Current Littourati Map

Neil Gaiman's
American Gods

Click on Image for Current Map

Littourari Cartography
  • On the Road
    On the Road
    by Jack Kerouac
  • Blue Highways: A Journey into America
    Blue Highways: A Journey into America
    by William Least Heat-Moon

Search Littourati
Enjoy Littourati? Recommend it!

 

Littourati is powered by
Powered by Squarespace

 

Get a hit of these blue crystal bath salts, created by Albuquerque's Great Face and Body, based on the smash TV series Breaking Bad.  Or learn about other Bathing Bad products.  You'll feel so dirty while you get so clean.  Guaranteed to help you get high...on life.

Go here to get Bathing Bad bath products!

Entries in William Least-Heat Moon (63)

Saturday
Oct232010

Blue Highways: Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge Site?, Georgia

Unfolding the Map

Click on Thumbnail for MapWilliam Least Heat-Moon (LHM) drives into Georgia and chows down at a place called the Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge.  We munch on the fried food with him, and wash it down with some sweet tea.  At least I hope that reading this blog makes you feel as satisfied as eating fried food and drinking sweet tea.  To see where we are ingesting this fine fare, click on the map thumbnail to the right.  Leave a comment about any favorite back woods eateries you've managed to find.

Book Quote

"I was watching everyone else and didn't see the waitress standing quietly by.  Her voice was deep and soft like water moving in a cavern.  I ordered the $4.50 special.  In a few minutes she wheeled up a cart and began off-loading dinner: ham and eggs, fried catfish, fried perch fingerlings, fried shrimp, chunks of barbecued beef, fried chicken, French fries, hush puppies, a broad bowl of cole slaw, another of lemon, a quart of ice tea, a quart of ice, and an entire loaf of factory-wrapped white bread.  The table was covered."

Blue Highways: Part 2, Chapter 16

 

Old advertisement, including misspellings and wrong directions, for the Swamp Guinea Fish Lod

Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge Site?, Georgia

I've put a question mark in the title of this post, and on the heading here, because I'm just taking a stab in the dark as to where the Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge was located.  In the advertisement above, which was circa 1967 or so, the directions are completely wrong.  The text says that it was located 10 miles west of Athens, Georgia but a little research shows that it was actually located east of Athens, near a little town called Colbert.  With a search around that area on Google Maps, I found Swamp Guinea Road.  Given the name, and the location, I am making an assumption that the Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge, which does not exist any more, was located there.  If I'm wrong, and someone knows for sure, please let me know.

I love LHM's description of his meal at the Swamp Guinea.  Just massive amounts of fried food loaded up on the plate.  The real Southern custom of adding a loaf of white bread to the meal, the sweet tea.  The closest I've come to a meal like that is in New Mexico, where I live, when I went to a Texas style eatery called Rudy's for a barbecue meal.  I also like his description of the waitress and her voice.  I tend to have a soft spot for waitresses, and listening to one reel of the day's specials with a soft Southern voice would be like listening to music in a dream.

I'm no stranger to eating a lot.  Way back in the day, when I lived in Milwaukee, I made a trip to Illinois on a business trip and was taken to a supper club.  When I ordered the "Pork o'Plenty" plate, the waitress tried to talk me out of it.  She looked at my size, which was tall and skinny and about 150 pounds when wet back then, and didn't think I was up to the task.  When I ordered soup and salad with it, she thought I was out of my mind.  She predicted failure.  I not only ate the soup and salad, but the Pork o'Plenty plate AND a dessert.  As we left, I heard her exclaim to another waitress "we have big beefy farmboys come in here but I've never seen anyone eat like that guy."

In Texas in the 90s, when my friend Tom came to visit me and I still weighed the same, we went to the County Line Barbecue near Austin and ordered the all-you-can-eat meat deal.  Our goal was to eat enough to make them lose money.  We ate at least three portions apiece.  In New Orleans, great meals were made of all-you-can-eat crawfish, boiled in crab or crawfish boil with potatoes and corncobs and dumped out on a table covered with butcher paper.  You could find that in restaurants, but the best were in the backyard parties.  We would "pinch dem tails and suck dem heads" all night, wash it down with Abita Amber and go home stuffed.

A good fried Southern meal, so bad for you health-wise, is still just wonderful for the soul.  Cracker Barrel has tried to mainstream these types of meals with down home folksy Southern style, but you're really going to find the true atmosphere and food at places like LHM's Swamp Guinea - back country eateries that put less emphasis on the ambience and more emphasis on the food, and by doing so, create the ambience anyway.

