A visit to South Carolina to see family this week reminded me how much I love visiting there. I was born and raised in Charleston; I graduated from both high school and college there and my first jobs were there. Of course, Charleston's history is more rich, colorful and controversial than many of its neighbors throughout the South, and as a native, I took it all for granted while I lived there. But, man, is it fun photographing the place.
While I was in Chucktown this week, I picked up two small packages of North Carolina stone-ground grits at the James Island Piggly Wiggly. We can't get grits like that in Colorado, so it's necessary to stock up whenever I get back to the Carolinas. On the way through the security line at the Charlotte airport, the tortoise-slow TSA agents saw two brick-like objects full of a powdery substance in my carry-on and freaked out. They swabbed my grits for explosives, ran them through the X-ray scanner again and gave me a stern lecture. Never again am I to queue up in an airport security line with grits in my bag. They have to be taken out and scanned separately lest I be subject to another stern lecture. I hate fried food and I don't talk with a twang, but grits, collards, okra, she-crab soup and mustard-based barbecue put me in a happy place faster than you can say "sweet iced tea." A little hassling by some she-crabby TSA agents is worth it all once I slather my grits in jack cheese when I get back to Fort Collins.