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Fall / Winter 2019



OYSTER ECOLOGY More than just a delicacy in autumn gatherings, eastern oysters are a key species in our coastal marshes—providing essential ecosystem functions including erosion control, water filtration, and habitat creation.




Re-creating the work of cast-iron masters

Meet the artisans, and sisters, behind

from a previous era, Isaac Morton of

Miron Crosby—a luxury western boot

Smithey Ironware has set out to put the

brand inspired by their childhood on a

artistry of cast iron into the hands of

Texas cattle ranch.

home cooks once again.






The daughter of legendary Hank

The salt marsh is an integral part of life

Williams Jr., Holly Williams has forged

in the Lowcountry—with creatures great

her own path in country music and more.

and small calling the spartina grass

Yes, good bagels do exist outside of New

Learn how this singer-songwriter and

home. Learn how the foundation of our

York City. Learn the story behind Mama

entrepreneur maintains balance.

ecosystem and our culture rests on a

Kay and how she has transformed the

single species of grass.

breakfast experience with her one-of-a-


kind wood-fired bagel.

32 CRAFTING THE PERFECT S'MORE Like the sweet childhood memories


it evokes, the s'more is a celebration

Colors, numbers, weather, and more. . . .


of simplicity. Unchanged for nearly a

it all comes together in the form of life


century, this fireside staple has long been

lessons from a duck blind. All you've ever

bringing people together in the shared

wanted to know about duck hunting. And

bonds of nature.

then some.



70 MEMORIES OF MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH Cheers to 13 years! Take a look back at some favorite moments from our MTYM friends (bacon forest, anyone?), and you'll quickly discover what makes Music to Your Mouth so special. Hint: It's not just

59 48 TWO FOR A DIME Some things are better on their own, but there are undeniable combinations in the South that just go together. An unlikely story, discover how MoonPies and RC Colas became a staple of the Southern working man's lunch pail.


the food. LOCAL CHARACTER: BART CHANDLER The heritage of the sporting life at


Palmetto Bluff runs deep. Bart Chandler,


Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club Manager, shares how his knowledge of the outdoors

No one tailgates quite like the South.

and his passion for the sporting life

Follow our lead and take your fall tailgate

combine to encourage visitors to

to the next level with some of our favorite

discover the fun of the Shooting Club.

essentials from local Lowcountry shops.




The modern history of beer, at least

Cabin, RV, or tent: South Carolina has

in the Lowcountry, is a relatively new

an enormous array of opportunities

Most of us can relate to the universal

phenomenon. Since the first brewery

for camping. Get out and explore the

pleasure of a fun summer day at the beach.

opened its doors in 1993, more than 80

Lowcountry with our weekend guide to

Meet the artist that evokes vibrancy,

have followed suit. Join us as we taste-

three state parks, and you'll be sure to

emotion, and movement through her

test our way through some of our favorite

create some unforgettable memories in

simple yet charming seascapes.

Lowcountry breweries.

the great outdoors.





c r e at e d b y f or t ho s e w ho l o v e t h i s s p e c i a l l o w c ou n t r y i d y l l




Courtney Hampson


Kristen Constantineau Barry Kaufman




Kristin Barlowe

Amanda Davis

Courtney Hampson

Matt Paul Catalano

Heather Dumford

Justin Hardy

Daniel Eastwood

Katie Gates

Justin Jarrett

Justin Hardy

Anna Jones

Michael Hrizuk

Barry Kaufman


Rob Kaufman

Sarah Monroe

Amanda Davis

Keith Lanpher

Lydia Moore

Katherine Gobel

Bonjwing Lee

Michele Roldรกn-Shaw

Krisztian Lonyai

Michael Schottey

Theresa Losa

David Sewell

Charlotte Masters

Megan Shannahan

Rod Pasibe

Matthew Wallace

John Roberts Justin Smith






welcome PA L M E T T O B L U F F R E A L E S TAT E C O M PA N Y 8 0 0 - 5 0 2 - 74 0 5



Obtain the Property Report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy where prohibited by law. The complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from sponsor. File no. H-110005

Over 300 species of plants and animals rely on oysters for survival.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M








with Lydia Moore

Pop! Click! Snap! A din rings across the marsh from oysters

oyster populations create a trophic cascade of loss, depleting

closing their shells, jets of water springing from sealing

the abundance and diversity of species present throughout

halves, as water recedes from the intertidal zone.

the food chain.

Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), probably known

In addition to providing habitat, oysters themselves have

best for their central role in autumnal oyster roasts, are

specific habitat requirements. Ninety-five percent of eastern

a keystone species in our coastal marshes and provide

oysters live in the intertidal zone, the space within tidal

essential ecosystem functions including erosion control,

creeks covered during high tide and exposed during low

water fi ltration, and habitat creation.

tide. If oysters are too deep, they are unable to compete with more benthic species such as boring sponges. If oysters are

Oyster reefs are barriers that break down waves from

too shallow, they reduce the amount of time they can spend

hurricanes before they hit the mainland, retaining the

feeding. The intertidal zone provides important advantages

substrate of our shorelines. Foraging primarily on microscopic

for oysters, and the success of restored reefs depends on

phytoplankton, oysters are fi lter feeders and can fi lter up to

specific placement within this zone.

4 gallons of water per hour. They can even remove pollutants, including heavy metals such as mercury, providing a

The oyster life cycle is surprisingly complex. Spawning

cleaning service through their foraging activities.

begins in April when adults broadcast sperm and eggs into the water column, peaks during the summer, and

Over 300 species of plants and animals rely on oysters for

continues into October. During this period, 50 percent of

survival. Oyster reefs provide three-dimensional structures

the tissue within the oysters is comprised of gonads—the

for fi sh, crabs, shrimp, and other invertebrates on the

organs that produce eggs and sperm. Resulting larvae

otherwise fl at bottom of creeks and estuaries. Declines in

have poor locomotory skills and rely on tides for transport,

Written by: Lydia Moore / Photography by: Michael Hrizuk / Illustrated by: Amanda Davis

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


spending their fi rst two weeks floating with currents while

Females can produce more than 100 million eggs in a

developing into more complex larval stages. Around two

single year—with the waters along coastal South Carolina

weeks old, they form their fi nal larval stage and begin to

fi lled with oyster larvae during the summer months.

sink to the creek bottom. This fi nal stage is different from

Unfortunately, this same water lacks an abundance of

previous ones in that the larva has a “foot” that allows it

substrate to which larvae can attach. Overharvesting

to be somewhat mobile, crawling over the creek bottom in

and habitat loss—including the depletion of oyster shell

search of a sustainable place to permanently rest.

substrate—have contributed to significant declines in oyster populations. Less than 20 percent of historic oyster reefs

Oyster larvae need hard substrates to which they can attach,

currently exist along U.S. coastlines.

preferring the shells of other oysters—both alive and dead. Once the larva fi nds a substrate, it permanently cements

Fortunately, there is something we can all do to help. The

itself to that location and metamorphizes into a small

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources oversees

version of its adult form. It grows rapidly, becoming mature

the South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement

in two to three years. Eastern oysters are protandrous

(SCORE) program, which obtains oyster shells from

hermaphrodites, maturing fi rst as males and transitioning

citizens through shell drop-off centers, then quarantines

to females when they are older and larger.

and recycles them through the creation of new reefs.

To learn more about SCORE, visit score.dnr.sc.gov.

2 weeks









P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


Bluffton, SC 32 C A LHO U N ST.

see our newest




These BooTs


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Written by: Courtney Hampson / Photography by: Miron Crosby

I’ve stepped into a crisp, bright space where natural light emphasizes the aged brick and exposed beams. Succulents and a Southwestern rug provide a pop of color, but don’t detract from the real stars of the show. I’m greeted with a tequila-based cocktail dubbed “Ranch Water” and introduced to a business with Texas roots that traveled to New York City and found its way back home. If this is what you’re selling, I am buying.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


Miron Crosby founders and sisters Lizzie Means

Crosby is both a pasture on their family farm and

Rios of Mercedes is one of the few boot companies

Duplantis and Sarah Means have created this

a SoHo street whose artistic fl air informed the

still hand-lasting their boots. Lasting, a dying art,

very experience. Their “pie in the sky idea” that

sisters’ aesthetic. Taken together, they signify

is the process of pulling the leather over the foot

they’d been chewing on for years has become

mold—by hand—to ensure a perfectly shaped boot.

a rich reality. Together, they are paying homage to their childhood and their West Texas upbringing by creating premium-quality western boots with a high-fashion edge. Boots that will endure for generations. Both Sarah and Lizzie found a passion and

It’s been just two years, but Lizzie and Sarah


have built a name that is recognized across the country. And yes, they still get excited when they see someone walking by in a pair of Miron Crosby boots. “We call it seeing them in the wild,” Lizzie said. Recently, her husband, Seth, was sitting next

appreciation for boots at a young age. Reared


to someone on a plane and exclaimed, “That’s me;

as the fi fth generation on their family’s West


that’s the Seth Boot.” In fact, when they started the

Texas cattle ranch, the sisters grew up marking

brand, they began naming boots after people they

important life events with custom cowboy boots,

love and admire and have kept the tradition going

often of their own design. With an eight-year

ever since.

age gap between them, they were often going in different directions, but their boots and their roots

a focus on reimagining the classic American

So, what’s next, I must ask. Are boots the gateway to

kept them together.

boot silhouette by elevating it through intricate

additional products? Do they think about expansion?

stitching, detailed appliques, exotic leathers, and After college, both Lizzie and Sarah landed in New

personalization—including handwritten messages

York City; Lizzie worked in fi nance and Sarah in

sewn into the lining to create a one-of-a-kind

fashion. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you

pair. Playing off their strengths, “which are very

can’t take the Texas out of the girl, which means

different,” Sarah said, they’ve built a small but

their vast collections of boots went to New York

nimble team and say that while job titles exist,

too, and it was only a matter of time before they

they are a divide and conquer team. Everyone

both started getting comments and compliments.

has autonomy and that’s what makes Miron

“It was the breadth and width of comments that

Crosby work.

really resonated with us,” Lizzie said. And, it was over a glass of champagne (where all great ideas

With feedback from so many different people—

are born) that they realized there was a validity to

in New York City, the home of high fashion, and

that idea they had been tossing around.

Marfa, Texas, their hometown—the sisters realized they could change the perception of “cowboy

Their commitment to the idea that cowboy boots

boots.” There was a luxury, contemporary audience

don’t need to be kitschy and only worn to the

looking for this product. So, they focused on the

rodeo led to the 2017 launch of Miron Crosby.

whole silhouette of the boots and what would

The name itself borrows from the New York and

make them special. Enter their family ties. Each

Texas roots the sisters share. Miron is a play on

Miron Crosby boot is individually handcrafted in

their grandfather’s name, Marion Otis Means,

Texas by Rios of Mercedes, a 160-year-old cowboy

the ultimate gentleman and a cowman’s cowman.

boot manufacturer owned by the sisters’ cousins. One of a kind: Each Miron Crosby boot is handcrafted including intricate stitching, detailed appliques, exotic leathers, and personalization.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Miron Crosby founders Lizzie Means Duplantis and Sarah Means.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


Miron Crosby’s best-selling Samantha boot.


To find or design your own special boots, visit


JUANITO Juanito is named for the Means sisters’ Dad, a cattle rancher in West Texas. Dad knows cowboy boots. In fact, he doesn’t own a single pair of loafers or dress shoes—we mean it. Juanito is their take on a traditional Roper, with a toe that is a bit more refined and

“Gosh, yes,” Sarah said through a little laugh.

And then you’ll practice patience. Because even

sleek buffalo with a subtle fl eur de lis cording

“Two years ago, our goal was to be in Vogue.

in this time when everything is available at the

at the collar, designed to be extra handsome,

When that happened, we were like, ‘Okay, now

touch of a button, Miron Crosby boots are not.

like its namesake.

what.’” For now, success means staying in their

The process spans the country—volleying back

lane, growing smart, and remaining relevant.

and forth between New York and Texas until your

“We’ll set new goals every season, every year, but

bespoke boot is complete. It will be worth the four-

remain committed to a luxury product and stellar

to five-month wait, because when you receive that

customer service,” Sarah said.

box and reveal those boots for the fi rst time, you’ll

shapelier. Their version is in buttery chocolate

be able to say you are putting on a piece of history, So, back to that cool, crisp glass of Ranch Water.

an iconic symbol of Americana that endures, and

When you step into the Miron Crosby design

they were made just for you. †

studio in Dallas, Texas, the process is all about getting to know you. Growing up in a family of entertainers, where hospitality was paramount,

JENNY The Jenny boot is named after a close friend of the sisters. Boasting elegant weeping

Sarah and Lizzie wanted the studio to feel the


our upbringing.” You’ll be greeted and offered


a Ranch Water or Texas-crafted beer, and

1.5 oz. tequila

same as their homes. “It is an extension of

tulip stitching with lazy leaves and floating

then you’ll be blown away by the process.

starbursts, Jenny is a tribute to her feminine

The studio, just 490 square feet, feels like

and stylish namesake. They produce Jenny in

you’re stepping into their living room. You’ll

two colorways: hot pink with toast rough out

have a seat at the marble table, and the studio

vamps and powder blue with smooth sienna

manager will bring over a hand-carved walnut

Stir and serve to your customers while

box. Inside, you’ll fi nd leather samples, colors,

discussing their style and creative ideas.

vamps—something for everyone.

