The New Elite

Recently I read a new book from UGA Press, GUTEN TAG, Y’ALL: GLOBALIZATION AND THE SOUTH CAROLINA PIEDMONT 1950-2000 by Marko Maunula. Maunula’s coming to speak this fall at the Spartanburg County Library, and his visit should prompt a lively discussion. A strange result of reading Maunula’s book about Spartanburg is that it started me thinking that maybe opposition to land use...

The Wal-Mart Without Us

Lately I’ve been driving around looking at the Wal-Marts and Home Depots of the outer fringes of Spartanburg suburbia as crumbling empty vestiges of bloated corporate egos and outmoded ideas about living. “The Wal-Mart without us,” I said to Betsy the other day. “It’s going be like Alan Weisman’s book THE WORLD WITHOUT US here in the suburbs.” Weisman...

Triple Bogey or Hole in One?

This past week a $100 million redevelopment plan was announced for the Lan Yair golf course on Spartanburg’s Halfway Branch, one of the largest tributaries of Lawson’s Fork Creek. Halfway Branch rises just north of East Main Street. The unassuming creek and several bold streams that feed it were dammed long ago to form the old ponds of the golf course. Downstream from the golf course...

Riding the Hogback Highway

This week we drove U.S. Highway 176 north to Landrum three days in a row to watch our son play in a basketball tournament at the new District 1 high school. We could have driven faster, more sterile I-26, but taking the old highway has its advantages and insights. I like to call this route “the Hogback Highway” because anywhere west of town along its length you might just catch a...

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