RETURNING TO MY SOUTHERN ROOTS

THIS IS A GUEST POST BY CHRISTINA ARETHAS. THIS SELECTION WAS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN A NEWSLETTER FOR A FINANCIAL CORPORATION WHERE SHE WORKS AS A COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST. IT IS REPRINTED  WITH HER PERMISSION. THIS IS CHRISTINA’S LESSON TO HER NEW YORK FRIENDS WHO OFTEN CONFUSE CHARLOTTE WITH CHARLESTON.

Rainbow Row, Charleston, SC

Rainbow Row, Charleston, SC

Skyline of Charlotte by digidreamgrafix

Skyline of Charlotte by digidreamgrafix

Let’s get a couple things straight before we get into this topic. For all of y’all (pronounced ahhl-yahhl) in the north land, Charlotte, NC and Charleston, SC are TWO DIFFERENT CITIES. One is in North Carolina (aka “North Cackalacky”) and the other is in South Carolina for starters. Charlotte is a refined southern city. It’s large, spread out, and immaculately landscaped. My mother-in-law says it’s like a big park. It’s a banking town, second only to New York City, which was my home for 20 years before relocating to Charlotte. Charlotte, ironically, is my home town, so that’s why I know about “Cackalacky” and why it’s called the Queen City and the Hornets Nest. (Another can of worms we won’t open now.) That’s also why I can’t stop saying “y’all” even though I swore I wouldn’t when I came back from New York saying “you guys”. Sigh! Ah well…

So, then there’s Charleston. Ah, Charleston! Now there’s a charming city. I visit there quite a lot because of several close relatives who live there. I went on a carriage ride over the summer and the tour guide said Charleston is second only to Rome for the number of historical artifacts in one city! With all the old homes, plantations, gardens, beaches, shopping and amazing food, Charleston has a lot of tourists. I mean, a lot! Our guide also said, “Charleston is a drinking city with a history problem.” Everyone laughed at that…and it was funny… But, the word “problem” irked me for the rest of that day. Why did I feel sad after revisiting such an amazing history and seeing beautiful homes? I realized it later on. So many good people suffered and died for a way of life that was decadent only for a few. I kind of felt sick after that and decided to stay away from the plantations. My next trip was to visit Fort Sumter. There again I found sadness. Brother against brother in the bloodiest American war. That same trip nine people were massacred at Mother Emmanuel. So, what is it with you, Charleston? Why do l love you? And, how many people also feel kind of sad after visiting you? (I should mention now that Charleston is the second most haunted city, second to Savannah, GA. So, maybe all those ghosts have me upset.)

After finishing with all my touristy things, I decided to visit the beaches and eat. My cousin, Matt, works at a wonderful place called Wild Olive on Johns Island. Whoa! My taste buds were exploding all night. The owner has another restaurant named The Obstinate Daughter (a Revolutionary War era nickname for Charleston) on Sullivans Island. I went there, too, and shamelessly scraped my plate clean. If I had had another delicious adult beverage I might just have licked the darn thing.

Now, look at how much space I’ve taken and how I’ve gone on! I was going to write all about my Greek family and how funny it is to hear southern accents coming out of people who look like they’re in the mafia. Oh well. Next time!

About Susan MIlls Wilson

Susan Mills Wilson is a native of North Carolina where she writes romantic suspense. She is the leader of the Charlotte Writers Club Mystery Critique Group and a member of Charlotte Writers Club. Subscribe to Susan’s blog at www.susanmillswilson.com.
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