St. Marys Magazine Issue 34

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Page 10 Sweet Life in the Slow Lane Page 18 Ancient Mariners of Cumberland Island Page 22 Journey Through the Center of the Earth Page 46 The Storied Mystique of the Osprey

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Letter from the Mayor



s much as some things change, good things often remain the same. That is a great way to explain St. Marys, Our small continues grow withwhen new residential St. Marys faredGeorgia. better than most city of our coastaltoneighbors Hurricaneneighborhoods Matthew swept and new businesses, but our small-town ambiance remains the same. through last fall. Our beautiful city and neighboring Cumberland Island were back in When people talk about “smartfollowing growth,” the that storm. conceptIfisyou obvious in our city. arein these business almost immediately are thinking ofThere visiting letter 23 q 1/7/17 9:42 AM Page 1 exciting new projects coming to our community, like the Cumberland Inlet on the former cooler winter months, our weather is still warm and inviting so we encourage you, mill your site property. Those projects are on welldown! conceived and planned so they will only enhance our great friends and relatives to come city. There is a primary focus on protecting our environment, and of course our world-renowned Or up, as the case may be as we have many visitors arriving from Florida as well. The Letter from the Mayor Rookery, while still bringing new industry and jobs to our fair city. In the next few months, you Georgia Welcome Center at Exit 1 just as you cross from Florida into Georgia has been will begin to see this project and others taking shape. re-furbished and has re-opened to welcome to our great state and offering dozens Our City Marina located the Gateway atwhen theall corner Ready and St. Marys Street was of ideas St. Marys fared better than most ofat our coastal neighbors Hurricaneof Matthew swept for spending time in St. Marys. through lastto fall.attract Our beautiful and neighboring Cumberland Islandvisitors were backand in will be in full operation in the designed shortcity term boaters and overnight business almost immediately following the storm. Ifentryway you are thinking of visiting in these Island remain our most popular attractions, we enjoy While our waterfront, rivers andbut to Cumberland summer of 2022. Again, it is progress with an eye towards keeping our downtown waterfront boater and pedestrian friendly cooler winter months, our weather is still warm and inviting so we encourage you, your year-round entertainment venues like steam train andshops community theatre presentations at Theatre by the while “parking spaces” for those who want to rides visit our and tourist attractions. friends providing and relatives to come on down! Or up,Kayaking as the case coastal may be as Georgia we have visitors arrivingwe fromhave Florida as well. Theto touring Trax. continues tomany grow in popularity as returned do bicycle Our events, Historylike Walk is proving to be an Like so many communities, enjoyingand our races. small-town parades, festivals, music Georgia Welcome Center at Exit 1 just as you cross from Florida into Georgia has been enjoyable historical stroll through the long history of our waterfront village. We are known for our family friendly in the park and dozens of other activities that draw both residents and visitors from Georgia, Florida, and beyond. Please check re-furbished and has re-opened to welcome all to our great state and offering dozens of ideas for spending time in Marys. with parades and festivals February featuring own of version theVisitors Mardi Gras. historic hotel, modern the city’s Visitors at ‘’ for aour fullvery calendar events.ofOur BureauOur is both a great online and onsite While our waterfront, rivers and entryway to Cumberland Island remain our most popular attractions, we enjoy resource to find lodging, restaurants, maps and interesting sites to visit in our very historical city. motels, and charming bed and breakfasts provide lodging for all tastes and budgets while restaurants in midtown, year-round entertainment venues like steam train rides and community theatre presentations at Theatre by the Many cities on the thetocoast are historical but St. Marys one ofHistory the oldest is atotreasure trove for those interested in our downtown and west offeras adovariety of casual dining options. Trax. Kayaking continues grow inside popularity bicycle touring and is races. Our Walk isand proving be an enjoyable historical stroll through thesouthern long history coastal of our waterfront village. We are known for our family friendly country’s history, especially history. Whether you are here for an outdoor adventure or just want to enjoy time in a peaceful, quiet, laid back and parades and festivals with February featuring our very own version of the Mardi Gras. Our historic hotel, modern We are acharming small bed butand vibrant community with residents whose ancestors have lived hereMany for decades others who havehere friendly St. Marys is the place to spend a week, weekend longer. will falland in love and move motels, and community, breakfasts provide lodging for all tastes and budgets while restaurants inor midtown, downtown and the west side offer a variety of casual dining options. moved here just to enjoy the history, the waterways, and the pleasures and advantages of a small community on the St. Marys toWhether call St. Marys home. you are here for an outdoor adventure orofjust want to enjoy time in a peaceful, quiet, laid back and River just a few miles from the border Florida. Welcome! And if you have stop by City Many Hall will and “hi” or “hey” depending on where you are from. friendly community, St. Marys is the placetime, to spendplease a week, weekend or longer. fallsay in love and move here we are home. unique, and we intend to stay that way. Come visit and see what we treasure and if you’re inclined, we welcome toYes, call St. Marys Welcome! And if youwant have time, please this stop by City home. Hall and say “hi” or “hey” depending on where you are from. newcomers who to make their


