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Thinking South Carolina

August 13, 2010

On my way to Greenville, I decided to detour through Clemson, which was a little like going home having lived there for three wonderful years. I still miss that town and that state and the school all with their own unique – being nice – culture, politics, personality, bent, etc. Great people, fun town. A place where a person could grow up a lot.

I wanted to quickly drive through town and check out the produce stand that I loved going to as a student and teacher at the university. Kathey’s was, in my estimation, a typical roadside stand pairing local (and not so local) prepared goods with a variety of produce – everything from okra and tomatoes to pineapples and bananas. It was obvious from the first few times I visited the stand that they were importing certain items to sell alongside more local items. During one visit, I asked where something had come from and a man gave me the run-down on how certain months coincided with certain regions and their growing seasons. When the stand opened in June (or May) they would be receiving most of their produce from Florida, and within a few weeks more of their goods would be from Georgia, then South Carolina, and then some from North Carolina as the weeks progressed and as crops were harvested in those various states. This image of produce blooming in the fields and also on a map, of sorts, up the east coast was one of the driving ideas originally behind my project. I wanted to follow markets and better assess how time of year was impacting both what was available at the markets and how that may or may not have dictated who was coming to the markets and what their attitudes were like at various stages – early, peak, late.

If you have been following this blog at all, then you may realize here that I have many ways of describing what I was trying to achieve this summer by visiting markets, and by “many ways of describing,” I mean no fucking clue what happened this summer or will come out of these ramblings, the photos, and the money I spent other than a damn good time. I sat down today to upload more pictures and complete at least one post and here I am three hours later and my mind has drifted back to South Carolina and Kathey’s Produce, and now I’m thinking about Jagermeister, my dogs barking at my apartment at 402 Lindsay, my neighbors screwing like mad, sex-crazed 40 year-olds who have to do something to spice up their intercourse on the other side of the plywood wall, and barbecue and friends and 12 packs of Miller High Life and Coors Light and Bud light, Clemson football and all the anticipation of another fall draped in orange, and how lucky I was to pick the A-frame apartment that was facing east so I could watch the sun rise through the trees and never have to feel its penetrating afternoon heat as it dipped over Hartwell Lake to the west, and all my great friends who I got to hang out with on that deck and in that apartment. Ok, I’ll give a shout out here: Missy, Emily Scism, Charles, Clint, Russell, Tess, Emily Atkins, Kara, Beads, Lauren, John, Sarah, Neil, Connor, Jillian, and, and, and….Who’d I forget? Add your name. I’m sorry.

You always know how good life can be when you would drop everything where you are for just another moment of that time you once had, another moment that was as close to the same as it could be. If only you could suspend, if the mind was not such an encompassing thing, if experience did not so much overshadow the innocence of a fleeting moment in a small minuscule life. We’ve all had these instances, these longings for something we once experienced, these things they call memories. I like to believe that time simply runs forth in all directions from our bodies and minds, that there is no linearity to this path we are on and that each moment breathes new life with each brief remembrance.

Today, I have fallen down a rabbit hole when I had intended to play golf for a bit before I visited the Laramie Farmers’ Market this afternoon, but I don’t believe that will happen now. I will barbecue tonight and will hopefully get some of my friends away from their writing of their novels or thesis drafts or unpacking, etc., so we can enjoy these last two weeks before real responsibility sets in. These two weeks are what we live for; they are why I want to stay in academia as long as possible. Nothing is better than these blustery two weeks before school when brand new friends can introduce themselves by passing around a giant plastic bottle full of flavored tea and vodka while admiring the new landscape surrounding them or wait in anticipation of which drunkard will fall over first or who will hook up with whom and how long that may take. We are still young enough to live these childish-teenage dreams, aren’t we?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. arlusk permalink
    August 13, 2010 9:05 pm

    Brilliant nostalgic post. What program did you use for your slide shows?

  2. Adam permalink*
    August 17, 2010 2:44 pm

    Thanks for the comment and for reading, Ashley. The slide show was created through WordPress.

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