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“Stoked” for the Lowcountry


Everyone Loves A Beach


Fidel Castro

Our Homes and Community Deserve the Best! WINTER 2017





Mylene Owens

(843) 645-BEST Office (919) 448-6670 Cell











18 26 12 features 12 WORLD STAGE



An American Page in the Life of Dr. Castro

Rotary Club

Dennis Stokely Stoked for the Lowcountry “why manners still matter”

34 EVENT 18 LOCATION A Largely Untold History of the Lowcountry SERIES Part 5

The Bluffton Ball

44 ARCHITECTURE The Tiny House Buzz

46 WINE 26 EXTRA Everybody Loves A Beach




Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival


48 38


pages 4,5










on our cover Dennis Stokely Photo courtesy of Zoe Christou Welsh Photography





PUBLISHER Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC Mylene Owens EDITOR Tamela Maxim ( CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jeff Gerber Annelore Harrell Tamela Maxim Glen McCaskey Adam Squicquero, MGA, DDS Daniella Squicquero Gene Youtz

To receive monthly e-news go online to and add your email address. And, if you are not currently receiving Premier Lowcountry magazine at your home, please provide your name and address and we’ll make sure you are added to the mailing list.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Tamela Maxim Glen McCaskey Ned McNair Mylene Owens

SALES Mylene Owens (

GRAPHIC DESIGN Barbara Bricker of Small Miracles Design, Inc.

Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC 121 Mead Rd., Ste. C Hardeeville, SC 29927 Phone: (843) 645-BEST (2378) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC is not responsible for any statements, services and products made by advertisers.

Printed by Martin Printing, USA 6





editor’s note TAMELA MAXIM

Many years ago in Savannah, Georgia, when I had my first job in the world of print for the Pulitzer Prize-winning weekly newspaper, The Georgia Gazette, I had the opportunity to work for its publisher, Marjorie Scardino. As a bold woman of vision, intellect and terrific discernment, despite my complete lack of experience, she hired me as office manager. Marjorie said, “I can tell you’re smart. You can do this.” I liked her no-nonsense approach. She was also sympathetic because I’d just been turned down for what I considered a well-deserved promotion. My former boss’s parting words were. “You really don’t want this assistant manager job. You’ll just get pregnant and quit.” No, I’m not kidding. As though I should agree with him, he said it with a knowing chauvinistic smile. I’ve always loved print. By having me circle one new word at a time in the daily newspaper, my father taught me to read when I was 3. 8



Forget phonics – not that there’s anything wrong with sounding out words. I learned by sight. Some advantages - I’m an extremely good speller. I know the difference between lose and loose. And not that I’m bragging, but when you mix spelling skills with a dash of creativity and an eye for detail, you’ve got an editor. Like Albert Scardino, editor of the “Gazette,” who had initially been co-publisher with Marjorie, his wife, but happily relegated that shared title to “just” being the editor, I’m much happier having someone else handle the finances. Thank you publisher/ owner Mylene Owens. At a Christmas party, this December, I was reminded of why and how much I love print. I had just made a new friend. She was moving from Hilton Head to Washington DC to live with her aging mother. We talked about Premier magazine and she told me how much she loved our content. I

shared that I was on deadline for this issue and boasted a bit. Even basking in her praise, I was slightly jittery about all the work I still needed to do. Then came the reminder. “You’ll be able to read our magazine in DC,” I chirped. “But, I don’t go online very often,” she replied. “I hardly ever use my computer. I read a LOT, but I’m very old-fashioned. I much prefer print.” Whether you read our magazine in print or online, Premier is just for YOU. We promise to keep it that way, with a focus on local history, the arts, fascinating local people and topics that will make you keep coming back for more. So, from all of us at Premier Lowcountry, here’s to 2017. Wishing Y’ALL a very Happy New Year!


g n i e Bo g n i boe DIRECTOR D.A. Southern

Fridays 8 p.m. February 17, 24, March 3

THEATRE LOCATION 20 Bridge Street Ulmer Auditorium Bluffton Town Hall

Saturdays 8 p.m. February 18, 25, March 4

Sundays 3 p.m. February 19, 26, March 5

Tickets on sale starting: February 6th On Line - February 13th Box Office - 843.815.5581 ALL RESERVED SEATS


Boeing, Boeing is presented with permission from Samuel French, New York, NY

BOX OFFICE LOCATION 138-D Burnt Church Road Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 9 WINTER 2017






Nicknamed the “Wine

Born and raised in



Glen McCaskey has been

Tamela Maxim is the

Gene Youtz spent 50 years in publishing

Bubba,” while at the Aqua

Savannah, Georgia,

deeply involved in the

author and illustrator

Grille & Lounge, Jeff Gerber

Annelore Harrell, nee

evolution of Hilton Head

of Nellie Jelly and the

and printing in the

is the Director of the Hilton

Stelljes, spent summers

since he and wife Ginny

Jelly Well, a book for

Washington DC area.

at her parents’ cottage on

moved to the island

children. She was born in

He worked with major

Myrtle Island. She married

in 1970. He was vice

Savannah, Georgia and as

corporations, non-

George William Harrell,

president of Sea Pines for

an Army brat spent her

Jr., a regular Army JAG

the years the company

growing up years living in

officer in 1953, had five

became internationally

Georgia, North Carolina,

children and traveled from

acclaimed for its ventures

Virginia, Hawaii and 10

Head Wine & Food Festival. He has run several wine programs since 2005 at CQs, Aqua Grille and Bomboras. When someone asks for the sommelier, he usually refers

profit institutions and government organizations. For the past 12 years he

post to post for the next

in the Caribbean and

years in Germany, where

to himself as the Certified

thirty years. A real estate

Southeast USA. Today he

she attended both the

Specialist of Wine. He has

broker by trade, active in

owns Community Visions,

University of Maryland in

been taking wine seriously,

several civic and community

LLC and has consulted

Munich and the University

Internet publication with

serving as a wine judge for

organizations, she is a

throughout this country

of Stuttgart. She returned

articles that “cover the

almost twenty years, but

graduate of Leadership,

and in Mexico, Eastern

to the United States in

waterfront.” He lives in

tries not to take himself too

Bluffton, Hilton Head and

Europe and Southern

1976, living in Bluffton

Hilton Head with his

Africa. He and Ginny have

and attending Armstrong

artist wife Barbara and

appeared in numerous

been married 42-years

in Savannah, where she

they summer on the

theatrical productions,

and have been blessed

received her Bachelor

coast of Maine.

hosted a weekly cable

with two children and two

of Science degree in

television program and


Elementary Education

seriously – after all, he lives in the Lowcountry.

South Carolina. She has

currently writes a column

with a double minor in

SOMETIMES for Bluffton

German and Art. She lives

Today. Living in a river

on Myrtle Island with her

house, she proclaims is ‘Not

husband Nicholas and

old enough to be historic

their german shepherd.

and not new enough to be energy efficient,’ is just exactly where she wants to be.



has produced The Newslessletter -- an





world stage GENE YOUTZ



Dr. Castro January 1, 1959 Havana, Cuba In the early morning hours, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista resigned his office and immediately turned over power to underlings. He and his family, were then flown to the Dominican Republic, while 180 “associates,” among them, ailing Mafia kingpin, Meyer Lansy, were airlifted out and sprinkled amongst various U.S. cities including, Miami, Jacksonville, New Orleans, and New York. The host of this secret operation was the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which had been supplying arms and aircraft to the dictator since 1956, in its attempt to quell the insurgency of the revolutionary “26th of July Movement,” led by one Fidel Castro Ruz. Later that same morning, just before dawn, elements of Castro›s forces, “barbudos” (bearded ones) from the Sierra Maestros Mountains,

entered Havana and assumed control. One week later Fidel himself marched triumphantly into the city, assuming the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. By mid-March the new government had held trials, executed some 500 former Batista Officials, and Fidel had made himself Prime Minister.   The curtain may have fallen overnight, but the events leading up to the final collapse had been brewing for quite some time. Cuba had come to be America’s illicit playground for gambling, sex and entertainment —the precursor of Las Vegas. Most of the corporate interests (95% by some estimates) were headquartered offshore and organized crime had a foothold untouched by any law enforcement; in fact, they were abetted by the CIA, looking to destabilize the anti-Batista

resistance. All of the major Mafia players, including, Vito Genovese, Albert Anastasia, Joe Bonanno, Sam Giancana and Santos Trafficante, to name but a few, operated with impunity; and Lucky Luciano, managed his European heroin network out of Havana. Tourism was so successful that by the 1950s Cuba had as many hotel rooms available as the four largest Caribbean countries put together, and boasted 15,000 prostitutes for the American tourist trade. During the 10 years leading up to the capitulation, 20,000 Cubans had been tortured and murdered by Batista’s security forces, and with a majority of the population living in squalor, it is no wonder that some people wanted change. One such was the charismatic Fidel Castro, educated in the law, and alumnus of Batista›s prisons, who spent seven years building his revolution.   WINTER 2017


