If you are from or near the east coast and traveled south of the Mason-Dixon line or headed north from Georgia you will likely have seen signs for “South of the Border.” I remember stopping there with my parents on trips to Florida and the Carolinas. Back then, in the 1960’s it was a booming tourist attraction with humorous billboard signs north and south announcing it destination several hundred miles away. With each passing billboard our anticipation grew. As a pre-teen, it was exciting and fun when we stopped.
Turn the clock forward about six decades and the place is still there. I was heading to Florida from Virginia, probably my last driving trip on this stretch of highway. As I drove into South Carolina, I began to see signs for “South of the Border.” I decided to stop and check out the place. Over the years it had shown wear and tear. It sure had a different feel for me now than when I was a youngster. This time it looked run down and tacky. Some of the fiberglass figures spread about needed repair.
The giant “Paco” looked like a sad image of the past. For the most part, our society has moved on to more ethical treatment of diverse populations. I think that it is going to continue to decrease in popularity for the millennials and their children. There isn’t anything there to compete with the technology that they hold in their hands for entertainment.
My stop became a trip down nostalgia lane It was still fun to remember what it was like, the excitement I had at the time and being with my family. I bought a t-shirt with “SOB” on the front for “South of the Border.” If I got the chance to stop again I would visit “South of the Border” to be reminded of the fun we had.