What does the name Swamp Guinea mean?  Is it some Southern legend, like a swamp hoodoo or some other spectral spirit?  Actually, it was made up by the owner who told LHM that he needed a good name for future franchising.  Unfortunately, we cannot visit the Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge because it has gone out of business.  There is a restaurant in the nearby town of Hartwell called the Swamp Guinea Restaurant, but I can't tell if it is owned by the same person or is any way related to the defunct original.  It's a nice story, though - a mysterious name for a good local eatery out somewhere in the swamp.  I bet there's more such hidden oases of good food out there.

By the way, in my previous post I lamented my lack of knowledge of American colonial and Revolutionary War history.  The location of the present Swamp Guinea Restaurant, Hartwell, has an interesting such history of its own.  The town is named after Nancy Hart, a Revolutionary War heroine who singlehandedly captured five Tories and killed a sixth after they entered her home demanding that she cook them a meal.  She started cooking an old turkey, but secretly told her daughter to head to a distant spring and blow a conch shell for help.  She then started secretly taking the Tories' rifles and slipping them through a crack in the wall to hide them.  She was detected as she was slipping the third through, so she pulled it back and shot one of the Tories.  By then, several neighbors arrived to help, and wanted to shoot the remaining Tories, but she was merciful...she had them hanged.  It is rumored that she served as a spy for the American forces, often disguised as a man, and the local Native Americans respected her so much they called her "War Woman."  The county in which Hartwell is located, Hart County, is the only county in the state named for a woman.  Just another interesting tidbit of American history.

If you want to know more about Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge, etc.

Current Swamp Guinea Restaurant in Hartwell, Georgia
WFMU Blog:  Swamp Guinea Part I
WFMU Blog:  Swamp Guinea Part II
WFMU Blog:  Swamp Guinea Part III

Next up:  Athens, Georgia

Thursday
Oct212010

Blue Highways: Old Ninety Six NHS, South Carolina

Unfolding the Map

Click on Thumbnail for MapWe make a trip to the Star Fort with William Least Heat-Moon (LHM) and I realize I don't really know much about the Revolutionary War at all.  To see where the Star Fort is located, click on the map thumbnail.  Leave a comment if you wish - I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Book Quote

"Just north of the stockade settlement of Ninety Six that sat astride - literally - the Cherokee Path, patriots built a fort shaped like an eight-pointed star to control the communication of goods and messages.  By 1780, the British and Tories had seized it.  In the spring of 1781, General Nathanael Greene, with a thousand infantrymen, moved in to recapture the outpost....First he diverted the stream furnishing water; the British countered by digging a well inside the fort, but it proved dry, and the began sending out at night blacks of deepest hue to carry water from a nearby stream.  Next Greene tried tunneling toward the redoubt in an attempt to plant explosives under it....The defenders countered with an ingenious warning device, which consisted of a leather thong stretched from a lance stuck in the ground outside the redoubt to a drum that amplified vibrations in the earth.  Listening to the drum skin, Loyalists knew when to send snipers up to pin diggers in the tunnels like woodchucks.  While the soldiers sniped, Loyalist women inside the stockade fortified walls with sandbags made from their undergarments.

"For twenty-eight days, the longest siege by the Continental Army, Greene's troops tried to drive out the enemy.  Two hundred and some men died - more from heat than guns - in the futile exchange."

Blue Highways: Part 2, Chapter 15

 

Visitor Center at Ninety Six NHS, South Carolina

Old Ninety Six National Historic Site, South Carolina

The more I read and research interesting things that I find in Blue Highways, the more I realize that I don't know much about American history.  I think, given the amount of reading I have done in my lifetime, and being somewhat of a history buff (though I tended to focus more on ancient history than on American history), I think that I have more knowledge than the average U.S. citizen.  I wouldn't be able to win a trivia argument with someone who is really into American history, and I certainly couldn't compete with aficionados of certain eras of American history, such as Civil War buffs and the like.