The USA recognized the new government, but officially took no stance on the regime, although reportedly President Eisenhower wanted nothing to do with Castro or his cronies. Others in this country, however, felt differently. In mid-January, George Healy, Jr., Editor of the New Orleans Times Picayune, in his capacity as President of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, using the “polite” designation, invited Dr. Fidel Castro to speak at the ASNE Convention in Washington in April. Castro quickly accepted, however our government offered no official acknowledgment, and he would, as it turned out, end up staying in the Cuban embassy during his Washington visit. Whether Mr. Healy was looking for a “scoop,” or whether he was just plain naive, is unknown; perhaps some of both. Two weeks later the Executive Secretary of ASNE, wrote to Gene Youtz inquiring, “You still at American U? Interested in doing the ASNE job again? If so, let me know and we can go into details of hours needed etc.” He accepted the job of page for the three-day meeting, at $1.25 per hour, just as he had done the previous year. He was a Senior at American University, a journalism major frantically looking for a job. He would be graduating in May.  In the early weeks of the year, the Castro government expropriated all of the properties of International Telephone and Telegraph Company in Cuba. Princeton University formally invited him to speak to the subject of revolution as it related to U.S. history and he accepted, as he did to invitations from The National Press Club, UN Correspondents Association, Overseas Press Club, and NBC, as well as a side trip to Canada. Fidel 14 PREMIER


employed a U.S. public relations firm to advise on his upcoming 15-day trip, which would consist of a 70-person entourage, including security agents, three cabinet ministers and other aides plus 30 members of the Cuban press. Fidel made sure he came bearing gifts, including 100 cases of Cuban rum and copious crates of cigars. The PR firm foolishly advised that the “bearded ones” shave. Fatigues and beards being the

official uniform for him and his associates; he declined.   April 15, 1959 Washington, D.C.  Youtz, the page, arrived at the Statler Hotel (now the Capital Hilton) at the prescribed time and met Mrs. P for his marching orders. He spent most of the day gophering messages around the hotel and working the registration desk, which included issuing tickets to the Castro Speech slated for Friday, April 17. Among those who requested tickets, was a tall blond woman with a Spanish accent, carrying two large handbags, who claimed to be with a South American dance troupe and a great admirer of Dr. Castro. The page explained that in addition to the working press

only members and their spouses were allowed in. She left, then reappeared later, buttonholing members, wanting to know if their wives were not attending, could she have their ticket. The page, seeing what was happening, found multitudinous errands to run. Dr. Castro landed at National Airport that evening.   April 16, 1959 Washington, D.C.   The page had no sooner gotten to the registration desk than the tall blond lady appeared and explained to him that she had lied the day before and that she was really with a Venezuelan newspaper and wanted to know if she could be issued a press pass. The page said he didn’t know, and sent her next door to the press office. She left and he didn’t see her again that day. He did, however, see Alfred Friendly, Managing Editor of the Washington Post and Times Herald, and the person in charge of the press office. Al, in his best voce basso came up to the intrepid page and told him that if he ever sent that woman, or anyone like her to his press office again, he would personally see to it that the page’s journalism career would end before it started.   April 17, 1959 Washington, D.C.  The page’s job this day was ticket-taker. He joined two Burns guards stationed at the door to the meeting room on the mezzanine level, where Fidel was to speak. Security downstairs in the hotel lobby consisted of D.C. police, Park police, FBI, and Secret Service, the latter two obvious by their ability to meld into the wallpaper. Upstairs George Healy was introducing Dr. Castro to the audience, by saying that, “...if there is truth in the cliché

that — those who know freedom least, appreciate it most — our speaker must be the hemisphere’s outstanding champion of freedom” After a few more choice words, he turned over the microphone to 32year old Fidel Castro, who chose to speak in English ... which made for many interesting aphorisms. By that time, the entrance doors were closed, leaving the page and two Burns guards standing in front, when who should appear but the tall blond lady with the Spanish accent carrying her large handbags. She forthwith demanded her right to entrance, as a member of the press. The page, having found new courage, vis-à-vis Al Friendly, told her that was not possible. She implored again and summoned a tear. The

page held firm. Finally, after a few more appeals, she relented and backed off. She then retreated down the stairs, all the while screaming epithets in Spanish as

photo courtesy New York Daily News

she went. The page (who had a Puerto Rican roommate) had never before heard such rude references to his mother. Fidel, who spoke for two and a half hours, was cordial, thoughtful, and composed. He never lost his temper even when accused by questioners of being a communist, which he denied. He also maintained that there was no communist involvement in the revolution. He repeatedly spoke of his belief in human rights. He assured his audience that all American corporations with holdings in Cuba would be protected. Within a year and a half, Castro would have openly made trade arrangements with the Soviet Union, nationalized all U.S. companies and properties,

and come to New York to address the UN wherein he lashed out at the U.S. and flaunted his new-found relationship with Nikita Khrushchev. Two years to the day after his first arrival in the U.S. to speak at the ASNE Annual Meeting, the CIA would launch the ill-fated, “Bay of Pigs” fiasco which began what would remain a hostile relationship between the two countries that has lasted for over half a century.   April 18, 1959 Washington, D.C.  On this Saturday morning the page went back to the hotel to see Mrs. P and collect his pay. She ushered him in, thanked him for his service, handed him a check, and wished him good luck in his journalism career. He thanked her and as he was about to leave, she said, “Oh by the way, I don’t know if you heard about your blond Spanish lady friend,” as she winked at him. “Scuttlebutt has it that yesterday, after she got back down to the lobby, the FBI grabbed her and pulled her into an office. When she got inside, she fainted. They emptied the two hand bags and found a revolver in each one.”



Be Prepared at Tax Time – Hire an Expert “Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.” —Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind

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location GLEN McCASKEY

A Largely Untold History of the Lowcountry SERIES Part 5 of 6

Why English is Not a Second Language in the Lowcountry In this issue we will turn from the intrigue of the forgotten Spanish and French settlements in the Lowcountry, to the little-known adventures and tribulations of the English, whose parallel efforts to settle these Lowcountry shores trailed their European competitors by a full century. Our attention will shift from the drama of the dueling global powers in the 1500s to the less suspenseful, but engaging emergence of the English in the 1600s. This includes a perusal of the down and dirty realities that go with populating a new land, dealing with the natives, ethics, finding an adequate economic base to support European lifestyles, overcoming seemingly endless unimagined obstacles and handling insecurities, egos and crises of one’s own making. Even during the often-violent struggles between the French, Spanish and PREMIER


Native Americans examined previously, the English were watching. What limited involvement they exercised was delegated to proxies, privateers, British equipped pirates licensed by the Crown to prey on Spanish galleons transporting silver and gold treasures looted from the Inca and Aztec empires. There was a burst of direct involvement at the end of Spain’s dominance in the Lowcountry. The famous Sir Francis Drake and the English Armada was dispatched to the region to make clear that La Florida (from the Florida Keys to Canada) was not going to happen as envisioned in Madrid, and that it would be wise for Spain to move its capital from today’s Parris Island further south. Drake put an exclamation on his point in June 1586, when his armada of 23 large ships, 19 small ones and an armed force of 2,000 men stormed Spain’s imposing for-

tress and the village at St. Augustine. After soldiers and citizens fled into the woods, English looting, torching, destroying crops, livestock, fruit trees, sailing craft and anything Spanish took place over a week. The result was Spain’s reluctant withdrawal from Port Royal Sound the following year. Santa Elena’s population of 500 and its military detachment was disbursed between

On top of that, Spain itself was in no mood to tolerate the French or anybody else sweeping into Santa Elena after their departure. So, the Lowcountry just quietly reverted to previous management – the Native Americans who were there before the tall European masts appeared from beyond the horizon. For the time being, the English were content to have kept the Spanish notion of La Florida

(from Virginia to Spanish Florida), plus the island of Barbados. For Carolina, settlement was slow to non-existent, thanks to long seasons of civil wars in England. But once finally settled, with the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660, the fire rekindled. Three years later, in 1663, eight influential royalist supporters of Charles II acquired an expanded version of the 1629 charter to settle Carolina and Barbados. These became the

St. Augustine, one other Florida settlement and Havana.

bottled up in Florida while they focused on activity further up the coast at Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost Roanoke Colony in North Carolina and the successful Jamestown Colony in Virginia in 1607. East and southeast of South Carolina, Bermuda was colonized in 1609, which in turn claimed and settled Barbados for England in 1626. Add Jamaica, various islands in the Bahamas chain plus others, and something akin to an English Caribbean Empire was unfolding and South Carolina would be woven into it. “Carolina” came into specific focus in 1629 when King Charles I granted his Attorney General a royal charter to settle Carolina

properties of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. But even while crippling civil unrest swirled back in England, the distant Bermudian-Barbados entrepreneurial adventurers were settling Barbados on their own. They rapidly established a thriving sugar-for-export industry, quickly enough so that demand outgrew all the sugar cane fields the island could hold.

After the Spanish . . . There was no rush to fill the large vacuum left by the departure of Spain from Port Royal. The English show of force in St. Augustine took care of any such appetites.

< Port Royal Sound was the envy of all the European nations that were competing to settle in the New World. The deepest natural harbour south of New York, it carries ocean water a full 20-miles inland from the ocean. It has 200,000 acres of rich salt marsh and a massive normal tidal range from 8 to 11 feet.