Lime juice Sparkling water

threads, fonts, all the inspiration you’ll need to begin crafting your custom-designed boot.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


“The Nationals” Silver Award • 432 LightHouse & Finalist Awards • Pinnacle Award Finalist & Merit Winner • Small Business of the Year • Numerous “Best Builder” awards


Written By: JustiN JaRRett

PHOTO: Kristin Barlowe

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


PHOTOS: Rod Pasibe

Given her family name and the fact that she never strayed far

That’s in part because Hank Jr. didn’t feel that same freedom to do it his

from Nashville for too long, one might expect Holly Williams

own way when he started touring in the late 1950s, just a few years after

always planned to pursue a career in country music.

his pioneering father passed away in 1953. Bocephus mostly stuck to covering his daddy’s songs in those early years and was met with blowback

But it was quite the opposite for the 38-year-old daughter

when he deviated from that expectation.

of Hank Williams Jr., whose daddy did his best to steer her in a different direction.

“I’ll never forget him telling me about the first time he plugged in an electric guitar when he was a teenager and half the crowd left, kind of like when Dylan played his

In fact, ol’ Bocephus was none too pleased when his little

first electric guitar,” Holly recalled. “People just wanted to hear what they think

girl told him she didn’t want to go to college and intended

they wanted to hear from him. They didn’t want to hear him sing his own songs.”

to follow in her famous daddy’s and granddaddy’s footsteps. Like her father, Holly was determined to forge her own path. She wrote her own “I never really had any expectation on me from family or friends, and I really

lyrics and played the piano and guitar, drawing on the influence of legendary

think it’s because we were not really around the music business at all growing

singer-songwriters such as Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, and John Prine. She

up,” Holly said. “My dad would always say, ‘I’m not Bocephus; I’m Daddy.’

booked show after show in smoky clubs and played the same cities repeatedly,

When we were with him, it was fi shing, hunting, (and) four-wheelers. We were

trying to build a following.

just on the farm. He didn’t grab guitars and play songs at the dinner table. He just wanted to keep music on the road and home life at home.”

In contrast to the crossover-country songs of her contemporaries, Holly’s sound is stripped-down country, her delicate voice soaring over acoustic


Despite his initial objection, Hank Jr. came around when he saw Holly’s talent.

guitar, subdued drums, and harmonic backing vocals.

“I started sending him a lot of lyrics and songs I had written,” she said, “and

“I think I could have gone to Music Row and gotten a record deal and put on

he became very supportive and let me do it in my own way.”

a cowboy hat and kind of gone that route, but I loved the songwriting part

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

of it so much. I loved the storytelling, and I really wanted to build my own fan base.” Those fans might be getting antsy. It’s been five years since Holly released her third full-length album, the critically acclaimed The Highway, and while she doesn’t regret taking a break from the studio and the road to raise her babies—ages 2, 3, and 4—she’s eager to revive her music career. She has already booked time with a producer next March and plans to carve out time in the coming months to get back to writing songs. Along with a musical revival, and raising children, she’s also overseeing the expansion of her White’s Mercantile stores, now totaling six locations coast to coast from Malibu to Charleston.

“I think I could have gone to Music Row and gotten A record deal . . . but I loved the


part of it so much."

But music is still a big part of her life, and she sometimes misses life on the road, especially when it took her to places like Palmetto Bluff for the 2014 and 2015 Music to Your Mouth festivals, which served as her formal introduction to the Lowcountry. “I’d read about Palmetto Bluff in great travel magazines and had a lot of friends in the South who had visited and told me all about it, so I was ecstatic when they reached out,” Holly recalled. “We got to come down and absolutely fell in love with it from the second we were in there. It reminds me of places my grandparents used to travel when they were younger. Just the beautiful trees and the homes and the food and culture, we just were absolutely thrilled to be there.” She strengthened her ties to the Lowcountry with the opening of a White’s Mercantile store in Charleston in March. A friend who lives in the Holy City alerted Holly to a prime space in a historic building on King Street, and the rest is history. “We saw the space and just fell in love with it. It’s right there in the heart of everything,” Holly said.

Filled with Holly's favorite things, White's Mercantile has everything from delicate jewelry to pancake mix to classic Americana home décor.

Like many before her, she has become smitten with Charleston and the rest of the Lowcountry.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


PHOTO: Bonjwing Lee

PHOTO: Rod Pasibe

“I fell in love with that city like everyone else does. I was full-on drinking the Kool-Aid,” she said. “We haven’t figured out how to move there quite yet, but I’m just so in love with that city and the area and surroundings.” Of course, leaving Nashville—the city that is so closely tied to her family name—is easier said than done. Holly has watched the popularity of the Music City blow up and seen country music culture become mainstream, both of which bring mixed emotions. “On one end, it’s frustrating as a local to now have traffic and all of these people everywhere, but on the other end, it’s incredible to see the rise of Nashville and how many people care about going to the Country Music Hall of Fame and visiting the monuments and exploring our city. That’s been really cool.” She laments the rise of corporate radio as she watches talented singersongwriters toil in relative anonymity because they don’t fit the mold. “I love so many of the artists out there, and they are my friends, but I do feel sad for people who might not be able to get in the door because one version of

A longtime fan of Charleston, Holly brought her country chic retail shop to King Street in March.

country is the version that people are listening to and that they have access to,” she said. “I wish more of the kind of grit of country could be exposed.”

PHOTO: Rod Pasibe FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


PHOTO: Rod Pasibe

As for herself, she’s trying to avoid becoming overexposed. She has plenty of help with the kids—she and her mother live a mile apart and she has a full-time nanny who travels with the family to free up Holly to oversee her retail operations. Building the White’s Mercantile brand has been her primary focus recently, especially with the addition of four new locations in early 2019, with two more set to open, one in Fairhope, Alabama, this fall and one in Rosemary Beach, Florida, next spring.

“I wanted to open up a store that was kind of a one stop shop for dog food and

Antique Chandeliers and lip balm and kitchen and wine items."

“It was kind of bizarre to grow that much at one time, but I’m so passionate about the brand and about kind of bringing back the Southern general store,” she says.

The irony, of course, is that Holly’s entrepreneurial spirit makes it difficult to stay in one place for too long. In addition to seven White’s stores, she also

The fi rst White’s opened in 2013 in a converted gas station in Nashville,

owns H. Audrey Boutique in Nashville and enjoys restoring historic homes,

inspired by the classic but eclectic style of Holly’s maternal grandparents,

not to mention playing a handful of shows per year, even during the downtime

June and Warren White.

in her music career.

“Everything they had in their home, it wasn’t Southern, it wasn’t modern, it

She likes to think of it as having a passion for each season.

wasn’t shabby chic, it was just timeless. It was antiques, mixed with heirlooms,


mixed with new things,” she says. “I wanted to open up a store that was kind of

“When I was only doing retail, it really made me miss performing and

a one-stop shop for dog food and antique chandeliers and lip balm and kitchen

touring and singing songs and meeting new people,” she says. “And on the

and wine items. Honestly, I opened it out of just being really busy in our little

other end, when it’s just music and it’s just me and I don’t have a big band

neighborhood and thinking we needed something where I could get a lot of

with me, it can get very isolating. It gets to be a very narcissistic world. . . .

my favorite things in one place.”

I love having a balance.”

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


We make house calls.

Michael McLeod, CFP ® Senior Wealth Advisor & Director of Financial Planning

Introducing Michael McLeod, CFP ®, an experienced investment advisor and financial planner who meets with our clients at Palmetto Bluff and throughout the Bluffton - Hilton Head area in the privacy and comfort of their home. Please contact Michael at 912.447.6876 or michael@tfginvest.com to start the conversation today.


Conserve. Plan. Grow.®





Founded in 1970

Isaac Morton of Smithey Ironware in Charleston turned a passion for the enduring charm and exquisite flavors of cast-iron cooking into a calling.




the Cast-Iron Skillet written By:

Michael Schottey

photography By:


FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


“I would collect, refurBish, and give away pans that were made 100 years ago. I wondered why modern pans weren’t made in a modern, polished style.”

— Isaac Morton

Hand-polishing each pan is an arduous process, but one that makes all the difference in the final product.

One of the most striking scenes in fi lm history is in The Wizard of Oz when

Isaac Morton of Smithey Ironware in Charleston has set out to put

Dorothy walks from the dreary gray of Kansas into the Technicolor beauty of

the artistry of cast iron into the hands of home cooks once again. His

Munchkinland. In 1939, it was not only a powerful visual, but a sea change of

pans are sold nationally and are a fixture at Music to Your Mouth.

how movies could—and should—be made. “I got started out of a passion for vintage cast iron,” Morton said. “I

In the art of cooking, color has the same dramatic effect.

would collect, refurbish, and give away pans that were made 100 years ago. I wondered why modern pans weren’t made in a modern, polished style.”

The humble beginnings of masters such as Jacques Pépin and Julia Child brought us “modern pop” food artists including Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, and Guy Fieri.

It took a lot of failure and learning for Morton to recreate the work of cast-iron masters from a previous era.

While we may fawn over how our favorite chef cuts an onion or dresses a plate, it is the color that has us infatuated. We know Jamie Oliver’s perfectly seared steak

“We spend a lot of time fi nishing and polishing the surface of our

tastes better than the gray (or black) lump we return from the grill. Veggies on our

pans,” Morton said. “So, they are really smooth, which makes for a pan

stoves don’t glisten, pop, or char like those in Ree Drummond’s pioneer kitchen.

that is easier to clean and as nonstick as naturally possible.”

What if they could?

The benefit of cooking with cast iron is the high, consistent heat. Morton mentioned searing steaks and frying burgers as great

Cast iron is a tool met by novice cooks like those seeing an easel and oil paints.

foods to try out, but he had a surprising entry for what might turn

Sure, one has a rough idea of what to do with the tools, but most aren’t comfortable

nonbelievers into devotees: mushrooms.

enough to hop in and start painting our own happy little trees.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

The high, consistent heat of a cast-iron pan lends a delicate sear and a rich flavor profile to any dish.

“It’s really important that mushrooms are cooked over high heat or on a surface that holds heat well,” Morton said. “Mushrooms hold a lot of moisture

The best thing one can do to take care

and release it while cooking.”

of a new skillet? Cook in it!

Much like the Wicked Witch, water is the death of well-cooked foods. It’s the

“Your fi rst few dishes,” Morton said, “cook ground beef and onions.

difference between frying or roasting something and essentially steaming it.

The combination of fat and sugars helps create a really nice base around the seasoning.”

What often keeps people from stepping into the magical world of cast iron are the many confusing dos and don’ts—especially when it comes

Morton’s favorite dish, however, is rack of lamb, which he believes is a

to maintenance.

dish near impossible to cook properly without cast iron. He seasons with rosemary, salt, and pepper before searing on the stovetop. Then, everything

“Far and away, the most common misconception,” Morton said, “is that you

goes into a 400-degree oven until it’s a nice medium-rare.

shouldn’t use soap with a cast-iron skillet, but a bit of soap after each use won’t cause any problems.”

He also spoke glowingly of a tradition his family has been creating on weekends: making Dutch babies. A hybrid between a pancake and a crepe,

It’s really as simple as washing the pan with care and then making sure its

this sweet breakfast is best served right out of a cast-iron skillet, just like a

fully dried and oiled, another point of contention.

good cornbread. Without a hot pan that holds its heat, the batter can’t get deliciously golden brown.

“People get bent out of shape,” Morton continued, “but any oil can be used. Just bring it near or above its smoke point and only use a small amount,

“Don’t get discouraged,” Morton said to aspiring cast-iron artists. “Cast

painting your pan with a really thin layer.”

iron is a marathon. Over time, it just gets better and better.”

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


northern harrier Circus hudsonius


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Written by:

Lydia moorE Photography by:

John robertS Michael hrizuK Illustrated by:

Amanda daviS


he autumn sun is beginning to set over the salt marsh, casting a golden glow on the sea of grass before me. I’m standing at the edge

of Theus Point, listening to the sounds of the marsh settling down for the night. Marsh hens fi nish their cackling and prepare to retire for the evening. The bubbly pop of oyster shells expelling water on the falling tide punctuates the quiet. I watch a northern harrier (endearingly named “marsh hawk”) glide over the vegetation while looking for an evening meal. The sulfurous smell of pluff mud permeates the air. I breathe the aroma in deeply and am reminded of the childhood I spent living alongside a saltwater marsh in Charleston.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


Spartina grass pokes up through the river’s waves, giving safe harbor to the sea life below.


Grass shrimp and fiddler crabs feast on the fallen stalks of spartina that collect on the tides.

The deep roots of spartina grass hold tight against the tides, serving as a buffer against storm surge.

he salt marsh is an integral part of life in the Lowcountry.

Spartina is the only plant along our coast tolerant of

Fingers of its serpentine channels reach into our culture

extreme conditions resulting from repeated inundations

and flood our history. It is the basis of much of our

of saltwater. The constant change in water level causes

economy, from the fi shery and shellfi sh industries to tourism.

multiple tremendous temperature fluctuations within a

Our coastal marshes provide a buffer from hurricanes and

single day. Spartina is halophytic, meaning it is a plant

absorb much of the storm surges associated with them.

adapted to environments rich in salt. The epidermal tissue

It is amazing to consider that the foundation on which this

of its leaves has special glands that excrete salt and allow

ecosystem and our culture rests is a single species of grass,

this grass to withstand constant exposure to saltwater.

spartina alterniora, or smooth cordgrass.

