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T A B L E

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C O N T E N T S

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J U L Y / A U G U S T

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Exploration Isles

features 56 FISHING HOLES: Writer Larry Hobbs takes to the sea with Captain Billy Bice to explore some key spots for a fresh catch.

64 SECRETS OF SAPELO: Author Buddy Sullivan and photographer Ben Galland teamed up for a book about the barrier island’s beauty and history.

73 ELEPHANT SANCTUARY: Some gentle giants have retired from circus life and have taken up residence in the nearby White Oak Conservation in Yulee, Florida.

78 INTO THE WAVES: Photographer Jay Bellflower offers a perspective that is rarely seen by taking viewers inside the center of waves.

87 FATEFUL FLIGHT: Aviator Paul Redfern’s quest to break records on a flight from Sea Island to Brazil ends in tragedy in the Amazon jungle in 1927.

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As the coronavirus spreads and concerns about public health grow, many state governors are mandating that non-essential businesses close to help reduce the spread of the virus. Based on information from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization), it is believed that professional drycleaning and laundry operations can help contain the spread of the virus because the heat and chemistry of the professional cleaning process is known to kill germs.

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COLUMNS & DEPARTMENTS 12

EDITOR’S NOTE

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WORD ON THE STREET

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COASTAL QUEUE

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LIVING WELL

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NATURE CONNECTION

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Publisher Buff Leavy Editor Lindsey Adkison Director of Advertising Jenn Agnew and Marketing Assistant Editor Proofer

Lauren McDonald Heather Murray

Brunswick Sales Manager

Bill Cranford Commercial Printing — Pre-printed Inserts

Account Executive

Kasey Rowell

Contributing Writers

Tyler Bagwell Debbie Britt Terry Dickson Larry Hobbs Debra Pamplin Ronda Rich Savannah Richardson Lydia Thompson

Contributing Photographers

Parker Alexander Jay Bellflower Terry Dickson Benjamin Galland Tamara Gibson Sam Ghioto Bobby Haven Nancy Reynolds-Haven Teresa Jones John Krivec Stephanie Rutan

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Stacey Nichols Donte Nunnally Terry Wilson

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About the Cover: Michael Gowen, an avid outdoorsman, casts a net from his boat at sunset near the Sidney Lanier Bridge. Gowen is the owner of Southeast Adventure Outfitters and spends a good deal of his time on the water. The beautiful image was captured by Parker Alexander of Empire Sky. Co.


100 Years of Painting in Glass A NEW EXHIBIT AT MOSAIC, JEKYLL ISLAND MUSEUM Sitting within the walls of Jekyll Island’s historic Faith Chapel is a one-hundred-year-old stained-glass masterpiece by artisan Louis Comfort Tiffany. In celebration of the centennial year for this one-of-its-kind window, visitors can now experience an immersive exhibit within Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum. Take a peek inside the world of Tiffany Studios and learn how his stained glass works of art were methodically crafted. Visitors can also experience Faith Chapel through an expert-led tour to see the original window up-close, and explore the gift shop’s limited anniversary collection honoring the window. Learn more at jekyllisland.com/faithchapel


3011 Altama Ave, Brunswick GA 31520

Submissions Golden Isles Magazine is in need of talented contributors. Unsolicited queries and submissions of art and stories are welcome. Please include an email address and telephone number. Submit by email to the editor, Lindsey Adkison: ladkison@goldenislesmagazine.com or by mail to 3011 Altama Ave, Brunswick. Only work accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope will be returned.

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Advertising Information regarding advertising and rates is available by contacting Jenn Agnew at 912-265-8320, ext. 356 or by email at jagnew@thebrunswicknews.com; or Bill Cranford at 912-265-8320, ext. 329 or by email at bcranford@thebrunswicknews.com; or Kasey Rowell at 912-265-8320 ext 334 or krowell@thebrunswicknews.com.

All content is copyright of Golden Isles Magazine, a publication of Brunswick News Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission from the publisher. We have sought to ensure accuracy and completeness of the content herein, but neither Golden Isles Magazine nor the publisher assumes responsibility for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or other inconsistencies, including those related to quotations. We reserve the right to refuse advertising. All advertisements appearing herein are accepted and published on the representation that the advertiser is properly authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. All ads are paid advertisements and/or gifts given as part of a contractual agreement regarding Brunswick News Publishing Company. Neither Golden Isles Magazine nor the publisher is responsible for any statements, claims, or representations made by contributing writers, columnists, or photographers. Golden Isles Magazine and the publisher are also not responsible for anyone’s reliance on the content included in the publication. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No right for commercial use or exploitation is given or implied.


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Editor’s Note

Tangled Up in Blue The bright blue sky with nary a cloud in sight. The blue of the water rising to meet it. There’s a steady breeze and it’s that rare moment where the temperature is actually pleasant — not too hot (clearly, this is not a day in July or August, it’s early May, but I digress).

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G O L D E N I S LES

These are the days in the Golden Isles … it’s almost too good. It’s a weak and tired cliché, but it truly does take your breath away. I had one of these moments recently, walking along the shores of Jekyll Island. I was reminded of one of my favorite Bob Dylan tunes — “Tangled Up in Blue.” It seemed appropriate. I felt enveloped in sea and sky — their “blueness.” Tangled up in the beauty of it all — the nature, the history, the charm of this gorgeous piece of earth we call home. Of course, over my (approximately) 15 years as an official Golden Islander, I have developed a deep affection for the stories that have flowed from these waters and this sky. Exploring this has become a passion — and career — for me. Not only the stories that are wellknown to locals and tourists — but the stories that require a little bit of digging to find. So for this issue, that’s what we did. We explored the coast to find new tales to tell. Writer Debra Pamplin connected with White Oak Conservation in Yulee to take a peek at their majestic new residents — retired circus elephants. We probed local aviation history with Tyler Bagwell, who shares the fascinatingly tragic story of Paul Redfern (namesake of Redfern Village) and his ill-fated flight to South America in the 1920s. Writer Larry Hobbs takes to the sea in search for the perfect fishin’ hole. But we didn’t just go coast on the sea, we went under it — Little Mermaid style. We interviewed wave photographer Jay Bellflower, who captures the Isles in a way unlike any other.

Finally, we wrap this issue with a deep dive into the history of one of our most beloved neighbors — Sapelo Island. I sat down with my good friend and fellow newspaper veteran Buddy Sullivan to talk about his exquisite book, Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island, which he created with photographer Ben Galland and the University of Georgia Press. This magazine would not have been possible without any of them. But I would be completely remiss if I didn’t give a direct shout-out to the two fellas who made our stunning cover happen — photographer Parker Alexander, owner of Empire Sky Co. He has done so much amazing work for us … the man’s got an incredible gift, and we are grateful for it. And, last but certainly not least, our amazing cover, er, model? Fisherman? Dude? I’m not quite sure how to phrase it — but Mr. Michael Gowen, you cut a fine silhouette and I’m sure you cast that net A LOT that day. Thank you both so much. And thank YOU, readers. This is why all of the aforementioned things happened: so you will find something pretty, interesting, and meaningful when you pick it up. We do it for you. We truly do. Take care and don’t forget to get “tangled” —  Lindsey


r Designe p to shares 2021

Beauty cover @gouletbukcley:

@ hpudad: @emilyburtondesigns: So, so pretty!

Word On The Street Your reactions sent to us by emails, posts, & tweets

TIME TO GET SOCIAL facebook.com/goldenislesmag

Meg Adams Baxter: Such a great idea. Molly Henderson Gamblin: Love Eugenia Price and all her books!

Downtown Digs Sara Baker: So much love in that home, city, and squares. Thank you, Julie!

Katie Fitzgerald: Beautiful Pat Galloway: So beautiful Sandi Ahlbrand: Gorgeous

instagram.com/goldenislesmag twitter.com/goldenislesmag

If you prefer to send us your comments by

Life on the Links Ann Prescott: So beautiful

Carmalita Coan:

email, contact Editor Lindsey Adkison at ladkison@goldenislesmagazine.com. Anything posted to our social media accounts or emailed directly to the editor will be considered for publication. Comments may be edited for clarity or grammar.

Karen Manning: Such a pretty living room picture. Maggie Porter Whatley: Her books made a tremendous impact toward my love of reading from high school onward. I have several on my “re-read” shelves at home.

Ronda Rich’s Eugenia Price Project 14

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Phyllis Shockley: I love Eugenia Price’s novels! Thank you, Rhonda, for wanting to share her story.

Adam Wainwright’s 5 Oaks Farm

Kelly Ross: Yet another example of why Adam Wainwright is a special person. He understands the importance of community and giving back. It’s more than baseball. Susan Spinks Lee: He continues to amaze me with his continued generous efforts to help others. Such a great project. Katie Fitzgerald: What a great guy! Love Adam. Donna Smith Kowalczyk: He’s a great guy!


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Q AN INFORMATIVE LINEUP OF THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GOLDEN ISLES

Women’s Amateur Competition

t

Sea Island to host

WORDS BY LINDSEY A DKISON | PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SEA ISLAND

The Golden Isles is steeped in history — and Sea Island is certainly no exception. The private retreat has long been a sanctuary for those looking to escape the chaos of daily life. From the Cloister, which opened in 1928, to the G8 Summit held there in 2004, the barrier island boasts a storied past complete with appearances by multiple presidents, dignitaries, athletes, and celebrities. But, of course, there’s another area where Sea Island shines particularly brightly — the world of golf. Howard Coffin, the Sea Island Co. founder, hired Walter Travis, a highly touted designer as well as a British and U.S. Amateur champion, to design this first golf course, which consisted of nine-holes. The first course, Plantation, opened in 1928, prior to the Cloister itself opening.

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In 1998, Rees Jones combined the Plantation Nine with the Retreat Nine (completed in 1960) to become the 18-hole Plantation course. Recently, Plantation was redesigned by Davis Love III and his brother, Mark Love. The first nine holes of Seaside — an ocean-side links course — was first designed by Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison in 1929 and redesigned in 1999 by Tom Fazio, who blended it with the former Marshside nine-hole course. Sea Island’s courses are routinely ranked among the top 100 in the country. Throughout those decades, the courses have played host to a number of tournaments, including the Jones Cup Junior and Senior Tournaments, four Georgia State Amateur Championships, eight


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USGA championships (Senior Women’s, Senior Amateur, and Mid-Amateur), the Western Junior, the Canon Cup, two UBS Cups, and nine LPGA Ladies Open Invitationals. Sea Island has hosted six USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championships. The Southeastern Conference Championship has been held 16 times on Sea Island’s Seaside course.

Cup event hosted by local pro Davis Love III, was added to this prestigious lineage. The tournament is now in its 12th year. But this month, another tour will join the lineup, the Sea Island Women’s Amateur. Set for July 27 to 29, the 54-hole tournament will bring 84 of the nation’s top female amateur players to the Seaside course.

For decades, Sea Island was also home to Louise Suggs, LPGA co-founder and winner of the 1949 British Ladies Amateur and the first Sea Island Ladies Open Invitation in 1954.

Brannen Veal, Sea Island’s Director of Golf, says it will offer these athletes a stage on which to showcase their impressive skills.

Most recently, the RSM Classic, a PGA TOUR FedEx

“Sea Island has a long history of amateur golf. The

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Jones Cup brings the top amateur males in the world to Sea Island, and from that, the Junior Jones Cup was formed 10 years ago, which brings the best juniors from around the country and world here. And, we also have the Senior Jones Cup,” he says.

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“We were really trying to figure out a way to do a great women’s event, and what that would look like. It was an important and natural next step, one that we are very pleased to be taking.” While the play itself will be private and unrecorded, golf enthusiasts will be able to follow the ladies’ progress online at seaislandwomensamateur.com. “We will be updating the scores there,” Veal says. As the host, Sea Island will not only offer the participants a chance to enjoy the picturesque course and world-class amenities, it will also allow them an opportunity to connect with the community and enjoy the laid-back vibe the area has to offer. “I think that, while we do have this long standing legacy of golf here, it’s also really relaxed. I think that’s what drives so many pros to live here and makes other folks want to live here. It’s very family-oriented,” he says. “You are really just enveloped by this community. When people come here, they’re blown away by the facilities and the courses, but they’re equally blown away by how they’re treated by this community.”

