Friday, October 23, 2009

The Clubbable Mustang

As Americans, we like tout the concept of the Melting Pot, the tradition of assimilating all comers into the one big happy family which is the United States. We wax eloquent on public monuments, we talk a pretty good game of it in our classic movies and it runs out of our ears around every election season. The old E Pluribus Unum: "Out of many, one", is all over our money.

Do we put our money where out mouth is? No, we use it to pay club dues. We love clubs and we love belonging them. Some facet of human nature enjoys belonging where others do not. Certainly we love being part of this one big happy family of Americans, but we'd kind like having that fifty-first star on our own private flag flown over our own private club.

We floated Samuel Johnson's concept of one being "clubbable" in our visit to and picture of the Poinsett Club in Greenville, SC last year. The Poinsett has that burnished look of old money and first family networking. We stopped by Harold's Country Club at Yemassee, SC, last December, a bit more toward the other end of the rainbow. We beheld the Oaks Country Club at Goose Creek, SC, in November of 2005 and lamented its future as the masthead of yet another development in Berkeley County. In May of '06 we rolled over to the Sea Island Yacht Club in the village of Rockville, SC, just prior to their annual mega regatta. On the very first day of this year we pulled up to Mel's Filling Station out on Dorchester Road in North Charleston, SC, only to find the pumps to be dry window dressing for what is actually the meeting place for the Low Country Model A Club, a sort of semi-secret age specific automobile group. Later in January we enjoyed the open air quality of the Spit and Argue Club at Columbia, SC, our state capital where the General Assembly does quite a bit of both in their very exclusive public club. Most recently we can be seen incognito sneaking up to the Wow-Wee Country Club...INC, apparently some sort of private corporate club for executives who seek the remove of Bamberg County. We were captivated by the sheer exuberance of the name. The unassuming nature of the clubhouse in the background adds to the stealth and charm of the place.

You can see the diversity of the clubs from the photos provided. While private clubs may seem anathema to the American way, there is no nation which has more of them. If we are actually some sort of melted goods, we seem to use many individual pots into which we want to we want to be poured with our own chosen alloys.


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