One era to which I didn't pay much attention in school was the colonial period and the American Revolution.  Sure, I got fascinated by certain stories, as you might have guessed if you read my post on the Roanoke colony.  But these events were simply points in time on a larger tapestry, and I never stepped back to take in the whole tapestry except for a quick glance here and there.  In the American Revolution, some major battles occupy an area of my consciousness, such as the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  But my knowledge of this era is also filled with stories that have become more legend than fact.  Paul Revere's ride, for instance, and the "one if by land and two if by sea" legend.  Movies like The Patriot further muddle the line between truth and fiction of this era.

I recently read James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, which was set in the French and Indian War before the American Revolution, and this gave me a glimpse, though a highly romanticized one, of the events in colonial America as two European powers waged a struggle for dominance over a relatively new continent and its peoples.  But, as I said, my knowledge of this era is limited.

For one, I didn't realize the scope of the American Revolution in terms of the territory the war was waged over.  Yes, there were thirteen colonies ranging from Massachussetts to Georgia, but in school I heard only of the major battles.  Yet, in a previous post, where LHM finds his ancestor's marker in a remote area of North Carolina, we discover that the effects of the Revolutionary War ranged at least that far.  I had no idea that a long and "ultimately futile" battle took place in Georgia which involved over 200 casualties.

One thing I wouldn't have understood before is the shape of the Star Fort at Ninety Six.  Why would it be shaped like an eight pointed star?  Was it just to look cool?  If so, why?  Nobody would be able to appreciate it unless it was built at the base of a hill, and that wouldn't make much sense since all an enemy would have to do is take the hill to get the advantage.  There were no means of aviation.  So, why a star?  My answer came in a visit to Fort Craig National Historic Site in New Mexico.  It was also built in a star-like shape, and the reasoning was so simple that it embarrassed me that I hadn't understood.  A star shaped wall is easier to defend because on the walls, you can defend more of the wall with less defenders than in a square or round shaped wall.  A defender has a view, to his right and left, of more wall, and the cul-de-sacs formed where the stars recess inward make it suicide for enemies on foot to try to attack them.  And, don't forget, this fort was not only defended by its walls, but by legions of women inside the fort stuffing their underwear with sand for sand bags.  Remember, they didn't wear the thong underwear that women wear today.  In fact, their underwear was probably just as bulky as their regular clothing.

It makes me wonder, though, if after a long siege the women would rise up in protest and rebellion because sooner or later, they would be all out of underwear.  Aristophanes wrote a play where women tried to end the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece by withholding sex from their husbands, but that is hardly about privacy and modesty.  I wonder if a battle has ever been ended due to issues of privacy and modesty?  Somehow, I doubt it.

LHM recounts the testimony of a man who used to play in the tunnels surrounding the Star Fort.  He says to LHM, "...they was some girls who got their panties took off in them tunnels."  He was more right than he realized.  I bet he didn't know that he was also talking about an important historical fact about the fort in its heydey, but I doubt the girls he spoke of were stuffing their panties with sand.

If you want to know more about Old Ninety Six National Historic Site

National Park Service: History of Ninety Six
National Park Service: Ninety Six
National Parks Traveler: Ninety Six
Ninety Six Revolutionary: Ninety Six
Wikipedia: Ninety Six National Historic Site

Next up: Swamp Guinea Fish Lodge, Georgia

Tuesday
Oct192010

Blue Highways: Newberry, South Carolina

Unfolding the Map

Click on Thumbnail for MapHeading through Newberry, South Carolina with William Least Heat-Moon (LHM), and ruminating about kudzu and other invasive species that afflict our native environment throughout the United States.  To learn where Newberry is situated, click the map thumbnail.

Book Quote

"In the sunny flats, kudzu from last year had climbed to wrap trees and telephone poles in dry, brown leaves.  Whole buildings looked as if they had been bagged.  Introduced from Japan in the thirties to help control erosion that had damaged eighty-five percent of the tillable land, kudzu has consumed entire fields, and no one has found a good way to stop it.  Kudzu and water hyacinth, another Japanese import, have run through Dixie showing less restraint than Sherman.

"The heat held until sundown in Newberry.  There, wearied from the eighty-five degrees, the glare, the racket of wind, I stopped.  Newberry was a town of last-century buildings, old trees, columned houses with cast-iron fences, and gardens behind low brick walls.  A lacy town.  Old people moved along old sidewalks or pulled at greenery in old flowerbeds; they sat on old porches and shook the evening paper into obedience, or they rocked steady as old pendulums and looked into the old street as if reading something there.  Living out the end of an era."

