My trip to Darien - This Is America Too
walked down the hall toward my room, armed with a little more information than Ty said he'd be calling me, and I promised to answer when he did. “Darian?” Xander laughed and my skin rippled with chills. “I'm here.” “Meet me in the foyer. Meet Me In Missoula weekend is a time to come together and a time to celebrate. of the week, and people travel in to gather at our concert halls and venues. [AMA] I am Clash of Clans Community Manager Darian - Ask Me Anything (self. .. I want to see a War system that is purely skill based and not weight based - a true .. what do you think the new meta will be for builder hall 8?!.
Meet Me In Missoula weekend is a time to come together and a time to celebrate. Our town is a pretty special place, and we love sharing that with visitors from near and far. The vibrancy of our town is palpable in the spring months.
Color paints the mountains. Green hillsides play home to wildflowers, wildlife, and wild adventures. Meet in Missoula and experience all this town has to offer. Food and Drink Missoulians love really good food, so our town is full of charming, delicious restaurants to fit every budget. From food trucks at our Saturday markets and delicious hot bars at the Good Food Store and Orange Street Food Farm to fine dining at Plonk and Red Bird, you will be impressed by the taste and quality of the food cooked up here.
In addition, Missoula is famous for its many craft breweries and distilleries. Shopping Missoula is a regional shopping destination with two distinct shopping districts. In addition, there is a brand-new movie theater, dining and activities. There is also great shopping in our downtown district. Find Griz wear, Montana souvenirs, and boutique shops on Higgins Avenue and other side streets. Live music plays from theses markets and shoppers stroll and enjoy locally grown produce and locally crafted items.
You can kayak, raft or tube through downtown or take a relaxing hike in 60, acres of wilderness minutes from your hotel. Missoula is known for its blue-ribbon trout fishing made famous by A River Runs Through It and spectacular natural beauty. The outdoor recreational opportunities are limitless. Surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and floating are popular activities on the Clark Fork River. I looked over the menu and the dishes offered gave me a sense that the food was legit.harry styles - meet me in the hallway ; lyrics
Sipping my beer I overheard the owners talking a few feet away so I stuck up a conversation to learn more about the place. The two were younger guys from Brunswick but were only a generation from Mexico. Their family had a successful restaurant in Brunswick, and were opening another on nearby St.
This location had only been open a short time but was doing well. Everyone there was very friendly and after I finished up my beer I told them I would make it back to eat before leaving town. Back outside I wandered, capturing glimpses of Darien with my camera, when just after photographing a beautiful dogwood covered in Spanish moss, a woman called to me from the porch of the home it sat in front of.
I almost walked on thinking she was angry I took a photo of her home without permission, but timidly walked over to see what she wanted. I said hello and she started to grill me about what I was doing but I did not feel animosity in her voice. I explained the project to her and she was very intrigued. She was older, had a heavy southern accent, and introduced herself as Martha. She told me the owner of the house, Steve, was in Jacksonville, FL because he was very sick and she was caring for the place and his dog.
They were trying to sell the home and she thought I was a potential buyer. We talked for about fifteen minutes before she asked me if wanted to stay in the house during my visit since the campground was so far out and it was cold. She lived just across the street and told me she would fix it up that night and we could meet the next day at one so I could get the key. We exchanged numbers and I left, amazed at and suspicious of her kindness.
I continued to explore, enjoying how the churches, trees, and architecture made Darien so different from any other town I had visited for the project.
They had a small but decent selection of beers on tap and a number of wines by the glass. I opted for a beer and sat at one of the few open tables to take in the atmosphere. I only stayed for a beer and thought I might return later in my visit to see if the cliental was any different but never made it back.
After leaving, I made the thirty-minute drive to the campground. The night was already getting cold as I made dinner and tried to do some work in the van. I contemplated if I would pack up in the morning, trusting Martha was being genuine with her offer, but thought it best to pay for another night in case it fell through.
