories have just begun.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


This New Year's Eve afternoon photo is posted just a little behind schedule owing to a little too much celebrating ahead of schedule.

What's a New Year's Eve celebration without fireworks? Accordingly the Windveil makes a ritual stop for pyrotechnics at a little roadside stand on James Island, SC, actually James Island isn't really or isn't yet a town, but that involved fireworks of a political nature which this blog avoids like the plague.

South Caroliina is one of the few states in the Union which allows such widespread and liberal sales of fireworks. The stands open just before Christmas and you can be sure that folks are still buying them on this the first day of 2006. Here in SC, it's not so much a day, but a season which is celebrated with fireworks.

A rolling survey of fireworks stands today, January 1, reveals that all of these vendors are still doing a brisk business. There is something about blowing things up which naturally appeals to people young and old. It is only in those few places like SC where all ages can still indulge that desire.

While the M-80's and Cherry Bombs have been vastly weakened and can no longer blow the lids off of manhole covers or rupture the drainpipes in high schools, the firecrackers are undiminished. Several of the four dollar packs were secured at this stand. They are laid out much as the bandoliers for machine guns in World War II fighter aircraft. When lit they go off with almost as much fury and just as fast as machine guns.

It should be noted than none of those pictured are in any way associated with the car, this blog or any violation of fireworks laws as far as can be known.

Just before dusk the GT went where all good little nimble zoom-zoom cars go on New Year's Eve: in the garage. Any driver with a trace of good sense knows that you just don't get on the public roads on that special night. There's always an even chance that one might meet up with the traffic police on any other given day and an absolute assurance that you will on New Year's Eve night.

Here's wishing one and all a very happy and prosperous new year and as the good folks at Exxon used to say, " Happy Motoroing " 2006.