Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Bank of Trio

  Trio, South Carolina, is one of those wide spots in the road we often pass driving the backroads of our state. Once a small but thriving little town, all that is left of Trio is the bank/post office building, and across the road, a small store. 

  The town was named by a trio of brothers — William, Walter, and James Bryan — who came from North Carolina around 1880 to establish a turpentine business. The railroad came through the area in 1882 and the next year the three registered Trio as a town and anchored it with a large brick bank and post office. 

  Turpentine and tar were important and profitable products in the 1700s and 1800s and the great Longleaf Pine forests of South Carolina were a good source. In a laborious process, pitch from the tree was gathered by men who stripped swaths of the bark, allowing resin to ooze down the tree into containers at the foot of the tree. The resin was made into tar or turpentine.

  Tar and pitch were used here on the coast for a century in ship-building, repair, and maintenance. Turpentine was important in the manufacture of axle grease, lamp oil, medicine, paint, and other products. 

  The building later housed Rowell’s General Store until it closed in the early 2000s. Now Trio’s Zip Code has been retired and its only building sits empty, sagging, cracked, and nearly alone. 

  The only other structure left where a town once stood is a nameless store across the road. We’ve never noticed any customers when we were passing by, but the proprietor is always sitting out on a bench outside, just like in times gone by. The story of a trio of brothers who named a town for themselves is nearly lost as well. Now even the locals no longer say Trio. They pronounce it Try-Oh. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Driving Miss Daisy

  Two years ago just before the pandemic happened, we ordered a small custom-made camper (it’s called a Teardrop for its size and shape). It was to be finished and delivered to us in six weeks. We were so excited and began planning and preparing for the trips we would take. When Covid began to limit everything, we could be self-contained and the camper would give us some freedom to travel again safely.

  Life, however, had other plans. 

  The builder suffered Covid hospitalizations and a heart attack, scarcity of materials and parts, family tragedies, the impossibility of getting employees to work for him. 

  For months at a time we couldn’t even contact him. 
  Somewhere along the way, even though we were losing hope, she acquired her name from a favorite movie of ours: “Miss Daisy”. 

  On and on it dragged until we truly thought we would never get our camper, or our deposit back.  

But then … LOOK!

  In February the planets aligned and we  ended up taking home our camper, albeit it an unfinished camper. 

The Writer dug in and spent weeks finishing the major things to make it road worthy. Some of them, like the locks and lifts on the galley door, were quite challenging! 
I provided critical assistance in holding and retrieving things 😁, making curtains, and painting. 

  Finally, this week Miss Daisy was ready for the road. We camped “at the beach”, in a state park not too far away from home. 


 The galley (kitchen) is yet to be finished with shelves and drawers, a stove for cooking and a larger cooler. To the right is our screened room which has curtains for privacy and rain protection. 

  The cabin has an air conditioner and a heater so we can camp in most weather. 

All went well on our maiden voyage, we had a great time, and we are ready for more!