I slept in the van again and it ended up being the coldest night yet. The temperature got down to twenty-seven degrees and I froze. When I woke I had a hard time prying myself from under the covers and it was only the meeting with Noah that morning that finally got me out of bed.
I made coffee and contemplated a shower but realized my time was running short. I paid for one more day at the campground before setting off. In town I pulled up to where I was supposed to meet Noah and as I was sitting there, assuming I was late, I saw him approaching.
Meet Me In Missoula - Destination Missoula
I got out of the van and he apologized for his tardiness and explained he was waiting on something from the hardware shop and would be back in just a moment. When he returned I jumped in his car for my personal tour of McIntosh County. From the start I could tell he had pride in his county, so much so he was starting a clothing line called Buccaneer Republic that focused on it. He took me first to the very old St. Andrews cemetery explaining he had family members buried there.
Next we meandered up the coast and he showed me where he was raised by his aunt and uncle. We passed the Native Woods nudist campground and he told stories about infiltrating it as a kid, then we stopped at an old, supposedly haunted house that he and his friends attempted to break into when they were younger. He took me to what claimed to be the smallest church in the U. It was quite the tour!
Back in Darien we drove through the poorer part of town and we talked about relations between the black and white populations. He showed me spots where there were black only underground parties and casually explained that the one funeral home was for the black population so whites had to go to Brunswick for funeral service. It was another of those moments where I felt, this is the South I expected. After a couple of hours, we were back downtown and I had to go meet with Martha, but we agreed to meet for lunch.
I rushed to the house I might be staying at and walked around the perimeter, gave a knock, but no one was there; I thought it might have been too good to be true.
I took out my phone to call Martha and noticed there was a missed call from her. I returned it and she said she would be right over. When Martha arrived we chatted, she showed me the place, and we worked out a system with the key so both of us could come and go as needed. She mentioned she was on the way to Jacksonville to visit Steve but that she would fix up the bed for me before leaving. I also had to run but mentioned it would be nice to talk later that evening.
I ordered chicken fajitas that were delicious and a steal for ten dollars. When we finished we popped over to his place for a short interview. He had a nice one bedroom in the center of town. We talked about what I was looking for but when I brought out the recorder and told him the interview would go on the website he got nervous.
It ended up being a pretty short interview, less than twenty minutes. We talked a more once I turned off the recorder and before I left I mentioned we should meet up again. That morning I had parked outside the Burning of Darien Museum. I checked its hours on the way back to the van and a small sign explained the museum was only open on Saturdays, the same time I planned to be on Sapelo Island.
There was also a number provided to schedule a private visit so I called. A friendly gentleman named Will answered and I explained why I was in town and wanted to visit the museum.
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It was more than I expected and I told him I would wait for his call. With time to kill, I wanted to return to the St. Andrews cemetery and explore on my own.
On the way there Will called and told me Dr. Collins would be able to meet me in forty minutes if I was free. I still had time and continued to the cemetery. Originally it was a private burial ground for Thomas Spalding whose mainland home, now a historical landmark called the Ashantilly home, was adjacent to the plot.
Spalding was an influential politician and agriculturalist during the first half of the 19th century who owned Sapelo Island. There he cultivated Sea Island cotton using slave labor and advanced agriculture techniques. The cemetery was given to the St. I strolled the grounds marveling at the blooming dogwoods, live oaks, and extravagant grave markers now weathered by the Georgia sun.
I was intrigued by a patch of small gravestones marking the final resting place of Civil War soldiers, which were decorated with confederate flags.
It was a stark reminder of where I was. Back at the museum I waited outside and not long after arriving I saw a well-dressed gentleman walking up carrying some papers. I guessed it was the doctor so I got out to greet him. I briefly explained why I was in town and I asked about his background. As we entered the museum, he explained he was from the Jacksonville area and years ago, while doing genealogy research, he found his family had roots in Darien.
He came to town to learn more and discovered that his grandfather once had a home there in a historically black neighborhood. Through deeper research, Dr.