An Envisioned Symbiotic Relationship The Barbadians, as well as their new sponsors in London, had a symbiotic relationship in mind for Carolina and Barbados, and the many other islands targeted for WINTER 2017


One of the first Indian/Settler exports from the Lowcountry were hides from the mule eared, white tail deer. Over several centuries, deer living on the islands grew to be smaller than their cousins in the mainland forests because the mainland branch a wider variety and volume of forage, along with a much wider range than found on the islands. These two fawns are sharing the grasshoppers they uproot in the grass with two cattle egrets.

their investment stable. The plan was for the off-shore islands to exclusively grow their in-demand cash crops, such as sugar cane and cotton, while the abundance of land in Carolina would include land to grow routine crops, create dairy products and graze cattle and other livestock, all of which would be shipped out to feed the large agricultural labor force it would take to generate the profitable output on the islands. A second role envisioned for Carolina was meeting labor force needs on the distant, sparsely populated islands. As Europeans settled the islands, the indigenous people were increasingly pressed into servitude. At the same time, their numbers were diminishing because of new European diseases and overwork. From the very outset, exploration along the North and South American coasts involved locating sources of slaves. The Lowcountry was reported to have giants on today’s Dataw Island, which generated one of the earli20 PREMIER


est Spanish exploration forays into the area. Slavery was routine in the Aztec and Inca cultures and among the smaller American indigenous peoples as well. Some tribes specialized in “harvesting” slaves and trading them to other tribes. Ultimately, the main reason that Africa became the main source of slaves in America, north as well as south, was because the supply of Indian slaves simply became inadequate to meet the rapidly growing demand. The inability of Carolina to satisfy the Barbadian wish list for such manpower would lead the islanders to African sources and make Barbados one of the first of the islands to import African slaves. The Barbadian Captain William Hilton With Barbados becoming part of the Lords Proprietor’s operations in 1663, almost before the ink was dry on the charter in London, Barbadians had commis-

sioned an exploration to Carolina to assess its ability to meet their needs. A local Captain William Hilton and the good ship Adventure were hired to lead the expedition. Hilton departed August 10, 1663 and entered St. Helena Sound on September 3. Five months later the expedition was back in Barbados and not long thereafter, Captain Hilton had published the exciting, “A Relation of a Discovery lately made on the Coast of Florida.” Hilton relates his experiences with natives who still spoke some Spanish, a visit to the former capitol of La Florida at Santa Elena/Parris Island and details of resources, agriculture, navigation, climate and inhabitants. Even with the ghastly typical title of the day, the writing was not unlike some of the adjective prone travel brochures and booklets of our own time. Charleston Founded in 1670 Hilton’s skills as a pitch artist are credited with contributing to the settlement of Charles Town

seven years later. Settled at Albemarle Point, the initial plan was to plant Carolina’s first English settlement where France and Spain had gone before. By 1683, Charles Town had grown to around the same population as Santa Elena at its height, 200 families, with the total European population of South Carolina being around 1,000. Given the hardships, the abiding threat of Spanish or French incursion and Indian issues, this probably was not a bad rate of growth. But the Lords Proprietors were keeping score on their charter from King Charles another way – the bottom line. After 13 years of formal existence, Carolina was still in the red, having never shown a profit. As developers would say today, the problem was, “critical mass.” Other brochures had been pro-

Altahama Town was one of the key villages of ten built by the Yemassee Indian tribe in 1685 when the 2,000 member tribe relocated from central Georgia to the Port Royal Sound area of the South Carolina Lowcountry. About the same time, a new settlement of Scottish immigrents started occupying Stuart Town which they were building in the same area. The two people groups created a trading alliance that resulted in a 1686 Spanish attack which destroyed Altahama Town, the other nine Yemassee villages and Stuart Town.

duced. Sales people were recruiting immigrants in England. Deals were being struck to bring prisoners and indentured servants to Carolina. But still, after 13 years, 1,000 people was still far short of what was planned.

The Indian Co-op Strategy Henry Woodward, one of the first English explorers to trade with the local Indians, hatched a visionary concept in 1670 that could greatly expand the weak trading business among the declining tribes in the area. The idea was to reach tribes as distant as the Mississippi River and focus on the exchange of furs, deerskins and Indian slaves for metal tools, cloth and firearms. Key to the strategy was the Westo Tribe, a small nation from Augusta, GA, which was already quite experienced with long distance trade and tribes, and was enthusiastic about the monopoly concept that would enrich both Lords Proprietor’s coffers and those of the Westo. A 1674-1680 exclusive trading alliance was the result. But there were unanticipated downsides to the arrangement.



Included were Indian traders who would join the equivalent of an early trading union, but excluded were numerous independent, successful and respected Indian traders who liked their independence. Secondly, the trading plan was remarkably successful and very profitable, but so much so that the small tribe of Westos, as skilled as they were, could not keep up with the volume of work. That created misunderstandings and trust issues with partners and clients alike. Third, the nature of the enterprise was harshly exploitive, particularly the slave trading element. The Westos were not sensitive to it, as slave harvesting had long been a business line for them, but other tribes were less receptive. On top of this, the overworked Westos became less selective about which tribes they attacked for slaves and started to create hostilities where none had existed before. As issues of trust, slave harvesting among client tribes and distrust of the Westo also grew in Charles Town, the excluded Indian traders saw an opportunity to pit other tribes, Charles Town business leaders and slave brokers against the Westos. There was even a movement to enslave all the Westos. An Indian war against this one small tribe was the result and when over, the tribe had been almost exterminated. The Scottish Solution All this caused the Lords Proprietors to want nothing to do with the Indian trade. Even as it was unraveling, they were hatching something apart from Charles Town, back at Port Royal Sound. The new plan was to satisfy a 22 PREMIER


key to a second community, one that would give all of Carolina a fresh start.

The Spanish, who planted the first capitol of La Florida on today’s Parris Island, left behind a small and sturdy breed of horse that remained on some of the Lowcountry coastal islands when the Spanish withdrew it 500 residents to St. Augustine. Some lived in the wild on the islands and the indigenous people also used some, as did subsequent European and African settlers. The pure breed is down to just a few hundred horses today, but they are still seen in the Lowcountry, including this one accompanied by a cattle egret keeping an eye out for startled grasshoppers.

significant unmet need within the English population, in the Scottish segment of it. Scottish Presbyterians had just been on the losing end of decades of civil wars involving the tangled mess of British aristocracy, business alliances, the Church of England, the dissenting churches and frictions between the pieces of the Kingdom, particularly Scotland and England at this point. The result was that thousands of Scottish Presbyterians, Covenanters, wanted to leave the Kingdom and move to the New World and a place where religious tolerance was the norm. A number of the Lords Proprietors were Scot themselves and personally sympathetic with their increasingly disenfranchised compatriots. The idea of opening a second major settlement in Carolina had been growing among the Proprietors for some time and this new market was seen as what might just be the

Stuart Town at Port Royal In 1684, the first Scottish immigrants arrived at Port Royal and the flow, which was planned to continue at a rate of thousands per year for eight years, was underway. At that rate, the settlement at Charles Town would be quickly eclipsed by Stuart Town, but it would also be an answer to Proprietor’s economic aspirations. Fatefully, also in 1684, a major Indian immigration began into the Port Royal area. Given the long depopulation after Spain’s withdrawal, the Yemassee had decided to move their entire tribe of 2,000 souls from central Georgia into ten new villages mostly surrounding Port Royal Sound. By then, native Indians in the area had declined to around one hundred. Being enterprising and well aware of the Westos’ success and then demise, the Yemassee soon completed an import/export agreement with the Scottish settlers similar to what the Proprietors had with the Westos. Everyone but Charles Town, was feeling good about the future. But then – Disaster. Stupidest Move in 331 Years It certainly didn’t look like disaster at first. Almost immediately after the Yemassee-Scot partnership was completed, in March 1685, the partners left Port Royal on a slave-catching raid southward from the Lowcountry. It was yet another reemergence of the old problem in the New World - manpower. If Stuart Town was going to grow at the pace envisioned under the Scot-Lords Proprietor agreement, there was a lot of work to be done. Building sites needed

to be prepared, drainage installed, roads cleared, commercial space created, docks built. It would take a lot of manpower, more than the Europeans could provide themselves. So off the new partnership went with a sizeable party of Yemassee on their inaugural joint “slave-catching” raid to “harvest” manpower for the building of Stuart Town. Incredibly, foolishly, stupidly the party ended up on the outskirts of St. Augustine. There, for some reason, the Yemassee zealously attacked a Spanish mission, burned several towns to the ground, including a chapel and friar’s house, and killed 50 Timucuans, the faithful Spanish Indian allies, and captured 22 more to take back to Stuart Town as slaves. Of course, most residents of Charles Town were utterly horrified at the wanton recklessness of all this, but they had little compassion for the folly of their impulsive

new competitors. And what they knew would occur did occur, on August 17, 1686, when three Spanish Perreaugoes appeared at the Port Royal River with a force of 100 Spanish soldiers and a larger compliment of Timucuan Indians. Just as astonishing as the raid itself, the Spanish accomplished a complete surprise attack on the unprepared Scots. Three days later, nothing whatsoever remained of Stuart Town or of the ten Yemassee towns. Nothing. NEXT ISSUE There probably has been nothing as ill-advised, catastrophic and downright stupid that has impacted the Lowcountry as that Indian “slave-catching” fiasco outside of St. Augustine 331 years ago. There are some surprise benefits from that fiasco today, but lingering consequences as well. But the negative consequences are just pieces of the whole slaving culture that

infects every society world-wide. It is interesting to see it among American Indians before Europeans arrived, in the first reflexes of the Spanish explorers of this coast, of the Bermudians who settled Barbados, of African tribes that sold slaves to Arab, Scandinavian and Bostonian slavers who delivered them here and to those in our South and around the world who required slaves to generate more of the more than enough they already had. In the next installment we will focus on how what we have seen in this installment ties into the terrible and remarkably successful Yemassee Indian Wars and look at some unexpected contributors to the conflict. We’ll see how the aftermath helped trigger beginnings of the plantation economy and move right into that and the unique outworkings of the Revolutionary War in the Lowcountry. This is an interesting place! WINTER 2017



