Sunday, August 30, 2009


This could be titled "IN LIEU OF A CHURCH", but fear not as a very real church lives within the covers. We are at 120 Broad Street near the corner of Legare, Charleston, SC. We found a place in front of the church while the service was being conducted. We arrived a bit late so we decided to enjoy the church from the exterior.
Under the wraps is The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The Cathedral Parish was established by Bishop John England, the first Bishop of Charleston. The actual date of construction varies depending upon the source referenced, but it may be generally considered to have begun in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was and is the Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese
in Charleston. It was named The Cathedral of Saint John and Saint Finbar.

That church burned in 1861. The rebuilding began in 1890 and the church as we know it today was completed in 1907. Unlike the design of churches of many denominations, The Cathedral had no steeple upon completion. Those unfamiliar with the sacraments may think that the shroud which now covers the church represents a holy season. Actually, it is massive netting intended to prevent debris from falling upon passers by during construction of a steeple which is to finally grace The Cathedral.

This type of netting is used on many buildings. It is one of the steps which even builders of secular structures take in order to avoid the civil sacrament of litigation. Peace be with you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ridgeway's Anti Crime Kiosk

We are parked in front of the Ridgeway Law Enforcement Complex on the main street of that small town in Fairfield County, S.C. This is actually the former home of Ridgeway's police department which served the town from 1940 through 1990. I doesn't quite fit into the Mustang's trunk, but was for those fifty years more than sufficient quarters for Ridgeway's one police officer who reportedly served without an automobile.

It does seem odd that a town which was the site of a very successful gold mine wouldn't need a larger police force. For almost 12 years Kennecot Minerals harvested 28 tons of silver and 46 tons of gold from their Ridgeway mine site. Our experience with Western movies suggests that bandits loved to rob the trains which brought the payroll money to miners as well as those which carted off the mined gold. There was profit in either direction for robbers who cared enough to feast upon the easy pickings. We were disappointed in not finding accounts of daring robberies and bloody shootouts over so much gold and silver.

While it was not a result of gold fever, Ridgeway did eventually hire a second police officer. The 2000 Census plotted Ridgeway's population at 328. That gave each officer 164 citizens to serve and protect, a ratio which would (further) bankrupt most major metro areas, but it has worked well for Ridgeway. The only problem with the second officer was that the station house was not large enough for two people. The town then took yet another timely step and purchased a police cruiser in which to place the second officer. Such are the demands of never ending municipal growth.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Please pardon the mud on our quarter panels, but we love the feel of the Good Earth under our feet. We love the sound it makes when our tires sling it up into the wheel wells. There's a rewarding feeling when it gives way to the car. When we slide the car or spin the rear wheels in the dirt there is only pleasure. There is no horrible tire squeal, no stinking rubber smoke, no horrified slack jawed onlookers. Unlike costly cracking and crumbling pavement which falls apart, someone (no us) just puts the dirt back more or less where it belongs so that we can scatter it all to hell the next time we've a mind to do so. It's a gift that keeps on giving.

Our love of the soil and working it in our special way is the main reason why we never paved our driveway. Now, your suburbanite can't very well come flying down his street and suddenly cut the wheel to slide the car sideways up to the door. Every set of pink foam rubber hair curlers would be overloading the police switch board. Those broad black skid marks in the drive would have his Yard of the Month sign revoked on the spot. The TV people would be show up, canvas the neighbors, find one with a grim facial wart, another missing some teeth and maybe a third spilling out of her Mu Mu and put the lot of them on the evening news. " First time we seen that car in the neighborhood, we knew nothin' good would come of it", or words to that effect would spill out of the TV set.

We just love our little place in the country and welcome visitors, but maybe that old canon keeps some folks away. Perhaps a pineapple would help, but that's a nickname for a hand grenade. While it was once considered a symbol of hospitality, we never much liked the old cast iron groom holding out a hitching ring which people used to have by their mailboxes. So, we got two old boys to dress up in the red coat and put them on horses so that they can watch out for guests, tie up their horses and put the dirt back in place when necessary. They both flunked the entrance exam to become Civil War reenactors so we just let 'em think that they're practicing for roles in the remake of "The Patriot".

As can be seen, this IS horse country and what better place for a Mustang ? Now, just because our boys wear the red coat, that does not mean that they participate in the fox hunt. Fox hunting these days is a bit different than most imagine. First, there's no fox just the urine of a fox is used. How this is obtained, we do not wish to guess. In horse country things are not always as they seem. The untutored often refer to "horse racing," but around here it's called the Steeplechase. However, just as no fox is hunted in a fox hunt, no steeple is being chased by the riders. Being a faith based community, we thought this the best policy.