Greetings from warm and away |

Greetings from warm and away

The Nicholls family headed “south” this week. Alice and I visited our daughter, Christy, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Alan went to LA and San Diego.

Besides visiting a lot of his college friends (he graduated from UCLA in 1998), Alan witnessed UCLA’s stunning upset of USC at the Rose Bowl. I am sure he and his friends are still celebrating.

This is Alice’s fifth trip, and my fourth trip, to South Carolina since Christy transferred to Myrtle Beach from Sacramento two and a half years ago. She works for Health Net. She has adjusted to her new surroundings quite well, owns a condo across the street from the ocean, a Jet Ski and her Chevy Tahoe is one of the few four-wheel-drives around town.

Myrtle Beach is definitely much different than Truckee. It is situated in the northern part of South Carolina on the Atlantic Ocean. The topography is flat (the highest elevations are on the freeway overpasses and the tops of the numerous cell site towers). The undeveloped areas are very thick with trees and vegetation. The latitude of Myrtle Beach is about the same as Los Angeles.

The population of this popular destination resort is about 350,000 full-time residents, plus a summer visitor population of nearly 2 million. I find it hard to believe that so many people would congregate here in the summer when temperatures are so high and the humidity even higher. Of course the people who live and play here think we are crazy to live in an area where it’s cold and snows.

At this time of year, many businesses ” bathing suit shops, miniature golf courses, and thousands of restaurants ” are closed. These seasonal businesses don’t reopen until the spring breaks begin and the annual pilgrimage of beach goers and golfers begins. The business owners don’t complain about the “shoulder” season ” they just go on vacation.

There are no roundabouts here (just traffic lights), and apparently no sign ordinances. There are probably more billboards in Myrtle Beach than the entire state of California and there are numerous signs attached to every business. The roads are wide, but with grass shoulders, there are no bike baths so biking is not a popular (or safe) pastime.

Despite the congestion, temperatures, etc. South Carolina is really a beautiful state and the southern hospitality is prevalent. The people are friendly. “Yes, Sir,” “Yes, Ma’am,” and “Thank y’all and come back soon” are phrases used everywhere. Locals not only say these things, but mean them. There are lessons of politeness to be learned here.

Alice and I leave tomorrow morning to go 200 miles south to meet Bill and Pat Gibbons Johnson (also of Truckee) at Hilton Head. Despite a cold and wet forecast, I am sure we’ll get some golf in and enjoy our time at Pat and Bill’s timeshare. In the meantime, we are all praying for snow back home and look forward to hitting the slopes soon.

We actually received two correct answers to last week’s question, “Where was the location of the Agricultural Inspection Station prior to the one that was just demolished?” According to our readers, one of the locations was at the flat area on the northwest side of the Glenshire Bridge. Apparently this location existed for many years and the road was part of Old Highway 40 (there was also a beautiful arched bridge there prior to the present bridge).

Sometime in the ’50s the location was changed to where the Truckee Donner Public Utility District is now located on Donner Pass Road (again part of Old Highway 40).

This week’s early bird winner, Dean Holbrook, remembers, “From February of 1953 until May of 1958 I rode the school bus from Tahoe City to Tahoe Truckee High School. I remember going through the inspection station every morning. The bus would have to stop and the driver would wave to the attendant and then continue on to the high school.”

Other winners include Michael Monroe, Jerry Blakely, Pat Northrup, Carol Jones, Mary Delisle, Bill Mullins, and Charlie White. Our new town council member, Mark Brown, was our first contestant to call in, but he remembered a location at where the Factory Outlet Stores are ” a location we could not verify. Thanks for calling, Mark, and good luck on the council.

Note: Since we are still on vacation, we will not be acknowledging your answers to this week’s question until next week. But call in and e-mail your answers today and be our early-bird winner.

Norm and Alan Nicholls, of the Nicholls Real Estate Group, are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.

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