Wow, What a weekend! I made my first trip to the hometown of Kellie Rasberry. Florence, South Carolina is the place where Kellie calls home and a while back we did a contest on the air where the winner was awarded a trip to the hometown of whichever cast member they wanted. And of all of us, the winner selected Kellie. And somehow, I was nominated to go along for the ride. And so, I did. And the first thing we did after our arrival was to eat. We had a light lunch there in the restaurant of “Hotel Florence.” From there, it was off to the radio station for a quick interview. Kellie practically knocked me out when I mentioned “Uncle Drunk Malcolm” on the radio. Anyway, I also got to meet the folks that Kellie worked for before I met her. As the evening went on, Kellie’s accent got thicker and thicker. She was HOME! This weekend was about showing the contest winner around Kellie’s hometown. Not only that, it was about meeting some of Kellie’s kin folk. So we got to see Tommi Jean, Kellie’s friend since 5th grade. We also got to meet “Aunt Velma,” who is Kellie’s dad’s sister. Every town has a place that the visitors have to see, right? in Dallas, it’s the place where the President was shot or maybe the One Billion Dollar Football Stadium. In Fort Worth, I would imagine it’s the Stock Yards. Well, in Florence, it’s the McCall Farms. Manufacturing Mecca and Home of Boiled Peanuts, Canned And frozen Spinach, Canned Beans and about a dozen other food products. Now, I’m going to be honest. At first, I was not sure why the “making” of boiled peanuts would be a tourist stop. But after taking the tour of the facility, I see why. It was freaking amazing. Looking at all of the equipment and the process that it takes to take spinach out of the ground and into a can was pretty incredible. And don’t even THINK about touring this facility without a hair net and a beard net on. Nope, that is not going to happen. So, if you are planning on a trip to Florence, make sure you stop by the plant. We finished the night off with a visit to Cains BBQ with Kellie’s family and a Live Blue Grass Band where they gave Kellie a Shout out from the stage. And when Kellie tried to make sure they knew that I was there and she yelled, “Big Al is here too!” the singer yelled back,” Thank You!” Like I said, It was all about Kellie! I’m thinking the older white folks at Cains BBQ really liked me because they all kept staring at me.
Our last stop for the evening was a bar that also had Live music. We took pictures and made friends and had a great time there as well. Shout out to Jessica. She was such a trip to talk to and she never stopped. I bet at this very moment, she is still talking! One thing I learned about the south was that the 2 syllable names are king. Well, the second syllable mostly. Sha-roooooon, Mea-guuuuuun, Tri-naaaaaaaaa…so funny how the 2nd syllable is so dominant. Even in one syllable names, they kind of turn into 2 syllable names: Carl is pronounced Car-raaaal, Al is pronounced A-yaaal, etc… love me some southern accents.
Thanks Florence for a great time!