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Haig Point –

The Ultimate Lowcountry Escape Hilton Head’s Unlikely Mayor Lowcountry Paddlin’

The 11th Annual Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival

Our Community At Its Best! FALL 2015



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contents FALL 2015


26 32 features 12 LOCATION Daufuskie Island’s Haig Point The Ultimate Lowcountry Escape



Lowcountry Paddlin’ A Canoe Trail with Cabins Up in Trees

OLLI – Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USCB Bluffton

18 ART The Paintings of Charles Williams



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32 PEOPLE The Unlikely New Mayor of Hilton Head...David Bennett

46 EVENTS The 11th Annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival: A Celebration of Community and Culture - October 10-18, 2015


46 44 18


departments 4,5 TABLE OF CONTENTS 8






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PUBLISHER Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC Clint and Kristi Peters

EDITOR Tamela Maxim

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Annelore Harrell Tamela Maxim Glen McCaskey Debbie Szpanka David Warren

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Tamela Maxim Glen McCaskey David Warren

SALES Mylene Owens Clint Peters

GRAPHIC DESIGN Barbara Bricker of Small Miracles

Premier Lowcountry Magazine, LLC P.O. Box 3480 Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 Phone: (843) 415-5143 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 Co., USA 6


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publisher’s note CLINT AND KRISTI PETERS

NEW EXCITING VENTURE IN AN AREA OF THE COUNTRY WE LOVE! The first time our family came to the Lowcountry it was for a simple beach vacation. My son and I played a little golf on a course I grew up watching on tv each year while Kristi and our daughter enjoyed the beach. We soon realized after arriving that something was different here. We couldn’t really put it into words then and still can’t really describe it now other than somehow knowing it just feels right. Having lived our whole lives in Iowa, one would think the weather and palm trees alone would be all that matters



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(well believe me it doesn’t hurt) but there is just so much about this place that makes it special. We are excited to be the new publishers of the Premier Lowcountry publication and hope to continue the magazine’s purpose from the first couple issues. We have changed the format to become a quarterly edition so we can highlight even more things in this great community and do so in a seasonal fashion.

We hope you enjoy our first issue and we plan to keep expanding on this into the future. We invite you to find us on Facebook and our website for many announcements and special deals from our sponsors. Our sponsors are a huge part of these publications and we encourage you to support as many of them as you can. I never would have imagined our little beach vacation turning into so much more. We got a little of the Lowcountry in our blood and we couldn’t be happier that we did.

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Glen McCaskey has been

Tamela Maxim is the

Debbie Szpanka has

David Warren has been

Georgia, Annelore Harrell,

deeply involved in the

author and illustrator

called Bluffton home

in advertising and

nee Stelljes, spent summers

evolution of Hilton Head

of Nellie Jelly and the

since 1997, after leaving

marketing on Hilton

at her parents’ cottage on

since he and wife Ginny

Jelly Well, a book for

the Washington, D.C

Head for 30 years. He is

Myrtle Island. She married

moved to the island

children. She was born in

area after the Blizzard

currently the director of

George William Harrell, Jr., a

in 1970. He was vice

Savannah, Georgia and as

of 1996. She was

marketing at Haig Point.

regular Army JAG officer in

president of Sea Pines for

an Army brat spent her

reading Pat Conroy’s

David and his wife Sally

1953, had five children and

the years the company

growing up years living in

Beach Music during

live in Windmill Harbour

traveled from post to post

became internationally

Georgia, North Carolina,

the storm and credits

and have one son,

for the next thirty years. A

acclaimed for its ventures

Virginia, Hawaii and 10

the famous author’s

David who lives in San

real estate broker by trade,

in the Caribbean and

years in Germany, where

poetic descriptions of


active in several civic and

Southeast USA. Today he

she attended both the

the marshes and coastal

community organizations,

owns Community Visions,

University of Maryland in

culture as the reason she

she is a graduate of

LLC and has consulted

Munich and the University

is here. She has worked

Leadership, Bluffton,

throughout this country

of Stuttgart. She returned

as a television reporter, a

Hilton Head and South

and in Mexico, Eastern

to the United States in

director of a non-profit

Carolina. She has appeared

Europe and Southern

1976, living in Bluffton

and a spokeswoman for

in numerous theatrical

Africa. He and Ginny have

and attending Armstrong

government agencies.

productions, hosted a weekly

been married 42-years

in Savannah, where she

cable television program and

and have been blessed

received her Bachelor

currently writes a column

with two children and two

of Science degree in

SOMETIMES for Bluffton


Elementary Education



Born and raised in Savannah,

Today. Living in a river house,

with a double minor in

she proclaims is ‘Not old

German and Art. She lives

enough to be historic and not

on Myrtle Island with her

new enough to be energy

husband Nicholas and

efficient,’ is just exactly

their german shepherd.

where she wants to be.



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Grammy Award winning

CHANTICLEER An Orchestra of Voices

Friday, October 23rd 8pm HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH 24 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head Island

“the world’s reigning male chorus” New Yorker magazine

Tickets: $30 and $35 available online or at the door (if not sold out) Easy Online Ticket Purchasing All seating is reserved Go to TICKETS 843-341-3818 FALL 2015





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The Ultimate Lowcountry Escape The coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina is not lacking for remarkable communities and Daufuskie Island’s Haig Point has to be a contender for the top spot. It is across the enchanting Calibogue Sound from probably the best known of such communities, Sea Pines on the revered Hilton Head Island. The two share the sound and its breezes, pelicans, dolphins and fascinating history, but there is one major difference that has come to distinguish one island from the other. The difference is a feature islanders and others take for granted, something very common – a bridge. Hilton Head has a bridge and Daufuskie does not. The result - more than twomillion guests cross the Hilton Head bridge each year and around 40,000 people live there full-time. Daufuskie has around 400 residents and the number of visitors are . . . well, nobody really knows how many visitors it has because there really aren’t enough to start counting. Ah, the delightful difference a bridge makes! There is no hiking, biking, flying or driving to Daufuskie! Boat on – Boat off.

The Bridge Attitude One might think there would be some Daufuskie resentment about the easier access to the island that the islanders next door have, but a quick chat with any Daufuskie Islander will cure that false concept.

These islanders are thankful for the difference and grateful that there is no quick bridge access to their community by millions of outsiders. They wouldn’t have it any other way, and to visit there is to see why. On the surface, Daufuskie is still much like it was 100 years ago. One might say, “200-years ago,” except the highly prosperous cotton fields that had just about denuded the island then, are now covered by

beautiful mature and tranquil forests. From the most humble native islander cottage, to the grandest Haig Point residence, most homes have ancient live oaks festooned with Spanish Moss in their yards. The untrammeled natural ambiance is downright breathtaking, a surviving glimpse into how things once were on the sea islands. Haig Point is particularly remarkable, beautiful in both what God hath wrought, but also in the creation of mankind. Haig Point has a circa. 2015 excellence of living standard, but it is encased within a unique architectural tradition that goes back to the blending work of the area’s early Barbadian and English settlers, Circa. 1715. The result in Haig Point is a delightful and refreshing island look that could not be more natural and compatible with the old oaks, refreshing breezes and environmentally sensitive charm of this relatively new community. How It Happened The island, and Haig Point in particular, started its entrance into the 20th Century in 1983 when an FALL 2015



executive of International Paper, officed in the company’s blackenedglass skyscraper in New York City, became enchanted with the utterly opposite allure of this all-butforgotten island. By then, a 1940s population of close to a thousand had dropped to less than 60, a high percentage of them moving to Hilton Head when the island’s oyster packing plant closed there and electricity came to Hilton Head in 1956. Daufuskie had no paved roads in 1983, no required license plates for the few cars, no police, fire department or any real public services, other than mail delivery and a monthly scraping of the dirt roads by the rusted scraper the Highway Department had left on the island. Electricity and phone service were still new lifestyle qualities. Local jobs had become virtually non-existent. A local realtor, having Hilton Head sized development visions, had assembled three large parcels that comprised almost two-thirds of the island, the 1,050 acres of Haig Point and its old lighthouse being the prize parcel. The ideal client he was looking for to make his dream happen ended up being the folks from International Paper, and they



