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Archive for the ‘out-of-area’ tag

Hardee's, 10391 Ocean Highway (Pawleys Island): December 2018   1 comment

Posted at 10:40 pm in closing

Written by ted on January 29th, 2019

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Nights of 1000 Candles, Brookgreen Gardens: 15 December 2018   no comments

Posted at 12:34 am in closing

After not being able to go last year due to scheduling issues, I was afraid that this year would be a bust as well, since it had rained all day Friday, and was just starting to drizzle again as we pulled into the Gardens. Fortunately, that quickly petered out, and the rest of the night was rain free (though the ground was saturated as I found to my squishy discomfort a few times I steppted off the paths).

The basics of the festival stay the same year after year: Lights in a garden full of beautiful trees and sculpture, but they change it up a bit for each new edition. In particular, this year the boat full of glass balls was new as was the Hogwarts train setting.

I learned something interesting about taking pictures of LED Christmas lights: Even though these are not "blinking" lights, if you push your shutter speed high enough, you may well catch the instant when they are off. This did not happen with the old incandescent bulbs. I'm not sure exactly what the mechanism is. I would have said they go on and off 60 times a second with the AC frequency, but clearly in some pictures one strand is off and another is not.

One thing the preceding days of rain did do was keep the temperature at a comfortable level. There have been years where I could barely work the camera because my fingers were numb, but not this year!

There are two days of the lights left: Saturday 22 December & Sunday 23 December. If you are in the area, you definitely should go. Tickets are at

(If I get the time, I may go back and add some videos of the train setups).

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Written by ted on December 22nd, 2018

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Cindy's Ole Time Hamburgers, 109 East Bobo Newsom Highway (Hartsville): 2009   9 comments

Posted at 12:13 am in closing


They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so at the time, Dave Thomas must have been very flattered.

Shortly after Wendy's came to town, a number of copycat restaurants popped up. They all had young girl mascots after which they were named, had square hamburgers and interiors set up with what at that time was Wendy's signature: One serving line. Unlike Burger King which was famous for letting McDonald's spend a lot of money finding ideal locations and then setting up across the street, these copy-cats tended to set up in smaller towns where there was, at the time, no Wendy's, or at least that's how I remember it. I'm pretty sure I recall chains called Judy's and Penny's (which I think had a restaurant in Georgetown which became El Cerro Grande before they razed it and built their own building). And then there was Cindy's Ole Time Hamburgers, which honestly I don't recall at all. Locating in Hartsville at the time would definitely be the setting up in a smaller market strategy though.

I haven't been able to find out much about Cindy's except that it definitely was a a Wendy's copy-cat and that its trademark was filed in 1976 (about the right time) and is expired. However, the chain still seems to exist in the Phillipines.

This particular location is at the intersection of US-15 & SC-151, and would have been basically in the boonies back in the day. It's still not what you would call a dense area. I may have the street address a little bit wrong, but it's close enough for Google Streetview to show the restaurant.

As you can see from the pictures, nobody else has ever set up shop here. In fact, I believe the place is now what you call a micro-clime which is uniquely suited for various plant life, though not so much for beef.

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Written by ted on November 29th, 2018

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Rancho Grande, 1809 South 5th Street Hartsville: May 2017   no comments

Posted at 2:36 am in closing















I never actually ate at Rancho Grande, but I was aware of it as we would drive by on the way to visit relatives, and they mentioned eating there from time to time. I'm pretty sure the building started life as a national brand steakhouse, possibly a Western Sizzling.

Hartsville has urbanized to a surprising extent this millennium, but when this was built, the area was still quite rural and I'm sure the out-of-town location was chosen because it is at the intersection of US-15 Bypass and US-15 Business, something quite important before the Interstates.

The restaurant's Facebook page indicates that it closed around 17 May 2017, though I am unable to explain the wreath on the door which would otherwise indicate a post-Holiday-Season closing. The page also directs patrons to Neuva Villa which is apparently owned by the same family.

Written by ted on October 20th, 2018

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Think I'll Pass   1 comment

Posted at 1:12 am in commentary


Written by ted on October 13th, 2018

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Jimmy Carter's Fireworks / Strip Club / Adult Video Store, 4713 Highway 301 & 76 West (Marion): 1980s/2010s   7 comments

Posted at 12:52 am in closing





Commenter Andy Farmer asks about Jimmy Carter's in Marion. Here's what I remember, and have been able to find out.

