When ‘The Bug’ was first getting revved up a couple months ago, the editorial staff tossed around a lot of ideas about how we wanted to debut. We thought about covering a Confederate flag rally at the Statehouse, writing a vacationer’s guide to the biker bars of the Grand Strand, penning a tribute to the internal combustion engine and noise pollution or just profiling some of the smiling faces and beautiful places that make the Palmetto State such a beloved Mecca for progressives and intellectuals, and such a magnet for international media attention.
Finally, we decided we’d just send a photographer down to Horry County to snap a few pics of the 2010 Cruisin’ the Coast motorcycle rally, which despite the 2009 Myrtle Beach rally ban, roared up and down our scenic beaches for three-plus days over Memorial Day weekend. We figured we’d then compile all the photographs in a slide show — and that way capture a huge slice of Carolina Culture in a single place.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way we had hoped.
Our chief shutterbug Kazuo Fujinikon set off from Columbia on his 1982 Garelli moped the Monday before Memorial Day weekend and was never heard from again. He was last seen at the world-famous Beaver Bar in Murrell’s Inlet doing body shots off the tattooed belly of a female impersonator, along with the managing editor of Outlaw Biker magazine, our Myrtle Beach correspondent Sunny ‘Leather’ Burnside and several Hooter Girls.
According to conflicting reports, after that Kazuo was either abducted by a band of Civil War re-enactors and taken to a makeshift internment camp in Beaufort County or left for dead in the oil wrestling pit at the Rat Hole. His vintage 1950s Brownie camera and diabetic medical alert bracelet were mailed to us by a conscientious biker who goes only by the name ‘SkullCapp.’
The film in Kazuo’s Brownie, we discovered, had at some point been exposed in the bright Myrtle Beach sun, rendering all but a couple of his last known photographs completely unusable. After much debate, we decided not to publish the two usable pictures we were able to develop, as we unanimously agreed that they could potentially incriminate us in a court of law and were likewise ‘not safe for work.’
In other words, we didn’t have any pics to share when we first went online, and actually bumped back our debut by almost a full month while we investigated Kazuo’s disappearance. Eventually, we went with the Alvin Greene story when that broke.
Still, we did want to share a few choice images from the Cruisin’ the Coast rally, and now, thanks to the cut-ups down at the Sun News, we finally can. Follow this link to their slideshow and you’ll get an eyeful of everything that makes the typical Grand Strand bike rally such a topflight affair: chrome-plated choppers, handlebar mustaches, girls wearing chaps, oil wrestling, bikini bike washes, Confederate flags, burnout exhaust—you name it. Again, these pictures are NOT the property of The Palmetto Bug, but that doesn’t mean you should enjoy them any less.