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spared no effort or investment in making Haig Point far more than most people could have imagined. An Unplugged Life Mercifully, the vision of those New York developers was not to bring glitz and glamour to this rustic island, but to bring its heritage, beauty and natural allure to those rarer people who were anxious to find an island refuge free from glamour and glitz, people who would simply revel in the natural ambiance of the place. Haig Point was to be an exemplary resort retreat community for those who enjoyed comfort, but were more than willing to be separated from many of the conveniences of urban and suburban life. Other results emerged from the arrival of the new Haig Point, dimensions which impacted the whole island, such as the provision of good jobs for those who would otherwise have fled the island for lack of work. Other benefits included new financial and

volunteer assistance to the island’s little elementary school, the island church, provision of fast emergency boat access to the hospital on Hilton Head for all islanders and, in essence, the breathing of new life into this remarkably beautiful place. But while native islanders were interested in getting plugged-in to a predictable income and emergency services, the new residents and

owners of Haig Point homes came because they wanted to be unplugged from the driving pace of their lives and the overload of the senses others considered normal. The people who own and live in retreat to Haig Point today chose this community over a wealth of excellent options on the other side of Calibogue Sound, and as well as around the world. They are people

who not only certainly have the means to live there, but who also have a special glow come to their faces when asked, “Why Haig Point? Why Daufuskie?� but not everybody can understand the allure of life on a bridgeless island where horseless carriages are not de rigueur and the reality is that not everybody can afford it at the Haig Point level of comfort. They also are people who

could can afford the extra costs that come with their dream and life on a bridgeless island. Customized Unplugging While Haig Point is comparatively isolated, it is not at all primitive. For example, golf carts have replaced automobiles and while most island roads remain as unpaved as they were 300 years ago, those FALL 2015



on Haig Point have been rustically paved to avoid summer dust. Private cars have indeed been excluded from the community, and other communities on the island, but they have been replaced by comfortable electric carts – Haig Pointers which can easily traverse the entire island, getting from their end to the other end in about 15 minutes. Most full and part-time residents keep their “mainland cars” at the Haig Point Embarkation Center on Hilton Head, one of two regular and convenient points from which to comfortably access the community’s fleet. Haig Point is a very much self-contained community, there being but a few other dining and recreation options on the island. The community has a terrific and central golf clubhouse, a dramatic beach club, pools, bike paths, tennis courts, a white attire croquet court and team, nature trails, an equestrian



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center with rare riding on the beach, historical and environmental tours and talks given by resident docent enthusiasts, beautiful shelling beaches along the two mile long ‘Outer Banks of Haig Point” and a world class and rare 20-hole golf course designed by Rees Jones, plus the 9-hole Osprey course. It’s a Secret In closing, A final insight - if you ask an islander how you should describe Haig Point and Daufuskie to others, the islanders will ask you to just tell them that there is no bridge, and what is more, that there is no hope for a bridge! and that there is absolutely no, not even a desire for one. It is not that people are unfriendly. They just want “island people” to move to Daufuskie. “Tell them Daufuskie is an unplugged island, ” they’ll say, – no bridge (can’t be said often enough!), no airport, almost no cars, a single rusty gas

pump and a place pretty much free of those glitzy things some people might consider essential. But even so, you can come visit Daufuskie Island and Haig Point, (if you have to). You can arrange to play those 20-holes of Rees Jones’ course, and prospective candidates for this un-plugged lifestyle even have the possibility of being invited to stay overnight in the 1868 Haig Point Lighthouse or in the 10,000 sq. ft. 1902 Strachan Mansion that was rescued from St. Simons Island by barge 30-years ago – but that is another story. And, there are others. Of course, there’s the one about the Gullah Uncle Remus Tales that originated here; the row boat war and the Daufuskie Island Royal Militia, the stories behind the other end of the island being named Bloody Point, the smugglers, . . . there are lots of stories on this island, but – NO BRIDGE!

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The Paintings of CHARLES WILLIAMS 1984-2006: It started with a coloring book. Earnestine Williams noticed that her middle son could easily color in the lines, when other young children the same age were scribbling all over the page. From early on, his mother made sure there was a ready supply of paper, pens, pencils, crayons and paints to accommodate his natural abilities and creative disposition. The young Charles was introspective and content to spend time alone with his art supplies and imagination. When his brothers and the neighborhood kids were outside having fun, he was often found indoors developing his hand-eye coordination and improving his already keen sense of observation. His parents also encouraged him to spend time outdoors, but he sometimes preferred exploring on his own over playtime with friends. The dynamic of the Williams family was intensely personal. Each child was expected to spend time both indoors and out; work and play were both taken seriously and praise and affection was tempered with old-fashioned accountability. Good manners, hard 18


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work, discipline, goal setting and church involvement were very much a part of his childhood. His first art teacher, Christie Weaver (1st and 2nd grade, Kensington Elementary) recognized that Charles was both gifted and serious about art. She worked with him during and after school, providing the challenges and encouragement he needed. Heath Hampton, his high school art teacher

also spent extra time with Charles and arranged for private lessons with Bruce Chandler when his parents explained that Charles was still hungry for more instruction. Ms. Chandler is the one Charles credits with teaching him how to prepare for the business side of being an artist. Along with learning the nitty gritty details of shape, color and lines, she was a firm believer in teaching the necessary fundamentals of art sales. She helped him get a job at the Rice Museum, took him to her art shows and taught him about marketing. Charles also received support from his hometown community of Georgetown, SC when individuals and businesses came together, beginning in 10th grade to help him raise money for tuition to SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. By selling his art in local coffee shops, bookstores and galleries and earning a SCAD portfolio scholarship he was able to afford the hefty $36,000 per year tuition and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006. 2006-2008: Charles was hired by Publix in Tampa, Florida as a member of their corporate

photographic images gone-to-heaven

Charles kind of real Williams Articles and pictures

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Charles Williams Articles and pictures design team to develop their branding and marketing plan for the Greenwise® ad campaign. The work was exciting and he liked the financial security of a regular paycheck, but he looked forward to the day when he could afford to transition into a solo career. Homesick for Georgetown, he painted scenes of the Black River, working after hours until he had enough paintings to submit to a Tampa gallery for a group show. His confidence soared when he sold out his first two shows and after 20