First of all, we never went this way to the beach while I was growing up as access to the South Strand was easier through Georgetown. I guess the first time I ever came this way was sometime in the early 1980s when I was in college and going to the beach after visiting relatives in Hartsville. My memory is that the store had a big mural on one wall, probably the Southern wall, as that is the one you would see best going towards Myrtle Beach, depicting a toothy and widely grinning man, or possibly a toothy and widely grinning anthropomorphic peanut. This was of course a caricature of our then President, James Earl Carter who was often depicted in that way. I don't really remember anything but that image and the big signage for Jimmy Carter's. I could not have told you what kind of business it was. It was, however very distinctive, even apart from that, because it sits in the median of US-76/US-301, and this is the only area from Florence to the Beach where that is done.

This Reddit thread establishes Jimmy Carter's as mainly a fireworks store, though incorporating a greasy-spoon diner and various tourist trap merchandise. It also establishes that the owner really was named Jimmy Carter (I suppose hundereds of people must share that), that this was the second building in that location, and that Mr. Carter has passed away.

Once I moved to Fayetteville, I would come to the beach this way more often (if I were not going cross country from South Of THe Border), and at some point I noticed that Jimmy Carter's was gone, and the building now housed a strip club. I can't recall the name, and google is no help, but I think it might have been Paradise City. Then at some point later, the strip club apparently moved to the East side of the building, and the West side became an adult video store. This news story establishes that both of those businesses were gone by October 2015, and based on the facade peel back to the painted over Jimmy Carter signage, I'm thinking they actually closed several years before that.

This real estate flyer gives an address for the building (though somewhat ambiguously, and without a zip code) and has much better pictures than mine (which were taken under an umbrella) to include some interior shots. It also establishes the city location as Marion, which I would not have guessed, as I would put the place much closer to Florence, and that the Jimmy Carter's era was more than 40 years. I will also note that the map button is set to street view and also has a much better picture of the place than any of mine.

As one final note, the Reddit thread mentions that the logical successor to this store is Sparky's Fireworks & Gifts several miles further east and on your left. I second the notion, and you should stop there at least once.

(Hat tip to commenter Andy Farmer)

Written by ted on September 25th, 2018

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Golden Chick, 482 West Boyce Street (Manning): Early September 2018   2 comments

Posted at 11:34 pm in closing




















I noticed on one of my recent drives to the beach that the Golden Chick in Manning had closed. It appears to be very recent, and there is no closed sign posted, though some attempt to cover the logo has been made. If you look at the roadside marquee, you can see Sign #1 in play, which was apparently the only warning given.

Looking at Yelp it appears this store opened in 2014, which I believe is about the time the one on Beltline did. The reviews are mostly good, I'm not sure what happened, unless it was just a bit too far from I-95 to get the traffic it needed.

Written by ted on September 19th, 2018

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Johnnie's Truck Stop 768 South Main Street (Society Hill): 30 December 2012   2 comments

Posted at 11:06 pm in closing






















Driving US-401 through Society Hill recently, I noticed that Johnnie's Truck Stop had closed. When I lived in Fayetteville, I would drive this stretch of road between there and Columbia semi-freqently (though less once the Interstate 55mph speed limit was raised). I don't know that I ever stopped at Johnnie's, but I was aware of it as there certainly was not much else in the area.

The Hartsville Messenger says:

For many travelers over the years, a trek through Society Hill has meant a stop at Johnnie’s Truck Stop Restaurant. For the local residents, it’s more than a place to stop and eat. It’s a place to share a morning cup of coffee and catch up on the latest news and gossip, a place where people greet you with a smile and treat you more like family than customers.

On Sunday, the local establishment will serve its last meal.

Last week, customers got word that owners J.W. and Sandra Jacobs were retiring. The couple has operated Johnnie’s Truck Stop Restaurant, a full service restaurant in Society Hill, for 41 years.

“We never had an official grand opening and will not have a grand closing but because of your patronage we have had a grand experience in the 41 years in between,” wrote JW and Sandra Jacobs in an open letter to all of their customers in announcing their retirement after Christmas.