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another world AUTHOR CREATES

WORDS BY LAUREN MCDONALD | PHOTOS PROVIDED

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Q


c Chelsea Davis can create entire worlds within the limitless boundaries of her own imagination. Among the young author’s many talents is the ability to transport the fantastic creations of her mind onto the page, so the rest of the world can enjoy the stories she’s able to tell.

Davis, who graduated in May from the University of Alabama with a criminal justice and cybersecurity degree, published her first book, The Mind Game, while completing her undergraduate degree. She’ll begin a graduate school program in cybersecurity and public policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall, and she plans to someday work in a law enforcement job with a focus on cybersecurity.

And while pursuing that passion, she also intends to continue sharing her stories and publishing new books. “It’s always nice being able to read and to escape into a different world or universe,” Davis says. “I love doing that, creating your own universe, because the possibilities are endless.”

Davis, who grew up in Brunswick, began writing The Mind Game, a science fiction novel set in the futuristic world of Pantanesia, when she was in tenth grade. A vivid dream set her book in motion. “It came from a dream, and I started writing then, because I remember waking up one morning like ‘Oh my gosh,’ and I went to the kitchen and I told my mom I had this dream,” Davis recalls. “And most people, they forget their dream whenever they have it. But I remembered mine vividly, and to this day I can still picture it in my head.”

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Her mom encouraged her to put those ideas on paper and write a story. The dreams continued, and The Mind Game took form. Throughout her life, Davis has continued to have these kinds of elaborate dreams, and she’s continued using them to inspire the stories she writes. “I still have dreams like that,” she says. “I actually started writing another book based off of another dream.” Currently, though, she’s working to finish the second installment of The Mind Game series.

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The first was published June 8, 2020, and Davis plans for the sequel to be out this year. A love of reading as a child honed Davis’ imagination skills and storytelling talent. “When I was younger, I read a lot of mystery books and Junie B. Jones, books like that,” she says. “And then once The Hunger Games came out, that kind of inspired me because I wasn’t really into the world of science fiction until I watched the movies and I read the books and I loved it.” She continued consuming science fiction stories and developed an interest in writing. “I started writing before The Mind Game, but it was for this website just for writers to just write whatever they wanted to,” she says. “And over a year ago, I checked back on my profile, because I’d completely forgotten about it, and I had over 20,000 reads on that website.” A forgotten account password has unfortunately prevented her from updating any of her stories on the website. In high school, Davis would write on weekends during breaks from her busy schedule of school and sports. She continued writing and re-writing in college, often returning to portions of the book she wrote early on in the process and finding places she could improve the story. “After high school, I was reading over the book and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I wrote this so young,’” she recalls. “So I had to go back and change some things, add some more detail in there.” Davis isn’t afraid to start her writing process anew if she isn’t satisfied with the current words on the page. She scrapped two previous versions of the second installment of The Mind Game. 22

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“I wanted to make more of a character progression in the book, and the first two books just weren’t doing it for me,” she says. “The first time I went through the whole book, and I said I don’t like this, so I started it over again.” Her grandfather’s death last year has influenced the sequel, she says. The book delves further into the background and motivations of its characters, who are also evolving as the tale progresses. “The message I’m trying to convey is that people go through things in life, but you can always come out stronger and you can change the world if you really want to,” Davis says. “Everyone has purpose.” Davis plans for The Mind Game to be a two-part series, and she intends to begin working on a new story soon. “I’m going to start the other book that I had a dream from,” she says. “I’m going to try to look up some history on battles and war because it’s more focused toward that and start writing that book. It’s definitely going to take a little longer though because I’ll be in grad school.” Her advice to young writers is to keep putting pen to paper — or tapping away at the computer keys until blank documents are filled with words. “Just keep writing and don’t give up,” she encourages. And remember, she says, that the author has the final say over his or her story. “It’s always good to get advice from other people about the book, but just remember it’s your book,“ she says. “If it’s something that’s placed on your heart to do, then they should always do it. Just keep writing.”

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Q

Outdoor EMBRACING

E N T E R TA I N I N G

The team at Pierce & Parker Interiors toasts the season

STAFF/GOLDEN ISLES MAGAZINE | PHOTOS BY NANCY REYNOLDS-HAVEN 24

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O

Outdoor gatherings epitomize summer in the Golden Isles, and with restrictions relaxing after a long and isolating pandemic, this summer’s parties, picnics, and get-togethers promise to be particularly meaningful. The team at Pierce & Parker Interiors is certainly ready for it, whether that means gathering themselves at the store for Margarita Mondays or helping their customers get their homes ready for entertaining. We recently stopped into their store on Frederica Road to catch up with them as they had drinks in their new outdoor furniture showroom. “This has been such a crazy time, but it has also been really great to see how it has made our customers appreciate the time they spend with their families at home, which is our forte,” says designer Lori Harden. “It has been hard for people to be confined at home, but it has also opened people up to the possibilities of their spaces.” That is especially true for outdoor areas, as these areas have become focal points for entertaining over the past few months. “One client recently told me that she feels like she really discovered her backyard for the first time after spending nightly cocktail hours on her patio during COVID,” says designer Julie Willis. “So now they want to really think through how to best use that space to relax and entertain.” It’s interesting how the use of the space should really inform the design choices. “It’s not just about finding something that you like the style of”

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Power is in Ownership . . . Wealth is in the land says junior designer Carson Jones. “It has to work! For instance, we’ve been designing outdoor spaces with more chat settings recently, like four full-size chairs around a small round table or fire pit, which works great because it gives people their own space while also fostering more intimate conversations.” But COVID has also thrown some wrenches into the furniture industry. “Anyone who has attempted to buy furniture in the last year has witnessed first-hand disruptions in the industry,” says Joanna Wilkins, Pierce & Parker’s Office Administrator.

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“Suppliers to manufacturer to shippers are all working overtime to correct the delays caused by COVID.” Matt Dart, who owns Pierce & Parker along with his wife, Miller, adds, “We’re being aggressive about placing larger stock orders so that we have the products our customers need for their homes right here in our store. And we continue to receive new deliveries every day.” It certainly has been a strange time to be in the


home furnishings industry. Through the whiplash of abruptly shutting down to now moving at breakneck speed, the team at Pierce & Parker has tried to keep some perspective. “We try to foster the attitude that we’re in this together as a team, and we always want the best for each other and for our customers,” Dart says. “We spend a good portion of our waking lives working here together to create beautiful spaces for our clients. We want to make sure that we keep investing in our relationships with each other so that that effort is rewarding.”

JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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Celebrations Return

B WORDS BY TERRY DICKSON PHOTOS BY BOBBY HAVEN AND TERRY DICKSON

Brunswick and the Golden Isles will celebrate America’s 245th birthday July 4th with plenty of flash and bang after mostly dark and silent observance in 2020.

With average COVID cases dropping and state-mandated restrictions lifted, Brunswick, Jekyll Island, and St. Simons Island have committed to fireworks displays on a day that is usually the busiest of the year on the beaches. On St. Simons Island, the fun starts early with the Golden Isles Track Club’s annual Sunshine Festival 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run. Registration can be completed online at goldenislestrack.club prior to the race day. Racers will gather at Mallery Park, 601 Mallery Street, St. Simons Island, with the 5K kicking off at 7 a.m. followed by the fun run at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the fastest times in various age groups.

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Other St. Simons activities include the annual golf cart parade, which is held at about 2:30 p.m. around the Pier Village. Glynn County has plans for its annual fireworks display at the St. Simons pier, county spokesman Matthew Kent says. The fireworks will again be fired from the south end of the Andrew Island causeway, and spectators can watch them reflected in the East River. Brunswick will also welcome crowds for the festival portion of its July 4th celebration on the waterfront that evening. Beginning at 7 p.m., there will be activities at Mary Ross Park with sack races and other games for kids and free watermelon slices for everyone, says Mathew Hill director of the Downtown Development Authority.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Those activities were canceled in 2020 because of demands for social distancing. Gov. Brian Kemp had capped gatherings at 10 people and said that those participating at any event had to maintain a six-foot distance from each other. Local officials said last year it would be virtually impossible to meet those requirements during fireworks displays when people typically pack viewing areas.

THE BEST

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BEST On Jekyll Island the fireworks will go airborneTHE at about 9 p.m. with the best viewing spots deemed to be at OF Great Dunes, Corsair Beach, and Oceanview parking areas. BOTH

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WORLDS Jekyll Island’s $8 daily parking fee will be increased to $12 for July 4th. As the planning for the events went forward in May, the seven-day average for new coronavirus cases in Georgia was 1,205, about half of the 7-day average a year earlier.

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Summer Sippin’

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

Perfect seasonal cocktails from Chef Dave Snyder’s restaurants There are few things as rewarding as a cool cocktail on a hot summer day. And nowhere is the variety more exciting than across Chef Dave Snyder’s trifecta of local restaurants. There’s Halyards, an upscale, Coastal chic American eatery, along with its neighbor Tramici, which offers a fun mix of Italian fare. Both of those are located in the plaza across from Island Cinemas, off of Sea Island Road. Then, there’s La Plancha, a lively spot that serves up a mix of Mexican and Colombian street food. All of these locations have become longstanding favorites — both of locals and tourists. But while their menus keep patrons coming back time and time again, their lists of libations offer an appeal all their own. We were fortunate to sit down with bartenders from across Halyard’s Restaurant Group to pick their brains — and snag the recipes — for some “sip-tacular” goodness that mixologists can recreate at home or beep by any of the restaurants to enjoy.

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Halyards — The Rose Gold The Coastal vibe is strong at Halyards, so it’s pretty natural that the drink menu reflects that. Bartender Chris Maxwell says that the key to creating these fabulous flavors is using fresh ingredients and top-quality liquors. That’s just what he did with his Rose Gold cocktail. “For summer drinks, you want refreshing. This one is for when you come back from the beach and you’re getting your grill ready, or maybe you’re starting a low country boil,” he says. The Rose Gold is made with many things that most people have on hand, which is another plus. “If you make Old Fashions or if mom likes Salty Dogs, then you have all of the things you need,” he says.

Ingredients 5 oz rum 2 dashes bitters 1 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice 1 oz tonic Slice of grapefruit for garnish

Directions Combine the rum, bitters, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice in a cocktail glass, filling it halfway. Top with tonic and garnish with grapefruit slice.

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Tramici — The Gin Germaine Gimlet Tramici means “between friends” in Italian and this drink is one that’s often shared between besties at the restaurant’s cozy bar. But bartender Calli McPherson says that this summer fave is easy to recreate at home or enjoy while hitting the beach. The blend of lime, mint, cucumber, and elderflower makes it summer sipping perfection. “It’s really light and bright. The flavors like the mint and cucumber, Hendrick’s is a cucumber-based gin, just make it great for a hot day,” she says.

Ingredients

Directions

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin 0.75 oz lime juice 0.25 oz agave nectar 0.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Five mint leaves Cucumber slices

Muddle mint leaves and cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and then mix in the gin, lime juice, nectar, and St. Germain Elderflower. Shake well until the ingredients are blended. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with cucumber slices and mint leaves.

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La Plancha — Multi-flavored Margaritas

Ingredients

Peach Margarita 2 oz Altos Silver Tequila 1 oz Peach Schnapps 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Located a short drive down from Halyards and Tramici, is La Plancha. Situated at 3600 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, it’s become a go-to for those looking for a departure from the typical food found in a tourist destination. Its menu offers taco platters, quesadillas, and some seriously amazing guacamole. But it’s also famous for something else — its margaritas. Manager Tanner Rogers says that patrons flock to their doors to choose from a long list of flavors.

0.5 oz simple syrup 1.5 oz Monin Peach Purée Peach candy rings and bamboo skewer for garnish

Strawberry-Mango Margarita 2 oz Altos Silver Tequila

“Our margaritas are really what we’re known for,” Rogers says. La Plancha incorporates fresh fruit purées to create that light, bright deliciousness that’s a must for summer. “We have watermelon, peach, strawberry ... those are some of our really ‘summery’ flavors,” he says. “We use a blanco tequila and garnish the glasses’ rims with kosher sea salt. We use smoked sea salt for the watermelon to give it that look.”

