Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Ocean Drive , SC - An Oasis From the Past !
As a long time vacationer to the Grand Strand area of South Carolina , it is becoming more and more evident that it is slowly disappearing as we " Baby Boomers" knew it . As a teenager in the 60's and early 70's , a trip to Myrtle Beach was like going to Mayberry on the coast . During the day the beach was enormous and you could see forever in all directions . Only a few multi story hotels existed . At night the amusement park was reminiscent of a county fair with all the rides and smells of cotton candy . The Beach Music that echoed from cruising cars , would fade out , as the familiar clack - clack - clack sound of the climbing roller coaster would signal the eminent screams that were soon to follow . Getting a dipped cone and laughing at yourself in the mirrors that changed your shape was a favorite pass time . On the beach , the flash and pop of fireworks seamed to never end . As progress would have it , the word got out . This was the place to be ! Through the years , more and more beach front houses were leveled to make room for canyon like high rise condos and resorts . As Myrtle Beach grew the beach began to shrink . Instead of a single line on the beach , families were stacked up 5 or 6 deep . Any activity other than laying in the sun was a squeeze . At night , the sights and sounds that "used to be" disappeared . The Myrtle Beach Amusement Park and Pavilion have been razed to make room for some mega resort and will leave no trace of where our youthful memories were formed . Monster malls with themed restaurants and bars are now the new places to be seen . Just like the discount beach stores , if you've seen one , you've seen 'em all . Luckily there is still a bit of the past preserved in Ocean Drive , or OD as it called by us Boomers . High rise condos have reached here but the canyon effect isn't as prevalent . The beach is always crowded in front of these condos , but where ocean front homes have hung on , the beach is still pleasantly open . At night Beach Music is still the preferred sound of OD , and a hot dog with a cold beer is the standard bill of fare . Twice a year , in the Spring and Fall , OD hosts a week long beach music and Shag festival called SOS . Attendence is always in the thousands . It's equivalent to 2 spring breaks for the over 50 crowd without the drunks and beer pong . Recently a scaled down amusement park was erected on the ocean just south of Main Street . At night it takes you back to the sights and sounds of long ago when things were simpler . You can still get a dipped cone but the mirrors aren't needed anymore to laugh at our funny shapes ! Blog by Mike Haney / Mikes Spikes Beach Umbrella Holders http://www.mikesspikes.com/