We spent today in Charleston, researching a travel story I’m attempting to write and just doing some general sightseeing. It’s chilly now, but it was hot during the day and oh so sunny. Omigod I’ve missed the sun. I feel for you poor sods who got snow and freezing rain last night.

We’re staying out in a resort community, so we’ve been taking public transit everywhere. The buses have a schedule, but it’s just a suggestion. We do a lot of waiting. There’s a laid back, small-town feel to the city, like everyone knows everyone else, and they chat with each other on the bus. Also, very few white people take the bus. The black and white worlds are so separate, it’s bizarre – I guess that’s still what the South is about.

Coming home tonight, we waited at a stop that appeared to be just inside the “bad” part of town. While we waited and waited for the 40 bus, “Cadillac” came up and spent about half an hour talking to us, about comedy and women and George Burns and how he’s headed to North Carolina on Monday for a program called Rebound that’s supposed to help him get his life back on track. He’s 51, born and bred Charleston, though he spent 15 years in New York. He hated it there; he was no big fan of the snow.

His name’s Tony, but when he was 19 he bought the mayor’s 1969 Cadillac: The car eventually broke down – the name stuck. He offered to come home with us, fold himself right into our suitcase and come to Canada, but I told him that, hey, if he didn’t like the snow in New York, Canada was no place for him. He was self-conscious about the big scar on his face, which he says he got in a car accident when he was eight. He showed us his driver’s license to prove he never takes good pictures, but he still let me take one of him, so long as I got the Church’s Chicken cup in the shot.

Cadillac, 2008


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