The Beacon

There are many destinations I can think of to journey to and be back in the same day. I’m best known as a “day-tripper” and on a whim from time to time that’s what I do. Today was no exception and when my son called to invite me to have lunch at the Beacon, there was no second thought to be had. I agreed immediately. And so, the journey began.

TheBeacon is located in Spartanburg, S.C. my old stomping grounds being that I was born in Cowpens just down the road. Its been a place I have been to ever since I can remember and my family continues to visit at least once a year. To me, the best way to describe the Beacon is chili cheeseburger-a-plenty and piles of sweet onion rings and french fried potatoes. It’s a southern landmark and an American tradition who serves the most Iced Tea in the U.S.A. It’s definitely not a dieter’s place of choice but one you need to experience at least once in your life.

Many Presidents of our Nation have been catered to by this fast food diner and President Bush made claims that it was his favorite restaurant of all time. There may be a good chance you have seen the episode of the Beacon on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri. After spending several hours with JC Stroble a Beacon employee for over 54 years who schooled Fieri in calling orders, Fieri found a new respect for fast food after visiting the Beacon. He learned what “a-plenty” was which is exactly what it means, a plenty of food! If you order a cheeseburger-a-plenty this is what your plate will look like.

JC taught Fieri that a large order of fries is “a big potato” and a large order of onion rings is a “big onion,” and that’s how they all it, It’s a totally different perception but just “a-plenty” of either that you order. Had you had the privilege of seeing JC in action you would have been not only amazed, but entertained as well. I was fortunate to have my photo taken with JC Stroble just before he died, but that photo unfortunately has been lost. But this place is one of our favorite places to hang out every now and then.

After lunch we drove through downtown Spartanburg and into Cowpens where I was born. I always get a little emotional when visiting there as both my parents and my middle brother are buried there along with my sister’s little girl. But I managed to get a few photos riding through.

We even stopped to donate blood. But for me, I was unable to give blood today because my blood pressure was up and they refused to take it. It could have been from the food earlier.

If you have never tried the Beacon, I highly recommend the “slice” which is what I always get. I also suggest you go just to be a part of the ordering line. It will make you wonder how they keep up with all those orders being called in and if one of the employees finds a minute to breathe, they will come over and speak to you and make you feel at home.

As I am ending this blog, we are planning our next day trip to go mining. There is an amethyst mine I’ve got my eyes on and I’m ready to get down and dirty with it. We may even take a tent and camp there overnight, it really depends on the weather. I am so looking forward to that trip and who knows, I might just get lucky.

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