Tour Guide: In 1861, Charleston was one of the wealthiest cities in the country because of the rice and cotton trade. Yet four years later the city was a shadow of her former self.
FemaleTourist: That’s because of the Civil War. Am I right?
Tour Guide: You are right. The Civil War, as well as tornadoes, hurricanes, earth quakes, fires ravaged the city. Only a small area of the city is original.
Female Tourist: That’s crazy. Wouldn’t be much of me left after all that either. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Tour Guide: Ha! Ha! In the summer it can get up to 98 degrees, but it feels like 1,000. So these homes were built specifically to take advantage of the sea breezes. That’s why the antebellem verandahs are built along the sides of the houses.
Female Tourist: Whooo Wheee. And I’m hot now. Can’t imagine dealing with that kind of heat in the summer. I’d boil in my own skin.
Tour Guide: Yep, it gets real hot. Look closely at that front door. You’ll notice that it doesn’t lead to the inside of the house. It opens to the verandah where people spent a lot of their time. If the door was shut, it was a polite way of saying no visitors, please.
Female Tourist: Isn’t that a great idea? I think we should put one of these on our verandah. That would keep unwanted guests out. What do you think? Of course we would have to build a verandah first. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Tour Guide: Ha! Note that many of the verandah’s ceilings are painted haint blue. Apparently to keep wasps away. However, if you take the Ghost Tour, they’ll tell you the haint blue ceiling confuses the spirits into thinking that it’s always day time. Spirits take mens’ souls only at night.
Female Tourist: How come they only take a man’s soul?
Tour Guide: I’m not sure. But during one of my first tours, a woman asked that, and a man shouted, “Because women don’t have souls.” What a ruckuss that was. I wasn’t sure what to do.
Female Tourist: Settle down. Settle down. I would have said, “Settle down people.” For sure that would’ve worked. Next time try that.
Tour Guide: I might just do that. And now we are crossing Broad Street and heading to the most desired area of Charleston because of the breezes off the water. The locals say that we are leaving slightly north of Broad or SNOB and entering south of Broad. Those residents are referred to as SOB’s.
Female Tourist: Ha! Ha! I get you. That’s pretty clever. SOB’s. I wonder if anyone would call them that to their faces?
Tour Guide: I’m really not sure. Behind the Confederate Museum is Charleston’s Historic Market. Over 200 years ago, a wealthy Charleston family willed land to the town on the condition that is was used as a public market.
Female Tourist: Why that was very generous of them. Wasn’t it?
Tour Guide: It sure was. In the old days, there were vendors selling vegetables, poultry, fresh fish and…
Female Tourist: Fresh fish? That reminds me, can you recommend a restaurant that sells fresh fish? What about “Bubba Shrimp?” Is that fresh? I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I didn’t come all this way to eat fish that’s not fresh. No way.
Tourist Guide: May I suggest that before you order your fish in any restaurant that you ask if it’s fresh?
Female Tourist: That’s good advice. I’ll do just that. Thank you.
Tour Guide: You’re welcome. The market now sells a mix of touristy and traditional items, like Gullah baskets.
Female Tourist: I’m prepared to pay $85, no more than $90 for my basket.
Tour Guide: I’m sorry to tell you that because of the cruise ships, they aren’t as willing to haggle with you, so you’re probably going to pay quite a bit more than that.
Female Tourist: For a coiled grass basket? Hmphh. Not me. I’m not one of those tourists who has more money than brains. No sireee.
Tour Guide: You know, some of the locals have bumper stickers that say, “Shoot all Tourists”
Female Tourist: Now that’s not very nice. Not very nice at all. Why in the world would they put something like that on their bumpers?
Unbelievably this is my 200th post, just over 100 with WordPress. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has taken time out of their day to read, like, comment, share and follow “Honey.” Without your feedback I would have quit and pursued my singing career.
Shelley and John