Like all good tourists, we did tour the lovely South Carolina State House building, which is newly renovated and immaculately landscaped. And like all good students of irony, we were particularly taken with the statue of Strom Thurmond. Senator Thurmond himself attended the unveiling, but neglected to mention that they had left the name of one of his children off the base. Upon his death, the stone was (accidentally clumsily or intentionally clumsily?) amended to include Essie Mae, the illegitimate daughter of color of this rabid segregationist. Seems to me he was just asking for it. We’ve seen a lot of statues and this is certainly the first where the subject’s children are named, unless we were in a cemetery. Oh well, at least the Confederate flag no longer flies over the Capitol – though it is next to the Confederate monument. The governor was not in residence, though we did see the hall where she works. She did not have a Confederate flag next to her door, but good old Strom would have approved of many of Nikki Haley’s other policies.
A street fair was being held downtown and we stopped to admire a woman wielding a bass trombone. Next, to the Columbia Art Museum, which featured a Chihuly piece in the center (Deb!) and many pieces from the Herb and Dorothy Vogel collection, which we also saw in North Carolina. Don’t know about Herb and Dorothy? Those great New Yorkers are captured on film just like Pearl – watch http://herbanddorothy.com/. We hope to see lots of their bequests on our travels.
A brief stop at the South Carolina Relic Room and Military Museum, where we found many interesting artifacts from the “recent unpleasantness” (thank you, Gail), known also as the Civil War.
Now, I am sure many of you are wondering what we do in the evenings. (You are, aren’t you?) Well, most of our activities are too boring to be shared, but we will make an exception for last night.
That was Roller Derby night in Columbia! We high-tailed it over to the National Guard Armory – right down the road from the immense SCU stadium, partially pictured here. And we got to see the hometown Carolina Wreckingballs slaughter the Daville Villains. That was the men’s game. The ladies were the Richland County Regulators against the out-of-towner Low Country High Rollers from Charleston. It was a blast. The fellow sitting next to us was the boyfriend of #24, Spaghetto Fabulous, on the Charleston team. We had to cheer for her, of course. And for you social media students out there, he doesn’t appear to be watching the game because he is so busy tweeting the play-by-play to the fans back home.
Yep, we are definitely loosening up. In fact, I am getting a bit concerned about how much time Don is spending looking at the displays of tattoo art we see. Is that next?