Savannah River Site: Sick Cold War Vets Receiving Entitlement Benefit

Unfortunately, many Augustaarea “Cold War Veterans” who served their country as employees of the SRS plant, were exposed to unsafe levels of radiation and toxic chemicals, including considerable trace amounts of asbestos from some of the buildings. Due to this 24 PREMIER


exposure, many SRS employees have developed certain types of cancer, along with a wide range of chronic illnesses. In response, the Department of Labor has compensated many former SRS workers who qualify by providing considerable mon-

etary awards and no-cost 24/7/365 healthcare among other benefits. In 2001, The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA) was written into law by President Clinton and the program has paid out over $10 billion in claims across over 150 eli-

gible plants and vendors throughout the US. SRS is an SEC-designated facility, which means those who struggle with radiation and or chemical exposure related illness do not have to prove their illness is work related to receive compensation and will be issued a special white card, like a health insurance card, which can be used to receive medical care including FREE (no deductible/no co-pay) home nursing care. To Qualify: You must have worked at the Savannah River site from January 1, 1953 through September 30, 1972 for at least at total of 250 days (work at other SEC designated sites counts towards the 250 days). Also, you must have been diagnosed with one of 22 specified forms of cancer, which can be found on the DOL website).

• Chiropractic • Doctor visits and co-pays  • Hospital stays  • Medication  • In-Home Health Care  • Hospice Care  • Housing & Vehicle Modifications  Photo from the 1950s shows the construction of Savannah River Site’s P and R reactors, as well as activities at the reactors once they became operational that decade.

Savannah River Site retirees are entitled to this benefit in addition to any traditional benefits they are already receiving. Covered Costs: Must be ordered by a physician and related to the worker’s approved diagnosis: 

• Medical Alert Systems •

Medical Travel

Medical Equipment (oxygen, hospital bed, etc.)

If you are in need or know someone in need of this service call Remain At Home Workers Care for a NO Cost benefits evaluation.  Remain At Home services the Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina areas. 




Everybody Loves a Beach Photos by Ned McNair 26 PREMIER


All around the world, people are attracted to beaches. Sandy, rocky, accessible, private, alongside oceans, lakes, rivers, these strips of land are irresistible to locals and tourists alike. In one travel agency, vials of sand were on display. Thinking of a trip to Acapulco or Waikiki or Miami Beach? Check out the sand. Is it pink, white, beige, or grey? Did we really care? The beaches of my childhood, the ever shifting sandbars in the Herb River, narrow slivers on the tannin tainted waters of Pine Harbor and always a favorite, Tybee on the Atlantic Ocean, all formed and encouraged a love for lands that teased and promised. Since they determined availability, we became experts on tides. Low tide promised a clear beach, at least for a little while. The high tide teased us into believing it would soon leave and uncover our playground. Always loved the story of my friend Wilton who bought a marshfront property. Now Wilton, a retired Army JAG, didn’t know much about tidal waters and on the first night in their new home as he was admiring the view, he called his wife in alarm. ‘Christine, come look, the water is advancing.’ After that, as far as we were concerned in our family, the tide never came in, it advanced. By the late 1940s, our family was happily spending summers on Myrtle Island in Bluffton. Graciously replenished by a lovely yellow sand from an ever eroding bluff, the beach in front of our cottage was reached by a steep set of stairs. Every five years or so, we attached a chain to the stairs on one end and a car’s bumper on the other and pulled the whole thing back to more solid ground always keeping our fingers

crossed the bumper would hold. By the time we wised up and tried to stop the erosion, a lot of real estate had washed down and away. The lack of sand renourishment revealed a mud base where marsh grass and oysters flourished. The final blow to our beach was the building of docks and we began the trek to the Maye River sandbar. In those days of the 1940s, there were so few people on the river, you could have the entire sandbar to yourself. It was special. For those hours during low tide, it was a marvelous beach, but it wasn’t a beach on the ocean. There wasn’t the boom of the waves crashing, or the thrill of riding those waves to shore; there wasn’t the grainy sand that made spectacular drip castles, or the constant ocean breeze that tricked you into forgetting the burning sun; there wasn’t the endless horizon that encouraged a dreamlike state, or the rustling made by branches of palmetto trees that clutter the landscape beyond the dunes and lull you into dropping your book and resting your eyes; there wasn’t the excitement of finding a deserted horseshoe crab shell or watching periwinkles sweep in by the thousands on an incoming wave and bury themselves in the sand or discovering a pair of angel wings or a conch shell or chasing a ghost crab or scooping up handfuls of foam after a storm whipped up the sea like meringue and there wasn’t the race to the water, to

dive headfirst into the waves. There is nothing like a beach on the ocean, any ocean, but for us summer people in Bluffton, it was the beach at Hilton Head Island. Encouraged by his mother, the dream of Charles Fraser was to treat this island with respect, to manipulate it so that visitors and residents could all enjoy the natural beauty of this maritime forest. And beginning with the development of Sea Pines Plantation, he did, setting an example of conser-

vation and adaptation of housing to nature that would be copied internationally. His enthusiasm reached talents far and wide. Native born North Carolinian Edward Cooke McNair heard the call and in 1971, ‘Ned,’ and his wife Judy left what she considered her ‘dream home’ in Charlotte to come to Hilton Head and work with Fraser’s Sea Pines Company. Ned and Judy were used to the attractions of Myrtle Beach, a favorite destination for the young folks of Charlotte. There was a boardwalk, carnival rides, cotton candy and hot dogs, all the hoopla WINTER 2017


usually found at the beach, including miles of hotels lit by neon. And there was beach music, dancin’ that slow and lazy barefoot in the sand version of the jitterbug, we call ‘the shag.’ Nothing could have been more different from Charles Fraser’s concept. He pictured a place of retreat where visitors and residents alike could indulge in all sorts of activities but in nature’s bounty. No gutters on the street, they should resemble country roads, homes should blend into the landscape and the architects came up with the novel idea of upside down houses where living quarters were upstairs so you could see the ocean over the dunes. There was to be a harbor, golf courses and tennis courts, bicycle and hiking trails and there was the beach, a wide friendly beach that ran the length of Sea Pines Plantation and 28 PREMIER


continuing on for miles until it dissolved into the Intracoastal Waterway. a yellow sand beach enticing young and old to come, to appreciate, to enjoy this gift on the Atlantic Ocean. With Fraser leading the way, Ned along with Glen, Jim, Edgar, Doug, Joe, a group of talented architects, builders, graphic designers, ad men, they came from far and wide, and formed a new sort of beach life that we know today as Hilton Head Beach. No honkytonk, no blatant corporate signage, an emphasis on the natural landscape. And it worked. Some of those originals are still with us, some shaking their heads at the extreme changes in what was for a good while, a small intimate community where ‘everyone knew everyone’ and has become a town threatened by the demands of growth. Ned shared with me a quote by

French born American René Jules Dubos, humanitarian, environmentalist, and Pulitzer Prize winner for the book ‘So Human an Animal.’ ‘Without some awareness of nature and experience of its divine mysteries, man ceases to be a man. When the wind and the sea is no longer a part of the human spirit, a part of the very flesh and bone, man becomes a cosmic outlaw, having neither the completeness and integrity of the animal nor the birthright of true humanity.’ Whenever I feel overwhelmed, there are always the photographs Ned McNair shares with us, pictures of Hilton Head beach that he takes on his early morning walks. Amazing pictures that tug at your heart, of the people who walk there and the birds who fly over, of sunrises over the ocean’s horizon and most especially, he reminds us of the glory of it all.