1 oz Patron Citronge Mango 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice 0.5 oz simple syrup 0.5 oz mango nectar 1.5 oz Tres Agaves Strawberry Margarita Mix A strawberry, lime wedge, and bamboo skewer for garnish

Watermelon Margarita 2 oz Altos Silver Tequila 1 oz Grand Chevalier 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice 1.5 oz Stirrings Watermelon Mix 1.5 oz watermelon juice 2 watermelon cubes and bamboo skewer for garnish

Directions

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly. Wet the rim of a 16 oz glass and dredge through salt or sugar. Fill the glass with ice and strain the margarita mix into it. The garnishments are different for each of the drinks.

JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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Around the Town

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Q


july Through July The Coastal Photography Guild’s The Big Photo Show Too! will be on display through August 6 at Creative Frameworks Gallery, 1302 Gloucester St., Brunswick. This is not a juried show, but People’s Choice Awards will be given August 6. For more information, visit coastalphotographersguild.com. July 2 First Friday will be held in downtown Brunswick from

Rahab’s Rope exists to empower women and children in the fight against human trafficking. Profits from our local and global artisans fund the mission.

5:30 to 8 p.m. Shops will stay open later during the monthly block party. Musicians will also perform in the downtown pocket parks. For details, visit discoverbrunswick.com.

320 Mallery St. • St. Simons Island, GA • 912.434.6059 • rahabsrope.com

Fit Meals By Tanya and Chef Johnny, was founded on St Simons Island Georgia in 2021.

July 8 and 9 Coastal Outdoor Adventures is hosting a children’s camp called Shark Fest through the summer. The two-day program will include excursions with coastal marine life. The hours are from 9 a.m. to noon. The boat departs from the Hampton River Marina, 1000 Hampton Point Dr., St. Simons Island. Only 12 children will be enrolled. It is open for children ages 6-14 and $190 per child. For more information, visit coastaloutdooradventures.com.

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July 11

presentation for its Big Photo Show from 5:30 to 7

The Coastal Georgia Historical Society will host A Little

p.m. at Glynn Visual Arts, 106 Island Dr., St. Simons

Light Music featuring the Michael Stacey Band. The

Island. The juried show will highlight the work of area

concert begins at 7 p.m. on the lawn of the lighthouse

photographers. The show will be on display through

on St. Simons Island. Tickets are $15 for adults; children

August 7. For details, visit coastalphotographersguild.

under 12 and “Keepers of the Light” are admitted free

com.

of charge. For details, visit coastalgeorgiahistory.org. July 19 to 23 July 12 to 16

Glynn Visual Arts will host its Flights of Fancy Youth

Glynn Visual Arts will host its Comic Book Youth Sum-

Summer Camp from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the cen-

mer Camp from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center,

ter, 106 Island Dr., St. Simons Island. Artists will use a

106 Island Dr., St. Simons Island. The instructor will be

variety of media to create whimsical fantasy artwork.

Bob Perdarvis, a SCAD professor. The cost is $150 for

The cost is $150 for members and $170 for non-mem-

members and $170 for non-members. For details, visit

bers. For details, visit glynnvisualarts.org.

glynnvisualarts.org. August 5 July 15

The Literary Guild of St. Simons Island will host its Meet

The Coastal Photography Guild will host an awards

the Author series featuring Chef Matthew Raiford

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august and his book Bress ‘n’ Nyam at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Si-

• Custom Designs

mons Island Casino, 530 Beachview Dr., St. Simons Island. It is free for members and $10 for non-members. Masks are required. Reservations are required and may be made by visiting litguildssi.org.

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August 5 and 9 Coastal Outdoor Adventures is hosting a children’s camp called Shark Fest through the summer. The twoday program will include excursions with coastal marine life. The hours are from 9 a.m. to noon. The boat departs from the Hampton River Marina, 1000 Hampton Point Dr.,

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St. Simons Island. Only 12 children will be enrolled. It is open for children ages 6-14 and $190 per child. For more information, visit coastaloutdooradventures.com. August 6 First Friday will be held in downtown Brunswick from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Shops will stay open later during the monthly block party. Musicians will also perform in the downtown pocket parks. For details, visit discoverbrunswick.com.

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Jewelers On St. Simons Island

Celebrating 39 years in the Golden Isles August 10

Jewelers On st. simOns island est. 1982

Glynn Visual Arts, 106 Island Dr., St. Simons Island, will host Indoor Walls: Their Other Art featuring works by the

205 Redfern Village | 912.638.2236

Brunswick mural artists. The gallery is open from 10 a.m.

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to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, visit glynnvisualarts.org.

Curbs

t u e s da y

-

c h a dw i c k s j e w e l e r s . n e t f r i da y 10 a m

-5

pm

|

s a t u r da y 10 a m

- 3

pm

Follow us on Facebook We will be closed July 3 through July 5

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Facts

J U ST T H E

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON PHOTOS PROVIDED BY THE JEKYLL ISLAND AUTHORITY

Sweet T Summertime: Summer Waves brings the fun on Jekyll Island

34

There’s been 34 years of splash-tastic fun in the Golden Isles.

40

he time for fun in the sun has officially arrived. And there are few places in the Golden Isles that deliver the carefree energy of Summer Waves. The water park on Jekyll Island has been serving up good times to locals and tourists for more than three decades. This season, the park is offering a new attraction called the Man O’ War. Named for marine hydrozoans found in the Atlantic Ocean, the attraction includes chutes and slides. Of course, there are still the longtime favorites, including the Force 3, the Frantic Atlantic, Nature’s Revenge, and Shark Tooth Cove. There’s also a splash pool and lazy river attraction called Turtle Creek. Check out some fun facts about the park:

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1987

There are 15 slide attractions, including the new Man O’ War featuring 4 separate slides.

Summer Waves opened in 1987.


50,000

150

There are more than 50,000 Larry’s Giant Subs sold per season.

The Thunder & Lightning is a twin slide that sends riders spiraling down 150 feet in fully-enclosed flumes.

32

The Force 3 offers 3 slides and stands 32feet tall.

5

350

11

Pirate’s Passage riders hop on a double-seater innertube and slide down a 5-story enclosed tower.

The Flash Flood is a double innertube attraction which spirals down 350 feet of twists and turns.

There are 11 acres of park attractions.

990

The Turtle Creek (lazy river) is approximately 304 meters,which is more than 990 feet in length. JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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DUE SOUTH climbed the lighthouse, twice. And we’ve been on a tour, by small boat, of the islands with a well-versed captain and mate who were filled with engaging tidbits of information. I still hope to see the turtles. I’d love to hide on the beach, nearby — close enough to spy a turtle as she settles into her spot to lay her eggs and perhaps even see the little ones emerge from their shells — but far enough away not to startle them.

Exploring The Golden Isles

P

WORDS BY RO ND A RICH | PHOTOS BY TERESA JONES

Perhaps I should be ashamed that, after a dozen trips to the Golden Isles, I have done little exploring of the lands, the sands, and the water that have created beautiful works of art. The truth of the matter — or at least, the partial truth — is that one day, about 12 or 13 years ago, suddenly, out of the blue, I said, “I’m through with swimsuits.” I had bought two expensive swimsuits (an oxymoron because all swimsuits are costly; the less fabric in the suit, the higher the price) because we were planning a trip to Hawaii. I had been several times and so had Tink, but

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we hadn’t been there together. We wanted to create a memory that would blend our memories together and make it a special place for us. To my heartbreak, it never happened. I took the beautiful swimsuits, put them away, and they have never been seen again. I am clueless as to where they are. I have never worn another swimsuit — not even to sunbathe in the privacy of the Rondarosa or wade in the creek that runs through our property. That season of my life has come and completely departed into a deep frost. That is not to say, however, that I don’t walk the beaches, usually with a dog tagging along. I pick up shells and admire the blueness of the skies. For well over the last year, I have studied the ship that overturned, measuring the slow progress of removing it and thinking of the thousands of cars in its hull that were completely ruined. Now, there are island explorations I have done: Tink and I took a fascinating trolley car tour with Cap Fendig. We’ve

Several years ago, I was hired to speak to a state-wide convention on Jekyll Island. Most of the rooms on the island were booked so I found myself farther down the beach, staying at an old Holiday Inn that has now been beautifully re-modeled. Then, it still had the look of a motel built in America’s mid-century. I grinned broadly as I stepped out of the car, felt the damp late afternoon humidity, and heard the sea splash noisily onto the beach. There is nothing that could buy that sensation from me. Every moment of that second in time was beautiful. The wind was blowing my hair every whichaway and the smell of the salt and the stickiness of the sea droplets are all strong childhood memories. Imagine how that felt to a mountain child who knew only of sweet breezes that played among the towering hardwood trees and rivers, quietly rippling over rocks, its water headed hundreds of miles to the sea. The beach there is quiet, almost isolated from other sanded areas. The ocean’s roar and the loud crashing against enormous, jagged rocks were beautiful sounds. The motel was an updated version of the first one I ever stayed in — when I was four. The rooms still opened to the outdoor and small Coke machines were placed on each floor. It looked like the Holiday Inns in the 1960s when families began to make long road trips to see the sights of America. The original hotel was built on Jekyll in 1959. Surprisingly, Elvis Presley had an


indirect hand in creating the motel on an island that had yet to be descended upon by the masses. The story: Elvis was discovered by an incredibly brilliant, forward thinking Memphis studio owner named by Sam Phillips. Also in Memphis was an entrepreneur named Kemmons Wilson who dreamed of putting motels across our country, especially as the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was being built, stringing together America in an easy, drivable way. During this time, Elvis Presley’s career was exploding, making it hard for the smalltime Phillips to make him a bigger star. So, he sold Elvis’ contract to RCA Records in 1955 for $35,000. “Do I regret it?” Phillips said, repeating a reporter’s question in the 1970s. He grinned. “Not at all. I invested it with my friend, Kemmons’ Holiday Inn chain. I multiplied that money many times over.” I’m glad that one of the earlier motels was on Jekyll Island and that it’s still there.

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LIVING WELL of Massage. “I was waiting tables in Augusta and I never thought about massage as a career. I was at my mother’s hairdresser’s and she had the registration packet to sign up. So I filled it out and was accepted. That was in 2013,” she says. Harris started school and built her career there. She became the spa manager, as well as an instructor.

Massage is more than a decadent treat — it’s truly good for one’s health

L

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

Lavender mist drifted from the diffuser through the room as Chinese flute music flowed softly from the speakers. Settling onto the warm massage table, one finds an unparalleled sense of release. And that’s precisely Meagin Harris’ goal. As a massage therapist at Island Day Spa on St. Simons Island, it’s her mission to offer clients a respite from their busy lives. “There are so many reasons to get a massage. It doesn’t just have to be for a special occasion or because you get a crick in your neck,” Harris says. Instead, massage can truly play an integral part in one’s overall approach to healthcare. While massages certainly soothe tired muscles and promote relaxation, they can also serve a variety of purposes, many of which often go overlooked. “It should be like a regular check up with your doctor, chiropractor, or OBGYN. It’s your whole body. It needs love too ...

regular and constant care,” she says. “It helps everything. It’s really great for people with insomnia. It releases serotonin and melatonin in the brain — all of those ‘good night’ chemicals. It helps to move around lymphatic fluid. It helps with blood flow. It just really brings the whole body back to homeostasis.” Harris has been fascinated by massage therapy and the plethora of benefits it offers since she was a child. Growing up in Augusta, she always enjoyed providing her family with a sense of comfort courtesy of her healing hands. “I liked massage ever since I was a little girl. I think it came from when my siblings and I would get growing pains. My mom would massage our legs and our feet. It would really, really help,” she says. “So I would spend the night with cousins or friends and they would want to go outside and play. I would want to stay inside and massage their mom’s feet, hands and neck.” That, of course, made Harris the favorite of many at the homes of her friends and family. “I was really popular,” she says with a laugh. “I would do it for my aunts and my mom.” Her draw to offer relief continued throughout her life. Eventually, it landed her on the doorstep of Augusta’s School

While she enjoyed the relationships she had built there, Harris was also in one of her own. She was doing long distance with her then-boyfriend (now husband) and decided she would make the move to the coast to be closer. That’s how she landed at the blissful hub of Island Day Spa. Once she visited, Harris knew it was the place for her. Located at 60 Cinema Lane, St. Simons Island, the spa offers everything from hairstyling to nail care to bridal makeup. On the massage end, there’s multiple options from a relaxing ranging from Swedish massage to deep tissue treatments. “Deep tissue is more therapeutic, hitting those problem areas. We offer hot stone massage which I absolutely love. It’s more along the lines of Swedish with the relaxation and helps those muscles really release. It feels so good,” she says. “We also offer our Island Signature Massage, which has a little bit of everything. Hot towels for the back, hands, and feet. You get some aromatherapy oils. You get reflexology, which deals with different parts of the feet, and a scalp massage. It’s very popular.” They offer prenatal massages for those in their second trimester and beyond. Harris adds that they also offer body scrubs and wraps, which are equally good for the body. “We have a sugar scrub which is super nice to get rid of the dead skin. Then, we rub in this luxurious oil to replenish the skin. And the body wraps ... they are from heaven,” she says with a laugh. “We use a body butter and we wrap you gently in sheets. Then, we let it sit for about 30 minutes. After that, we unwrap you and massage it into the muscles. You feel like butter when it’s done. I would do a body wrap on everyone if I could.” JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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BY DESIGN “Some plants need more than others,” Hart says with a nod. The basics, however, are simple. First, those with animals at home should make sure that what they’re considering won’t harm pets. “Some plants can be toxic to pets,” Hart notes. “You can just do a quick Google search to see if that’s true for a a particular plant.” In addition, one should always think about lighting, water requirements, and fertilization needs. Orchids, for instance, don’t require much water or a ton of sunlight. They will, however, need some fertilization after they’ve finished blooming. “They can bloom for three to six months. Then, you’ll need to put them in brighter light and fertilize them to get them going again. Humidity helps too, so a bathroom with bright light would be perfect,” she says.

