Monthly Archives: November 2017

“Just add bbq sauce…”

Some random thoughts, photos and experiences in the old south.

I went golfing on Monday morning at Deer Island Golf Course. Played with a lovely couple who told me that they had been coming there for 25 years and that I was going to love it. By the second hole even they were apologizing for the condition of the course. Now I guess I shouldn’t have expected much – after all I only paid $10.00 – but it was US $.

Just as I was about to tee off on the fifth hole I caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of my eye.

Apparently he/she is some kind of snapping turtle. Put me right off my game. (Ed. Note: That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Tuesday I was off to Mission Inn Golf Course which was considerably more -$40. It was in much better condition and the three retired guys from New York State I played with were also very pleasant. However, my mouth did drop and I was left speechless on the 17th tee. What would you have done? Two of the guys were jawing back and forth about who was older etc. when the third guy says to me “Just like the n*&&%r said to the mulatto, you’re still black.” He then turned to tee up his ball, leaving me in a mild state of shock. I was glad there were only 2 holes left though.

Also on Tuesday this little scene was in front of me.

Just after I took this shot, I took one more step and the gator dove in, scaring the bejesus out of me – and the sand cranes.

Yesterday at Arlington Ridge Golf Course ($31.00) we saw these two strolling down the boulevard.

and then on our big walk this morning

A fellow came out with his two little daschunds to chase them away. You can understand how listening to that for any period of time would drive you around the bend.

Some other sights from The Plantations, where there apparently is a rule that when you pass one another walking, driving or riding a golf cart, you smile and wave. Well, smile unless you are the one woman whose face looked like it hadn’t smiled since, well, ever.

Even the cacti need to protect their eyes. Anyone know what kind of tree this is? The seed pods are impressive.

Not sure, but I don’t think the cactus Terry planted in our front yard will get to these dizzying heights.

Who wouldn’t want a pink garage door, front door and shutters?

After our big walk we were off to poke around Leesburg- a town that seems to be on its last legs. Since we were here last a few more stores have closed down (Ed. note: Except for the God Cafe, which seems to be thriving and has all new teal and chrome furniture) leaving a rather thinly populated downtown core. Two Old Hags wine store is still there and still selling excellent wine, and so is Turners Kitchen + Bar which serves fabulous meals. They have a great concept. The largest group they will take is 6 people. I would say 90% of their tables are for four, which keeps the noise level down and service exemplary.

Turners’ take on Fried Green Tomatoes Caprese.

And now the reason for this post’s title.

After we left Turners we were strolling along Main Street when a woman behind Terry says “I love your sundress” And why wouldn’t you.

I turn and look at her and say “Hey what about me?” and turn back to start walking when she replies “I do like the belt your wife picked out for you.” And why wouldn’t you.

Then I hear her say “Did you hear what she said? Talk about sexual harassment!” I turn around and here is a lovely woman coming towards me and she says “Just put some bbq sauce on those legs and I’ll eat ’em right up!” whereupon she collapses against her Cadillac in gales of laughter.

How about dem legs, y’all.

Enough for now – I have to go and admire myself.

Home Sweet Home

Let me say right off that no, we are not home yet. We still have another 10 days or so to enjoy in the sunshine states. However, we have seen a number of heritage homes here in South Carolina.

I’m thinking the description is somewhat ominous, how about you?

This house just down the street from the five star resort we are staying at. Hilton Head has a real mix of homes. From the wealthy huge homes to the double wide trailers which are in somewhat suspect condition.

Meanwhile, up the highway in Bluffton, we came across the Sarah Riley Hooks home. Who was Sarah and why is her home worth noting? Read on.

From The Island Packet” – the local newspaper: “Sarah Riley Hooks was a home health care nurse….Sarah had a son named Tony. He lived with Sarah when he was in town and was a musician who played with Sly and the Family Stone and Bluffton’s own musician John Brannen. …A very bizarre thing happened early one Bluffton morning. Tony was shot dead on Sarah’s front porch. It was a senseless act by a deranged person. The shooter drove off and was chased by our police all the way to Savannah where he was caught. All of Bluffton was in a state of shock. Thirty years or so ago we were a small town, where things of this sort did not happen. Tony was her only child so, as you may imagine, this made it even worse. Sarah was, as were we all, very sad for some time after this.” Bizarre? A very bizarre thing happened? Very sad for some time? This reporter certainly has a way with words.

Then there is The Garvey House.

The interior:After viewing the Garvey House we wandered down to the beach/pier and saw this car. We figured it was something pulled out of the water. There was a woman just leaving the seafood shop and I asked her about the car. She said the car ran and the man who drove it also lived in it. A somewhat different interpretation of home sweet home.

Okay enough about home sweet home. Now just some random stuff.

The Hilton Head school complex is nearby (high school, middle school, elementary school, school for the creative arts, football stadium, lacrosse field, soccer field, baseball diamond and general playing fields) is nearby. Saw this sign. Imagine the idea of a Weather Makeup Day happening in BC – on a Saturday.

