In an effort to spread the word about a truly outstanding representative of S.C. grace and hospitality, I take this opportunity to copy all of you. This is what happened:
My husband and I spent a month "being tourists" in the Southeastern U.S. from our home in Miami.
On July 13 we were driving from Charleston toward south Myrtle Beach when we needed a quick snack. Normally not frequenters of any fast-food chains, we decided to pull into a Bojangles (409 Mallard Lake Circle, Surfside Beach).
It wasn't until we got to the Visitors Bureau in Wilmington, N.C., that I discovered I had left my purse at the lunch stop.
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Fortunately, the Visitors Bureau lady on duty - Karen Warren, who deserves special kudos - helped us track down "our" Bojangles, which wasn't an easy task, since we had no record of where it was; just some vague idea that it was on the left side of the road and before we got to south Myrtle Beach.
On my cell phone I reached the manager, Gary Faulkner, who - before I could finish my nervous question - said, "I've got your purse." He even said he had discovered it immediately and tried to run after us in the parking lot, but we were already pulling away. Both upset and relieved, I asked him if he could overnight it to the Wilmington Visitors Bureau, and he said he'd leave immediately to go do so. He even gave me his home number if I felt I had to check with him later. Since I couldn't think clearly, I then asked him how I could pay for the postage and he said I could just send him a check. Afterward, of course, I thought of how I should have just told him to take the needed cash out of my wallet.
The next day I had my purse back, completely intact. Needless to say, this experience is totally incredible to us Miamians who're used to the opposite outcome of a similar event.
I'd like your readers to know that when one person does something good (or bad, for that matter) it reflects on tourism of the whole state. Because of the above incident, South Carolina will always remain in our minds as a beacon of Southern grace and how the virtue of one person maks a big difference.
Thank you again, Mr. Faulkner, and thank you South Carolina.
The writer lives in Miami.