John John Sincerely,

John Morrissey, Mayor

John Mayor City ofMorrissey, St. Marys City of St. Marys

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tep into yesteryear at the newly renovated Riverview Hotel. This boutique hotel is the closest mainland accommodations to Cumberland Island, just steps from the Cumberland Island Ferry. With a storied past that includes steel magnates, literary greats, and famed admirals, the Historic Riverview is a destination in itself. Beautiful riverfront views from Captain Seagle’s, the main dining room, where fresh seafood, succulent steaks and creative cuisine abound…



Fun Entertainment in Seagle’s Saloon “Where Good Friends Meet,” and Sophisticated Evenings in the Speakeasy Martini Bar—it’s an overnight experience like no other. Come for a day, a week, a month—at the Historic Riverview Hotel, you will discover, in full, what we mean when we say...

“You may leave St. Marys, but St. Marys will never leave you.”

FEATURES 8 Once Known. Always Loved. St. Marys. 10 Sweet Life in the Slow Lane 18 22 26 32 38 40 44 46 50 60 64 67

Ancient Mariners of Cumberland Island Journey Through the Center of the Earth The River is Calling Your Name. Awaken Your Soul. Revive Your Spirit. Being a Kid in St. Marys Garden Therapy: Love Grows Where You Plant It. Hometown Girl. Home Grown Hospitality. The Storied Mystique of the Osprey Learning. Loving. Sharing. Down the Rabbit Hole. Nature’s Bone Yards Locals Dockside: The Name Says it All. Low Country Cuisine Takes a Bite out of History


Media Darlings Literarily Speaking Party 33

PHOTO: St. Marys River

publishers note 30 q


1:39 PM

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Publisher’s Note The stories within the pages that follow are designed to help you WANDER because we think you WANDER to WONDER. Publisher Barbara Ryan Harris Creative Director & Designer Jerry Lockamy Contributing Artists Steve Saley Editor Robin Cross Director of Public Relations Kristen Lockamy Marketing Dave McCune Distribution Leslie Sanders Contributing Writers Alex Kearns Dave McCune Skip Harris Contributing Photographers Kyle Morgan Skip Harris Steve Royer Brenda Barber Taylor Dave McCune Dave Webb

Historic St. Marys Magazine is a LowCountry Publishing publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior consent of official representatives of LowCountry Publishing. All contents Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.

Letters to the Editor or other Correspondence Email: St. Marys Magazine 104 Bartlett Street St. Marys, GA 31558 For general information, advertising, or subscription service, call 954-290-9873 or visit

To wander is to move in a leisurely, casual, or aimless way. To wonder is to experience a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. So, let’s begin. Let’s wander over to Cumberland Island and discover with wonder how the ancient sea turtles travel thousands of miles to return to their birthplace in order to give birth to their own offspring. Such wonder! Let’s wander down to the river and bathe our troubles away in waters that heal and soothe and excite as we answer the “Call of the River.” Such wonder! Let’s wander to Down Under, straight through the center of the Earth from St. Marys and discover our “antipodal” city—Kalbarri, Australia. Such wonder! Let’s wander both north and south and immerse ourselves in the other-worldly vistas at our beaches’ boneyards. Such wonder! Let us take you on flight with the majestic Osprey, put you onstage in a rollicking dramedy, teach you the glory of gardening, and with words and pictures instill wonder in you as you wander through our pages. Thank you for sharing our wonder. Enjoy your read.

