Before there was a North Myrtle Beach

Our first trip to the beach as a family was in the summer of 1965. We lived in Poplar Apartments in Durham, NC in those days. Dad was in Duke medical school, Mom was a second-grade schoolteacher at Lakewood Elementary, I was about to start the first grade and Kim was still four years preconceived.

It was amazing the difference in terrain between North and South Carolina. An observation I made, even at that tender age, was that each state seemed to have it’s very own unique characteristics. North Carolina was all clay soil with tall pines having no branches until the very top of the tree. Then, just across the border, the clay turned to swamp and the trees had moss hanging from them. Welcome to the deep south.

South of the Border – US-301, Hamer, SC

We made several trips to Myrtle Beach in the 1960s, but this post is about the first one. There was a Stuckey’s type of place on the state border called “South of the Border“. Since those days, that traveler’s stop has achieved a certain level of celebrity status by being in several motion pictures. When we stayed in Myrtle Beach, we always stayed at the same little motel. There were only a few in those days, and the town of Myrtle Beach consisted of a strip center with a grocery store and some carnival rides in the parking lot. Hilton Head resort, further down the coast, was still a privately owned estate.

Following, is a slideshow of some (believe it or not) actual slides that I ran across and was able to scan. Though the originals have been stored in a safe, secure, climate-controlled environment, they have still accumulated the occasional dust, hairs, dead amoebas and such, but for this release, I guess they will have to suffice.

myrtle-beach-sc-1965

With another winter now in the books, I’m hoping to get back down to the old sandy playground. That little getaway spot has changed considerably over the years, but then again, so have I. Haven’t we all?

Steve D.

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