Going back to Clemson - a grey day

[img_assist|nid=519|title=|desc=A crappy pic from across my dashboard, of Sikes and Tillman hall. Sadly, temperatures were in the low 40's and it was pouring rain, so there were no scantily clad coeds playing volleyball on Bowman Field.|link=node|align=left|width=250|height=188]

My planned trip to Atlanta got sidetracked slightly yesterday, when I was summoned to Columbia to meet with some lawyers for our company. It was a bit pointless - a 25 minute meeting that required 2.5 hours of extra driving.

That was a huge waste of time, but it did give me an excuse to divert through Clemson on my way to Norcross.

It was the first time I'd been back since I drove out of town in the spring of 1999 with my red Toyota truck, laden with the contents of my trailer out in Central, SC, directly following commencement.

That was a nasty, rainy day if memory serves. So to was the day of my drive-through visit.

I made a quick drive around and through campus, and found that not a whole lot had changed in nearly a decade, at least on the grounds themselves. Change was more evident downtown:

  • Byrnes Hall, where I lived my freshman and junior years, still looks like a Soviet apartment block, surrounded by the rest of the ghetto on the Horseshoe
  • The only two restaurants I had any desire to eat in, the Potbelly Delly and The Acropolis, were both gone. The former replaced by a Starbucks, building and all, the later gutted.
  • There's now a massive parking deck downtown, along with some chain restaurants, and some new fancy apartment complexes.
  • All the students I saw were walking around with gloomy expressions, like someone had stolen their lunch money or kicked their dog. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe not. That's probably the expression I had most of the time there.

[img_assist|nid=520|title=|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=188|height=250]

So as not to have to call the detour a total loss, I stopped at The Athletic Department and bought a Clemson hat. It's only the second piece of university-themed apparel I've ever purchased, the other being another hat I lost long ago.

I then refueled with some sweet, cheap Upstate high-test, and got the heck out of town.

Sentimental I am not.