Collins learned that a Georigia Senator owned the home and was eventually able to buy it. It was a fascinating story and I guessed he was a fascinating man. He started to give me a tour but I could see he had business to attend to so I told him I was ok on my own. The museum is set in a lovely old home but the exhibits were limited to just two rooms.
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It is a lot of history to fit in one room and I wished it could have been more expansive. Room two held an abundance of information on the incident that changed the face of Darien. The exhibit ran through the history of Darien at the outbreak of the Civil War, describing how McIntosh County had over a 2: It retraced how a naval blockade in early pushed town folks out of the region and left Darien deserted by the time Union troops arrived.
It finished by depicting how the town was needlessly burned to the ground. The story left no doubt that it was a mistake and showed how those in charge felt guilt for the incident. I sat with Dr. Collins in his office before leaving and asked if he knew someone who would interview with me for the project. He thought for a minute then told me that evening there was the monthly historical society meet up at the Fort King George State Historic Site.
If I came he would sponsor my visit and try introducing me to some people. I was taken aback by the offer, but gladly accepted.
Less than two days in town and I was given a personal tour, a free home to stay in, and now an invitation to join a lecture with the historical society.
Darien was offering a full meal. Once again, this little town was proving to be exactly what I always pictured the South to be. I returned to the house to shower assuming Martha had already gone to Jacksonville. When I entered, Claire, the old but large dog living there, was a little standoffish. When she stepped in and Claire-bear recognized Martha was ok with me, she warmed up. For the rest of the stay we were best buds. We sat talking for a bit; I told her about my visit to the museum, meeting the doctor, and his invitation.
That afternoon chatting with Martha I was first enlightened on the actions of the infamous Sheriff Poppell who ran the county like a classic Boss-Hog for three decades in the midth century, never losing an election during his reign. As my time in Darien progressed, I would hear the name brought up repeatedly, often with nothing good being said. At the time, the county had a majority black population and Poppell placated the black community in a number of ways, mostly just treating them like humans, which was a rarity in the Jim Crow South.
Yet his kindness was not altruistic but a ploy to get votes and manipulate blacks out of property. During my stay I heard many stories, the most common was about stopped semi trucks passing through McIntosh County and Darien along the main highway to Florida at the time, US There are also stories of how for a kickback he allowed drug smuggling, gambling dens, and prostitution houses throughout the county, or how those who rubbed him the wrong way often just disappeared.
He was described as a benevolent dictator but his tactics were successful. The only thing that ended his reign was his death in the late s. His story seemed like a work of fiction or a Hollywood movie about the seedy Deep South, yet there I was meeting people who lived through it. After some time Martha left but told me she would return in an hour to introduce me to a neighbor. I showered, cracked a beer, and relaxed on the front porch with Claire.
The porch was screened, like the type I always imagined folks in the South sitting on, fanning themselves on a balmy summer afternoon while sipping lemonade. I understood the need for the screen, cringing at the idea of how brutal the bugs must be during the warmest months; even with the screen the gnats were still able get in and attack.
As I sat taking in the experience, Tony and Susanne, whom Martha wanted to introduce me to, stopped by. We made some small-talk and I told them we would come by soon. I felt bad because they had wine and snacks laid out. I spent a little time with them explaining my project and why I was in Darien. We talked about people that might be good interviews and Tony was especially insistent that I meet with people from the black community.
I told them about my meeting with Dr. They understood and I excused myself but we made plans to meet the next day. I arrived just before seven and luckily Dr. Collins was arriving at the same time.
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He greeted me and then introduced me to a couple of older women, explaining what I was doing. We then headed into the auditorium where I signed in as his guest. The room was full with close to fifty people, more than I expected. The speaker was an architectural historian speaking about the Aludbrass Plantation that Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built in the s which is an hour-and-a-half north of Darien near Yemassee, SC.