Home is where the plants are

A

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON

ACE Garden Center on St. Simons Island is the place to be on a bright sunny morning. Shoppers mill around the indoor-outdoor shop, searching for that special bloom or greenery to add something extra to their space. And while the store has always been popular, owner Dawn Hart says it’s been

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even busier since the pandemic took hold. “We’ve been kind of slammed,” she says, masked inside the garden center. “But that’s a good thing.” With more people staying home, they’ve clearly decided to make their space more appealing by working in their gardens. But they’ve also spruced up their indoor space. Hart says it’s a part of an ongoing trend. “Indoor plants have been gaining popularity for a while, over the last couple of years for sure,” she says. Of course, creating that indoor oasis requires a bit of forethought. When it comes to choosing the perfect plant to bring home, one should first consider how much time one’s willing to put in to care.

As far as other options, there are several low-maintenance plants. Those include Chinese evergreen, spider plants, snake plants, bamboo and areca palms, peace lilies, dracaena, fiddle leaf figs and rubber plants (classified as ficus), aloe vera, and pothos. “Succulents are still popular. Air plants and terrariums too,” Hart says. “Herbs are great, especially in a sunny kitchen. Some that tolerate growing inside are basil, bay, chives, dill, tarragon, lemon verbena, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.” When picking the plant, Hart suggests scouting out the spot that will be its new home prior to investing. Checking in on the area at various times of day is always helpful when discerning just how much light a space truly receives. “You do need to check it at different times because it changes. And of course, if anyone needs help, they can take photos and bring them into us,” she says. Hart and her team can offer guidance in the realm of watering as well. That can be the most difficult piece of the puzzle. “Most indoor plants need weekly watering with few exceptions. For example, ferns are not forgiving and need to be kept evenly moist but succulents need


to stay on the dry side,” she says. “A plant that is pot-bound and overly dry can be submerged in water for 30 minutes so the moisture will permeate the rootball, which can become like a hard sponge. Also keep in mind the size of your plant when deciding how much water it needs. Half a cup of water a week is not sufficient for a tall palm. The best practice is to feel the potting mix with your fingers and water only if it is dry to the touch.” But, Hart adds, it’s important not to let the plants sit in water. Instead, emptying the saucer is always a good idea. “Speaking of saucers, they help protect your furniture and floors ... do not use terracotta as it will sweat moisture,” she says. “If you want to use a decorative pot with no drainage holes or saucer, use an insert so that the plant isn’t subject to root rot.” Taking these extra steps may require a bit more time but Hart feels it’s worth the while. That’s because they also do their part to keep homeowners healthy. “Not only are they a great stress reliever, house plants also help absorb the impurities in the air,” she says.

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N AT U R E C O N N E CT I O N

Storms and turtle tracks WORDS BY LYDIA THOMPSON Of course, there’s another hurdle for the turtles — plastics. Some turtles starve by eating this litter when on their way out into the ocean. If they make it, they will be out to sea for 12 years before the female loggerhead turtles feel the urge to swim back to their hatching beach. Upon their return, there are still plenty of challenges. But there are ways we “turtle people” can help: • When you leave the beach, take your chairs and tent with you. Those items can block the turtles’ path.

T

These are the dog days of summer. People slow down when the mercury rises, but it isn’t as quiet as we think. We have some help when it comes to battling the heat and humidity. Have you heard the old saying, “Red sky in the morning sailors take warning, red sky at night is a sailor’s delight?” This saying is for sailors on the Atlantic Ocean. Little rainstorms over west Africa move out and over the hot ocean. From July through August, these storms, fueled by the ocean currents’ heat, grow into whirling dervishes. Let’s say you are traveling to London, and one of those storms is out there. The sky will

• It is fun to build sandcastles. Build them near the water’s edge so that the tides will wash them down.

be full of clouds that reflect pink on the morning sun. The signs tell you that you are about to go into a storm and to alter your course to avoid it. While summer storms are a reason to keep one’s eye to the sky, there’s also something else that requires one’s attention on the ground. Starting in May, loggerhead turtles begin laying eggs on the beaches of the Golden Isles. There is a large force of “turtle people” searching for these mother turtles hauling out to nest. These turtle patrols mark each nest they find. They begin the 60-day countdown to the hatching. Tiny turtles struggle out. They are boiling over each other. They reach their path, following the light to the ocean. In July and August, the magic happens, and the turtle patrol is watching. The young turtles get the “GPS coordinates” through the sand for their return. If they make it to the ocean, their goal is the Sargasso Sea.

• If you dig a hole, fill it in. These tiny turtles could fall in that hole and not get out. • Please pick up after yourself. Take your plastic, and recycle it. It is not only good for the turtle, but for us too. • If you discover one of the nest hatchings, stand back. Let the turtles make it to the ocean by themselves. It will keep them on a healthy track. Remember, state and federal laws protect them. • Most important, turn off your lights. White lights send them in the wrong direction. Please, turn off those porch lights and enjoy the fantastic night sky as you help those babies make it to the sea. • Once a St. Simons patrol reported losing an entire nest because a beach house had a floodlight that caused all the hatchlings to die in the dunes. So, lights out, please. Let the ocean glow. Keep your eyes on the ocean for storms and your eyes on the beach for turtle tracks. It might be dog days for us, but things are stirring. JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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Estate planning for Georgia newcomers. Give us a call today. 302 Plantation Chase St. Simons Island, GA 31522

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912-268-2655 (office) 912-223-3257 (mobile)

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M O N E Y TA L K S

Real Benefits of Making a Will in Georgia

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WORDS BY DEBORAH L. BRIT T, ESQ.

We can all agree that thinking about living is a lot more fun than thinking about dying. But making a few basic decisions and documenting these decisions in the form of a Last Will and Testament can mean a lot for you and your loved ones. Choices you make now can have positive impacts for years to come. By having a will, you are making sure that your voice will be heard after you pass away. This is the first and perhaps most important benefit of having a will — peace of mind for you. Knowing you have selected the right person to carry out your wishes after you are gone can be very comforting. Making your choices known regarding guardianship of your minor children can be quite reassuring. Directing where your property (real and personal) will go upon your death can feel extremely meaningful. By putting off making your will, you run the risk that you could pass away “intestate” (dying without a will). Dying without a will is really an opportunity missed. Choices that could have been made by you when you were alive are instead made in court proceedings according to Georgia law.

Nominating an Executor

Naming the person (or persons) you would like to handle your estate when you pass away is very important. This nominated individual, chosen by you and appointed by the probate court,

carries out your wishes as directed by your will. Their duties and responsibilities include gathering your assets and distributing them to your named beneficiaries. They are also charged with paying your debts from your estate and addressing any tax issues. Many people name family members as executors, but friends or professionals are also options. Without a will, the court will choose an administrator for your estate according to statutory guidelines. This person may not be who you would have wanted to handle things.

Incorporating a Memorandum Regarding Specific Gifts

Sometimes people believe they can write down simple lists regarding who is to receive their tangible personal property and expect those lists to be honored once they pass away. Legally, these lists do not have to be followed by anyone if they are not incorporated into a valid will. By stating in your will that a separate writing regarding your tangible personal property is to be followed by your executor, you can make these details not only known but also enforceable. Items of significant monetary or sentimental value, or those that are titled (i.e., motor vehicles) are still best placed in the will itself.

Naming Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries and heirs are not necessarily the same people. Your legal heirs are the individuals who inherit your assets upon your death if you do not have a will. If you are married with no children, your heir is your spouse. If you are not married, with children, your heirs are your children. If you are married with children, your heirs are your spouse and your children. If you are not married and have no children, and do not have a will, other Georgia laws of descent and distribution apply. Your nearest living relatives, as outlined by law, are determined to be your heirs. The heirs determined

by Georgia law may or may not be the individuals who you would want to receive your property when you pass. For example, you may be single with no children, but have a fiancé or significant other. That significant other, absent a will, would not inherit from you. Instead, your property could go to your parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. Or you may be currently married with adult children from a previous marriage and your preference would be for everything to go to your current spouse upon your death. Without a will, your current spouse and adult children would share as legal heirs. On the other hand, beneficiaries are the individuals you choose to inherit your assets upon your death. Regardless of the statutory provisions for determining heirs, your beneficiaries named in your will are entitled to receive property designated for them per your wishes. Naming your beneficiaries is your legal right and a major benefit of making your will.

Designating Guardians for Minor Children

Though difficult to imagine, choosing the individual(s) to raise your minor children in the event of your unexpected passing is a crucial parental responsibility. The only way for your voice to be heard and considered by the court charged with appointing your child(ren)’s guardian is for it to be preserved in your will.

Setting up Testamentary Trusts

Opportunities also exist to create management of your assets for certain beneficiaries over time. For example, trustees may be designated to manage property for minor children until specified ages. Also, special types of trusts, such as supplemental needs trusts for disabled beneficiaries, may be created with the goal of preserving government benefits. The information contained in this article is intended to be educational and general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult legal counsel regarding your specific situation, questions, and concerns. Experienced estate planning attorneys can be vital to maximizing the benefits of making your will. Other estate planning tools such as revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives can complement your will to address your goals and wishes. Deborah “Debbie” L. Britt, Esq., of Law Office of Deborah Lynn Britt, LLC, is an attorney located at 302 Plantation Chase, St. Simons Island. Her practice, which includes estate planning, elder law, and probate law, serves the Golden Isles and surrounding areas. She can be reached for questions and/ or to schedule a consultation at 912268-2655. Her website address is: www. debbiebrittlaw.com. JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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GAME CHANGERS world down, and other sports were benched, golf thrived. Why? Because anyone and everyone can play. This 13.9 percent increase was the second-highest behind 1997 when, you guessed it, Tiger Woods won the Masters at 21 years old.  What’s even crazier is that when things shutdown in March, golf approximately lost 20 million rounds, according to Golf Datatech, until places reopened in May. 

Pandemic saw golf boom, now keep the growth going

G

WORDS BY SAVANNAH RICHARDSON

“Grow the game” is one of the mottos for the LPGA, PGA Tour, and golf in general. Golf is truly one of the only sports that anyone of any age can play and enjoy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the few things people could do safely was play golf — at least here in Georgia and the Golden Isles.

