“Getting to know you . . .
. . .Getting to know all about you,” are part of the lyrics from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I.” To me these words can well apply to the town you live in as well as the people you live with. And that process can pay many dividends. I should know. In Jim’s 25-year Air Force career we moved 22 times.
When we arrived in a new town I immediately did two things: took the local newspaper so I could get the flavor of the place and took the first tour I could find so I could taste it for myself. The more I learned about where I lived, the more I enjoyed my stay.
This process was what caused me to fall in love with local history. In school, history was far from my favorite subject. Somehow the machinations of the Holy Roman Empire never stirred me as much as the tales which could only stem from where I lived. When we moved to Summerville I started working for this newspaper, followed by working for the Town. I began learning about and getting to know – and love – Summerville that first day. After 35 years I’m still learning, and still loving.
The exciting thing to me is that now I get to share my town – and yours – on a person-to-person basis, by being one of the tour guides on the newly minted Sweet Tea Trolley Tours. The tours were preceded by the Chamber’s work to have Summerville officially branded as the Birthplace of Sweet Tea, and the subsequent establishment of the Sweet Tea Trail on which people can drive through our area independently. With the tours, residents and visitors alike can be personally escorted to and through the history and beauty of our Flower Town in the Pines.
What will tour-goers learn? You’ll hear the plain, unvarnished truth about bell tower romances; the answer to the near-scandalous mystery in the prophetically named Tea Pot grocery; and why much of the Town’s origins are contained in its three-word official seal, “Sacra Pinus Esto.”
Then there’s 78, 166, and 383. These are the numbers of years that answer some of the queries posed on the tour. Other questions clear up why and how Summerville became an international tourist – and health destination – in the early 1900s, and why presidents and national celebrities came here to imbibe in our once luxurious inns. You’ll also get to visit the wonderful garden of one of those inns’ descendants – a delightful B&B.
And keeping with the Town’s new theme, you’ll hear why we really are the Birthplace of Sweet Tea – and get to see where that took place. There’s also fun, laughter and prizes included. To learn how to reserve your place on one of the upcoming tours scheduled for the third Friday of every month through December, visit www.lowcountrylooptrolley.com. Or call the Visitor Center at 873-2931 for more information. The next tours are on August 16.
Rogers and Hammerstein surely didn’t have Summerville in mind when they wrote this “King and I” song some six decades ago. But I can’t help but end with more of those lyrics as they couldn’t be more appropriate to underscore our hopes for sharing our town through these tours:
“Getting to know you,
Putting it my way,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea.”