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Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

old sheldon church

I’m always happy for an excuse to visit Beaufort, South Carolina. The town that was too pretty to burn during the War of Northern Aggression, I mean, the United States Civil War. (Well, because a bunch of Northerners owned the sprawling mansions by the time the Union Army got there.)

I’m glad. Whatever it took to save this treasure, an hour’s drive south of Charleston and an hour and a half from Savannah, GA: Maybe those dang Confederates weren’t too proud to beg.

Perhaps you recognize the sprawling marsh vistas and Spanish moss from the movies. The Big Chill, perhaps? Or Forrest Gump? Beaufort is very cinematic, and that’s another reason why I enjoy any excuse to knock on its front door.

Okay, the real reason?

I’ll take any excuse to drive through the ACE Basin. Nothing but marsh grass and blue sky on either side of the road. Boiled peanuts from a rusted out trailer. And worship at Old Sheldon.

I can never go that way without a little detour to Old Sheldon’s ragged teeth, its heartburned insides, its refusal to kneel to the command of fire and ice.

Thanks to the Sea Island Rotary Club for asking me to speak on Tuesday. For giving me a pass to wallow in all the reasons I’m proud to be a Very Southern Girl.

*********

If you’re ever in the Charleston/Beaufort/HiltonHead/Savannah area, Old Sheldon Church is worth a trip. Just look at these photos to see why: Andra Watkins Tumblr

I’ll be ranting about geekery tomorrow, specifically Internet Geekery and all the recent changes that impact bloggers in the Great Blogosphere. Also, I’ll have another Reader Question video, so please stop by. (And ask more questions. As you’ve seen, I’ll do just about anything for an excuse to make a fool of myself with my iPhone. But not like that US Airways person (do NOT click the link if you’re at work……….seriously……..DON’T………..)

57 Comments Post a comment
  1. My list of places to visit just keeps on expanding, Andra.
    However did your feet manage the Natchez Trace? I took a bit over a mile walk in Fullersburg Woods yesterday and my “dogs” were barking all the way home! Of course, could be that I tripped a few times and didn’t have my walking shoes on. Sigh. Slept like a baby, though.

    April 23, 2014
    • I’m SO GLAD you asked this question, Penny. I have an excuse to do another crazy foot video tour. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Everyone is thanking you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      If we ever take a walk together, we’re going to be quite a pair.

      April 23, 2014
  2. I’ve been to Beaufort and thought it was delightful. We stayed at a B&B that was so charming + comfy that I didn’t want to leave. Lucky you for having a reason to go there.

    April 23, 2014
    • I have another reason as of today. I’ve been invited to the very first book club that’s reading and discussing my novel, and I’m about to pee my pants I’m so excited. They’re in Beaufort, so I’ll be going back to be with them May 20.

      April 23, 2014
      • Coolness. It all sounds so wonderful to me– your success and the chance to visit a lovely old town. Enjoy.

        April 23, 2014
  3. …Who can not appreciate the first response…NSFW either, probably
    vagair Kate Dries
    4/14/14 3:58pm
    jShare to Facebook
    iShare to Twitter
    rGo to permalink

    Let those among us without an image of a lady inserting a plane into her vagina copied to our clipboard throw the first stone.

    April 23, 2014
    • I heard chatter about this for days and refrained from searing my eyeballs with it. Once I succumbed, I figured everyone else may as well.

      April 23, 2014
  4. The town sure sounds pretty, though.

    April 23, 2014
    • It is official that I’ll be in your area on October 22 for a Big Girl Big Apple book talk. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’ll message you privately as soon as I know which end of the Wednesday I’ll be coming. We’re trying to arrange another event at a bookstore, but it’s early days.

      April 23, 2014
  5. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    What beautiful pictures of Sheldon. It is truly an amazing, holy place. I get chills every time I visit.

    April 23, 2014
    • The car always turns itself that way. I could sit there for hours, when the bugs let me.

      April 23, 2014
  6. Great photo, Andra!!! I’ve never visited Old Sheldon.Church. Sounds lovely.

    April 23, 2014
    • I don’t know why ruined things speak to me. Particularly this one.

      April 23, 2014
  7. Beautiful, thought-provoking pics. Thanks.

    April 23, 2014
  8. Hope it was a good and profitable trip. I love Old Sheldon Church. I could just sit there for hours and soak up the atmosphere and spirits.

    April 23, 2014
    • We should organize some sort of geek trip down there for a picnic.

      April 23, 2014
  9. that sounds amazing and hope your talk goes well )

    April 23, 2014
    • It was great. Sold every book I had on me, and then some.

      April 23, 2014
  10. tarakianwarrior #

    Sounds like a place I’d like to visit. 🙂

    April 23, 2014
  11. I love that lowcountry. My daughter got her Masters at SCAD. I will go back and spend some time when I can. And I’ve always been partial to VSGs.

    April 23, 2014
    • You’re always welcome to crash here, Jim. Though it’s a 2-hour drive to Savannah. (Totally worth it, of course.)

      April 23, 2014
  12. That’s another place for a future American South excursion!

