It’s a hallowed American custom — taking the kids and the dog, piling into the car and heading for the highway. Maybe it’s to visit Grandma, maybe to go camping, maybe a trip down memory lane on storied Route 66.
Well we’re taking the cats – Mr. Bojangles and Stormy – and heading south. I-95 all the way. Destination: St. Augustine FL, the oldest city in the US. But first we have to get to Dillon, SC. Home of the former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (with an interchange sign to prove it). Home of the Dillon Speedway. And Missy’s.
Dillon is just south of the North Carolina border and we didn’t pick it to overnight because of the Bernanke connection. Actually it’s kind of the town the world left behind. A good 12 hour drive (with the usual comfort stops along the way). The cats just shut down in their fleece-floored, soft-sided carrier. Go to sleep. Occasionally Mr. Bojangles (Bo for short) gets up, looks through the mesh to be sure we’re still there, and goes back to sleep. Stormy just sleeps. Pretty much what he does all day at home anyhow.
So why do we head for Dillon? Missy’s One Stop. It’s like stepping into the 40’s or 50’s with a home-cooked Southern breakfast, a crew of bearded, retired regulars and a steady stream of locals stopping in to fortify themselves for the work day. When I was a child I went to summer camp in Maine. Near a town with a general store. With penny candy. That’s Missy’s. A bit of old America you can still find off the blue highways. If you take a road trip and let your curiosity be your guide.
Oh – sorry about the penny candy. Missy’s has it but it’s more like dime candy now.