I wanted to find something on local history so Carol and I went to an independent bookstore in Greenville SC. I couldn’t find much but located a picture sort of book on Laurens County. Honestly, how this book got published I don’t know. I certainly don’t recommend it; it’s called Images of America: Laurens County. It had pictures of the damndest things. For example the entire graduating class of ought 7 with no names just a picture of unknown people, or for example, John Langston, described as a substantial citizen but with no indication whatsoever as to why he was or what he did to make him so.
I did find out that Laurens was possibly originally called Laurensville and that it was divided into five townships, variously: Laurens, Dial, Waterloo, Sullivan, Scuffletown, Hunter, Cross Hills, Jacks and Youngs. So cousin Jacks Tingle was named after a Laurens Township. Ora is mentioned very briefly as part originally of the township called Scuffletown. No explanation is given for this odd name, though one supposes a family named the Scuffles lived there.
Mountville is mentioned as a community that sort of sprang up on its own and as having probably the oldest church in the county. I think Uncle Douglas may be buried there. Anyway, don’t buy that book. If you see it, just pick it up and look at the pictures while you are standing there. And then put it back where you found it.
Healthful eating has not caught on in SC; indeed the restaurants of SC seem to be engaged in counter-programming against all those healthy trends coming out of places like California. How else to explain a restaurant chain that flauntingly calls itself Fatz? I ate at Fatz; the food was medium good and the portions enormous. They start you out free of charge with some flavored rolls that have been deep fried. Carol ate all of them.
All of the visiting Tingle brothers ate breakfast at Ryans in Laurens right across from the WalMart; this is a chain of different styles of restaurants. The one we went to was all you could eat forever and ever. They had a separate room for smokers. I went in there to take a puff and found myself in a room with four other smokers—all workers at the restaurant and all black—I don’t know how long it’s been since I was in a room with four other smokers.
But laws are being passed and challenged and passed again restricting smoking in public places and bars. One of the workers sitting there said, “Are they trying to take all of our pleasures away from us.” Carol and I went back to Ryans at seven or so for dinner, and the guy who had defended his right to smoke was still working. He looked really tired and had the horrible job of just standing there behind the steak and ham and waiting for people to come up and tell him what they wanted.
According to the Laurens picture book, that’s the oldest church in Laurnens County, located in Mountville near Duncan Creek. I don’t know though if the structure pictured is still extant.