May 1977

April is now over and for the first time in a while, we are all well, and glad of that.  The flu, or whatever I had in March hung on for a while as I would get tired quite quickly and even had a bit of it in April, but it is gone now.

On the first of April, we went camping for the first time this year.  We thought we had the trailer ready and OK but found a few minor things to take care of. One thing I forgot was to fill up the propane tanks and both emptied a short time after we arrived.  Fortunately, we were able to borrow a tank from the person next to us and that took us through the night.  The next day we went to a propane gas store and filled both our tanks.  We had a lot of rain and camped next to a creek.  We kept a close watch on it, but no problem.  However, the weather and the creek did not favor too much outdoor activity. We did enjoy going out in the camper again, it was a good time.

As was our usual practice, we went South for the Easter vacation starting the Thursday before Good Friday and went down to Petersburg, VA the first day.

Petersburg is a nice one day trip that one can make from here in PA without getting overly tired the first day.  The second leg to Charleston, SC was a bit longer.

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

We had very nice wather with no rain on the trip at all, except for a very minor shower the evening of the last day.  When we were at Charlestown, we were actually about 17 miles away at a campground on the Wando river which empties into the Cooper. This is one of the two that form the Charleston Harbor where they meet the ocean. It was a good campground with some pines. A pleasant place to camp.

Live Oak Tree

There were also many the Live Oak trees with the Spanish moss festooning from them.  Very colorful.

The only disconcerting note was that there were many  small flies which bit and could be pesty.  They were so small they could get through  the screen.  we had to button up at night, spray the trailer, go for a walk and let the spray kill the bugs. Then we would go to bed with the windows closed and fortunately, the nights were not too warm.

It was a nice vacation, all in all.  we did a lot of sightseeing and went through much of historical Charlestown; visiting old houses and all of that.  The National Park service has a nice display at Fort Moultrie on the shore telling about Coastal defense in general and Moultrie in particular. I have enjoyed history since grade school.  At one point in High School I even thought that being a History Professor would be for me.  I learned later that the job requirement included having a PhD.  I could have handled the academics but the expense of such a venture was beyond the ability of my family or me to take on. I do enjoy these trips to historic sites.

The first fort on Sullivan’s Island, constructed of palmetto logs and sand, was still incomplete when Commodore Sir Peter Parker of the Royal Navy and nine British men-of-war attacked it on June 28, 1776. After a nine-hour battle, the ships were forced to retire. Charlestown was saved from British occupation, and the fort was named in honor of its commander, Colonel William Moultrie. In May 1780 the British finally captured Charlestown, including Fort Moultrie, finally evacuating the city in December 1782 as the Revolution entered its last year.

We also took a boat ride in the harbor and this included Fort Sumter, so we took in some of the Civil War history at the sight of the original action.  Some of the original facilities are there, though of course most were damaged by the War. Subsequent rebuilding was designed to make the fort operational with 20th Century Coastal Defense concepts as they applied earlier in this Century. My father-in-law, Col. Alexander Sutherland was in Coastal Defense after graduation from West Point military academy.

Now for the Fort Sumter video prepared by the Park service and not on YOUTUBE.

Click on the link to begin.  It provides more information in a current format than I can from notes and my memory.

We also took in some plantation tours at some of the plantations around us.  One had an oak tree in the garden which they estimated to be 1000 years old.  It was a real monster and I am sure it was the biggest Live Oak I have ever seen.  On one of these tours the leader told sort of a joke about Charlestonians. They are like the Chinese; they venerate their ancestors and grow rice. The grandfather of long-grain rice in the Americas, Carolina Gold is a delicate non-aromatic rice with chameleon starch properties that allow it to produce fluffy, individual grains; creamy risotto; or sticky Asian-style rice, depending on how it is cooked.

Here is a map highlighting the Magnolia plantation.

I don’t have any photos I recognize from that trip, but here is one of Marge at home in that year (about).

Bev Hills maybe 79

Ingrid met a local boy who asked her out to a movie. Unfortunately, we had to leave early the next morning so she couldn’t stay out too late.

Thats all the Charleston news so I bid you a farewell in the next photo.

Charleston sunset

I finished the auto course I was taking and put new brakes on the Mustang. I enjoyed learning practical skills such as home auto repair, woodworking etc. My job as a manager in the power company, PP&L is satisfying but its also satisfying to tackle manual tasks. This car below is not mine but exactly like it.  The car was Marge’s transportation.

1967 Blue Mustang

My Heathkit short wave radio is coming along and I look forward to getting it on the air.

Heathkit Logo

This spring all of us are taking tennis lessons on Monday evening.  we had one lesson so far. I’ll keep you informed but Marge did not want to add anything this time.

That’s it folks.


About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
This entry was posted in 1970-1980, Coopersburg PA, memoir, Summer vacations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to May 1977

  1. ingridmg2014 says:

    I remember that boy who asked me to the movies! I even remember his name, after all of these years. After all, that was my first real date and first kiss, so it made quite an impression. I was super surprised that you & Mom even let me go, considering we were visitors in the area and had never met this boy, much less his family. I’m sure such a thing would never fly today. I even remember the movie we watched, too–“The Silver Streak.” It’s a comedy starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor–both dead now. Anyway, thanks for that quick blast down my own memory lane.

    • R. F. says:

      Yes, I remember that also. Marge and I did talk about that a bit but the park seemed to be populated with pretty decent people and we thought a date for you would be OK and something a bit special for you on this vacation. And yes, society has certainly changed now. I think not for the better after these 40 years.

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