Sunday, July 12, 2009

Old Movie Props & Chiggers

It's been about two years since we've ventured up to beautiful Cypress Gardens. Last time we made the trip, most of the old movie prop built for The Patriot (2000, Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger) was still standing . Now it's not. There isn't much left of the hollow structure built nearly a decade ago. All that remains now are the two columns which created the entryway staircase to the shell of what was, in the scene, the ruin of a spanish mission where Gibson (playing the Swamp Fox) organized his troops in secret.

This is sort of how I remembered the faux mission circa 2006.

Photo by Micah Ponce.

Over time a few storms took their toll. Once the structure began to disintegrate, it was all downhill from there. It was, after all, just a prop and wasn't meant to last for any significant amount of time anyway. But I do have to say that I had gotten used to seeing it IRL (in real life) and via local pictures.

The Patriot was filmed all around Charleston, including several of its outlying plantations, two of which were Cypress Gardens and Middleton Place. The story is structured loosely around General Francis Marion's life, and is not the most historically accurate depiction of the Swamp Fox's (Marion's nickname) role in revolutionary war events; however, it's still an entertaining flick, for sure.

Spending the day at the gardens was just lovely, and therapeutic. Most unfortunate for me though, skulking around the swamps of South Carolina in mid July is still as treacherous an endeavor as it must have been in the 1700s.

Although there were no Redcoats to fear, there were red bugs. The bites of the chiggers flared up the next day, were large and red, looked like poison and exceeded the burning and stinging of a man-of-war jelly fish sting. I am left to wonder what did the Swamp Fox do back when there was no Calamine Lotion?


Aunt Bea said...

Calamine? We always used Campho-Phenique. In the old days they daubed the bites with kerosene - but remember they didn't wear shorts and cotton T-shirts, but wool and leather, plus they had the woolen undergarments, etc. Very few places for critters to get in on the skin!

sailor said...

These pictures are great. I'm a huge fan of The Patriot, so I definitely recognized these set pieces. Good to see the IRL pics of the "old Spanish mission". THANKS!
Rougemont, North Carolina

Anonymous said...

i hate hollywood. . . they build props in sensitive ecological areas and just leave em there. . . this is called littering . . . The Patriot sucked anyways