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Out the door in a pissy mood but there were no mailboxes to punch … and Charleston to spend $100 million to ready itself for high water

Given all the junk found and bagged over the years, it's somewhat surprising I don't experience more anger issues.

Back in the day when I competitively ran marathons, one of the elite runners I looked up to was the then-best American, Bill Rodgers.

Mr. Rodgers won Boston, the granddaddy of U.S. marathons, several times. His 2:09 PR is light years ahead of my 2:24. He was a force to be reckoned with. He was The Man.

Yet in some respects ‘Boston Billy’ was no different from the rest of us plodders: There were days when it was everything he could do to head out the door on a training run. He equated those days with a desire to “punch mailboxes,” such was his momentary distain to put one foot in front of another. All runners identify with this malaise.

There are current day parallels to picking up litter.

Saturday was one of those off kilter days. I left the house in a snit about 5:55 a.m. and to say I was chippy is an understatement. I didn’t want to get out of bed let alone lace ’em up to head out the door. But habits die hard. At least the coffee was black and stout.


Given all the junk found and bagged over the years, it’s somewhat surprising I don’t experience more anger issues.

The pissy mood came along for the walk. Wrath rained down at the first find; a sheet of plastic used to shrink wrap a flat of water bottles. Wrath rained down on the second find, too. Since there were no mailboxes to punch Rodgers-style, I took my anger out on stuff lying on the ground.

But like my old training runs, residual crankiness abated as things moved along. By the halfway mark, I had calmed down and got into the flow of picking up other people’s junk. Not that there is ever a joyous time stuffing trash into a bag that has me click my heels, but hey, we got through it and, as Rodgers used to say after his temporary insanity, he was the better off for having made the effort.

Poor Charleston. The South Carolina tourist haven about to pay big bucks to keep the rising sea at bay.

One mile of the lowest portion of the low lying city, the Battery, will be raised 2 1/2 feet over the next decade at a cost of $100 million.

The city is reacting to research by the Union of Concerned Scientists that in about 40 years, even a moderate rise in ocean levels will expose a huge chunk of Charleston to “debilitating floods” every other week on average.

Charleston is no stranger to sunny day flooding whereby already rising seas, coupled with strong tides, inundate streets and lap at the doors of some Charleston homes and businesses. Charleston’s Republican mayor has called on climate change deniers to get on board with the overwhelming consensus of scientific research.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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