Crown O' Thorns ?
We had set out to visit Ridgeway, South Carolina this afternoon, but a curveball in Camden sent us in the opposite direction. We don't use Map Quest or Google mapping because it is so often misleading for the out of the way places we seek to visit and the big towns with which they have somewhat better luck are already known to all. Our actual map showed a Hwy 34 so we took the only one we saw which went in one direction. Mile after mile after mile and no Ridgeway, not even a sign to Ridgeway. How one can go so wrong for so many miles is not something we can explain, but that's what happened as many miles were covered.
Where we ultimately went and what we there saw will be shared in a subsequent posting. For the moment we want to begin at the end of our long and misdirected adventure. At the point where the towel was tossed we resolved to find our way home by means of a more direct route. In short order an array of highway signs presented in a cluster much as every hamlet welcomes one with a host of civic club and church signs at the city limit. In the midst of all this we saw good old US Highway 52, an almost straight shot cutting through the Pee Dee and terminating at the fabled Dual Lane which is the southern end of Rivers Avenue.
Making our way down 52 and taking care to avoid the many speed traps of the many hamlets along the way, our slower pace gave us a more in depth view of the sights along our path. Next to and a very close second behind auto racing related interests we saw a great number of signs directing motorists in matters of faith. Many signs evoked the saving grace of specific denominations while others drew the viewer to that one church as a specific location which could do for you what others might not. Other signs were less specific, but more instructive by invoking damnation which overcomes the wicked, a general warning to those who don't follow the Scriptures and, by implication, those who fall behind in their tithing.
We could never figure out which specific church or denomination looked best from the road, but the one billboard which said the most with the least wording was an eye catcher. It showed a very humble faucet or spigot, the type which most rural kitchens had over their sinks many years ago. From this common "spiket", as it's often called in these parts, flowed a stream of clear water which suddenly turned into red wine once it splashed into finely cut crystal clearly intended only for a very special Cabernet. This, of course, demonstrates the First Miracle: the turning of water into wine. In this image we found the suggestion that the even lowest sinner can become a premium Christian with the proper application of faith. It seams reasonable. We also wondered if this suggested that with the proper faith one could turn their recession degraded investments into consecrated profits. Less reasonable, but with faith who can say ?
Close to home on 52 between Moncks Corner and Goose Creek we spotted what appeared to be a serious OSHA violation off the road. Turning into a side road we were confronted with is seen in the photo. It seems a very dangerous way to store one's gardening implements, but maybe this was a means of theft prevention. With hundreds of acres of valuable plants it must take many of these to work the gardens. We first thought this to be a very powerful electromagnet which held all the tools securely over the weekend which then fell into the arms of waiting workers when the boss threw the switch on Monday. We feared that it could suck our radiator clean through the grille.
Upon closer inspection it took on a decidedly Bolshevik aura. Did the workers of the world throw down their tools? We can't recall. Was this a Collective in Berkeley County ? Or, could this be a Crown of Thorns fashioned by fate for those who travel the state roads and poke fun at Holy messages? If so, it would have fallen like an avalanche upon our disrespectful head. Thankfully, it did not.
When the scales fell from our windshield it became quite clear that this is what many wounded veterans of Spoleto festivals know to be site specific art or " SSA " in our book. SSA is anything which anyone puts anywhere as long as it evokes something, but means nothing. This, however, means something is linked logically to their corporate calling. We find it quite dazzling, but wonder why it's not on the highway side or at the customer entrance where it might sell some plants. This dramatic work hangs over the service entrance where only deliveries are made and workers may pass. Perhaps it is a gift to those to work the fields for the nursery or might this just be a bit of corporate ego? Is this for those who till the soil or did this just soil the till?