Tuesday, February 27, 2018

BERCHADOR: A Special Place to Live and Work

To the original Lowcountry counties,
we're not really part of the club.
We live in South Carolina and to some we're within the Lowcountry.  This is an amazing coastal zone with beautiful beaches, tropical plants, and exotic animals.  But the thing is, the folks down in Beaufort and Hilton Head don't consider us as part of the Lowcountry.  And I get it.  It's their name and our local leaders up here sort of piggy backed on their marketing efforts.  They jumped on for the ride because of obvious promotional opportunities and maybe to sell souvenirs.  Perhaps that's why our neighbors down the road exclude us.  I understand.  They should be a little salty about this.    

However, I don't necessarily feel like I live in the Lowcountry.  Our home is in Summerville.  It's 89 feet above sea level.  People originally settled this area because it wasn't low.   In my mind we live in the tri-county area of Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester; a region comparable in size to the U.S. State of Delaware.  And if this region had a capital it would be our town with incorporation limits that stretch into all three counties.  Maybe our awareness of this presence within the tri-county is more acute than others since Summervillians bounce between all three counties throughout the day, every week, month after month.  Our Summerville Home Depot is actually on the county line; in the back half of the store you're in Dorchester County, but the cashiers, customer service, and parking are in Berkeley.      

In some ways we're three counties, but in most things, the important and significant things like families, friends, businesses, clubs, groups, charities, churches, etc., we're all (with the exception of the fringes) living in this area as I've defined it.  These three counties, our tri-county area, can be called Berchador.    

I'd love to take credit for the rarely used term Berchador, but it's an obvious name for our triad of counties that's been used by others.  Trident Techical College in North Charleston was named the Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Education Center when it started up in 1964 until 'BerChaDor Tech' became Trident Technical College a decade later.  The Berchador Coliseum in Goose Creek was a popular skating rink and kids hangout in the eighties.  And Berchador Home Inspection Service, Inc. was in business in Charleston from 1977-89.  The Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) is one of South Carolina's ten regional planning councils and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester is Region 6 of the state's Special Olympics districts.  For practical reasons, those could both understandably be shortened to the Berchador Regions.  

Berchador is a special place to live and work with more than it's share of beautiful beaches, tropical plants, and exotic animals.  And besides that we have amazing restaurants, festivals, rivers, and a lake.  Boeing is building planes here that are flying all over the world and Volvo is gearing up to build cars here very soon.  I don't mind that some leave us out of the 'Lowcountry.'  I like the sound of Berchador.  It has a nice ring to it, there's some history to this name, and I'm going to make an effort to start throwing it around when I talk and blog.