May 1, 2016
Days 11-15. One Hundred Books and One at a Time
Hartwell Lake in South Carolina was a good stopping place for us. It is one of those Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds (McKinney) and was virtually deserted. We camped on a peaceful lake before heading for the big city of Spartanburg.
Over 30 years ago Tom and I lived and worked in Spartanburg. It is in the foothills of the mountains that cross North Carolina, only a stone’s throw from Asheville. We went back to visit Spartanburg about ten years ago, but this time we remembered virtually nothing about the town.
The main goal of this stop was to spend time with our friends Anita and Buren. I taught with Anita at a prestigious women’s college, Converse, and Tom was Vice President at HyLube that was located in Pauline. Anita Price Davis was Chair of the Education Department. During her career, she has written over 100 books, and I have had the privilege of co-authoring at least three of those books. (Just google here name or use the link above!!!) Buren Davis, back then, was a stellar worker for the Post Office. And now he shoulders the responsibility of both homes and their lives together. They fell in love over 40 years ago when they met at a gas station and the fire still burns.
For two days we haunted the local restaurants, toured their home, pond, and farm, discovered our old home in Cowpens, (and the Revolutionary Cowpen’s Battlefield where we spent holidays) and sprang through the campuses of Wofford and Converse.
Southern gentility surrounded and embraced us for the whole two days as we toured areas of Buren’s and Anita’s childhood. It was a touching moment to view the grave of her father who was killed in WWII when he was 20. Tom’s dad was, ironically, at the Battle of the Bulge too.
We visited the Price graves also. Towns like Forest City, Ellenboro, Mooresboro, Boiling Springs, — and Highway 74 seemed to be the most important road on the map.
We talked and talked and talked. Some of the oral history included fishing, Nascar races, Clemson Football, murders, and recent deaths of friends.
After eating our last big meal at The Southern Barbecue, Buren drove us to the new Krispy Creme donut factory and bought a half-dozen donuts for us.
Across from the new store is the old one where Tom and I experienced Krispy Cremes for the first time sitting on the stools at the counter.
It was difficult to leave Anita and Buren. We began to sing the blues. My dear friend (and sister, as she calls me) developed Parkinson’s disease last year. Then, she fell and fractured her hip which threw her into hospital and rehabilitation stays. We thought we were going to lose her. Yet, still recovering she ordered a hot fudge ice cream cake for lunch at Smith’s Drugstore in Forest City, and never worried one minute about the calories.
We can still hear them singing, “Ya’all come back now, ya here!!!”
(Please forgive the tardiness of this post. Our hotspots nor the Hunting Island WIFI would not work. We were in the dark for a few days. And WIFI was flickering when I composed this post so the pics are not exactly where I want them to be!)