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receiving several individual and corporate commissions, he left Publix, moved back to South Carolina and began working as a full-time professional artist. 2009-2012: He was accepted into the Hudson River Fellowship in New York where only 32 out of 5,000 applicants receive an invitation to study and learn from master landscape artists, working and living together. There were no tests or grades, but plenty of pressure to perform and the thrill of learning from and working with brilliant, successful artists. After New York, he decided to make his home in Charleston. Determined to be

accepted into a top notch gallery, he told the owner of the Robert Lange Gallery that his work would be shown there one day, but she turned him down five times before inviting him to participate in a group show. Every painting sold! After selling out at a few more shows, he was asked to join the gallery. 2013-Present: Charles was accepted on a full scholarship into the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s graduate program and is currently working towards his Master’s

degree. He and his family (wife Shannon, son Kai) live in Charlotte, where he makes the 2 ½ hour commute back and forth to school 5 days/week. The Artist’s Signature: During some late night painting preparing for his first show in Tampa, he spilled water on a canvas, causing a drip-to-the-bottom bleed. The painting was set aside and forgotten, but when the gallery director saw the “damaged” landscape, she liked it so much that she asked if she could have it. The dripped edge-on-purpose has become a signature motif along with a more recent blurred transitioning from representational likeness to “white nothingness” in recent selfportraits. At first glance, his paintings appear almost more real than real – photographic images gone-toheaven kind of real. But, then you see the edge and you know the truth. Charles applies emotional sweet and sour as he paints. Call him crazy if you like, but according to Charles, his paintings are honest revelations of the spiritual relationship between artist and subject. Each scene depicts more than just the top layer of paint – it is a representation of the soul of both painter and landscape at the time it was first experienced. Charles captures art and brings it to his audience not just to create something for your living room wall, but to honor the heart of something he found in nature so he can share it with you. Another key element of his paintings is the recurring water theme. A poor swimmer at age 11, he was told to stay out of the ocean during a family reunion in Myrtle Beach. Fortunately, his uncle and father were nearby when a FALL 2015



powerful riptide pulled him under and were able to rescue him. Aquaphobic because of the trauma, in typical Charles fashion, he has been painting himself out of that emotional corner ever since. Some of his paintings also include symbolic details having to do with race and social issues, a reflection of growing up as a young Black man in the South. He paints his concern onto canvas, launching conversations and activism. Having

nearly drowned and subsequently being the only Black kid in an allWhite swimming class, he is ultrasensitive about the importance of Black kids learning to swim. Paintings in his solo SWIM exhibit (Spring 2015) at the Burroughs and Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach were the start of his campaign to paint himself free from his own fear, and also to bring attention to the high accidental drowning rate of young Blacks (3 times more than Whites) and the over emphasis, especially by young Black men and sometimes acquired through violent means, of status symbol possessions like expensive tennis shoes or jewelry. The SWIM exhibit in Myrtle Beach included very 22


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large paintings of the ocean at night shown in darkened rooms with audio of the whoosh, whoosh of the waves to re-create the powerfully alluring, yet frightening near-drowning that Charles experienced when he was 11. One of the most haunting paintings is of a young man underwater on his back – face tilted back and barely below the surface, but the artist reassures us that he is not dead or dying, but simply at peace. Giving Back: Charles is known for giving back to the community by mentoring young artists as a way of showing appreciation for the generous support and encouragement he received from his hometown when he was growing up. With the help of his former teacher, Christie Weaver and Shannon Runquist, he formed the C. E. Williams Collaborative, for the benefit of deserving students in Georgetown and Charleston. Students learned drawing, oil & watercolor techniques, portfolio building, how to apply to art schools, talk to gallery owners and develop a marketing strategy. Charles knows that becoming a professional artist requires serious dedication and hard work. “I want kids to have the same advantages I had of a community that will encourage and support them.” By helping students learn to become better artists and sell their art to raise money for school, while gaining collectors who will follow their careers, he knows that they will have the tools necessary for success. Charles also volunteered, along with artist Jonathan Green, to give free art lessons at the Gospel and Gullah event, hosted by The Mitney Project, whose mission is to provide special programs to benefit underprivileged youth in Georgetown. He has also taught art to children at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, School of the Arts (SOA) in North

Charleston, The Artist Loft School in Charleston, Waccamaw Elementary, Middle & High (Artist in Residence Program) on Pawley’s Island, and through the Georgetown Gifted and Talented Program

Put on your goggles and jump into the deep end! The water’s great!

Upcoming Exhibits Not to Miss: September 25, 2015 Morton Fine Art’s Beyond Yesterday: A Collection of Landscape Memories marks his exhibition debut in Washington, DC December 2 – 8, 2015 group show Art Basel, Miami

February 2016 Robert Lange Studios April 2016 solo exhibit “Continuum” and keynote speaker at Central Piedmont Community College Sensoria Art Festival June 4- August 28, 2016 solo exhibit Morris Museum, Augusta Georgia Fall 2016 solo exhibit Winthrop

University, Rock Hill Spring 2017 group show Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, NC Price Range: $500-$20,000

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Unisource Mortgage Services For nearly 20 years, UniSource Mortgage Services has been financing homes throughout the Southeast and has established itself as the premier mortgage company of the Lowcountry. Founded in 1996 by former Hilton Head Island resident, Jim Fletcher, the company’s growth and success has been a family affair from the beginning. Jim’s youngest son and daughter-in-law moved from the Washington DC area to assist Jim with sales and processing in 1997, and a year later, Jim’s oldest son, Bill, joined the company and now serves as the company’s president. Forty years prior to becoming a resident of Hilton Head Island, Jim had already been introduced to the Lowcountry via the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island. He proved to be a standout in his class and eventually served in the elite Presidential Guard under the nation’s 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Following his honorable discharge from the Marines, Jim would go on to get his college degree, become a CPA, and eventually serve as Senior Vice President & Treasurer for a

Fortune 200 company in Chicago where he and his wife, Beverley, would raise their family. “My parents loved us unconditionally, but they also taught us that if you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all,” says Bill. “I can remember being very young, and Dad taught me how to shine his shoes. He’d pay me twenty-five cents per pair if I shined them right, or nothing at all if they didn’t pass muster. It was a valuable lesson which has served me well over the years.” It has been clearly evident that the same attention to detail and desire to “do it right” has been a guiding principle for the staff at UniSource Mortgage Services. They’ve been named “Best Mortgage Company” by an independent survey for the last two years and have developed an extremely loyal base of clients. “Our clients know us on a personal level that is rare in this industry, and it’s one of the reasons why they keep coming back to us time and time again,” says Bill. “They’re more than just clients…they’re part of our family too.”

While others claim to be the best, YOU said we were! Thanks for naming us the Best Mortgage Company in Bluffton!

100% Financing Is STILL AVAILABLE

Contact Bill Fletcher Contact Fletcher at or at 843-815-9090 843-815-9090 or (NMLS #103743) (NMLS #103743)

• We’ve been financing the Low Country since 1997! • Put our local knowledge and expertise to work for you! • Conventional, Government, and Jumbo financing available. • We specialize in financing all types of residential properties: primary residences, second/vacation homes, and investment properties. • Whether you are purchasing or refinancing a home, call today for great rates and superior service! 29 Plantation Park Drive, Building 100, Suite 113 • Bluffton, SC 29910 Unisource Mortgage Services, Inc. (NMLS #103644) is a licensed mortgage broker in South Carolina (License #MB-0514306), Florida (License #MBR1249), and Tennessee (License #108769). Terms and Conditions apply. Not all applicants will qualify.



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Roofcrafters The roof is one of the most important aspects of your home or business. As with the foundation, the roof is fundamental to the integrity of your property’s structure. Whether you are needing maintenance, repair or a new roof installation, you don’t want to turn that project over to just anyone. A high quality roof offers assurances that a low quality roof cannot provide. You achieve this high quality through choosing the right roofing system for your property and having it installed with a reputable roofing contractor who can bring expertise in all areas of roofing services. A roofing install is a science, not an art. A contractor who does the job right will take the time to understand the unique requirements of your property and then follow industry guidelines and best practices to ensure the kind of results you expect-

quality roofing at a fair price. RoofCrafters Roofing LLC is committed to superior installation practices and customer satisfaction. Service areas include Southeastern South Carolina, Eastern Georgia, and Northern Florida for commercial and residential roofing needs. RoofCrafters is proudly certified by major manufacturers and recipients of many awards including “Best Roofing Company” in Sun City. Our toptier roofing experts can assist you with inspections, consultations, maintenance, installation, and even energysavings. Call today to schedule your appointment. You will have peace of mind working with professionals who receive constant training in new materials, installation and safety practices. Specializing in new installation and repairs of skylights, slate, tile, metal, shingles and flat roof systems; let one of the best roofing contractors show you why “Quality isn’t expensive... it’s priceless.”

