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A Lustrum At The Rostrum   5 comments

Posted at 12:01 am in commentary

Happy Blogday To Me!

cake.jpg

Today's post is a bit special. It was five years ago this day that I made the first post here at Columbia Closings.

I wasn't at all sure how it would go. I had been noodling around with doing something on the Internet for a while, and the idea for the site gradually took form over the course of probably a year or so. In the end the particular pieces making up Columbia Closings fell into place for a number of reasons. Partly because I had a certain number of stories I wanted to tell in some form, partly because I wanted to do something that would force me to write at least a little bit most days, partly because I liked driving around and taking pictures and partly to stroke my ever present streak of nostalgia. If it made me rich and famous somehow as well, that would be all right too. (It hasn't).

Everything came together specifically on 29 December 2007 for a very practical reason. At the time, I was working a job that took mandatory vacation the whole week between Christmas and New Years, so I had a few days to devote to nailing down a domain-name, setting up WordPress, and figuring out how to actually write a post, upload photos and get it all published. Of course, having the time is no guarantee of getting it all right and I didn't. There were no comments on that first post, but I thought there might be some interest in my second post (which interestingly ended up as one of my most often revised ones), but again there were none. I felt as though I were writing into a black-hole. In fact, not even Google was paying any attention to me. I kept going with a bit of frustration as nothing in my posts ever showed up in Google searches. When was I going to get indexed? Finally I discovered that by default WordPress has a privacy setting that defaults to on and keeps your blog from being indexed. (Because people always start blogs they don't want anyone to read..). Resetting that to off I finally started getting some hits and it was off to the races.

Looking back, I can see that the focus of Columbia Closings has stayed pretty true to what I set out in that first post (that became the Mission Statement). There have been some shifts in emphasis though. In particular, as I said above when I started I had a number of stories I wanted to tell, and I think I more or less accomplished that. Of course, having done so, I still had an ongoing blog to run, and gradually the mix of text and pictures turned the other way around. I still do longer form written posts from time to time, but inevitably there are closings where I have no special memories to set down, so I simply note the passing and provide some pictures. (Longtime readers will note that if the day is sunny with lots of puffy clouds, I may take pictures of them with the closed business in the frame as an afterthought..).

I appreciate all the folks who read this blog, and especially those who comment (even if it's to tell me how completely wrong I've gotten it). I plan to keep on doing it for the forseeable future and hope you'll stay along for the ride. I could break out a hundred posts from the past five years that I'm very pleased with for one reason or another, but nobody would read all that, so I'll just set out here what my top twenty favorite Columbia posts of all time are (at least as I see it today -- tomorrow I might make a different list), along with a few of my occasional "out of area" posts that I'm really pleased with as extras. These are not in any particular order, but here goes!

1) Forest Lake Park:

2) USC's R. G. Bell Camp:

3) Brickyard Shopping Center:

4) Sarge Frye Field:

5) The Diamond Disco / Southern Gentleman's:

6) Gibbes Planetarium:

7) Hi Hatt Drive In / Hi Hatt Club:

8) Roper Pond:

9) Hiller Hardware:

10) 1101 Harden Street:

11) Red Wing Rollerway:

12) Tricentennial Songs:

13) Waldenbooks Dutch Square:

14) Brick Chimney Forest Drive:

15) Boardwalk Plaza:

16) Columbia Athletic Club:

17) Green Hole:

18) Circle K Forest Drive:

19) WIS Radio:

20) The Towers (USC):

Bonus Posts

As I consider the Grand Strand a second home, I haven't hesitated to throw in a post from there every now and then. Here are a few of my favorites.

1) Myrtle Beach Pavilion:

2) Hurricane Hugo:

3) McKenzie Beach:

4) Oliver's Lodge:

Stick around -- there's another lustrum coming up!

Written by ted on December 29th, 2012

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Happy Blogday To Me!   9 comments

Posted at 12:13 am in commentary

Nope, still on vacation with no new closings, but I thought I would note that three years ago today, 29 December 2007, I made the first posting on Columbia Closings.

It was a "Mission Statement" that codified the somewhat nebulous ideas I had for what I wanted to do here.

The first actual "closing" I posted was for Al-Amir on Devine Street, a space that as fate would have it is again vacant as I write this.

Before those first postings, there were several months of a vague feeling that I wanted to be doing something on the internet, culminating in a bit of an inspiration flash, when the domain-name came to me. When it proved to be available, there was figuring out hosting with GoDaddy, installing WordPress, figuring out how that worked, working out the html for doing pictures the way I wanted to and finally figuring out something to say.

Today, according to WordPress statistics, I've made 904 posts, and I plan to keep on for the foreseeable future. It hasn't brought vast wealth or world domination, but I've had fun, and I want to thank all of you who read and comment on these posts, and often as not set me straight!

Written by ted on December 29th, 2010

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