This former motorcycle shop is just down from the old Shoney's on Bush River. I'm not quite sure when it closed because for some reason I can't find it in my phonebooks. There are two calendars behind the counter, but I neglected to zoom in on them..
There are certain restaurants I want to like more than I do. El Burro Loco in Myrtle Beach is one -- I go by every five years or so to see if it is finally any good. Bocci's in Charleston was another.
Since it was conveniently located next to the original location of Theatre 99, and near to The Market, and since I like Italian, I used to check it out every so often. I think every time I did, it was a really mediocre experience, including the last time, around Christmas 2013 when I waited two hours for an unexceptional pizza. They did have really sharp matchbooks though.
I'm not entirely sure what is happening at this Hardscrabble Road strip mall, but apparently the Hibachi restaurant originally occupied suites 100 & 101, and is now leaving 101.
I had come from Pizzera Uno to the Pastime Pavilion in Lexington to see a movie. In point of fact, I was hoping to still find the latest Mad Max move showing though it was dropping out of first run at the time. I had done a quick google before leaving home, noting that the time and place for Max would make it convienient to a restaurant I hadn't been to for a while.
It all went well until I got to the theater and found that I should have taken time to click on the movie descriptions as well as times as the movie turned out to be about a dog.
Anyway, as I was walking back to the car in sort of disgusted amusement, I noticed the plaza's Marble Slab Creamery was closed. There were no explanatory notes or signs, but cleary the place had been cleaned out even though the marquee was still up.
I noticed on my list drive through of Magnolia Pointe, the former home of Piggly Wiggly and CW's Grill, that the local ABC Store, Clemson Spirits is closed for renovation. Since there are as of yet no replacements for The Pig and CW, that makes at least three open slots in this corner strip mall.
Grit Your Teeth
Bear The Load
Enjoy Your Ride
On Thunder Road
-- Burma Shave
I was on the first run of Thunder Road on 3 April 1976.
As it happened, I had won a phone-in contest on WIS Radio. I suppose there were similar contests on stations all over the Carolinas to fill both cars. It was not the first time I had been to Carowinds, I remember a school trip in particular, but it was not the quick jaunt from Columbia it is nowdays, as I-77 between Columbia & Charlotte was not yet finished and it was a longish two lane drive on US-21.
In its initial configuration, the two track coaster was promoted as a "race" between moonshiners and police with the trams on each track having automobile body front ends. For the initial ride, we contest winners were divided into two teams, one per car, and in the front seat of each car was a then prominent NASCAR driver. I'm afraid I didn't (and don't) really follow NASCAR so the names of our team leaders has totally slipped my mind. I have the feeling that our team was on the right hand track, and that we were the law, but I couldn't swear that to you. What I do remember in particular is the set of four Burma Shave signs, quoted above, which were between the two tracks as the cars were chain pulled to the top of the first hill. They gave you something to laugh about just before cresting the hill and that first precipitous descent.
At the time, my experience with roller coasters was pretty limited. My father did not trust the travelling coasters at the State Fair, so the only coasters I had ridden were the Swamp Fox in Myrtle Beach, and the mining themed Goldrusher also at Carowinds. There was really no comparison, and Thunder Road was a thrill ride far and above either (though I still love both the others). There was just something about that initial jerk and the clank of the chains as you went up that first hill, then teetered on top of the world for a second before the bottom dropped out..
I rode Thunder Road many other times over the years, though probably not any after the early 1980s. I totaly missed the era when they ran one of the trains facing backwards.
When I heard that Thunder Road was to be retired, I wanted to try and be on the last ride, but in the event I was on vacation that day, and while I seriously considered making the ten hour round trip drive, in the end I didn't. It would make a better story, but that's life.
I did go out last weekend though and get what pictures I could of the attraction before it is all torn down. The entrance is in what is now the Snoopy section of Carowinds while the main body parallels the water park area.
It's kind of sad how little of the original Carowinds remains. Really, I think the only two remaining original rides are the Eastern Airlines Skytower and the aforementioned Goldrusher. While I was googling some Thunder Road facts for this post, I ran across a teriffic site Carowinds The Early Years where most of the links above come from, and which you should definitely visit. Who could forget The Oaken Bucket, The Hillbilly Jalopies, The Powder Keg Flume, the awful food at The Grubsteak (You expect grubs to be good steak? we asked..), The Paddle Wheel Steamer, The Skyway and The Monorail?
This new-ish but odd little building is on Knox Abbott in between Taco Bell and Wendy's.
For the life of me I can't remember what it was right now, and am unable to come up with a street number to google it.
I was not familiar with this place, but apparently this store was the only Apple authorized repair location in town.
My experience as a computer guy is that Mac stuff is great until it stops working, then it's a real pain to get working again. Granted this impression comes mainly from the software side where everything was so "easy to use" that there were never any diagnostic knobs to tweak, but there you go..
Commenter Matt reports a new Apple repair location on Taylor Street.
(Hat tip to commenter James R)
These pictures were taken in mid July 2015, and I expect the store is actually closed by now, though I have not driven by there since.
Here's another home-cookin' type restaurant I never got around to trying, this one in the old Southern Skillet location in West Columbia across from New Brookland Baptist.
I like comfort food but I tend to eat lunch later than they were open, and it's a long way to drive..
(Hat tip to commenter Scott W)