Barbara Ryan Harris Publisher Email me anytime with your thoughts or ideas for the magazine:

On the cover Driftwood Beach as photographed by Kyle Morgan.

Scan here to visit our website

(l to r) Michelle Fort, OTR/L • Brenda Keefe, P.T. • Emily Viger, PTA • Holly Gismonde, P.T. Jeff Zawislak, MPT • Renee Williamson, M.S., CCC-SLP

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Camden Campus 2000 Dan Proctor Drive • St. Marys, GA 31558 912-576-6450 • We accept all major commercial insurance plans, Medicare, Medicare HMOs and workers’ compensation.


t’s easy to get to St. Marys no matter what mode of transportation you use. By land, St. Marys is located just 8 miles east of I-95 off Georgia Exit 1 or 3. By sea, an easy sailing up the Intracoastal, and into the St. Marys River just north of Florida, gets you right into St. Marys’ Downtown Historic District. And by air, the Jacksonville International Airport is just thirty minutes away.


Waterfront Dining in the Historic Riverview Hotel

Appetizers Soups & Salads Children’s Menu Baskets with fries Burgers & Sandwiches Seafood & Steak Entrees Chicken & Pasta Entrees Homemade Desserts & more

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Tom Mitchell

Cell: (912) 674-9102



It was a cold winter’s night in southern Illinois. I’d been living there for a year, having moved from Toronto, Canada, and it occurred to me that if I planned to stay in the USA, I may as well be warm. I’d studied Southern Literature in university, had always been drawn to the South, and loved Ray Charles’ music so I Googled “small, Georgia, coastal, charming” and up popped St. Marys. We booked a flight to Jacksonville, Florida, rented a car, drove to St. Marys, and promptly fell in love. The natural beauty was astonishing: salt marshes stretching golden arms to the river; magnificent live oaks draped with ghostly Spanish moss; the sweet burnished light of the 5pm Magic Hour, and the graceful architecture of historic homes. We drove down the main street, past City Hall, Orange Hall (the antebellum beauty in the heart of town), and the Welcome Center. We saw white churches


that reached their steeples into the impossible blue of a South Georgia sky, small intriguing shops, unique restaurants, and private homes. At the end of the street, the St. Marys River sparkled like a traveler’s sweet reward. We found people of warmth and welcome who embraced us and made us feel part of the community. And we encountered a place that cherished and celebrated the past while turning eager faces toward the future. I quickly made the acquaintance of the publisher of this magazine: the incomparable Barbara Ryan. From that time on, I have written the introductions— the biannual love songs to St. Marys. This is my last offering. What a glorious adventure my 17 years in Georgia were! From writing assignments to environmentalism to community change, I was allowed to stretch and

By Alex

strengthen while leaping into new challenges. That, too, is part of the power of St. Marys: individuals are given the time, space, and encouragement to become the best they can be. Everyone has a voice and everyone is urged to participate in the life of the town. Volunteerism is the backbone of any society and this is abundantly evident in St. Marys. The parks created, flowers planted, environmental and social organizations formed and joined, litter clean-ups, theatre productions, charitable works, festivals—these are the things that deeply enrich a town. I am humbled by the tirelessness of the volunteers of St. Marys. Throughout the years, I was fortunate enough to work with three different Mayors and many council members, and while differences may arise between citizens and leaders, St. Marys always finds a way forward that will strengthen the community. I’ve watched as the town united in the face of


disaster or pain (the brutal lashing of a hurricane or the loss of a child) and my heart was filled with gratitude. It has been one of the greatest gifts of my lifetime to be able to try to contribute what I can to this gem of a town, set within the glorious band of the Georgia coast. Now, as I write this, I am in a small village in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. This is my new home and, in many ways, it’s much like St. Marys: welcoming, beautiful, historic, and heart-touching. But part of me will always long for the sight of a wood stork on wing, the sound of a slow Southern voice, and the scent of the sea. J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan) wrote “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” Clearly, Mr. Barrie hadn’t encountered a place like St. Marys: once known, always loved, and never, ever forgotten. Thank you all.


