Day 4: Florence, SC to Newberry, SC

Nice sunny weather with highs in the upper 80s. It looks like they’re getting a lot of rain back home in NYC and a huge winter storm in Minneapolis. So I’m happy to be here! I doused the dogs with water now & then instead of using the A/C. I prefer to be in touch with the reality of the place I’m in rather than turning on the A/C — but I’m sure there will come a time for it on this trip as I head further south.

The dogs got to explore and run in church fields and a fairgrounds today. I think I have some Georgia dog parks on my list coming up soon. I’m pleased to see that Grem has developed the same endearing habit as Grip. They both wait in my lap for a big oncoming truck to pass on two-lane roads and then thrash their bodies against the window and snap at the truck just as it passes. It’s always one big bite. Here’s a photo of Grem waiting for the next victim (yes, taken while driving, of course!).


A couple well-worn oldies for you today. This former gas station is in Ehrhardt, SC. It was obviously a Phillips 66 at one time as evidenced by the shield sign framework on the right.


And this old sign from Orangeburg, SC.  I love signs with car parts and machinery — very  rare. It doesn’t look like this business is still there. I have seen SO many buildings on this trip that are filled with junk and don’t look like they’ve been used for anything in years.


This new sign is from Hartsville, SC.  This is actually the last location left of a 1960s/1970s Southeastern chain that was licensed to use Yogi Bear’s image.


I made an out-of-the-way trek out to Bowman, SC to see this place:  the UFO Welcome Center.  It’s looking pretty rickety and I have a feeling it won’t be around too much longer.  Here’s some info about the place.



I got a number of great things today from Columbia, SC for the website.  Also some fun stuff that wouldn’t fit in there including these trompe l’oeil murals downtown.  This one entitled “Tunnelvision” was created by Blue Sky in 1975.


And this one, “Out in the Hay Field”, was appropriately enough on the side of an AgFirst building (farm credit bank). I’m not sure who the artist was or when it was created.
(Note: a bad time of day as the sun was going down and casting that rectangular shadow from a building on this one.)


This beautifully detailed building is in downtown Columbia.  It is identified as the Palmetto Building (now the Sheraton Hotel).  In case you didn’t know it already, SC is known as the Palmetto State.  A bit about this building here.


Certainly, one of my favorite stops today had to be the Zesto in Columbia.  This is the only location in the chain with the giant ice cream cone.  I don’t know which I liked better:  my cone or the sign.


2 thoughts on “Day 4: Florence, SC to Newberry, SC

  1. That UFO “Welcome Center” doesn’t look very welcoming at all. Have you ever been to Roswell, NM? There are two UFO museums there: one is snazzy and was built by professional architects and display makers; the other is strictly a labor of love. The aliens there are made out of silver lame that someone stitched up on a sewing machine and then filled with polyfill. The arms are not even the same length. It’s great. I’ll bet there are similar treasures to be found in this SC version.

    That cone looks great!

    • I have been to Roswell. The UFO museum that I remember was the former theatre in town. I didn’t go in though. I did snap some photos of alien stuff while there for the blog. And there was a great carousel in town and some nice neon signs for the website.

      Both cones were awesome. The chocolate on the edible one seemed extra thick — the kind that breaks as soon as you bite it and you have to catch it with your free hand. It was a great treat for all of us.

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