As a child, I used to run my fi ngers along the stalks so I could taste the marshy salt. These adaptations mean

Spartina has deep roots that anchor it into pluff mud, which,

spartina is extremely adept at dominating this habitat at

ironically, is composed of decayed spartina along with other

the almost complete exclusion of other plants, making our

organic matter. The constant process of decay in this plethoric

marshes a grassland in the water.

detritus is what causes the sulfuric rotten egg smell that is


either loved or hated by coastal inhabitants; there is rarely

The fall has always been my favorite time of year in the salt

an ambivalence on this odorous emission. These prolific

marsh. Flowering grass stalks produce seeds smaller than

roots mean spartina can withstand twice daily tidal changes

a grain of rice and then, spent and with a fulfi lled purpose,

without being washed away. Their presence decelerates the

begin to die off in preparation for winter. The dying leaf

flow of water, causing sediment to precipitate and accumulate

blades begin to change color in the late fall, becoming

over time, providing habitat for mussels and oysters.

beautifully golden before settling on light brown. Some of

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

these dead stalks break off and float as wrack in the tide, beginning their process of decay with the assistance of bacteria and algae. Come spring, new growth will push up

red drum

and detach the remaining dead stalks, and these too will turn into wrack and eventually decompose. The annual

Sciaenops ocellatus

cycle of growth and death makes the salt marsh one of the most energetically productive ecosystems in the world— second only to tropical rain forests. Decaying spartina is an important food source for many detritivores that eat rotting organic material, such as


Geukensia demissa

grass shrimp and fiddler crabs. As dead spartina grass gets broken down into smaller and smaller particles, it is

blue crab

fi ltered from the water by several bivalves and crustaceans, including oysters, mussels, and barnacles. Fiddler crabs

Callinectes sapidus

help mix particles that sink below the mud by bringing balls of sludge to the surface while excavating their burrows. The nutrient influx from spartina is what makes our water so murky—and so productive.


Farfantepenaeus aztecus Litopenaeus setiferus


Crassostrea virginica

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


The ora and fauna of our coastal waterways represent a rich tapestry of life, harmoniously woven together.

bottlenose dolphin

Tursiops truncatus


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

marsh periwinkle Littoraria irrorata

Creatures great and small call the spartina grass home, from red drum to the marsh periwinkle.

The abundance of nutrients combined with shelter from predators makes the salt marsh a crucial nursery. Over 75 percent of species in our commercial fi shery use its protection at some point during their life cycle, including shrimp, blue crabs, oysters, and red drum. Some species complete their entire life cycle within the confi nes of the salt marsh, while others are transient, beginning their ontogeny in the ocean then moving into inland creeks to spawn, breed, or grow. Our humble salt marsh is the beginning of the circle of life for our oceans. While I have been pondering this, the sun has completed its journey to the bottom of the sky, and I begin to head back to my truck. I hope to see an otter slinking through the marsh in search of crustaceans or an owl hunting for rodents scurrying within the grass. As I drive away, I study the moonlight gleaming off the unassuming stalks of the foundation of it all: the spartina grass. •

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


Recipient of 2018 LightHouse Awards: Best Architectural Home Design and Best Interior Design & Merchandising


American Institute of Architects 2018 Merit Award Winner


A nightly fireside tr adition | Written by: barry kaufman

| Photography by: michael hrizuk

There’s an appropriate sweetness to the humble origins

considered a time-tested staple of campouts. It’s one of

of the s’more. While Frank Epperson and Ruth Graves

those creations that sprung up organically, its recipe

Wakefield have been deified for birthing the Popsicle and

passed from campfi re to campfi re as people came together

the chocolate chip cookie, respectively, the name of the

in the shared bonds of nature.

culinary genius who fi rst sandwiched marshmallow and chocolate together between graham crackers has been

Like its humble origins, the s’more exults in a sort of

lost to history like smoke drifting from a campfi re.

celebration of simplicity. Try new fl avors, introduce gourmet ingredients, do what you want with it.

The closest we have is a recipe by Loretta Scott Crew in a 1927 guide for Girl Scouts called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. But even then, it was already

But you can’t beat the classics.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


THIS PAGE: Converted from an old Dutch delivery bike, the s’mores cart’s nightly fireside services are a crowd-pleasing collection of sweet treats.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

“you can’t beat the classics.”

“The average recipe works just fi ne. We can’t

(“It does get a little messy,” Sampson said.),

If you’re not the patient type, there is another way.

change it up that much,” said David Sampson,

each marshmallow is dusted with powdered sugar

Proving that even the unchanging s’more isn’t

executive pastry chef for Montage Palmetto

and cut by hand. However, they’ve found that what

immune to innovation, I’ve found that you can get

Bluff . He and his team are tasked with stocking

works on a plate doesn’t necessarily work over a

a quicker melt using convection rather than the

the resort’s iconic s’mores cart, a three-wheeled

fi re. Bourbon marshmallows tend to be a bit more

conventional heat found at the base of the fire. Look

Dutch delivery bike converted into a cornucopia

fl ammable than their nonalcoholic counterparts,

toward the top of the logs for a flame that’s swirling

of sugary treats. From its crocks and coolers,

after all. “We have to watch out. Some things

rapidly, a good sign of rising heat stoking flames at

you can craft your own spin on the s’more

caramelize well, and some things do not,”

the top of the woodpile, and get your marshmallow

with marshmallows from mint to caramel and

Sampson said.

a good 2 to 3 inches above that highest lick of the

chocolate plaques in both milk and dark. “We’ll

flame. When done right, the marshmallow won’t

put out a few elevated ingredients, but we always

And caramelization is key. The trick to a perfect

toast, but it will cling easier to the stick since the

have to keep the classic Jet-Puffed, Hershey’s,

marshmallow, experts will tell you, is to fi nd that

inside doesn’t entirely melt. The outside, however,

and Nabisco graham crackers. We do that for

sweet spot in a fi re’s life span when the smoke has

will render to an irresistible creamy goo.

the nostalgia.”

slowed to a wisp and the logs have charred down to burning embers an electric shade of orange.

Maybe this new method will catch on, and maybe it

While you won’t fi nd them on the s’mores cart,

Even the original Girl Scout recipe informs you to

won’t. I’m betting it won’t. After all, the recipe has

the Montage house-made marshmallows are

toast your marshmallows “over the coals to a crisp

remained unchanged for nearly a century. Elevate

renowned. Specialty fl avors from bourbon to

gooey state.” From there, it’s about patience.

its ingredients, introduce new methods, and all

peach can be found on the resort’s desserts,

you’re doing is creating minor variations. The

each meticulously crafted from sugar, gelatin,

“I like mine a nice golden brown. It takes time,”

s’more itself remains unchanged and universal,

salt, and vanilla. Whipped to a sublime puffi ness

Sampson said.

like the sweet childhood memories it evokes. •

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


jbanksdesign.com | 843.681.5122 | 35 N. Main Street, Hilton Head Island, SC

Written by: Megan Shannahan & Barry Kaufman / Photography by: Daniel Eastwood / Illustrated by: Katherine Gobel

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


PHOTO: Charlotte Masters


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


he smell of baked dough wafts around the rehabbed stark

the freshest ingredients in the wood-fi red oven, from locally

white gas station whose entrance is hardly visible due to

sourced produce to red oak straight off the Heritage family

the people who surround it. They’re all waiting for a treat

property. However, it’s not just about what Big Bon Pizza

from the North in the charming South, a mouthwatering

puts out, but also what they teach within. Kay prides herself

experience in the heart of a beautiful city where strangers

on coaching her team on both business and life skills.

become friends and bellies become full. Big Bon Bodega, Savannah’s newest bagel shop, boasts its unique menu and

Cue the Bodega. Mixing a little bit of insanity and a lot of

drink selection and has perfected the art of drawing a crowd

support, Kay created a home base for her team, a playground

day in and day out.

to train and learn. By recruiting her husband, three of her four children, and a dozen “work children,” she was able to

The shop’s owner, Kay Heritage, wholeheartedly believes

not only set up shop, but also continue to give her employees

in food as the universal love language. Born and raised in

the tools to one day start their own businesses. Kay owes the

South Korea, or as she calls it, “the other South,” she was

inspiration for the Bodega to her friend and Savannah local

taught that there are two important things in life: food and

Donna, who sent her a text joking that she should open a

family. Luckily for Savannah, she found them both here.

wood-fi red bagel shop. Kay ran with it. The leap from wood-

Before Big Bon was known for one iconic New York City

fi red pizza to wood-fi red bagels wasn’t the hard part. That

delicacy, it started with another, offering up fresh-baked

came from developing a bagel recipe that didn’t exist yet.

pizzas from a trailer that travels the Lowcountry. Anything that is good is not easy or cheap and doesn’t

< Kay Heritage Big Bon Pizza trailer started as a fun idea to fi ll a need that

happen overnight. After many trials, Kay and her team

Kay realized Savannah had and wound up being the most

created a bagel experience that can’t be found anywhere

effective means to collaborate with local businesses and the

else. Beginning with two types of flour and a splash of malt

community. The trailer has traveled thousands of miles and

powder, the dough is hand-formed and boiled in local honey

has picked up some loyal followers along the way. Mama

and molasses. The bagels are then placed on a large wooden

Kay’s famous pizza made a name for itself by using only

paddle and shuffled into a wood-fired oven burning red oak.

The 912 Bagel

The Donna Bagel

As it happens, bagels are one of my guilty

and American snacks, toothbrushes, Advil, and

pleasures, so the Bodega was at the top of my

ketchup make up just a small part of the stock. The

“Places to Try” list. My mom, who used to live

smell of their special dark roast Bodega blend of

in New York City, loves to brag about the fresh

coffee floats around the room, and the star of the

bagels she once had at her fi ngertips. Determined

show is within our grasp: the bagels.

to show her that good bagels exist outside of


2011 Bull Street, Savannah, GA 31401

The leap from woodfired pizza to wood-fired bagels wasn’t the hard part. That came from developing a bagel recipe that didn’t exist yet.

NYC, we loaded up my car and made the short

Baskets of toroid-shaped dough cover a wall and

drive to Savannah. Pulling up to the Bodega, you

two of them had our names on them. As I carried

are captivated by the white building surrounded

the “912” and “Donna” bagels back to our table,

by historical homes. The exterior displays two

I couldn’t take my eyes off them. The 912, whose

garage-style doors that offer visitors a glimpse

name comes from Savannah’s area code, was

inside before entering. The unique round edges of

anything but simple. The crispiness of the bagel’s

beneath, and watercress greens lend a delicate

the building exude an almost art deco feel with a

crust yielded a soft doughy inside with hints of

texture and lightness.

modern twist. Just like a cherry on top, the word

local honey sweetness. Thick slabs of bacon cut

“Bodega” outlined in red completes the look.

a savory line through a buttery-soft, fried egg

Both sandwiches were quickly devoured and left

layered with melted cheese. The only word to

my mom and me deciding there was no way to

The interior is nothing short of minimalist

describe the experience is fresh. Each ingredient

choose the better of the two. With full bellies

perfection. Vibrant green succulents hanging

was handpicked for its freshness, and it shows.

and smiling faces, we headed home, vowing to

from a light brown peg board wrap around the

The Donna bagel, whose name pays homage to

return soon.

perimeter. The famed wood-fi red oven sits in plain

the friend with the original Bodega idea, shows off

sight, with large pieces of red oak lying nearby so

the Bodega’s take on an “everything” bagel. Oats,

Kay and her team have not only created a blooming

customers can see the freshness that’s creating

sesame, and poppy seeds coat the outer crust on

business, but also an experience that makes even

their breakfast. Two open-air drink coolers

the top and bottom. The look of the bagel isn’t

my mom believe that good bagels exist outside of

stuffed with libations from near and far sit next

even the best part. In between, smoked deli-style

the five boroughs. Next time you’re in the mood

to a nook reserved for those “convenience store

turkey bursts with moisture, crispy bacon creates

for a bagel, head down Bull Street to meet Kay, and

necessities” that justify the Bodega name. Korean

a crunch that is countered by the soft avocado

try not to order the whole menu. •

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Celebrate the holiday season with exciting days and not-so-silent nights.

Make Montage Palmetto Bluff your luxurious home for the holidays. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re transforming our 20,000-acre preserve into a world of seasonal excitement. Enjoy our festive setting from Thanksgiving to New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. Revel in real, Lowcountry-style holiday adventures with boat parades on the lagoon, block parties, scavenger hunts, holiday fun runs, and classic Southern feasts. Carry the spirit of your holiday adventure into the complete comfort of our Wilson and Moreland Village Homes. With furnished screened-in porches, gas-lit fireplaces, and dining areas, you will have all the room you need to share lasting holiday cheer.

(855) 774-1286


B E V E R LY H I L L S | D E E R VA L L E Y | K A P A L U A B A Y | L A G U N A B E A C H | P A L M E T T O B L U F F L O S C A B O S | H E A L D S B U RG (O P E N I N G I N 2 0 2 0 ) | B I G S K Y (O P E N I N G I N 2 0 21)


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

W R I T T E N B Y : D AV I D S E W E L L P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y : K E I T H L A N P H E R & K R I S Z T I A N L O N YA I

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


For me, duck hunting is royalty at its fi nest—kings, queens, and princes taking to the sky, painting the air with their fi nery. The obsession started for me 40 years ago when my father suggested I draw a duck. Ducks were always around our house, not live ones, but an extensive collection of vintage decoys. The madness was solidified when I was 10 and whiffed on a bull pintail drake that showed up in a flooded corner of a cornfield during, of all things, a December dove hunt. He hung there deceptively, counter-rotating his wings, long tail extended, neck craned and looking at me. I still see him decades later. He haunts me. I hate him and love him at the same time. You see, I don’t really know that much about duck hunting. What I do know is that it’s simply awful. I also know that I’ll never give it up. If you are looking for insight or instruction, you might as well stop reading now; I can name a lot of folks who can help you with that. What I do know is this: I like the feel, and I like all the pretty colors, sounds, smells, weather, water, boats, guides, gear, blinds, pits, decoys, and dogs. I like the loose edges like in a Chet Reneson painting or in the words of the late, great Gene Hill “just being there.” Duck hunting to me is so much more than duck shooting. And duck shooting is not duck hunting; those who know, well, they know. Duck hunting is time, money, and effort. It’s hours, days, and weeks spent scouting and driving around “looking.” It’s trying to bribe the pilot of a small plane to fly even lower so my partner can coordinate locations on a map, and I can take pictures of a swamp (pre-Google Earth). It’s leaving the house at 3:00 a.m. to get to that swamp, sweating out every set of headlights or truck you see. It’s dragging a boat full of cork decoys a mile into said swamp. It’s the fleeting reward of decoying the king (more on him later) and the prince (back to the pintail) into that hole and making the shot. It’s losing a friend whom you later took into that swamp after swearing them to secrecy. It’s the endless piles of decoys and gear and the ongoing quest for the perfect duck gun. It’s opening and locking gates, dirt roads, causeways, dikes, water control structures, mud, cedar and pine branches, palm fronds, corn stalks, and phragmites. It’s farms, barns, sheds, tractors, four-wheel drive, and ATVs. It’s a 4:00 a.m. drive through a small town whose Christmas lights are burning brightly on the street lamps. It’s Rose Bay oysters and countless Bojangles' drive-throughs, convenience stores and gas stations, clogged pores from face paint, fever blisters from wind, sunburnt lips, and too little sleep. It’s road trips to Maryland, North Carolina, Mississippi, and wherever. It’s driving 13 hours and shooting nothing and driving 20 minutes and shooting a limit. It’s gamelands, WMAs, and private impoundments. I don’t ever want to know the ratio of time and money spent to ducks actually bagged; it's fi nancially irresponsible. It’s girlfriends who don’t understand but a wife who does. Duck hunting is indeed a fickle mistress. I own


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

L.L.Bean black cork duck decoy (the king himself) from my personal gunning rig, given to me by my wife when we were first engaged. Raw unpainted Eastern Shore of Maryland black duck decoy heads—one upright, one swimmer.

two sport coats and one suit but six duck jackets of varying description in which to court the fickle mistress. It’s the slam of the bolt or the shell-seating rack of automatic and pump duck guns, the reassuring chuckle of a feed call, the pleading cadence of a goose call, the rattle of lanyards and pockets heavy with red, green, and black shells, the smell of a fi red magnum shell, the stench of a swamp, salt marsh, your waders, or an excited wet dog. It’s a cold pit or frozen blind. It’s windy, cold, and wet. It’s snowing, not cold enough, not cloudy enough, not sunny enough, not windy enough. It’s copperheads and spiders in a blind, alligators in a swamp, mosquitoes in your ear, too much or not enough water, rain, fog, ice, and more. It’s the hope and promise of the right amount of rain in Canada and the northern plains where the genesis takes place every spring. It’s the fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and cold January. It’s a constant state of complaining intertwined with eternal optimism. This will be the day, the season, the year. . . . It’s stamps, permits, licenses, and lotteries. It’s leases, legalities, dividing fencerows, ditches, and hedgerows.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


It’s season openers and splits. It’s spirited debate over the morality and nuances of baiting. It’s making sure you have it all in order when you get checked. And you’d better, because you will get checked. It’s going on January 1 and passing the pretty girls in black dresses and coats carrying their heels and swaying a bit as they are coming home at 3:00 a.m. while you are leaving at 3:00 a.m. and your friend saying we are indeed the idiots. It’s life advice, lessons, downright gossip, and politically and socially incorrect conversations in a blind. It’s three generations of family sitting on a bench in a goose pit. It’s a glimpse into a different time and generation and those who have moved along, in this world and the next. It’s guides who have no fi lters and to whom you have to prove that you can shoot a duck or goose and not them, their decoys, or their dog. It’s quick mathematical equations of limit calculations and statements such as “get right,” “stay still,” “behind the blind,” “out front,” “shoot the cripple,” “what are you doing?” “do you have shells in your gun?” “did you drive 10 hours to come up here and miss?” and on, on, and on. It’s the dreadful and heartbreaking click of a shell not firing when the goose turns into the wind, drops his feet, and sets up 20 yards out on your side and you know you are right; he looks at you and you at him. It’s the guide smirking and laughing at you and calling you an unprintable name. It’s then and there deciding you need to buy yet another gun. It’s that same guide running across a field to chase down a winged and running cripple. It’s you giving that same rotund guide a fresh bottle of liquor every year. It’s dreading the season closing before it’s even over and yet wishing it would mercifully end so you could just quit going. It’s friends, relatives, sons, daughters, and wives in blinds. It’s being in one state when you thought you were in another. It’s the guide saying emphatically we need to leave now. It’s otters, deer, beavers, and redfish swimming in the decoys. It’s watching your son and his friends going through the same metamorphosis you did 30-some years ago and becoming more rabid about it than you once were. It’s sunrises, sunsets, and the eternal mystery of the full moon.

Regretting your choice of menu and perhaps refreshment the night before, regretting your choice of waders or clothing, regretting leaving your wife in bed, regretting you ever started duck hunting in the fi rst place, regretting your last shot, regretting your partner’s calling ability, regretting having to share a blind with someone who will shoot over you and not respect the code, regretting the last day of the season, regretting the fi rst day of the season, regretting your choice of knots as the canoe slides around on the roof racks. Then there are the birds, the true royalty of the avian world. The unified knots of teal, the jet-like roar of diving ducks over the decoys, the neck-craning, allseeing, and knowing gaze of a pintail or black duck circling before deciding to break off and disengage because you probably did something wrong or stupid or moved, the piercing scream of a wood duck in a beaver swamp, the chortle of


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Raw, unpainted Eastern Shore of Maryland black duck decoy heads. Vintage Bob Allen Ducks Unlimited shell bag, circa 1970s. Plume of mallard and pintail feathers in a brass shell casing from the early 1900s that belonged to my great-grandfather.

mallards, the cats-meow of swan, the air-ripping sound of wings over you

She said yes for some inexplicable reason, and here we are, 22 years and

two minutes before it’s legal, and the geese. There is no sound like the sound

seasons later, and now we have our own 19-year-old duckaholic.

of a wild goose in fl ight or thousands of them on the wing and the moving with purpose. It’s the thunk of a big goose hitting the dirt in a cornfield or

So, on that cliché-fi lled bitter December day, I killed the king, drove several

the splash of a folded duck. And there is the gauzy feather fall when you, the

hours in a windshield-warmed daze, and crowned my queen. I also left my

decoys, and the gun do their part and all connect. The floating sculpture of

gun leaning against the tire of my truck; intelligence has never been one of

good decoys. The magical combinations of letters and numbers that make

my stronger qualities. Hence the duck hunting nonsense.

up the legendary duck guns: A5, M12, M21, 870, 1100, Super 90, M2, and SBE 1, 2, and 3. And the grand payoff in the form of the sound of cast iron, olive

If you want advice on where to go and how to call, set decoys, train a dog, or

oil, and breasted duck. . . .

improve your wingshooting, I can offer no advice; I’m bad at all of them. If you want somebody to just go along, I can probably help you with that. I’ll get up,

And then there’s the part about the king and queen and all the pretty colors.

gear up, and meet you at the appointed time and place, and I’ll be on time.

Red, white, blue, and black. Not camoufl age. Red was the color of the spent magnum duck shell that I put my hoped-to-soon-be fi ancée’s engagement

The last time I duck hunted this past season, I tagged along with my son and his

ring in. I found that shell rattling around in the bed of my truck. It still

best friend. I had the opportunity to witness those young guys work a flock of

hangs on our Christmas tree every year. White was the underlying color

nervous birds that ultimately broke off. It was a cold, sunny bluebird day. Didn’t

of my mud-encased Chevrolet truck with a duck boat sticking out of the

fire a shot. But, I got to look at all the pretty colors as wings and plumage hovered,

back, double-parked in front of the jeweler’s. Black, the Eastern Black Duck

hesitated, and flashed by just barely out of range. We were duck hunting.

that, in my opinion, is the king of all ducks; their plumage has the subtle colorings and hues that exceed description (my deepest apologies to the King Eider and the Canvasback). He was resting comfortably in the bed of the truck with the spent shells and the duck boat. Blue was the color of her eyes. . . .

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9



7 Johnston Way, Suite 2A + Bluffton, SC 29910 + 843-815-2021 + info@krasc.com

A R O F O W T dIME Written by:


How the unlikely duo of RC Cola &

MoonPies became the staple of the Southern working manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lunch pail.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


in the south, there are a few things that just go together: tea and lemonade, Laurel and Hardy, peanuts and Coke, (Duke’s) mayonnaise and tomatoes, beans and cornbread, macaroni and cheese, Johnny and June, shrimp and grits, and dad-gum biscuits and gravy. Perhaps lesser known is having a MoonPie alongside an RC Cola. The inexorable bond between MoonPie and RC began sometime in the mid1930s—a time when America was saddled with post-Depression reconstruction and was, unknowingly, approaching a second world war. While MoonPie had been sold for a nickel for years, RC followed suit with the hope of differentiating itself from both Coca-Cola and Pepsi. That one choice may well be the only reason MoonPies and RCs ever became the enigma they grew into. While it proved to be a sound decision for both MoonPies and RC, the decision was made solely in an attempt to sell more sodas for the Columbus, Georgia, company at the time. That it gained a partner was strictly a study in economics/pricing strategy/ differentiation in a soda industry fierce with competition. For consumers at the time, frugality was paramount. Dimes needed to be stretched into dollars and frivolous spending was strictly avoided. For the working class, MoonPies and RCs became a deal—that they were both “Southern” products was a bonus. To be able to buy one of each for the same price as just a Coke or just a Pepsi was enough to transform the two individual products into something of a combo; RCs were bought with MoonPies and MoonPies with an RC. Two for the price of one. Intentional, but not conspired. As America shifted from reconstruction to manufacturing at the dawn of World War II, the MoonPie/RC combo saw enhanced sales as Southern factory workers traveled north for jobs and factory workers above the Mason-Dixon traveled south for similar reasons. To add to their appeal, MoonPies were mailed overseas to American soldiers for the first time. (This is still done today.) Eventually, buying an RC with a MoonPie became known as “the working man’s lunch,” a testament to its appeal among the blue-collar workforce and a nod to the humble beginnings of the MoonPie and the miners of rural Appalachia. Eventually (as many things from the working class seem to), the “working man’s lunch” infi ltrated country music. While Hank Sr. and Ernest Tubb sang sad songs about cheatin’ and whatnot, “Big Bill” Lister wailed about wanting a MoonPie and an RC Cola. Even though “Gimme an RC Cola and a MoonPie” never made it to number one, the song found fans across country music, further growing sales for both MoonPie and RC Cola and strengthening the appeal of the “working man’s lunch” across blue-collar workers nationwide.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

for the working class, MoonPies and RCS became a deal—that they were both “southern” products was a bonus.

Created by ad firm BBDO, RC Cola’s celebrity-driven marketing featured some of the biggest stars of the day.

While sales have tapered off for the beloved duo, millions of MoonPies

Modern companies look for ways to differentiate against their competitors

continue to be made every year. RC Cola was able to piggyback off the success

in a very intentional manner. Occasionally, strategic partnerships are set

and popularity it saw through the middle part of the century to become an

into motion when two products make sense to be sold alongside one another,

innovator in the soda market. RC produced the first 16-ounce soda, launched

carving out a more unique marketing opportunity than might otherwise be

the first caffeine-free option, and even created the first sugar-free soda, Diet

had for each individual product. “The working man’s lunch” was the product

Rite. RC is still made, though it seems to be a bit more obscure these days than

of circumstance and, I would argue, came at the benefit of an intentional effort

when “Big Bill” Lister was singing about it on country radio. If you look for it,

by the Chattanooga Bakery to market to a specific and focused demographic

you can find it.

from day one. Social and economic pressures and pricing contrast allowed the two distinctly different items to become bigger as a pair than they were

It’s an unlikely story in modern times, the tale of two companies that created

by themselves.

entirely different products finding their way together and becoming an example of the sum being “better” than the individual parts. What’s especially

I’d not thought much about MoonPies and only rarely came across an RC

unlikely is the timing of it all. MoonPie started in eastern Tennessee in the

until I walked past a small display of them, side by side, on a picnic table

late 1910s while the modern version of the RC didn’t find shelves until 1933.

near the front of an “old is new” general store in a small town in western

MoonPies had been sold to coal miners for nearly two decades before RC ever

North Carolina. Memories of my youth came bubbling up like a dropped

saw a shelf for the first time.

soda before I had time to contemplate them on my own. Almost immediately,

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


When it wasn’t dazzling consumers with A-listers, RC’s marketing spoke to its country roots with idyllic imagery of youthful Americana.

I was transported back to the driveway of my grandpa’s house, below his waving American fl ag and in front of a half-opened door that led to a dusty workshop where he piddled with a handful of carpentry projects in various stages of completion. His shiny silver Mercury sat with the windows rolled down just enough to let the howl of Bill Monroe creep from speakers pushed to their threshold. Where the windshield meets the dash sat a couple of MoonPies, steaming in the heat of midday sun, melting the three ingredients into one the way only a Southern summer has the power to do. My grandpa disappeared into the shop, still partly visible in the shadow of the doorway, and returned quickly with two blue-green glass bottles that began sweating immediately in the humidity of the Georgia summer air. Before Bill Monroe could fi nish singing about the color of the moon in Kentucky, we were both tearing into MoonPies warmed to the point where marshmallow isn’t a solid or a liquid and drinking RC Colas cold enough to burn the skin on the outside of your teeth. I can’t recall how my grandpa was able to keep his hands clean, but mine were always a combo of bottle sweat and some amalgam of MoonPie, milky liquid dripping from tiny hands. Some things are better on their own, I guess. But there are undeniable combinations down here that have power with a partner that compels far more than it ever could on its own. For me, MoonPies and RC Colas are very much a reflection of that. The power of those flavors affects my ability to recall memories almost to the point of reliving them. There’s emotion that’s present in them: temperature and sound, movement and location, and the powerful reminder of time with my grandfather. When I set out to write this article, I couldn’t shake the image I had about the folks who grew MoonPies and RCs into the phenomena of “the working man’s lunch.” All I could see was my grandpa. ê


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

PERSPECTIVES THAT TRANSFORM Contemporary art and innovative voices Visit scadmoa.org or call 912.525.7191 for information on current exhibitions, tours and membership. 601 TURNER BLVD. | SAVANNAH, GEORGIA | SCADMOA.ORG 53 FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9

Losa family members, including husband, Matt, Nana Grace, Hannah, Levi, Caleb, Jude, and Grace, are the perfect muses for Theresa Losa.

Publisher’s note: MY MEMORIES OF GROWING UP at the Jersey Shore run deep and through all of my senses. The smell of salty air paired with Coppertone and funnel cakes. The sound of sizzling sausages and the flashing lights of the rides after the sun sets on the Point Pleasant Boardwalk. The taste of Kohr’s soft-serve ice cream. The feeling of sunburned legs on our family Impala’s vinyl seats. To grow up at the Jersey Shore is special. We spend our summers outside. At the beach. In the grass. By the grill. When I first saw Theresa Losa’s art, I was instantly transported back to those carefree summer days of my childhood. I couldn’t shake the images, and I knew we needed to include her story—and share her work—in The Bluff. And while a trek to the Jersey Shore may not be in your future travel plans (but it should be!), I do know that many of our readers hail from the Northeast and likely share a similar fondness for “the shore.” Enjoy.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

t h e s i m p l e j oys of

T HE R E S A LOSA They may be simple blocks of color, but the minimalist scenery that infuses the works of this New Jersey artist on the rise evokes the blissful childhood memories we all share Written by: Michele Roldรกn-Shaw Photography by: Matt Paul Catalano and Theresa Losa

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9



right, irregular squares and geometric patterns of beach towels, umbrellas, and sunbathers form a happy clutter, relieved by fields of tranquil blues and whites. The colors, expressed in dramatic

blocky forms, evoke sea glass, with cool watery hues prevailing, but here and there a dash of amber, rose, watermelon, or yellow. Minimalist figures surf, swim, romp, lounge in lawn chairs, or wade in the waves with their little ones, the simple style reflecting a carefree vibe. The eye travels easily around this scene, at once busy and relaxed. Like the best works of Saul Blass or the bright, irreverent stylings of cartoon modern, this is a style that evokes vibrancy, emotion, and movement in the simplest way possible. This is the art of Theresa Losa: invoking the universal pleasure of a fun summer day at the beach.

T HE JO U R NE Y “I try to reflect happiness and joy,” said Losa, who lives and works on the

Losa left Nordstrom and returned to her craft, fi rst just for family and

Jersey Shore. “I have memories of being a kid at the beach, just running

friends, but eventually to a much larger audience as her appeal spread.

around and loving it; then as a teenager being there with my girlfriends

In a somewhat morbid way, it helped that she was launching a career of

and checking out the guys; and now as a mom holding my kid’s hand by

spreading happy memories in the aftermath of tragedy, when they were

the ocean. I try to offer glimpses of memories that everyone can relate

needed most.

to, and my figures are very gestural so they could be anyone.” “People were ready for a fresh start after Hurricane Sandy, and they The brilliance of her art rests on two pillars. The first is that singular

gravitated toward my work,” recalled Losa, whose fi rst collection of

memory of the beach, distilled to the essence that has fueled her

30+ pieces in her Beach People series sold out before the show even

endless return to the shore throughout her life. The other is a love of

opened. “Memories of joy have been the most common response.

her craft that goes back generations. Losa’s grandmother and great-

People say, ‘This reminds me of better days.’”

grandmother were both accomplished painters, so art has surrounded her throughout her life.

In the years that followed, Losa showed her work in coastal communities up and down the Atlantic Seaboard. Hers was a mostly

Teachers recognized her talent early on, spurring her to art classes at

regional following, until her art found a national showcase in the

local schools and community colleges. And while her studies introduced

third season of the Showtime series, The Affair. That led to her

her to all manner of mediums, she found her calling in painting, even if

work being picked up by Serena & Lily, whose coastal stylings mesh

she found her vocation in graphic design, working for Nordstrom.

perfectly with Losa’s work. These days between shows, commissions, and installations for Serena & Lily, Losa is working prodigiously. So


The corporate hours held some measure of security, but brought with

prodigiously, in fact, that she’s been able to leave behind the garden

them their own constraints, particularly as Losa and her husband, Matt,

shed her husband built, which has served as her open-air studio. As

began to grow their family. Their four children, now ranging in age from

she sat for this interview, Losa was also preparing to open her own

3–11, made the intractability of a nine-to-five simply unsustainable.

showroom in Bay Head, New Jersey.

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9



P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


T H E P R O CE S S Losa works mostly in acrylic on canvas, though her latest show in

When she’s not painting, Losa loves sharing that love of the beach,

Manasquan, New Jersey, features a new series on linen. Getting into

so instrumental in her work, with her husband and children. “We’re a

the zone surrounded by 10 to 30 paintings (she can never work on

tight family,” Losa said. “I hate leaving my children, so when we travel

just one), Losa often fi nds herself so absorbed in the process that

to my shows, we take them with us and make an adventure out of it.”

she forgets to eat or restart the music. She never makes preliminary sketches, and she doesn’t like to work from photos—her art just flows

Ultimately, it’s about sharing joy and proving how simple it can be.

from inspiration. In addition to the ever-popular beach scenes, Losa

The simple happiness she seeks in her own life is the same she tries to

has done Pool People, Ski People, a harvest series depicting farm life,

share with others via her art. They’re just colorful, blocky shapes and

and simple yet charming seascapes that bring her peace when she

simple caricatures of people living their bliss. But the emotions they

needs a break from the busy beaches.

convey take you back instantly to your own happy memories.

If you look closely, you’ll see the influence of the generations who came

“I think there’s a lot of sadness in the world. A lot of depression and

before her, as in her “white on white” still lifes. Painted in homage to her

people fighting over things that aren’t really that important,” she

great-grandmother, these works reflect a cleaner, classic New England

said. “But sometimes, it’s the simple joys, like sticking your feet in

lifestyle of a bygone era. Losa’s other influences include Cubist and

the water and breathing the salty air, that really make a difference.

modernist painters, and she credits her grandmother with bringing

If I can show that to one person, take them away from their busy

home the bright Mexican textiles and folk art that contributed to her

schedule and make them smile, then that’s a good mission and what

own folksy aesthetic.

I will continue to aim for.” à


FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9




After what felt like a longer-than-usual winter, the sun was shining at Palmetto Bluff, and I had to get outside. I loaded up and headed for 38 Laurel Oak Bay Road, one of my favorite spots at the Bluff. Among these 40 acres of hardwood bottom, the people are down-to-earth, and the place feels like it’s been there forever. Which makes sense—the heritage of sporting life at Palmetto Bluff runs deep. As I arrived, a youth archery clinic was underway. “That looks like fun,” I thought to myself. I hopped in a golf cart and headed out on the course to fi nd Bart Chandler, Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club manager. Raised on a farm in Arkansas, Bart fi rst came to South Carolina to attend Clemson University. He later transferred to Southeastern Illinois College, where he graduated with a degree in wildlife and shooting club management. Soon, he made his way back to South Carolina, where his knowledge of the outdoors and his passion for the sporting life combine to encourage even the most apprehensive shooter to start in on the fun. I sat down with Bart to learn more about him and life at the Shooting Club.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

What goes through your mind on your drive into Palmetto Bluff? How beautiful the drive is. When the sun rises through the Spanish moss, I just think, “How lucky are we?”

What about on your way home? I think the opposite and the thought of having to leave it all again until tomorrow. I reflect on the day and the fun of people learning how to shoot and picking up a new hobby.

What is your greatest accomplishment? I would have to say having a career that I genuinely enjoy. Every day, I get to be in the outdoors, shooting or hunting.

What got you interested in the sporting life? I was born in Arkansas, where my family was large row crop farmers,

Bart Chandler, Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club Manager

so I was outdoors all the time. Everyone in my family was a big

What word or phrase do you use the most?

outdoorsman on both my mother’s and father’s side. We took huge


trips every Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday to a hunting camp that almost everyone in my family was a member of. This is where

What makes you laugh?

my passion for hunting and shooting began. There were probably 30+

A good joke about me. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’ll live unhappy.

family members on every trip, so I grew up in the woods and outdoors hunting and shooting.

Where is your favorite spot at the Bluff? I’m not sure there’s only one.

When did your interest in clay shooting begin? After high school, I attended Clemson University, majoring in wildlife

What is your favorite animal?

biology. In the summers, I worked at a marina on the lake and also at

Waterfowl but specifically ducks. Well, it could be dogs. That’s a tough

Mill Creek Sporting Clays Club in Columbia, South Carolina, where I

question. Due to the career I chose, dogs were a big part of the daily

really got into clay shooting. After achieving my Level 1 NSCA shooting

activities, and I learned how to train dogs early and have been training

instructor certification, I shot competitively as a hobby and earned

dogs for over 20 years. I traveled the retriever circuit for five years across

“Master Class” level by shooting and placing in all the big shoots across

the Southeast, entering dogs in competitions. I currently own a black

the nation in about two years. Work duties soon took all of my free time,

Labrador and co-own five pointing dogs (three English pointers and two

and I stopped competing.

German shorthair pointers) that I try to hunt with as much as time allows.

What is your most marked characteristic?

What is your number one advice to new shooters?

I am very transparent in the way that I don’t know a stranger and I treat

Do not look at the gun. You have to look at the target or your vision will

everyone the same.

point you in the wrong direction.

What was the last book your read? I don’t know. It was in college when I had to read it.

At the end of our chat, we made our way back to the Shooting Club and there they were—the bows and targets sitting in a perfect line. I just had

If you could have one super power, what would it be? And how would you use it in your job?

to try it. Bart walked me through the stance, showed me how to pull the

I want to be able to read minds. In an instructional sense, being able

the arrow. I was ready to go.

bow back properly, and reminded me to look at the target, not the end of

to read minds would let me know what someone was thinking so that I could know exactly how to fi x it. With colleagues, reading minds would

“Well, your groupings are a little erratic, but you hit the bull’s-eye three times.”

allow me to know how they are feeling and how we can get the job done. This was fair feedback, and “erratic” was a nice way of putting it. But I left

What are you doing when you aren’t at Palmetto Bluff?

the Shooting Club energized and wanting to learn more. Which I suspect

I’m still in the outdoors—either fishing, hunting, golfing, or shooting.

is how everyone feels after an afternoon with Bart. ¥

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9



P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Charleston • 843-243-0790


Palmetto Bluff • 843-815-3266

Written by: Barry Kaufman / Photography by: Rob Kaufman

Pull up a barstool and draw a pint of the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s piniest IPAs, richest lagers, and most mouth-watering stouts.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


There are few beverages as revered as beer. Sure, there’s

bills changed South Carolina brewing forever. The first

something to be said for the mystique of a well-aged

was the Pint Bill, which allowed breweries to serve up

Scotch or the sophistication of fine wine, but beer exists

to three pints of beer per guest and paved the way for

in a category all its own. It’s the drink that brings us

brewery taprooms. Then came the Stone Law, designed in

together, setting a table at which blue-collar workers,

2014 to specifically lure California’s Stone Brewing Co.

trendy young hipsters, and captains of industry can all

to the Palmetto State. Stone missed out on its chance to

sit in fellowship.

call South Carolina home, but the bill’s provisions ended serving limits, igniting a boom in craft brewing.

It’s the nectar of friendship, with a history dating back to the ancient Sumerians who called it “the divine drink”

Before the Pint Law passed, there were eight breweries

and brewed it to honor their gods. Medieval monks quaffed

operating in South Carolina. Today, there are more than

ale while they laid the groundwork for the modern faith.

80, ranging from huge operations such as Greenville’s

For centuries, it was the only source of sanitary drinking

Thomas Creek and Mount Pleasant’s Westbrook Brewing

water, making life in the ancient world a nonstop party.

to smaller operations such as Salt Marsh Brewing, which is contained almost entirely within a small loft over Fat

The modern history of beer, at least in the Lowcountry,

Patties in Bluffton.

dates back to just 1993, when Charleston’s Palmetto


Brewing Company opened its doors. For nearly 20 years,

Here is just a sampling of the breweries you’ll find in our

it was the only game in town before a pair of back-to-back

neck of the woods.

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

One of the fi rst breweries to set up shop in the lower 843, River Dog Brewing Co. rose to fame on the strength of its fl agship IPA, a piney burst of goodness that has been refi ned and tweaked over time as head brewers came and went. Head brewer Amelia Keefe, currently the only female head brewer in the state, made

The Riverwalk Empire Pilsner might not

minor changes to the hops profi le of the IPA but made her mark with brilliant

get the love the IPA does, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a solid

limited-run brews, including a hibiscus hefeweizen and her Sourshifter series

refreshing pilsner with just enough snap.

of sour beers.

PHOTO: River Dog Brewing Co.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


Located off Buckwalter Parkway, Southern Barrel hit the scene in a big way, rolling cans out into grocery stores shortly after they opened. Their It’s always worth a drive to the beer garden

beer garden has quickly become Bluff ton’s hangout spot for the young

to see what wild concoctions they’ve rolled

professional set, lured by an ever-changing array of craft beers curated by

out, but a solid choice is the Bluff Lite, a crisp

head brewer Matt Tkaczuk. They’ve won awards for their Helles Lager and

American Lager whose tap handle artwork

their Frozen Barrel styles, but it’s the Damn Yankee IPA that has become

pays homage to Homer Simpson’s beer of choice, Duff.

ubiquitous on beer lists across the Lowcountry.

PHOTO: Hilton Head Brewing Company

The long and often tumultuous history of Hilton Head Brewing Company has seen it go from the island’s fi rst brewpub to a brewery in name only, ultimately to one of the area’s premier brewers. The road to get here was winding, but it has led the crew at Hilton Head Brewing Company to a huge

Lager was given a complete overhaul when

for thirsty islanders. Building on the strength of its Tropical Lager, head

Migliaccio took over, turning down the fruit

brewer Bob Migliaccio took his love of German beers and unleashed a list of

notes and creating the perfect beach beer.

varieties such as the dark and malty Fleck U and the inventive Break Series.


The first is still the best—the Tropical

northend facility whose taproom has become an unlikely gathering place

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

The arrival of Fat Patties into Old Town Bluff ton kicked off a wave of new development on the historic streets. But for beer fans, its true gift to the town was the opening of Salt Marsh Brewing Company in a tiny loft overlooking the main dining room. Considering the square footage they’re working

Okay, hear us out. We know that a banana-

with, Salt Marsh puts out a mind-boggling variety of beers from rich amber

forward beer is not going to be for everyone,

Aria’s Ale to smooth-sipping Slo-Country Session IPA. Supplementing the

but if you approach the Nana’s Puddin’ with

mainstays are experimental small-batch runs that change from day to day.

an open mind, it might just surprise you.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


It’s hard to stand out amid the frenzy of Charleston’s craft brewing scene. Edmund’s Oast does so thanks to a beautiful facility set amid the chic surroundings of King Street, which houses mad-scientist gear for producing If you’re not feeling brave enough to dive into the Plasma Gun or the Bucket of Flowers,

all manner of exotic beers. A sealed fermentation area allows brewing director Cameron Read to fine-tune his recipes, resulting in exquisite sours that taste

their signature Lagerbier is a time-tested

like nothing you’ve tried before. Find a spot at the bar if you can—the taproom

classic, mirroring the stripped-down German

is quickly becoming ground zero for Charleston’s young creative set—and

lagers that have endured for centuries.

you’ll fi nd names that reflect the brewery’s wild creativity. Full disclosure, we have not tried “Cult Leader’s Headdress,” but we really want to.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

PHOTOS: Service Brewing Co.

This handcrafted chalkboard, pieced together with reclaimed wood, encourages customers to leave notes about how they serve their community.

If you’ve been out to any of the events that dot the calendar at Palmetto Bluff , odds are you’ve already met the brains behind Service Brewing Co., Kevin Ryan and Meredith Sutton. If you haven’t, you’re missing out on a couple who have created the most exciting beers in Savannah. While you’ll fi nd some eye-opening fl avor combinations in the R&D Department taproom,

Available seasonally, the Gun Bunny

from the jalapeño lime lager to the coconut cream ale, the year-round

Belgian-style witbier has just enough notes

offerings are a study in approachable and highly crushable beer. In keeping

of coriander and citrus to satisfy

with Ryan’s status as a veteran, the signature beers boast names such as

without overpowering.

Ground Pounder IPA, Rally Point Pilsner, and Battlewagon Double IPA.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9



Stephen Scott Young

Butterfly Lace

40” x 60” Drybrush

Celebrating 50 Years of Fine Art In The Lowcountry.

The Red Piano Art Gallery 40 Calhoun Street • Suite 201 • Bluffton, SC 29910 843.842.4433 • redpianoartgallery.com

Written by: ANNA JONES / Photography by: BONJWING LEE

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


They say you’ll never forget your fi rst.

As I shook her hand in greeting, I was overcome by the notion that something was happening, and

Your fi rst MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH , that is.

it was something important. It was one of those fleeting moments when life shifts focus, like the

I remember my fi rst Music to Your Mouth like it

click of a new eyeglass lens that suddenly clarifies

was yesterday. I stood on the back porch of the

everything after the optometrist says, “Better

River House facing the May River, enjoying the

one or better two?” It was a sensation I wouldn’t

tickle of the salty breeze, whose chill made me fold

be able to explain until a few years later, but until

my arms across my chest, and surveyed the line

then, there was wine that needed sipping and

of tan marsh grass hugging the bluff . My family

appetizers that needed nibbling, so I made my way

and I had just checked in at the Inn (a motley,

over to the bar.

spirited crew of five, plus my boyfriend who was





P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

embarking on his fi rst family trip with us) and

Later that evening, at the block party on the

were ready to celebrate my mom’s birthday at

riverfront lawn, I dug into a plate of steaming,

Music to Your Mouth. As our bags were unpacked

juicy barbecue from chef Kenny Gilbert, a recent

and the impressive swag bags were ravaged, we

star on the TV show Top Chef, which I’d followed

poured ourselves a drink to fuel the stroll to the

religiously, and savored the glistening crimson

River House for cocktail hour. Our excitement

barbecue sauce. A few drinks in, my boyfriend and

was palpable.

I danced as the band played Wagon Wheel, our awkward movements swinging across the damp,

Up the brick stoop of the River House walked

dewy grass to the twangs of the song. A few drinks

Courtney Hampson, master and maker of Music

more and that boyfriend bought my mom the

to Your Mouth, who introduced herself to us.

band’s CD as her birthday gift, which we played at

full blast in our house later that night and danced

way at the back of the tent,” “Did you see the craft

Your Mouth so special to me was the place. A

until the wee hours of the morning in the kitchen.

beer table at the end of the fi rst wine section?”

Lowcountry landscape unlike any other, with its

“Have you tried the fried shrimp yet? Tastes so

trademark live oaks and fl ickering gas lanterns

good it’ll make you wanna smack ya mama!”

and brick sidewalks that stretched into the sunset,

It should come to no one’s surprise that we skipped the Hair of the Dog 5K the next morning,

we became fast friends, intertwined in a way I

but my sister did manage to nab us each a T-shirt

I managed to taste almost every bite offered—I did

as a souvenir. Once we fi nally stirred, we donned

not attempt to taste every sip offered, thankfully—

our fi nest casual fall attire and walked under the

but at the end of the day, I felt full, happy, and

The magnetism I felt toward Palmetto Bluff made

drapery of Spanish moss to the main event—the

utterly at home. Everything about Palmetto

sense later, as Courtney Hampson became my

Culinary Festival. We decided it best to divide and

Bluff made sense to me—the way the afternoon

boss and the Bluff my employer.

conquer, and fanned out like a deck of cards, we

sunlight dappled through the live oaks and cast

went our separate ways. My dad and I beelined for

playful shadows on the lawn; the way the salty

the Silver Oak, my mom to the table of Rombauer,

breeze blew just right next to the Chapel; the

my sister and brother-in-law straight to the food.

way the river relaxed you when you breathed it in

My boyfriend trailed behind, looking a little

deeply. Romanticism was made for this place, was

green at the gills. After sipping a glass of cab and

probably invented at this place, and I felt a tug to

tasting a poached quail egg topped with caviar, he

it that I had never felt before.

decided he was better suited for a bottle of water and a light beer. And so the day went—each of us

My fi rst Music to Your Mouth was a joyful reverie

tripping over ourselves to discover what new bite

that still to this day is one of my fondest memories

or sip or smell waited around the corner, meeting

with my family. I met new people, listened to

every so often to share our tips for the best ones.

new music, tasted new fl avors—and was truly

“Don’t forget to try the shrimp and grits all the

blown away by it all. But what made Music to

couldn’t explain.

And that boyfriend? He later became my husband.

#MTYM @musictoyourmouth

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favorite moments “Some of my favorite memories revolve around the planning sessions. For me, and for my part of Music to Your Mouth, I think that’s where the magic happens. Getting around that conference table and word vomiting a bunch of ideas and all of a sudden something would stick—and it didn’t matter how many stupid ideas it took us to get to that good one because it was such a good one. Like when we came up with the Kiss the Pig event, which included an ice luge in the sculpture of a pig. Those were my favorite times.” — BRANDON CARTER

“A fond memory I will never forget was early on in my Music to Your Mouth photographing days: chefs were throwing these house parties after they were done with their events. There was this infamous breakfast party every Sunday where a bunch of chefs would get together and have breakfast and probably a few Bloody Marys and talk about the weekend, and after one particularly wild Saturday oyster roast, we gathered together at the house for the breakfast party and Emily McDaniel, Rob McDaniel’s wife, walks in and


Q. How many years have you participated in Music to Your Mouth?

A. This will make the fourth year we have been blessed to participate in Music to Your Mouth. Wow, that feels great to say. Q. What’s your favorite MTYM and why?

A. Last year, Music to Your Mouth #12. Not only does the festival do a great job at staying fresh and new, but also keeping the traditions of what truly makes the event magical. Last year, I was lucky enough to cook for the Out Here in the Field lunch, where we cooked for

lets out this really long, “Y’alllllllllllll!” as a

24 people on the edge of the marsh. It was one of the best events I

greeting. That was so funny to me because it was

have ever cooked for.

so articulate and meant so many things, and everyone knew what she meant. I will never forget

Q. What are some of your favorite MTYM moments and why?

that—the porch door slamming, a really long

A. Blues Traveler, John Rzeznik, Chef Ray and the Palmetto Bluff team

“Y’alllllllllllll!” and then the party started again.”

cooking on the final night! Oh yeah, did I mention Rodney Scott’s BBQ?!

— BONJWING LEE Q. What are some of the most memorable dishes you’ve “The first year that I attended I was so nervous. I had never been asked to participate in an event with so many chefs that I looked up to. My wife, Emily, was in the car with me, and as

tasted at MTYM?

A. . . . did I mention Rodney Scott’s BBQ? Also, anything David Bancroft serves. I do remember a hamburger baked into a mini burger bun from David Carrier that was incredible too.

we rolled through the gates of Palmetto Bluff, I told her how nervous I was, but she told me everything was going to be fine, so I believed

Q. What are some of the most memorable dishes you’ve made at MTYM?

her. I stopped at the next stop sign I came to and

A. I was fond of the slow-cooked beef cheek that I made at last year’s

then proceeded to go and almost hit Preston

Out Here in the Field lunch. I also did a play on Bojangles’ Bo-berry

Van Winkle in an Audi driving experience

biscuits a couple of years ago that the crowd loved.

car. I don’t think Preston noticed, and we have become friends over the years, but I have never told that story. I was nervous until I served my last plate in the tasting tent on Saturday.” — ROB McDANIEL


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Q. What makes MTYM so special?

A. It’s a great size; it’s laid-back, fun, and perfect. The chefs are always incredible, and the Palmetto Bluff staff is always the defi nition of hospitality. It is the most special food event I have ever been a part of.

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Q. How many years have you participated in Music to Your Mouth?

A. A lot! At least seven, I think. Q. And which one was your favorite?

A. To be honest, every year is a lot of fun. Every year is just as much fun as the year before; the people that plan and execute the event do a really good job. One of the main reasons I love going to Music to Your Mouth so much is because we’re made to feel like a guest and not part of the talent. It’s just as much fun for us to be there and hang out as it is for people attending, which is rare and not like many other food festivals I’ve been a part of. It’s sort of like Chef’s Camp—there are so many of us there that are friends. Of course, we are there to do some work, but the way the event is set up you are encouraged to be as prepared as possible when you arrive, so once you are at Palmetto Bluff , you’re super relaxed. Q. What are some of the most memorable dishes you’ve tasted at MTYM?

A. Last year, my fi rst bite of food was a rib that Kenny Gilbert served, and it was amazing and set the tone for the weekend. I believe it was two years ago when Ashley Christensen served a turnip velouté with “ There’s always amazing people there to hang out with, and almost every year that I’ve been there’s always a great get-together of chefs and we end up cooking food and hanging out and it’s just a lot of fun. And by the way, I was not the one that spilled bleach on the furniture, that was someone else. ” — ROB MCDANIEL

freshly shucked oysters that was mind-blowing, but I’ve never had anything Ashley has made that wasn’t. Steven Devereaux Greene also made a very memorable chicken congee with ginger and scallion that I often think about. Q. What are some of the most memorable dishes you’ve made at MTYM?

A. Last year, I wanted to see if I could get folks out of their comfort zones, so I served a toasted sous meat sandwich with pool hall slaw. Two years ago, I did braised oxtails, Carolina Gold rice, and fermented pepper relish. The weather was nice and cool, which was

perfect for a slow-braised dish. I believe it was three years ago when I made smoked brisket sausage with celery salad—again, the weather was perfect for the dish, warm and sunny, the perfect day for grilling sausages and enjoying a few cold beers. Q. What do you think makes MTYM so special?

A. It’s the place for sure. I live and work in a place that is special in the same way, and if it weren’t for the setting, my restaurant wouldn’t be as special. It’s kind of like a transplant for where I’m at professionally, except in Palmetto Bluff . Along the same lines, the people who plan and put on the event make it special too. Jeremy, Courtney . . . all of those people have cared so much about that event that it’s part of their soul. They do everything they can to make sure every detail is taken care of and that it’s fun for everyone involved. I’ve done events that are really stressful, and I’m at a point now where if I’m going to be stressed out over an event, I might as well be at my own restaurant! Music to Your Mouth isn’t like that—it’s fun and relaxed and just a great time. It’s not a short drive to come to Palmetto Bluff from Alabama, but every year on the way back on Sunday, I’m always so glad I did it.


Q. How many years of Music to Your Mouth have you participated in?

A. I’ve attended Music to Your Mouth since 2011 or 2012, so this year will be my ninth year, I think. The fi rst time I attended I was a participant, and every year since, I’ve photographed the event. Q. Which MTYM was your favorite?

A. That’s a hard question, but I’d have to say that the year with the culinary salons stands out to me because that one highlighted what I love about the event, which is that people get to learn. But it made

my job so much harder because I had to run around and photograph 20 different events! Q. What are some of your best memories from MTYM?

A. Honestly, my favorite part of the entire weekend is our Friday morning CrossFit session, which is something that very few people know about. On the Friday of every Music to Your Mouth, a small band of crazy people who put on the event wake up and punish themselves with an aggressive CrossFit workout before the whole storm of Music to Your Mouth starts. It’s a great team-building moment, and no one knows that we do it. And that’s another thing that is so special about Music to Your Mouth—the people who create and put on the event. Guests who come eat and drink at the event have no idea how hard the people in the background are working, and that’s exactly the way it should be. It’s an extraordinary testament to the type of people who put on this event, and that’s why every year I swear I’m never doing that CrossFit workout ever again, but I always show up. Generally speaking, some of my favorite moments of Music to Your Mouth have been when the weather is perfect—it might be sunny and warm or sunny and chilly and you’re bundled up and have something hot to drink, and there’s a slightly smoky haze from someone barbecuing something and you just have one of those moments where you think, “This is awesome.” Q. What’s it like to see MTYM through a camera lens?

A. For most of my life, I see the world through the frame of a lens. Most people have the benefit of having a peripheral view, but I don’t get a 180-degree view, which makes me hyperaware of what’s around me and constantly having to choose what is more important to capture. I’m hyperaware of lighting, dimension, elevation, and more, and at Music to Your Mouth, it’s a very rich environment to capture all of these visually. At most events, there is a proscenium, which is the metaphoric wall that separates the audience from the stage—whatever happens on stage is seemingly separated from the audience by this fourth wall, or proscenium, and that’s the same for most events too. You’re not supposed to see the levers and the actors behind the scenes that maintain this unspoken magical wall that prevents you from ruining the story for yourself. What is so great about Music to Your Mouth is there is no fourth wall. Of course, there are the worker bees you don’t see, but the entire event is a 360-degree experience for me. I can photograph so many angles—up in the treehouse, inside the big tent, over the river. . . . Every angle of the event is beautiful, because they know the guests want to inhabit it all.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

brandon carter EXECUTIVE CHEF, FARM

Q. How many times have you participated in Music to Your Mouth?

A. I think I’ve participated in every single one since 2011 except one, and that was of course the worst year for sure. You can tell Courtney I said that. Q. Which one was your favorite year?

A. The fi rst year was really the most impactful for me because I didn’t know what I was getting into. I was still working for Palmetto Bluff at the time, as the chef de cuisine at the River House restaurant, and I think that we had just lost our executive chef. I was told that I needed to show up to all of these meetings and plan this big event, which I thought was cool, but I felt like I was running through fi re. When the time fi nally came for the event to start, I was very nervous, and everyone could tell. I got to meet chefs who I had only read about in magazines, so I was starstruck in that moment. It was, and still is, a who’s who in the culinary world of the Southeast. Q. What are some of the most memorable dishes of MTYM?

A. There have been so many memorable dishes from different chefs over the years, but here are a few of my favorites: 1.

The parsnip and pear soup from Scott Crawford. It was year two of Music to Your Mouth, and I remember my wife, Jessica, was there. I came to check on her during the Culinary Festival and she said, “I just had this soup and I don’t know what it was, but it might be the best thing I’ve ever had in my life.” I thought she was being dramatic, but then I tried it and thought, “Son of a bitch, that is good!” I later found out that he’s a culinary genius, so that made sense.


Almost anything from David Carrier. I hate hard-boiled eggs— something must’ve happened to me as a kid that made me hate them—but they actually make my stomach turn. One year, David made this deviled shrimp and grits—he halved a hardboiled egg, scooped out the yolk, and then fi lled it with grits with a poached shrimp on top. He made me try one and I was fearing for my life, but let me tell you, it was delicious.

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The chestnut ravioli from Jeremiah Bacon. One year he made this delicate chestnut ravioli and it was incredible—that was also something that Jessica tried fi rst and then made me taste because it was so delicious.

Q. What is your favorite dish that you made at MTYM?

A. We made so many dishes as a team when I was at Palmetto Bluff that it’s hard to recall just one, so I’ll give you two from my time at FARM. The fi rst one was last year; I made grilled mushrooms with shaved truffles on top. I actually carried around a truffle in my pocket and shaved it on almost every dish throughout the day because it was just so good. The year before, I made a grilled bologna steamed bun, which was pretty good, too. We made our own bologna, grilled it over hardwood, and then made a homemade steamed bun. The bologna was layered in the bun with chow chow, and it was really delicious and different. Q. What do you think makes MTYM so special?

A. It’s a rare opportunity for the many personalities in the food and beverage industry to come together and do what they do best—cook amazing food. We always abided by the “class over mass” mantra when planning the event and were intentional on the ratio of chefs to guests to ensure lines wouldn’t be long and guests and chefs could interact naturally.

“ For me, personally, Music to Your Mouth was and still is an opportunity to learn and grow. The exposure to that many people who are so good at what they do is humbling, and it’s also motivating. My takeaways from the event are always, ‘How can I be better?’ and ‘How can I perform at the same level as these super talented people?’ And I love the constant challenge. ” — BRANDON CARTER


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

“ Of course, you can’t beat the Bacon Forest—it’s bacon dipped in chocolate hanging from trees, so that is super fun. I always love the Culinary Festival on Saturdays. All the chefs make their best bite, and I manage to try a few— then go back to the Bacon Forest before we start playing again, just because. ”

jim algar



Q. How many years of Music to Your Mouth have you participated in?

A. I’ve played at eight or possibly nine Music to Your Mouth events over the years, first with The Bushels and then with my new band, Deep Drawl. Q. Which one was your favorite?

A. It’s too hard to pick a favorite, but some of my favorite moments were at the fi rst Music to Your Mouth I went to, because we played inside the big tent on Saturday in between cooking demonstrations. It was so cool to play beside Tyler Florence and Gale Simmons. Q. What are some of your best memories from MTYM?

A. Last year, Deep Drawl played in a private home for one of the smaller private events. The residence was beautiful and had this amazing open-air space where we played outside, and the acoustics were perfect. It was very intimate. Q. Favorite dish from MTYM?

A. One year, a chef made squash blossoms with cheese in them—they were incredible. I’ve learned not to tell my wife about the food because she gets too jealous. She’ll ask, “How was the gig?” and I’ll just say, “It was fi ne.” Q. What do you think makes MTYM so special?

A. The whole event is great, but what’s really cool is that over the years we’ve met so many of the chefs at Music to Your Mouth and have become good friends with them. A few of them, we’ve even played at their weddings. What they do with their food we do with our music— our music is familiar but never quite like people have ever heard bluegrass before, and the same goes for the chefs at Music to Your Mouth. Someone may have had shrimp and grits 100 times, but never with saffron.

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“ I also love the Bacon Forest—it’s such a cool and surprising idea. When people have never been to Music to Your Mouth before and they see a forest of bacon for the first time, that’s always fun to watch. ” — RICHARD BEST


Q. How many years of Music to Your Mouth have you attended?

best things about it is the people—the homeowners are great and

A. I’ve been to every year of Music to Your Mouth, and I’m pretty sure

really care about and appreciate the environment they live in, which

I’ve sponsored all of them that you could sponsor, too. Courtney

always means there are quality people living here.

would remember better, though. Q. Why do you continue to sponsor MTYM? Q. Which one was your favorite?

A. Overall, I really think it’s a great event and it’s a charitable

A. I loved the Music to Your Mouth when we moved the band to the

one too, which makes it even better. The people who plan it do

beer garden outside at the Culinary Festival two or three years

something a little differently each year to keep things fresh, but

ago. I loved the energy it brought outside. Or, I also loved the fi rst

also maintain a consistency and quality in every event. I’ve been

time they added the beer garden to the Culinary Festival in the fi rst

to every one, and I’ve never been disappointed with the event or

place. Actually, yes, that might’ve been my favorite one, because

with the sponsorship.

that added a variety of light and dark beers to the festival, which I think everyone really enjoys. I actually brought up the idea to

Q. What is your favorite beer?

Courtney to add a beer garden to the Culinary Festival at Music to

A. Is that even a question? Of course it’s Bud Light. Even though I

Your Mouth, and she said, “Well, put your money where your mouth

sponsor the beer garden, which always features a ton of craft beers,

is and sponsor it,” and so I did!

Bud Light will always be my beer of choice. And that’s another reason I always sponsor the beer garden—they always have a secret

Q. What do you think makes MTYM so special?

A. I think it’s the environment of Palmetto Bluff that makes it so special. As a high-end residential community, I think one of the


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

stash of Bud Light just for me.


Q. How many years of Music to Your Mouth have you attended?

A. I tell you what, I really am not sure how many we’ve been to. That’s terrible isn’t it? Q. Do you have a favorite year of MTYM?

A. I can’t pick just one; every one that I’ve been to has been top quality because the event maintains top talent year after year. And having wonderful people attend the event—we’ve met so many great people who live in Bluff ton and Palmetto Bluff who have become great friends. Q. What do you think makes MTYM so special?

A. I think it’s the people and the food that bring us together. All the people involved—the chefs, beverage people, food writers, people who plan the event, people who attend—everyone is just so wonderful. It’s all about the people for us—seeing people we’ve known from previous events or meeting new ones, which is another thing that I love about Music to Your Mouth, it’s easy to meet new people. Everyone is open to making new friends, and with all the walking around and the different foods to taste, it’s just so easy to introduce yourself and get to know all kinds of new people. Like the fi rst time I met Rodney Scott—standing there with him as he smoked those pigs and made barbecue and smelling that cooking, that was incredible. I’ll never forget that. Q. What can you tell us about the cooking class you’re hosting this year at MTYM?

A. I’m just a self-made, country cook who learned from her mother how to cook. I have done a few events for making biscuits before, but nothing like this. I don’t even have a recipe for biscuits; I just do it by feel. But I was honored to be asked, and I’m excited about the class.

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I started making biscuits because I wanted something to go along with Allan’s ham to make a ham sandwich. A lot of biscuits, when you bite into them, they crumble and get all over you. My biscuits

“ It’s an event worth attending every

don’t do that—when you bite into it, the biscuit stays with you. I only

time. We just feel fortunate and

use two ingredients in them—flour and buttermilk—but it’s a specific

blessed that we’ve been included and

type of flour and buttermilk that allows you to not use shortening. So

that we’ve continued to be included.

I’ll teach everyone how to make my biscuits, and I’ve also convinced

Courtney and her team do an

Allan to fry up some ham, too, so we’ll have ham biscuits at the class.

incredible job at choosing the different variety of people who they have come

We also have some muscadine vines that grow near us, so I’ll bring

and participate, and we’re always just

down some muscadine jelly that I will make to serve with them.

excited and honored to get invited and to be a part of it. ”

Q. What’s your favorite dish that you’ve tasted at MTYM?

A. Probably the roasted oysters at the Saturday evening oyster roast have to be about my favorite thing—that or Rodney Scott’s barbecue. I also love all the special little bites from the Culinary Festival too, but it’s hard to pick out just one. But I think the oysters are the most special thing. That’s something we can’t get much of in Tennessee.

follow us at @musictoyourmouth P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M / E X P L O R E / M U S I C - T O - Y O U R - M O U T H


“ Oh, and I just remembered the Bacon Forest—that’s pretty awesome, too. I just enjoy all of it—there’s not a single part of Music to Your Mouth that isn’t amazing. We’ll be married 45 years this year, and we’ve been on only seven vacations in 45 years. I just can’t get Allan away from his work. I don’t count the times we’ve been to Palmetto Bluff as a vacation because it technically is work, but it really is such a great time for us to get away and relax and enjoy each other and the beautiful scenery. ” — SHARON BENTON

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

The way home. PO Box 1928 | Bluffton, SC 29910 | (843) 247-5452 | csthomasconstruction.com FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


ALEXA, TURN ON MY HOME Wouldn’t it be nice if you could ask your home to offer a helping hand? Now you can. A simple voice command like “Alexa, turn on welcome” can light up the hallway, turn on a playlist and close the shades. You can even create scenes like “Bedtime” that set the alarm, adjust the thermostat and turn off the lights–all from the comfort of your bed. It’s home technology made simple, and you can find it at Custom Audio Video.

(843) 815-5130



Photography by: Krisztian Lonyai

Fall in the South may not bring cooler weather (and we're okay with that), but what it does bring is football. Practically a religion, college football


is king, and the SEC reigns supreme. And no one

A sure crowd-pleaser, kick off your tailgate party with a fussfree menu of Southern fried chicken and corn muffins.

tailgates quite like the South. Maybe it's our love of football, our fl air for Southern hospitality, or simply the opportunity to convive with friends, but these ingredients result in some of the best pre-parties that turn into all-day affairs. Practically an art form, we understand that tailgates are so much more than team jerseys, end zones, and beer. And while we agree that most tailgates may not include such extensive décor as ours (although, as avid tailgaters, we have seen everything from red Solo cups to fi ne china), one thing remains: tailgates should be festive events focused on spirit, comfort, and style. To celebrate fall and the start of tailgate season, we've taken a few pages out of our playbook to help you host the perfect Southern tailgate. So, go ahead, fi nd that perfect spot, break out the bar cart and your great Aunt Dorothy's silver, and upgrade your tailgate with some of our favorite essentials from local Lowcountry shops.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Fried Chicken and Corn Muffins cahill's market, price varies

C H I L L OU T Keep your drinks ice-cold . . . and ready to roll. YETI Tundra Haul Roller Cooler outside hilton head, $400









Cozy up with your favorite teammates under a classic herringbone blanket.

Elevate your tailgate with these classic wicker accessories from J. Banks.