• Services for Residential Condo Owners and Homeowners 4454 Bluffton Park Crescent #107 Bluffton, SC 29910 • Comprehensive Long Term Rentals 843-628-3628 • Absentee Owner Services / Watch Over 2nd Homes • Handyman Services






Water, Water is NOT Everywhere – and, How the Rotary Club of Bluffton did Something About It

“Globalization was supposed to break down barriers between continents and bring all peoples together. But what kind of globalization do we have with over one billion people on the planet not having clean water to drink?” Mikhail Gorbachev When asked to write about our local Rotary clubs, I admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed with the task. How to write about a local organization with so many charitable projects that the article’s word count could easily be taken up by just making a list. So, I decided to focus on one Rotary club and only one project. Rotarians are rather relentless in their pursuit of achieving “Service Above Self,” so I had many storyline options, but I decided to write about the Rotary Club of Bluffton’s water mission in Miramar, Peru. Gorbachev was right. Millions are desperate and dying; why aren’t we doing more to help them? But, first a little background for anyone unfamiliar with Rotary, and maybe even a few interesting factoids for those who think they already know everything about the organization. 32 PREMIER


An attorney, Paul Harris, invited three friends to a meeting, an engineer, a coal merchant and a tailor. They met 112 years ago, on February 23, 1905 in downtown Chicago and created a club, which they named Rotary because they rotated their weekly meeting

places between their respective offices. Before year’s end, they had grown so much that they needed a larger, more permanent (nonrotating) space, but the name stuck. The next four Rotary clubs were formed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle and by 1945, Rotary International had clubs in 65 countries. Rotarians (men only until the 1980s) became known as business professionals who chose to apply their vari-

ous skills, knowledge and talents to make the world a better place through acts of service, hence the motto (but not the first version), “Service Above Self.” Besides service at home, Rotarians also support thousands of projects abroad to provide clean water, fight disease, promote peace, provide basic education and support growing economies. Eradicating polio worldwide is one of Rotary’s most ambitious goals. Since 1985, Rotary volunteers have vaccinated 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. There were only 75 confirmed cases in 2015, a 99.9% reduction in polio since the 1980s. FYI: February is Rotary International’s “World Understanding Month” and because the organization was founded on the 23rd, February 23rd is “World Understanding and Peace Day” so you now have a new excuse to celebrate and we must all remember to be kinder, gentler and more loving this February – and, not just on Valentine’s Day. The Bluffton Rotary Club’s Water Mission Project in Peru In 2015, Bluffton Rotary Club member Deborah Burt introduced the idea of doing an international

project. She and Rotary president Steve Miller traveled to Charleston to *Water Missions International. Because of what they learned in Charleston, Steve and Deborah and the club membership chose Miramar, Peru as their project city and began the process of gaining funding and approval to begin. The contaminated water in the village they had chosen (population 2,800) caused diarrhea that was so severe that many children and adults were too sick to attend school or go to work and villagers often did not survive the cholera and malaria transmitted by the toxic water. *Water Missions International is an organization that provides clean water solutions around the world. It was founded in 2001 by Molly and George Greene in Charleston, SC after taking a trip to Honduras where they discovered that the locals were sick and dying from water in a contaminated canal, which was called the “River of Death.” When the villagers were asked to drink water from the first newly built clean water system, they were too afraid to drink, but when they saw Molly and George put their own lips to the hose, the villagers rushed to taste for themselves. The Bluffton Rotary Walk for Water fundraiser was organized and held in September 2016 at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park. Mayor Lisa Sulka issued an official proclamation of Bluffton’s endorsement which says in part: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that I, Lisa Sulka, Mayor of the Town of Bluffton, along with Bluffton Town Council, do hereby recognize that clean water is essential to the quality of life and express appreciation to The Bluffton Rotary Club for conducting such a meaningful international project. Bluffton Rotarians Deborah Burt, Dot Jeger and Dee Dee Graham traveled to Miramar in the Piura Region of Peru on October 1st. The

project was a collaboration involving Rotary International, Rotary District 7770, Rotary District 4465 in Peru, Rotary Club Paita Centro in Peru and The Rotary Club of Bluffton. When Deborah, Dot and Dee Dee (maybe they won’t mind if I call them the “D-Team”) arrived in Peru, their host club, The Rotary Club of Paita Centro greeted them warmly and the villagers in Miramar welcomed them with a parade as they walked to the location of the new water system. They attended a Rotary meeting on Thursday evening and on Friday, they attended the commissioning ceremony, which included local food and entertainment by the children. Each family was given a 5-gallon bucket to fill with water and bring back to their homes. The D-Team returned to the Lowcountry at a critical time, right after Hurricane Matthew on the 9th. “The contrast to coming home to a “war torn” area after the hurricane…no electricity, no running water and no toilets (I had to scoop buckets of water from the creek to flush toilets) for 4 days…after being in a country that, in some areas, is always in that state was an eyeopener. It really makes us appreci-

ate what we normally take for granted.” Dot Jeger. One of the conditions of approval for this project was that it must be sustainable and the good news is that the government officials in Miramar (Province of Paita) have an agreement with the Rotary Club of Paita Centro to work together to continue improving services and adding resources needed by the poor villagers there. This is a big step since most of the community live without necessities, like latrines and running water – things we take for granted in the United States. If you would like more information on this project or would like to support The Bluffton Rotary Club with future projects, you can reach them through their website at or by contacting Deborah Burt at Deborah@ Rotarians are known for changing lives and improving communities at home and all over the world. If you would like to find out more about Rotary, there are 5 chapters in Bluffton and Hilton Head. If you would like to visit a chapter, contact them via their websites listed below. Bluffton Rotary Club Wed 7:30 am Bluffton Community Center, Oscar Frazier Park, 11 Recreation Ct, Bluffton Okatie-Bluffton Rotary Club Tue 12:15 pm Sigler’s Restaurant, 12 Sheridan Park Circle, Bluffton Hilton Head Island-Sunset Rotary Club Mon 6:30 pm Yacht Club of Hilton Head, Palmetto Bay Marina, 99 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Thu 12:30 pm Sea Pines Country Club, 30 Governors Road, Hilton Head Hilton Head Island-Van Landingham Rotary Club Tue 8:00 am The Golf Club at Indigo Run, 101 Berwick Drive, Hilton Head WINTER 2017



And the Golden Oyster Goes to…

The 2nd Annual Bluffton Ball

Cinderella: “Oh, well. What’s a royal ball? After all, I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and-andand boring, and-and completely… Completely wonderful.” On Saturday evening, January 28th the 2nd annual Bluffton Ball will be held at the lovely Sun City Pinckney Hall ballroom. The dress is “Bluffton Chic,” which means you can wear anything you please from plain and simple to wild and wacky to formal and fussy. So, if you like it more casual, then maybe go for shorts and a jacket, long or short dresses --- absolutely whatever your eccentric version of gala-wear looks like. Your choice. And, if you are more of a formal traditionalist, that’s okay. Nothing wrong with perfume, pomp and pageantry with princes in tuxedos and princesses in shimmery gowns and sparkly jewels. Hosted by the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, our local grassroots organization founded by Shellie West, this year’s ball features a reception, dining, dancing and presentation of the winners of the Bluffton Business Awards for 2016. Rather than the “Oscar goes to….” the Greater Bluffton Chamber winners receive the specially designed award – the Golden Oyster! Tickets are $75 after January 1st. Ron Gray, in collaboration with Executive Director Shellie West and Chamber Chairman of the Board, Don Brashears, introduced and developed the Bluffton Ball. Ron moved here from the Philadelphia area in 2011 and was invited to join the Board of Directors in 2012. He brings an abundance of knowledge and experience along with a passion 34 PREMIER


Premier Lowcountry publisher Mylene Owens and husband Ron enjoy The Ball

for helping others. Mr. Gray served as a board member for nine nonprofits, chairing three of them, worked as a strategic planner for two chambers of commerce, coached Special Olympic athletes, was Assistant Dean of Saint Joseph’s University, VP and Chief Human Resource Officer for Scott Paper, the world’s 132nd largest company and was VP for Human Resources & Strategic Planning for the four-million-member MidAtlantic region of AAA. Whew. He also likes to keep in close touch with his children and grandchildren in Pennsylvania; it’s only a 10-hour drive, and is especially proud of his single-mom daughter, Michelle, who lost her arms and legs as a result of a staph infection 10 years ago. She is his hero. Yes, I know. Took my breath away too. Now, you know why we are so fortunate that Ron Gray has adopted us.

Despite all of his fancy titles, accolades and serious business acumen, he keeps his eye on how he can help others, not on himself. Sharon Brown, Cindy Owens and Joe Nehila deserve recognition for much of the planning and orchestrating and a big thank you to all the volunteers who help put it together last year and this. Like all Greater Chamber of Bluffton events, the ball is open to the public. Most chambers only give awards to paying members, but this chamber’s nomination process is all-inclusive so that all deserving members of our community, including those who may have previously gone unrecognized may be nominated for one of the coveted “Bluffton Oysters.” The Bluffton Business Awards recognize individuals and organizations which have distinguished themselves during the Award year through the excellence of their performance and contributions to the well-being and growth of the Greater Bluffton community. The Awards are based on nominations submitted by the public with finalists and winners being determined by a selection team of Chamber members. The Awards nomination process for the 2016 Bluffton Business Awards closed in December and the finalists in each of 12 categories have been notified and publicized. Thank you to Covert Aire and Farm Bureau Insurance for sponsoring this delightful event! Tickets are available online at or at the Chamber office at 217 Goethe Road in Bluffton.






