And there were two things which stood out in my mind, lo these many years, regarding the trip: that many of the historic homes had earthquake bolts which basically screwed damaged houses back together following the earthquake of 1886, and to be perfectly honest in my mind they were due to the civil war, not the earthquake (bc I did not recall that they were called earthquake bolts...I only remembered what they did, not why they did it. Basically I knew enough to be dangerous. Give me a break...it was 26 years ago!).
But the other thing I remembered was staying at The Indigo Inn.
And most specifically: the concierge at the time named Larry.
Now before I continue, I have a confession which will not be news to most, if not all, of you lovely people: I live under a rock.
And have lived under said rock my entire life.
Which is why my encounter with Larry 26 years ago was memorable; he was the first person I'd truly experienced who was "into fashion".
Do we all understand what that means? Lest you be confused, I mean he was (and most likely still is) gay.
Now...because I live under a rock, my experience up to that point with people who were "into fashion" was limited. At least as far as I knew...if you were gay in Greenwood, Indiana in the 1970's and 80's, you were probably not overly flamboyant about it.
Or if you were, you weren't in my social circle.
Not because I didn't want you there...I don't know the reason exactly. But you just were not. I'm terribly sorry if that offends you.
So when I happenstanced (not really the right word, but it's fun to say so I included it there) upon Larry, it was an impressionable moment.
And frankly my moment with Larry was brief. I shall set the scene for you: we were in the hotel lobby. My dad had asked the concierge (whose name I did not yet know) about a specific place we were interested in checking out for dinner.
So the concierge, in what is typical concierge fashion (pardon the pun...I assure you that it was completely unintended) he called the restaurant.
When the party on the other end of the line answered, our concierge said, "Hi, this is Larry at The Indigo..."
And I don't have any idea what he said after that but those seven words and the pitch of his voice are etched into my mind and I can recall it as if it just happened yesterday.
Maybe that makes me a horrible person...I hope not. I'm just relaying an experience I had as a teenager.
So...while that might or might not be funny to you, I am not finished with this little ditty.
Fast forward to this vacation in which we returned not just to Charleston but also to The Indigo Inn. Mostly because my parents had heard this story about Larry and I had shared it with my children, and as an aside, my children also live under a rock but theirs is not nearly as large as the one under which I grew up.
While we were at The Indigo Inn this time, my parents had trouble with the AC in their room.
If you've ever been to Charleston, even in October, you know an AC on the fritz is not acceptable.
So the custodian was checking it over. And my dad was chit-chatting with him. And somehow (don't ask me how...I was not privy to this conversation), it came up that the custodian had been there for 30 years.
Now...here was an obvious opening. Obvious to some, anyway.
I probably would have kept my mouth shut (ok, I probably would not have...that's kind of a lie; in many ways I am my father's daughter) my dad barreled right through. He asked if the guy remembered a concierge from 26 years ago named Larry.
The guy did, and even said he'd come back recently for a visit...blah blah blah, those details aren't important.
The best part is that my dad never explained WHY he was asking; I cannot even imagine what the custodian was thinking...
|The courtyard where we ate breakfast and had afternoon cocktails...very hoity-toity, right?|
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