We went for a long bike ride this morning looking for the beach. We eventually found it (more on that in a second). It was VERY windy and VERY brisk. There were several kite-sailers out.

So the plan for our bike ride was to get to the beach and ride on the packed sand. After an hour or so we got to the end of Beach City Road, where, according to the map there was a public access to the beach. Instead we saw what you see.

Undaunted I went through the open gate to the house and knocked on the door. After the door opened it went as follows:

Geoff: “Hi. We were looking for the beach access.”

Man. (Turning himself 90 degrees and looking down): “No access here. This is private property.”

Geoff: “Oh, could you tell me where there is access?”

Man. “1/4 mile on the left.” SLAM. Yes folks, I literally had the door slammed in my face – a first.

Now sure it says private property and everything, but the gate was open and I’m just a tourist.

Yesterday we went golfing at The Golden Bear Golf course. Wasn’t a memorable round for sure except for these two that Terry caught.

Now this fellow resides on the bank next to our condo. We are about 15 feet away when we walk by.

I wonder if the sign applies to him too?

My arty photo for today.

And finally – Two Pals

Hey, It’s Only Money

Well here we are all settled in our lovely condo in Hilton Head. For those of you who don’t go on Facebook, let me give you the quick recap of our efforts to get here.

We left home on Hallowe’en morning – saving the cost of candy for the little gremlins. We went to Trochu to visit Terry’s aunt and cousins. We left there and stopped at the world famous Torrington Gopher Hole Museum.

There were somewhere around thirty dioramas that have been built over the twenty-one years it has been there. This was my favourite one – check out the small speaking bubble.

Then it was off to Calgary to visit my sister and brother-in-law for a few days.

Saturday morning we left.

When we left it was -15 with a wind chill to -25. When we got to Savannah, Georgia is was a little warmer – just 26 degrees.

Savannah is a beautiful city. It has some lovely old houses and streets.

We passed the house where “Midnight in the Garden of Evil” was filmed but were passed it before we could get a photo. I was surprised how many places Kevin Spacey was mentioned as staying in a B and B or filming a movie or eating or something else. I would have thought he would have been dropped like a hot frying pan.

It also has a great cemetery. Next to the cemetery was a dueling ground. The duellers/duellists would meet the cemetery worker, pick out the plot they wanted, pay for it and have the duel. After the duel, the loser got tossed over the cemetery wall, literally and the winner got a refund. Couple of interesting items – even though there are several thousand people buried in the cemetery, there are only 666 headstones. There is also an area which is a mass grave and when it was dug up at some point there were 666 bodies. Just a little weird.

Entrance to the cemetery.

We went to Vic’s – a highly recommended restaurant and a highly disappointing restaurant. Terry and Cindy had Boullabaise. It was lukewarm at best with over cooked fish and – get this all you gourmands, rice. When the server asked how our dinners were, they told her, she told the manager and she very graciously took 10% or $6.90 each of the bill. How good was that.

Sunday we talk a hop on hop off tour and stopped first at Clary’s for brunch and the the Massie Heritage Center. Clary’s is a Savannah institution. We waited 30 minutes outside, but it was definitely worth the wait. We did see one little vignette. The host came out and called for “Becky for 6” obviously indicating that the table for six was ready. Becky told the woman that her group was on their way, and they were arriving about 25 minutes later. Now I thought that since there were so many people waiting that the table might be given to people who were actually there, including a group of 7 guys, but I guess that’s not how it is done in the south.

The Maissie Heritage Center is a building which was the first public school in Savannah. It was started by a donation of $5000 from Mr Massie for the poor children of Savannah in 1856. It served as a public school until 1974. The first class and I mean class since they were all in one room, consisted of 150 students, ages 6 to 20. They were all taught together, because “Nobody knew anything so they were all starting from the same point.” Today it holds a replica of the original classroom, an exhibition of various types of architecture, a brief 10000 year history of Native Americans (Can they really be Native if the map shows where in Asia they came from?), the history of the restoration of Savannah, an interactive explanation of how the grid/ward system in Savannah and a fascinating look at the incredible port facilities of Savannah.

And just before we leave Savannah, I’m not saying it is quite a clean city but…

From there we drove the 45 miles or so to Hilton Head to check into a wonderful condo resort.

Monday was a lounging around the pool day followed by a terrific lunch at Hudson’s, on the Atlantic Coastal Way. Gary had a bucket of oysters. They couldn’t say how many were actually in the bucket since there were somewhere between 10 and 15 clumps of them.

Terry and Cindy were going to share an order of shrimp tacos and a Caesar salad, but there was a little confusion and the salad didn’t arrive so the server says “Sorry for the confusion – I’ll take the tacos off the bill.” Then when the bill came, they had forgotten to put one my beer and when I pointed that out, the manager says “Thanks for being honest, it’s on me.” Vic’s could take several lessons in customer service.

