The drive to Charleston took me about 5 and a half hours, which seems so odd to me as I’m 4 hours North of Miami, and sort of in the middle of the state too. I stopped in Holly Hill (Daytona Beach), FL, about 40 miles north of me to pick up another contestant, Peter Rosati. The ride was thankfully uneventful and smooth. We even drove through Ashepoo and survived! (a small town in South Carolina) We found the name to be hilarious at the time! I’d made previous plans to meet up with a good member and friend on my site, Aldon Olson from Michigan. He’d offered his room to us to clean up before the comp, seeing as we arrived mere hours before it started.
We arrived in Charleston, a lovely city I say is part New Orleans, and part St. Augustine; history and a good feeling here. I called Aldon who’d gone out to dinner, so Peter and I wandered on foot down the road. We decided on a place called the Black Bean Company, all natural, non processed foods. Very good food (kind of pricey), nice folks, but wow, this place was fairly deserted, made you wonder how they stay in business. We ate and hung out a bit, then wandered back the block to the Best Western. We hung outside and talked, Peter wandered a bit, and I kept my eyes on the pool, as I saw many great beards out there! A few folks coming out of the pool, I accosted and gave them business cards for The Society. 😀 I smoked my pipe a bit then we went up to meet and see Aldon.
I’d been wanting to meet Aldon now for years. We were friends on mybeard.org years ago, then he joined my site when the former shut it’s doors. Great, great guy, and I’m very happy to have met him! We talked a bit and exchanged buttons, cards, conversation, and took some pics too. Peter got changed and I washed my Beard; go figure! 🙂 I had decided to wear my Egyptian Galabaya again with nothing underneath this time. The last time I wore it was in New Orleans in September, and I wore a t-shirt, shorts, and a belt under it in 91 degree heat. This time I figured I was good to go seeing as this comp was inside and there was no parade.. per se. lol
We headed to The Music Farm, found a parking spot, and I changed into my costume in the parking garage. It was warm out, but about 13 degrees cooler then in Titusville, plus there was a nice breeze. We wandered over to the location and met up with many cool folks and I got to meet DC Cunningham, a member on my site, and all around good guy. I got to meet Bryan Nelson, Adam M. Gazda, Anthony The Stache Fontes, Vic Martinson, Jeremy Beckelhimer of OFF The Grid Beard Oils, and many other cool folks. I was also able to see folks I’d met in New Orleans and in Miami like Devon Holcombe, Brian Damaged, Paul Roof (#PraiseTheRoof #rehireRoof), Nick Masciangelo, Jonah Hickson, Jeff Langum and his lovely wife Oana (great photographer), ole Grizzly Stonewall Jackson (very cool), and again, many others.
We waited outside til the long line wasn’t so much so, and went it.. There was free beer for the competitors upstairs so I ran up asap to get a cold one. Little did I know this was a stout beer, and I popped the can and drank maybe 1/3 of it in gulps and then it hit me. lol Very dark stout, as dark as the abyss, and I had to stop. lol I carted the can downstairs and ordered a Bud Lite, and poured out the chucktown stuff and stuffed one of my socks in the can to keep it from getting in my bag of goodies I’d thought was wise to bring with. (Little did I know.) Well as we all wandered around to say our hellos and reconnect with folks, take pics, and talk, it became quite obvious there was no AC going on. It got hot, and I was quite soaked, but there were large fans around to keep the air moving.
Once the competition started, it was like attending a rock concert. Large stage, lots of lights, cavernous building, and loud music. I had such a great time there and kudos to Paul Roof and Holy City Beard & Moustache Society for an incredible competition! If you didn’t have fun here, it had to be of your own devices. lol What a blast to be there in attendance, with again, some of the coolest folks I’ve ever met in my life. Though it was quite hot, it was a great time. I did take the intermission to run back to the car to supposedly ‘lighten’ my load, and did remove stuff, but stuff that weighed about 3 ounces I think, and back to The Music Farm I went.
After the competition was over, Peter R. was talking to the owner of The Recovery Room (who had been one of the judges) and we ended up going there for an hour or so to have a few beers and schmooze. As we were leaving The Music Farm, I was talking to folks as we passed, and apparently missed the last step down, and crashed to my knees before I realized what happened. Folks jumped to me to see if I was alright and I was fine, a bit dazed I think. We said our goodbyes to Aldon, and headed for the car to go to The Recovery Room. That place was as packed as The Music Farm, just not as big. lol Everyone had a good time for sure, but we eventually had to hit the road for the trip home.
Peter Rosati and I outside the Best Western in Charleston, SC.
Aldon Olson and I outside the Best Western in Charleston, SC
Once at The Music Farm, we hooked up with the ever cool DC Cunningham from Louden, TN
I met Rob Scheiber outside The Music Farm too.
Inside The Music Farm, DC and I met Bryan Nelson of Austin, TX.
L to R; Adam M. Gazda (of Savannah, GA), Mikey Steel (of Miami, FL and this is his pic), and myself in The Music Farm
Good to see Jeff Langum and Oana Langum again! Great folks and she is a sweet photographer! (this is one of her pics)
The Salty Dog category on stage at The Music Farm. Photo Credit; Stephen Dash Brown (RVA Beard League)
Moseying across the stage at The Music Farm, Charleston, SC. Photo Credit; Oana Langum