I remember Manning, the small city in Clarendon County about 50 miles from Columbia, from two things my parents always said as we drove through it on the way to Pineville, my mother’s “sacred” childhood home, which was 12 miles after Greeleyville, my father’s equally “sacred” childhood home. (I still have kissin’ cousins in both places.)
“My first boyfriend, Stephen, lived in Mannin’. He was so handsome… and so rich,” said Momma as Daddy winced and threw boiled peanut shells out the window of our dark green Studebaker.
Less than five minutes later, Daddy stated, “The road from Manning to Greeleyville is the longest straight road in the nation,” as Momma looked out the window showing her lack of concern.
I never doubted these two statements because…, well, because I never doubted my parents… until racial integregation and the Vietnam War drove wedges between our versions of truth.
But, I can’t blame Manning (or Mannin’).
Today, about 4,000 people call Manning home. For over 50 years the population has been stable at about 50/50 male-female, 62/34/2/2 black-white- Asian-Hispanic, and 50/50 not rich/not poor. Interestingly, 40% of adults have never married, and only 11% have been divorced. And, every day, half the adults commute away from Manning. Only 574 folks hold the fort from eight to five.
You’ll be interested to know the 19 police officers have kept the crime rate very low for over a decade: no murders; only 100 robberies; but, way too many rapes. Only a few crimes remain unsolved. So, if you break the law, you will be captured, quickly taken to court, and sent to jail where you’ll spend the night with 75 fellow crooks.
Weatherwise, Manning has had no tornados, no earthquakes, and only one ice storm over the past 30 years.
The Clarendon Memorial Hospital in Manning has a heliport and is professionally staffed. Three banks are ready to hold your money and give you a good return.
Three regional airports and five colleges are nearby. The public schools and the private academy have good reputations. Six churches introduce visitors every Sunday. Four public parks welcome well-behaved children and orderly picnics.
If you want to move to this friendly Southern town just off I-95 and close to Lake Marion (many fishing tournaments), you’ll probably pay $114,000 for a house or $550/month rent. If you want to just visit for a day or two, eight motels/hotels will welcome you with “Hi! Where y’all from? How ‘bout a hot cup of coffee?”
Next week: A Rich History