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Golf courses here — including Jekyll Island Golf Club, Sea Island, Sapelo Hammock, Sanctuary Cove, Heritage Oaks, Brunswick Country Club, and others — have adapted to keep golfers playing. According to a Golf Datatech and its 2020 National Golf Performance report, 2020 saw a 13.9 percent increase in rounds played compared to 2019. That essentially equates to 50 million more rounds played in 2020. There was a 37.3 percent spike in December alone. Granted, it could have been the Masters playing in November along with the RSM Classic, but something sparked in people that led them to the links. It’s also when I picked up the game and started playing, becoming a part of one of the biggest golf movements in history. When COVID-19 shut the

I’m a numbers junkie, and seeing just a smidge of these numbers tells me that golf is heading in the right direction. While the pandemic was absolutely terrible and too many people lost their lives, so many young, old, and people in-between picked up clubs and learned how to play. Even though there was a 13.9 percent increase, we must continue to market the game, “grow the game,” and get more players involved. Those numbers set me on a journey to find different ways to continue growing the game in 2021.  I mean, even Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, purchased full sets of golf clubs for her family for Easter. It may not do anything, but there will be some girls who adore the Kardashians pick up golf because they’re doing it.  I think social media will play a huge role in growing the game. Why? Because young people do everything on their phone. They follow their favorite golfers, and they follow golf-centric accounts.   Many people use their platforms to share golf related content with the world — “growing the game” in their own way. We should be embracing these golf influencers. Some golf media doesn’t think this is the way to grow, but isn’t reaching as many people as possible a key part in “growing the game?” The old school way is still relevant to some, but there has to be change to continue the growth.


Golf organizations, please find ways to implement social media into your club. Also, embrace youth and millennial golfers. They are the future of this game. Many local clubs here in the Golden Isles have done just that, hosting various U.S. Kids events, high school events, and college events. They’re giving kids the chance to play on world-class courses — something very few have the opportunity to do. Another thing we can do is celebrate and embrace diversity in golf. Encourage everyone to play. Jeremiah Austin, a Brunswick High golfer, is a great example. He’s had places like Sapelo Hammock and Brunswick Country Club help him improve the game he loves.

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Austin even got an invitation to the Mack Champ Invitational in Texas earlier this year. To keep golf growing, the key is to embrace everyone. Give those who don’t have the opportunity to play the chance to see if they like it. There are so many other ways to grow golf, but social media and embracing all walks of life are two through which we could see immediate growth.

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THE DISH

“They really have,” Eckard adds. “Mine are 19 and 20 now.” Considering its long history, the restaurant has a legacy of its own. It’s in the top three longest-lasting restaurants on the island, no small feat considering the volatility of the industry. “We’ve seen a lot of folks come and go,” Eckard, who joined the business in 1981, says. “We’re one of the three oldest restaurants. There’s Bennie’s, then Crab Trap, then us,” Mitchell notes.

Frederica House serves up classic coastal favorite

F

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY LINDSEY ADKISON

From the whispering moss to the sandy shores to the sweeping marsh vistas, there’s something undeniably magical about the Golden Isles. But for those who call this area home, they know that there’s an element that really puts the sparkle into this special place — its people. The community is

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filled with men and women who truly put the “golden” in the Isles every day as they cater to their customers and run their businesses. And the Mitchell family is certainly one of these. For four decades, Tom and his family have owned Frederica House at 3611 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island. Over those many years, they’ve developed a rapport with locals and visitors alike, which has kept both returning to their restaurant throughout the years. “We have watched a lot of kids grow up and now they come and bring their kids here,” Tom says, seated in the expansive dining room. “My son, Tim, works with us now. But all our children have really grown up here.” His manager Steve Eckard smiles and nods knowingly.

Like the other staples, Frederica House has an ambiance that truly sets it apart. The rustic building, situated along the island’s busiest thoroughfare, has always stood out. The wooden structure brings to mind an antique farmhouse or hidden cabin. And that continues when one steps inside. The building is constructed entirely of porous cedar logs, which were originally white and were used as fencing timbers to corral large cypress logs floated up from Florida. The two-story structure is decorated with bright bursts of greenery that further cultivates that outdoorsy feel. Upstairs, there are tables with ample seating to accommodate large get-togethers and family dinners, including a private room perfect for celebrating special occasions. Peeking over the railing, diners are treated to a view of the lower level and its fully-stocked bar. Frederica House offers a wide variety of handcrafted cocktails, carefully curated wines, and a healthy beer selection. The choices pair well with the menu, which serves up some of the coast’s favorite cuisine. It boasts a wide variety of dishes, including fresh catches that can be prepared fried or broiled. “We have catfish, rainbow trout, salmon, flounder,” Mitchell lists. “We change up our fish a lot. We only serve what’s fresh,” Eckard says. The menu also offers popular steak and pasta dishes. But Eckard and Mitchell


know there’s one in particular that’s become a clear favorite over the years. “It’s our fried shrimp, no doubt. People absolutely love it,” Eckard says. “There’s no telling how many thousand of fried shrimp plates we’ve served over all these years.” Naturally, each meal is crafted with care, using only the best. “We serve Wild Georgia Shrimp because they’re the best in the world,’” Eckard says. Frederica House’s shrimp are lightly breaded, which could even be called “dusted” rather than coated. And over the years, they’ve learned how to fry to perfection. “You cannot overcook shrimp. If you do, you might as well throw it out and start over because they won’t be any good,” Eckard says. The restaurant serves the shrimp with coleslaw, as well as its own special cocktail and tartar sauces, also all made in-house. “People love our tartar sauce. They come in just for that and get cups of it,” Mitchell says. Taking that extra time to create something truly fresh and homemade is just another piece of their recipe of longevity. “You really have to do it the right way and be consistent every time,” Eckard says. “That’s what we’ve done over the years ... that’s why we’re survivors,” Mitchell adds. Frederica House opens at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Their menu and more information can be found at fredericahouse.com.

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reels,and poles,

Fishin’ holes

WORDS BY LARRY HOBBS | PHOTOS BY JOHN KRIVEC

T

The difference between a guy who likes to fish and a true fisherman is roughly 22 feet. Or at least it is on this spring day inside the marshes of Glynn. That is what separates me standing at the bow of the boat from Billy Bice, who fishes from the stern. I am the former, instilled at an early age in the ponds and creeks and lakes of my northwest Louisiana boyhood home with a desire to fish that has perpetually overreached my ability to catch. In truth, I can hardly even talk a good game. I have caught my share of nice-sized fish over the years, from freshwater bass to saltwater trout. But my fishing dreams are often clouded with fitful, fleeting images of the ones that got away. The fishing bug hooked Billy early on in the freshwater ponds, creeks, and lakes around his childhood Statesboro home. Billy is the true angler on this 22-foot-long Pathfinder. This is his boat, the Billy Bee. Billy Bee’s Family Charters is his retirement dream job. A career educator who never stops learning, Billy has spent a lifetime honing his love of fishing into a finely-tuned craft. The

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“A bad day fishing is better than a good day in the office.”

74-year-old former county schools superintendent is now a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain and kids’ fishing guide, spending the proceeds on trips abroad to Europe and elsewhere for himself and his wife Florence Ann. Billy and I have teamed up to try and narrow that gap between his fishing dreams and mine. But on this day, Mother Nature and the fishing fates are conspiring to expand the gulf between us rather than narrow it. We hit some time-tested hotspots within the inland waters that make St. Simons an island, angling for trout and redfish — a pair savored by pescatarians and sport fishermen alike. We will finish up the trip along scenic island seawalls fishing for sheepshead. “The thing with sheepshead is you’ve got to set the hook before they bite it,” Billy says. Um, OK. Real fishermen like Billy say things like this with a straight face. I have never fished these waters for sheepshead, but I know that the uniformly black-and-white-striped fish have eerily humanlike teeth. “A dentist could probably tell you why,” Billy adds, standing at the Billy Bee’s center console and steering us into the Back River from the Frederica River. Sheepshead use these incisors to crack open crustaceans such as fiddler crabs, which is what we will use for bait. Porpoises appear on the rippled surface in front and behind us as Billy merges into the Back River, where our attention is diverted to a noble great blue heron in regal repose on a marsh island. With rapt attention, I learn how archaeologists poked around that island’s middens and shell rings to learn about its early native inhabitants. As the name implies, Billy’s charter service focuses on kids who love fishing and the families who love those kids. Billy loves to create that smile that no adult can duplicate, putting happy boys and girls on whiting, croaker, sting rays, and all-too-common bonnet sharks. On Billy’s charter trips, everybody catches fish. Active in the Coastal Georgia Genealogical Society, his fishing trips include lessons on native inhabitants 6,000 years ago and running monologues on the natural beauty that surrounds us. Billy’s fishing charters have been lauded from Southern Living to Sport Fishing.

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“I just love fishing with kids,” explains the former public school teacher and principal. “With kids, they do not care as long as something is pulling on the other end of the line. Kids think sting rays are cool. Croaker and whiting are fun. You make lasting memories when you take kids fishing.” G O L D E N I S LES


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But today’s theme is grownup fishing, the kind of fishing an expert like Billy does on his day off from kids’ charter trips. We booked this excursion for GIM weeks in advance. Honestly, Billy might have just stayed home on a day like today. The weather is unseasonably chilly for mid-April. Not balmy or temperate or anything else that would warrant a voluntary outing on the water. The sky is gray. Dreary. Less than ideal conditions to frame a picture-perfect magazine article for a readership focused on Coastal Georgia’s premier resort community. Also, the chill is enhanced by the wind, which is steady out of the northeast. Such a wind throws lots of obstacles at a good day of fishing, everything from a drop in barometer that apparently dulls a fish’s appetite to leaving a long slack in the line that affects the ability to set a hook once said fish does strike. Sometimes the fish are just not biting. First cliché of the day: 60

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“That’s why they call it fishing instead of catching,” I say. Billy nods. My eyes focus on the bobber floating beside the seawall of a stately St. Simons plantation home, the expansive marsh to my back. We have already cast another well-worn cliché: “A bad day fishing is better than a good day in the office,” Billy said earlier. I nodded. Night heron, pelicans, snowy egrets, and even a majestic bald eagle fly into my field of vision, reminding me why this is so. Meanwhile, we stare at the bobbers as if sheer unswerving attention can will a fish to bite. “Here fishy-fishy-fishy,” Billy says, his best imitation of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street. I should mention here that Billy is a character. He is a hoot, his penchant for cornball humor and overthe-top puns keeping me in stitches. On the way out, from his berth at Morningstar Marina on St. Simons Island: “Can you speak pelican? Like ‘pel-I-can.’” Billy could go on and an on like that. And he does. In between bada-binging me with witty one-liners, Billy improvised with a bait combo of live shrimp and an artificial jig to land a decent 20-inch trout in a creek near Little St. Simons Island. We have caught that and two smallish catfish, which are a nuisance on the end of a saltwater angler’s hook. We are not alone. Billy idles the boat alongside friend and fellow fishing guide Brooks Goode, just as one of his charges is reeling in a …

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“You could fish here 100 years and not fish the same spot twice.”

“Catfish,” the guy says dejectedly. Their luck is about the same as ours. “We caught two catfish already,” I brag. Actually, Billy caught those two catfish. Despite a handful of solid bites, these wily sheepsheads have so far eluded me. Back to our bobbers we stare. Still nothing. That all changes, quite literally in the blink of an eye. My bobber disappears beneath the surface, but fast — its red top leaving a fleeting streak vanishing in the nutrient-rich marsh waters like a shooting star against a dark night sky. I tug on the rod. The other end tugs back, decisively — tunka! tunka! tunka! The rod bends into a deep arch, twitching and heaving at the tip. Thump! thump! thump! That is my heart rate, not the fishing gear. Adrenaline surges topsy-turvy, like quicksilver. It is a lively one, this fish. Big too, from the strain of it. I am reeling all the while, anxious to bring this lunker within eyesight just below the surface. Really big sheepshead can weigh more than 10 pounds and

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stretch to a husky foot and a half. This is a really big sheepshead, I decide. Even Billy is excited and Billy has seen it all. “Woo-hoo! That’s a nice one, son!” The nothingness that follows is sudden, jarring to my senses. It always is when you lose a big fish. The reel handle spins wildly, like bicycle pedals when the chain comes off. The line goes limp. The rod returns to its upright position, as inanimate as it once was in the display rack at some sporting goods store. Billy looks at me with raised eyebrows in a silent question to the obvious. “Lost him,” I said. He genuinely feels my pain. Billy can lead me to fish, but he cannot make me catch them. Only stray fishing line comes back when I reel it in. I could have missed a loop or something in the knot on the hook. But it looks like the big fish just broke the line, Billy says, noticing the end is straight and not squiggly. We keep fishing. Moments later, I hook a decent sheepshead that gives me a thrill of satisfaction reeling it onboard. It just meets the 10-inch legal definition of a


keeper for its species. Not bad. But wow. Just, wow. It is already clear which fish will cloud my fitful sleep this night. And I find myself surprisingly OK with that. Upbeat even. On the way back to Morningstar, Billy and I will retell the story over and over — the bending rod, the tight line, the struggle. The possibilities. And the inevitable. That big ol’ sheepshead? It is part of the reason I keep coming back. After all, the stories we tell ourselves about the ones that got away are at least as important as our crowing braggadocio about the ones that did not. Not just in fishing, but in life too when you really stop and think about it. The big ones we catch make great memories, for a little while. Then our attention moves on to the next big fish.

