Monday, October 13, 2008

Stuff in South Carolina is Old . . .

. . . But I am not, thank you very much.
On Saturday night we participated in a "Ghost Tour" downtown.
Basically, it was a walk through a cemetery, past a haunted office building and theatre, across the haunted University of South Carolina campus, and through the dark grounds of the State Capitol building.
Having spent the last several years in Houston, I was generally just surprised at how much older everything is in Columbia.
Houston is old, sure, but a lot of the oldest stuff was probably washed out to sea at some point or just quietly sank into the mud.
Or maybe there just weren't moonlit walking ghost tours.
But anyway, we heard stories from the Civil War (not what it is called here, by the way) about Sherman's march through the South. People here are still pissed off about that march, by the way.
We saw that the people of Columbia left the marks from Sherman's cannon balls on the State Building. They even marked them with stars.
I'm not sure why, but I assume it is because they are still planning to collect on the damages as soon as the Union Army gets though all their other mail.
The guide explained that the cannon balls had hit the building from across the river accidentally, since Sherman didn't intend to hit that building.
The marks were simply collateral damage from Sherman's strategy of flinging cannon balls all over the South in a technique historians refer to as the "Yankee Teabag".
Eventually, if you fling your balls around long enough, someone will name a tank after you.
We heard stories about old haunted hotels which are now new haunted law offices.
We saw the effects of planting a live oak too close to a grave (it eats the marker).
We listened to the guide go on for a long long time about the "Chicken Curse" and why it is the reason the Gamecocks will never win a championship.
We also learned why people from Columbia hate Clemson.
For the record, everyone should hate Clemson. In fact, there should be a law.
This may be because our guide was a college student and the Gamecocks had beaten Kentucky a few hours before the tour started, but it could also just be that Clemson is built on a foundation of corruption and liquid fail.
For the record, we did not see any actual ghosts.
We saw homeless people.
And we saw bugs.
And we saw drunk college students.
These things were well worth the price of the tour, though.
We plan to visit the State Building during the day sometime soon, since we'd like a better look at Sherman's ball marks.
I mean, who wouldn't?


Joe said...

It could be worse ... some might argue that Sherman's balls scaring Columbia has left his taint on the people of South Carolina.


Sigh ...

Garrick said...

I just spent the last ten minutes giggling.