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Thursday, January 19, 2017

South Carolina Bound!

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This was poor Sadie Jane as I hauled my suitcase to the van yesterday morning --

It’s as if she is sending subliminal doggy messages of “Mama is going on a road trip, and I want to go too!”

Have you ever seen such a pitiful face? 

Her tail was still wagging, but hanging low – I know when her tail isn’t held high that she is feeling a bit out of sorts.  As if her tail is saying “Why bother??”

Awww, sweet girl!  I’ll be home Sunday night.  This is going to be a very short whirlwind trip with 3 guilds in 4 days!

It was a gorgeous morning as I headed south toward Charlotte, and then across the border into South Carolina.

And it was nearly lunch time by the time I hit the state line.

Guess what we now have in South Carolina?


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Yeah.  Fuel for the road!
Culver’s style!

I understand that there is one going in near IKEA in Charlotte, another reason to shout hooray.  And someone also posted that there is now one in Asheville.  Culvers has made it to the Carolinas.  I am one happy custard-loving girl!  Especially yesterday.  Butter Pecan.  I just get the small size, it’s enough to satisfy and get me back on the road.

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An important detour.

My trip was pretty much straight through as there wasn’t time to stop for anything if I was going to get here and get checked in before meeting with the guild girls for dinner.

But I passed one sign that I have seen on a few occasions and there never WAS time to stop before.  I made a detour off of I-95 and headed to Walterboro to visit the Tuskegee Airmen monument at the airfield.

My legs needed a stretch.  It was a warm balmy afternoon with temps in the mid 70s.  At one point on my journey the car thermometer even reached the low 80s – incredible for January – and a walk around the monument area was a nice respite from pedal to the metal and dealing with all of the semi-truck traffic on I-95.

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This feels like hallowed ground.

In a state where all too often African American history is studied in the context of slavery, a refreshing change is the tale of the Tuskegee Airmen, one of the most-lauded American military units of World War II. Though named for their origins at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, the pilots of the famed 332nd Fighter Group actually completed final training in Walterboro, South Carolina at Walterboro Army Airfield, where the regional airport now sits.
 
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The U.S. military was segregated during World War II, with African Americans mostly relegated to support roles. An interesting exception was the case of the 332nd, formed in 1941 as the 99th Pursuit Squadron by an act of Congress and the only all-black flying unit in the American military at the time.
 
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For the most part flying P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs, the pilots of the 332nd had one of the toughest missions of the war: escorting bombers over the skies of Germany and protecting them from Luftwaffe fighters. Though initially viewed with skepticism, the Tuskegee Airmen wasted no time in proving their mettle.
 
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In fact, it wasn’t long before U.S. bomber crews — who were, needless to say, all white — specifically requested that they be escorted by the Airmen, who were given the nickname “Red-Tail Angels” because of the distinctive markings of their aircraft. [source]

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We owe these men so much!
 
All of this happened when my parents were barely toddlers.  But there are those still alive who remember and even knew these men and the circumstances in which they flew and fought and protected against all odds.
 
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One thing I didn’t know about Walterboro, though, and I bet you didn’t either – there was a POW camp here that housed German prisoners of war. 
During World War II over 400,000 German and Italian POWs were quartered in camps across the United States. In many cases the prisoners were used to fill vast labor shortages in production and agriculture. 
Their prisoner camps were small communities where they were able to shop at a canteen, put on plays and concerts, have sports matches and take courses in English. Most German POWs were not ardent Nazis. They came to appreciate the kindness they were shown in the US and carried the principals of democracy and American life back with them to post-war Germany. One hundred and fifty German POWs were housed here at Walterboro Army Air Field. [source]
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Excerpt from the placard at the monument. 
Dear Mr. Sams,
Well indeed, you have guessed it, it is Fritz Mohme, former P.O.W. of the camp Walterboro, who drops you a few lines from Germany? Please permit me to thank you again for the good treatment which I as well as my boys got on your farm, and the pleasant hours which I was privileged to spend with you. Remembering them is always a pleasant memory for me. Meanwhile I send my best regards, and remain your (sic) truly
.
FRITZ MOHME
 
Road trips are just amazing, and there is so much to see and learn and experience, if you just take the time to get off the interstate and discover these little gems.
 
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Walking on the Dunes!
 
We took a nice walk at sunset along the dunes – the tide is SO FAR OUT at this point we didn’t get too close to the water, but just enjoyed the breeze, watching the clouds turn ever more pink in the evening sky.
 
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Looking back toward the houses that overlook the water.
 
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Evening binding flipping!
 
I tucked in early after retuning from dinner.  I watched Dateline on PBS, an overview of the past 8 years of Barack Obama’s presidency.  It’s the end of an era. I was so touched in many ways, but what hit me the most was when he came to speak at the funeral of the shooting victims of the church in Charleston.  And during his speech, the president broke out into an a Capella version of “Amazing Grace.”  And I was moved to tears.
 
