Archive for Beaufort

An interesting night Dashing: Play Misty for me

Posted in Odd with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2022 by macmystery

Back in November, in an effort to make a little extra bank, I started doing DoorDash. It made a lot of sense. First, the pay isn’t horrible. But second, and more importantly, I can do it any time I want to. I’m not locked into someone else’s schedule.

Anyway, with the app showing things were busy around Beaufort on Saturday evening, I decided I’d get a couple hours in and earn some extra money. But first, I needed to get food myself.

I tried stopping for a sandwich, but my first choice wasn’t doing anything but online orders, so I skipped it and went to Waffle House and had a double cheeseburger and a plate full of pickles.

While I was eating and reading Twitter on my phone, a woman came in. Probably about my age. Let’s call her “Misty.” Along with the cook and waitress, that made four of us there.

Misty placed a to-go order, and then sat in the seat next to me, despite an almost empty counter.

“Is it OK if I sit next to you?”


But her next question caught me off guard, though I feel like I rolled with it well.

“Can I have a bite of your cheeseburger?” she asked.

“It IS good,” I said, laughing. “Sure, if you want.”

I was looking at her as I started to slide the plate in here direction.

“No, no, no. I wouldn’t do that,” she said. “I just wanted to see how you reacted.”

But she succeeded in her goal of starting a conversation. And clearly, at least that, was what she was after. Turns out we grew up not far from each other outside of Atlanta.

If I had to say, I think she’d had a bit to drink. She repeated several times that she was married and had a child, and that “clearly” she was not “hitting on me,” and she didn’t make it a habit of “hitting” on people at Waffle House.

That’s sure not how it felt, though. And my server was finding this conversation humorous, letting me know with obvious looks.

At this point, she asked if she could have some of my pickles — I had a whole plate of them.

“Sure,” I said, sliding the plate toward her. She took several.

After the pickles, there was a dramatic shift in gears. She asked me if I was going to church tomorrow and if I wanted to join her and her family at church. I politely sidestepped that question.

Though she had paid for her to-go order, which was now bagged up and on the counter in front of her, she seemed to be stalling. I was finished and was paying my bill, and it sure felt like she was angling to leave at the same time as me.

I wasn’t certain I wanted to be in the parking lot with her, just her and I in the dark, so I stalled, as well. And I did it a little better than her. She left, and by the time I walked outside not two minutes later, she was gone.

Clearly, it’s possible it was a totally innocent interaction. But I’d be lying if I said I believed that, even if I didn’t know exactly what it was.

The next couple hours went well, and there were no strange interactions with unfamiliar women. But I did run into someone who caught me by surprise.

My last order of the night was a chocolate milkshake from IHOP. IHOP closes at midnight on Saturday night and the order came in to me around 11:45 p.m. But when I got there around 11:50, the doors were locked, and there were employees in sight.

I could, however, see the customer’s milkshake sitting with a straw on the counter.

As I walked down the front of the restaurant, looking through the windows hoping to catch the attention of someone in the hope of getting my customer’s milkshake, I was standing near a bench where all the rugs from out front of the restaurant were piled up.

Until I heard the pile snore.

Startled, I looked at what I had thought was a pile of rugs only to realize there was someone sleeping on the bench, completely obscured by a couple heavy blankets and a piece of luggage at one end.

I’m not sure how this person could sleep. The outside speakers at IHOP seemed to be at 11. Playing at the time was Iron Butterfly‘s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, a 17-minute rocker.

I’m not judging anyone from IHOP or blaming them for the loud music. It’s an uncomfortable situation, and I feel for any employees who have to address this person’s presence. And clearly, for him or her, it’s not the ideal place to spend the night.

The least someone could do, though, is turn down the music.

PS. Eventually, someone saw me and got the milkshake for me. I delivered it and headed home.

At the finish line at last, R.I.P Silver Fox

Posted in Journalism, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2018 by macmystery


David Pearson

David Pearson

Born and raised in Georgia, I reside now in Beaufort, S.C., in the Lowcountry of the Palmetto State. But for roughly 15 years, Spartanburg County in the state’s upcountry was my home. My two children were born there.

Working for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, I immersed myself in the area’s sports history, if not its history in general. And that included learning all about David Pearson.

Pearson died Monday (David Pearson’s New York Times obituary). He was to the Hub City what Hank Aaron is to Atlanta. Or, in an even better analogy, what Rocky Balboa is to Philadelphia.