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But the big ones that got away? Well, they can acquire mythic proportions, the stuff of legends. And, actually, the fish are starting to bite right about now. But photographer John Krivec has a binding appointment to see a woman about a house. And I have onshore work to do. The real world calls us. But for Billy, this moment right now is that real world. “Ten more minutes,” Billy says. He is not kidding. “You could fish here 100 years and not fish the same spot twice,” Billy says, making his case. “There is just so much water.” He is at the Billy Bee’s stern, looking across at me as I stand at the bow. We laugh. Yeah. About 22 feet. That is the difference on this day.

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Secrets of Sapelo

WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTOS BY BENJAMIN GALLAND HISTORICAL IMAGES PROVIDED BY THE COASTAL GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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Before Buddy Sullivan became a preeminent Coastal historian and author, he spent his early days covering a different yet equally beloved topic — college football.

“I got with Ben Galland, who did the photography for both of those books, and we did one on Sapelo. It was released by the University of Georgia Press in 2017. So, it’s still fairly new.”

“I got my start as a sports writer covering college football for newspapers in Atlanta, Savannah, and Jacksonville,” Sullivan says. “It was an interesting career. I came back home and worked as the manager of The Darien News.”

The result was Sapelo: People and Place On a Georgia Sea Island. The hardback, coffee table book offers hundreds of pages breaking down the history of Sapelo while also exploring its unique ecosystem. For Sullivan, the easiest way to approach this extensive past is by dividing and conquering.

After his tenure at the paper, Sullivan found himself shaking things up yet again. He was tapped to work with the Department of Natural Resources in education and outreach on Sapelo Island. Located seven miles off the coast of Meridian, it is accessible only by boat or air. A ferry runs from the Sapelo Island Welcome Center multiple times a day, and a small community of residents have to utilize it as their only means of access to the mainland. Sullivan has made the trip quite a lot. “I was there for 25 years, so I spent a quarter of a century on the island. I just really found the history, ecology, and the legacy of the various people there extremely interesting,” he says. “That’s especially true of the Black community that’s been on Sapelo for 200 years.” Sullivan soaked up all he could during his years there and learned pretty much everything there is to know about the island. And that was something the University of Georgia Press also picked up on. The Press has commissioned books on similar barrier islands — St. Simons, Jekyll, and Cumberland. They approached Sullivan about writing the definitive history on Sapelo. “They were doing a series on the barrier islands. Stephen Doster did one on Cumberland and Jingle Davis books on St. Simons and Jekyll,” Sullivan says.

Sullivan breaks the periods down into segments of time, allowing hundreds of years and vast cultural shifts to be easily digested. What follows is just a small sampling of what he unearthed and published in his book.

The Native Americans and European Period Sapelo Island is estimated to have existed for at least 4,500 years. Archaeologists have found evidence of a thriving Native American culture dating from around 2,000 to 500 B.C. A large shell ring, excavated in the 1950s, is still visible on the island’s north end today. The Spanish were the first foreign power to come the island, constructing a mission called San Josef de Sapala, which lasted from 1600 to 1685. Sullivan says that Franciscan friars were assigned to the island from St. Augustine to minister and convert the local Guale Indians to Christianity. In fact, “Sapelo” was derived from a Native American word, which the Spanish interpreted as “Zapala.” “The mission period on the Georgia coast ended because of attacks by rival Native Americans and English colonists from South Carolina. Sapelo was later acquired by the English crown as part of the colony. There was a company of French Royalists who owned Sapelo briefly from 1789 to 1802,” he says. “They also owned Jekyll Island. Sapelo was then acquired by Thomas Spalding and some other planters in 1802.”

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The Antebellum Era

Thomas Spalding was a successful cotton and sugar cane planter, born in 1774 on St. Simons Island. His mother was the granddaughter of John McIntosh Mohr, leader of the Highland clan of Scots who first settled Darien in 1736. His father was one of the earliest planters to experiment with Sea Island cotton, growing his first crop in 1786 on St. Simons. According to The New Georgia Encyclopedia, Spalding was educated in Georgia, Florida, and New England. He was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1795 and married Sarah Leake, the daughter of a prominent cotton planter from Jekyll Island. He was one of three plantation owners on Sapelo, the others being Edward Swarbreck and John Montalet. By 1843, Spalding had acquired most of the island. He is remembered for a number of innovative farming techniques, as well as misgivings about slavery — even so, he still owned 350 human beings. The Spaldings’ mainland home was Ashantilly, built in 1820, part of which is still standing today.


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“Many of the Sapelo planters had homes on the mainland for business and social commitments. Spalding was very prominent in agriculture and politics. He was an advocate of crop diversity ... he used sugarcane, and cotton was the secondary crop. He was also the first planter to experiment with tabby as a building material,” Sullivan says. “He died in 1851.”

The Post Civil War Period When Thomas Spalding died, the seeds of strife had already been sewed across the country. In 1861, the animosity erupted in bullets and blood. When the smoke settled four years later, slavery was no longer the law of the land. Former slaves on Sapelo eventually established long lasting settlements, including Hog Hammock, Raccoon Bluff, Shell Hammock, Belle Marsh, and Lumber Landing. There, they engaged in agriculture, timbering, and oyster harvesting. Sullivan feels that the evolution of the Black community there was a story that needed to be told and went to great effort to do that in his book. “During the Civil War, the slaves moved inland due to the naval blockade. They became scattered but many of them made their way back to Sapelo, Ossabaw Island, and St. Simons Island after the war. It’s the only place they knew as home,” Sullivan says. “They developed a series of communities of freed peo-

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ple, many of whom developed their own agriculture. Some of these communities withered away or were consolidated into others. It’s a fascinating story and one I really wanted to tell in my book.” Also during this post-war period, the Spalding descendants sold most of their land, which was later consolidated by a Detroit-based automotive executive named Howard Coffin. He acquired all of Sapelo, save the Black communities, for a total of $150,000 (adjusted for inflation, that sum would be roughly $3.9 million today). Sullivan says that Coffin’s vision helped shape the future of coastal Georgia, as he acquired Sea Island 1926 and built the Cloister in 1928. Coastal Georgia Historical Society

In the above photo, Matilda Coffin, from left, Howard Coffin, First Lady Grace Coolidge, and President Calvin Coolidge are pictured with the Coolidge’s chow dog, Tiny Tim. The Coolidges visited Sapelo in December 1928, a few months after The Cloister opened.

“Howard Coffin was an extremely talented man. He was the head of the Hudson Motor Car Co. and really was to the 20th century what Thomas Spalding was to the 19th,” Sullivan says. “He has become a very familiar name around here. With Alfred Jones, he acquired Sea Island and supervised the building of the Cloister in 1928.” The Coffins rebuilt the Spalding mansion on Sapelo, which became a permanent home for the family. There, they hosted a number of friends and prominent people, including President Calvin Coolidge and his wife in 1928, and aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1929. But the good times didn’t last for the Coffins.

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“The crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed left (Howard Coffin) in dire financial straits. He had a choice ... he could sell Sea Island and the Cloister or he could sell Sapelo,” Sullivan says. He opted for the latter, selling the island to R.J. Reynolds Jr., heir to the tobacco fortune, from Winston-Salem, N.C.

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R.J. Reynolds Jr. and his family used the island as his personal sanctuary for 30 years and consolidated the island’s Black communities into one — Hog Hammock. “He bought Sapelo when he was 29 years old as a private retreat,” Sullivan says. The family left a lasting imprint in the form of the Reynolds’ Mansion, which still plays host to overnight guests. But Sullivan notes there’s another piece of the family’s legacy there as well. “One of the greatest things Reynolds did was provide facilities for the UGA Marine Research Laboratory, which began in 1953,” he says. It was an important piece of Sapelo’s history. In fact, Sullivan named the final chapter of his book “Scientific Sapelo” in recognition of the significant ecological research that has gone on at the Institute since 1954.

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“The findings and published papers of the scientists about the importance of the salt marsh ecosystem played a major role in the enactment of the Georgia Coastal Marshlands Protection Act in 1970 by the state’s general assembly — one of the most significant legislative acts in history as related to the coastal ecosystem.”

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“R.J. Reynolds died when he was 58 in 1964 and his widow, Annmarie Reynolds, wanted to preserve the integrity of the island’s scientific research as well as the integrity of the Black community there,” he says. “Several hundred Black people were still living on Sapelo when it was sold to State of Georgia in 1969, when it became a Wildlife Management Area. The Reynolds Foundation eventually sold the remaining part to NOAA with a state partnership.” Sullivan managed the state-federal initiative known as the Natural Estuarine Research Reserve for more than 20 years. That provided him with a truly unique understanding of the island’s ecosystem, which he thoroughly breaks down in his book. “A lot of this was pretty new stuff. I was actually working for the state when I started pulling the material together for the book. The whole project took about three years,” he says. “I devoted as much time to the science of the salt marshes as I did the history because that is so important.” • Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island by Buddy Sullivan, photographed by Benjamin Galland is available in local bookstores, including GJ Ford on St. Simons Island, as well as the Coastal Georgia Historical Society’s store at the lighthouse.

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Retired Circus Elephants

Adjourned to Greener Pastures

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year, reports concerning the state of living conditions within that enclosure surfaced. It was reported that, as a method to stop the elephants from stealing food from each other, they were each shackled at night. White Oak Conservation — just over the state line in Yulee, Florida — has truly stepped up for these retired elephants. Thirty Asian elephants (19 born in the United States) will live out the rest of their days chain-free in grassy meadows, woods, and wetlands. Currently, 12 of the 30 elephants have arrived and are adjusting to their new home. The rest will be delivered once the remaining enclosures are built. White Oak spent months building a 2,500-acre habitat that will feature plenty of space for the elephants to meander as they please, to forage, run, and play. Eleven waterholes have been placed throughout the


Coastal CPAs is at your service, to guide you through the waves massive enclosure, allowing the elephants to splash and bathe at will. Three barns have also been built, which will be easily accessible for the elephants and will also house high-tech veterinary equipment. Along with the physical surroundings provided, White Oak also focused on the social side of elephant life. These animals are quite social and family-oriented, which is why it is the philosophy of White Oak to accommodate natural behaviors and social bonds to the best of their ability. Family groups will remain intact, allowing mothers,

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FUN FACTS ABOUT ELEPHANTS “If anyone wants to know what elephants are like, they are like people only more so.” — Peter Corneille calves, and siblings to remain together, along with grandmothers if possible. The magnificent 12 are all females that have been socialized together for the past several months. There are two sets of full sisters and many half-sisters, with ages ranging from 8 to 38. “We are thrilled to give these elephants a place to wander and explore,” Mark and Kimbra Walter, owners of White Oak, shared via a news release. “We are working to protect wild animals in their native habitats. But for these elephants that can’t be released, we are pleased to give them a place where they can live comfortably for the rest of their lives.” While White Oak already features a staff of many, an expert team has been put in place to provide care for the elephants. Leading the team is Nick Newby, a manager of elephants since 2003. A member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Newby is also an instructor within the AZA’s Principles of Elephant Management program.