New Uses of Botox in Dentistry When you think of Botox, what comes to mind? You probably think of smoother foreheads and more youthful eyes. What you may not know is that, while all of these aesthetic goals can be achieved through its use, Botox also has an array of less conventional uses with a surprisingly far reach. In the past few years, expanded medical applications of Botox have become extremely popular, and for good reason. Outside of its use for cosmetic improvements, it has gained wide favor in the neurological community for the treatment of unwanted muscle contraction leading to pain – even migraines. Botox enjoys a significant role in the dental community, as well. It is a powerful adjunct for the treatment of patients with chronic occlusal muscle disease or temporomandibular joint pain, commonly called “TMJ.” It has also been found that this therapy can have a profound effect on patients dealing with sleep apnea. Years ago, as the medical research surrounding Botox for pain was expanding, clinicians in dentistry were also looking for ways to treat patients who suffer from pain that was resistant to typical treatments. Today, it has become an indispensible tool for treating both spasms and pain in the facial muscles. There is a very long list of difficult-to-diagnose causes of facial pain. Often, treatments done poorly or improperly either make the situation worse, or cause another injury, creating an additional source of discomfort. Even in my own office, I have encountered many patients that were previously mistreated for years, or their prob-

lems were simply ignored. Diagnosis of facial pain must be done by a highly knowledgeable clinician, and requires years of training beyond dental school. Unfortunately, as we go through life, injuries can occur that do not manifest as problems until much later. Early in life, injury to the TMJ can become a ticking time bomb. It can manifest as osteoarthritis, noises in the joint and general discomfort. Range of motion can become limited, and the muscles can spasm to protect the joint from further injury. The insidious part of TMJ problems is that they often occur without obvious injury, and can be caused by overuse. This process is typical in people with sleep apnea, who often rouse themselves from sleep in order to breathe. This releases the stress hormone cortisol, causing them to clench and grind their teeth all night long. This can cause hypertrophy (enlargement)

bruxing. As a result, the system fails, either at the joint or in the mouth. Unsurprisingly, this is also sometimes accompanied by muscle pain and headaches. Botox can be used to gently relax these muscles and work as a temporary fix to help eliminate the pain early on. Aside from pain relief, the relaxation of the occlusal muscles also slows down the destruction of your teeth and damage to the TMJ. Often, in patients with sleep apnea, the usual treatment of a “night guard” or occlusal orthotic device can make their condition severely worse, as it can retrude the lower jaw and restrict the airway. It is important to remember that Botox is not the definitive treatment for any of these problems, just a way of progressing to the ideal final result – a system that functions free of pain, and lasts a lifetime. We encourage patients to be their own advocates and do as much research as possible on treat-

of the muscles of mastication, or chewing muscles. As the system becomes overstressed, joints can deteriorate, teeth can break, and muscles ache. Enter Botox, which can be quite effective in this key area. A longtime bruxer, or tooth grinder, can have enormous muscles that are very powerful. Their joints and teeth cannot keep up with the abuse they are receiving from the

ments suggested to them. In our office, we spend a great deal of time going over MRI and CT results for our patients so that they can understand what is causing their pain, and why we are planning a specific course of treatment. As an integral part of a comprehensive approach, Botox is a safe and effective treatment for certain types of facial pain, and should be considered an important tool. WINTER 2017



Dennis Stokely... STOKED FOR THE LOWCOUNTRY “why manners still matter” The South Carolina Lowcountry is a celebrity magnet known for attracting long-time residents like musician John CougarMellencamp, legendary tennis pro Stan Smith, and actor/producer Ron Howard. In our Summer issue, we introduced you to celebrity hairstylist DENNIS STOKELY, who left the big city life and came to the Lowcountry to be close to his mother. We featured an article written by Dennis as a tribute to his mom, who is living with Alzheimer’s. We were thrilled when he recently allowed us the opportunity to sit down and talk about HIS story - why he loves it here, why he decided to stay, how his good manners landed a gig with Paula Abdul and of course, we were eager to check up on his mom and see how she’s doing. 38 PREMIER


PL What inspired you to go into your profession? DS I have been mesmerized by fabulous hairstyles since childhood and always had a knack for hair, but it was Farrah Fawcett, famous for her starring role in the television show Charlie’s Angels and that poster with her in the red, one-piece swimsuit with the biggest sexiest hair ever that first caught my eye. At the University of Georgia, I carried hot-rollers in my backpack. I charged $5 for hairdos. I dropped out of UGA in my sophomore year and moved to Manhattan. I fell in love with New York. I was a mildly successful model and then turned my attention back to hair.

PL How did you get your “hand” in the door of celebrity hairstyling? Sorry, can’t resist the play on words. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

DS My first big break in the celebrity world of hairstyling was as a receptionist at Kenneth Salon inside the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Kenneth was famous as the hairstylist to Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Vanderbilt. He is my favorite stylist and the biggest influence of my career. Later, I was hired



Brooke Anderson & Dennis at the Oscars 2011

Carmen Electra on the Red Carpet Hair by Dennis

Paula Abdul American Idol Finale Season 8 Dress by Elizabeth Emanuel Hair by Dennis

Right: Cynthia Bailey from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Christian Siriano from Project Runway, and Dennis attend Charleston Fashion Week 2013

into the assistant’s program at the Frederic Fekkai Salon, but Farrah’s gorgeous hairstyle still inspires me. Years later, I met Farrah at the Polo Lounge inside the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was towards the end of her battle with cancer and she was having lunch with friends. We spoke briefly as she was leaving. She was so kind to me and her eyes sparkled. It gives me chills thinking about it. PL Is this what you wanted to be when you grew up?   DS Not really. As a kid, I never thought too much about what I wanted to be as an adult. I was born in south Georgia and was raised by a hardworking single Mom. I just 40 PREMIER


always wanted to be loved and accepted. I never thought I would become an artist. I was a geeky, bookworm kid - spelling bee champ, honor student, voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in High School. It wasn’t until I moved to New York and was so blown away with the fashion scene and all those incredible supermodels that I realized I had found my tribe.

PL I know that you were recently named the Artistic Director at the Salon Montage inside the newly opened Montage Inn Palmetto Bluff. How is it going?   DS Awesome! I feel like I am working in New York or Los Angeles. The salon is drop-dead gorgeous and business is booming. PL  What set of circumstances launched your career as a stylist to the stars?   DS Many wonderful opportunities lined up to launch my career. My years in NYC were the catalyst, styling hair for NFL cheerleaders was a highlight, and once I landed in Hollywood, my southern kindness nabbed me a booking with Paula Abdul. In Los Angeles, I worked with the legendary make-up artist, Alexis Vogel, on a high-profile wedding. Afterwards, I thanked her. She stopped and said, “Wow, who are you? Nobody ever thanks me!” She asked for my number and shortly after she booked me to style Paula’s hair for a photo shoot featured in OK! Magazine. That day was the beginning of the gig-of-alifetime.   PL Tell us a little about working for Paula Abdul.   DS Paula is my all-time favorite client. I met her right before the finale of Season 6 of AMERICAN IDOL, the year Jordan Sparks won. After the finale, I was invited to travel to London with Paula to

create hairstyles for a week of press appearances. While we were there, Paula was photographed for the London Daily Mail. The fashion designer, Elizabeth Emanuel, famous for designing Princess Diana’s wedding gown, dressed Paula for the shoot. I was awestruck. After London, we stopped in New York for Paula to make a guest appearance on the David Letterman Show. Paula and I clicked and when we returned to LA I left my salon job at Prive’ in Beverly Hills and continued working with Paula until she left the show after the end of Season 8. I miss Paula and all the excitement of AMERICAN IDOL.   PL Do you have any favorites? And, why?   DS Of course, Paula, for all the magical moments. Carmen Electra - One of the sweetest and prettiest celebs ever. Jessica Simpson and Eva Longoria - I had a hoot working with them on Jessica’s music video, “A Public Affair.” And, Brooke Anderson - The first celeb I worked with on the Oscars, and later, the Emmys, Grammys and the Golden Globes.

PL I know you came back to the area to help your mother, but we would love to know more about why you stayed. You could have gone anywhere back to Los Angeles or New York - but you seem to really feel at home in the Lowcountry.

PL I know you have some funny celeb stories. C’mon do tell.   DS OK, just one. I was in New York with Paula styling her hair for her appearance on the Martha Stewart TV Show. I hadn’t seen Martha in years. During the commercial break, I went on-set to touch up Paula’s hair and said to Martha, “Hi, Martha, I am not sure if you remember me, but I styled your hair when I worked at Frederic Fekkai.” Martha replied, “Of course I remember you Dennis and you’ve gained 30 pounds!” Paula and the audience laughed hysterically, and I just stood there. And then Martha deadpanned, “That’s okay Dennis I’ve gained 30 pounds too.”  