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recreation GLEN McCASKEY

Lowcountry Paddlin’ A Canoe Trail with Cabins Up in Trees


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There is nothing like canoeing down the Edisto River! I did it years ago with my son and we both will never forget our first great discovery – that the river’s gentle current would make paddling almost optional. Canoeing zealots wouldn’t care, but we did. After that, the fresh smell of the bark-leached waters became all the more invigorating. We strained to see the large pileated woodpeckers hammering somewhere nearby and who could forget millions of cypress trees and black water swamps along the almost primitive passage. Since then, the secret of all these treasures have started to get out and 54-miles of the Edisto have been protected and proclaimed an official “River Trail.” And now there are the “Tree Houses.” Actually, more like “cabins up in trees,” their rustic artistry being the work of a delightful couple who describe themselves as, “Mom and Pop River Rats.” Anne and Scott Kennedy fit their self-image pretty well and they also are, “Carolina Heritage Outfitters.” For decades they have been providing clients small fleets of canoes and equipment, drop off and pick up services, endless Edisto stories and those remarkable cabins in trees.

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Doing business with the Kennedys, across the river from Colleton State Park at Canadys (I95 Exit 68), is more like borrowing some canoes from old friends at their rustic river house and happily paddling off to their cabin several hours downstream. It is an easy connection because this outfitter facility actually is the Kennedy’s home, canoes scattered around the yard, a ramp into the river, cars of the day’s clients parked on the backyard grass, old Bear, their good-natured watchdog ambling around and a sense of, well-being on the Edisto River. The Amble Downstream A trip down the Edisto is far from the “run” of white-water rivers, even more so during the usual low and meandering currents of summer 28


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months. The summer river makes it easy to take a break and do things such as beaching and searching for curious Indian, petrified and prehistoric artifacts in the river’s sandy marl bottom. The trip also is surprisingly private, particularly during weekdays, when often no other boats are encountered. An occasional old cabin or shack on the bank, a few bridges and the mossy ruins of pilings left by older crossings, are the primary man-made dimensions along this protected river, all very reflective of the Edisto’s rural and sparsely populated route to the ocean. Such serenity, with the chorus of birds and bubbling river sounds filtering through green willows, cypress trees and knees, makes it easy to picture Edisto Indians making their own canoe journeys past these same shores.

The Tree Houses The “cabins up in the trees” show up after about five hours of steering, paddling and daydreaming downstream. A typical trip is 24 miles, 14 the first day and 10 the second. In fall and winter, faster currents, generated by the higher water levels, shorten the time. The changing water level makes a big difference on the Tree House island experience. In the summer, the shoreline extends out into the river from the cabins and canoes have to be pulled up on the bank, but in fall and winter, river rat wannabes often can paddle right up to the houses, tying up to the stairs. Tree House Island, part of the Kennedy’s private 150-acre Edisto Refuge, has three tree houses, with six or more trees engaged in keeping each unit aloft. Oaks, cypress and gums are the surefooted pillars,

Kayaking the Two-Way Rivers of the Lowcountry

hardwood species that handle the fluctuating river levels well. The cabins are not nailed to the trees but built so that their horizontal foundation beams rest on brackets attached to the trees. This system, designed and built by Scott Kennedy and his son starting 20-years ago, enables the houses to remain level as their trees sway in the wind. One house has lost a pivotal tree to a storm and now has several additional 4X4 prosthesis posts taking its place. The winds are almost always stirring, and often like to whistle while passing through tree houses. With a smile, Anne mentions that the whistling, combined with fish or other things making ominous “plopping” sounds in the river, plus the calls of Bard owls and other exotic sounds of the evening symphony, can make the nights quite “interesting” for some guests. Primitive Luxury The tree houses offer the sojourner special experiences both by what is and what isn’t provided. Two of the houses sleep 2-4 people in padded lofts above the living area (for sleeping bags) and the third sleeps 4-8. All are screened and well ventilated but there is no electricity, no cell phone or computer service, no running water or refrigeration. Restroom facilities are via chemical outhouses, quite clean and actually pleasant, but there are no sinks or showers.

Packing your lower self into a floating fluorescent fiberglass slipper is challenging enough. But doing so in the Lowcountry comes with unexpected dynamics. Rivers along the coast don’t act like rivers. You never know where they are going! Paddling people are used to river level changes, seasonal currents and tidal nuances, but in Beaufort County, SC, where the tidal changes are the most extreme, water levels change by 8-10 feet, current speeds by 1-4 MPH and the direction of river currents 180 degrees – and they do all that twice daily! Welcome to Lowcountry rivers. SALT RIVERS With Spanish and Indian names like May, Okatee and Chechesee, these are also the saltiest rivers in the Americas, the reason being that they are almost entirely ocean water, with only minor fresh water components from recent local rains. There are no “normal” rivers in this watershed, except for a few that actually are pitifully small creeks. So kayak rentals are all in tidal rivers and the sounds and creeks of the area. At mid-tide, the currents can easily outrun normal river currents because they are the channels for up to 8-10 feet of ocean water rushing in or out. THE IMPACT ON KAYAKERS Kayaking outfitters here often work the tides just as the Indians, explorers, fur traders, and locals learned to do centuries ago. For example, the main outfitter on Bluffton’s May River is Eric Burns’ Marshgrass Adventures. His most popular kayaking trip is a two-hour excursion departing from the Oyster Factory landing. It not only is a wonderful scenic location, but it is a great place to have his customers paddle against the rising or falling tide for the first 75-minutes of their outing, and then reverse course after that and let the tide give them an easy ride back to the landing in just 45-minutes. One thing Lowcountry kayaking can do that rivers can’t – give you a virtually free ride back to where you left the car. 800-979-3370

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Guests eat what they bring with them, or what redfish they can catch at dusk or catfish at night. There are fire pits and grills and abundant oil lamps for good lighting, even a battery-operated lamp to help with fine cooking, and there are windows and a screen porch, all with die-for views. An elevated cookout deck and gas grill faithfully stays above any high waters. Most people just overnight on the island and head for the takeout 10-miles further downstream. But others spend another night or two in the tree cabins and devote more time to exploring up and down the river and along the nature trails and footbridges available in the Kennedy’s Edisto Preserve. Of course, Carolina Heritage Outfitters offers a variety of other river experiences and day trips as well.



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The Ox-Bow Surprise Another unusual thing about the island part of the Edisto Preserve is that it creates an ox-bow in the river, a place where the river actually wraps around as it winds downstream. It flows due East on one side of the island and due West on the other. This offers a fascinating rafting or “life-jacket” floating opportunity where the river is entered upstream from tree

house # 1 and the soft current gently steers floaters west downstream and around the tip of the island and then east past treehouse # 3 on the other side of the ox-bow, where the adventurers exit. The real surprise is here when the scramble out of the river is found to be just 30-40 feet from where it was entered 45-minutes earlier, on the other side of this narrow part of the island! Where else can one do that?

Forty feet in 45-minutes of constant motion! And where else can someone in America grab the next canoe to their overnight lodging, in a tree? This is an unusual place and the Kennedy’s are a unique couple. And for our unique readers, they are looking for another unique couple to carry on their special legacy on the river after they retire.