In all of my life, I’ve never heard ANY president sing before.  And this was gut wrenching, from the heart.  It was as if he laid his soul wide open and just let it pour out.  It moved me to tears.
 
Today is going to be a double duty day, in a crazy round about way.  I am setting up for an afternoon guild meeting with the Palmetto Quilters in Hilton Head.  The meeting starts at 1pm.  After that, I have to pick it up quickly and drive an hour to Beaufort for their evening guild meeting tonight, and then drive the hour back here to Hilton Head when that is done. (Unpack, set up.  Pack up, drive. Unpack, set up.  Pack up.  drive.)  And then tomorrow morning I’m being picked up at 7:45am to go set up for the day’s workshop here in Hilton Head.
 
After that is over, I drive back over to Beaufort for their workshop day Saturday ---whew!
 
Send all the energy you can, I’m going to need it!
 
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Quiltville Quote of the Day!
 
Vintage quilt found in Chandler, Arizona.

 
You can either settle and accept things the way they are, or step up to responsibility and make a change.
 
It's okay to start slowly.  Just start!
 
And as soon as this posts, I’m throwing on my shoes and going for a walk.  It looks like another beautiful day in the Palmetto state.
 
Have a great Thursday, everyone!


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16 comments:

Mary Ellen said...

There was a two hour musical special on TV this past week for the opening of the new Smithsonian African American Museum in D. C. The seven surviving Tuskegee airmen were featured. It was really something to see them saluted by the first African American commander-in-chief.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

@Mary Ellen: I missed that one, I'll have to look for it. I would have loved to have seen it!

Sherrill said...

If you've not yet seen Hidden Figures, it is an AWESOME show based on true stories of the black female geniuses that were behind getting John Glenn and others into space. They really had to endure a LOT at NASA but what an incredible story.

Beth said...

My husband, in his military life, was honored to help reactivate 2 of the Red Tail squadrons , the 301st and the 302nd. They were able to include many of the Tuskegee Airmen living in the area and honor them publicly. To a man, they were gracious and humble. There is an F-16 on static display at Luke AFB (west side of metro Phoenix) with a red tail.

Celia Ambrose said...

Thanks for sharing this bit of history Bonnie!

Beth LaMotte said...

"It's okay to start slowly, just start". I love this saying, and I will be sharing it with a dear friend who is slowly regaining strength and health after an extensive hospitalization. Safe travels.

Linda said...

I can't find hat show about Obama and would love to watch it. Was there a specific title?

Dorothy said...

There's already a Culver's in Charlotte at 7031 University City Blvd.

http://www.culvers.com/restaurants/charlotte-nc-university-city-blvd

PalmerGal said...

Love the information on the Tuskegee airmen. I had heard of them but it was interesting to read this. I am of jealous of your weather. It was -32F here overnight. This is the coldest winter we have had in about 5 years. And over the holiday weekend it was warmer, but we got about a foot of snow from Friday through Monday. Don't get me wrong, I love Alaska, but there are times - usually in winter - when I don't love it quite as much. :)

And I am too busy with my volunteer accounting job - finishing year-end and budgeting for rest of year - which is making me cranky because I am not finding enough sewing time! Haven't touched my machine since Saturday. I have a bindingto sew down which I hope to get done before a quilt meeting Saturday morning.

Enjoy Hilton Head. It's a place I have always wanted to visit.

Karen Nicholson said...

Thank you for sharing the information about the Tuskegee Airmen. It's special to me in that an uncle on my dad's side was a Tuskegee Airman. I was able to find his name, Hugh White, in your picture - very, very special. Have a great time teaching. Thank you for ALL that you do for us.

Karen

Shelley said...

What is the block name in the vintage quilt you are sharing today

abelian said...

Shelley, I liked that block, too, and looked it up in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia. It's named "Crosses and Losses" or "Fox and Geese" or "Bouncing Betty".

Dot

Lynne Benson said...

Now that you have Culver's in SC, we'll never get you back to the Midwest!

Mimi F said...

Sending you some energy. Hope it helps. Thanks for all the information on the Tuskeegee Airmen. Must make a trip to see the memorial.

Cats said...

wow, that is one crazy schedule, set up by ? one crazy quilter??? Note to Quiltville: Hire a scheduler long on logistics!!! LOL... the ladies in Carolina are so lucky to have you! Thanks for the tidbits of history and travelogue...xo Cats

Ann said...

Dot, I looked up all three of the quilts you mentioned. They were all 3 strikingly similar to each other, but didn't look a thing like the quilt in the blog today. Bonnie, do you know the name of the quilt in your blog today?