The story of the home was interesting, why Wright had been commissioned to build it, that it was never totally finished, and how it was now owned by movie producer Joel Silver and open to the public one weekend every two years. It was pretty nerdy stuff but I found it fascinating.
When it was finished Dr. Collins introduced me to Buddy, the head of the historical society. Eventually he returned with the numbers of the women I met when I arrived and told me to give them a call the following day.
I was surprised at how helpful he was and as we were leaving I thanked him for everything he had done. I grabbed some beer and a pizza and returned to the house for my first night there. I found Martha on the porch with Claire-bear and we talked a bit. She mentioned Tony wanted to bring me to meet his friend Dwight Hall the next day around 2: Alone with just Claire I began to check out the house, pondering where I was staying.
The walls were covered with a mix of abstract art, family photos, and mundane pictures. Parts of the home were cluttered with everyday things, bills, notes, newspapers, which gave me the sense his departure was rushed and unplanned.
The bathroom was equipped to aid someone with disabilities so I guessed he must have been living there until possibly an accident or his illness became too much to handle. Eventually I crawled into my tiny bed and turned the space heater to full blast. It was another cold night and I was content to be indoors. The next morning I had no pressing business so I lounged with my coffee and computer doing some research and writing. Eventually I got moving and drove to the campground to get my tent.
On the way back to town I stopped to check out the ruins of the Butler Island Plantation that sit just south of Darien, across the Butler River. He cultivated rice and as one of the largest plantations in the South, it played a major role in the importation of slaves to the area.
I walked the grounds imagining what a deplorable scene it must have been in its heyday, especially considering the difficulty of rice cultivation. Horrified by the treatment of the slaves, she wrote and published a book about her experience on the plantation that many believe played a part in deterring Britain from supporting the Confederates during the war. On the way back to the house I got a text from Dr.
Collins inviting me to service at the Jewish Temple in Brunswick to see how Jews in the South celebrate. I was interested and I let him know I would be in touch. I then phoned Will Wilson whom had asked me to give him feedback on my visit the museum the day before. We talked for nearly half-an-hour and he told me he and his wife lived in Athens but had an affinity for Darian, McIntosh County, and the history of the region.
Before ending the conversation, we agreed to try and meet up when I was in the Athens area. Soon after hanging up I received another call from Lloyd Flanders. She told me she got my message and was available to meet that afternoon. We set a time and I got her address. I popped around the corner to the Zio Carlo Cafe instead.
Inside was sterile but inviting and I ordered a Mediterranean style sandwich. As I sat eating my tasty meal I eavesdropped on a woman from one of the universities interviewing with some locals about climate change, hurricanes, and what it meant to a community so close to the coast. It was a reminder of where I was and how climate change was an everyday reality in the small towns dotting the coast.
We passed through what Tony explained was the historically black and less affluent part of town and aside from a few homes that looked decrepit, almost to the point of abandonment, it seemed like the rest of Darien. He was in his yard working on a play-house he was building for a charity raffle. He came off as extremely friendly, down to earth, and had a great sense of humor.
The conversation flowed like we were all old friends and for one of the first times in the South I felt like I was around folks that I shared a world view with. We joked about the current political situation in the country, something I have learned to avoid while working on this project. I eventually asked about an interview and we agreed to meet up after the weekend on the following Monday. Tony and I said our goodbyes and continued our stroll. As we walked, I learned Tony had lead a very interesting life.
We talked about all the different locations he traveled, his life as a jazz trombonist, his career as an essayist, poet, and professor. I even learned his cousin was the very famous Joss Whedon. I was in awe of all he had done and felt honored to be walking along with him and him showing respect for what I was doing.
Before I left, he invited me to dinner that night so he could introduce me to a friend and I gladly agreed to join them. When I arrived I was greeted and invited into the home. Lloyd was very welcoming and as soon as I sat down she started to show me scrap books from different trips she has made, including one to Antarctica.
I was in awe of how traveled she was; she had been to all seven continents and in her 80s was still planning trips. We eventually started the interview and chatted for over thirty minutes.