OMG An Apple Store Opens in Charleston, SC

Saturday (7/26/08) was looking to be a near perfect day. Temps were in the 70s in the morning when I had to cut the grass, the sky remained overcast making this late July day seem mild. The Carolina Panthers were starting training camp today in Spartanburg, SC, one of the local TV channels was going to air an hour-long program on the Panther’s training camp (thanks to Tivo I will be able to view it later), and the NFL cable network was going to be re-airing the 2004 double overtime playoff game between the Carolina Panthers and the St. Louis Rams – a game the Panthers won.

On top of that, Linda (my better half and the brains of the outfit) and I were headed down to Charleston to resupply the Visitor Center with copies of Carolina Arts (they had run out) and just stop in to see the new Apple Store opening this day on King Street in historic downtown Charleston.

If I win the Power Ball lottery tonight – it just might be a perfect day, except for the fact that I still can’t adjust to the fact that you have to buy a lottery ticket to win the lottery. When are they going to fix that?

Did I mention Apple Inc. opened a retail store in Charleston. Oh, happy day!

We purchased our first Apple Computer in 1983 – an Apple IIe. It was a dinosaur compared to the Apples we use today – all five of them. We’ve been in Apple Stores before – in Florida and North Carolina, but never in our own state of South Carolina. I really never thought we would get that chance until a newspaper article hinted that Apple was checking out a space on King Street in Charleston.

Like all Apple things, the store was a simple design – typical all glass front and filled with wonder – iPhones, iPods, 24″ iMacs, laptops and an army of Apple staff answering every question thrown at them by the wide-eyed hoard of people sucked in the doorway by Apple’s magic.

I spent most of the time in the store bookmarking Carolina Arts on every computer I could get my hands on and dreaming of how I could do the paper so much better if I had one of these new computers, except for the fact that I’ve had a fairly new Apple iMac for some time and haven’t made the transition to it yet. As I’ve said before – I’m computer challenged – slow to learn new programs. But, Linda could do her job so much better and so much faster if she had one of these new Apples.

We also got to hold an iPhone in our hands and play with it some, but alas until Apple contracts with other phone companies with better coverage in rural South Carolina – no iPhone for us.

One good sign is that one of the functions of an Apple Store is that they offer One On One training. I might get to go to Apple school and learn some new tricks.

On a sad note I did verify a rumor that my tech friends in Greensboro, NC, heard about their Apple Store which was announced before the possibility of a store in Charleston that a decision was made to open a store in South Carolina before opening North Carolina’s fourth Apple Store. That’s really bad that Greensboro had to make a sacrifice for Charleston, but I can live with that. I really can.

An Apple Store in Charleston is a great sign for Charleston. This is usually the kind of thing where new stores, innovations, or new services begin in Greenville, SC, or Columbia, SC, before they come to Charleston. And, sometimes they never come to Charleston. This time we came first.

Now when they open a store in Bonneau, SC – it will be a perfect day, or I’ll settle for winning that lottery.

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