Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
As you pass a mechanic shop with cars spread across a grassy field, you look next door. An enormous house that must be worth half a million dollars appears. It looks brand new and has paper taped over the windows. Nobody appears to live here. Why? Why build this beautiful home on a highway and in this area of town? Across the street is a bigger house. Next door to it is a brick mansion. In all, there are roughly ten mansions along the street. Side streets would probably reveal more. They all look new and they all have paper on the windows. No cars are in the driveways. You spot a mobile home parked behind one of the houses.
Welcome to "Murphy Village" near North Augusta, South Carolina. Home of the Irish Travelers. Also known as, "Gypsy".
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The Irish Travellers have their own language. For the most part, they only marry within the group. They arrange marriages for their children. They don't use public schools. They are known to be scam artists in the area. They use a lot of the same names supposedly to confuse authorities. They will dress their little girls up in extravagant dresses and big hair. The largest community of them is located in Murphy's Village.
I have heard that the local buisnesses prefer not to do business with them. The phone company makes it difficult for them to get service, if at all. Also, I was told that the they live in the trailers for an additional year after the house is built to allow the bad spirits to leave.
You may have heard of them because they have been featured on programs such as 20/20 in the past. They really have a bad rap around town. If you ask anyone about the mansions that look out of place you immediatly get stories of shoplifting and scamming. They spend their summers traveling around the country looking for work. Some may offer to paint your house, only to use watered down paint. Others may offer to fix your roof, only to find that it still leaks when they are done. I'm sure there are some that are doing honest work and are good people but their reputation as a group is to not trust them.
In the winter they come back to South Carolina and live in their mansions in the middle of an industrial park. The next time I take a trip down to North Augusta, I'll take a few shots for you. You have to see it to understand the scale I'm talking about. Don't expect to see any people in the photos, they are well hidden. Just another part of being in Murphy's Village.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The trail is visible but is not located in a park. It's not maintained by a ranger and there is no parking lot. You just park on the unmarked forest service road and head into the trees. About half way through our hike I saw a tree with a ribbon tied around it. I pointed to it and kept leading the way through the forest. That ribbon just re-assured me we were still on some kind of trail.
We went about an hour into the forest and finally came to a point so choked off we had to stop. He asked me where the waterfall was. There was no waterfall where I thought one would be. After eating our lunch (I saved my apple in case we got lost, but he ate his) we started back out.
Not far from the lunch spot we found this red lizard. The thing is pretty freaky looking. My buddy looks at it and reaches out to grab it. I hollered at him, "Don't touch it! It's poisonous." I didn't really know if it was, but I've never seen a good critter that color of red. He held it in his hand and examined it. After he put it down, I was thankful he didn't eat it.
We got back to the tree with the ribbon that I pointed out earlier and I stopped to look at the creek. That's when I saw the CORRECT trail that crossed the water. D'oh! My friend looked back at the tree and saw that someone had carved three arrows into the bark pointing toward the creek trail. How did we miss that? These arrows were large and carved deep into the trunk.
He said, "I tried to tell you earlier. I thought it was funny someone would carve an arrow into a tree".
I didn't reply, but I knew what my answer would be. "Next time, when you see an arrow carved into a tree and we are in the middle of nowhere, please make sure I hear you".
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Cari and I took a quick walk around town that day but had to get home after a short time. A few days later we returned and took another walk. The homes are beautiful.
This home was built in 1811 and had additions built during the 1800's.
Dr. Pickens built this home in 1860 for his bride. She refused to live in it, preferring the home her parents owned. I wonder if there was an argument that night?
This brick home was the first brick residence in Pendleton. Built in 1859. The post office was also located in a room of this house for a time. Just before I took the photo of the brick house, an elderly lady came from the house and got into a car. I asked Cari if she thought the lady was original to the house. After some thought, Cari said she wasn't sure.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Anyway, I found some stuff that got me laughing. I picked September in 2005 and 2006 and scrolled down. Maybe I was just laughing at myself because I'm kinda like that. Maybe it's actually funny.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
I fixed the flat tire on my bike.
I can unpack and assemble children's toys.
I can not fix a gas engine.
My lawn mower has been sounding different the past few months. I checked the oil and gas and nothing got better. It also didn't get worse, so that made me happy. To my untrained ear the engine sounded flat. It didn't sound as strong. I was starting to worry that it was breaking in ways I couldn't fix so I turned up the volume on my MP3 player as I continued cutting the grass. If I can't hear it, it must not be happening. It's the same rule I use when the car makes a strange sound - turn up the radio.
I decided that maybe the spark plug is going bad. It sounded like an intelligent reason to me. I ran over to Lowe's and picked up a matching plug. I'm not sure what causes a spark plug to go bad and I don't really care. If spending two dollars fixes the mower, that's all that maters.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
No Wake. Another common site is all the floating markers. Some markers are completely on land now. Some are so near the land and in such shallow water that their message is so out of place it is funny.
The lake is around thirteen feet low right now. Many areas that have been covered by water for years is being exposed to the sunlight and air again. It is interesting to walk on land that was previously covered by so much water you couldn't see it. It is interesting discover the things that have been sitting at the bottom of the lake.