100 Year Flooding

Photo from Associated Press

The photos from Columbia have been astounding. The level of flooding is beyond anything we might have imagined. I have close friends that have been directly affected by the flooding, and getting back to normal will take months.

Here in Greenville we got lots of rain, and there had been some localized flooding, but nothing to the scale of the mid-state. Our area is almost back to normal. Continue reading “100 Year Flooding”

The Lost Cajun


Normally I don’t review restaurant chains. I prefer locally-owned places, those restaurants and cafes that are unique to a particular community. I decided to make an exception for The Lost Cajun for a couple of reasons. First, there is a dearth of Cajun food in our area. Secondly, this is the first foray into our area by this chain. Since it was a rainy Monday, I decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to check out this place. Continue reading “The Lost Cajun”

Spirit of 45 Military Vehicles on the Bankhead Highway

MVPA Convoy Desaturated

There’s a reason I named this blog RandomConnections. The URL RandomThoughts was taken…but that’s beside the point. Time and time again the idea of “random connections” has proved itself to be the more appropriate title, as tenuous threads appear that seem to bind disparate ideas together. Such was the case this past week.

I got a forwarded e-mail from my brother, Stephen, with a note that a historical convoy would be passing through our area. The convoy would feature vintage military vehicles, and I thought it would be a cool photo opportunity. Little did I realize how closely this event would tie right into my recent research and explorations. Continue reading “Spirit of 45 Military Vehicles on the Bankhead Highway”

The Journey Home from Olanta

South Lynchburg Store Sepia

It had been a long day. I had gotten up early and driven down to Orangeburg, then followed the Tobacco Trail along US Highway 301 through Orangeburg and Clarendon Counties. I had crossed over into Florence County into the town of Olanta. I thought about pushing on to the town of Florence, but when I checked my GPS I saw that it was going to take several hours to get home as it was, so it was time to head back. Even so, I made a couple of stops and detours. These were interesting sights worthy of documentation, but I didn’t think they fit with the Tobacco Trail narrative. Continue reading “The Journey Home from Olanta”

Lunch on the Tobacco Trail at the Chat n Chew

Chat-N-Chew Sepia

I do my homework before I go out on these extended photo expeditions. I like to know what’s in an area so that I make sure I can get to my intended target. Sure, I miss things. There were lots of things I had to skip on this particular trek. Sometimes I find too much, and those extra places of interest become distractions from my intended target. Sometimes, though, things work out perfectly, as was the case with lunch at the Chat n’ Chew in Turbeville on this particular trek. Continue reading “Lunch on the Tobacco Trail at the Chat n Chew”

The Rise of Santee on The Tobacco Trail

Tobaco Trail-3

For some reason the town of Santee intrigues me. It’s something of an anomaly compared to the other cities on the Tobacco Trail. There is no main street or central business district. Those features make me think that the town as, say, Orangeburg, Allendale or Bamberg. I decided to find out more about it. In the process of that research I discovered a new ghost town. Continue reading “The Rise of Santee on The Tobacco Trail”

Where Are the Podcasts?

You might have noticed. There haven’t been any new podcasts lately. There is an unfortunate reason for that. When my Macbook crashed at the first of the summer I was able to recover just about everything. Just about. The casualty was all of my raw audio files. That includes interviews about historic cemeteries, interviews about … Continue reading Where Are the Podcasts?

The Golden Llama


I was out running errands and wanted to grab a bite to eat. The same old same old just wasn’t doing it for me. I wanted something more…interesting. How to accomplish that without risking bodily harm was beyond me. I was about to give up and go to the new Hardees that opened at Pelham and East North Street. That’s when I saw it. A sign saying that the Golden Llama is now open in the BiLo shopping center at that intersection. I had to check it out. To be honest, I didn’t know if it was a restaurant or a weird gift shop. Continue reading “The Golden Llama”

The Tobacco Trail through Orangeburg County, Part 2

Tobaco Trail-1

I was out exploring the Tobacco Trail through South Carolina. So far I had started at the SC-GA border on the Savannah River and had crossed Allendale, Bamberg, and a good portion of Orangeburg Counties. Orangeburg is a large county, and is bordered by Lake Marion on the east. I was ready to check out the rest of the county, and see how far I could go on this day’s exploration. Continue reading “The Tobacco Trail through Orangeburg County, Part 2”

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