DS I love it here. I always knew that I would settle back in the South and when I left LA to be with my mom, I realized that slowing down was just what I needed. However, I feel so incredibly lucky that I spent the beginning of my career in Manhattan. I was young, ambitious and very excited to be in the Big Apple, savoring every moment. I developed my skill set in top NYC salons, had the time of my life and made lifelong friendships. I may be southern by birth, but New York won my heart. And then, I was fascinated with how wonderful Los Angeles was. After all it has perfect weather, I made brilliant new friends and I was working on the #1 television show in the world. C’mon, who wouldn’t love that?   I am humbled and excited that my career has come full-circle and I get to work and live here. WINTER 2017


Dennis with Raye Vogler, Director, Spa Montage

I am constantly meeting people from New York, Chicago, LA, actually from all over the world. I still travel for special bookings and the Savannah airport is one of the best in the country - small, clean and convenient. The marshes, the live-oaks, the Spanish moss, the surf, the sand and the laid-back sophistication appeal to my southern sensibilities.    PL The Lowcountry is a big destination for weddings. Do you work with many brides here?   DS Yes. I always tell people that brides are the “celebrities” of the South! And walking down the aisle to get married here is like walking the redcarpet in Hollywood!   PL I really enjoyed your beautiful tribute to your mother in our Summer issue and I know our readers also want to know how she’s doing, so please give us an update. 42 PREMIER


DS Funny story, Mom’s night nurse called me recently and said she was throwing things from her bed out to the nurse’s station. When they asked her what was going on, she told them that she had won the basketball game! My Mom was a star basketball player in high school and she evidently thought that the nurses station was the hoop! Her battle with Alzheimer’s continues to advance. Shortly after the article came out last Summer, she slipped out of her wheelchair and broke her hip. Her hip replacement surgery went well and she is in no pain. Mom has always been a tough cookie and I craved my whole life to see the softer side of her personality. But, now that she is slowly slipping away it is bittersweet to see her so childlike. On a positive note, she is in great spirits, keeps everyone laughing and it is so much fun visiting her. She was evacuated during Hurricane Matthew and spent five days in rural Georgia surrounded by lots of family. She laughed a lot, ate a lot and when she got back to the nursing home and they asked her where she had been. She said, “I went on the best vacation ever, but I am glad to be back home!”   PL You seem to always have such a positive attitude about everything. How did you get there and do you

want to share a little about your philosophy of life? DS By nature, I always see the glass half-full. I think I was born that way. Like most people, I have had triumphs and set-backs in my life. I think God has always turned my heart and soul towards the light. As for any professional success I may have achieved, my mottos are: “Be good at what you do and

be nice.” & “Dream big and never give up.” PL Thank you very much for sharing. I’d like to be the first to wish you a very Happy New Year. Before you go, do you have a New Year’s resolution?   DS Yes, I want to lose 30 pounds!



architecture JOSEPH K. HALL



The Tiny House Buzz Hello everybody. Hall here. Back again with things ARCHITECTURAL. Little wonder that this time the topic is the TINY HOUSE. The Question: Dear Joe. I have been watching all the programs on HGTV and elsewhere. All this hype about the Tiny Houses. Would I be “happy” living in one? Yours Truly, Uncertain Dweller The Answer: Dear Dweller, If you wouldn’t be “happy,” I’ll take your place. I have been fascinated by the Tiny House since I was a kid.  It was 1946. Cousin George had just come back from the war. In the backyard was the trailer he was taking to college to live in with 44 PREMIER


his wife for the next four years. It was great. The interior had curved wood veneered walls. Everything was built-in, the sofa, the table, the bed, the closets. The small bath,

the small kitchen. What a cozy place to live. Small houses have always been around. It’s one of the main subjects of Henry Thoreau’s book, “Walden Pond.” It was all about his life in a Tiny House just outside of town during the 1840s. Then, there are authors like George Bernard Shaw and Somerset Maugham who produced great literary works in the Writer’s Cottage, somewhere on the property. On Sullivan’s Island, behind the big cottage was always the little cottage known as “The Dependency.” On Martha’s Vineyard, there are all those cedar-shingled Tiny Houses, grouped together. Overlooking the ocean. The perfect place to stay for the summer. The Tiny House may not be the place to raise a family.  But it can be the perfect place to get away from one.  The perfect place

for another generation, older or younger who wants a space of their own for privacy and support. Tiny Houses are great for a seasonal getaway, like that Martha’s Vineyard cottage overlooking the ocean or the log cabin in Gatlinburg with mountain views. Tiny Houses come in various sizes and shapes. Here is what is out there in the marketplace. Some have wheels and can be easily moved. Some are built elsewhere and brought to the site and secured to the ground, like any other house. These Tiny House are ready to move in and enjoy. If you are a “Do It Yourselfer,” there are ones you can build either from scratch or a kit. The Tiny Houses with wheels are known as personal property to the tax collector. The houses which are wheeled in and attached

to the ground are known to the tax collector as real estate improvements. There is a lot of controversy out there about the Tiny House beyond the tax collector. The guys in the zoning and building inspections departments don’t know exactly what to do. But that’s okay.  They just want to be sure that what you are living in is safe. That is a way of saying “built to code.” The Tiny House, built in a factory with wheels, and not more than 400 ft. is known as a “Park Model.” The certified manufacturers of park models build them to a particular code that gives you the comfort of knowing you are living in a safe space. That Tiny House built in the factory without wheels might be built to codes adopted by the town or county where they will be located. Check with your local

building inspection department. One last thing. Remember, you’ll have to attach the Tiny House to water, sewer and power. Be sure you are using qualified, licensed installers. There are many places you can visit to experience Tiny House Living. The internet is your best source. There are many qualified manufacturers. The Internet has that list as well. There are many books to read about the Tiny House. My favorite “The Tiny Book of Tiny Houses,” by Lester Walker.  The author shows us some Tiny Houses from the past, including the one that rotated with the sun. Dear Dweller I hope all the above helps you with your question about Tiny House living. Happy Tiny House Living, Joe Hall

the joy of a brick house painted white



wine JEFF GERBER, Festival Director

What Happens at the Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival (and why we do it)

As we are rapidly approaching the 32nd Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival (March 6-12), people have been asking questions. What goes on during the festival and why do y’all do it? Did you know that the festival begins in early February? You probably did not, since the festival begins four to six weeks before public participation with an international wine competition. Wines arrive from all over the world and are given random numbers for the blind judging, their wineries hoping/expecting to see their wine awarded a medal. We host judges from all over the United States who determine which wines are Gold, Silver or Bronze and which ones are Best in Show (3-4 per year). Judges join us from as far away as California, Texas and Colorado, as well as our regional neighbors such as Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida, plus local judges from Hilton Head, Bluffton and Charleston. Over time we have been fortunate to acquire and build a tremendously talented coterie of judges. And why do wineries want to enter an event like this? Because if they show well enough to win, they gain an unbiased recommenda46 PREMIER


tion of their wine(s) which they can use when marketing to buyers in a highly competitive environment. Nothing beats the distinction, “this wine won Gold at the Hilton Head competition,” except maybe the pleasure of drinking it. Festival week begins with smaller events. These “starter course” fun and educational events help build up to the weekend and include tastings. Some examples from prior years: We hosted movies (thank you Custom Audio Video) about wine with guest speakers. Try some wine, have some hors d’oevres, watch a film and enjoy interesting stories about wine. We also offered some wonderful educational events like ZING and Wine Maker for a Day. During ZING, attendees tasted different wines and then tried them with different food pairings to help get an idea of the kinds of foods and wines that do and don’t go well together. Participants soon came to realize that once you learn some basics, it’s really not that hard and there’s no sense in being intimidated. Everybody has a right to claim their own brand of sensibility when it comes to wine; education is terrific, but even the experts don’t always agree and have their own personal

bias. Wine Maker for a Day offered attendees a chance to try a great blend and sample each of the individual wines that went into making the blend. Then after some discussion and education about winemaking each participant created their own personal blend! The best part was that after all the new wines were judged and the best creation was chosen, the winner was crowned “Wine Maker for a Day.” Wondering what it will be like this year? Best way to find out is to bring your family and friends and experience it for yourself. Wine that is written about on the pages of a magazine might teach you something new or make you smile, but if you can’t taste it – well, there’s not much fun in that. Tasting events are somewhat self-explanatory, but to make it more exciting, we try to get creative with the offerings. Some examples from the past: Best of the Best tasting, Barolo tastings, AVA tastings and contestants sometimes bring unusual and fun wines like barrel samples or even prior Best in Show winners to jazz it up. FYI - from early in the week and through the weekend there are nightly dinners over many price points featuring wines from all over

the world paired up with some of the best culinary dishes made by our fabulous local chefs. And, of course, each dinner will have been created especially for the wines that are being served that evening. The only hard part is trying to pick which dinner(s) to attend! One of the best events that is quickly becoming a huge favorite and was introduced just a few years ago is the Sip and Stroll. It occurs on Thursday afternoon and is exactly what it sounds like. A tasting where you stroll through the shops in Harbour Town while “stopping for some sips in shops.” Try saying that five time fast. In addition to the joy of wine and shopping, the rows of rocking chairs are always filled with those who like to indulge in people watching. Sip and Stroll takes place from 1-4 pm; a little wine, a little shopping, some rocking chair time and a walk through a beautiful setting – what’s not to like? These events lead us to Friday and culminate in the Grand Tasting: our premier event for the week held in the Harbour Town Clubhouse. Warning – this is usually the first event to sell out. Everyone likes to dress up; we have it catered with delicious appetizers and desserts; there is always live music and it features an abundance of white and red wines plus a wide selection of champagnes. Last year there were over 100 wines poured with the whites all over $30 retail, reds over $50 and many priced at over $100 per bottle. People look at me like I am crazy, but I tell people all the time what a bargain this event is! I know the tickets are $125, but