Johnnie’s Truck Stop has been in the Jacobs family since 1967 when J.W.’s father, William Andrew “Andy” Jacobs took it over. J.W. was working at Sonoco when his father asked him to go into business with him. J.W. said his father helped him get his feet on the ground then left it up to him to carry on the family business.

The story also mentions that the restaurant stayed open during Hurricane Hugo, and cooked (with gas) for the emergency crews even though they had no electricty.

I have to say the place looks very good for apparently having been closed for six years, and wonder if somebody else took it on for a while after the owners retired. In fact, judging from the issue of Mid Atlantic Truck Paper that we can see in one picture, that would seem to date to 2014 (given that 2018 is volume 27 and the issue in the store is volume 23).

UPDATE 19 October 2018 -- Commenter Robby points out that this store was part of the small-ish Southern 500 Truck Stop chain, which had locations here in Society Hill, Elm City NC, Mt. Airy NC and Charlotte. Here is a Flickr album of the remaining three buildings, including this one, here are some memories of the chain, and here you can buy a picture of the Charlotte store operating through a blizzard.

Written by ted on August 22nd, 2018

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Heroes Convention 2018, Charlotte Convention Center: 17 June 2018   2 comments

Posted at 11:51 pm in closing


I made my annual trek to the Charlotte Heroes Convention last Saturday, and spent the whole four hours I was there on the convention floor, trying to see every booth. Certainly a far cry from a couple of rooms in the Woodlawn Holiday Inn as it was in the beginning!

Of course, Charlotte being Charlotte, I found that the parking lot I had used for the last 10+ years was just a (deep) hole in the ground now, so I had to find another, which was luckily close enough to not risk getting lost.

I know Chris Claremont was there, but I did not make it to his (or any) presentations though I did see SC's Roy Thomas at a booth on the floor. Stan Lee was not there this year, and news stories suggest he's not doing very well unfortunately.

I think Harley Quinn continues to be the most popular costume, and of course where there's Harley, there will be Ivy as well. I saw one Mera whom I don't recall seing before (and with a fork for a trident). I didn't see any Groots or Gamoras this year...













For the first time this year, I didn't see any booth with old pulp magazines (though I could have missed some), and very few with old paperbacks.


Hartness was at a Columbia con a few years ago pushing his Black Knight Chronicles books, vampire action tales set in Charlotte. I found them entertaining, so I bit when he was there at Heroes Con with a new series about Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter, which is apparently also set in Charlotte and ties back into the original Dracula. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's on the list.


Crockett Johnson is remembered mostly today (if at all) for his series of children's books about Harold and his magical purple crayon. But before that, he wrote this WWII era comic strip about the put-upon young boy Barnaby who is dragged into all types of unlikely situations by his well meaning but incompent fairy godfather Mr. O'Malley.



Don't know anything about these two, but one was pitched to me as Star Trek with funny animals, and the other was free.



This was pitched by the author who was quite enthusiastic and loquacious. I came away a little unsure if it was a fantasy of some sort or a period murder mystery. I'll find out eventually.


The pitch here was for "70s late nite drive-in vampire feature..".


I'm a sucker for anything with "Doc" in the title.


You will believe water can flow uphill..


Pirate booty! (Yeah, I think I used that joke last year..)


I'm a sucker for surrealism too, though the contents seem to be not quite what I expected.


Written by ted on June 18th, 2018

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IGA / Super G Foods, 21 C E Murphy Boulevard (Greeleyville): Circa 2013   2 comments

Posted at 12:56 am in closing
















As I was driving through Greeleyville recently, I decided to see if the road by the high school cut back through to US-521 rather than just staying on 521 all the way. As it turns out, it doesn't quite, but comes close enough to see where you have to go to get back on the main route. At any rate, while I was doing that, I noticed this vacant grocery store. It was plainly an IGA at one time, but ended up as a Super G Foods (or Foo as the sign would now have it).

Google Maps suggests the address may be 21 C E Murphy Boulevard -- that's certainly the street name.

This article puts the closing date as bfore September 2013, and has pictures of the store in slightly less decrepit shape. It also notes that this was the only grocery in Greeleyville (which Wikipedia suggests had 375 souls in the 2009 census) and that residents must now drive to Kingstree for a real grocery store, which is a shame.

Written by ted on June 12th, 2018

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