My brother Glenn passed September 16th. This was a brother estranged from the family for about 40 years. When my sister Gloria suggested that we meet her in Columbia, South Carolina to pick up his effects from the coroner, as well to meet Glenn's roommate, at first I thought the idea a bit ridiculous. After considering it further, I concluded that I would like to get a glimpse into Glenn's life which he had kept hidden from us. I think that John was ready for a road trip, he readily agreed to go. And it so happened that the week which we had planned for our trip was the time when Hurricane Matthew was going to strike the coastal areas of the southeast! We left last Thursday, thinking we would miss the storm as it was to arrive on the eastern coast of north Florida Friday afternoon.
Our trip of 500 miles, which should have taken about 9- 10 hours, instead took about 14 hours because of the hurricane. Getting out of Florida was even a issue. In the town of Brooksville it was slow going as a road was blocked due to the fact that a corvette had run under a bus. Fortunately no one was injured. In southern Georgia we encountered more traffic jams-people were leaving the coastal areas (as Savannah). Most fortunately many cars were going southwest, and we were going the opposite direction. We had planned to take interstate 95 but, fearing it would be congested, we took back country roads through Georgia. That was very slow going as they were only two lane roads. Stopping for gas took time also as there were long lines at the pumps. In the larger towns we saw signs posted that all motels were full. Thankfully we had motel reservations in Columbia- if only we could get there! Later in the day we noticed police cars gathered along the evacuation routes and convoys of utility trucks. Highway lanes into Columbia had been changed- going only in one direction into the city and away from the coast. Such changes made it quite difficult to get to our motel, we wandered for awhile before discovering that the road to our motel was open - highway signs indicated wrongly that the ramp was closed!
We had been told by the coroner of Lexington County that schools, and businesses would be closed on Friday because of the impending storm. We took a chance anyway and were very fortunate to find her in her office. She told us what she knew when she arrived at Glenn's house to pick up his body