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The storytellers of Dillon County

Posted: August 22, 2014 10:14 a.m.
Updated: August 25, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Our family has spent many a pleasant summer day with several families from the Dillon area and the experience is always enjoyable and the manner in which they address their friends, neighbors and kinfolk is like taking a step back in the “Old South.” Everyone seems to have a prefix or you are a tourist just stopping by.

Miss Kay would always have a bonnet for the summer sun. Mr. Bob knew more about seeds than anyone. Cousin Dustin’s grandfather fought the Yankees before he returned home and became the first mayor of Dillon. Mr. Mac went to Karolina for four years and Aunt Suzanne makes the best hush puppies and sweet tater pie. Cousin Jewell has more championships than the New York Yankees. The names, yarns, and friendliness are what is defined as “wholesomeness.”

Dillon is one of the younger S.C. counties, famous for the South of the Border travel stop. There are billboards up and down I-95 where Pedro encourages travelers to stop, eat and rest. South of the Border is famous for its spirited drinks regardless of S.C. law, a marriage destination for many especially when the Viet Nam draft heated up, and how I-95 curved to meet U.S. Highway 1. Certainly all was above board politically.

Dillon County is for the most part a farming community made up of good hardworking sensible people. It would seem that Dillon was a homing site for the Scotch-Irish because if your name starts with Mc then you are bound to have kinfolk in the area. These people are also topnotch storytellers.

A group of Dillon citizens were sitting around having their daily coffee one morning when a stranger hurriedly walked in the drugstore. The newcomer ordered a beverage and then proceeded to approach the locals’ table and speak without any introduction, ‘‘Do any of you fellas know where I can find the Church of Christ?’’ No one answered his question. He asked the same question again.

One of the old timers finally looked at the stranger and replied, “Well let’s see. The McCaskills have the Baptist church, the McLeans have the Presbyterian, the McLintons got the Methodist, and the McAdoos have the Episcopal. I’m afraid that Christ doesn’t have a church in Dillon.’’ The stranger departed quickly.

Several years after this story was told, we attended a wedding for a Dillon couple where a Methodist minister who had previously served in Dillon performed the ceremony. At the reception I was able to retell this story and the minister heartily laughed and said it was fairly accurate but I had gotten the families in the wrong order. There was a gentleman who overheard the story and quickly told us that our story was flawed because it really happened in Lamar and the families were the Jones, Smiths and Taylors. Isn’t this a great country we live in?

Thank you for your attention.


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