Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Yankee in plantation country

Since we last talked, I hooked up with my friends Robin and Noelle for four days of hijinks. It's thrown me way off my blog game. I'll continue to share parts of my trip even though I'm safe and cold back in New Hampshire.

We spent our first full day together at Middleton Place, a former rice plantation outside Charleston. It was magnificent.

Moise, roll the tape.

The main house burned down, so all that's left is, I think, a gentlemen's guest house.

I have no idea what the posing is about. They were just hanging out like this.

We debated whether this was real. Then it blinked.

Yes, more gators! And definitely real.

Noelle and Robin looking all sunny and cute.

These pics are not edited. It's just incredibly beautiful here.

This one smelled Yankee blood.

This was a big'un. It scared the hell out of Noelle, who came within 10 feet of it. Unfortunately, her squealing and running away was not caught on tape.

This was the big guy, taken from a very safe distance. We let some other visitors taunt him and took action shots. 

The lower level was used for refrigeration; the upper level
was a place of worship for slaves.

Noelle enjoyed the view until the buzzing of impressively large hornets became apparent. That was our cue to leave.

I still hate Guinea hens.

Lamb on the lam!

Water buffalo
The water buffalo fascinate me. Back in the day, they were imported from Constantinople to work the rice fields. Sailing was such a cruel, primitive mode of transportation that it's difficult to fathom what went on in the hold of ANY ship at that time.

This is the slave exhibit building. This is the only "rough" looking building in the joint. Even the barns and outbuildings are pristine by comparison.

An entire roster of slaves owned by the Middletons through the years. This puts things in perspective. Screw the water buffalo.

Do the quotes suggest that the slaves did NOT live in hovels?

The only quarters indicating slave life come in the form of a building built in the 1890s and moved to the plantation in the 1930s. There was an attached kitchen larger than this room. I don't know what went on at the Middleton plantation, but I'm guessing the exhibit slave quarters are not to scale.

Quick--more animals to make me feel better.

Middleton was endlessly beautiful. And we didn't even hit the gardens. It's hard to imagine any slave existence in such an amazing place, and I am left with a few questions. But I tried very hard to just bite my tongue and try to pet the sheep.