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The Unlikely New Mayor of Hilton Head Spending some time with the new Mayor of Hilton Head Island is surprising in a couple of ways. That it seems like he is going to make an excellent mayor is not so unexpected, but that the people of this island community of forty thousand plus singled out a midlife (48) but younger looking David Bennett for the job, after a rather unconventional campaign, was surprising. Erring on the side of understatement, candidate Bennett didn’t behave much like today’s selfpromoting, opponent-demeaning candidates. In fact, he unswervingly avoided opponent denigration, and also stayed focused on a few key fundamental issues having to do

32 68 PREMIER FALL 2015

with the Island’s future. Compared to all but one preceding mayor, he is comparatively young with two college-aged daughters and a son in elementary school. Perhaps most interesting, Bennett was a candidate willing to be mayor but not anxious, only deciding to run for the office around 7-weeks before the actual election, and only then thanks to the persistent persuasion of a few people who believed he would be good for the Island. Doing things wrong turned out to be right Hilton Head’s islanders embraced him, a genial enough guy but seemingly a hopeless long

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shot with virtually zero namerecognition and just those few weeks before election day. Defying expectations, the electorate shockingly voted him into a run-off with the incumbent, and then elected him mayor 65% - 35%. It seems the people even liked his down to earth message, “We can do better!” and his seemingly counter-productive methods for “powering his way into office,” for example, spending all but a couple days of the time between elections nowhere near Hilton Head, traveling instead around the Southeast and Mid-west reviewing prospective colleges with his daughter. His attitude was summarized by a response to criticism, at the time: “I’ve run for the office and the people know what I stand for, but this is time I committed to my daughter long ago, time that we’d take for college research and we’re going to do it.” Contrary to critics spin on the decision, the public embraced such choices and the result was the upset victory. Bennett is a serene, no-nonsense kind of businessman on the one hand, while also being a committed family man of faith on the other. Professionally, in 1998, he and his wife Theresa, both former key officers of Pedcor Community Development in Indiana, formed the company that has become Bennett & Reindl Companies. These companies have been involved in the development of and investing in a wide variety of commercial and multifamily properties throughout the Midwest, Southern California and South Carolina. They moved to Hilton Head in 2009. 34


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Town processes were increasing transparency in government, a plan to define accountability on the part of vendors, also for putting specific accountability in place for organizations that receive significant Town funding and even doing much the same for key positions in Town staff.

“We can do better!” One of the motivations fueling Bennett’s interest in being mayor was the very simple opinion that the community of Hilton Head can indeed, “do better” than it has been doing, and on several fundamental fronts. Without intending to, he became a student of local government when he volunteered to do his part in the Island’s future by becoming the volunteer Director of the Town of Hilton Head Planning Commission in 2014. Having a business background with ample experience in the planning field, it was his desire to “give back” by helping the citizenry craft the future direction of the Island. But instead of finding a Town system responsive to such contributions, his experience was that the hard work of the Commission’s able volunteers was often simply ignored, or dismissively discounted and not actually factored into the decision-making process. This undoubtedly played a role – the new Mayor’s emphasis on good planning becoming a vital part of charting the future for the Island. Out of these and other experiences emerged the essential ingredients of his campaign platform. Among his list of ways to improve

Immediate Agendas Campaign agendas for the near future included obtaining sanitary sewer for every resident of the Island. “It is more than embarrassing this was not achieved years ago,” Bennett grimly reflects. He also intends to be very proactive in finding ways to better protect and enhance the environmental assets of the Island. Somberly referring to a recently successful Island rezoning request that allowed development of more than 16 units per acre on land previously zoned “recreational,” the new Mayor, in his understated way, commented, “Creating high density on such parcels is certainly not our objective.” Bennett also talks of his commitment to the environment, the “What was here before we were” qualities of life on Hilton Head that must be protected. “We must do better,” Bennett asserts with emphasis, “both because it is simply right, but because these natural resources are utterly foundational to who we are as an island community. It is our A+ asset!” Encouragements Mayor Bennett is particularly encouraged by his co-laborers on Town Council. “We have a remarkably talented group,” he observes, “and most of them put

in thirty plus hours a week in their jobs!” He admires the willingness of these islanders to put aside the election and “work together on things that are very important to the community.” For his part, businessman Bennett confesses that in having run his own company for years, he has had to work at being a better community leader. “I’m learning to listen better to my fellow Council members,” he asserts with a smile. “I am quite encouraged that we have come so far. There has been absolutely no pushback in the objective of creating true transparency in government and I believe the Council’s key Finance and Administration Committee, and their goal of taking the Town to a balance sheet management mentality, could not be in the hands of better people.”

Strategy for the Future The former volunteer planner turned Mayor has lost no time in applying lessons learned while heading up the Town Planning Commission, or on starting to seek implementation of his campaign issues. The Town now appears to be getting on a committed track to meet the sanitary sewer-forall objective. He has put “Legacy (historic) Preservation” high on his list of important things, along with paved roads. Bennett was instrumental in forging the very successful “One Community” July 4th Celebration sponsored by two island churches, one predominantly black and the other predominantly white. As far as the issue of determining longer range goals and a master plan for the future, the Mayor is shooting for a 2016 initiation

of a Town-wide “visionering process” that will be a major first step in defining the Island’s future. At the end of his term, Mayor Bennett hopes to see an Island-wide master plan in place, or well on the way, and with viable strategies to make it happen over the years ahead. He trusts the sanitary sewers project will have been completed and that real advances will have been made on both the environmental and legacy preservation fronts. Essential to achieving all the items on his wish list is a Town government that is truly accountable and transparent. “Only out of that can come a true standard of excellence,” comments the Mayor. And more density is definitely not a goal!

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recollections ANNELORE HARRELL

what i like...

I like the constancy of tidal waters coming and going, the neap tide deceptively still, the power rush of the river Maye emptying into Calibogue Sound and beyond. I like the pungent rank of pluff mud and the warm feel of it squishing between my toes. I like the subtle determined change in the marsh grasses, the timid push of fresh grass in spring, the sway of summer’s fullness, the goldenness of fall and the reeds, the broken dead reeds gathered in rafts, full of sea life, as they wash away on a spring tide that comes all too soon. I like the stinging burn of beach sand in July’s heat and the aggravation of sand spurs that makes me appreciate even more the 36


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soothing ocean water. I like the rustle of breeze shaken palmetto branches, a sound reminding of gentle rain. I like soft voices from a screened porch, the rhythmic creak of rocking chairs and the call of a whippoorwill on a summer night. I like watermelon so cold it makes my teeth ache and ice cream made in a hand-cranked churn. I like the smell of baby powder on little children being put down for a nap after a morning on the beach. I like the chartreuse glow of marshland against a gray thunderstorm sky, an orange moon rising over the river from behind the tree-line and the many colors of sunset. I like oyster roasts in weather nice

or nasty, hot crab, cold beer and shrimp any way they come. I like the shag, South Carolina’s state dance and its easy to hum music. I like the anticipation of daffodils in February, azaleas in March and camellias in time for Christmas. I like people who smile, who stop on the street to visit, who wave as they pass by and toot their horn, who say, “please” and “thank you,” who know how to flirt and be best friends. I like asking people what time they go to church, knowing that they do. I like living in this special part of the world we call the Lowcountry and especially I like being a part of Bluffton.

