Miles Today: 108
Total Miles: 3062.3
Days on the Road: 92
Chairmen of the River Dawgs: Bill Murray
We Missed: Free Vasectomy Day
Ft. Sumpter, the sexiest fort in the south
Top Ten Reasons It's Good That The South Lost
10. Slavery is bad
9. Slavery is bad
8. Slavery is bad
7. Slavery is bad
6. Slavery is bad
5. Slavery is bad
4. Slavery is bad
3. Slavery is bad
2. Slavery is bad
and the #1 reason...
1. Slavery is bad
Oprah Ate Here, plus River Dawgs
Sorry it's kind of hard to read, but trust us, it says "Oprah Winfrey ate at this table". On the other side of this two person table was a similar plaque declaring that none other than Sinbad had eaten there. One can only imagine the repartee between the two if it had been at the same time.
Honored as we were to be eating at Oprah and Sinbad's table, we were no less honored to be in such a nice city as Charleston, and a little bit drunk. Note to Bloody Mary makers the world round: put lots of vegetables in there, everything you can find. Most important are the olives, nice big ones, the more the better. The "Marys" at Hyman's Seafood were mostly great, and deserving of their "best in the city" designation, though we didn't try any others. The olives were too small, and some horseradish would have been nice; to be sure they were not up to Chelsea Commons' standard, but quite good nonetheless. We had several.
At that point we were in the perfect mood for a minor league baseball game. So we went to see the Charleston River Dawgs, a single-A team partly owned by Bill Murray. We saw little evidence of his involvement, unless you count how hilariously the team sucked. Maybe it was all a put-on, actors portraying terrible baseball players; we sure found it amusing. We had a good time with our new friends in the row behind us, several large beers, and of course, Melvin Noodleman, the suspiciously-exactly-like-Jerry-Lewis River Dawgs mascot. They also have this great ice-cold bucket that for $1 you get to stick your arm into and pull out a beer. 10 to 1 it'll be a Busch.
We also visited Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, and various other noteworthy places in Charleston. They would be detailed here if we felt like it. We don't, so suffice it to say that Charleston was pretty, charming, quaint, all like what the guide books say. For now, on to other matters. Specifically, let's discuss the following picture.
I'm sure we can all agree that the t-shirt is totally cool. No question there. It's the hat that sparks the debate. We have real questions about this, and we'd really love to hear from someone who holds these views, or wears these hats, what the answers are. For instance; what, exactly, was the South right about? About it being good social and economic policy to allow citizens to OWN other people? About being able to kill people with impunity? About separate water fountains? They sell these hats in souvenir shops right next to the Salt Water Taffy, right across the street from what is sometimes called the "Ellis Island of Black America", Charleston's City Market, the place where over 1/3 of all slaves arrived in this country. What's the deal? The other day we saw a truck with two stickers: "John Rocker Was Right" and "I Ride With Forrest". We can only assume he means Nathan Bedford Forrest, confederate cavalry commander and founder of the Ku Klux Klan. We're all for free speech, of course, but isn't it a bit scary that this person can so proudly display a sticker indicating his membership in what amounts to a terrorist organization? Sure scared us.
Enough of that. We've been down here for a few weeks and after a while all the propaganda starts to get to you. Seriously, we'd love to hear opinions or rationalizations. Why is it okay, in fact seemingly encouraged, to be so proud of such a brutal and evil past?
It must be said, of course, that 99% of the people we've met have been completely sweet, welcoming, hospitable. It's that 1%. They scare us.
Go River Dawgs!
© 2002, 2003 Anthony Hecht and Liz Jones. All rights reserved.