Blue Highways: Part 2, Chapter 14


A street in Newberry, South Carolina

Newberry, South Carolina

I had not intended to use this post as a plea for being conscious of native environments, but the first part of the quote above, where LHM writes about kudzu as he drives toward Newberry, South Carolina, has gotten me thinking about it.  It was also on my mind as I watched some workers attempt to remove ivy along the side of a building opposite to where I work - it took them about a month to do so.

If you have not been to the South, you probably have not seen kudzu overwhelming the natural features of the landscape.  Kudzu was first introduced to the U.S. from Japan in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.  Farmers were eventually encouraged in the 1930s to plant it to help control soil erosion.  Unfortunately, not much thought was given to introducing a plant to an environment where it had no natural checks.  The plant spread prolifically.  By the time LHM was traveling through, he was able to note its omnipresence.  The plant is harmful particularly because it grows so thick it chokes out native vegetation.  It can grow so thick up a tree that the sheer weight of it can actually uproot the tree.  It can grow 100 feet a day, and though there have been efforts to find a biological agent to control it, these efforts have not yielded much success.  The best way to remove it is labor intensive, and involves cutting the plant out completely by the roots and then mowing every month over two growing seasons.  Needless to say, the costs to the environment are the loss of native plants that sustain native animal populations.

Water hyacinth is another Southern invasive species that is native to South America.  It is sort of like an aquatic kudzu, with no natural checks on its growth.  Blanketing water, it blocks out sunlight that feeds other, native aquatic plants and starves the water of oxygen which kills native fish and other aquatic wildlife.  It is not only a pest in the South - whole portions of Lake Victoria in Africa have been choked off by the plant which was probably introduced by traveling horticulturists sometime in the 1800s.

In my own experience growing up in California, I am aware that many times the invasive species are introduced with the best of intentions.  Whole sections of coastline in Northern California are blanketed with ice plant, which was introduced with the intention of stabilizing railroad beds, and later highway verges.  However, it is easily spread through its prolific seeds, and through rat feces.  I remember marveling at its beautiful flowers, but where there might be coastal grasses, there is now only the iceplant along the edges of the cliffs where I grew up.  Similarly, every summer I enjoyed picking blackberries.  It turns out the blackberries I picked, and which we made into jams, were of the non-native Himalaya variety, which grows thick and pushes out native vegetation.

My wife is affected by an invasive species, and not of the plant variety.  She has to carry an Epi-Pen, a self-administered shot of epenephrine, around with her when she is in areas that are known to have fire ants.  These little ants, a cross between a South American ant and one native to the U.S., are found all over the Southern U.S.  They are extremely aggressive when their nests are disturbed, and swarm and sting.  They actually coordinate their stings so that multiple ants will sting at once.  Their sting contains a poison, the only ant in North America to have a poison, that will send my wife into a severe allergic reaction if she gets stung.  Efforts to eradicate this ant were somewhat successful during the years that DDT was used as a pesticide, but not any more.  Currently there are some experiments with the phorid fly, a small fly that constitutes the ant's only known enemy - it swoops down on the ant and implants its egg within the ant.  When the egg hatches, the ant dies.  It doesn't eradicate them completely, but it discourages them from spreading over a wide area.  However, this solution brings in another species that is not native to the U.S., and who knows what effects that will have?

So, eradicating non-native species and nurturing native plants and animals is important.  Upsetting the balance has effects throughout the environment and the ecological system.  Be careful when planting and try to plant native species, and maybe even join efforts to help eradicate non-native trees and other plants.  Your environment, and perhaps even Newberry if you can get rid of their kudzu, water hyacinths, and fire ants, will thank you!

If you want to know more about Newberry

City of Newberry
Newberry College
Newberry County
Newberry Observer (newspaper)
Newberry Opera House
Wikipedia: Newberry

Next up: Old Ninety-Six, South Carolina

Monday
Oct112010

Blue Highways: Darlington, South Carolina

Unfolding the Map

Click on Thumbnail for Map"Drivin' into Darlington County..." sings Bruce Springsteen.  We drive into Darlington County with William Least Heat-Moon (LHM) and confront a man's peaceful contemplation of his own mortality.  Wish I had that kind of peace of mind.  To contemplate where Darlington is in our journey, click on the thumbnail of the map, and leave a comment if you have a way you face your own mortality.