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There’s no denying the challenges that come with aging and we all know that getting older ain’t for sissies, but there are also some exciting “members only” advantages in the modern world of serious adulthood. Besides shopping discounts and bragging rights about adorable grandchildren, how about going back to school to take classes in subjects you are crazy-thrilled about with no tests and no grades? How about taking trips to exotic locations like Cuba? Maybe you’d like to dust off your clarinet, 40 PREMIER FALL 2015

saxophone or violin and join a community band? Or what about hopping on a bus for dinner and a show at the Lucas Theater in Savannah? If you are a mere baby of 50 years or more, all of this awaits you at OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where you can join over 1500 members who take hundreds of classes every term. BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP IN OLLI Besides classes, tours, and trips, you’ll receive access to the University

library including its vast academic research library, discounted meals at the Sand Bar Dining Hall and parking privileges at the USCB Bluffton & Beaufort Campus. You’ll also receive discounted continuing education courses (for example in computers or language) as well as discounted tickets to the MET Opera, the Festival Series Chamber music concerts and other events at the USCB Beaufort Performing Arts Center. There is an extra fee for classes during the Fall & Winter/Spring terms, but Sum-

education TAMELA MAXIM

fered in a variety of categories, including literature, science and technology, crafts, film, current events, politics, history and music. The cost: $40 per year plus fees. Classroom fees: $15 for 1-2 sessions, 3 or more for $25 or $95 for the unlimited plan. Fees for tours, daytrips or multi-day travel vary according to the itinerary offered. Terms are: Fall (Sept-Dec), Winter/ Spring (Jan-May) and Summer (MayJuly). Volunteer OLLI faculty members are mostly locals with a special expertise and a passion for sharing and include current or former USCB faculty, business leaders and military.

mer sessions are fee-free for members. FYI: Instructors are able to take classes at no charge during their term and if you are an expert in a subject that you’d like to teach, contact OLLI to apply for a position as a faculty member. WHO, WHAT, WHEN AND HOW MUCH OLLI is a member-run organization catering to the idea that we only get better with age if we don’t stop learning! Classes and lectures are of-

VOLUNTEER AND GIVING OPPORTUNITIES All OLLI programs are 100% self-sustaining and receive no funding from either USCB or the state of South Carolina and tax deductible gifts are welcome. There are always openings for volunteers who would like to offer their skills as: Instructors or Course Facilitators (application deadline is September 18th), Administrative/Classroom Helpers, Curriculum Planners and Marketing / Membership Helpers. Training is provided for some of these positions – just ask! Volunteers who help with curriculum are responsible for soliciting and reviewing proposals from prospective instructors and for helping to identify and develop courses that would benefit the members. Class assistants are usually someone who is already in a class and are responsible for taking attendance prior to class starting, distributing any class materials, collecting evaluations after the final class and returning all materials to the OLLI

office. Class assistants are needed at class locations both on and off campus. Administrative assistant volunteers are responsible for making and answering phone calls, retrieving messages, handling inquiries, filing, mailing and other clerical tasks and special projects as needed. Hours are flexible and training is provided. Contact OLLI if you’d like to be on the team! OLLI is currently in a capital campaign to raise 3.5 million (out of the original 5.5 million campaign) for its own OLLI building on the USCB Bluffton campus. The building will have close and ample parking, several classrooms, a teaching kitchen and great room for socializing, events and special functions. WHY LIFELONG LEARNING? Learning is good for your health! Don’t we all want to slow down or even reverse cognitive decline once we’ve gone over that doggone hill? Serving the interests of those who choose to remain actively engaged in learning is what OLLI is all about. If you didn’t know that OLLI existed before now, you’ve just lost your only excuse for not signing up. While young people usually go to school to prepare for a career or even because of social or parental pressure, older people can CHOOSE to continue their studies just because they enjoy it! No academic credentials are needed and the cost is very affordable. All that is required is a desire to tickle your brain cells a bit and keep those creative juices sparked and flowing. As Dean Keith Simonton, a professor of psychology at the University FALL 2015



of California points out, even though creativity peaks early in fields such as pure mathematics and theoretical physics when problem-solving is sharpest, other careers often peak much later. Historians, philosophers, artists, scholars and others in experience-based professions sometimes don’t reach their pinnacle until their 60s and beyond! Maybe you are a ROCK STAR painter, writer or scholar just waiting for a little extra training and encouragement! OLLI HISTORY In July 2005, The Bernard Osher Foundation accepted USCB’s lifelong learning program into the OLLI network, which replaced the program formed in 1991 at USCB that was originally called the Creative Retirement Center. Bernard Osher is the Founder and Treasurer, his wife Barbro is Chairman of the Board and Mary G. F. Bitterman is President of the 37-year-old philanthropic organization founded in San Francisco in 1977 to support higher education and the arts by making

at 5:30 and LCCB at 7 pm

joy of learning is one of 4 programs supported by the Osher Foundation and is currently found at 119 institutions of higher learning across the United States. LCCB: LOWCOUNTRY COMMUNITY CONCERT BAND The Lowcountry Community Concert Band is sponsored by OLLI. Musicians of all ages come together every week to further their music education, practice their playing and play together for enjoyment and to entertain the community. The Lowcountry Jazz Band is a sub-group

USCB DIRECTOR OF OLLI Andréa Sisino has been the OLLI Director at USCB since 2010 and has contributed greatly to the growth of the program as a result of her enthusiasm and keen interest in community. She is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Executive Leadership, and received her undergrad degree in sociology from the University of South Florida. Prior to South Carolina, Sisino spent 20 years in sports management and engaged her love of culture when she traveled internationally for the YMCA. She’s definitely a people person who is passionate about making a difference. CURRICULUM GUIDE: There are 3 ways to get a current Curriculum Guide: 1. Pick up at USCB 2. Call and ask for one to be mailed 3. Download online Registration begins Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 9 am and continues throughout the term. HOW TO REGISTER There are 4 ways to register: Online, in person, fax, or by mail

significant grants and endowment gifts to colleges, universities and other non-profit organizations. The OLLI program for people over 50 who are interested in learning for the 42 PREMIER FALL 2015

of the LCCB. Both groups rehearse every Tuesday during the USCB semester in Hargray Building Yanker Room 159. OLLI members are invited to attend rehearsals. LCCB Jazz Band

IN PERSON: • USCB BEAUFORT CAMPUS, 801 Carteret Street, Sandstone Bldg., Rm 119 • USCB BLUFFTON CAMPUS, One University Blvd, Hargray Bldg., Rm 161 • HILTON HEAD ISLAND, Pineland Station, Suite 304 A FAX: 843.208.8291 (CREDIT CARD) MAIL: USCB, OLLI Office, One University Blvd, Bluffton, SC 29910 ONLINE: For More Information Call: USCB Bluffton 843.208.8247

