Friday, December 19, 2008

One More South Carolina Story

Driving back to Columbia from Great Falls I noticed that the “check engine” light on my daughter Jennifer’s Hyundai. (Jennifer who is a freshmen at Univ. of So. Carolina let me use her car to drive to the funeral – one of the unexpected blessings of the trip was getting to see Jenn).

Anyway I noticed the light on so found a Hyundai dealership to check it out (turned out to be something with an oxygen sensor that was still under warranty and is now fixed).

The waiting area for the service department at the Hyundai dealership includes a “porch” area with rocking chairs – I love to rock – so while the repairs were underway I sat ndrocked and for much of the time “shot the breeze” with C.B. , the service manager. C.B. asked about the funeral – turns out he once worked in Great Falls. He asked if I was related to any Ferguson’s in Winnesboro, SC where he grew up.

Quick aside and important to know if you spend any amount of time when in South Carolina – people rarely ask “What do you do? ” but they almost always ask “Where are you from? ” or “Are you related to…?” South Carolinians care far more about the family you are from than about what you do for a living. Our families tell us much more about who we are –at least in South Carolina. My wife, Kim, calls it the “whose your mama” question and it is common throughout the state.

I am actually related to the Fergusons in Winnesboro and it turns out that C.B. played football and graduated from High School with my cousin Bill (who also graduate with an architectural degree with me from Clemson). C.B. and I both lost touch with Bill after college – last either of us heard he was working as a steward for US Airways.

Anyway there are rocking chairs at the Hyundai dealership where C.B. and I made a “family” connection and now Jennifer has a good place to take her car if she has any trouble.

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