Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Business Section: Cottageville SC

We had a yarn concocted along the lines of having broken down in a remote area of the state only to be rescued by the featured wrecker. After having a good look at both vehicles it seemed more likely that we had found the wrecker disabled and gave it a push to its present berth.

This is Cottageville in Colleton County, South Carolina. We're having to watch our P's and Q's these days out on the open road. Not long ago the Mayor of Cottageville had got himself into hot water over some alleged violation of the posted speed limits. They, the newspaper, said that he had been rather fleet of foot, but had received several free passes on speeding tickets when stopped. We did not feel that such same luck would attach to us while breezing through this little town. We made a slow and deliberate debut.

No riddle of commerce has confounded us more than the rural sacrament of the yard sale. We were drawn to one being held in a semicircular driveway by a man who never made eye contact with us nor we with him as we idled past his array of puzzling goods. The man sat in a chair under a tent and concentrated on his cigarette seeming to hope that we'd steal some of his stuff which would allow him to vacate the unappealing site sooner than later. After this wasted moment we pulled away and then our eyes fell upon J.W.'s Tire Station.

J.W. has taken over a nice old concrete block structure in the heart of town. It seemed welcoming in a frighteningly friendly sort of way. He has a collection of hubcaps of which none match. These are probably just loosely fastened mementos from cars passing through. The tires look fresher. The truck is dreamboat.

The wrecker seems a composite of several different trucks' previous lives. There is a set of canine teeth painted into the grille. Some kind of metal hat is attached to the hood. The interior is a clutter of items which one might expect to build up in such a vehicle over time. When one fancies a set of wheels it becomes a personalized possession which often is given a name. J.W. has painted this truck's name on the door: " Red Hot Tow-mater " ! The tire market in Cottageville may ebb and flow, but this looks like a long term relationship.


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