Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's a small world after all


We live on a little island just south of Charleston. It is called Wadmalaw Island and it only has around 2000 inhabitants. Most of the time, I just tell people that I live in Charleston because it is easier to find on the map. Our island doesn’t have a gas station or a grocery store. There is a very small general store that sells lunches and two businesses. One is the Tea plantation (the only one in America by the way) and the winery (Irvin house vineyards). As you may know, my wife works at the winery which is about a mile past our house. About a mile in the other direction is a small community (4 houses) that is being built by Habitat for Humanity. Most of the work there is being done by volunteers.

Yesterday at the winery, a couple stopped in that has been working on the Habitat project for the past two weeks. They came all the way from NY to work on these houses and were staying there in an RV. While they were at the winery they mentioned that today they were going back home to Alfred NY. My wife quickly picked up on the town name because that is where my mother is from. It too is a small town in the up state portion of NY. It has about 10,000 inhabitants now but was much smaller back when my mother lived there. In fact, back then, everyone in the town was either a relative or a really good friend.

After I got off work yesterday, my wife and I went up the street to visit this couple to see if I knew them or their family. When the woman came out of the RV, I almost died. She was the spitting image of my grandmother. I mean if they were side by side, you would swear they were twins although this woman was closer to my mother’s age. After introducing myself we compared notes and yes they knew some of my relatives. Remember the story a while back about “What happened to Luke”? In that story, I told about a young cousin of mine named Mike. Well this man was good friends with Mike and they even belonged to the same social club. Small world isn’t it. Now I am wondering if this woman and my grandmother may have been somehow related. A lot can happen in a small town.

Many years ago, we went to Alfred for a family reunion. Because there were so many people visiting the town, and only one motel (the Squirrels Nest Motel), some of us kids were going to stay in my cousins hunting camp which was just outside the town. It wasn’t hunting season and the place would normally be deserted. We planned on spending the night up there and then taking a nice early morning walk to see if we could spot any wildlife. And we did see some wildlife, just not the kind we expected.

That morning when we woke up, it was very foggy outside. We all headed down the dirt road being quiet so as not to spook anything that might be out there. As we walked quietly through the fog, up ahead we saw a car pulled off to the side of the road. My cousin signaled for us to be quiet as we approached the car. The windows were fogged up but not enough that we couldn’t see inside. My cousin went right up to the car and smacked it with his hand and said “morning Bob” (not his real name). The man and woman inside the car quickly grabbed their clothes and covered themselves. Then we headed down the road back to the camp. My cousin told us that the man was a prominent person in town (I won’t say who) and the lady was a waitress. They were both married but not to each other and had a total of 13 children. Talk about a small town scandal.

How is that for a small town story?
Have a great day,

Greg

Photo from Pixar

25 comments:

My ADHD Me said...

Too bad they weren't able to get a room at the Squirrel's Nest. lol

Today is the day my 17 yr old starts volunteering at Habitat for Humanity every Saturday (all day) for the next 6 weeks. OK, it's MANDATORY volunteering but it will keep that last car accident off of his record!

Terri Tiffany said...

Love that Bigelow tea!! Now I know where your island is! We went to that tea plantation when we were in Charleston!! It was cool!

The Dental Maven said...

Hoooo Boy! That's some wild, wild life! And at that hour of the morning!

Chatty Kelly said...

I don't know if I could stay in a motel named the Squirrel's Nest. That is just gross.

Your stories are so colorful! You have lived an exciting life.

Jenny said...

That's kinda crazy that she looked just like your grandmother, but you could not find a relation..hmmm?

Love the story about wildlife, you sure do come across some strange things.

Carmen Gamble said...

Hahaha! That's a great small town story! Part of my growing up years I lived in a place called Lillooet (little onions in Native Indian). Everyone knew everyone else's business...

skoots1mom said...

what a story! you had fun as a kid...is it WADmalaw, wadMAlaw or wadmaLAW?...inflection being on the uppercase, of course. I don't want to mispronounce it if I'm visiting and go to the winery.
:)

B His Girl said...

Greg's General store sounds like a soapopera drama "As the small world turns" Your location sounds nice. B

Suzanne Casamento said...

That's quite a small town story! I bet they were a little more careful about where they parked after that... ; )

Patrice said...

Some wildlife you found!

Hate that your sneezing your head off! Maybe YOU need to make US some homemade chicken soup!

Scarlet said...

Wow! It IS a small world. :)

I remember having an old friend from Rochester had family in Alfred. I believe their last name was White. Ray was the father's name. Let me know if it rings a bell.

Marla said...

A good story about small towns. I bet that story became public quickly. I am from a town of 1,500 people. Everyone knew your business, nothing you did could be kept from anyone.

AirmanMom said...

I do love to hear of other small towns. We have no stop light, no hotel or motel, if you blink, you will miss the entire town.... yet, it is home.
~AM

ChrisJ said...

You live on an island? Wonderful! I would really like that. The little village I grew up in was almost an island. It was a small headland not much more than 15 square miles.

Kati said...

*chuckle* Greg, you DO have some pretty comical tales to tell!

How incredible that your "new neighbours" are folks "from home". This IS a small world, sometimes.

Have a great week!

Jenny said...

I left you a surprise on my blog.. Go check it out;)

Angie said...

Sounds like a wonderful and picturesque place. Oh, and scandalous!

ChrisJ said...

Greg: Check Wanda's blog ASAP. She and Don need our prayers. Don had something like a heart attack in church today.

Edie said...

You never cease to amaze me with your colorful stories.

I didn't go back and re-read "What happened to Luke" but wasn't Mike the one that caused all the trouble in that story? :)

Lori said...

Once again you kept me very interested in what you had to write about.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Don't you love when you find complete strangers and they know people you know...I thinks it's so fascinating.

Now the morning walk, I would have been running in the other direction long before he smacked the car. I have to know if that story made it back to town.

Monogram Queen said...

Sounds exactly like small town semantics to me!!!!
Peyton Place wasn't very big either!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

WOW! Small town soap opera!

Sandy said...

Wow, I loved that story! What an ornery thing to do, hehe.

Great story. I know I've mentioned it before, I think, but "Boy's LIfe" is a great novel...

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