I grew up in South Carolina, but in Greenville, which is in the northwestern corner of the state, basically. Myrtle Beach, and where our condo is in Cherry Grove, is four or more hours away, in what we always called “The Lowcountry”.
Some things here remind me of my hometown, like the polite residents, and the fact that you can get a “meat and three” at lots of restaurants . But there’s always been this kind of weirdness about this area of the state to me. They play by their own, different rules, it seems.
Take the first photo here for example. Where else could you find a place named “Tar Baby’s”? The sign on the door even said “De Tar Baby say “Come on in, ya’ll!”. When I first saw the sign, my mouth just dropped open. It’s sad that racist images like this still exist. Their sweet tea was good, but I felt , I don’t know, a little “dirty” eating there. The whole theme kinda gave me a queasy feeling.
The next example is the KNIFE CASE from the old boardwalk arcade. Yes, you can redeem your tickets from skee ball and the like and “win” one of these many knives.
Only in Myrtle Beach, folks.
Finally, here’s a little statue I found for sale in the wonderful Gay Dolphin. There was so much weirdness in this store, that it was hard to pick just one thing to show you. But, I think that this is a fairly good example of the sheer insanity on display there. Yes, it’s a little gnome. Leaning on a… FLASHLIGHT???? I have no idea why. And it’s not a lampstand or anything. There’s NO REASON for him to be beside a flashlight that I can tell. The sheer randomness of this really struck me. It was so cool, I almost purchased it.
2 thoughts on “Weird Myrtle Beach….”
Just so you will feel a little better, the tar baby was a creation in an Uncle Remus Cartoon/ Story Book with Bre’r Rabbit. It was never assigned a race, it was just made of tar. If there is an issue with the tar baby, it’s with the viewer, not the story. I, like yuo have lived in the South all my life, and most of that in rural areas, and never heard the term in a racist connotation.
Thanks for the lesson on that, DW. I knew the character itself sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it. However, growing up in the South as well, I HAVE heard that as a derogatory term. And I’m not alone. Here’s what I found on the Random House Dictionary site, “Words at Random”:The expression tar baby is also used occasionally as a derogatory term for black people (in the U.S. it refers to African-Americans; in New Zealand it refers to Maoris), or among blacks as a term for a particularly dark-skinned person. As a result, some people suggest avoiding the use of the term in any context.