What he is to stock car racing is the greatest driver to ever slide behind the wheel.

I am no longer a NASCAR fan for myriad reasons, too many to count or run down here. But I respect it. And there was a time the sport mattered more to me.

My parents, particularly my mother’s family, had roots in rural South Carolina, and there was a knowledge of stock car racing passed down. I heard tales of Fireball Roberts. There was disdain, but respect, for Richard Petty and the Petty clan. Cale Yarborough was a good ole South Carolina boy I heard good things about.

But there was nary a mention of Pearson, born in Whitney, a textile mill village in Spartanburg. And in a lot of ways, that is symbolic of Pearson’s career.

I have never fallen for the fool’s gold that is the Cup, be it the Winston, Sprint or Monster Energy. Auto racing championships are misleading. They are disingenuous. They lie to you.

There is one thing and one thing only that matters in racing. Winning. At the end of the day, you either won or your didn’t.

Richard Petty, a winner 200 times over, is nicknamed The King. Rightfully so. He is the all-time NASCAR leader in wins, and his mark will never be broken.

Richard Petty’s statement on the death of David Pearson

And if you care about such things, he won seven championships, tied with Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson for the all-time record.

If Richard Petty was NASCAR’s Joe DiMaggio, David Pearson was almost certainly its Ted Williams.

And like Williams, Pearson was better.

He won 105 times, 95 times fewer than Petty. Also a number no other driver has sniffed. But Pearson did it in less than half as many races than King Richard.

Contemporaries, Petty and Pearson clashed often, finishing 1-2 in a race 63 times. Pearson won 33 of those.

Essentially a part-time driver, Pearson picked and chose the races he ran, rarely ever coming even close to a full schedule. In fact, the only years Pearson competed in close to a full slate — 1966, 1968 and 1969 — he won NASCAR’s top championship.

From 1972 to 1978, Pearson raced in just 143 races. Roughly 20 races a season over seven years. He won 43 times, averaging six wins a year. That number alone is only one fewer than Bill Elliott, one of the sport’s all-time greats, won in his entire career.

Petty was big. He was brash. He was public.

Pearson was quiet. Friendly. But he was private.

The Silver Fox, as he was nicknamed for his driving acumen, was overshadowed while he was still winning. And he was somewhat, though not in Spartanburg, forgotten when he retired.

Until 1999.

As so many publications did for so many sports when the new millennium approached, Sports Illustrated named its driver of the century.

This time, Richard Petty didn’t win. It was David Pearson.

A panel of 40 of the greatest drivers, owners, executives and crew chiefs in the sports history gave Pearson the narrow victory. (Actually over Earnhardt. Petty was third.)

It happened again in 2011. This time the accolade came from the Sporting News.

Pearson’s peers knew.

Despite my long tenure in Spartanburg, I didn’t get to know Pearson. I was a copy editor and a page designer, rarely getting out to cover, report or write. I met him only a couple of times.

(It was my pleasure, however, on several occasions early in my tenure at the SHJ to pull a fax off the machine in the sports department in the wee early hours of a Saturday morning to find Pearson’s name in that Friday night’s results for one of the handful of dirt tracks in the area. He was in his 60s at the time.)

Two of my friends and co-workers got to know Pearson a little better. I am jealous of them both.

Chris Winston and Todd Shanesy have both spent time as the keeper of the stock car racing flame on the SHJ staff.

Winston, like me, no longer working for a newspaper, put together a book on stock car racing in South Carolina that included an entire chapter dedicated to Pearson.

I expect him, in the near future, to put his thoughts about Pearson together. When he does, I’ll share a link.

Shanesy still works for the Herald-Journal and wrote Pearson’s hometown obit on Monday night.

For Shanesy’s 1999 story on Pearson’s Sports Illustrated honor, he talked to Cotton Owens. Owens, whose given name was Everett, is a NASCAR Hall of Famer for his time as both a driver and a team owner.

Also a Spartanburg native, Owens owned the Dodge team that Pearson drove to the 1966 Grand National Championship and voted him No. 1 in that Sports Illustrated poll.

Owens wrapped Pearson up best.

“He was just the best ever. It didn’t matter what kind of track it was. Short track, speedway, dirt track, whatever. Pearson could win anywhere, any time.”

“There’s never been anybody like him.”