New friends and good times in Clarendon County

Recently, we opened up four lanes on our U.S. 378 widening project in Clarendon County, the second of two major highway projects in that county. About three years, twelve miles and eight bridges later, it’s been a great opportunity to get to know the great place that is Clarendon County.

In the public relations work for my company, I found a great media partner in the Manning Times, especially with Cathy Gilbert, their hard-working editor. Cathy was a friendly ear whenever we had project-related news, and ever-watchful over our work. She’s also a great salesman for the county – she knows her beat well, and isn’t afraid to show it off. More than once, a late-afternoon visit to the county would lead to an invitation to attend a community event or a tour of some part of the county. There are few rural areas anywhere that I’ve come to know as well as Clarendon County, and few so beautiful.

But my company didn’t just build some roads and make some money in Clarendon County – we also gave back. Ten homesites for the local Habitat of Humanity will be built on some of the best possible foundations – two truckloads of SCDOT-grade fill dirt that is of much higher quality than higher-priced homes are built upon.

While Clarendon County is like many in the region – rural, agricultural, poor, and struggling to look out for its own – there is a sense of community spirit and willingness to pull together among its citizens that you don’t find in many places. If I ever move to a rural community (and I'm not a big small-town person), this will be one of the few I’d consider.

Two of the nicest people in the county are Senator John Land and his wife Marie. I had the opportunity to meet them when we opened up four lanes on U.S. 521 back in December. I appreciate Mrs. Land’s service to my college, as Vice-Chair of our Board, in addition to being a fellow southern Catholic. Senator Land, agree with him or not, is definitely focused upon the needs of his district, such as pushing to make sure this project got moving, as well as working to make sure water and sewer was in place to help attract industry to the newly-widened highway.

The local state representative, Cathy Harvin, couldn’t make it, but I’ve had more than one conversation with her and she was most friendly, accessible, and concerned about making sure these needed projects were finished in good order.

When we opened 521, as the MC for the event, I opened with a moment of silence to remember one of the most important movers behind this project – State Representative Alex Harvin – who pushed for the project and saw its initiation, but passed away before we completed the project. His long service and devoted attention to the needs of his constituents, as well as his willingness to be reached about the project, said much about him.

Last year, I had the opportunity to do two speaking appearances on behalf of Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, and in doing so, found The Palms at Wyboo Plantation – a great bar and restaurant near Lake Marion on the Clarendon County side - is a really neat place to go hang out – where a lot of the regulars, especially Moye Graham, are fans and regular readers of the Blogland. Thanks for reading, friends.

But my favorite place to go in all the county, the one place that will keep me coming back (not counting my friends) is the home of the best BBQ in the all the world – D&H Barbeque in Manning. It’s just north of the county hospital on S.C. 260, about four blocks south of U.S. 301 on the south side of town. Henry Brailsford runs a great place there, and if you’re passing down 521 to Georgetown, or up or down I-95, it’s must stop.

While I’ll be back, I want to take a moment to look back at the last three and a half years and thank my new friends in Clarendon County – Moye, Cathy, the Lands, the Gibbons, and many others. You’ve made Clarendon County a place that I’ll miss spending time in, and well worth coming back.

6 Response to "New friends and good times in Clarendon County"

  1. west_rhino 7/6/07 20:24
    EARL! I was wonder, while wading through the platitiudes, how long it would take to get to D&H Barbecue... ;-)
  2. Moye 9/6/07 19:32
    West-Rhino I just left D & H time for a nap before going across the golf course to The Palms. Thanks Earl you are welcome anytime here on the banks of Lake Marion.
  3. Anonymous 15/6/07 09:11
    what a hick town.
  4. Minto McGill 19/6/07 19:52
    Glad to see you're coming around on cousin John. He's easily one of the 2 or 3 most effective senators.

    D&H is ok in a pinch but McCabe's is much better. McCabe's is easily the best barbecue in Clarendon County and is almost as good as Brown's over in Kingstree.
  5. Earl Capps 20/6/07 00:07
    Minto - don't know if we've met in person, but heck, Brown's or D&H, anytime, let me know and I'll meet you there.

    One day I'll get around to trying McCabes.

    I like the Lands. They're good people, and I've come to believe that politics is only good for so much.
  6. schiller park moye 12/7/07 23:23
    Earl I know who Minto McGill is.

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

To post a comment without having a Blogger account, select "Name/URL", put your name in, but leave the URL line blank. Email me if you'd like to comment, but need help making it work.