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• World Elephant Day is August 12. It’s a day to honor elephants, to bring awareness their critical threats, and to support their survival. • As one of the most emotionally aware mammals, they have their own unusual mourning behavior. Elephants have been observed burying their dead and examining the bones of other elephants with their trunks. • Elephants are exceptionally intelligent. With the largest brain of any land animal and three times the number of human neurons, these gentle giants display their amazing thinking abilities each day. • Rumor has it they are afraid of mice, but research shows it is bees that can scatter elephants and cause them to stampede. They also are not fans of ants.


Dedicated to helping all wild animals, White Oak consists of 17,000 acres, giving safety and health to a multitude of creatures in natural surroundings. Florida panthers, state-native grasshopper sparrows, and whopping cranes are a few of the endangered animals residing at White Oak Conservation. The animal sanctuary also shared some good news last December, announcing the birth of a black rhino calf. The black rhino baby, named Rocky, is one of the newest arrivals within a critically endangered species. Rocky weighed 70 pounds at his birth in August of 2020, and at his four-month checkup, he showed an impressive weight of 250 pounds.

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Inside

the

waves WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON | PHOTOS BY JAY BELLFLOWER AND SAM GHIOTO 78

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L

Like so many before him, Jay Bellflower was lured to the Georgia’s Coast by the siren’s song. The Milledgeville native owns and operates a pest control business in Eastland, but a little “vitamin sea” was always part of his life. “My wife and I have been married for 22 years, and 20 of those years, we’ve been coming to St. Simons. This is our place,” Bellflower says. This year, they decided to officially put down roots in the Isles, buying a place on the island while still living full-time in Eastland. As he discovered, embracing “island time” is truly about appreciating nature. And that came easily for him. Bellflower enjoyed time with his family outdoors, walking beneath the moss-laden live oaks and along the sandy shoreline. The ocean, in particular, offered an allure all its own. Over time, Bellflower found himself spending more and more time with the sea. The endless rolling waves offered a sense of peace and tranquility not found elsewhere. “I’ve always been fascinated with waves and watching people surf,” he says. The beauty and mystery of the unending ebb and flow set him on an unforeseen path — photography. Bellflower had never spent much time with a camera, but after stumbling onto an Instagram account by Hawaii-based photographer Clark Little, he was inspired. Little, who boasts more than two million followers on the social media platform, shares jaw-dropping images of the tropical paradise — from palm trees to marine life. But, he’s best known for capturing the bends and curves of waves. Clark’s work was so unique and beautiful that Bellflower wanted to try his hand at it. “I started seeing Clark Little’s stuff and it’s just phenomenal. Of course, there the water is crystal clear. But I thought, ‘I’m going to try that,’” he says. “So I slapped on one of my kids’ Go-Pros and went out jumping around in the waves. I probably took 500 pictures.”

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ST. SIMONS ISLAND • SEA ISLAND • JEKYLL ISLAND • BRUNSWICK Once he was back on dry land, Bellflower eagerly checked the images, hoping for a few show-stoppers. He was disappointed.

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“I had one that was kind of decent out of all of those,” he recalls with a laugh. “But that one image just blew my mind. I was absolutely addicted. I went and told my wife I was about to invest some money in some nice, waterproof camera gear.” Of course, securing the proper equipment was just the beginning. In order to really capture quality images, Bellflower had to practice — a lot. That meant coming home with few “winning” photos. “I thought when I got the equipment I could just go out there and get good stuff,” he says with a chuckle. “Of course, I did three or four four sessions and came back with nothing. The settings weren’t right, the lighting wasn’t right, or there were water spots. I was really just winging it, trying to figure it out on my own.” While he was a little downcast, he wasn’t defeated. Instead, Bellflower started to research other photographers and their techniques. “It was a little disheartening. I spent all of this money on a camera and it just ain’t working. But another guy I follow posted a video that shared all of his settings, so I started tinkering with those and started taking pictures. Then, I started getting some good images,” he says. It was the start of a passion that continues today. Over the last three years, Bellflower has refined his technique and developed quite a following on his own Instagram account (@jaybirdpix). But while he loves sharing his work, he also relishes the process and the quiet time he finds while sitting amongst the waves. “There are a lot of moving parts to it and I don’t get great shots every time. Sometimes the stars align and sometimes they don’t. But just sitting out there in the water ... I can easily spend two hours just snapping away. It doesn’t feel like two hours though. For me, I have a full-time job too, so this is really like an escape,” he says. Bellflower carefully curates the images he wants to share. He prefers minimal editing of the crests and barrels he captures. Aside from highlighting or reducing shadow, he doesn’t do much editing. “A lot of people can’t believe that it’s our water but it is ... they say ‘that’s a fake picture.’ But it’s

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not. We don’t have waves like in Hawaii, but we do have waves. Everything has to be in the right position, yourself included, in order to get the camera just right,” he says. “You get to see something that no one else sees though. You just can’t get that perspective from the shore.” Bellflower shares that viewpoint online and in local art shows. He’s also connected with clients who adorn their walls with his prints. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind — going from newbie to professional photographer in three short years — but he’s incredibly grateful for the opportunity. “I have a group of people who really support me. I have one elderly lady who came to my booth at the art show in the Village and said, ‘I look forward to seeing your images every day on Facebook.’ I have another couple who have five or six of them printed and framed in their home,” he says. “It makes you feel really good because you’re doing something that means something to people ... but also I’m just having a good time playing in the water.”

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Of course, Bellflower also appreciates using that time to reconnect to nature. And he’s thrilled to be able to share a side of the world that so few see. “I was talking with a guy who is a big surfer and he said, ‘I really appreciate your appreciation for the ocean.’ Not many people, other than surfers and a few others, really see that. Everything is different when you’re looking at the ocean from the shore,” he says. “But when you’re out there in a barrel and the sunlight hits the water just right ... it lights up and you think, ‘This is why it’s called the Golden Isles.’” Interior Design. Consultation. Project Management 912.655.3566 | mooredesignllc.com

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Paul Redfern: The Untold Story of an Aviation Pioneer

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n the summer of 1927, pioneer aviator Paul Redfern accepted a $25,000 challenge (equivalent to $340,000 today) to fly nonstop from the beach of Sea Island to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. If achieved, Redfern would become the first person to fly nonstop from North America to South America and he would easily break Charles Lindbergh’s solo long-distance flight record. The Golden Isles hoped to gain from the publicity.

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Local women marveled at how handsome Paul looked, and the summer heat was sweltering. Redfern climbed into the cockpit of his plane and declared,“God willing, I’m going on to Brazil.” Thousands of spectators crowded the beach cheering him onwards. The chocks on the wheels of the plane were removed, and after a false start, his plane Port of Brunswick was soon a distant spot in the Southern sky. Paul’s wife, Gertrude Redfern, was overcome by grief, and as his plane flew away she collapsed into the arms of Margaret Lewis. Mrs. Lewis was married to Eugene W. Lewis, a wealthy Detroit banker and vice president of the newly organized Sea Island Company. Gertrude and Paul had only been married for two years. But before departing, Paul consoled his wife and was confident he would be fine on the excursion. Besides, as a precaution he carried a parachute, a portable raft, flares, and if he needed to survive a landing in the jungle he had a gun, fishing tackle, mosquito nets, and food to last for two weeks. Redfern’s flight, while sponsored by the Brunswick Board of Trade, was primarily financed by Howard E. Coffin. Mr. Coffin earned a fortune as an engineer designing automobiles for the Hudson Motor Car Company, and with a portion of that wealth he purchased an island, eventually called Sea Island, and large tracts of real estate on the south end of St. Simons Island. Paul Redfern painted by Norm Siegel

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Howard Coffin most likely provided the funds to purchase a new plane for the trip, and Paul Redfern chose a 1927


model Stinson Detroiter SM-1 designed by aviator Eddie Stinson to use on the flight. Strut-braced wings made of wooden poles and ribs were wrapped in canvas and attached to the welded-steel fuselage and tail. The aircraft was capable of holding six passengers and included dual wheel controls with seating for a pilot and co-pilot. A 220 hp. Wright J-5 engine, like the one used on Lindbergh’s aircraft, powered Redfern’s plane. At the Stinson factory near Detroit, Michigan, the passenger seats were removed to add more room for gasoline tanks capable of holding 550 gallons of fuel. The aircraft was painted the colors of the Brazilian flag, yellow and green. The wings included the plane’s registration number NX773, and the phrase “Brunswick to Brazil” was stenciled on both sides of the body. The aircraft included an electric starter, a heated cabin, and wheel brakes. But, it did not include a radio. The city of Rio de Janeiro planned a large welcoming party that included in attendance the Brazilian president and Clara Bow, a famous silent movie star there to publicize her new film Wings. Redfern’s father, Dr. Frederick Redfern, Gertrude, and members of the flight committee waited anxiously over several days for news to arrive. It was eventually reported that a Norwegian freighter called the Christian Krohg spotted Redfern about 200 miles away from the coast of Venezuela and by air-dropped messages provided directions.

Gertrude Redfern in the 1920s

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A journalist reported, “Redfern circled the steamer and dropped a message asking directions to the nearest land. Sailors laid out a white marker on deck giving the flier his bearings and indicated by other markers the distance he had to go. After circling again, Redfern dipped his wings to show that he understood and flew off on the indicated course.” (New York Times, December 27, 1932) Paul made it safely to Venezuela and was soon spotted flying above the Orinoco River by a passenger steamboat. Lee R. Dennison, an American mining engineer working in Venezuela, observed Redfern’s yellow and green plane flying over the small town of Ciudad Bolivar. He noticed that the aircraft had a trail of smoke behind it. Several days later, Dennison delivered mining equipment to a town about an hour south of Ciudad Bolivar and while lunching met a local woman who thought Redfern’s plane was a green and yellow “devil bird.” Trayanoff, a surveyor from Bulgaria, witnessed Redfern’s plane trailing smoke as it flew over an island in the Caroni River, a tributary of the Orinoco River. This was the last reported sighting of Redfern’s Stinson Detroiter SM-1. Paul Redfern never arrived in Rio de Janeiro. Three days after the flight commencement ceremony on the beach of Sea Island, the Brunswick flight crew declared he must certainly be out of fuel and hoped optimistically for his safety. Paul’s uncle, Richard Redfern, immediately financed a search and rescue mission over the Orinoco River. The team, using two airplanes, started at the delta of the Orinoco River and combed a large stretch of jungle to the south. They discovered no trace of Paul. Gertrude remained hopeful that her husband might one day be found.

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For the next decade, Paul Redfern’s parents never gave up hope that he might still be living. Art Williams, a military pilot who taught Paul how to fly in the 1910s, worked as a commercial pilot in British Guiana (now called Guyana) and periodically flew over the Venezuelan jungles to look for wreckage of Paul’s airplane. Around 1932, rumors of a European-descent man living with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon jungles was reported from the country of Dutch Guiana (now called Suriname). The gossip that Paul Redfern was possibly still alive in the jungles fueled the formation of new search and rescue teams. But, Gertrude Redfern was weary and emotions were taking their toll. In 1936, her mother passed away and a year later her father died. It was around this time period when Gertrude gained employment with a Detroit corporation and in January of 1938 the courts legally declared Paul Redfern deceased. Dr. Redfern died in 1941 still hopeful his son Paul might still be alive. Blanche Redfern, Paul’s mother, passed away in 1963. It would take until the early 1950s to uncover the origins of the story about a European-descent man living with a tribe

Dr. Frederick Redfern

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in the Amazon jungles. An explorer named William La Varre eventually discovered a tribe of Ndyukas treating an albino Ndyuka like a deity. The Ndyukas were descendants of former enslaved Africans who escaped to the rainforest upon arrival in Suriname.

“God willing, I’m going on to Brazil.” - Paul Redfern

The story’s resolution eventually came from the sky. Jimmie Angel, an American pilot flying to Angel Falls in South America, asserted in the early 1950s that he flew over a wrecked green and yellow plane on several occasions. It could be found in the Venezuelan jungles north of Angel Falls. U.S. Diplomat Henry S. Villard documented Jimmie Angel’s report to the government and states, “He asserted that on three different occasions in 1934 and 1935 he had glimpsed the wreckage of Redfern’s Stinson where it had crashed in the treetops in a district known as Parapapoy, about 150 miles south by east of Ciudad Bolivar and some 20 miles east of the Caroni River. He said he had observed the glint of sunlight on metal; he noted that the plane had settled deep in the tropical growth, that the fabric had disintegrated and corrosion had set in to such an extent that little but the skeleton of a plane remained. Jimmy took it for granted…that Redfern was long dead.” — Henry S. Villard (American Aviation Historical Society Journal, Volume 16, Number 1, 1971)    Gertrude Redfern never remarried and in 1971 she retired from the Bendix Corporation in Michigan. In the 1960s, Gertrude corresponded with aircraft historian Dale Titler Jr. and reminisced, “Many articles have been written about the Redfern flight, and most of them have been more fiction than fact. But there’s no need to go into that now, for much water has gone

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Paul Redfern

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over the dam since Paul’s ill-fated flight and one cannot live in the past. My life remains interesting and challenging and with my many outside interests I am always wishing for more hours in the day.” — Gertrude Redfern (Wings of Mystery, Dale Titler) Gertrude Redfern died in 1981.

