“South” states: Carolina, Dakota

God, guns, and fireworks

Saskatchewan.South DakotaI’ve been to South Carolina a few times because it’s less than 20 miles from Charlotte, NC, where part of my family lives and the SC border. I went there a few times with my late father, perhaps to Rock Hill, when he was buying and selling goods.

He used to note that the geographic relationship between Charlotte and its southern neighbor was like Binghamton, NY and ITS southern neighbor, Pennsylvania. I think the quasi-familiar somehow made him comfortable after the move by him, my mother and sister Marcia in 1974.

Last time I recall being in South Carolina, there were tons of billboards about God, guns, and fireworks, as soon as one crossed the border, in numbers far greater than its northern neighbor.

SC, South Carolina, a state in the southeast US. Capital: Columbia; largest city: Charleston.

The Dakotas

The 1996 Olin International Family Reunion was in Fargo, ND. My future wife went with her parents. Then they traveled down to South Dakota. Naturally, they went to Mount Rushmore.

I have never been to either of the Dakotas. Here’s something I had wondered about: Why Are There Two Dakotas? Mostly because the folks didn’t like each other.

“The northern part of Dakota territory became more closely tied to Minneapolis-St. Paul, via Fargo and Bismarck. In contrast, the southern counties… were more closely tied by trade to Sioux City… Omaha or… Chicago. These diverging economic ties left residents of different parts of the territory less connected to each other…

“On Nov. 2, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison signed the papers to admit North and South Dakota as two separate states… Though North Dakota is generally considered the 39th state to South Dakota’s 40th state, it’s actually unclear which one was admitted first…”

SD, South Dakota, a state in the upper Midwest region. Capital: Pierre, which is pronounced PEER. Largest city: Sioux Falls.

Saskatchewan, in French, is Saskatchewan

I did not know this: “Saskatchewan receives more hours of sunshine than any other Canadian province… The hottest temperature ever recorded anywhere in Canada happened in Saskatchewan. The temperature rose to 45 °C (113 °F) in Midale and Yellow Grass.”

Or this: “In the early 20th century the province became known as a stronghold for Canadian social democracy.”

SK Saskatchewan, a prairie province in western Canada. Capital: Regina. Largest city: Saskatoon. I love saying “Saskatoon”.

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Charleston, the responses

The Ku Klux Klan has a permit to protest removal of Confederate flag on July 18 at the South Carolina Statehouse.

At my church on Sunday, June 28, we sang a new hymn printed in the bulletin. It was They Met to Read the Bible by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a pastor from Wilmington, Delaware, to the tune of Beneath the Cross of Jesus (ST. CHRISTOPHER 7.6.8.6.8.6.8.6):

They met to read the Bible,
they gathered for a prayer,
They worshiped God and shared with friends
and welcomed strangers there.
They went to church to speak of love,
To celebrate God’s grace.
O Lord, we tremble when we hear
What happened in that place.

O God of love and justice,
we thank you for the nine.

I then realized this song was in specific response to the Charleston shooting, and I could barely finish singing it, because I was sobbing too much.

Here are stories in The New Yorker and the Presbyterian Church USA News.
KKK_gun
Meanwhile:

Obama’s Graceful Pause in Charleston. “The power in the president’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney came not from his singing, but from the silence that preceded it.”

A string of fires in the South at black churches is being investigated. One church burned by the Ku Klux Klan 20 years ago in South Carolina apparently was NOT arson, this time.

The Ku Klux Klan has a permit to protest the removal of the Confederate flag on July 18 at the South Carolina Statehouse, “with the group calling accused mass murderer Dylann Roof a ‘young warrior.'” Actually, I think this is great. Seriously. It puts to lie the notion that the Confederate battle flag was just some quaint artifact of the past, but is still a symbol of hate and oppression.

There is an open carry bill – that means guns- in the South Carolina state legislature. Hope it doesn’t pass anytime soon.