The Diana Visits South of the Border

The Diana Visits South of the Border

Having grandparents in Maryland and grandparents in Georgia made for many a childhood trip up and down I-95.  Years later I still find myself on that asphalt artery…moving back and forth across the Mason-Dixon Line (more trips beneath it than across it for those fact checkers out there).  In some respects, I-95 has changed over the years…the traffic seems to have increased, the roads seem a bit bumpier, the speed limit has increased and exits between point A and point B are getting harder to tell apart.  Why drive to Virginia to have a crumby overpriced sandwich at McDonald’s when I can have one right here in Georgia.  I miss the mom and pop stops along the way.  I also miss the occasional boiled peanut vendor…and I am not talking about the corporate vendor of today that has yellow labeled peanuts in a vat of goopety goop (yup, I said it) at every truck stop along the highway.  I am talking about the local farmer sitting on the side of the road with a stained kettle over a propane burner….or maybe even a little camper behind a pickup with a tiny window where you could slide a few bucks through and in return get a paper bag (soaked and trying to hold it together) full of salty goodness. Occasionally a gas station would have a handful of still warm, brown paper bags stuffed full with boiled peanuts sitting by the register…of course, your timing had to be just right because they wouldn’t be there long.  And after you got that bag of boiled peanuts, you could stretch back out on that asphalt artery and toss peanut shells out the window while the good and juicy ones were sure to stain whatever shirt you were wearing for the ride…and that was ok; we are after all talking about home grown fresh boiled peanuts.  Well, the mom and pop restaurants seem to be getting pushed further and further from the exit and I haven’t seen a local peanut man off an I95 off ramp in I don’t know how long…but…but, one fascinating memory still exists in an unaltered state.  And that I95 icon is South of the Border.  Located on the North Carolina/South Carolina border this holy, bright yellow Oz beckoned to nearly every kid in every backseat in every car along that stretch of highway.  As a passenger they would hook you with the zany, wonderfully cheesy signs long before that exit would roll into view.  They would have the kids counting miles as the roadway slid beneath you.  And occasionally, not often but occasionally…we would stop.  The prices were high, the thrills were cheap and the souvenirs were junk but I loved it. I reveled in anticipation as the Hat came into view.  Would we stop? Could we stop? Maybe on the way back?  The Hat still calls to me today.  The difference this go round is that I have a strategy to be the guy behind the wheel when it comes around the corner.  And we do stop.  Every time.  So, last November Emily and I pulled over (as always) and I shot plenty of digital stills (as is the norm) but on this particular stop I also had a couple of exposures left over in the Diana F+.  And that is what I would like to share…..(I may upload some of the digital stills at a later date)

Enjoy! And the next you find yourself on that stretch of 95……


1 Comment

  1. Emily

    Fun images…the elephant is my personal favorite! I love our SOB visits and look forward to them every time we travel the I-95 route. What I love even more……that we always leave with tons of SOB bumper stickers and post cards to share with friends and family!!

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