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The Paul Redfern tale is still intriguing after 94 years, and Lance Toland, a Sea Island resident and aviation professional, is in pre-production on a television documentary about Redfern’s life. Lance Toland, proprietor of a successful aviation insurance management firm, is a 2019 Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee, and like Redfern, as a young pilot he flew a Stinson airplane. Toland is an advocate for the preservation of aviation history, and he gained interest in the Paul Redfern story after learning about the Redfern plaque located on Sea Island. He has already recorded interviews with two brothers, Bill and Bob Brown, who witnessed the 1927 departure of Paul Redfern from Sea Island. Although they were children, the brothers’ memories are vivid and 97-year-old Bob Brown recalls that Redfern used a kitchen chair as the pilot seat. Bill Brown, who is

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Redfern and One of his Flying Partners are shown atop Redfern’s Curtis Jenny during a Barnstorming Event in Le~1 (Courtesy Paul Redfern Family

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102, fondly remembers that many of the local women were captivated by Paul and his leather aviation jacket. Lance Toland, executive producer for the GPB Television Special Golden Isles at War, reveals that the Redfern documentary will include stunning aerial views, historic photographs, 16mm films, and interviews from experts to tell the untold story of the aviation pioneer Paul Redfern. Today, a street in Rio de Janeiro is named for Paul Redfern and a shopping center on St. Simons Island is called Redfern Village. The region of Venezuela where Paul’s aircraft likely crashed is still considered unchartered territory and was dubbed in the 1930s the “Lost World” due to the lack of roads and electricity in the area. While the precise location of Redfern’s Stinson Detroiter S-M1 remains a mystery, it is clear that Paul Redfern became the first person to fly nonstop across the Caribbean Ocean. His departure in 1927 from the beach of Sea Island cemented Redfern as an aviation pioneer, and soon it appears that readers will have the opportunity to view the story of Paul Redfern as a television special.

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NOISEMAKERS

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For as strong a musical career as Dave Griffin has had, he considers himself a late bloomer. After all, he didn’t pick up a guitar until he was 17. But once he did, the Waycross native never put it down. Griffin’s love of music, however, began before he was a picker himself. “As far as knowing about music, that dates back many years before that. I remember listening intently to my daddy’s records from the early 50s ... Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins. That was my play time for my imagination,” he says. “I would lay down in front of the big stereo cabinet. I remember Marty Robbins, ‘El Paso,’ which was this cowboy epic. In my mind, I could see the guy riding his horse and all of it. It was like one big movie in my head.” As he got older, Griffin started adding some pop and rock music to his growing list of favorites. The Beach Boys and the Four Seasons were particuarly influential. But in 1964, he discovered one group that would leave a lasting impression on his life. “ ... The Beatles. That just rocked my world,” he says. “I first heard them in 1964 when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show. I’ve loved them ever since.” Like the imported Fab Four, Griffin has also always been a fan of different genres and styles. “I can appreciate all music … I try to find something to like in everything because you can cut yourself off from an entire genre, which you can learn from, which will make you a more rounded musician,” he says.

DAVE GRIFFIN WORDS BY LINDSEY ADKISON PHOTOS BY TAMARA GIBSON

Griffin’s openness likely stems from his vast cultural experiences as a child. As the one of three children in a military family, he moved around a great deal. In fact, he lived in Tripoli, Lebanon, when he was four. “I say my wading pool was the Mediterranean and my sandbox was the Sahara,” he says with a chuckle. Growing up stateside, he also was open to various instruments. He started with a snare drum in high school, but was a little overwhelmed when trying to tackle a set. “I really didn’t have the coordination to do it. But my son, Connor, is actually a drummer with the Pine Box Dwellers. He was born on Ringo’s birthday,” he says. After the drum, he decided to pick up the bass, but eventually settled on rhythm guitar so that singing became easier to do. While Griffin never considered himself a great singer, he was tapped to be up front when he started playing with bands. “I had to get over the shyness ... which I think all singers do,” he says. “But it was much easier to sing while playing rhythm guitar rather than bass.” Griffin traveled with a band from 19751978 but settled down to raise his two children, Megan, who owns Megan’s Boutique in Waycross, and Connor, who followed in his dad’s musical footsteps. Griffin has two grandchildren but still continues to play throughout the re-

gion. He’s also hosting a podcast titled “Something in the Water” with Caution Light Media that posts to YouTube. There, he talks music and another of his greatest passions — songwriting. “The idea was to basically get some of our songwriting buddies around the state of Georgia, north to south, and have real laid-back, informal interview about songwriting, then let them play their original songs,” Griffin says. It’s a subject he truly adores, and he says that writing one’s own songs is a reward unlike any other. “Just transforming a blank sheet of paper into something ... getting a concept and stringing words together — it seems simple, but it’s really not. You also have to try to do it with emotion. You’re creating a story within the rhyme and meter,” he says. While there’s certainly a challenge in taking an idea, putting it into verse then adding the music, Griffin feels that it’s truly a place to let one’s creativity run wild. “There are rules, and books have been written about writing songs and the structure of it. But at the end of the day, there’s really no rule book. And even if there were, I like to think you’d just want to throw the rule book out the window and write it from your heart,” he says. “It’s a pride that’s almost like birthing a baby ... and if you can play it for a crowd and someone starts singing along — that’s so rewarding. It always makes me realize how fortunate I am to be able to do this.” JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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Michele Jamieson, left, and Debbie Banks

Catherine Wood, from left, Sandy Metzer, Catherine Foley, and Melissa Stroud

Greer Anderson, left, and Amy Broderick

100 WOMEN WHO CARE The 100 Women Who Care met at the Davis Love Grill on St. Simons Island. The charity brings local women together who pledge $100 quarterly and and select a local organization to receive the collective amount. This meeting, the nonprofit chose Glynn Haven Park. For details, visit 100WomenWhoCareSSI.

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Catherine Wood, left, and Dana Watkins

Jane Segerberg, from left, Anna Stroud, Julie Hearons, and Barbara Wilsher

Mary Jo Prater, left, and Zaida Clay Harris

Maggie Dutton, left, and Ann Marie Burley

Emily Ellison, from left, Dona Johnson, and Pam McKinnon

Catina Tindall, from left, Missy Neu, and Siobhan Watkins

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COASTAL SEEN

Ashley Fassnacht, left, and Ashley Edenfield

Beth Keen, from left, Ashley Edenfield, and Tresena Bowe

Leah Sasser, from left, Jordan Sasser, baby Romi Sasser, and Maggie Hughes

FAITHFUL LOVE

Photo assistance by Christi Johnson Faithful Love, a nonprofit that helps the victims of sex trafficking, held a Mother’s Day fundraiser. Participants created bouquets for the occasion while learning about the organization. For more information on the mission, visit faithfullove.net.

Becky Tucker, from left, Junette Pearson, and Connie Worley

Briden Edenfield, from left, Lilly Fassnacht, Caroline Beach, and Murray Nellis

Catherine Beach, from left, Rebecca Beach, and Caroline Beach

Judi Riccio, from left, Katie Fitzgerald, Haleigh Welch, and Lillian Dowdy

Sarah Sanchez, left, and Fran Christiansen

Virginia Aberle, left, and Pamela Horan JU LY/AU GUS T 2021

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Juergen and Carol Christmann

Sally Crosswell, from left, Jane Thompson, Catherine Blackwell, and Ava Crosswell

ARTTRENDS GALLERY ArtTrends Gallery, a collaborative of area artists, hosted an opening for its Moving Forward Exhibition, which also celebrated its sixth anniversary. The show ran through the end of June. For information on upcoming exhibitions, visit arttrends.gallery.

Molly Wolfe, from left, Cheryl Keefer, and Debbie Holland

Trish Rugaber, left, and Debbie Holland

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Mark Valentine, from left, Lydia Thompson, and Rebecca Valentine

Ute Kleeman-Sportschuetz, left, and Martin Sportschuetz


COASTAL SEEN

Millie Wilcox, left, and Bess Thompson

John Tinker, from left, Ronda Rich, Paul White, and Jennifer Fussell

Liz De Mato, from left, Laura Jane Madray, and Mari Anne Palmatary

EUGENIA PRICE PROJECT Columnist and best-selling author Ronda Rich and her husband, television producer John Tinker, shared their plans to create a documentary and possibly a scripted show about Eugenia Price, who wrote several historical fiction works about St. Simons Island. Rich is searching for stories about Price’s life and invites anyone who has something to share to email her at ronda@rondarich.com.

John Tinker, from left, Ann Hoddnett, Ronda Rich, and Pat Hodnett Cooper

Maggie Dutton, left, and Hunter Baker

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Cindy and Russell Jacobs

Susan Myers, from left, Duane Harris, Carol Harris, and Chip Lewis

Bill and Merry Tipton

THE COASTAL SYMPHONY OF GEORGIA’S SYMPHONY SOCIETY Aloha Cabaret, hosted by the Coastal Symphony of Georgia’s Symphony Society, was held at the King and Prince’s Atlantic Court tent on St. Simons Island. The Hawaiian-themed event included Polynesian dancers, auctions, and a themed menu. The proceeds go toward funding the professional symphony, which performs multiple times a year.

Margie and Bud Dorsey

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James M. Muse Jr., MD Board Certified Urologist

Katie Gansereit, left, and Dottie Fielder


Davie Lowe, left, and Chris Triplett

Katie Fitzgerald, from left, Sue Amiano, and Bonnie Sacco

Margjorie Mathiew, left, and Dr. Paige Slack

Sibby Gruber, left, and Susie Salvotore

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Pictured are 39 of the 66 active members at Old City Hall in Brunswick. On the back row are Brian Weese, from left, Bill Tipton, Bruce Fendig, Beth Vanderbeck, Brad Brown, and Al McKinnon. On the fourth row are Roy Boyd, from left, Ken Trowbridge, Ron Maulden, Bill Gauthier, JR Wright, Logan Jones, Myrick Stubbs, and Jeff Holcombe. On the third row are Brady Turner, from left, Kip Turner, Terry Adkins, Dick Knight, Scott Spence, John Tuten, and Catina Tindall. On the second row are Charles Ezelle, Kim Campbell, Robbie Turner, Bill Smith, Jarret Graham, Trena Smith-Smyth, Rev. Jim McIlrath, Charles Taylor, and Woody Woodside. On the front row are Meredith Deal, from left, Cynthia Bauer, Albert Shelander, John Lang, Thomas Zachry, Mathew Hill, Ben Sterling Jr., and Richard Altman.

BRUNSWICK ROTARY CLUB The Brunswick Rotary Club recently celebrated its 100th anniversary as a club. The organization was formed in 1921 by a number of local businessmen. Today, the club boasts 66 active members — both male and female. The club meets at noon every Thursday at the Brunswick Country Club.

Catina Tindall, from left in back, Brain Weese, and Albert Shelander, seated

Howard Mann, left, and John Lang

Logan Jones, left, and Patrick Jones

Jim McIlrath, from left, Mathew Hill, and Ron Maulden

Robert Burr, left, and Jarret Graham

Terra Winslett, left, and Trina Smith-Smyth

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Get Vaccinated. Your First Step Back to the Life You Love. You’ve waited a long time to get back to the life you love. Whether you can’t wait to hug your loved ones, take a trip, see a show, or host a gathering with friends, brighter days may be closer than you think. Southeast Georgia Health System is offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Brunswick and St. Marys. To schedule an appointment, visit sghs.org/covid19-vaccine. © 2021 SGHS

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