Spartanburg

This week we are moving out of our ninth domicile since 2001.  We’ll be housesitting for a couple of weeks, and them move into our tenth.

It’s been a long decade.  I feel like a military man and my kids must think they are Army brats.

It all began when we moved from Spartanburg, South Carolina to Finland in the spring and summer of 2001. We had gone to Finland on vacation in the spring, and when I found enough work there the family stayed and I returned home to close down our life there.

Spartanburg was the wilderness in Revolutionary War days.  The British populated the area with ornery Scotch-Irish folks who had enough moxie to fight off the Indians in the region. The same cantankerous can be found in Upstate South Carolina today.

Probably the most notable thing about Spartanburg is the presence of the BMW plant nearby. Actually, the facilitiy is in Greer, on the way to Greenville. However, the whole ares is known as “Greenville-Spartanburg”, so the city claims it, too.

When I lived in Spartanburg, it had the largest number of international companies per capita in the United States. I taught English in one from Switzerland.  The German, Austrian and Swiss were offending the sensibilities of local workers when they did work at area plants so I was brought in to teach them a little “cultchah” (culture).

I recall Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion show did a segment on Spartanburg. I was there when he visited, although I didn’t attend. I listened  to the show after I had moved to Finland.

 The most memorable part of that show was when his character picked up a woman who was hitchiking.  When he asked her where she was from, she said “Boilin’ Springs”, in South Carolina dialect. He could never get it.

We lived on Patch Drive, so named (I gathered) because there was a large kudzu patch across the street.  It was so southern.

Near our home was a state park where there was still live ordnance from World War II. In fact, our house used to be on an army base where soldiers trained before being shipped overseas.  Some remnants of that base still lingered in the neighborhood. I used to jog over at that park, and I was sure to heed the warnings posted about the bombs awaiting me. I never wandered off into the woods.

It was in Spartanburg that my two youngest were born. Also, while I was there I met Frank Peretti, the author.

I also met a great guy named Roger, who has since moved over to Greenville. He taught me about grace.

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