Tuesday, September 23, 2014
First, I want to say that I am a Kingstree native, born in the old Kingstree hospital, raised on a tobacco/cotton farm in Williamsburg County and graduated from Kingstree High School. I am proud to be from Kingstree as I have told people on all my travels in the United States and abroad. It is amazing the connections you make once you say, “I’m from Kingstree.” Even on the turrets in Heidelberg Castle in Germany, my husband (who is from Spartanburg and who NEVER knows the people who know people from Spartanburg) is no longer shocked to find that when people who are from Kingstree meet people who know people from Kingstree, there is ALWAYS a connection. Did you follow that sentence? But I digress—which some people would say is easy when you’re born a Thompson. And I’ll try to be brief—which most people would say is impossible if you’re a Thompson.
I have been thinking about this for some time. Kingstree is a pretty town (always has been, in my opinion) and could easily surpass what Lake City is doing. (We—that is Kingstree—are just naturally prettier than Lake City.) I would like to see us do something like Spartanburg has done. Businesses and individuals were encouraged to pick a spot in town and “pretty it up.” (They also commit to maintain it.) For that “Spot of Pride” as they call it, a sign is put up with their name(s) on it. I believe all signs are essentially the same—a brown wood with the lettering done in a dark brown, probably all made by the same person. The town may be in charge of the signs, I’m not sure. I don’t know all the details but I’m sure the Kingstree town officials could find out. This is connected to the recent article in the paper concerning the trees on Jackson Street. I had seen the orange Xs and was concerned. Then I saw that one tree had been trimmed and felt better. Then the article made me concerned again.
There is almost never just one answer to a problem or concern. Although I don’t understand why the owner(s) would rather have a barren lot than those beautiful trees which give his/her property even more value and curb appeal; if s/he doesn’t want to reroute the sidewalk around the tree on the property, why not reroute the sidewalk further out into the street? (Having lived in Charleston for a brief time, I can tell you that’s what they would do.) Then either people wait in line to travel around the trees on the street—or Kingstree makes it a one-way street where the trees are. Kingstree has the word tree in it. We should capitalize that and make this a town of trees—all different kinds. Let’s come together as a community and start making some changes to draw more people (i.e., tourists, former natives) into Kingstree. (Although I don’t want too many because I like the small town feel to which I’ve returned.)
I offer the above because you should never complain unless you also suggest a solution. If there is something I can do to help, I will.
Eileen Thompson Maness