Union County, South Carolina, reminds me of Get Smart, the 1960s spy parody television series starring Don Adams.
Each episode opened with Agent Maxwell Smart (aka Agent 86 …”Max”) walking a long narrow hallway through a series of strange doors. One door opens to reveal a stairway. Another, fake prison bars, opens to reveal a simple telephone booth. And the booth, it turns out, is a trap door through which Max drops down into the secret headquarters of his spy agency.
Union County, where Pineapple Hill is in South Carolina, does the same thing …metaphorically.
It has secret entrances only the natives know about. Long winding roads that disappear into trees. You quickly vanish as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
After woods, you follow the path to a lovely meadow at which point the sky opens up on a bright blue sunny day.
All of a sudden you feel safe and at home. This land is for getting away, keeping the rest of the world and its unnecessary chaos at arm’s length. For some, at barrel’s length.
It’s the opposite of malls, movie theaters, crowded sidewalks and traffic jams. I came here because a woman made me. But most are here by choice and would have it no other way.
I get it now.
— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill