The Bluff Magazine Spring/Summer 2022

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Spring / Summer 2022


In South Carolina’s Lowcountry lies Palmetto Bluff, a protected sanctuary of natural wonder you can call home. Here, wandering at your leisure invites the biggest discoveries. Twenty thousand acres of pristine land and 32 miles of riverfront offer something for the curious-minded. Stay for a little or stay for a lifetime, it never leaves you.

For real estate inquiries, call 843.547.9954 or explore palmettobluff.com/bluffmag

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


Live where home feels like...

an escape.


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the bluff Spring / Summer 2022

ON T H E COV E R : PHOTO: Photography by Anne, Inc. Bearing the signature of its designer, the Tibor Signature Series represents the life work of world famous angler and reel designer Ted “Tibor” Juracsik.

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THEBLUFF.COM


ta bl e of con t en ts

44

67

54

I N E V ERY ISSU E 4 CREDITS 5 L E T T E R F R O M T H E E D I TO R 6 CO N T R I B U TO R S

08

33

67

CO N N EC T I N G T H R O U G H

A D I F F E R E N T P E R S P EC T I V E

T H E C A N VA S

Architect Michael Gentemann’s walk in the

Known for her marsh paintings and

woods with his clients was the inspiration for

seascapes, artist Blakely Little’s career

this spectacular May River-front home.

began as a hobby, advanced to a side hustle,

80

and became her charted path.

44

Join birder Charlie Bostwick on his quest to

Patios are popping. Brunch is served and the

LO C A L C H A R AC T E R : S H A N E R A H N

identify as many species of birds as possible

menus are mouth-watering.

Shane Rahn, Palmetto Bluff Farm Manager,

by sight or sound.

LET’S DO BRUNCH Spring has sprung. The weather has warmed.

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is honoring the traditions of the past while simultaneously looking forward.

49

T U R K E Y WO O DS A first-person account of the thrill of the turkey chase and why Palmetto Bluff

M I TC H E LV I L L E : U N TO L D S TO R I E S

W H E R E T H E R I V E R F LOWS

88 TO R T U G A R I S I N G Amber Kuehn’s childhood by a watery playground planted a seed that took her

FROM UNDERGROUND

around the country and back home, where

Beginning as a military mission, Mitchelville

she manages Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head

has grown into a vibrant, self-governed

Island and immerses herself in field biology.

manages for the Eastern Wild Turkey.

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THE BIG YEAR

community defined by the customs and cultures of native islanders.

Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland’s

54

career has spanned 30 years, but it is the last 20 years since he discovered

93 H O M E A N D AWAY Half a world away, Chef Rhy Waddington

Palmetto Bluff (thanks to Dolly Parton)

U LT I M AT E R E L E A S E

began his love affair with food. Today, he

that have been his muse.

A lifelong passion for fly fishing turned Will

leads Palmetto Bluff Club’s culinary program.

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Stephens’ retirement into a second career as

96

co-owner of Southern Drawl Outfitters.

61

GOOD DOG Man’s best friend settles in just fine at

I N S P I R E D: S E L I N A K I N G From South Carolina to Brooklyn and back

A R E S O LU T E TA L E

again, entrepreneur and jewelry designer

A piece of Palmetto Bluff history makes its

Selina King juggles her southern roots and

storied journey to the White House.

that alluring big city pull.

Montage Palmetto Bluff. Ruff life.

PHOTOS: (opposite page) Cameron Wilder, (this page) Photography by Anne, Inc. and Richard Leo Johnson

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

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&

c r e at e d b y f or t hos e w ho l ov e t h i s s p e c i a l l owcou n t r y i dy l l

{

}

PU BLISHER

Palmetto Bluff

E DITOR IN CHIE F

Courtney Hampson

MANAGING E DITOR

Kristen Constantineau

PHOTOG R APHE RS

DESIG NE RS

WRITE RS

Danielle Albin

Kristen Constantineau

Dale Barr

Andrew Celuka

Sherri Lonz

Kristen Constantineau

Kristen Constantineau Eastwood’s Photography

Allison Correll Courtney Hampson

ILLUSTR ATOR

Teresa Earnest

Justin Hardy Sherri Lonz

Rob Kaufman

Justin Jarrett

Krisztian Lonyai

Barry Kaufman

Patrick O’Brien

Allison Lane

Richard Leo Johnson

Luana M. Graves Sellars

Photography by Anne, Inc.

Dr. Mary Socci

Will Stephens

Tim Wood

Bob Wagoner Cameron Wilder

T H E B L U F F. C O M R E A L E S TAT E S A L E S

I N N R E S E R VAT I O N S

843.380.6856

843.896.2362

LET'S BE SOCIAL

/PalmettoBluff

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@PalmettoBluff

@PalmettoBluff


upcoming events

l et t er f rom t h e edi tor

APRIL The Arts Initiative Gallery + Workshop Grand Opening

We soon learned that to know Palmetto Bluff was to know the Lowcountry of South Carolina. And to know the Lowcountry was to know the South. 17 years ago, I migrated south from New Jersey to Bluffton, South Carolina. I discovered this place called Palmetto Bluff on one of my “scouting” visits and leapt at the opportunity to join the team. That was in 2005, when we called Old Palmetto Bluff Road the “main road,” because it was. The River House was “The Inn.” There was only one village, Wilson, and we called it “The Village,” and it was quiet and sleepy with a population of less than 50. Over the course of my tenure much changed but so much stayed the same. In 2012, we launched The Bluff magazine, elevating our collateral to explore what life at Palmetto Bluff was really like. We soon learned that to know Palmetto Bluff was to know the Lowcountry of South Carolina. And to know the Lowcountry was to know the South. And soon our little idea was an awardwinning magazine that told stories of the people who have been called here and how their ties to this spectacular region make their experiences — and their life — richer.

This is my last issue at the helm of The Bluff, so this is also my farewell and my thank you – to the readers who have been so generous with your praise, to the contributors who helped bring the stories to life, and to the Palmetto Bluff team who believed so passionately in our shared vision. It has been quite a ride, and I will remember every moment.

Palmetto Bluff Club Beer and Wine Festival Artists of Palmetto Bluff Showcase Palmetto Bluff Club Easter Egg Hunt and Party MAY Palmetto Bluff Club Kentucky Derby Party at Longfield Stables Palmetto Bluff Club Revelry Tournament Farm Brunch JUNE Montage Barbeque University JULY Fourth of July Parade Montage Well Living AUGUST Palmetto Bluff Club Member Weekend OCTOBER The Canebrake Member/Guest Golf Tournament DECEMBER Farm Cane Grinding Palmetto Bluff Conservancy Burn Dinner Buffalo Run (registration now open) To learn more, visit:

palmettobluff.com/events

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

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con t r i bu tor s

Capturing art, food, events, architecture, nature, and the best brands the South has to offer, there isn’t much he doesn’t enjoy photographing. Cameron Wilder

1. Luana M. Graves Sellars

4. Dale Barr

Writer, “Mitchelville: Untold Stories

Writer, “Connecting through the

from Underground” (page 49)

Canvas” (page 33)

Even with a degree in Journalism and

Dale Barr is a multi-passionate writer

a minor in Black History from Southern

whose professional journey reflects her

Illinois University, Luana M. Graves

varied interests. She’s been everything

Sellars was not prepared to live on

from an IT and behavioral change

Hilton Head Island, one of the most

consultant to an audit and compliance

culturally rich and historic areas of the

executive. Describing herself as both

South. A random encounter enabled

an analytical thinker and a creative,

Luana to return to her roots as a writer.

she currently splits her time between

Her focus has been on Gullah culture,

freelance

history, people, and native island issues.

consulting, helping small and large

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and navigate through times of change. A native Upstate New Yorker, Dale has been

and “Home and Away” (page 44 & 93)

living in the South for over 25 years and

Allison Correll is a freelance writer and

is proud to now call the Lowcountry her

editor, living in Savannah, Georgia, with

home.

her husband and two toddlers. In a former and taught English at a community college

5. Cameron Wilder

outside of Washington, DC. She loves

Photographer, “Connecting through

thought-provoking fiction and will never

the Canvas” (page 33)

pass up coffee ice cream.

Blufftonian freelance

3. Justin Jarrett

THEBLUFF.COM

Cameron

community and continues to capture

(page 26 & 80)

and build it wherever his photo work

Jarrett

is

a

journalist

and

leads him. Capturing art, food, events,

entrepreneur who has lived in Bluffton

architecture, nature, and the best brands

since 2005. He is the founder of Lowco

the South has to offer, there isn’t much he

Media LLC and LowcoSports.com and

doesn’t enjoy photographing.

community organizer. Jarrett lives in Bluffton with his wife and two children.

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Charlestonian,

Wilder, grew up with a love for

a volunteer youth sports coach and

5

turned

photographer,

Writer, “Good Dog” and “The Big Year” Justin

4

business

Writer, “Local Character: Shane Rahn”

life, she worked in publishing in New York

3

and

organizations project manage their work

2. Allison Correll

1

writing


DESIGN

T H AT

C A P T I VAT E S .

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURE • INTERIOR DESIGN HILTON HEAD | BLUFFTON | SAVANNAH courtatkins.com | 843.815.2557


LET’ S DO

Brunch Pop the champagne cork, pour on the syrup, and poach some eggs. Spring is here, and it’s time to brunch.

WRITTEN BY:

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Kristen Constantineau


We’ve all heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal

Wherever and whenever brunch started, the idea back then was

of the day.” And, while we don’t disagree, we don’t particularly

almost exactly the same as it is today: wake up late, get together

love waking up early.

with your friends, and shoot the breeze over a feast of breakfast

hello, brunch.

and lunch fare. And, the bottomless mimosas, make-your-own Bloody Mary bars,

A playful blend of “breakfast” and “lunch,” this post-breakfast,

and overall boozy brunch culture these days? Well, Beringer

pre-lunch Sunday ritual has become increasingly popular. And,

approved of that, too. “P.S.,” he adds, “Beer and whiskey are

with a mix of your favorite breakfast and lunch foods—and plenty

admitted as substitutes for tea and coffee.”

of cocktails—it’s easy to see why brunches are everywhere. Sandwich chalkboards adorned with “Brunch!” propped up

So, join us as we raise a glass, toast to the hard-drinking

outside every restaurant and cafe, in every city in the Western

Englishman, and travel the Lowcountry from Charleston to

world, every weekend morning.

Savannah in search of our favorite spots where the brunch game is strong.

Mother’s Day. Graduations. Birthdays. Girlfriends, guy friends. Old friends, new friends. Brunch is always a good idea. It is breakfast. . .without an alarm. But where and when did this Sunday affair begin? As is the case with many traditions, the origins are a bit hazy (quite like one may feel after a morning of bottomless mimosas). Some culinary historians trace the meal’s origins to late 19th-century Britain and leisurely ”hunt breakfasts”—lavish multi-course meals that featured a smorgasbord of eggs, meats,

“Brunch...is cheerful, sociable and inciting."

bacon, fresh fruit, and sweets—eaten by ravenous aristocratic men after a morning tracking deer. Others suggest that Sunday brunch derives from the practice of Catholics fasting before mass and then coming together to enjoy a large midday meal. But, it was British writer Guy Beringer’s 1895 essay “Brunch: A Plea” that first coined the term “brunch.” In his Hunter’s Weekly article, Beringer presents a compelling case for making brunch a part of one’s weekend routine, stating that brunch was much more conducive to socializing than the quiet, comforting solitude of an early breakfast. “Brunch. . . is cheerful, sociable, and inciting. It is talk-compelling,” he writes. “It puts you in a good temper; it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow-beings. It sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” He also suggests that brunch is the perfect way to justify letting your Saturday night last into the early hours of Sunday morning since a first meal later in the day makes waking up early on Sunday “not only unnecessary but ridiculous.”

PHOTOS: Teresa Earnest

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

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PHOTOS: Kristen Constantineau

the

obstinate daughter

Nestled at the mouth of the Charleston

cuisine and focuses on small plates,

with a chic nautical atmosphere

Harbor, our brunch journey starts

pizza, pasta, and raw bar selections.

inside—reclaimed

on charming and historic Sullivan’s

But, it wouldn’t be brunch without

shades of blues, and adorned with

Island at The Obstinate Daughter—a

an egg dish or two, so you’ll also

ropes and Monkey Fist knots—and a

nautical retreat with a name that pays

find dishes like Eggs in Purgatory,

dreamy outdoor patio that will make

homage to the rich Revolutionary

Quiche of the Day, and the OD Skillet

you want to stay all day.

War history of Sullivan’s Island and

alongside an extensive beverage

the defiant defenders of Charleston

menu and cocktails on tap with

A quick trip from Charleston, The

including, “Miss Carolina Sulivan,

revolutionary names like “William

Obstinate Daughter serves brunch

one of the obstinate daughters of

Moultrie” and “The Kings Honey.”

Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.

America, 1776.”

wood,

various

to 3 p.m. and is popular with tourists With a perfect, casual-Sunday vibe,

and locals alike, so reservations are

The menu at this 2019 James

this Charleston-area favorite is only

encouraged.

Beard semifinalist is influenced

five minutes from the beach and

by French, Italian, and Spanish

looks like it was made for brunching,

W H AT W E OR DERED: Mimosa: Sparkling Italian wine with fresh-pressed orange juice—and poured at the table so you can see the OJ-to-champagne ratio. We’re down with that. Sweet Roll: Orange, almond, and buttermilk icing—warm and cozy with the perfect hint of sweetness. Blueberry Acai Bowl: House granola, local honey, berries, and mint—this colorful bowl is tart, refreshing, and packed with flavor. OD Skillet: Potato, pepper, onion, chorizo, provolone, mushrooms, and egg in a small cast iron skillet— reminiscent of those hunt breakfasts.

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produce

lowcountr y

No trip to Beaufort is complete with a stop at Lowcountry

Produce.

Perhaps the cutest spot in all of Beaufort, this country market and cafe, situated on the corner in a large brick building at 302 Carteret Street in historic

downtown

Beaufort,

welcomes

visitors with its cheery green paint and

white

subway-tiled

walls,

enormous window-laced walls, and abundance of natural light. And while Lowcountry Produce has three locations (Beaufort, Sea Pines, and Seabrook), it’s their Beaufort location

with a rich local history. This airy, highceilinged post-office-turned-cafe (that was also City Hall) feels dreamy from nearly every seat in the house, making Brioche French toast with compound fruit butter, the classic “Lowcountry breakfast,” and the made-to-order glazed yeast doughnuts go down easy like Sunday morning (or early afternoon, you pick). If their storied past and selection of breakfast

favorites

aren’t

nostalgic

PHOTOS: Kristen Constantineau

enough, a simple stroll around their market will have you saying “Heavens to Betsy.” Lowcountry Produce started collecting regional and family recipes years ago— canning and preserving local favorites— and selling them alongside local produce, cheese, soups, gumbos, bread, and other quintessentially Southern products from

W H AT W E OR DERED: Coffee. Fresh Orange Juice. The Bowl: As the name implies, this “all in one bowl” dish includes scrambled eggs with cheese, stone-ground grits, skillet potatoes, crumbled bacon, and sausage. My brunch date went with a toasted English muffin as his bread. Veggie Scramble: A happy and (somewhat) healthy start to the day, this omelet includes red bell peppers, mushrooms, spring onions, and feta cheese.

Lowcountry makers.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

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PHOTOS (top): Eastwood's Photography

FARM

At

dinnertime,

FARM

is

a

lively

(trust us). Their “Brunch Plus Two” option

experience with an elevated cuisine made

includes a “main” and two sides, or you

for sharing. Weekend brunch, offered on

can mix and match three, four, or five of

Located on May River Road in the heart

Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is more

the sides—all for under $20 and one of the

of historic Old Town, FARM is known for

laid-back but still full of assertive flavors

reasons they pack the house (and why you

its farm-to-table culture, creative craft

and inventive pairings. Here, you can

should make a reservation).

cocktails, and community spirit. The

break out of the standard brunch rut as

service is warm and genuine, and the

each Sunday brings a new menu full of

Inside seating is available in their

menu is ever-evolving—using seasonally

fresh, flavorful expressions of Lowcountry

rustic

inspired and locally sourced ingredients

favorites like cornmeal pancakes, shrimp

beautiful weather almost year-round in

from small local farmers, fishermen, and

and grits, and refried butterbeans with

the Lowcountry, we prefer the covered

artisan producers.

salsa macha, feta, red onion, and cilantro

outdoor patio.

chic

dining

room,

but

with

W H AT W E OR DERED: Spiced Prickly Pear Margarita: Tequila, prickly pear preserve, fresh citrus, and sweet & spicy demerara create a stunning pinkish-purple color that will surely turn heads. Shrimp & Grits: Made with SC white shrimp and Jimmy Red corn grits and topped with parmesan, chorizo, fried egg, cilantro, and red onion, it’s down-home comfort food at its finest. Crispy Bacon: Thick and crispy with sherry gastrique and gremolata…and, hands down the best bacon we’ve ever tasted. Biscuit Slider: Sweet and savory, this black pepper & parmesan biscuit with sausage and a smear of apple butter is not your average breakfast sandwich. Hashbrown: Green macha crema, cheddar, and chives. A hashbrown done right. Fried Egg: A single-serve egg dressed up with roasted peanuts and a bit of salsa macha. (My first introduction to this delicious Mexican condiment. . . and one I now want to put on everything.)

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PHOTOS: Courtesy of Nectar

nectar

farm kitchen

It’s also an incredible place for a boozy brunch, with a vast selection of adult cold brew coffees, Bloody Mary’s, and craft cocktails.

W H AT W E OR DERED: Bees Knees: Getting its sweetness from local honey, this buzz-worthy drink gets a floral twist with the addition of lavender. The result is unexpected and delicious: a perfect blend of sharp, fragrant, and

But Nectar Farm Kitchen is so much more

sweet. Big Ole Sticky Bun: Just like it sounds with

With Bluffton and Hilton Head well on

than a dreamy interior and a drool-worthy

a honey glaze, pecans, and the largest dollop of

their way to becoming one of the state’s

menu. At its core, Nectar is redefining

hottest destinations for food and drink, a

the popular farm-to-table movement by

trip to this sweet spot on the island is a

applying it to a much larger footprint.

must. Located right before the entrance to

Each dish incorporates produce and

Sea Pines, and open every day of the week

proteins from more than 20 local South

from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Nectar’s extensive

Carolina and Georgia farms which come

Lowcountry Fried Bird: It doesn’t get more down

menu is the perfect solution for anyone

together to create what Nectar calls “a

south and home-cooked than this buttermilk Biscuit

craving sweet and savory…and will make

twist on traditional southern cuisine.”

you want to return every weekend.

(Don’t miss the wall of photos showcasing local produce from their numerous farm

A cheery, contemporary venue with a

cream cheese icing I’ve ever seen, we ordered this as our “starter.” (But honestly, you could just say we started with dessert.) Summed up in one word: soul-warming. Biscuit Sandwich: A homemade buttermilk biscuit with city ham, local farm egg (prepared to your liking), and American cheese. Simple, hearty, and perfect for my little one.

Bennie with a fried chicken breast and two poached local farm eggs, drizzled with sawmill gravy. I chose the Carolina Plantation Grits to accompany this structural beauty.

partners.)

farmhouse vibe and dripping with sweet Southern charm, Nectar is Instagram

Want to take some southern sweetness

ready with its charming selfie hedge wall

home with you? Stop by The Hive—

and an extensive menu of mouthwatering

Nectar’s southern pantry that features

and picture-perfect creations that satisfy

locally made goods and unique gifts by

every type of bruncher—from the avocado

Lowcountry makers.

toast lover to those that prefer down-home biscuits and gravy, to those folks who

Since writing this article, Nectar Farm

somehow believe fried chicken qualifies

Kitchen has opened a second location at

as breakfast simply because it’s served

207 Bluffton Road in the heart of Old Town

atop a waffle (you have two choices here).

Bluffton.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

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PHOTOS: Teresa Earnest

the

collins quarter

With two locations in Savannah, Collins

super cool '60s Miami South Beach feel,

little early to put your name on the list.

Quarter has a good handle on the brunch

but it’s the view from the outdoor patio

While you wait, take a stroll and enjoy the

scene, but the Forsyth location at 621

of this stylish restaurant that can’t be

beautiful Forsyth Park fountain—one of

Drayton Street is hands-down our favorite

beat—especially on sunny Saturdays and

Savannah's most well-known (and most

place to relax and enjoy one of the best

Sundays when you can enjoy live jazz

photographed) icons. There’s also a lovely

green spaces in Savannah. Situated in

music and plenty of people watching in the

playground adjacent to the restaurant—

the middle of lush Forsyth Park, you’re

gorgeous, Georgian air.

perfect for families with little ones.

natural beauty: massive, ancient oak trees

With a family-friendly atmosphere (and a

Too busy for brunch? Stop by the takeout

draped with Spanish moss. The interior of

pet-friendly patio!), it does get really busy

window for an espresso, signature drink

the restaurant has been renovated with a

on the weekends, so we suggest going a

to-go, or gelato.

surrounded

by

Savannah’s

stunning

W H AT W E OR DERED: Coffee + Spicy Bloody Mary; Bacon & Egg Biscuit: Don’t let this simple breakfast sandwich fool you—this cheddar & chive biscuit ain’t no yolk. The smoked bacon was so crisp and the light and smoky caramelized onion aioli added the perfect amount of sweet and tangy. Nashville Hot Chicken: One of the trendiest foods out there, this Tennessee dish with buttermilk battered fried chicken on a toasted brioche bun went from being a regional specialty to a crowd favorite—with more and more restaurants serving this spicy, crunchy creation. Park Burger: Who doesn’t love a good burger? This half-pound Angus chuck & brisket burger (It’s a double!) was loaded with flavor thanks to the caramelized onion aioli. Chicken & Waffles: Ahhhh, they’re everywhere, aren’t they? Buttermilk battered fried chicken served over Belgian waffles with an over-easy egg, honey-buffalo & maple syrup, fried garlic and shallot, and chives. Shrimp & Grits: The perfect combination of savory and spicy, this dish was a tasteful mix of pan-seared wild shrimp, Tasso ham, and chipotle tomato gravy served over smoked gouda and goat cheese grits, fried garlic, and chives.

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PALMETTOBLUFF.COM


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SP

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G

MESTER E S

TURKEY WOODS Written by Justin Hardy No two turkey encounters are the same.

check the area where my fanny will land

hopes and dreams, are all present in this

There will always be some variation in

with a tiny flashlight. No rattler. Sit. Quiet.

moment. At the back of your mind, these

the finer details. Once this is realized, the

Dissolve. I completely disappear as the

things are having an all-out brawl with

subtleties can be harvested as a learning

stars do the same one by one.

your confidence.

experience. Every pupil of Tom Turkey

6:00 AM: The sun has grown impatient.

6:20 AM: The Tom’s gobble sets things

is slowly, but surely, becoming a wise

It begins its debut on the eastern horizon,

in motion on this spring morning. The

prophet in the ways of the spring. Here

barely visible through the rich and

hens sound off. He answers them. The

are just a few lessons learned from afield.

diverse canopy. With my back to an oak

crows hear the conversation and want in.

that probably sprouted near the time of

Woodpeckers join. The countless species

the Civil War, I close my eyes and listen

of tweety birds check in. They all share

to the cacophony of critters who anxiously

the excitement of a new day full of new

3:30 AM: The alarm sounds off 20

await the warm morning. I wait as well. It’s

opportunities. After all, it is bird breeding

minutes after I wake up. I ninja my way

cold. The Chuck-will’s-widows grow quiet

season. Oh, my! You make your first call,

out of the house and travel roads with no

as the day life begins to scream.

a set of quiet yet confident yelps. BOOM.

one on them.

6:10 AM: The cardinals are always first.

He answers. You call again but louder.

4:10 AM: Coffee, breakfast, stretch. Head

They “chirp” with ferocity. Wrens follow

Nothing. Stay confident.

out of the Conservancy shop and into the

with a “tea kettle.”

6:25 AM: He gobbles. Only now, he’s

night.

6:14 AM: A barred owl, the last one

closed half of the distance between the

5:45 AM: It is dark but just barely. It’s the

before day breaks, asks, “who cooks?” As

two of you. He’s coming to your calls. You

very last moment of night as we know it.

his cadence ends, the first Tom Turkey

call one more time using excited yelps,

I step out of the truck, swat mosquitoes,

gobbles. My confidence is rejuvenated.

clucks, and cuts. He triple gobbles. All

apply bug spray, turn on the Thermacell,

He gobbles again. This reminds you

of your hairs stand up as you tremble

and hide the keys. I feel confident.

that you’re alive. He gobbles again and

from the adrenaline coursing through

5:48 AM: I find my way to the old oak I

you’re reminded why you are there. One

your body. Breathe, focus. Breathe, focus.

picked out yesterday. The tree that stood

more gobble and you forget everything

You go quiet and let him come to you.

so obviously 12 hours ago, in the golden

from before. Things are different now. It’s

Confidence is high.

sun, is now aloof. My confidence wavers.

daytime. Now, you are hunting. Months of

6:30 AM: At exactly the wrong moment,

I find it after some trouble. Gear drops. I

anticipation, preparation, small fortunes,

he emerges into view in all of his glory.

Confidence is key.

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THEBLUFF.COM


He is in full strut and appears to be ten

April 23, 2021

Maybe there is some moral to be found.

feet tall, larger than life. He is so close;

In preparation for a turkey hunt the

It would be some profound idea about the

his gobble can be felt in your bones.

following morning, I slipped my way

progress we have made as a species or our

You gently move your index finger on

into a nice open hilltop deep in the

divergence from the natural world. Maybe

your shotgun to take off the safety. Tom

heart of Palmetto Bluff. My goal on this

I am attempting to make a connection

takes notice. He turns and exits your life

morning, before daylight, was to listen

where there is none. Maybe all will be

forever. Your confidence goes with him.

to the world awaken. As the sun began to

illuminated again on some distant spring

rise, male turkeys gobble and announce

morning and it’ll all come together for me.

their whereabouts to the world. Their

For now, I am still grappling with it and

announcement told me where to be at this

that’s ok.

A little will go a long way.

time tomorrow. This particular morning

Lessons learned.

Each year, the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy

everything was going as expected. I

commits to various tasks that make the

arrived around 5:45 AM and quieted my

landscape of Palmetto Bluff a paradise

body and mind so that I could get a good

There is no shortage of valuable lessons

in the eyes of the Eastern Wild Turkey.

read on directions and distances when

taught to us in Mother Nature’s classroom.

Prescribed burning, food plots, forb

he gobbled. The world was shrouded in

All we must do is be respectfully present.

production, feeding programs, timber

darkness and silence. I felt tiny.

Sit back, hush, and just observe. Keep a

management, and more are all carried out

journal and look back on it after a beer or

in hopes that there will be turkeys hanging

All at once, I felt a need to turn and look

three. It doesn’t take long to begin pulling

out behind each and every tree. While

behind me. There, in the night sky, a

out ideas and themes that will likely

this is highly beneficial to all wildlife and

brilliant, streaming object was ripping

make us better people. These lessons,

appears to function properly, Reggie has

through the dark abyss. Too slow for a

our classmates, and the availability

shown me that a little goes a long way.

shooting star. Too large for an airplane or

of classrooms are what drive us at the

helicopter. It was silent. It shined bright

Palmetto Bluff Conservancy.

Reggie is an adult male turkey. On any

with a glowing orb around it and a tail

given spring morning, he can be found

made of light smeared behind. What in

If nothing is learned from this exercise, at

strutting and gobbling in the yard at the

the hell is this? Today, of all days, is the

least you had a few moments to yourself

Conservancy shop. This yard, however, is

rapture? I would’ve known about a comet,

in nature. And, no two moments are

not top-notch, pristine turkey habitat. It is

right? No, Justin. don’t say it … aliens? Am

the same; therefore, each

made up of a gravel road, just a bit of clover

I one of “those people” now? Yuck! No,

moment is yours alone…

left over from our winter planting routines,

not me. At that very instant, a barred owl

unless you’ve been

and grass that should have been mowed

smashes the silence, and a turkey gobbles

fortunate enough

weeks ago. It’s a parking lot of sorts for

in response. I had completely forgotten

to share them

equipment, tractor implements, and dirty

the task at hand. A quick Google search

with Reggie.

trucks. Yet, every morning, there he is.

revealed that SpaceX had launched a test

All he really needs in this life is a meager

flight that morning. I had not received

breakfast, a bit of high ground, and, if

a memo. To this day, I wonder if the owl

he plays his cards right, a little female

and the turkey were in the same mental

companionship. It doesn’t take much.

condition as I.

He gobbles at me when I make too much noise. It makes me smile. A little goes a

That morning was a culmination of

long way for the both of us.

different eras. I was doing something ancient—hunting.

The times, they are a-changin.

I

was

witnessing

something brand new—privatized space travel. The two met in my presence.

LEARN MORE Learn how the Conservancy works every day to maximize our SPRING/SUMMER 2022 17 natural resources.


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WHERE THE

RIVER FLOWS Meet Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland, Palmetto Bluff’s rockstar in residence. Written by: Barry Kaufman Photography by: Rob Kaufman and Krisztian Lonyai 20

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S P R I N G / S U M PHOTO: M E R 2 0 2Rob 2

Kaufman 21


In thirty or forty years, if you happen to see a raging fire burning out on the waters of the May River, don’t be alarmed.

Hints,

Allegations

of nervous. This is the first time I’ve been sober during a show.’ I told him, ‘If

& Things Left Unsaid

it makes you feel any better, I’m pretty

For those who didn’t grow up in the era

who taught me how to play golf.”

when Collective Soul ruled the radio,

In a post-grunge era of bubblegum pop,

or who haven’t seen them live during

sensitive rock, and gangsta rap, Collective

their nearly endless 30-year tour since,

Soul unapologetically did their own thing,

a brief introduction might be in order.

and music fans responded. You can’t

Emerging at a time when rock music was

really categorize it as a “meteoric” rise

in an odd state of flux—the hair band era

to fame. Once “Shine” blew up on college

was officially over, and the shine was just

rock radio and MTV, the band went back

for 10 years,’” remarked Ed with a laugh,

starting to come off grunge—Collective

into the studio for their self-titled follow-

staring down the Bluff toward his planned

Soul entered the fray with “Shine,” a

up album, which included some of their

final resting place. “Next thing I know

track that married optimistic lyrics with

best-known songs. Or at least that most

they’re all out back with old bows and

headbanging guitar riffs.

people will have heard countless times

That’s just Ed Roland, taking one last trip downstream before heading off into the hereafter. “The guys were all down here one time and they were like, ‘You know when you pass, we should probably do a Viking funeral for you. We’ll douse you in some gasoline and send you out there and shoot some flaming arrows. And whoever gets you first gets five percent of your publishing

That’s how much we love each other… And they know how much I love it here.” It would be a fittingly epic end for Roland, seen off by his Collective Soul brothers and bandmates and resting in the river that has come to mean so much to him.

nervous, too. This is my first time I’ve ever had to open for Van Halen,’” said Roland. “We became buds. He’s the one

without realizing they all stemmed from

arrows practicing just to mess with me. It was their first big hit. For Ed Roland, a

the same band.

kid from Stockbridge, Georgia who grew up obsessed with music, it was a chance

“I did a show with Tom Morello from Rage

to meet his heroes. Elton John, a massive

Against the Machine, and after the show

influence on Roland’s early life, became

he said, ‘I didn’t know you did all those

friend, neighbor, and eventual collaborator

songs,’ and I was like, ‘yeah, that’s just

on 2000’s “Perfect Day.” Opening for Van

how it goes.’”

Halen on their second tour, he shared a moment with their iconic guitar player.

“I mean, that’s God’s artwork right here,”

22

Eddie walks up to me and says, ‘I’m kind

While tracks like “The World I Know,” “Where The River Flows,” and “December,”

he said, his gaze still on the May. “It’s

“I’m standing there before the show just

will live forever as long as there is rock

pretty cool.”

in awe that this is about to happen, and

and roll radio and jukeboxes in bars, they

THEBLUFF.COM


JAM OUT Explore concert dates, recent releases, and more. PHOTO: Krisztian Lonyai

represent the odd niche that Collective

“We just fell in love with it,” he said. “It

So after spending as much time as he can

Soul represents in the musical pantheon.

was just a spiritual thing.”

at Palmetto Bluff, Roland finally made the move permanent this past year. “It was 7

“We had hits before anyone knew who

See What You Started by Continuing

a.m. on a Monday morning, and I made an

stopped… You want people to love the early

During

decades,

Far from the clamor and turmoil of city

stuff, but you also want them to appreciate

Palmetto Bluff would become Roland’s

living that Atlanta offered, Roland has

what you’re doing now. It energizes us to

getaway and the creative muse for both

found a new songwriting mojo among

get out and play the new stuff.”

himself as a songwriter and for his band.

the natural tranquility of the Bluff. “And

the band was. I mean, ‘Shine’ was ‘Shine.’ We’re just very blessed that the songs were bigger than the band, especially in the beginning,” said Roland. “That’s one of the hardest parts. After 30 years we’ve never

the

intervening

executive decision. I didn’t tell my wife,” he said with a laugh. “I knew I’d have to do some explaining, but it was an easy sell… I think she was just waiting for me.”

“We look for places that inspire us, which

it gives me the freedom to concentrate

It’s worth noting that despite 30 years

is one of the reasons I love it here,” he

because I never know when I’m creating.

of non-stop recording and touring for

said. “When we’re here we just can’t wait

That’s the beautiful thing about being

Roland, between Collective Soul and his

to record.”

down here. I’m not disturbed, you know?

side hustle Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea

And I mean just look at that right there,”

Project, despite legions of loyal fans who

And while his home and accompanying

he said, returning his gaze to the river.

come out for the old stuff and the new

studio are being built, he’s finding

“That’s winning right there.”

stuff, there is one singular hole in his

inspiration anywhere and everywhere

legendary career. And that hole is shaped

he can. Some tracks were recorded at a

And with his bandmates spread all over the

like a Grammy.

(very understanding) neighbor’s house.

country from San Diego to Indianapolis,

Some at the Roasting Room, in Old Town

Palmetto Bluff represents a place they can

“It is what it is,” said Roland. Still, the

Bluffton. “Porch Swing,” the final track of

all come together and share in the mutual

Grammy committee was nice enough to

their 2019 album, Blood was written on a

joy of music that has sustained them

give him one heck of a consolation prize.

porch swing gazing out at the May River.

for decades. It also represents a place to

After Dolly Parton won a Grammy in 2001

Not that that’s unusual for Roland. “We

practice their archery for that final show.

for her cover of “Shine,” the Grammys

have two records in the can now, and out

sent Ed Roland and his wife to a little

of the 12 records we’ve done, we’ve only

“It feels like home,” he said. “And then in

place called Palmetto Bluff and changed

done two in a proper studio, for lack of a

hopefully 30, 40 years you’ll see a little

the trajectory of their lives.

better term.”

fire out there for me.”

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

23


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l

Like most of the associates at Montage Palmetto Bluff, Cauley likes to get to the office a few minutes early so she can greet all her co-workers before the daily team

meeting, where she will line up attentively to prepare for the day ahead. Unlike most of the associates at Montage Palmetto Bluff, Cauley is a dog. She and her work sister Magnolia, better known as Maggie, are the resort’s canine ambassadors, and they take their jobs seriously. Well, Cauley does; Maggie is a bit of a jokester. The pups, a pair of black lab mixes rescued from the nearby Hilton Head Humane Society shelter, spend the better part of the day hanging around to keep guests and associates company and generally brighten everyone’s spirits. “They’re there just for pets and pictures and to add joy,” says Christine Wrobel, Montage Palmetto Bluff’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing and Cauley’s human mom.

26

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Good Dog Written by: JUSTIN JARRETT

Photos by: PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNE, INC.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

27


magnolia The concept began at Montage’s Deer Valley property in Utah, where canine ambassadors Montreux (Monty) and Summit, a pair of snow-loving Bernese Mountain Dogs, and three predecessors have been on staff since the resort opened in 2010. Palmetto Bluff joined the club in 2016, becoming the second Montage resort to count canines among its associates. The resort wanted a breed that had ties to the area, and the labs’ reputation as quiet hunting dogs who form strong bonds with people seemed a perfect fit for Palmetto Bluff. The canine ambassadors were paired with associates who volunteered to adopt them and oversee their training to prepare them to meet and greet guests or even accompany them on guided hikes around the vast property. But when the human associates moved on to other locations, their canine co-

M AG G I E

workers went with them.

MEET THE CANINE AMBASSADORS AGE: 3

BREED: Black Lab mix

FAVORITE TREAT: Marrow bones

FAVORITE TOY: Any stuffed animal that I’m not supposed to be playing with FAVORITE GAME: Playing “thunder-dome” with my sisters LIKES: Everything!

DISLIKES: Waking up in the morning

FUN FACT: I have two German Shepherd sisters at home.

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THEBLUFF.COM


C AU LE Y

MEET THE CANINE AMBASSADORS AGE: 4

BREED: Black Lab mix

FAVORITE TREAT: Any treat someone wants to give me (my mom and vet say I’m not allowed any because I’m a little too round) FAVORITE TOY: A squeaky ball

FAVORITE GAME: Fetch, for about 5 minutes when I get home from work LIKES: Belly rubs, long naps on the couch, morning walks DISLIKES: Long walks

FUN FACT: I open my mouth and “bark” silently to get my mom’s attention.

Enter Cauley. Named for the creek that runs just outside Palmetto Bluff’s Moreland Village, Cauley joined the Montage Palmetto Bluff family in August 2019 after trainer Alison Armao of Leader of the Pack training on nearby Hilton Head Island identified her as a great candidate for the canine ambassador program. When she saw Cauley at the Hilton Head Humane shelter, she recognized that she knew a number of commands but remained calm and quiet when potential adoptive parents visited, so she didn’t make a quick impression. That laid-back demeanor was a perfect fit for the career opportunity at Montage Palmetto Bluff, and Cauley took to her new role quickly. “The moment she came into our team, she knew she was home,” Wrobel says. “She’s such a joy, not only to our guests but also our associates. Everyone knows her, and she’s

cauley

everyone’s favorite co-worker.”

Everyone knows the only thing better than one dog is two dogs.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

29


good

A DARN

DOG

When considering which breed would best represent Montage

Filling out the resort’s canine quota proved more difficult than expected when

Palmetto Bluff in the Canine

the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, but five months later the salty

Ambassador

the

dog department was fully staffed again when Maggie came on board. Only

considered

physically distinguishable from her pal Cauley because of a white stripe up

the South Carolina state dog,

her chest, Maggie has a personality all her own and is known around the resort

the Boykin Spaniel, but they can

for her colorful, stylish collars and expressive faces. She might be a bit too

be a bit too active for this more

active for the role if not for two German Shepherd sisters at home, who provide

laid-back role. So they turned

plenty of playtime and leave her looking forward to unwinding at work.

resort

their

program,

leadership

attention

to

another

sporting breed, perhaps the

The program’s success first at Montage Deer Valley and now at Montage

best. Labrador retrievers are

Palmetto Bluff has prompted an expansion to Montage Healdsburg in

the

sporting

California’s Sonoma wine country, where a Lagotto Romagnolo named Beau

breed in the United States,

Alexander lounges in the lobby and puts smiles on guests’ faces when he isn’t

known for their versatility —

helping to forage for local truffles for the resort’s chefs to use in their cuisine.

most

popular

they are highly trainable and can point and flush prey, as well

Before you get concerned about canine labor laws, the pups aren’t exactly

as retrieve, naturally. They are

putting in overtime. Cauley and Maggie each work three days a week, and

equally comfortable in the field

the hours are pretty cushy. On a typical day, the canine ambassador of the

or a duck blind, and with their

day wags in around 10 in the morning and kicks off about 3 in the afternoon,

water-resistant coat, strong tail,

spending most of their workday lounging around the “Discover” area of the

and webbed toes, Labradors are

resort. Cauley and Maggie have their own office, so to speak, but the decorum

well-suited for the water, which

isn’t quite what you’d expect in the workplace.

is ample at Palmetto Bluff. Best of all, Labradors are friendly to

“Adults go in there on a daily basis and lay down on the floor and cuddle with

all, easy to train, and people

the dogs,” Wrobel says with a laugh.

pleasers, making them ideal canine ambassadors for the

Families often come to Discover to visit the concierge and book activities

resort and capturing the laid-

such as bike rides or kayak tours and wind up spending some quality time

back nature of the Lowcountry.

with the dog of the day, then come back later wondering why they bothered to do anything else. Wrobel beams when she describes the dogs’ personalities and everything they bring to the resort. “They’re so much fun, and as a lover of rescues, I am so excited with how this has turned out for our property and for our dogs,” she says. “I feel like they’re just a great representation of the amazing dogs are waiting for people in shelters.” And at more and more Montage resorts.

30

THEBLUFF.COM



The way home. PO Box 1928 | Bluffton, SC 29910 | (843) 247-5452 | csthomasconstruction.com


ec

as

co

nn

ting

Written by: Dale Barr

through

a c the

Photography by: Cameron Wilder

v n


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long before Palmetto Bluff became the vibrant community it is today, its landscape let Blakely Little peek behind the Spanish moss curtain, giving her a glimpse at one of the Lowcountry’s best-kept secrets. As a young girl visiting her grandparents in Hilton Head, Little

soul to the land; to the way she intuitively connects with color and

had the rare opportunity to see Palmetto Bluff’s marshes and

texture; all the way down to how she makes human connections

landscape in all their splendor, raw and untouched.

through her artwork and her engaging personality.

“It was my first adventure on my own,” she recalls. “My brother

Little’s affinity for nature traces back to her childhood days in

and I flew to Savannah. My grandparents picked us up … and we

Annapolis, Maryland. “I grew up spending time on the water,

went to Palmetto Bluff often, just because it was so beautiful.”

boating and sailing with my family.” But Little quickly adds, “I

At that time, the ink on Palmetto Bluff’s vision statement was

wouldn’t say that growing up, everyone knew I was going to be an

barely dry and development of the property hadn’t really begun.

artist. They were more like, ‘This girl is all over the place!’”

Little cherishes the memories she made that summer. “I had just gotten my first DSLR camera … I took pictures of my grandparents

Although she was always making things, it wasn’t until she took

walking around everywhere at Palmetto Bluff. Even early on, I

a painting class in her junior year of high school that her creative

was gaining inspiration from the Lowcountry and this area.”

spark ignited.

Now a thriving Charleston-based artist, Little is best known for her

Little quickly realized how much she liked to paint and that she

marsh paintings and seascapes. Hers is a story of connections—

was good at it. She had fun playing with colors and skipped many

from the way her eye keenly connects to the landscape and her

of her lunch hours so she could keep working on her paintings.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

35


“My brother would come find me in the art room … and I’d tell him

And for Little, that teacher was named Lorenzo.

I have to finish this painting because I just loved it so much!” Little recalls walking into Lorenzo’s painting class in a pink When the time came to go off to college, Little chose to major

peacoat, playing James Taylor music, and painting “these fun,

in arts management and minor in studio art at the College of

bright scenes.”

Charleston. Having always been interested in business and leadership, this combination gave her the best of both worlds. “I

Reflecting on what she was painting in comparison to the other

got to be really in touch with the artistic side but also learn the

students, Little says, “I think for a while that felt like it wouldn’t be

business side of things.”

enough. That that didn’t really matter and it wasn’t deep enough. But Lorenzo would always say if it looks like you and reflects you,

Little thought she’d use her degree to manage artists or a gallery,

then it does mean something. That was the first time someone

or maybe work for a brand. But a single semester studying in Italy

ever said to me that you, your personality, the way you grew

changed all of that. By the time she came home, she was no longer

up, everything you’ve experienced brought you to this place as

dreaming about a career managing other artists or galleries. She

an artist and because it means something to you, it can mean

was dreaming about being an artist herself.

something to others.”

“The turning point for me really came when I studied abroad. I went

It was a game-changing moment.

to SACI, which is Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. I only took studio classes in painting, photography, sculpture, and

Little returned to Charleston buzzing with inspiration and

Italian. And my painting class completely changed everything.”

motivation. In one of her first art shows, a woman approached her and said, “I looked at your painting and to me, it felt like a

As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

36

THEBLUFF.COM

deep breath.”


INSPIRATION SPRING/SUMMER 2022

37


DEEP BREATH BE INSPIRED

38

View Blakey’s work and Tfollow H E B L U F F . along. COM


That was exactly the kind of emotion she wanted to evoke and the

I know others experience those feelings as well but don’t have the

human connection she wanted to make.

ability to paint it or capture it. They can only take their phone and take a picture. My hope is that others, when they see my painting,

With confidence growing, she began to pay more attention to

they can see themselves and their lives in it.”

the advice of artist friends, Lulie Wallace and Teil Duncan, who thought she could paint as a full-time career. Working a day job to

Little learned early on that finding her artistic niche as easily as she

pay the bills and painting at night, Little used her business skills

did could be a double-edged sword. A few years into her career, she

to promote her “side hustle” as a painter. After about a year and

was painting to keep up with demand and producing what people

a half, she took the leap of faith and began painting full-time. “It

were buying. A jarring moment came when she looked back on the

was exciting to see the consistency in the income, so I could quit

past few months of work and said, “I think these are good paintings

my job and go for it!”

but … I don’t want to hang any of them in my house.” Little knew if she kept painting in her niche strictly to sell pieces, she’d get stuck.

Human connection continues to be the reason Little paints today. “Artists connect with people’s emotions,” she explains. “I get

Going back to the fundamentals she learned in college, she began

to see the world in a specific way— each of us do. The way I see

creating “idea books,” organizing on the pages everything from

it, certain things stick out. Things that fill me up and make me

magazine clippings and photos to inspirational quotes and local

excited are travel, being on the water, being at the beach, seeing

foliage. She credits her idea books for allowing her “to breathe and

landscapes and seascapes … my mind goes crazy with inspiration.

grow” with her artwork.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

39


Little also stretches her artistic muscles by learning and trying

because all these people are watching and you start to question

new techniques and traveling to destinations with landscapes

yourself. Then I stepped back and looked at the painting and

different from the ones she’s used to painting. “I know how my

thought, ‘Oh, yeah, I can do this! I got this!’”

mind reads a marsh line—how I read the colors, how I read the light, and how I depict that in a painting. But when the shoreline

When a guest came up and began commenting in her native

is rocky and has cliffs and beautiful pine trees, how does my mind

language about the painting, Little was anything but rattled.

translate that?”

In fact, she was thrilled. “I thought, I’m painting in Greece and people like my work! I can do this!”

A recent trip to the coast of Maine put her translation abilities to the test. It was also her first time traveling to a destination with the

At another hotel, Little met Allegra, a woman she calls a kindred

intention of doing a series. “One of my goals for this past year was

spirit. Their aesthetic and inspiration aligned so perfectly that

to travel somewhere and take in everything I could —the flowers,

the two women are planning for Little to host a workshop at

the foliage, the sounds, the scenes, the colors—try to capture it all

Mèlisses on the Greek Island of Andros in 2022. Looking back,

in my idea book then come back to my studio and paint it.”

Little realizes the trip to Greece was “not only about me painting but about making connections and making friends from all over

A few months after her trip to Maine, Little and her husband spent

the place.”

an entire month in Greece, where she says, “The blues and the whites of Greece are unlike anything I’ve experienced before.”

In a pandemic era when connection of any kind feels so elusive, the magic of Blakely Little’s artwork, and I daresay of Blakely

But Little found inspiration beyond the Grecian color palette

Little herself, has found ways to defy the odds and unite us all in

alone. One particularly inspirational moment happened in

our shared human experience.

Mykonos. While guests were having breakfast at a hotel, Little

40

was asked to paint the view. “It felt surreal,” she says. “At one

You can find out more about Blakely at blakelymade.com and on

point, I’m like, ‘Can I even do this? Do I even know how to paint?’

Instagram @blakelymade.

THEBLUFF.COM


REFLECTION SPRING/SUMMER 2022

41


MOTIVATION 42

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KS

INTERIOR DESIGN

THE PROMENADE | BLUFFTON, SC | 843.757.2529 | www.ksmid.com |

ksmcroriedesign


LOCAL CHARACTER Palmetto Bluff Farm

shane rahn WRITTEN BY:

a l l is on c or r e l l

Sit down with Farm Manager Shane Rahn for two minutes, and one

species of fish. When reflecting on the pond project, he remembers

thing will become clear very quickly. This is someone who loves

“how much work we put into [it] and how much gratitude came out

this land—and he will work tirelessly to ensure that anyone he

of it.” In addition to the pond, Shane meticulously cultivated the

meets can—and will—love it as well.

garden he inherited last fall, and he’s currently tilling more land to make a second garden that will be one-and-a-half times bigger

Shane’s history with the land of Palmetto Bluff runs deep; his father

than the first.

used to work for Union Camp Paper Company, and Shane thinks his first foray onto this land was when he was about six weeks old.

Shane’s love of the Farm is contagious. From residents to chefs to

He continued to spend many childhood days playing, hunting,

golf course pros, he’s cast a wide net for folks to be involved with

and just exploring the land. When asked if he thinks he’s covered

the Farm. There’s a volunteer program on Wednesday and Friday

all 20,000 acres, he quickly responds, “Oh yes.” After graduating

mornings, where residents can come help in the garden. (He

from college, Shane returned, first working with the Palmetto

mentions how two residents text him on “off” days and ask if they

Bluff Conservancy for five years and then, in Fall 2020, he became

can pop by and help.) He also collaborates with the chefs at Cole’s,

manager of the Palmetto Bluff Farm.

Octagon, and Buffalo’s—asking them what they’d like him to plant

shane ’ s enthusiasm for this role is

or sending a quick text when he has an abundance of jalapeños to

undeniable. It’s clear he respects the history of the land while he

table). He even has Golf Course Superintendent Chris Johnson

also has bold ideas for what can be done.

weighing in on his grass-growing efforts for an ideal event space

ask if anyone could use them that evening (quite literally, farm-to-

(for a Farm brunch or dinner and, perhaps, Shane says, “even a When it comes to the 15 acres of the Palmetto Bluff Farm, Shane

wedding one day”).

prioritizes both function and beauty. When first starting as Farm

44

manager, one of his top priorities was to rebuild the 3.5-acre pond.

This land welcomed Shane as a child—and he fell in love with it. As

He says they “took it down to a puddle” and then rebuilt the slope

Farm manager, he’s intent on paying that forward. He brings his

and manicured the land, all to make it accessible—and beautiful. It’s

history, gratitude, and vision to work with him every day. And, as

now one of the deepest ponds on property and is home to a variety of

he says to his resident-volunteers, “If the gate’s open, come on in.”

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P L AY V I D E O Dig deeper with Farmer Shane and find out what’s cropping up this year.

“IF THE GATE’S OPEN, COME ON IN.”


Q . WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND AS YOU DRIVE INTO PALMETTO BLUFF? A . I often wonder how the Wilson family made that drive in so perfect and how the Union Camp Paper Company kept this place in such pristine condition. I think of all the old Model A Fords that bumped and squeaked their way into the property to go have a party at the Wilson mansion.

Q . WHAT ABOUT ON YOUR WAY HOME? A . When driving out of this property, the biggest thing on my mind is dinner and playing fetch with my lab, Daisy—followed by the endless thoughts of the next day’s agenda at the Farm.

Q . TOP FIVE SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST? A . My all-time favorite country song is “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (George Jones), followed by “It Must Be Love” (Alan Jackson), “Check Yes or No” (George Strait), “Universal Sound” (Tyler Childers), and “23” (Chayce Beckham).

Q . WHAT IS IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? A . Graduating from college. No family member of mine had gone to a fouryear college before. It was such an amazing feeling to walk across that stage and hold that diploma. Many late nights of studying went into that degree, and now I get to put it to work every single day.

Q . WHAT IS YOUR MOST MARKED CHARACTERISTIC? A . Respect—both to give and to earn.

Q . WHAT IS SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DONT KNOW ABOUT YOU? A . If I tell you, then everyone will know, but I hate onions with a passion.

Q . WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? A . Even though I have read it several times, Shiloh was the latest book I read. It gets me every time.

Q . IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? AND HOW WOULD YOU USE IT IN YOUR JOB? A . It would have to be flying! I walk so much daily and being able to fly around the Farm would help so much. Wouldn’t need new boots so often.

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PH T AE LM B LEU TF TF O. B CLOUMF F . C O M


Q . WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT PALMETTO BLUFF, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? A . I am usually working on something around my house, visiting my two nieces at my sister’s house, or taking Daisy for a ride around town in the bed of my truck.

Q . WHAT WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU USE THE MOST? A . I have always used the word fuzz when saying something needs to be a little bigger or smaller, tighter or looser. For example, “I need to cut that hole just a fuzz bigger” or “that bolt is just a fuzz too big.” I’ve come to realize that a few of our property owners find this hilarious.

Q . WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? A . Right now, my biggest laugh comes from my almostfour-year-old niece, Sawyer, who tries to mock what we say in her funny little voice. (A recent favorite was her mimicking my dad, “them damn taters.”) It is priceless.

Q . WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT AT THE BLUFF? A . I have three spots here that are breathtaking and have only been seen by a handful of people. Two are found in the managed forest (which is managed by my dad)—the Smilax-Vine hill next to the swamp, followed by the lower ponds which overlook the New River and old rice paddocks. The third can be found off #8 road, on the edge of the big drain that parallels the road. There are big oak trees there and other kinds of trees that you’ll only see in that type of spot. It’s never been touched, never been developed. It’s so pristine.

Q . BEST PALMETTO BLUFF MOMENT? A . So far, my best moment at Palmetto Bluff was during one of my tomato tasting events. Towards the end, a club member stood up and acknowledged my hard work and passion towards my job. To have that person stand up and speak so kindly towards me was very rewarding— enough to bring a slight tear to my eye.


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LEARN MORE Learn more about Mitchelville and the master plan for Freedom Park.

MITCHELVILLE

d n u o gr under

UNTOLD STORIES FROM

WRITTEN BY: LUANA M. GRAVES SELLARS


M

ost people already know that the Lowcountry is

At one time encompassing several hundred acres, today, a portion

a special place. And if you live here, its charm

of the original land is being preserved as Mitchelville Freedom

and beauty lend themselves to quiet living and

Park, which not only commemorates the nearly forgotten historic

spectacular views. But, living in the Lowcountry

town but is also recognized as an important Underground

offers so much more, because we

Railroad site. Names like Harriet

are so incredibly fortunate to be

Tubman, Clara Barton, Robert

surrounded by cultural assets

Smalls, Secretary of War, Simon

and legacies that have such a rich

Cameron, and Abolitionist William

and significant history, that they

Lloyd Garrison, all spent time in

should be equated to places like

Mitchelville. “Folks don’t know

historic Boston or Williamsburg.

who was here and the type of VIPs who came to Hilton Head,” says

On Hilton Head Island, is the

Ahmad Ward, Executive Director

home of Mitchelville, the first self-

of Mitchelville, who was recently

governed town for freedmen in the

recognized with the 2021 Southeast

United States. What’s incredible

Museum Conference Museum

about Mitchelville, is that the

Leadership Award.

town, which was formed in 1862, was established at the beginning of the Civil War, when Union forces occupied Hilton Head as their headquarters of the South and were trying to figure out what to do with a large population of abandoned and escaped formerly enslaved people. At the time, Mitchelville was a radical idea in the midst of a hostile area. The town was the heart of The Port Royal Experiment, a U.S. government

If you haven’t heard about what’s

We believe that Mitchelville is a once in a lifetime story.

going on at the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park lately, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The current momentum and growth that the park is

experiencing has been

building over the past few years and is a direct result of support from former Hilton Head Mayor Bennett, his wife Terri, and strong leadership from the Mitchelville Board of Directors. “This has been a multi-year project

program that proved to a skeptical

that is finally coming to fruition,”

American public that African-

says outgoing Mitchelville Board

Americans would fight for freedom

Chair, Peaches Peterson. It all

and country, work for wages

began years ago with “convincing

within a free-enterprise labor

the board that we needed an

system, and live responsibly as

Executive Director” and after an

independent citizens. Mitchelville was and

constructed, governed

inhabited,

exclusively

by

extensive search, hiring Ward to PHOTOS (top): Philip Nix and Meyrem Bulucek PHOTO (bottom): Courtesy of Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park

lead Mitchelville to the next level was exactly what the park needed.

previously enslaved freedom-seekers. Ultimately, in an effort

“Both of the Bennetts were instrumental in opening the doors of

to protect the thriving town that became home to thousands

the Town of Hilton Head and Beaufort County,” recalls Peterson.

of newly freed Blacks, the Union Army built Ft. Howell at the northern edge. The fort is located on Beach City Road.

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The pivotal beginning for the project was when Ward presented


a $575,000 proposal to the county to institute “a master plan that

the project is.” Peterson goes on to say “people need to be proud

had skin in the game,” which included bringing on consultant

of Mitchelville and the perseverance of Mitchelville’s residents.”

WLA Studios who, since then has been able to “take it forward.’’

Because of them, “Mitchelville helped to keep this area alive. Its

The combination of the grant and a community-engaged

value is both in a historic and current sense. People persevered

process gave Mitchelville all the

in the Mitchelville story, which

“ingredients that it needed to be’’

highlights

on the right path towards success.

aspirations of African Americans.”

the

struggles

and

This story is “especially important Now that the project has its foundational

business

in our time of racial injustice.”

plan,

Mitchelville is working on its

“We believe that Mitchelville is

strategy of how the project will be

a once in a lifetime story,” adds

moving forward as well as what can

Ward. It’s a place “where African

be done to keep it relevant. Like all

Americans had the opportunity

things, 2020 and COVID-19 have

to become citizens and create

created unexpected challenges and

institutions

a new way of thinking. Fortunately,

exist today,” such as compulsory

Mitchelville has a very “corporate

education “which was a priority.”

that

continue

to

and strategically focused board that is also passionate” as well

The Town of Mitchelville may

as an advisory board with strong

have only lasted for a few short

community

connections.

We’ve pulled more than 400 pieces and have found more objects than we expected.

The

annual fundraising opportunities and cultural events that the park has become known for had to be put on hold, yet the project was able to create several successful virtual events to maintain a consistent presence with its supporters. Starting a capital campaign in January 2020 in the midst of the pandemic has been one of the newest challenges. The inclusion of Compass Group to lead them through a capital campaign gave them “a strategy and formation”

years, however “when it ended, it had a purpose.” In talking to Brent Morris, a researcher and historian from the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Ahmad agrees that

enabled people to move on to other areas and continue doing the things that they learned. After 1865, when the Union Army left, the economic engine left, and people started

looking

for

separated

family members. They left with their

skills,

an

understanding

of democracy, the ability and desire to vote, and to speak up

to help determine their overall term goal of raising what they

completed

the things that it needed to and

as they develop a feasibility study financial goals as well as the long

“Mitchelville

for their community. Mitchelville PHOTO (top): Courtesy of Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park PHOTO (bottom): Philip Nix and Meyrem Bulucek

expect will ultimately be close to $20 million.

was a proving ground for people [especially anti-reconstructionists]

who didn’t think that it could be successful.”

The Board is fully aware that they have a “long road for Mitchelville

Even though the town is not inhabited now, fascinating stories

to move down towards changing the minds and hearts of how valid

are still being told. Part of the current master planning process

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

51


includes surveying the park’s 24 acres and mapping locations for

deal,” says Ward. “Now we’re looking for grants or financial

potential building sites. Within the last few years, several exciting

opportunities to enable us to identify and understand how the

finds have been discovered throughout the footprint of the park.

hearth was used and determine further information about what’s been found.”

Katherine Seeber, a graduate student

from

University’s

Binghamton

Department

The next big project is installing

of

bateau panels along the pathways

Anthropology, is leading the

to highlight information or tell

survey and says that the dig has

the town’s story step by step.

been “pretty exciting. Mitchelville

“Mitchelville

is a very special place.” The older trees on the property “are important

because

it’s

where

people gathered, cooked, made baskets and nets.” The work that they are doing “is based on context. Imagine doing something repetitive in the same place. The depths of items found represent various time periods based on how compacted they are.” With the use of magnetometry and

ground-penetrating

radar,

they discovered a full brick hearth that might have been attached to a home or used to make tabby. Other significant finds include an outline of what they believe to be the footprint of a home, a praise house, and hundreds of

The older trees on the property are important because it’s where people gathered, cooked, made baskets and nets.

is

becoming

a

premier Black organization on Hilton Head and is working in a laser-focused way.” The story of Mitchelville as the first self-governed town for freedmen is an important part of America’s story and should have a national focus. “Mitchelville is a premier cultural heritage attraction that everyone can connect to. It’s not just an African American story,” Peterson says. In

a

time

are

searching

when for

people ancestral

connections and a sense of self through DNA and genealogical research, “the timing is good for us. People are looking to connect to their lineage,” says

colonoware, which is a type of

Peterson. As a researchable

ceramic that was not produced by

location with Civil War records,

anyone other than slaves.

Mitchelville’s relevance as a tangible place for people to

“So far, we’ve pulled more than

make connections is yet another

400 pieces and have found more

important part of its story.

objects than we expected,” Seeber says. “One pot in particular, was

Through the dig and other

found like it was dropped and left.

project

It wasn’t a beautiful ceramic, but it

“Mitchelville offers more meat

was thick with designs.”

PHOTO (top): Philip Nix and Meyrem Bulucek PHOTO (bottom): Courtesy of Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park

aspects,

Ward

says,

to the story of [what] South Carolina [means] to American

52

With so many incredible items being found, Mitchelville’s story

history. Once we open [the park], people can pull into [a

is growing and evolving. The discovery of the hearth “is a huge

historical] trail and come into the Lowcountry.”

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Corley Creek Spring by West Fraser

Specializing in American Fine Art


54

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epic catches FOR STEPHENS,

ARE THE

ULTIMATE RELEASE Written by: Tim Wood Photos by: Photography by Anne, Inc.

His has been a life defined by all-in passion, a tale populated with a cadre of “E” words reserved for those audacious enough to attempt a marriage of aspiration and adrenaline. Whether improving health conditions in Third World countries or educating others while sharing his love of fly fishing, the impact is always the same. When Will Stephens puts his imprint on a project, the end result is excellence. It’s the through-line for his military service and 35 years of life-saving work for one of the world’s largest companies. And there’s been no slowing of that trait in his “retirement” to Palmetto Bluff. He’s turned what was supposed to be a part-time job to get him out of the house into helping build a world-renowned outdoorsmen epicenter at Southern Drawl Outfitters on Hilton Head Island.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

55


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“I will admit, it’s been one hell of a ride,” said the soonto-be septuagenarian in a chat bookended between a 10-day adventure to the Amazon and a months-long teaching residency in Belize. “My wife, Cybil, and I are driven to make the most of every day we are gifted with. So I thrive on that next adventure.” For nearly four decades, the catalyst for that next sojourn was his work for pharmaceutical titan Johnson & Johnson. The Trenton native and Ryder University graduate rose through the ranks quickly at the New Jersey-based company. He traveled the world for J&J, helping to see many of the company’s philanthropic projects to fruition, such as supplying anti-infective drugs for HIV to Third World countries and drugs to fight dengue fever and Ebola in the Congo and western Africa. His posts led him to home bases from Boston to Chicago to Jacksonville. But he was never at home very long. “I’ve got well over a million frequent flyer miles and counting accumulated with Continental,” Stephens said. “I’d take travel risks into dangerous

patience and planning,” Stephens said. “But the

countries because I always had support, and I put

rewards for the efforts in both have been life-

my trust in the relationships I formed that got me

changing and epic blessings.”

access to some far-flung locales. When you’re flying

But the

in with the shipments we delivered, it tends to open

The more obscure the fish, the better. It’s what

plenty of doors to explore the edges of civilization.”

has led him to pursue and land arowana in the

rewards for

Amazon, pacu in the jungles of Bolivia, and tiger

the efforts in

The life-and-death weight of his work in the world’s

fish in Tanzania’s Zambezi River. Then there’s the

most impoverished countries made a steam-

200-pound, 7-foot-long, and 36 -inch wide arapaima

relieving outlet a necessity. For that, he leaned

in Brazil. “The arapaima were almost extinct for a

on his Jersey Shore childhood days hunting for

while, they were so overfished because their meat is

stripers from Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook all the way

so exquisite. The government dedicated a reserve,

out to Montauk Point on Long Island.

they only let anglers in [xx days] there per week, all catch and release, and it’s the only place in the

His trusted fly rod was his best friend, as he constantly

world to find them,” he said. “That’s what I’m after.

pushed his fisherman skills via exclamation endings

The places few people have gone and to catch stuff

to high-stakes international assignments. The

no one’s caught before. The golden dorado in the

ultimate stress reliever for Stephens was an equally

foothills of the Andes that are hugely aggressive,

dangerous trip into the most exotic and sought-after

30-feet fish you have to hike 8 kilometers with gear

fishing waters in Latin and South America and the

just to have the chance to land. That’s my lane.”

both have been life-changing and epic blessings.

Caribbean. When Stephens finally began considering stepping “They represent two different parts of my life, but

away from his career with J&J, he wanted to find

my work and my fishing both demand extreme

a new home zip code that would fuel his thirst for

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

57


the next big catch. Colleagues told him of Palmetto Bluff. He and

months later, he approached Duffey about being a partner in the

Cybill visited in 2015, went to three straight Music to Your Mouth

business.

festivals, and then built their dream Bluff home in 2017. “It’s worked out beyond my wildest dreams, taken off and grown “I retired in October, we moved in in March. I’d had my boat

a thousand different arms and legs,” Stephens said of going

down here two years before that. I’d go fishing and Cybil

into a 50/50 partnership with Duffey at Southern Drawl.

would go to art festivals,” he said. “Art is her passion,

“Our mantra is we arm the angler for success. It’s

and we found the Bluff to be the perfect destination

education first, the right rigging, knowing the tide

for both our worlds.” Stephens spent his first year disconnected while he decompressed from a life in the fast lane. “We got the house set up, but Cybil had had enough

schedules. Then we get to actually buying gear.”

Our mantra is we arm the

of me. I spent my life on the road and she wasn’t loving the house-bound version of me,” he said.

angler for success.

That led him to visit a fly fishing shop: Southern Drawl. New owner Paul Duffey had gear that intrigued Stephens,

58

He has found that teaching classes at the shop, taking clients out to Pinckney Island at low tide to study crabs and bait in the water, and fronting fly fishing beginner classes at the Bluff to be a neargenetic match for his “retirement.”

“Teaching is in my DNA. It’s a challenge to dumb down a life’s worth of experience into a talk that can whet their

but he wanted to help bring more of his favorite rods to the shop.

appetite for this wonderfully addicting hobby,” he said. “Folks

He asked Duffey if he could work part-time at the shop. Three

want that expensive rod out of the gates, and most folks I guess

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I’m going to give them the basics, school them on the correct mechanics and techniques so they’ll know why they need to use simpler rods for a year.

would sell it to them. I’m going to give them the basics, school them on the correct mechanics and techniques so they’ll know why they need to use simpler rods for a year. And they come in a year later, knowing why that rod costs more and that we’re here to teach them and outfit them for the long game.” Stephens understands wanting the latest thing, the rarest collectibles, and the coolest gadgets. He’s shown his 1950s pickups and sedans at the Concours d’Elegance. He and Cybil needed to build an addition to house a life’s worth of collecting. It includes a three-car garage to house his classic Vespas and a fishing loft to house 30 rods and reels and an accumulation of trains, toys, neon signs, and mementos and pictures from his worldwide sojourns. Stephens admits that somewhere deep inside, once he stepped foot into Southern Drawl, there was never going to be anything part-time about his time in the shop. He dived headfirst into the industry, meeting suppliers, gaining sponsorships that land him in magazines, and forming friendships that lead to the next itinerary. Stephens also recently got his captain’s license in

Bolivia, the Amazon, and the Andros

Florida.

Islands of Bermuda already on the books.

“I love planning the travel for the next opportunity. The logistics,

“I’ve got a bucket list, 30 to 40 species I’m

it brings me back to the J&J heydays,” he said. “You know, 70 is

pursuing. Each one of those can take four

coming up. It’s just a day. You fill those days up with excitement,

or five weeks to get on a line. I’m not a

and you never get old. Paul is younger than I am, he knows I might

trout guy, I defer to Paul and others when

have five years all-in here, but we’re going to go full-blast every

it comes to freshwater. I’m a saltwater

one of those days.”

fly fisherman and my list is extreme,” he said. “My calendar is booking out to 2023,

One such opportunity for now-Captain Will was becoming

2024, 2025 now. I want the helicopter ride

the fishing director at the El Pescador Lodge, a world-class fly

over the ocean to find the keys where that

fishing resort on Ambergris Caye in San Pedro, Belize, where

elusive, exotic permit is swimming on the

the burgeoning industry legend oversees client relations and

backs of manta rays. Fish where people

managing the guides that lead exclusive itineraries.

look at it and say, ‘What the heck is that?’ Everything I do, all the teaching, building

After a slow travel calendar in 2020, Stephens plans to make up

Southern Drawl, all the relationships and

for lost time in the coming months, with chunks of time in Belize,

new friends, it all feeds into that dream.”

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BUILDING TO A HIGHER STANDARD P.O. Box 902 • 33 Boundary Street • Bluffton, SC 29910 843.757.8220 (office) • www.genesis-construction.com


A Resolute Tale How a Piece of Palmetto Bluff’s Past Became an Icon of American History

Written by: Dr. Mary Socci

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

61


The Resolute desk is a tangible piece of history that links Palmetto Bluff’s past to the White House today. The White House, the home and workplace of the president of the United States for over two centuries, has survived war and fire and withstood repeated renovations and remodeling. Presidents and first ladies have imposed changes to make the building reflect their own aesthetic. They have updated furnishings, introduced different color palettes, and selected favorite artworks. Perhaps the most dramatic makeovers have occurred in the Oval Office, where newly elected presidents create a workspace that is personalized and still formal. Curtains, carpets, wallpaper, paintings, and furniture in this iconic setting have changed over the decades, but one item has remained a perennial fixture, beloved by presidents and the public for over one hundred years. That item links a 19th century resident of Palmetto Bluff to the 21st century White House. During the 1840s and 1850s, the possibility of a lucrative trade route through the Northwest Passage led to several British and American expeditions to the Arctic. The most famous team of explorers was the Franklin expedition, led by Sir John Franklin, which left England in 1845 and never returned. Just as numerous as the explorers seeking the elusive Northwest Passage were the search parties that followed after them, hunting for the ones who failed to come home.

As both types of expeditions were ill-prepared for polar conditions, the American and British navies were often called upon for rescues. In 1855, Commander Henry Hartstene, a young American naval officer and the owner of Greenleaf and Chinquapin Hill Plantations at Palmetto Bluff, headed up such a rescue mission. He and his men sailed to Greenland in search of one of several unsuccessful Franklin “rescue” expeditions. This one was led by an American doctor and explorer, Elisha Kent Kane. Hartstene found the survivors of the expedition, including Kane himself, in Greenland, and brought the men back to New York in October 1855. Hartstene then became indirectly connected to another abortive rescue of the Franklin party. The same autumn that Hartstene recovered the Kane crew, an American whaler had discovered an abandoned ship adrift off the eastern shore of Baffin Island, in northern Canada. It was the HMS Resolute, a 112-foot vessel that had been outfitted with massively reinforced sides to withstand the pressures of polar ice. With four other ships, it had left England in 1852 under the command of Sir Edward Belcher whose mission was to find and rescue Franklin and his men. In the spring of 1854, after nearly two years of fruitless searching and months trapped in the sea ice, Belcher gave orders to abandon the Resolute. The Belcher expedition returned to

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England on the supply ships that had avoided becoming encased

Victoria. As soon as the Resolute arrived in England, the royal

in the ice. The Resolute drifted with the floes and eventually broke

family requested a visit onboard. After the formal introductions,

free. Sixteen months after it had been abandoned, an American

Captain Hartstene addressed the Queen,

whaling crew came upon it and brought it back to New England. A New York merchant persuaded the United States government to purchase the vessel, restore it to its original glory, and return it to England as a gesture of goodwill. Kind feelings were decidedly absent in Anglo-American relations in the 1850s. Great Britain and the United States were at odds over their respective interests in Central America, the slave trade, tariffs, and even fishing rights. Moreover, in 1855, Great

“Allow me to welcome your Majesty on board the ‘Resolute,’ and, in obedience to the will of my countrymen and of the President of the United States, to restore her to you, not only as evidence of a friendly feeling to your sovereignty, but as a token of love, admiration, and respect to your Majesty personally.”

Britain began actively recruiting United States men to fight in the Crimean War, a move the American government viewed as a

Not surprisingly, the queen was delighted with the gift and with

violation of its sovereignty and neutrality. In response, the United

the charming and gallant Captain Hartstene. After a tour of the

States expelled the British minister to the U.S. In the increasingly

ship, she invited him to spend the evening with the royal family

hostile political climate, the gift of the HMS Resolute was a display

at Osborne House, her palace on the Isle of Wight. The visit was

of courtesy and generosity that would ease tensions and give both

followed by two weeks of receptions and festivities, in which

British and American citizens a cause for celebration.

Hartstene, his crew, and the gift of the Resolute were feted and celebrated. Six months later, the British government presented

Now famous for his rescue of the Kane expedition, and having

Hartstene with a sword, “as a memorial of the gratification which

overseen the refurbishment of the Resolute, Henry Hartstene was

her majesty, the queen of Great Britain, has received from the

chosen to sail the ship back to England to present her to Queen

return of the barque Resolute.”

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63


For the next 23 years, the HMS Resolute served in the Royal Navy. In 1879, the ship was decommissioned, and its parts were salvaged for other vessels. Queen Victoria arranged for a desk to be made from some of its timbers and for the desk to be presented to President Rutherford B. Hayes to commemorate the original gift delivered by Captain Hartstene. That desk, known as the Resolute desk, has been used by every president since Hayes, with the exceptions of Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. President Biden uses the Resolute desk in the Oval Office today. PHOTO: Cecil Stoughton (Harold Sellers). White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. President John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline and a friend hiding under the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, June 1963.

EPILOGUE In recent history, the Resolute desk has regained a bit of fame following the release of the film National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets starring Nicolas Cage. In the film, one of the clues leads Cage to the Resolute desk in the Oval Office:

“Across the sea, these twins stand resolute; to preserve what we are looking for. 1876” Found on the French Statue of Liberty, the third clue directs Cage to “twins” who stand “resolute”—in this case, two desks made from the timber of the HMS Resolute. In the movie, one of the desks is found in Buckingham Palace, while the other sits in the Oval Office. But, this is where Hollywood and history diverge. There were actually three pieces of furniture made from the remains of the HMS Resolute, and none of them are the “twin” of the one in the Oval Office. Instead, the one kept by Queen Victoria was actually a writing table, which she kept on her yacht and which is currently on display at the Royal Navy Museum. The third was a much more modest desk called the Grinnell Desk. It currently resides in the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts, should you want to go on a treasure hunt of your own.

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PHOTO: Kenneth Perez. Using reverse engineering, Kenneth Perez, a woodworking design engineer, recreated blueprints for the Resolute desk. For more information, please visit https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/ken-perez.


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A

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE Written by: Allison Lane Photography by: Richard Leo Johnson


The dogtrot, commonly known as a breezeway, can be opened up completely or closed to the exterior elements, providing the perfect space for entertaining year-round.

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The metal gate seen here

If there are a hundred roads that lead to home, there are more than

and everything here, walked back

was inspired by an oak in

a thousand ways to design one.

there in our boots, and found that

Moreland Village, and was

big live oak there which became the For Michael Gentemann, principal and architect at g2 Design, the

center point to design around.”

of Lawrenceburg, KY.

goal isn’t to design a home on day one. In fact, the goal isn’t even to design a home on day two, three, or four.

crafted by blacksmiths Karine and Matt Maynard

Building off the oak and surrounding views, a series of axes that would

So when a couple with no conditions other than something

come to define the shape of the home began to form.

completely different from their traditional home back in Louisville, Kentucky, approached Michael, it was a natural fit.

“One thing about this house is how it’s laid out. It’s something really special. We have a series of axes looking out towards the

The rest, as they say, is history.

water… and every room in this house has light and some sort of view.”

But take a few steps back, before the first coat of paint, or the first footing poured, before the first drawing of a floor plan, and

Light was the most important thing for the owners, along with

even before the first idea board. There, tucked beneath hundreds

privacy and a separate space for guests, and led to the single-

of conversations, is the center point of everything to come: one

loaded design. Recognizing there wasn’t enough space to get

massive live oak, draped with moss and set against a backdrop of

everything on the river, Michael created a central courtyard to

palmetto trees and salt marsh.

wrap the rest of the house around and provide light for typically overlooked spaces, like the laundry room, butler’s pantry, and

“We got the site survey, and we trenched around in the tall weeds

home office.

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69


“Circulation and views and how you get from one space to the next, and how you can close off one space from the other, all of those were important.” From there, the site plan began to take shape. “We began to doodle around on the site plan. The dogtrot should be here. That was the first thing I put on the plans; creating this axis between this specimen live oak and the first time you walk through the gate at the front so it’s a view through.” After that, the rest of the pieces began to come together. They decided the primary bedroom should be along the tidal creek, where there’s a protected view and more privacy with no view of the neighbors. The guest house, conversely, should act as a buffer between the neighbors but still have views of the river beyond. Site planning, for Michael, is step number two, “Before I ever say, ‘Hey, I think your house should look like this, here’s an elevation,’

The office opens

we begin to lay it out and get all the pieces together.”

to the interior courtyard and

Due to flood elevations, the

features a pecky

residence had to be elevated

After the site plan came the elevation. From the start, Michael knew

cypress finish

from the ground. The simple

their styles were aligned, “What I like to do is what you see here. It’s

for added depth

solution is to have steps in one

taking classic Lowcountry forms, details, and things, and cleaning

and warmth.

spot, but Michael broke it up

them up a little bit, tightening them up and modernizing it.”

with deep steps and multiple levels, creating an approach that

But to really finesse what this contemporary vision looked like

is rooted in the experience, with

in reality, Michael and the owners referred to their shared vision

one of the levels leading to the inner courtyard.

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One of the few spaces with a ceiling taller than 10’, the living room is flooded with light and offers views of the courtyard to one side and the river to the other.

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A sketch by the owners’ son served as the inspiration for the design of this metal gate, crafted by blacksmiths Karine and Matt Maynard of Lawrenceburg, KY.

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In the kitchen, everything has a home, creating clean sightlines while reducing clutter.

boards. And from shared vision boards came conversations about the exterior, the façade, and more. In the dogtrot, it was important that there was a large area of

This custom piece

glass. Was it all windows or should it be doors that open? “It was

was designed around

important that this space connected to the courtyard visually. You

an old Armstrong

have a view of the river this way, a view of the courtyard that way.”

linoleum press that had been discovered

Inside, it was decided early on that they didn’t want super tall

in the owner’s

ceilings. Aside from the living room, everything else is a 10’

parents’ basement.

ceiling. And it works. The rooms themselves aren’t oversized, and

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

73


The butler’s pantry opens up to the courtyard, providing natural light and easy access for caterers and waitstaff when the owners entertain.

By locating the primary suite along the tidal creek, Michael was able to provide the owners complete privacy in a tranquil setting.

a 10’ ceiling is very comfortable. This was also tied to the original

As a result, the home feels more like it’s an evolution over time and

decision not to create a tall house, allowing the surrounding trees

is still constantly evolving as the owners’ needs continue to shift.

to tower. For Michael, this was no surprise. “You don’t try to design a house

74

This focus on proportion and creating a space that was at once

on day one.” His end goal is to design a home that people want

intimate enough for two, but spacious enough for entertaining,

to come home to. After spending almost all of the pandemic

translated seamlessly to everything else. Every room in the home

and hosting multiple Thanksgivings there, it’s still the owners’

has been designed around the exterior views, be that river, tidal

happy place and has continued to evolve with the addition of a

creek, or courtyard.

2,100-square-foot clubhouse.

“Spatially, it changes itself up as you walk through the house,”

And as important as the relationship between Michael and the

said Michael.

owners was, so too was the relationship with their other partners.

THEBLUFF.COM


The inspiration point for the dogtrot came from the idea of being able to open your doors, sit on the floor, dangle your feet in the pool and read a book, or do a crossword puzzle. This served as a key inspiration point for Michael and the owners.

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75


Michael and the owners worked closely with the landscape designer, taking cues from the land and natural surroundings.

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The siting of the guest house allows the owners to provide visitors with views of the river beyond while providing a buffer to the neighboring property.

Two identical train car bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms in the guest house provide ample space and privacy for guests.

They worked closely with their landscape designer, Cindy Cline of Wertimer + Cline. “It was important the courtyard wasn’t just a barren wasteland. It had to be green and comfortable.” In the back, everything terraces down to the river, so the pool is not at grade, negating the need for railings that would have blocked views of the river beyond. Soft landscaping seamlessly transitions to the salt marshes, making for elegantly refined sightlines with nature always serving as the focal point. Michael’s vision was brought to life by Richard Best Construction, and all of the interior design and fixtures were selected by the owners. Family heirlooms and handcrafted pieces adorn the interior spaces, never overwhelming but always complementing the scenes beyond. A physical embodiment of give and take, this home is surely a testament to the power of a true partnership between an architect and his homeowners. Slowly and thoughtfully brought to life with every detail considered, it’s hard to imagine designing a home any other way.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

77


Kiawah Island, South Carolina

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the

Big

Written by: Justin

Jarrett Photography courtesy of Charlie Bostwick Illustrations by: Sherri Lonz

Year

willow ptarmigan The Big Year. To most of us, it’s a nebulous concept that could represent any number of milestones—a wedding, a

And he was still mulling a last-minute trip to Minnesota in search of the Northern Hawk Owl, the only one

graduation, the birth of a child, the launch of a business—

of 17 owl species in North America that

but to an avid birder, the meaning is crystal clear.

has eluded him in 2021.

In the world of competitive birding, The Big Year is a big deal, and Charlie Bostwick has put together one for the ages.

As one can imagine, it wasn’t easy, requiring nearly

constant

travel throughout Bostwick, a homebuilder from Atlanta who

the

year

is building his own sustainable home in

Bostwick

has

Palmetto Bluff’s Moreland Village, spotted

kept a “go bag”

821 different species from January 1 to

by his side for most of the year, ready to hop on a flight (or three) to

December 29, 2021, giving him one of the

get to Brownsville, Texas, or Quebec, or anywhere else an elusive

five biggest Big Years ever recorded in the

species is spotted.

American Birding Association Area, which includes Canada, the 50 US states (including

“It’s pretty intense,” Bostwick says, recapping an impromptu trip

Hawaii), the French Islands of St. Pierre et

to Quebec in early November after getting an alert that a Tundra

Miquelon off Canada, and adjacent waters out to

Bean-Goose had been spotted along the Saint-François River

200 nautical miles.

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between Montreal and Quebec City.


Today I saw

blue mocking fork-tailed It flycatcher was some

in the mor

around 9 am

I was just ge

settled int

birding sp

was gazing ar

The alert came in around 5:15 p.m., and within two hours Bostwick

“Good look, not so good picture,” Bostwick recalls. “Then a lady

had secured a plane ticket and a negative COVID-19 test and

pops out of the brush next to me, and we recognize each other.

was ready for an 8:15 p.m. departure. After four hours of sleep, a

She’s the No. 3 birder and was driving from Oregon to Florida. It’s

bleary-eyed Bostwick rose before daybreak and used his limited

a small world.”

knowledge of French to navigate to the hotspot, only to be greeted by tens of thousands of snow geese but no Tundra-Bean Goose.

the perim

because I tho

Three hours later, though, he struck paydirt and added another

Like most competitive birders, Bostwick receives mobile alerts

species to his lifetime list, which is upwards of 1,250 worldwide.

for rare species spotted anywhere in the ABA Area—usually 5-6 per hour—plus an hourly email digest. Most of the birds are

Less than a week later, he chased down another “lifer” in New

already on his list, but when a new one hits his notifications, it’s

Mexico, spotting a rare Blue Mockingbird that hadn’t been seen in

time to go.

the United States in nearly 15 years. He hopped a plane from Atlanta to Dallas, popped over to Brownsville to catch the Fork-tailed

Such is the Big Year.

Flycatcher that had eluded him four times already in 2021—the fifth time was the charm—then back to Dallas for a flight to El Paso.

I had heard

blue mockingb

“Something like a Blue Mockingbird makes its way around the birding community in minutes,” he says.

From there, it was a two-hour drive out to Carlsbad Caverns

call but I

National Park, where the Blue Mockingbird became species No.

And if you’re doing a Big Year, you make your way around the

815, moving Bostwick within one position of the top five.

world—or most of it.

couldn’t loca

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

81


Today I saw the

blue mockingb Itgreat was some blue heron

in the morn

around 9 am just getting

Bostwick was back in Brownsville on November 21, when he

And, predictably, he did. He hopped a flight to the Santa Ana

tracked down a Social Flycatcher on the University of Texas Rio

National Wildlife Refuge in south Texas to catch a glimpse of a

Grande Valley campus for No. 817, claiming a spot in the top five

settled into my

rare Bat Falcon, then drove four hours north to San Antonio to see

all-time.

a Flame-colored Tanager for No. 819.

“I think we set off border patrol sensors,” Bostwick says. So close to

birding spot. I

While traveling home from his son’s wedding in Vermont, Bostwick

the Mexican border, the joke among birders was they had to catch

notched another new species in the final week of the year, chasing

the rare species while it was on the ABA side of the line.

down a Northern Lapwing in Maryland after another had eluded him in New Jersey.

Going into the last six weeks of the year, Bostwick had set his

was gazing around

sights on spotting an 818th species, which would put him alone in

With the days waning, he hopped one more flight to the Bay

fifth place on the all-time list. He thought he might get desperate

Area, where a Curlew Sandpiper had popped up—a species that

and make a fifth trek to Alaska in hopes of catching another Asian

had previously escaped Bostwick in New Jersey and Mississippi

vagrant or make another trip to Maui for a treacherous three-day

earlier in 2021. Apparently having taken a wrong turn after leaving

backpack trip in search of a pair of critically endangered species.

its summer home in the Arctic Circle, this species is not supposed

the perimeter

to be in the Bay Area.

“If there’s a rarity and I don’t have anything else going on, I might jump on a plane to go get it,” Bostwick said in November.

because I thought

But on December 28, he saw it.

I had

Minnesota with three days left in the year.

Sitting at 821, Bostwick couldn’t have asked for much more, but he’s still haunted by that Northern Hawk Owl, which popped up in

“I’m thinking about it,” he says. “But I don’t even have the right clothes.”

Bostwick went to great lengths to observe elusive species last year, but never more than on the island of Kaua’i, where he traveled

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“I saw it fly in front of me down the path, leading me,” Bostwick recalls. “Then it turned around and flew back over, and just watching that huge majestic bird fly so low right over us really captured my attention.”

in April and hired a local guide to help him access the recently

in more than a year. The group spotted all three rare species but

reopened Alaka’i Wilderness Preserve in search of three species—

saw only two Akikiki in a full day, marking a huge decline that led

Puaiohi, Akeke’e, and Akikiki—effectively confined to the unique

experts to speculate there may be fewer than 50 left in captivity.

ecosystem of the bog, which is one of the wettest places on Earth. “Having seen a bird that might never be seen again is gutThe first day was a wash. Huge ruts in the road into the preserve

wrenching,” Bostwick says.

prevented passage. Bostwick noticed a pile of gravel nearby and suggested he and local guide Mandy Talpas retrieve plastic sheeting and shovels and begin filling the holes, or better yet, find the people who owned the power loaders parked next to the gravel

The outdoors were always a sanctuary for Bostwick, who grew up

pile. Just then, a truck pulled up.

in Georgia and was heavily involved in Boy Scouts. Snakes were his first obsession.

“I’m gonna fix the road down there,” the driver said. “I used to make fun of the bird people,” he says, “but I secretly Today?

admired them.”

“I’ll start today. Probably take a couple weeks.” Bostwick asked if $300 would get it done quicker. “Probably not.” After hitting an impasse at every turn, Bostwick figured he would have to write off three of the most difficult species to find, two of which have become critically endangered by avian malaria spread by mosquitoes. Disappointed, Bostwick and Talpas returned to the Kaua’i Forest Bird Recovery Project office, where Bostwick learned more about the status of the protected birds and became emotional. He asked if there were any projects he could help fund and was told the project really needed to rent a couple of helicopters to fly supplies into the preserve. Bostwick didn’t hesitate. He was rewarded with a helicopter trip into the swamp and a once-in-a-lifetime experience: one of the first people to enter the delicate ecosystem

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

83


“If there’s a rarity and I don’t have anything else going on, I might jump on a plane to go get it,” Bostwick says.

‘i’iwi On a canoe trip in the Okefenokee Swamp at age 14, he started to

watching that huge majestic bird fly so low right over us really

become one. First, a Swallow-tailed Kite flew overhead and caught

captured my attention.”

his eye. Later, while paddling beneath giant bald cypresses, a Great Blue Heron blew his mind.

It wasn’t until 2018, though, that he became serious about seeing as many species as possible, planning trips to southeast Arizona,

“I saw it fly in front of me down the path, leading me,” Bostwick

south Texas, and Alaska to search for new birds. He read Kenn

recalls. “Then it turned around and flew back over, and just

Kaufman’s Kingbird Highway, which chronicles the author’s 1973 Big Year in which he hitchhiked across the country and back to see 666 species, only to be edged by three by Floyd Murdoch as both shattered the previous mark of 626, and Neil Hayward’s Lost Among The Birds, about Hayward’s 2013 Big Year in which he found a record 749 species and found himself while pushing 40. Hayward’s story, in particular, connected with Bostwick, and he began thinking about a Big Year of his own. “I always wanted to do adventure travel,” Bostwick says, noting the actual number of species he spots will be secondary to his hopes for the year. “The real objectives were to have something drive me to go to a place I wouldn’t go otherwise.” And has he ever done that. He hiked up a canyon in southwest Arizona in a foot of snow to try to find a bird, flocked to the Brownsville Landfill with dozens of other birders in search of the Tamaulipas Crow, sought out sewage treatment plants in remote locations, and trekked

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Today I saw

LOOK UP Read along as Aaron Palmieri fills us in on what species are flying our friendly skies.

blue mocking

It was some

social inflycatcher the mor

around 9 am

I was just

to various points in Alaska to see rare species fly past with the mountains of Russia staring back across the Bering Sea.

settl

“With all those restrictions, it feels like a great number,” The magnitude of the Big Year has increased by orders in the

Bostwick says.

past two decades or so. In 1998, a trio of birders—Sandy Komito, Al Levantin, and Greg Miller—pushed one another to unseen

So is another Big Year in his future?

heights, as Komito outbirded the two challengers to his Big Year

Don’t bet on it.

birding

record, spotting 748 species to shatter his previous mark of 722 set in 1987. Their year-long romp was chronicled by author Mark

“Next year I’m going to focus on international birding,” he says.

Obmascik, whose book was later adapted into the 2011 film “The

“Just seeing cool birds in cool places.”

Big Year,” starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson as fictionalized versions of Komito, Levantin, and Miller.

was gazing ar

He plans to focus on Central America and South America, noting

that Ecuador is about the size of Georgia and is home to more

the perim

Bostwick has found his way to many of the birding hotspots

species of birds than North America and Europe combined—and

featured in the film, but COVID-19 restrictions have kept him

Colombia has even more species than Ecuador.

from visiting some of them this year, preventing him from an even bigger count.

It will be a nice change of pace from the Big Year, which challenged

because I tho

Bostwick’s strong environmentalism, though he is tracking his Bostwick fell well short of John Weigel’s record of 840 set in 2019,

travel and buying carbon offsets to mitigate the environmental

but he was hamstrung by restrictions stemming from COVID-19.

impact.

He couldn’t get out to Attu Island, a remote blip in the Bering

I had heard

Sea amid the Near Islands that’s nearer to Russia than mainland

“I don’t enjoy getting on a plane to go see one bird,” he laments.

Alaska. Attu has been uninhabited since 2010 and accessible

“That goes against my grain, against my environmental activism.”

only by boat, which was out of commission during the pandemic, keeping numerous Asian vagrants off Bostwick’s checklist.

blue mockingb

And after a year spent tracking every avian species he could,

Bostwick is more committed than ever to do his part to protect Birding cruises from British Columbia to Southern California,

them.

which allow birders to count species spotted up to 200 nautical

call but I

miles offshore, were canceled, the Maui Forest Preserve and St.

“I’m an environmentalist first,” he says. “I care about it even more

Paul Island were closed, and travel to Canada was restricted for

now that I’ve spent so much time in places with sensitive birds

much of the year.

and mammals.”

couldn’t locat

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

85


Constructing Elements of Inspiration.

E L E M E N T C P. C O M | 8 4 3 . 8 3 7 . 9 3 0 0 29 PLANTATION PARK DR, SUITE 404 | BLUFFTON, SC 29910


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Tortuga

Rising

how amber kuehn’s life on the may river prepared her to protect the ocean’s majestic creatures. Written by: Barry Kaufman Photography courtesy of Amber Kuehn

There are stories in our waters, whispered on the tides and heard only by those who know how to listen. It is the language of rivers and waves which have ebbed and flowed for millennia, weaving their tales among the blades of spartina grass and jagged crags of oyster beds, voiceless words already ancient when the first humans set foot on the bluffs and sandy shores at the water’s edge. These stories are told by the creatures who call these waters home. Along the rim of the choppy tidal flats where the May River meets the Calibogue Sound, a dolphin tells stories of a 12-year-old girl who used to feed her mullet from the bow of a 15-foot Boston Whaler. Sixteen miles offshore, where the great mass of wrecked tugboats, tanks, and barges form the Eagles Nest artificial reef, a sea turtle tells the story of its encounter with a young woman diving far below the surface...

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

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Their stories both revolve around the same person: Amber Kuehn,

for the Ocean Pushing Water to the Land,” doesn’t have the same

Bluffton native and famed friend of sea life. And those moments

ring to it.)

in time, those stories, define a life lived on the water. She’s been running tours like this since returning to the

" I c r eated m y dr ea m j ob . M y g oa l is to b e th e face of ecotou r ism on H i lton H ea d Is l an d." In fact, she has created several dream jobs.

Lowcountry from Maui, where she spent a few years after graduate school. In fact, her first job after moving home was at Palmetto Bluff, where she ran a small electric Duffy around the newly built canals. “At that point, the canals ended at the first bridge, so I just took people around, showing them the rookery and things like that. I met a lot of the original residents doing that,” she said. She would eventually run the Hinckley, the Grace, and the Marion during her tenure at the Bluff as the canals were dug and

The first, which keeps the lights on and allows her to spread the

the boathouse was built. And while her career as a boat captain

breathless joy she finds in our local waterways, is as captain of the

has gained her acclaim, it’s her groundbreaking sea turtle

Spartina for her company Spartina Marine Education Charters.

preservation that nourishes her soul.

One of just two Coast Guard-certified Jones Brother Bateaus, the Spartina plies the May River on private charters, sunset

“I spend half my waking hours on the boat talking about our

booze cruises, and elementary school field trips. During the

fragile ecosystem, and I spend my other waking hours on the

trip, “Captain Amber” shares the lifetime of knowledge she has

beach talking about it,” she said. Like her encounter with Dolly

amassed on our waters and beyond.

the dolphin, this passion project came about from a chance encounter out in the water.

“I grew up on the river, cruising around in a motorboat since I was 12, all by myself,” she said. “I never knew it’d be my career.

“It was this experience that totally changed my life forever,” she

But sometimes when you start things at a young age, it sticks with

said. During one of her dives out to the Eagles Nest, Kuehn found

you.”

herself quite literally face-to-face with a majestic (and probably very surprised) sea turtle. “On land they look like they’re suffering,

It was here that she met the aforementioned dolphin, which she

but in the water they’re beautiful and graceful and huge. This one

named “Dolly” despite not being 100 percent certain it was female.

got really close to me and almost head-butted me. I don’t know if

“When you’re a 12-year-old-girl, everything is a girl,” she said. She

it didn’t see me or what, but it was right here.”

would return regularly to the mouth of the May to greet Dolly well into adulthood (although we should point out she stopped feeding Dolly once it became a federal crime in 1996). It was also where she gained an unparalleled understanding of the river, one earned through hard work and no small measure of trial and error. “There are sandbars everywhere,” she said. “I know where all of them are, because I’ve hit every one of them at least twice.” Not only does Kuehn know the ins and outs of the river, she backs up this first-hand knowledge with a solid foundation as a master’s degree holder. She can tell you about which of the May River’s tributaries are passable at high tide, and she can also point out the subtle lie in the name of the river. (It is, in fact, not a river, although Kuehn admits that the “May Path of Least Resistance

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G E T I N V O LV E D Find out how you can support Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head.

From that encounter on, Kuehn found herself obsessed with sea

Leading by example, her group transformed a beachfront home in

turtles and in doing everything in her power to protect them.

Sea Pines, installing new shielded exterior lighting and blackout

She’d been working with the local Turtle Trackers since the

shades to serve as a model for others. “We have not had any

late 90s, but with the launch of her non-profit group Sea Turtle

[turtle] misorientations in front of that house since we did it,” she

Patrol Hilton Head Island, Kuehn has become a massive force for

said. “And it used to be one of the worst offenders.”

positive change. Turtle Trackers Hilton Head Island has created lasting change, Backed by a core of dedicated volunteers, Kuehn is out on the

but for Kuehn it’s more than just a passion project. It’s as personal

beach every morning during the May-to-October sea turtle

as the stories shared on the waves.

nesting season. Rolling out long before the first sun beams light up the sand, she scours the dunes for loggerhead tracks, identifying nests and marking them so the delicate eggs inside can be protected as the hatchlings incubate. Operating under the auspices of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources,

"I spend my whole life talking about pr eserving our ecology. . .

this organization does far more than simply mark nests.

because th is is m y hom e ."

They are making sure laws change, knowledge is spread, and

Find out more, and donate, at seaturtlepatrolhhi.org.

every effort is taken to ensure these turtles survive and thrive. “We helped pass the ordinance in November 2019 that holes [dug on the beach] can’t be deeper than a foot, you can’t dig with a metal shovel, you have to fill in any holes you make, and anything you leave on the beach after sunset gets removed,” she said. They’ve also helped fine tune ordinances already in place. “The lighting ordinance had been in place since 1990. But 30 years ago, we didn’t know half the stuff we know now about sea turtle biology,” she said. SPRING/SUMMER 2022

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WR ITTEN BY: ALLISON COR R ELL

& PHOTOGR APHY BY: ROB K AUFMAN

home

Away As the crow flies, there are 9,711 miles between

Kergunyah,

Australia,

and

Bluffton, South Carolina. We, sadly, cannot travel as easily as crows, and a

flight between the two places involves multiple layovers. In a way, this mirrors Chef Rhy Waddington’s journey from the farm he grew up on in Australia to his role as head chef at Palmetto Bluff: after stops in California and New York, Waddington is eager to enjoy life in the Lowcountry— and bring his love of local ingredients and innovation in the kitchen with him.

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"growing up as a kid, if we didn't light and make the fire, there was no hot water."

rhy waddington grew up on a 900-acre farm in Kergunyah, Australia ( just over 200 miles northeast of Melbourne). He describes his parents as extremely hard—and creative—workers: they built their own house (made out of mud bricks they made themselves); they grew nearly everything they ate (from the beef from their cattle to rice from their rice paddies). His mother ran, and continues to run, the farm. His father was a carpenter, furniture maker, and now a photographer. Seeing his parents working hard were constants in his life; moreover, it meant that he had to pull his weight.

After working in a variety of restaurants throughout Australia, in 2003, Waddington and his wife, Sam, returned to his parents’ farm and opened Waddingtons at Kergunyah. Here, Waddington was able to take the “oasis” of the farm he grew up on and marry it to his professional success—creating fresh, inspired dishes from local ingredients. The restaurant consistently received (and still receives) heavy praise and gushing reviews, for both its dishes and ambiance. Beyond cooking, Waddington’s parents also inspired him to

seek out adventure

and appreciation for other

“Growing up as a kid, if we [he and his siblings] didn’t light and

cultures through travel. When Waddington was six, his parents

make the fire, there was no hot water.” There would be times when

took the family on a trip around the world. First stop? Los Angeles,

he would get home from school, and his parents were still working.

where they bought what Waddington affectionately called a “Mr.

Because his mother had taught him the basics in the kitchen, he’d

T. van.” From California to the Midwest and the south, they spent

think, “Well, I’ll prepare dinner.”

three months visiting old friends and exploring new places. (Fun side note: Waddington’s parents had been to the States many

It’s here, in the kitchen as a young person, that Waddington’s love

times, as they helped open a successful “American-themed” store,

of food and the innovation allowed in cooking started to take

Route-66, in Australia.) Bidding farewell to the Mr. T Van, they

shape. His mother encouraged him to be “willing to experiment,”

headed to Europe for the next three months and ended the trip

and once he saw a smile on someone’s face or received praise

in Asia.

after a meal, he realized that cooking could be more than a family

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chore—it could be a career. He started working in restaurants at

Like his parents, Waddington has a knack for seizing opportunities

16 years old and hasn’t looked back since.

and turning chance encounters into important and impactful

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P L AY V I D E O

"the fact that we have a farm on property is really, really exciting for me."

Join Chef Rhy at Cole’s for a taste of what’s to come.

friendships. In fact, it’s how he first came to the States, and it’s what

Club, is how he first heard of Palmetto Bluff. Once he visited, he

inspired his subsequent moves. The first was when an American

was immediately taken with the “stunning” property and found

man stopped at Waddingtons at Kergunyah for lunch. He was so

himself “really impressed with the whole team.”

impressed with the entire experience he asked Waddington if he’d be willing to consult on the Australian-themed restaurant

What crystallized Waddington’s decision to move was The Farm

he was opening in San Diego named Bondi. Waddington and his

at Palmetto Bluff. He reflects: “[o]ne of the things that really sold

wife jumped at the chance, moving to California in 2006. While

me was seeing the farm and the expansion planned. . . the fact that

consulting, Waddington became good friends with one of Bondi’s

we have a farm on property is really, really exciting for me.” For a

bartenders, Jeff, a school teacher and golf coach from Connecticut

chef who fell in love with cooking while growing up on a farm, one

who was taking a year off to live in San Diego. When Jeff moved

can understand his enthusiasm. He’s also eager to pass on that

back to Connecticut, he and Waddington spoke frequently, and it

appreciation for the seed-to-plate journey to his team of chefs and

was Jeff who told Waddington about an available chef position at

interns and sees the farm as playing an integral role in this goal.

Winged Foot Golf Club in New York in 2009. Back in Kergunyah, Waddington explained that there’s a gate to For someone accustomed to traveling and welcoming change,

enter the property and get to the restaurant: you have to drive up

Waddington spent 11 years at Winged Foot. And while he’s proud

to the gate, get out of your car, unlatch the gate, drive through,

of his work and the team he built there, he began to yearn for a

and then return to re-latch the gate. Then, there’s an idyllic mile-

new challenge and even a new lifestyle.

long drive to the restaurant. When he described this, I couldn’t help but think of the drive into Palmetto Bluff. No, there’s no gate

numerous

trips

to

the

south,

often to visit fellow chefs-turned-friends, left Waddington and his wife smitten with southern hospitality, as well as the climate (winter in New York vs. “winter” in the Lowcountry). A phone call

to unlatch and relatch, and no, he won’t see any cows. But a mile’s worth of beautiful views? Check. Moreover, he once again has a farm at his fingertips to grow what he needs for his tables. Perhaps Chef Waddington will feel

right at home.

with his good friend, Doug Blair, executive chef at Kiawah Island

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INSPIRED:

Selina King

SHOP NOW

PHOTO: Lynn Bagley

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Shop Selina King’s latest collection.


WRITTEN BY:

Courtney Hampson

INSPIRED is the story of founders and the inspiration behind the brand and/or movement they started.

“Life is short. I was missing life. . . I needed to change my life,” Selina King reflected. So, she headed back home, from Brooklyn to Hilton Head Island, fueled by a new passion. “I knew what I wanted to do, and that was enough for me. What I didn’t anticipate was the response,” said Selina.

PHOTO: Danielle Alprin

Born and raised on Hilton Head Island, Selina’s work ethic and kind, giving spirit are inherited from her parents. The daughter of a construction worker and a domestic violence victim’s advocate, Selina grew up in second-hand clothes and worn-out shoes. When her father’s emphysema forced him to find a new career, he opened Noah’s Ark thrift store on Hilton Head Island. In his free time, he remained a craftsman making jewelry and working with crystals. Together her parents taught her what was important in life— giving back, doing good, and shopping vintage. Selina was 16 when her father became so ill that he needed constant care, so she graduated high school early to help her mother. He died a year later. “He knew I wanted to go to college. He also knew I never would have left

PHOTO: Bob Wagoner

him. . .we had an extremely strong connection. Sadly, I’ve always felt that he stopped fighting to let me go,” she said.

Together her parents taught her what was important in life-giving back, doing good, and shopping vintage. At his funeral, Selina received the opportunity from an old family friend to go to New York and check out Parsons School of Design. “Through another random string of blessings, I eventually received a full scholarship to Parsons from the Bill Gates Foundation,” Selina said. So, at just 18 she was in New York City pursuing her dream, being mentored by Tim Gunn (yes, that Tim Gunn), and juggling school, a part-time job, and a full-time internship. She graduated in three years with a dual degree in business and fashion which launched her into the world of high fashion. She worked for Elle magazine and a fashion photography agency, but she wasn’t

PHOTO: Danielle Alprin


Deep Dive happy until she stumbled into a church thrift store and everything changed. “It was 2003, and vintage was just happening,” said Selina, so she parlayed that into survival. Vintage stores across the city loved her style and wanted her to buy for them. She was on a high, but soon that too wasn’t enough, and she returned home to Hilton Head to do some soul searching. That search led her to her dad’s old jewelry tools. Soon, she started taking apart pieces of her own vintage and costume jewelry and putting them back together to understand how they were made. “I made a pair of earrings and told my friend, ‘I just made these’ and she said, ‘can I buy them?’” Quickly, five or six stores on Hilton Head were selling her jewelry. But still, something was missing.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Selina King

In her search for that missing link, she headed back to New York and back into high fashion thinking this time things might click. She worked for Italian Vogue, fashion styling for celebrities at what was once her dream job. Until her best friend passed away. And everything changed. Again. Selina was once more faced with how precious life can be and the reality of loss. This super-charged her ambition and her desire to chart her path and launch her own jewelry line. Which she did in 2012, describing her work as “both contemporary and evocative of artifacts from ancient times,” which makes sense as much of her work is a nod to her personal history. What began as metalsmithing has expanded to include handcrafted fine jewelry

What keeps you centered? I’ll be honest, in my busy season, it is very hard to stay centered as a small business owner. It is definitely not as easy as it looks. My main way of staying centered is my daily yoga practice. I also love taking walks on the beach with my husband. I think it is really important to take some time for myself every day even if it is just an hour or two.

created with vintage, ethically sourced stones. What advice do you give to entrepreneurs just Selina’s entire journey has been about people. Her high school sweetheartturned-husband, artist Gavan Daly, has been by her side since her second year in New York when he joined her there just after his Mom passed away. Two kids in New York City, outrunning their grief, bonding over loss, and trying to make it. “A huge part of our relationship is supporting each other and helping each other’s career and goals. So, often we would move back home or back to New York or even out to California to help each other push to that next level to attain our dreams,” Selina said of her husband. Selina King Jewelry grew quickly. “Now, I’m a brand,” she says, which comes

starting their business? Don’t give up. There will be a lot of highs and lows, but that is just a part of being an entrepreneur. I could have given up so many times when I hit a wall with my business, but I never allowed myself to. I knew this was my dream, and I knew I had to accomplish it or I wouldn’t be happy. In closing, believe in yourself and what you are trying to put out into this world, and everything will fall into place.

with its own set of responsibilities. “I want to build a brand through personal connections. I want people to see the name behind the brand and tell their friends, ‘This is handmade jewelry. This is quality. I know the designer.’” Today, she and Gavan split their time between Brooklyn and Hilton Head, where Selina’s studio sits on the same property where she was raised, and she still works with some of her father’s old tools.

What inspires you? I am always really inspired by my husband, Gavan. He is an artist as well, and he always told me from the beginning that being an artist is hard but you can never give up. I am also inspired by life because I have gone through a lot of hardships early on, but each day is a new day and you never know what is going to happen. That part of life is what keeps me inspired.

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