It’s a sunny Sunday morning and the boys wake us up as usual.
I put their beds away and fill up the kettle, and everyone has some cereal for breakfast. I’m excited to play but sad it will be my last busk here. We have enjoyed Charleston a lot, and had the full experience of it over the past three weeks. Despite being moved on from my busking pitch once, it is very busker-friendly, and I’m nervous about Savannah; they have strict rules and require permits for certain areas, and when I looked up the website, the permit applications are closed until 2024! We hardly ever need a permit, and the last time we did was in Staunton, Virginia, where the process was quick, easy and free, and completed online. Savannah requires you to pick up a physical permit at an office and the processing time is up to two weeks- when they are taking applications. Hopefully we have a really good day today so we can put some extra money aside just in case we can’t pitch up in Savannah.
Daniel leaves to play over lunch time and I make some food for us all. The boys won’t stop fighting so I tell them we can’t go to the park, more of a punishment for me than it is for them! Grace helps with all the cleaning and I get stuck into some sewing. Time passes quickly. It’s another beautiful day and I tell the boys to ask their dad to take them to the park when he gets back and IF they behave (they don’t).
Suddenly there’s a knock on the door- a policeman. We have had the police called on us before by concerned members of the public and I assume the boys’ antics have got the attention of a local resident. I step outside to talk to him.
“Do you know a Clyde Frost? We have him across the street and he claims to live here in the RV.”
I assure the officer I have never heard of a Clyde Frost and answer all his questions concerning the vehicle and those who live in it. He is nice and leaves after a few minutes but it has really freaked me out that some random has noticed us and is claiming to live here! I call Daniel and explain what has happened and he heads back home. I decide not to do my last shift in Charleston after all- I just want to leave.
This is one of several incidents that have occurred during this visit to Charleston, which is surprising to me because it is such a lovely place, and we usually have no issues as we research local rules and try to follow them all.
The first was a local lady knocking on the door asking the children if they were ok- they are not allowed to talk to strangers so she called the police and told them the kids were in the RV alone. Daniel was with them but practicing guitar in the back room so he didn’t hear the knocking. We later realised she had sent him a text message but I had taken his phone to work that day so we didn’t see it until later.
The second was a tourism officer who knocked on the door so soon after Daniel had left for work that I thought he was returning to grab a forgotten item. He said a nearby resident had reported us for staying overnight and asked me to provide receipts to prove otherwise, asking personal questions which annoyed Daniel as it was really not a part of his job description to be knocking on our door asking these things. He also told me that the locals generate tourism so have the right to complain about us and basically make the rules here.
The third was the code enforcement officer who moved me on, although he was mistaken in his understanding of the ordinances.
And now the fourth police incident involving a stranger, who it turned out was just fishing and his truck wouldn’t start, so a local had reported him for overstaying his welcome. I mean, cut the guy a break! I guess he tried to get out of the ticket by saying he stayed here, and unfortunately I answered the door and got us involved. Daniel returned and another officer knocked on the door, this time advising us that we can’t camp here, then he LIED and said we had broken an ordinance by staying in this spot more than 6 hours, which we most certainly had not! Daniel left the Hoose and had a long conversation with his sergeant before we drove away. I am very disappointed to be harassed this way in my own home for doing nothing wrong and even choosing to cooperate when I didn’t have to answer anyone’s questions. It has left a bad taste in my mouth as far as Charleston is concerned.
It hasn’t been all bad though, not at all! Most of the residents are really welcoming, only a small few get upset with us being in their town. When we stayed at a local Walmart, we awoke to find a business card on the windscreen inviting is for a tiny home tour. So exciting! This was the reason why we stayed longer than we usually would, and we spent a great deal of money and energy making the Hoose ready for film. The kids also enjoyed exploring the local area and made many friends with the locals. We also made so many people’s day singing our music, and did our part to help tourism in this area.