FALL/WINTER TERM BY CATEGORY: Art & Culture: Photography as Art, A Curator’s View, Christianity and the Fine Arts I, How to Look at and Understand Great Art, Dreams and Nightmares: The Art of Goya, Prehistoric Art, Christianity and the Fine Arts III (Paintings), Funny Girls, Chagall – Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism, The Jepson: Monet and American Impressionism, Tour of Lana Hefner Home Art Studio, Tour of Gloria Dalvini Art Studio, Celebrate the Season at SCAD, Experiencing More Art While Walking the Holy Land, Colors and Decorative Paintings in the Home, Ireland’s Book of Kells, Brunelleschi’s Dome, A Renaissance Masterpiece, SCAD’s Waranch Equestrian Center Business & Finance: Your Income Generation in Retirement, Social Security: 7 Ways to Optimize Your Benefits, Ten Secrets of a Great Presentation, Managing Your Portfolio for Growth and Income, LongTerm Care Funding Strategies, The Financial Crisis of 2008 and its Aftermath, Smart Women and Money, Large Scale Community Planning/Development Trends, Governing Hilton Head and Town Issues, Your OLLI Program – Coffee & Discussion, Our Hilton Head Island Airport, The Growing Latino Community in the Lowcountry, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About OLLI, Forensic History: Cold Case Crimes, The Homeless of Beaufort County, The State of Bluffton, A Special Tour of Marine Corps Air Station, Savannah Airport and Air Service Update, Sharing Hope: Mental Health – Impact on our Community, Town of Port Royal, Beaufort County’s Hidden Gem, Fancy Flying Certificates and How You Get Them   Computers: Google’s Apps and Services for the Novice, You and YouTube, The Digital Traveler   Ecology: A Virtual Beach Walk, Migratory Waterfowl, American Alligators and Snakes of the Lowcountry, Shrimp Trawling on the Tammy Jane, Migrating Monarchs, Coastal Birds of South Carolina, Lowcountry Ecology, Butterflies of the Lowcountry, Bald Eagles in the Lowcountry, Beach Life on South Carolina Barrier Islands, Welcome to Your Estuary & a Tour of the Sands, Sharks of Port Royal Sound, What’s All the Buzz About?, Inside the Modern Zoo/Aquarium, Palmetto Bluff: The Wilson Family and Downton Abbey, Chatauqua … What is it?   Gardening: Lowcountry Gardening for Current Weather Trends, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Camellias, Renovating an Older Landscape, Are There Really Deer Resistant Plants?, Holiday Decorating Floral Plants and Greenery, OLLI Tour of Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, Holiday Mantles and Balustrades   Government: Governing Hilton Head and Town Issues, The State of Bluffton, Presidential Executive Power and the U.S. Constitution, How U.S. Intelligence Works, This Means War, Economic Development in Beaufort Country, The Middle East in Latin America   Health and Medicine: Sharing Hope: Mental Health – Impact on Our Community, The Civil War: Death in the Camps and on the Field, Memory Matters: About Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Aging in Place, Medical Myths, Lies and Half-Truths, Total Joint Replacement and Rehabilitation, Inflammation and Your Health – New Discoveries, What Seniors Need to Know about Vaccines, A Look Into the Mysterious, Amazing Brain   History: The Queen is Dead, Long Live the King!, The History of Anti-Semitism, Gullah Heritage Tour, The Atlantic Slave Trade: Recent Findings, Sex, Lies, and Videotape in the Study of African History, The World Was Never the Same: Part 5, The Speeches of John F. Kennedy, The Rise of the Nazis, Hope and Accomplishment Behind Prison Walls, The Soap Myth: Survivor Memory vs Historical Memory, The Castles of Western Europe: Profiles and History, Palmetto Bluff: Turpentine and the Camp Eight Still, The Great Locomotive Chase, The Irish Pacifists: O’Connell, Parnell and Redmond, The Lindberghs: Alone Together, The Mighty 8th Air Force – A Lecture & A Tour, Savannah History and Architecture Walking Tour, View Beaufort Historic Forts by Boat, Sherman’s Occupation of Savannah, Savannah Survives Sherman and the Civil War, Memories Revisited, Tour of Penn Center National Landmark District, The Jews of Kharzaria, The Speeches of Churchill and Roosevelt: The War Years, Women of Influence in Early English History, If Beaufort Porches Could Talk … History from the Porch, Immortalizing Fort Fremont: A Little Known Gem, Legendary Locals of Hilton Head, Beaufort Born, Bred or Blessed … A Forum, The Bay of Pigs – Nineteenth Century Style, Significant U. S. and Foreign Fighter Aircraft of WWII, Significant U. S. and Foreign Bomber Aircraft of WWII, “It’s Just Dirt!” – North Carolina’s Pottery, Exploring Irish Roots, Fancy Flying Certificates and How You Get Them, Russia and the Ukraine, Sectarianism in the Middle East, Where is Humanity Going? Films for Thoughtful People, The Poetry of War, Film Classics of India About the Partition of 1947, A Few Choice Words About Profanity: Why Do We Cuss?, The Monkey Wants to Speak – The Scopes Trial, Wieder Deutschland! (Germany Again!)  

Interest Groups: Introduction to Calligraphy, Cheese making at Home for Beginners, Introduction to the Carolina Shag, Hors d’Oeuvres & Bubbles Tasting and Pairing, History, Origins and Introduction to Soul Line Dance, My 22 Years as a Test Pilot, Get Your Taste Buds Ready – We’re Heading to Argentina, Wildlife Photography, Mathemagical Moments, Air Traffic Control: A Brief Overview, Flying by the Numbers … 1. Planes 2. Pilots 3. Passengers, Reading & Researching at the Beaufort Campus Library, A Grandparents’ Guide to Children’s Books, Digging Your Birthstone … Gemology, Coins: More than Just the Metal (Numismatics), Therapy Dogs and Qualifications for Certification, Don’t Do it Yourself … A Critical Eye for the New Collector, The Cats of Beaufort – A Purr-fectly Meow-y Forum, My Love Affair with a Mouse, Holiday Season Wine & Homemade Cheese Pairing, From Text to Screen: Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Sci-Fi Predictions, Landscapes in Music: Time and Space, Vipassana Meditation and the Buddha’s Teaching, The Parables of Jesus Christ, Evaluating the Climate Crisis, Mars: A Fanciful Flight?, It’s About Time! … Clocks and Horology, Chatauqua … What is It?, From Cuban Cigars to Classic Cars: OLLI’s Trip to Cuba International Studies: Dominican Republic: History, Culture & Gracious People, Great Decisions 2015 – Part II   Legal: 3 Law-Related Films & Discussion: 12 Angry Men (1957), A Few Good Men (1992), My Cousin Vinny (1992)   Literature: The Life and Times of Jane Austen, Humbug! The Christmas Carol Revisited, Discovering Pat Conroy: The Great Southern Storyteller, Children’s Literature - Spy Games & The Royal Air Force?, More Poetry in Response to Art, Untying the Moon with Ellen Malphrus, 20th Century Irish Literature – But Not Joyce   Music: Conversations – USCB Chamber Concert Festival Series – I and II, Music Shaped by War, Operas of Verdi, Ireland’s Happy Wars and Sad Love Songs, Community Music Band Tours (other tours listed in other categories): View Beaufort Historic Forts by Boat, May River Expedition   Personal Growth and Development: Feng Shui 101: Change Your Space – Change Your Life, The Four Agreements, Bridging the Great Gender Divide, A Prescription for a Happy Marriage, Life Reimagined, Have the Time of Your Life, Organize, Do Things You Love, Living Without Fear at Home and Abroad   Philosophy: (all courses listed in other categories)   Religion: The Astounding Bible Code, Flight from Egypt, The Synoptic Gospels, Introduction to Nations of the Bible,   Science: Keep Looking Up! … Star Gazing, A Visit to Yellowstone National Park, World’s Greatest Geological Wonders Part III, Introduction to Satellites, Climate Change and What We Can Do About It   Social Sciences: Deborah Cohan’s Memoir discussion, sharing personal stories of difficult family dynamics, author reading portions of book   Sports: The Lowdown on USCB Sports, Monday Morning Quarterback   Travel: Rambler’s Life! True Tales of a Southern Odyssey, Sharing Road Scholar Experiences, Everything You Wanted to Know About Travel Part I   Trips: 10.22.15 OLLI Day at the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens (Columbia, SC) 12.5 hours $111, 12.11.15 Holiday Magic at the Lucas Theater (Savannah, GA) 5 hours $149   Writing: Travel Right … Travel Write!, Anatomy of the Short Story, Untying the Moon with Ellen Malphrus



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FALL 2015

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The 11th Annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival:

A Celebration of Community and Culture How the Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival grew from a oneday event to a ten-day celebration in eleven years is quite frankly, a love story. What started the festival was a love for one’s town; what grew the festival is the love of Bluffton’s community. More than a decade ago, Dan Wood, formerly the president of the Rotary Club of Bluffton, wanted a venue to showcase what makes 46


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Bluffton different from its neighboring Lowcountry cities and towns. The idea was born to have a festival; little did the small group of close-knit residents know that the event and the love of Bluffton would ripple out to an international audience. National Geographic mentioned visiting the Festival and Bluffton in an online article in a list of where people should visit (in the world) in 2015.