Book Quote

"'Travelin' alone!  Ever ascared alone?'  I shrugged.  'Me, I ain't never ascared,' he said.  'Looky here.'  From his left breast pocket, he took a worn bullet: a .22 long rifle.  'I carried a live forty-five round in the war and never got shot by friend or foe.  Always carry me a round over my heart, and ain't never ascared because I know when I die it's agonna be from this.  And quick.  Lord'll see to that -- when it's my time.'

"'You mean you'll put it in a gun and shoot yourself?'

"'It's a sin to do that, ain't it now?'  He waited for an answer.

"'I've heard that's the case.'

"'Nope, this here little lady will go off by herself some way or t'other.  When it's my time.  Won't know it neither.'

"'What if it goes off by accident before it's your time?'

"'You ain't alistenin'.  Ain't no accidents in the Lord's Plan.  When she pops off, my ticket's agettin' punched.  Oughter get yourself one.  They make a man right peaceful.'"

Blue Highways: Part 2, Chapter 14

 

County Courthouse: Darlington, South Carolina

Darlington, South Carolina

Every week, I read a website called "Badass of the Week."  I don't know why I like it, other than that every time I read it, I learn something about some person in history.  It might be someone whose name I know but didn't know much about them.  Sometimes it's someone completely new to me.  Regardless, I learn new things, which is the hallmark of a good website.

The reason I'm not sure why I like it is because of how its written.  As you can see from my "About Me" page, I am a PhD in Political Science.  I have pretty cultivated tastes in literature, the arts and other "highbrow" types of things.  But for the life of me, if I want to, I can laugh heartily at a fart joke just like anybody.  I love slapstick comedy.  I have a sense of the absurd.  And "Badass of the Week" fits all of that.  It is written in a juvenile fashion, with lines about some person's "titanium plated testicles" and things like that.  It is so completely juvenile that I find myself laughing both with genuine amusement and with a slight sense of guilt that I am laughing.

The reason I mention this, is because I would classify the guy in LHM's quote above as a badass.  Here's a guy who not only has carried a bullet around in his breast pocket for years, but is fully convinced that if the bullet goes off next to his heart, that it's his time to go.

When I was young, and hunting with my father, I didn't realize just how dangerous bullets in themselves are.  He never bothered to explain that to me.  I thought that the only way a bullet could go off is if you put it physically in the gun and pulled the trigger to release the hammer and set off the gunpowder reaction.  So I was pretty careless about bullets.  I remember dropping them once in a while and not thinking anything of it.

The first time I understood how dangerous that could be was when I watched a movie titled Hope and Glory.  It was about kids in wartime England during the Blitz, and in one scene, a couple of kids threaten a third by holding his head in the potential path of a bullet that was clamped in a vice at the end of a table.  The one kid was threatening to hit the back of the bullet with a hammer.  It then clicked into me that any sharp blow to the base of a bullet chamber, whether in the gun or not, could cause the bullet to fire.

And here's a guy, carrying it around in his breast pocket, fully convinced that it will eventually be the bringer of his doom when his time is up.  And he's okay with it.  When LHM suggests that it could go off by accident, and that might be before his time is up, he is perfectly content with the idea that any time the bullet goes off is the right time, because the Lord wills it so.

On one hand, it makes one crazy.  My reaction would be to just get rid of the bullet - why tie your doom to an object that you keep with you?  Why not just accept that your life could end naturally, or because you weren't looking while crossing the street and walked into the path of a semi-truck, or that a freak lightning bolt struck the tree you were sheltering under?  But that's because ultimately, I'm afraid of death.  But this man feels in control.  He knows what will end his life, more than likely, and he's not afraid of it - not one bit.  In my mind, that makes him a badass.

On another brief topic, Darlington was the subject of a Bruce Springsteen song from his Born in the USA album.  I remember mid-1980s evenings at a Milwaukee pub, O'Donoghues, where Jimmy the bartender loved it when we played music, and we played a lot of songs from the Born in the USA album, including Darlington County.  I share it with you here.

 

 

If you want to know more about Darlington

City of Darlington
Darlington County
Darlington News and Press (newspaper)
Darlington Raceway (home of NASCAR Southern 500)
PeeDee Foodie (blog post on a Darlington restaurant)
Visit Darlington County
Wikipedia: Darlington
Wikipedia: Darlington County

Next up: Newberry, South Carolina

Friday
Oct082010

Blue Highways: Tomahawk, White Lake, Elizabethtown and Lumberton, North Carolina

Unfolding the Map

Click on Thumbnail for MapWe finally make a last push out of North Carolina with William Least Heat-Moon (LHM).  Seems like we've been there forever, doesn't it?  Now we head into South Carolina and whatever that will bring us.  Click on the map thumbnail to see our current path, and leave a comment if you wish.  It would be good to know some of you out there are reading!

