South Carolina: A Bicentennial History

By Louis B. Wright | Go to book overview

Introduction

A Lingering Fragrance

AS a boy brought up in a small town of the South Carolina Up Country in the first two decades of the present century, I contemplated the great world and wondered if I would ever stray beyond the mountains at Caesar's Head or cross the sea from Charleston. Indeed, a journey from my home town of Greenwood to Columbia, the capital, to attend the state fair was an adventure to be remembered and treasured in retrospect. By the time I was eighteen I had had a glimpse of a wider world, for, thanks to World War I, I had been sent to an officers' training camp at Plattsburgh, New York, and during a brief leave had tramped, wide-eyed, over much of the city of New York. Other than that I remained a provincial with an ingrained conviction that South Carolina, or at least a part of it, was especially favored of God. I had no intention of living anywhere else.

Fate, however, decreed otherwise, and I was to wander far before I had time to devote much attention to my native state. For three years after graduation from Wofford College, Spartanburg, it is true, I worked on a South Carolina newspaper, the Greenwood Index-Journal, a highly instructive period in my life; but after 1923 I made only sporadic visits to my family in South Carolina. Destiny carried me to every state in the union, to most of Europe, from England to Russia to what used to be called Asia Minor, and to South America—even to the Galapagos Islands.

Always, however, there was the memory of a region of red

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