Herringbone Throw Blanket emily mc carthy, $128

1 Ralph Lauren Bailey Single Wine Tote, $495 4 Ralph Lauren Ice Bucket, $495 2 Ralph Lauren Bailey Double Wine and Cheese Tote, $1,495 5 Ralph Lauren Silverware Caddy, $250 3 Ralph Lauren Wicker Tray, $395 6 Ralph Lauren Silverware, $20

TOSS LIK E A BOSS The oďŹ&#x192; cial game of tailgating: a bean bag in one hand and a drink in the other. Get your own luxury cornhole set crafted right here in the Lowcountry. Signature Classic Cornhole matthias kaupermann, $3,995

PU L L U P A C H A I R You prepped all day, now relax. We love this sophisticated take on folding chairs. Sailor Chairs teak + table, $329



DR E S S T O I M PR E S S When you can mix comfort and style, it's a win-win. 7 Bloom & Give Scarf provisions, $119 8 Leather Backpack satchel in savannah, $455

W H I S K E Y BUSI N E S S What's a classy tailgate without a hot toddy? Cathead Old Soul Bourbon Whiskey, $43

C H E E R S , M Y DE E R! Toast to a winning game with these handsome pewter elk head glasses. Stag Stirrup Cup vagabond house, $52

DR E S S U P YOU R DR I N K Score points with these handstitched needlepoint koozies. Smathers & Branson Needlepoint Can Cooler outside hilton head, $30


“Roseate Spoonbill”



Heather Lancaster


Fine Art Gallery

Custom Picture Framing

CamelliaArt.com 45 Calhoun Street | 843 757 3530 | Bluffton | South Carolina 1 Office Way | 843 785 3535 & 35 Main Street [Inside JBanks Design Retail Showroom] Hilton Head Island | South Carolina



designs in Palmetto Bluff

We draw life.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


Camping, with its loosely defined rules and requirements, can successfully occur on any landscape, with any amount of equipment, and on any date. Are you camping in a high-end RV? Sure. Camping in a mountain cabin? Yeah, that works I suppose. In a tent? Maybe a hammock? A lean-to shelter? Cave? Now you are tickling my fancy. Near the ocean, mountains, creek, hunting ground, fishing hole? Yes, indeed! There is no wrong answer. There are, however, details that are consistent with most exceptional camping trips. I’ll bet there were biking, hiking, and kayaking opportunities close by. There was also most likely some pristine wilderness. And the chosen campsite probably had a good view.

If there wasn’t a campfire at some point, you did it wrong. South Carolina has an enormous array of opportunities for camping. In fact, there are almost too many options. For this article, we will focus our attention on the Lowcountry. More specifically, we will look at South Carolina state parks within an hour’s drive of Palmetto Bluff. By choosing from a few semi-local sites, we can lay out some trips for a weekend excursion. It would be poor form to recommend a camping area without visiting the location first, so for research (and fun), I loaded up my little familial unit and hit the road.

HUNTING ISLAND STATE PARK Our first destination was Hunting Island State Park. To get there, just follow Sea Island Parkway out of Beaufort, South Carolina, in the direction of Fripp Island. You will have no choice but to cross onto Hunting Island. A barrier island free from development, here you will find pristine maritime forest. The island boasts 5 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront— great for hiking, biking, tanning, and swimming. A beach without a backdrop of towering condominiums and parking lots is a rare find these days. It is a reality at Hunting Island State Park. On the northern end of the island, coastal erosion and sea-level rise have produced a driftwood-covered beach. Imagine massive trees toppled and scattered on the sand like sun-bleached skeletons. It is visually striking, especially at sunrise. Once you’ve had your fun on the beach, get out and explore all this island has to offer. Other attractions include a lighthouse with panoramic views of the coast and forest, a marsh boardwalk with excellent sunsets, a top-notch nature center, and 8 miles of nature trails. Camping is not permitted directly on the beach, but don’t let this discourage you. Camping on the beach is overrated, as sand always finds its way into tents, sleeping bags, and bodily crevices. (I won’t elaborate on the discomfort this phenomenon brings.) You'll be much more comfortable at a campsite with shower/restroom facilities as well as hookups for potable water and electricity. A lighthouse and 5,000 acres of beach, marsh, and maritime forest come together in a great recipe for a full weekend of fun. Be sure to reserve your campsite well in advance. Hunting Island State Park is a highly soughtafter camping destination.


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

You know in Forrest Gump when Bubba gets shot

and "wants to go home"?

That scene was filmed on

Hunting Island.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9


Givhans ferry STATE PARK Our next journey begins in Walterboro and ends in Ridgeville, South Carolina.

several miles of nature trails, playgrounds, and pavilions for lounging.

You’ll find the entrance to Colleton State Park just minutes from Interstate 95. This park is a mere 35 acres, but big things come in small packages. Here, you will

After a day of boating and floating, you will have a decision to make. Do you

find a short, yet diverse, nature trail leading down to the Edisto River. There are a

camp Saturday night at Givhans or load your gear and head home? The choice

handful of campsites that can accommodate RV or tent campers. Campsites #9 and

is yours. There are plenty of sites for RVs as well as tent-only campsites. (In the

#11 are the best choices, if available, as each overlooks the Edisto—the park’s main

biz, we call this a primitive campsite.) No matter what you decide, you will need

attraction. Although it will only take about an hour to see all this park has to offer,

a way to return to your vehicle at Colleton State Park. Hopefully, you thought

we recommend it because it’s a launching point for a kayaking adventure.

ahead and parked a second vehicle at Givhans on Friday afternoon for this purpose. If not, hitchhiking is ill-advised.

Pick a weekend. Since you'll be visiting two parks, you will want to arrive at Colleton State Park in the early afternoon on Friday. This will give your group plenty of

Good times! A camping trip is a way to attach yourself to a specific place

time to set up camp, get a lay of the land, have dinner, and relax. Break camp early

and time. It is a single-serve moment in nature that can’t be re-created or

Saturday morning, load your gear into your kayaks or canoes, and shove off into

repeated. Knowing this gives reason to get back out there for another round

the wild and wonderful Edisto. This river is one of America’s longest free-flowing

of chasing that perfect trip. Unfortunately, the camping trip

blackwater rivers. Dyed to the tone of sweet tea by leaf litter, a blackwater river is

that most folks remember with absolute

one that flows very slowly through forested swamp or wetlands. Once you set sail,

clarity is the trip that went horribly wrong.

your group can expect a leisurely 23-mile float downstream. Sit back and enjoy the

You know. The one where your spouse or

ride, or bring a rod and catch your dinner along the way. This is multitasking at its

child got poison ivy, the one where the bugs were

finest. (Just make sure to grab a fishing license first.)

outrageous (and you didn’t have bug spray), the one where all of your gear got thoroughly

Your destination is Givhans Ferry State Park, where your group will make landfall Saturday afternoon. This park is 988 acres. Within its boundaries, you will find


P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

soaked, the one where nobody remembered toilet paper. . . .

Don’t be those people. You CAN have a perfect camping trip by following a short list of recommendations. 1.

Be prepared. Make sure all gear is functioning properly and packed neatly before departure. Commonly forgotten items that can make or break a trip include bug spray (extremely important in the Lowcountry), toilet paper (and a shovel to bury the evidence), a first-aid kit, and a chair or cushion to rest on.


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The natural world has a way of sneakily sucking the moisture from your body.


Educate yourself on any local rules, regulations, or permit requirements as these can often vary from site to site. For example, firearms are not permitted in any South Carolina state park. Publicly consuming or displaying alcohol is also prohibited. (No guns or booze is a tough concept for me to grapple with, but it

Safe travels. I’ll see you out there.

has its virtues nonetheless.) 4.

All the clichéd adages addressing litter should be followed religiously. “Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photos.” “Practice no-trace camping.” We have all heard those a million times— and for good reason. Nothing diminishes time in nature quicker than the leavings of the sloppy. Litter is the worst.


Use the buddy system. Always travel with friends or family. This has obvious safety benefits but conversation around a campfire is time-honored.

For more information on the destinations mentioned in this article and much more, visit southcarolinaparks.com.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 9





FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE SERIES: RED-COCKADED WOODPECKERS Red-cockaded woodpeckers hold strong ties to our


longleaf pine savannas. Zadok Moss, from Webb


Wildlife Management Area, is here to tell all about


what it takes to help these endangered beauties.

Bob Speare, naturalist and environmental educator, tackles the topic of fall migration and what that means


for the different bird species at Palmetto Bluff.



by growing up on a cattle ranch.

Start training for the Buffalo Run with a run through


Palmetto Bluff.

BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE: OCTAGON PLANTATION The Conservancy's archaeologist, Dr. Mary Socci,


explains how Octagon Plantation got its name and


what makes its first owner so interesting.

Dr. Mary Socci, the Conservancy's archaeologist, reveals the rags to riches story of the Wilson family.




CHAPEL CONCERT SERIES: CHATHAM RABBITS More than just a delicacy in autumn Join us at the picturesque May River Chapel for gatherings, eastern oysters are a key an intimate evening of live acoustic music from species in our coastal marshes—providing the husband and wife duo, Chatham Rabbits. essential ecosystem functions including erosion control, water filtration, and ARTIST IN RESIDENCE habitat creation. Founded by husband and wife team Scott Blackwell



Meet one of the creators behind Miron Crosby, a luxury boot brand headquarted in Dallas and inspired


Wilson Village and the ancient maritime forests of



EXPLORE PBC: OAK ISLAND FORBS Join the Conservancy team as we look at the wide diversity of forbs that are growing in the mixed pine/ hardwood uplands that make up Oak Island. Wait, what's a forb? Come and find out!



BLUFFTON ARTS & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL The 15th annual festival spends a week showcasing locally caught seafood and the rich history, culture,

and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Co. is dedicated

and art of the Lowcountry.

to making premium handcrafted artisan spirts. Scott

Check out bluff tonartsandseafoodfestival.com and Ann will be stirring up some of the finest Southern HIGH HEAT for more details. sips in the Artist Cottage. THESE BOOTS Re-creating the work of cast-iron masters


Meet the artisans, and sisters, behind

from a previous era, Isaac Morton of BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE:

C TO B ER Miron Crosby—a luxury western O boot

DEER Smithey Ironware has set out to put WHITE-TAILED the

brand inspired by their childhood on a

artistry of cast iron into the hands ofJustin Hardy, the Conservancy's land and wildlife

Texas cattle ranch.

home cooks once again.

manager, talks about white-tailed deer biology and the importance of a healthy herd.







ROOTS AND A SEA OF GRASS TheWINGS 25th Annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival celebrates


October is the perfect month for ghost stories, and this fresh catch from our local waters. Check out the Conservancy team is here to share eerie tales The daughter of legendary Hank The salt marsh is an integral part of life beaufortshrimpfestival.com for more details. of the Bluff. BEYOND A BAGEL Williams Jr., Holly Williams has forged in the Lowcountry—with creatures great her own path in country music and more.

and small calling the spartina grass

Yes, good bagels do exist outside of New

Learn how this singer-songwriter and

home. Learn how the foundation of our

York City. Learn the story behind Mama

entrepreneur maintains balance.

ecosystem and our culture rests on a

Kay and how she has transformed the

single species of grass.

breakfast experience with her one-of-akind wood-fired bagel.

32 CRAFTING THE PERFECT S'MORE Like the sweet childhood memories


it evokes, the s'more is a celebration

Colors, numbers, weather, and more. . . .


of simplicity. Unchanged for nearly a

it all comes together in the form of life


century, this fireside staple has long been

lessons from a duck blind. All you've ever

bringing people together in the shared

wanted to know about duck hunting. And

bonds of nature.

then some.









ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Mariana Barran Goodall is best known for her traditional

Sarah Webster, from the Savannah River Ecology Lab,

textile and needlework techniques and continues to

has been studying the importance of predators in the

preserve this lost art through the creation of handmade,

ecosystems of South Carolina, and she's here to share

hand-embroidered linens.

what she's discovered.




CHAPEL CONCERT SERIES: LOWCOUNTRY BOIL Join us at the picturesque May River Chapel for an

Will Harris, a fourth-generation cattleman, introduces

evening of original bluegrass, old-time fiddle music and

us to White Oak Pastures, his 152-year-old family farm

classic rock from Lowcountry Boil.

in Bluff ton, Georgia.


BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE: CANE GRINDING The Conservancy's own Shane Rahn will talk about how his family grows and harvests sugarcane and


grinds the cane to make a delicious syrup. This is

BURN FEST Tonight, we dine outdoorsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in the real outdoors. In a field. Under the stars. And by the light of the fire.

quickly becoming a lost art, but the Rahn family has

Family-style. We'll listen to stories, enjoy music, and

decades of history in the production of syrup.

share a meal with fellow outdoor enthusiasts and the Conservancy team.


EXPLORE PBC: CEMETERY LOOP Join the Conservancy for a hike along the New River marsh. We'll see habitats ranging from mixed pine hardwood upland to maritime forest edge, and we'll discuss the flora and fauna of these ecosystems.


BROWN BAG LUNCH LECTURE: NESTING RAPTORS Join Aaron Palmieri, educator for the Conservancy, for a talk on the nesting behavior of raptors at Palmetto Bluff.


MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH The 13th helping of Palmetto Bluff 's Music to Your


EXPLORE PBC: STALKING THE WILD HOGS Join the Conservancy team as we go out and search for the infamous wild hogs.

Mouth is served. We've combined talented chefs, vintners, brewers, distillers, and artisans from across the South (and around the world) to toast the tastes, sips, and sounds of the South. Check out musictoyourmouth.com for more details.


BUFFALO RUN Explore the unspoiled natural beauty of the Lowcountry in Palmetto Bluff 's sixth annual Buffalo Run, a 10K, 30K, and 50K trail race that traverses the vast 20,000 acres of the property.

Profile for Palmetto Bluff

The Bluff Magazine Fall/Winter 2019  

The Bluff Magazine Fall/Winter 2019