I am sitting in Beaufort south Carolina ,it’s the very city where Forrest gump and so many great movies were made and some not so great and it is the home of parriss island where the sign you drive under proudly declares “WE MAKE MARINES”
For so long south Carolina like so many states below the mason Dixon line, has had the reputation of “every pickup comes with a complimentary gun rack and gun” or “if you listen you can hear the theme music from deliverance” and “every car comes new with a confederate flag sticker” and unfortunately to some extent some of this is very true for instance there are five southern states that actually include the confederate flag in their state emblem.
Now all that said it is also the most disabled and service dog friendly place in the world, I have never had so many men run to open doors restaurants clear paths to a table or even set one up for us, and today we went to Panini’s cafe
Owned by the amazing lee a former new yorker
Who had the sign below on their window
When I realized their bathrooms were down stairs, I asked Lee who was standing at the hostess podium just behind me ”I suppose you don’t have a disabled bathroom on this level?”
In a almost horrified tone she replied” why would you think such a thing ma’am? We believe that if you grace us with your money it is our duty to make everyone comfortable, and also being a military town how dare we not care for those who care for us and come home needing a little extra help they fought for our freedom they deserve the same amenities for their dollar and it’s my duty to provide it?
WOW! we had similar yet unspoken attitudes in the past few days, but none so seriously declared. In every second cafe and store has signs that read “service dogs happily accommodated please come in” then there is the tale of the other south..
On our second day in Beaufort we were rolling along boundary road about a half mile from our hotel, when lo and behold what did I discover but a real life “Piggly wiggly” yes that iconic local legend
Seeing as we needed a few things for our hotel we rolled in to the boundary road piggly wiggly store, and Ella went to the fruit and veg section I rolled looking for vegan sausage?(yes in the south) when I hear suddenly “sir” a sir I am not so I ignored it “sir” SIR I turned “get your dog out of my damn store! I replied Ma’am it is a legal service dog” “ then the following erupted from her small frame I DON’T CARE I AM SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND THE DAMN VETERANS IN THIS TOWN AND THEIR SO CALLED SERVICE DOGS, CHRIST YO GO TO WAR SO YOU THINK YOU OWN THE WORLD”
Ma’am it is illegal to throw me out for the service dog “ILLEGAL” She shouted and suddenly she was standing over me inches away poking me with her finger and when I told her to remove her finger and step back she told me if I called the cops she would just tell them I was sexually inappropriate to her and then the animal control would take my dog ? I told her to back away she was borderline assaulting me, she laughed and said this was the south get over it it was just a dog and to get the hell out of her damn store with my stinking dog?
So the conundrum is how do these two cities live in the same city limits? We never went back to piggly wiggly but my amazing Ella emailed the corporate office and so far we have had three emails from piggly wiggly corporate assuring us they in no way agree with her diatribe and they would get back to us.
We’ll Morgan freeman may have driven Jessica tandy to the piggly wiggly in driving miss daisy, but if she was blind or disabled with a service dog then perhaps the characters from deliverance may have made a guest appearance as they threw out miss daisy and shot the dog.
Hmm maybe they really did make Forrest gump There, because that woman in the piggly wiggly was the epitome of “my momma says stupid is as stupid does”
This might be the south miss piggly wiggly but after having a corona or five with marines returning from their fifth tour in afghanistan and telling them what happenned they assured me after their wives found out and spread the word through parris islnads family association the last piggly wiggly will ever have to worry about again is patronage from the several thousand military families in this town you see the attitude is when my nephew became a marine we became a marine family and the marines look after their own