    April 23, 2014
    • You’re going to spend three months in The South by the time I’m done with you, Rob. Ha.

      April 23, 2014
  13. The Civil War was a war well worth fighting . . . 9 million people lived in the Southern states at the time of the Civil War ~> 3.4 million were slaves.

    And the wealthy landowners “down south” didn’t want to part with all that free labor.

    Here’s to the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil Rights for all! 😎

    April 23, 2014
  14. Quick fix needed to your link to the ACE Basin. It’s misdirected.

    April 23, 2014
  15. Lance #

    I love your area. I haven’t been there in 15 years.

    April 23, 2014
    • I was very excited when you mentioned that you *almost* came last year. We’re going to be through Atlanta this weekend. Very quick trip. When MTM next has a longer meeting schedule there, I’ll let you know.

      April 23, 2014
  16. What a beautiful place. Your Tumblr pics are fantastic. I’ll add it to my list of places to visit.

    April 23, 2014
    • It is definitely not to be missed as part of a visit to any part of the Lowcountry.

      April 23, 2014
  17. Omg I clicked… now I want to know who took the picture?!

    April 23, 2014
    • I think everyone involved was fired. Or, maybe they were promoted for the genius marketing gimmick that had everyone on the Internet talking about US Airways………..I’m still washing my brain.

      April 23, 2014
  18. You’re remark about the rusted truck boiled peanut vendor, reminded me of the sketchy taco stands all over southern california. You know you shouldn’t but the tacos are so good.

    April 23, 2014
    • Those are some of the very best places to stop. Always. Mmmmmmmmmm. Tacos………………..dang you, Jon.

      April 23, 2014
  19. Need to visit. Sounds great.

    April 23, 2014
  20. Looks beautiful! I’ve yet to try those boiled peanuts!

    April 23, 2014
    • I even googled for a boiled peanut option in your area. NOPE. But, they do have them at Hungry Mother in Cambridge, and they’re REALLY good. In fact, the whole restaurant is amazing. I go to Boston and eat Southern food. Ha.

      April 23, 2014
      • Once my tummy recovers I will go on a mission. 🙂

        April 23, 2014
      • I hope you (and everyone else in your household) are feeling much better today. We definitely shouldn’t talk any more about food until it sounds good to you.

        April 23, 2014
  21. Love Beaufort and all those sweet shops.

    April 23, 2014
    • I try to avoid those sweet shops, Lou. Emphasis on *try.*

      April 23, 2014
  22. Oh my god, I needed that. I just laughed so hard, chocolate milk I had in the fifth grade came shooting out my nose.

    April 23, 2014
  23. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    BEAUFORT…ISN’T THAT WHERE ONE OF MY FAVORITE SHORTLINE RAILROADS USED TO RUN (THE B & M)? 🙂 NICE AREA!

    April 23, 2014
  24. dear God, my eyes are bleeding. Why did I have to click on that link?

    April 23, 2014
  25. About thirteen years ago I’d just read “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and decided I needed to see Savannah. We did, but also Charleston and I remember Beaufort. I had my first really good crab cakes on Hilton Head. I sure do wish I’d known you then. We still talk about how wonderful that trip was. I will return! 🙂

    April 24, 2014
  26. After visiting Beaufort the first time, several months after my move to Charleston from the west coast, I told my employer that had I seen Beaufort first, I would probably have searched for employment there instead of Charleston–I was THAT impressed with that little town. 🙂 I have not seen Old Sheldon Church, so will have to put that on my lengthy “things to do – places to see” for if I ever get back to Charleston. 🙂

    April 24, 2014
  27. Eep. I’ve been busy, so I’ve not been keeping up with things here. (*beet*). Anyway, I’m still getting used to the idea of boiled peanuts, then I recalled I had some as a kid while visiting relatives in Georgia (didn’t like them). Of course, a few weeks back I ended up hanging out with a friend from japan and his wife and had lunch with them and boiled edamame still in the skins was on the menu as a quick appetizer. basically, the same thing, but greener. I had to note the similarity before diving in, of course…

    April 26, 2014
  28. I lived for eleven years in Charleston and wish I could forget more than I can about it; but the color and texture and wonder of the ACE Basin will always be a welcome and amazing part of my memory of the south. There are colors in the lowcountry that you just will not see any place else, and in the ACE Basin they are intensified because so much has been left alone and protected. Beaufort is just right for a human place in the midst of it.

    April 26, 2014
    • How long have you been gone, Jeff? It is a haunting place, even when I leave for a week. 🙂

      April 28, 2014
      • Heh, not saying it doesn’t haunt me. But there’s good and bad haunts, right? Charleston–whether it’s the peninsula itself or the surrounding lowcountry–haunts me both ways, when I think of it. I’ve been in VA since ’05.

        April 28, 2014
  29. I am excited for you for publishing and being asked to make the rounds of places where you can mention your southern ‘belle’ heritage and your book, too! I enjoyed reading about your long hike and wish I had more time to comment on other posts, too! Smiles, Robin

    April 28, 2014

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