Today we were off to Harbour Town Golf Links. This is where the RBC Heritage Classic is held every year, the week after The Masters. It is not cheap, but since we are here, we figured it wasn’t to be missed. Please sit down while you read the following. Green fees are $220US (each) Then there is a 7.5% tax of $16.50. ($236.50) Then there is $30 per person charge for the compulsory fore caddie ($266.50) Then there is the $2.50 toll highway charge ($269.00) Then there is the $6.00 charge to drive through the private community to get to the golf course. Total = $275.00US. They do give you a bottle of water each though. I have mixed feelings though. Terry couldn’t play since her shoulder is still bothering her so that was bad. However, we did save the $266.50 and they let her chip and putt on each hole for free. Still and all it was a lot of fun and I think we are all glad we did it. For the golfers out there – 6253 yards, Rating 71.4, Slope 136 I shot a 91 with two triples and two doubles, so I was pleased.

Our fore caddie Ryan. Great guy and very helpful with yardage, reading putts and finding directionally challenged balls, but not such a great photographer. Our clubs actually have heads and not just shafts.

This is the view from the white tees on the 18th

And this is the view from the back tees. 7099 yards (an average of 60 yards longer per hole), Rating 71.6, Slope 148

I’m not sure where we play next, but it definitely won’t cost anywhere near as much. We all agreed that while it was great and we are glad we did it, there are better courses out there for less money. It was pristine though.

Well that’s it for now. Sadly no good shoes in Georgia or South Carolina.

The Road to Fame

There are many ways to become famous, either as a person or a place. You can do something heroic like Oskar Schindler and save hundreds of lives, you could be Ernest Jackson and make the Grey Cup winning catch in overtime, you could be a great actress like Meryl Streep, you could even just have a rich family as Paris Hilton does. If it is a place it could have danger involved, think of Mount Everest, it could have incredible physical beauty – Niagara Falls or have unusual rock formations – the Giant’s Causeway. No matter what causes the fame it is unlikely that that was the original goal- to become famous. That, however, was not the goal of today’s subject.

Twenty-two years ago the community of Torrington, Alberta was given $10000.00 by the provincial government. “The one before the NDP.” They had to do something with the money as a community. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine most of the 179 residents sat around the pub of the Torrington Hotel discussing how to spend the money . After, I don’t know, maybe ten beer each, Otto (more on Otto later) says, “Hey, I got an idea. Let’s build a gopher hole museum.” Bunty, then just a spry 73 year old spring chicken with flaming red hair (still red today at 94) says “That’s a great idea Otto. I’m sure we can get 5 years out of that concept.” And so is born the world famous Torrington Gopher Hole Museum at the junction of highways 27 and 805, still there after a very successful 21 years.

Torrington is on the road to Trochu, home to Terry’s aunt, various cousins and, of course, Henry’s Shoes, so we pass it every time we go to visit. Terry has taken Joe and Sam to visit it but we have never stopped – until yesterday. I had checked the website and it is only open in the summer, but I wanted a photo of it anyway, so on our way back to Calgary yesterday we took the two block detour to do that. Clearly we live right and are truly good people because just as we pull up the door opens and there is Otto “ Just call me Crazy Otto.” We ask if he is open and he says “Sure, I’ll open for you two.” He turns on the lights and I ask if I can take some pictures. “Sure, if you give me $2.00 each.” He immediately points to a sign that says admission is $2 unless you are under 13 in which case it is free. I think he didn’t want us thinking he was ripping us off!

There are 8 people now involved in the running of it (Maybe the other 171 people didn’t like the idea?). It is quite the place. Last August they had 2500 visitors. I’m not sure exactly how many dioramas there are – these aren’t all of them though. Let me show you some.

(Ed. Note: All the gophers are actually stuffed according to the official taxidermy rules. None were hurt in the processing since they were already dead. For those of you who believe this is wrong, you clearly haven’t lived to see the damage they can do, when alive, to crops.)

Be sure to check out the little speech bubbles.

Celebrating Canada 150

This one was a result of someone in the US phoning and threatening to come and picket and protest. Otto was disappointed they never showed up. However it did generate a lot of publicity for them, which was all good.

This one depicts the actual restaurant in town, eh.

My favourite

This is the one Crazy Otto did. It is his fishing hole with one of his fishing ties. The woman who paints the backdrops said she couldn’t paint.

This diorama travelled to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics

These murals were done by a guy who used to work for Disney Studios. According to Otto, it took him about 10 cases of beer. Sometime after it was finished, he was at home, had a few pops, fell down his basement stairs, broke his neck and that was that.

Geoff and Crazy Otto – neither of the first two of me are any good, but what the heck…and no, I hadn’t been drinking.

Finally, I do really like this one. That head is heavy and Crazy Otto has to wear it every year in the parade!