where else can you go and taste this many high-end wines and have someone handy to answer your questions? Last year we added it up, and to have gone out and bought only one of each bottle from that evening would have cost over $7000. Then of course, we save the best for last and Saturday features our Public Tasting which is the event that started it all 32 years ago. The Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival has grown from a humble little tasting in a parking lot to a world-class multi-day event. Naturally, there are the wines on Saturday (over 250 poured last year), but there is so much more. We have the Sysco Outdoor Gourmet Challenge, where great local chefs show how to prepare a dish and then you get to sample the results at the end of the demonstration. And, there is always the Bartender’s Challenge, where some of your favorite mixologists compete for the best cocktail award. The Waiters Race is a favorite with lots of laughs, always some spills and fun to be had by waiters and spectators alike. And then there is the simple joy of tasting and the good fortune to taste SO MANY DIFFERENT wonderful wines (40 wineries represented last year), find some favorites, enjoy the music and the magic of being in the shadow of the giant oak trees, but best of all, you get to experience this with friends and family. Now that we have covered what happens, we still need to cover the “why do over 200 people volunteer their time and energy for hosting such an event?” And quite honestly,

this is an area where we (especially me) hope to do a better job of communicating to the public. Most people have seen the large silent auctions at the Grand and Public Tastings, but do you know what that money goes for? My guess is most cannot. And it is something volunteers and board members are passionate about, so I think everyone needs to be “in the know.” You see, as much fun as the week turns out to be, it’s not just about having a good time. All of the proceeds go into college scholarships for deserving students at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Technical College of the Lowcountry. We have donated $42,000 for scholarships in the last four years to students in Hotel Restaurant Management Training programs. And these young students often end up staying right here in the Lowcountry and become leaders in these industries. The other reason we work so hard is for the positive economic impact the event provides for the local businesses as the Island emerges from the winter “slow season.” The spending power and excitement generated by the influx of tourists and locals who come out to the festival has a very positive effect on local restaurants, lodging and retail shops. Working with the Chamber and USCB, the best estimates from last year indicate that the festival helped inject about $4 million dollars into our Lowcountry’s economy. So, hopefully this helps answer your questions, but most importantly, we hope to see you at one or more of this year’s events! WINTER 2017


Charleston: Jan. 5 Garrison Keillor, storyteller Jan. 18 Shen Yun Dance Performance Jan. 19 Michael Carbonaro Live! Jan. 21 Charleston Jazz Festival Jan. 22 James and The Giant Peach Jan. 29 Lowcountry Oyster Festival Feb. 5 1964 The Tribute Feb. 11 The Lowcountry Irish Festival Feb. 12 South Carolina Stingrays Hockey Feb. 17 Tickled To Death witty, wacky murder mystery Feb. 21 Once The Musical Mar. 1-5 Charleston Wine & Food Festival Mar. 14-18 Lexus Charleston Fashion Week



Mar. 16-Apr. 22 70th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens Mar. 31 Flowertown Festival For more info:

Beaufort: Jan. 6 Salsa Night at the Revolution Jan. 7 New Year’s Resolution Running Tour and Boot Camp Jan. 27 RevBear is coming from DC to Guide Us Home! Feb. 15-19 11th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival For more info:

Hilton Head/ Bluffton: Jan. 16 Songwriter Showcase at The Roasting Room, Bluffton Jan. 21 Chili Cookoff sponsored by The Kiwanis Club Jan. 21-22 Opera by the Ocean La Boheme Jan. 26 Boys & Girls Club Hope & Opportunity Jan. 28 2nd Annual Bluffton Ball Jan. 29-30 Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony Feb. 18 May River Theatre presents “Boeing Boeing” Mar. 6-11 Hilton Head International Piano Competition Apr. 10-16 RBC Heritage Golf Tournament For more info:

calendar of events FALL

Savannah, Ga: Jan. 14 Second Saturday Art Walk

Mar. 23-Apr. 8 Savannah Music Festival

Jan. 29 Annual Low Country Home & Garden Show

Mar. 23-26 Tour of Home and Gardens

Feb. 3 Critz Tybee RunFest

Apr. 1 Pirate Road Race: Mustache Dash

Feb. 10 Jul. 4 Fashion from the Classics, Biltmore House - Asheville, NC Mar. 1-5 2017 Southeastern Conference: Women’s Basketball Tournament Greenville, SC

Feb. 11 “Cupid Is Stupid” Valentine’s Day Bar Crawl

Apr. 8 Second Saturday Art Walk

Feb. 17-19 Savannah Irish Festival

For more info:

Mar. 4 Brunch in the Park Atlanta, GA

Other Places:

Mar. 24-Apr. 2 Cherry Blossom Festival Macon, GA

Feb. 19 Savannah Philharmonic presents “The Masters” Feb. 25 The Race for Preservation 5K & 10K Mar. 3 First Friday Art March and Fireworks on River Street Mar. 9-11 Savannah Stopover Music Festival Mar. 17 Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Jan. 3 Help Ripley’s break a world record during Nights of Lights Jacksonville, FL

Mar. 7-9 International Window Coverings Expo - Charlotte, NC

Apr. 13 12th Annual Ballet Stars of New York Columbia, SC

Jan. 14 Praise Wave Music Festival at SeaWorld - Orlando, FL Jan. 22 The Five Irish Tenors - Myrtle Beach, SC Feb. 8 Bon Jovi This House is Not For Sale Tour Greenville, SC WINTER 2017



Real Estate in the Lowcountry In the Wake of the Storm: The Market After Matthew It’s a question that has been on everyone’s mind, especially those thinking of buying or selling property in and around Hilton Head: What did Hurricane Matthew do to the real estate market? The momentum of our real estate market has been extremely positive over the last several years, with home sales in the first nine months of 2016 coming in at more than 20% over the pre-recession peak. As well, median prices, sale-to-list ratios and median days on market (DOM) continued to improve significantly during this time*. In fact, the number of homes sold market-wide through September of this year was at an all-time high. Then, Matthew struck. It was the first time in a long time that the Lowcountry experienced the strength of nature at this magnitude. While Matthew approached our coast as a Category 2 Hurricane, reduced from the Category 3 to 4 that was anticipated, it still did significant damage. Trees tumbled to the ground, properties flooded, windows and roofs were struck with branches, and infrastructure was damaged. It was exactly what one would expect in such a storm. But what of the after-effects? Did they, too, mirror expectations? In the immediate wake of 50 PREMIER


Matthew, no one can say that true damage was not done. The good news? The market seems to have come out largely unscathed. After all, we cannot forget that there is no such thing as a risk-free zone when discussing coastal property. Even in a location such as ours, where we do enjoy some level of geographic protection, Hurricane Matthew proved that storm damage can — and does — still happen, however rarely. The point is: It wasn’t a complete surprise, and those who buy and sell coastal property realize that. It’s already factored into their decision-making. As such, the driving factors of our local market remain stable. Current interest rates continue to allow buyers to get more for their money, and while we have recently seen a small increase, the cost of borrowing remains historically low. This is good news for both buyers and sellers, and allows for increasing strength of our still-growing market. Baby Boomers and Millennials alike continue to flock to the Lowcountry, and for good reason. Hilton Head and Bluffton remain extremely desirable destinations, whether temporary or permanent. There is only so much coastal land available, and that will always be an enormous boon to local property values. International buyers, too, realize this. According to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of International Activity

in US Real Estate, Florida — our immediate southern neighbor — accounted for a staggering 22% of total residential foreign-buyer purchases in 2016. American real estate continues to be an excellent investment, and I anticipate many of our international buyers will continue turning their sights to the Lowcountry as the relative value of our property continues to grow, especially when compared to other destination markets. United States home prices have already appreciated above the Pre-Recession peak, overall. However, while home prices in our local market are up nearly 7% this year, they remain more than 25% away from that same peak*. This makes our area a prime target for investment, whether the asset is to be a primary, secondary or investment property — and Matthew doesn’t change that. For more information on the Lowcountry real estate market, to receive a copy of “The Matthew Effect” (published by Engel & Völkers Hilton Head IslandBluffton) or for questions and comments, contact Daniella at, visit DaniellaSquicquero.evusa. com, or follow Daniella on social media @lalasquicquero.

*Source: Hilton Head Area MLS

Holliday Home Improvements of the Lowcountry, Inc. by Tamela Maxim

For Replacement Windows & Doors “Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” – Edith Wharton “Be an opener of doors.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Husband and wife team Jason and Susan Holliday understand about silver linings. When they lost their jobs in the economic downturn, what seemed like a painful setback turned out to be a blessing. Holliday Home Improvements of the Lowcountry opened for business in October 2010. It was an easy decision to move to Hilton Head, Jason’s hometown. After 3 moves in less than 2 years and just “getting by,” Jason explained that he and Susan, figured they could “get by” anywhere so

they might as well live in the most beautiful small town on the east coast. They took a big leap of faith, borrowed a few dollars from their folks and got the business up and running, installing as many as 25 windows per day. Six years later, with their combined background in the construction industry and with Jason’s former workmates, Mike and Josh Demuro helping lead the team, they install over $1 million of replacement windows and doors in the Lowcountry every year. With a name like Holliday (and, yes, Jason is related to the famous Doc Holliday) I hoped to find an excuse to declare a holiday related to the introduction of windows and doors. However, nobody knows the

date when either was invented, so I turned to door knobs, which replaced door latches on December 10, 1878. So, from now on, just for the fun of it, I declare that December 10th is the new Holliday holiday. I’m looking forward to the festivities and if you’ll send me an email, I’ll see about getting you on the invite list too! Bragging rights: Holliday Home Improvements has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been a Super Service Award winner on Angie’s List for the past 3 years. As Jason likes to say, “It’s always a good time to replace windows and doors if it fits your budget.”



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