In Memory of J.B. Milano

Myrtle Beach Short Cut

It was the summer of 1959 that four of us rising seniors in high school decided to make a pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach for fun and girls. John Milano was furnishing us a ride in his 1950 Tudor Ford lowered in the back, dual exhaust, fender skirts, spun moon hub caps, and dice hanging from the rear view mirror. The Milano family that immigrated to America back in the 1800 hundreds came from Milan Italy located on the Swiss Border were not known for their skill in direction or navigating the globe. John laughed telling the story about his great grandfather leaving Venice bound for America and landed in Ireland. This same directional gene was still alive and well in John and his siblings. His older brother David had been to Myrtle Beach numerous times, so John asked and received directions on how best to get to Myrtle Beach from Charlotte. Friday night four of us left the Milano Estates headed for fun and girls that awaited us in Myrtle Beach. I rode shot gun was assigned navigator for the trip. We left South Charlotte and I raised the question right off the bat why were headed south down Park Road and not east to catch Highway 74 to Monroe? I was told not to worry this way would save us time being stuck in traffic in Monroe. I pulled out our trusty Pure Oil road map trying figure out how this was going to save time avoiding traffic in Monroe. Again when I raised the question about our direction of travel I was told to just sit back and enjoy the trip and if a question arose about our direction of travel came up I could look at the map and advise our driver. Sunset turned into night as we cruised to Myrtle Beach some four and half hours later we found ourselves in Monks Corner, SC no where near Myrtle Beach. John ask me to check the map to see how close we were to Myrtle Beach? I whipped out the map and I couldn't find Monks Corner on the map. I told John find a gas station open and get some directions. We couldn't find anything open, but we spotted Deputy Sheriffs car and flashed out lights and he turned around followed us to a gravel lot in front of a close store. John ask him which way to Myrtle Beach and how far it was? When the deputy heard where we had come from and where we were going he busted out laughing. He gave John directions and I wrote them down. An hour later we could smell salt air and see the lights from Myrtle Beach. Sunday afternoon we made the return trip home in about three and half hours with no trouble as I gave commands to direction and roads as I read them off the Pure Oil road map.