Only in the South

Since I moved to South Carolina thirty years ago I’ve become nearly immune to surprise, but what I saw today off of Hwy 76 in Pendleton made me stop in my tracks. Yes, I confirmed after I pulled over to the side of the road, those are goats up on that roof deck.

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

After spying the livestock, I noticed a fellow dressed in blue jean coveralls and hat waving at passing traffic. Knowing he was bound to be friendly folk, I pulled in to ask about the goats.

Want to feed the goats?

Want to feed the goats?

Nanny and Billy

Nanny and Billy

Turns out there are four reasons Nanny and Billy and their friends are up on the roof deck. First, coyotes can’t get ‘em. Second, before runners had cars they used goats to carry moonshine over the mountains. Third, if you ever need to slip outside for a nip of moonshine you can always tell the wife you’re feeding the goats. And finally, because they’re an advertising hook to get people like me to stop and try Palmetto Moonshine, South Carolina’s first legal hooch.

Despite appearances, don’t mistake Palmetto Moonshine for a bunch of country bumpkins. They have a pretty spiffy website to educate customers on their enterprise, from flavored “shines” to an online shop. Believe it or not, you can even get a gift card.

South Carolina's first legal moonshine

South Carolina’s first legal moonshine

So what do goats on a roof have to do with gardening? Not much I suppose, unless you count the fact that in these parts at least, the main ingredient of moonshine is corn or cornmeal. Out back, behind Palmetto Moonshine’s Zoo on the Roof, you’ll find proof in a pet pig named “Mash.”

If you don't believe me, just ask "Mash."

If you don’t believe me, just ask “Mash.”

29 thoughts on “Only in the South

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Johnnie Ruth–No, I didn’t go inside but said I would be back another time. It was before lunch and I was in a hurry to get somewhere. They were doing brisk business, however, even early in the day!

  1. Debbi

    So glad you stopped, I just about wrecked my car a few weeks ago when I drove by wondering what the heck those goats were doing on the roof. Did you buy a gift card?

  2. Debra Strange

    Hi Marian. I got to taste some of the “shine” made by Dark Corner Distillery in Greenville. Flavored with Carolina peach, it makes a wonderful cocktail!

  3. beth jimenez

    Only in the South…indeed.Twenty years ago (as a southerner living in NYC) I would have cringed over this but today it seems….uh,I don’t know….kinda cool!
    That’s a great photo and if the owner had looked any different I’d have been terribly disappointed.
    Thanks for putting the first smile of the day on my face…and I’ll check out the website.

  4. Donna DeWitt·Jones

    Your drive home from Clemson was a great deal more interesting than my trip down 123. Did you capture a photo of the bumblebee with the yellow pollen on the Edgeworthia? I LOVE the South!

  5. Anne Martin

    Wonderful story! This can’t help but put a smile on your face,,,,,,I want to see it for myself,,,,,…a road trip on the way to “Grits & Groceries” ? Anne Martin

  6. Dee

    Only in the south indeed. I loved it. When we were in Tucson, moonshine was the hit of a party I visited. No thanks, but they all enjoyed it. 🙂

  7. Deen Meloro

    Thank you for a bright, happy start to my Monday. All you all keep saying only in the south, but this New Jersey girl says, “Only in America -we are so diverse and wonderful.”. Going to be letting my son in law know about this. He may just find it necessary to sample the merchantdice.

    Here in the Nawth, our plants, trees and grasses are covered with snow and ice, which are, hopefully, keeping them safe and warm.

  8. Marian St.Clair Post author

    Deen–And to think I travel to other countries for “culture” when so much is to be found right here at home! You are right about “diverse and wonderful.”

    Stay safe in the snow! We are getting rain again today, but our lakes and resevoirs need it so can’t complain.

  9. Les

    Marian, one of the things I liked best about SC was the surprise around every corner. You never knew what you were going to come across, and like your friendly goat herder, there was always someone willing to tell you about it. There are many vegetable and roadside nursery stands near my home town on the Eastern Shore. The savvy business people that run them deliberately misspell words and make the letter “S” backwards on the poorly painted signs, all in an effort to lure in the traveler looking to take advantage of a yokel. We know who has the advantage though.


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