Pedro’s “South of the Border” in Dillon, SC has to be one of the tackiest of all possible places. I first visited it back in 1964 when I was driving my 1956 Chevy Bel-Air down to Miami where I would work as a kind of Jimmy Olsen at the Miami Herald. That’s a copy boy for those of you unfamiliar with Superman Comics. Several months later I stopped in again on my way north back to Cape Cod where I became a “Cub” reporter for the Cape Cod Standard-Times. It’s now right on the edge of I-95, but back then there was only US-1 that runs from Key West all the way up to Fort Kent, Maine on the Canadian Border.
A few years later my brother Jeff and I were on our way south to escape the bitter winter cold of Orleans, Mass, out where the forearm of Cape Cod juts out into the frigid Atlantic Ocean and no matter from which direction the wind is blowing it’s coming off the water and it’s raw. The Cape there is only 4-1/2 miles of sand between the Atlantic and Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound to the south. Naturally we made a stop at South of the Border.
Many years later my ex girlfriend and I stopped as we were wending our way back to Broward County from North Carolina. This time on I-95. The place had developed a sprawl by then but was still fabulously visited. The restaurant back then even served fried chicken livers. A favorite for both of us. Now, perhaps 17 years later they’re no longer on the menu and the menu and food pretty much suck.
It took men a bit over six hours to drive here from the Roanoke area. As I mentioned yesterday, I’d done a portion of the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway and that was enough. I choose a destination and on Google maps I choose the options “No Highways” “No Tolls.” You get some pretty weird directions. Lots of times you’re taken down roads you just don’t think are right. Little two laners with fields of tobacco, corn, and barley on either side. The twist and twirl away. Sometimes you’re sent down a road and as soon as you turn you’re told “proceed on Stupid Pucker’s Road for one half mile.” Then you’re turned on another road that resembles someone’s driveway for three quarter’s of a mile. Sometimes you drive through tiny towns and you wonder why anyone lives there. Speed limits vary from 25 mph in the towns to 55 mph out in the open. Much of the time I’ll be the only car around either ahead or in the rear view mirror.
In the afternoon I decided to give the Interstate a go. I went three exits and left and reprogrammed the program to the back road option. It was four lanes of insanity. Speed limit of 65 mph which is little more than a suggestion to the 18-wheelers making kamikaze runs to God knows where. And then it started to rain. Thankfully after I’d gotten off the Interstate. On my way north I’d been on the Interstate in South Carolina when it was pouring and it was definitely a white knuckle on the wheel drive. I’ll stick to the back roads, thank you.
Haven’t decided where I’ll head tomorrow. Will crash out here at Pedro’s SOB for the night. Already talked to Security and it’s not a problem to do it.I can sleep through a lot and with I-95 less than a hundred yards away and the sound of a train whistle not too far on the other side of the freeway, it’s a good thing.