Book Quote

"Since daylight I'd been hunting a good three- or four-calendar cafe.  Nothing in Tomahawk or White Lake.  Elizabethtown, no.  I crossed the Cape Fear River, looked in Lumberton, and found nothing right."

Blue Highways: Part 2, Chapter 14

 

 

Lumberton, North Carolina

Tomahawk, White Lake, Elizabethtown and Lumberton, North Carolina

Sometimes, you just want to find the right kind of food.  As we know from a previous post, LHM has this system of rating the quality of cafes and diners in small town.  The higher the number of calendars on the wall, the better they are, according to his equation.

I am usually willing to put up with some inconvenience if I go to a restaurant or a cafe or diner in a small town, but some things really frustrate me.  One thing that is incredibly vexing is when diners or cafes do not accept credit cards.  Here is why it is frustrating.  In this world of instant credit, I do not carry cash.  I find cash usually to be cumbersome...it fills my wallet and makes this huge thing in my back pocket that puts my butt to sleep when I sit on it.  Besides, not carrying cash is more safe.  If I lose my wallet, then it's a hassle to cancel credit cards but I have a better chance of not losing any money.  So I carry a debit card to pay for my purchases.

However, I've run into many small businesses that don't take credit cards.  I understand their reasons.  First, the credit card company charges money.  I understand that there is additional bookkeeping to be kept, that there is a monthly fee for connecting to the credit processing company, and that there may even be a per-charge fee.  I understand that these might be difficult.

But here's the situation in the modern-day United States.  More and more people are like me.  They don't carry cash.  If you are a small business, you will lose customers.  What's worse?  Paying a small charge or losing a $30-40 sale?  And if one is traveling overseas, credit cards are even more essential.  With a credit card, you can bypass long lines at banks to cash travelers' cheques, you can use them to get cash if you absolutely need it, and every transaction is at the most current exchange rate.

I had a recent experience in Willits, California when my wife and I went out to the coast to visit my mom, we stopped in at a deli featuring natural organic food.  We ordered our lunches for ourselves and my mom, who was with us.  The bill was around $35.  We went to pay - they didn't accept credit cards.  The sign they had announcing this was not very prominent.  There was no branch of our bank in town, so we were stuck using the ATM they had conveniently put in the restaurant.  The problem was that the ATM charged us about $4 for the transaction, and of course our bank charged us also because we weren't using one of their machines.  If, when we found out that they didn't take credit cards, we hadn't been in a hurry and had other options, we would have canceled our order.  They would have been out our $35 order because they didn't accept credit cards.  Maybe they didn't care, and maybe they didn't patronize the credit card companies on principle...but if I were a small business owner I might.

I wish there were other alternatives to giant credit card companies.  They have been one of the reasons that people in the United States and other countries have gotten into massive debt that they cannot repay.  This in turn has helped fuel the recession.  I get it.  I am all for local banks, and using cash as much as possible.  But they are convenient, especially when I'm traveling.

Of course, when LHM wrote, credit card use was not as extensive as it is today.  People carried cash and travelers' cheques when traveling.  So, he probably did not need to bother to look, as he searched for cafes in Tomahawk, White Lake, Elizabethrown and Lumberton, to see if the doorways of the diners and restaurants had the Visa/Mastercard/Discover/American Express stickers, or if he saw a credit card reader next to the cash register.  But he were traveling today, in addition to trying to find a three- to four-calendar cafe, he might have found that he would pass some up because he didn't have enough cash, and they didn't take credit cards.  In these days, restaurants that choose not to take credit cards just might be foregoing some business.

If you want to know more about Tomahawk, White Lake, Elizabethtown and Lumberton

Sorry folks, there isn't much on Tomahawk, but I have included links to information on all the other towns.

The Bladen Journal (Elizabethtown newspaper)
City of Lumberton
Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce
Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau
The Robesonian (Lumberton newspaper)
White Lake
White Lake Photo Gallery
Wikipedia: Elizabethtown
Wikipedia: Lumberton
Wikipedia: White Lake

Next up:  Darlington, South Carolina