Monday, September 21, 2009

Hugo's a bad man

I was 6 years old when Hurricane Hugo ripped through my small hometown of Hartsville, SC. I knew something bad was happening a few days before it made landfall on September 21, 1989. My aunt and uncle from Charleston showed up with their kids and dogs to stay at our house for a few days. They usually stayed with my grandparents when they came to town but this trip they had brought 3 dogs and my grandma didnt allow dogs in her house.

I thought it was fun when mom took me to the store a few days before the storm and we bought sweet sixteen donuts. We bought gallons of water and bread and little debbies. I thought we were having a party.

The storm made landfall at night but during the day I helped my dad board up windows at his office. I handed him nails and a hammer. I still wasnt sure what was going on. It was a peaceful and beautiful day. I remember how calm it was (eerily calm as I now know it to be).

My parents put me in their bed the night of September 21st. They said there was going to be a storm and we were going to all sleep in their room. My brother was going to sleep on the couch in their room and my aunt, uncle and cousins were in the living room on air mattresses and sofas.

I fell asleep pretty quickly in my daddy's arms and woke up to the sound of a freight train around 3am. My mom and brother were standing on the sofa looking out the window into our front yard. I heard my mom yell for my brother to "get down". There was a tornado ripping through our yard. I remember hearing lots of loud bangs it was tree limbs falling and tranformers blowing. It was the sound of lightning striking and rain pouring down. The sound of glass breaking and limbs falling on houses and cars.

The next morning I was the last one in the house to get up. I walked to the kitchen and noticed no one was there. I walked outside in my footed pajamas and saw my entire family in the backyard. They were drinking coffee, talking to the neighbors, and assessing damage.

A tree had fallen on my playhouse, a pine tree had crushed our brick fence and landed in our pool. 3 houses on our street had trees through them middle of their houses. There was trash and debris all over the yard and street. It was a mess. I distinctly remember walking to my playhouse and touching the big tree. When I pulled my hand away it was sticky with sap.

Clean up took days and we were without water and electricity for about a week. The storm went right through my town and wreaked hvaoc on the way. My aunt and uncle went back to Charleston to find a bigger mess. When we got back to school a week later we had to write down our feelings and memories and they were compiled in a book about the storm. I wrote "Hugo's a bad man, he put a tree on my playhouse".

Twenty years later I still remember how bad of a man Hugo was.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

South Carolina the home of Bad Asses!

I might live in Georgia now and I might say I'm from Savannah when people ask but my home is in South Carolina. I grew up there and spent 23 years of my life in that great state. I'm so proud to be from a state of bad asses. I dont discuss politics often because I have many friends that are too far right or too far left and I consider myself a moderate. Now, I'm not condoning Joe Wilson's actions but you have to admit that it took balls to do that and it was a bad ass move. And now I give you my most noteable SC bad asses

#1. Preston Brooks

History lesson 1: Before the civil war there were debates for years regarding slavery. In a series of discussions over the "bleeding Kansas" incident, Brooks was angered by a speech made by R-Mass. Charles Sumner. Preston Brooks then asked noteable bad ass #2: Lawrence Keitt if he should challenge Mr Sumner to a duel. At this point Keitt insinuated that Sumner was below Rep. Brooks. A little later Preston Brooks went to Sumner's office and proceeded to beat the crap out of him with a cane. He continued until the cane broke and nearly killed Sumner. Keitt stood in the hall with a pistol is noted for saying "let them be" at on lookers.

Not a noble thing to do but BAD ASS none the less.

#3- Strom Thurmond

Now, I know most people not from South Carolina and many from there think this guy was an old geezer. But I want to note a incident in 1957 when he gave a 24 hour and 18 min long filibuster. You must admit that as obnoxious as this probably was to endure it is awesome that he set this record. Again, that took balls.

#4- "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion

I dont think I need to explain why this guy is a bad ass. I mean he is the father of modern guerrilla warfare. It was all his idea. He hung out in the swamps of SC and pulled a sneak attack on the redcoats. BAD ASS!!!

Thats all I have so far but I am always updating this list. Let me know if you have anyone to add.

Friday, September 11, 2009

For the Love of Dogs

When I was in college I went through a bad breakup at the end of my junior year. My parents had just moved to Savannah and I was a little depressed. On a whim a friend suggested we go look at puppies to cheer me up. We went to the Animal Shelter in my college town and I saw a cute hound dog that I wanted. I was told to come back the next day and she would be available.

The next morning I arrived with my friend Greg and my hound dog had already been adopted. I was told that 3 new puppies had arrived. There were 2 boys and a girl. They were white and teeny tiny. All we knew were that they were terrier mixes. The girl had wavy hair and one of the boys didnt have much of a personality. The other little boy was in a cage by himself. He had a little mohawk that stuck up on top of his little head and he nibbled my fingers. It was love at first sight. I left that day with a dog without a name. That is until he drank out of my Jack and coke later that night and became known as Jackson Daniel.

When we got home everyone was so excited and wanted to hold my new baby. He slept in my bed that night and has every night since. I lived with my 2 best friends that summer and Jackson went with us to parties every night. He was carried around in guy's cargo pockets so he didnt have to walk. We played fetch and tug of war and there was lots of cuddling. I quickly forgot about what's his face after I started chasing after this puppy and teaching him about the world.

He adapted to my lifestyle. Go to bed late and sleep in the next day. When I entered the real world a year later he was my family and he was the only one making the college to career transition with me. He was my comforting reminder of the good ole days. His hair came in and he turned into this cute little guy.

I lied to my parents about where he came from and I recently told my mom the truth. I told them he came from the neighbors and he was free. The truth is, he was the best $70 I ever spent. I dont know if its possible for a dog to be your soul mate but I sometimes think he just gets me better than anyone else. Now dont get me wrong, Jackson is not perfect. He was a handful 90% of the time. He is VERY smart and gets himself into some sticky situations. See below.

Every year we participate in the Mutt Strut for the Savannah Chatham Humane Society. It is the top fundraiser for the organization. It pays most of their operating budget for the year. We made a team called for the Love of Dogs. If you love your 4 legged friend as much as I do then go to and donate to our cause. You can write it off on your taxes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I LOVE college football. I dont just love watching my Clemson Tigers win but I know that with the start of football season brings cooler weather and argyle sweaters. I love an argyle sweater. This summer in Savannah hasnt been any hotter than summers past but it has rained almost every day. Literally there have only been about 17 days that it hasnt rained.

Today was cool and felt amazing. All I can think about is how great fall is. I'm headed up to Clemson this weekend ot take in the opening game. I'm moving at the end of the month and next month I have Savannah Film Festival.

I think because with my job I meet a lot of students coming back to school, I see the hope and excitement that fall brings. I've started picking out my fall wardrobe and will be posting shortly.
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