A few weeks ago while on a visit to the upstate, my family and I had lunch on Saturday in the town of Prosperity at the Main Dish Café. Prosperity is located along Highway 76 near Newberry, has easy access to Lake Murray, and is near Dreher Island State Park. Like other small South Carolina towns, Prosperity works diligently to maintain its old fashion charm while attempting to provide the necessary conveniences of modern life. The website notes that Prosperity is a growing community with a small town attitude. The creative Merchant Association promotes the town with the following slogan:
The Main Dish Café was very similar to our Café on Academy, and apparently a favorite of the local people. During lunch we observed table after table of teens, families, and friends who met for a simple Saturday lunch. After lunch my mom and I visited the antique mall across the street, joining others who were busy shopping or refurbishing individual booths. For a weekend in a small town, Prosperity was busy, and it was apparent that folks were “Experiencing Prosperity.”
The following day, we had lunch at the Highway 11 Restaurant located three miles from Chesnee and eight miles from Gaffney near the Cowpens Battle Field. Looking for a place to eat, we initially passed the restaurant with a parking lot filled with cars, but because it looked questionable, we just kept driving. Not seeing anything else we turned around deciding that with so many cars, the food had to be good. The restaurant was a converted 60 year old cement block country store that had a long line of people ready to eat. Finally getting a table we ordered and waited to see what was so special about this out of the way restaurant. Immediately we observed that it was a family owned business where everyone helped and pulled their share of the workload. The waitress was friendly and always available to fill a glass or answer a question. When the food arrived, the servings were large and tasty. In fact, a single salad could have easily fed all four of us and as it turned out, each of us had enough food to carry home for supper. The restaurant was a wonderful surprise and provided a great lunch at a reasonable cost. Later I read on their Facebook page where the owner of this thriving restaurant was told his business would never last in such an underdeveloped area. However, eight years later, people are willing to wait an hour on the weekend for a table.
The article also noted that the flounder is a favorite and the restaurant serves 200 pounds of flounder a week. It was very apparent that the Highway 11 Restaurant was also experiencing prosperity.
As I pondered these two rural locations I wondered how Williamsburg County would compare. It did not take long to remember last weekend during the Come See Me Events and how we too “Experience Prosperity.” Thinking about the re-enactment of the Battle of Kingstree, helped me understand how rich our community is in history. The Cedar Swamp Lancers, who some say are the last lancing group in the nation, prompted me to consider our heritage and how it might affect the future. The Shuler Farm where the Lancing Tournament was held confirmed the beauty and abundance of natural resources found in this county. Many human resources were important in the planning and implementing of the annual event. The Arts Festival with the attractive exhibits verified local talent. And lastly, the strong faith of the community was visible through the presence of Father Jeff at the events as he led prayers.
It appears that we experience prosperity each time we count our blessings and understand the true wealth of this community. It was appropriate that the following verse was part of my morning devotion this past week: Psalm 128, 1-2: “Blessed are all who fear the Lord who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”