“The Festival is proof what pride, love and a strong-sense of community can accomplish,” Mary O’Neill, president of the Festival board of directors, said. “When you love and celebrate something, others naturally want to be a part of your party.” The Festival, which is featured in various regional magazines and media outlets, has helped put Bluffton on the map for thousands

October 10-18, 2015

of people who have also fallen in love with Bluffton’s robust artistic community, stunning May River, its plethora of watersports, bounty of seafood, historic assets and fun, coastal culture. “The Festival is an annual reminder of what makes Bluffton unique and special to so many,” O’Neill said. “For newcomers, the Festival is an introduction to Bluffton’s culture;

for new residents, it is an orientation and for long-term residents, it is a refresher course of why we treasure our town and the many facets which contribute to our culture. Several people told me they are either moving here or are making plans to move here in a few years because they fell in love with Bluffton during the Festival.” This year, the celebration will begin October 10th, with a Bluffton Heritage

Discovery Tour and will end with its capstone event of a weekend-long Street Fest October 17th and 18th. Each year, the Festival grows in terms of the number and the diversity of events. O’Neill said each year, different organizations raise their hand to add a new facet to the celebration such as watersports, kayaking races, paddleboard competitions and so forth. This year, the Festival will add events which will showcase Bluffton’s historic assets. The nonprofit organization, Celebrate Bluffton, will also offer a historic walking tour and other events which will deepen people’s understanding of Bluffton’s past and how it relates to its overall story. “I am most proud of how this Festival has celebrated Bluffton’s sense of community as so many come together to honor what makes living here so special,” O’Neill said. “While thousands attend each year, it is the sense of pride which we share that I consider the Festival’s biggest accomplishment. We hope to pass on this pride to younger generations so what we treasure about Bluffton will continue to be honored and cherished for decades to come.” FALL 2015



The festival’s schedule:

Saturday, October 10 Bluffton Heritage Discovery Tour 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. *New Event* • This inaugural event includes a tour of Bluffton’s historic properties. This self-paced tour will include historic assets such as: Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church, Palmetto Bluff, St. Luke’s Church/ Cemetery, Buck Island/Bluffton Cemetery and the Garvin House. • Gospel Concert begins at 4: 30 p.m. at the A.M.E. Church • Lowcountry Gullah Supper is available at 5: 30 p.m. complete with storytelling and more music at Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church.

Oyster Fest/5 p.m. – 8 p.m./Bluffton Oyster Factory Park •

Events Held Monday, October 12 through Saturday October 18th •

Sunday, October 11 4th Annual Invitational Local Artist Showcase 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. / Calhoun Street, Bluffton •

This invitational event will showcase handmade, original local art including oil and acrylic paintings, pottery and various other artistic genres. Musicians will entertain on the main stage.

Empty Bowls – A Celebration of Art and Cuisine 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. *New Event*

Join local potters Jacob Preston, Tim Holsinger and others at Jacob Preston Studio, located at 10 Church Street. This new event will celebrate art, cuisine and neighbors helping neighbors. Buy a handmade bowl made by a local potter and fill it with a selection of handmade soups. Donations will be collected for local food charities.


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Join Al Stokes, manager and wildlife biologist, as he presents a tour of the Waddell Mariculture Center followed by Crab-A-Pickin’ and OysterShuckin’ demonstration by the ladies of the Bluffton Oyster Company. The Center is located at 21 Sawmill Creek Road in Bluffton. For tickets/info: call Mary 843.815.2472.

Wednesday, October 14 Author Night/Celebrate Gullah History & Culture Rotary Community Center •

Boat Parade on the May/Blessing of the Fleet/4 p.m. • Bring your lawn chair to Bluffton’s famous bluff adjacent to the Church of the Cross and enjoy gospel music and the boat parade. If you want to be in the parade, gather at the sandbar before 3 p.m. and proceed to the Church of the Cross.

Kayak & Paddle Board Tours on the May River. 8 a.m. and a 10 a.m. tour are available. For info: 843.684.3296. May River Boat Tours with May River Excursions: This is a one-hour guided cruise where you will discover local wildlife, discuss the river’s history and the importance of this estuary. Tours leave hourly. Leaves from Calhoun Street dock. More info: 843.304.2878.

Monday, October 12 Dinner & Learn Tour Waddell Mariculture Center/5:30 p.m.

This is Bluffton’s first community oyster roast of the season.

• •

Join three authors, Pearce W. Hammond, Patricia Elaine Sabree and Chef Sallie Ann Robinson, as they share their stories of the Gullah culture while enjoying Robinson’s Old ‘Fuskie crab rice dish. Southern Spice Catering will provide hors d’oeuvres and beverages at 5:30 p.m. Authors speak at 6 p.m. $10 donation per attendee with proceeds benefiting the Waddell Mariculture Center. For info: Call Mary 843.815.2472

Thursday, October 15 Wine Tasting/Sippin’ Cow 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. *New Event* •

Taste 25 different wines both domestic and imported which will be paired with seafood hors d’oeuvres. Tickets: $20/reservations required. For info: 84.815.2472.

Rockin’ the Dock/Bluffton Oyster Company 6 p.m. – Dusk •

Sunday, October 18 Bluffton’s Paddlesport Race/Bluffton Oyster Company 10 a.m.

Saturday, October 17 10K Road Race & 5K Fun Run 8:30 –10:30 a.m. / Bluffton Oyster Factory Park •

Join the community for a run though Old Town. Event will be professional chip-timed.

Marshgrass Adventures is hosting this event; sign in at 8 a.m., fishing licenses are required. Prizes for heaviest legal trout and heaviest legal redfish. Bring your own gear.

Children’s Fishing Tournament/Bluffton Oyster Company/10 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m. •

Registration begins at 10 a.m. Weigh in at 12: 30 p.m. at the Bluffton Oyster Company. No fee. Prizes will be awarded.

Art & Seafood Street Fest/Historic District Bluffton 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. / Saturday & Sunday •

Art and Seafood Street Fest & Art in the Park 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Refer to details listed in Saturday’s events.

The “Art of Cuisine” Iron Chef Challenge Neptune’s Gallery/Corner of Calhoun & Bridge Streets • •

Cooking Demos with the Big Green Egg from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Watch top chefs compete with their best seafood dishes 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Helpful Tips: • •

Artist and food vendors; live music and entertainment all day.

Art in the Park/DuBois Park (Boundary Street) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. / Saturday & Sunday

The “Paddle Battle” is comprised of a recreational 3-mile and an elite 6-mile race. Races include kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Info: Email(

Kayak Fishing Tournament 8 a.m. / Bluffton Oyster Company

Seafood extravaganza tasting with live entertainment. Fireworks at dusk.

• •

Limited parking available in Bluffton’s Historic District; make alternative parking plans. Free shuttles from Red Cedar Elementary (Bluffton Parkway to Red Cedar Street)/Shuttles available Saturday, the 17th from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday, the 18th, available from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information: 843.757.2583 (BLUF) For more information about the Festival:

Let your child discover his or her inner artist with stations around the tent as he or she creates a masterpiece from different genres. Creative Outlet, South Carolina hosts this venue. Prizes, games, pirates and fun activities are available for young artists.

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