By Barbara

Ryan Harris


Golf carts lined up in front of Seagle’s, the local watering hole. 10

t. Marys, Georgia is one of a small handful of communities throughout the United States where you can enjoy a wonderful lifestyle without owning a car. All you need is a golf cart to explore the town, do your chores, take care of business, and enjoy the sweet life in the slow lane. The rules are simple: your golf cart is legal as long as the speed limit on the road you’re traveling doesn’t exceed 35 mph. (One exception is a short patch of road on Dilworth.) The City of St. Marys has kindly incorporated the sidewalk along Point Peter Road as a multi-use path as well so that golf carters can get to one of the area’s favorite restaurants. Special arrangements have also been made to cross Spur 4 (Charlie Smith, Sr. Highway) to access the grocery store, a bank, and other retailers across from the Kings Bay Shopping Village. continued ...


From St. Marys waterfront, you can get to a variety of restaurants in your golf cart, including Locals Dockside, 401 West, Riverside Café, Captain Seagle’s, Southern River Walk, Pirate’s Point, Cedar Oak Café, and all the restaurants around the Kings Bay Shopping Village.


In addition to the many quaint gift shops sprinkled throughout your golf cart route, you can shop at major retailers like Belk’s and Beall’s Outlet in the Kings Bay Shopping Village and the Dollar General on Point Peter Road.

See a Movie.

Golf carters can enjoy first run movies at the nine silver screens at Kings Bay Stadium Cinemas.

Get Groceries and Other Stuff You Need.

Shop for groceries at Winn-Dixie (great weekly specials) and the Magic Market on Church Street.

Do Your Banking. The Galvin family: Collin, Nancy, Jim and fur babies Memphis and Abbey.

Bank of America’s ATM can be accessed by golf cart by crossing Charlie Smith, Sr. Hwy. Also, you can access Ameris Bank by cutting through the Belk’s parking lot. continued ...

A Treasury of Sweet Memories Await!

Spend days or weeks in this charming cottage just blocks from St. Marys beautiful waterfront. • One block from main street • 2 blocks from golf cart rental • 8 blocks from Cumberland Island Ferry


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Experience Night Life.

Enjoy great bands nightly at Seagle’s Saloon, Southern River Walk, and 401 West.

Pay Your Bills. 2022 Special Events Okefenokee Festival - October 8 Railwatch Weekend - December 2nd & 3rd

Pay your water bill at City Hall. The “Folkston Funnel” is a double track which serves as the main artery for railroad traffic into and out of Florida. From the viewing platform in Folkston, visitors can see trains passing on their way to and from Jacksonville, Florida in the south, and a split north of town where trains go west to Waycross, Georgia, and north to Savannah.

Robert West

The platform features lights, ceiling fans, and a scanner to listen in to radio traffic between trains.Adjacent to the platform are picnic tables, a grill, and a new restroom facility for our guests. Across the street is the restored Train Depot that houses the Train Museum (no admission charge), gift shop, etc.

For further information: or 912-496-2536

Picnic at the Waterfront Park. Take advantage of the City’s specially marked parking spaces for golf carts at the beautiful Howard Gilman Memorial Park.

Catch a Ferry.

Park your golf cart and take the Cumberland Island Ferry to Cumberland Island.

Refresh With an Ice Cream Cone.

Market on the Square has delicious quality ice cream and homemade fudge too!

Go Fishing.

Cast your net or fishing pole off the fishing pier or catch a fishing charter boat from the waterfront.

Propose To Your Sweetie.

Stunning sunsets are the perfect setting for a “yes” when you propose at the end of the MarshWalk.

Watch a Sunrise.

Take a side street to the east side, and watch as the big orange ball rises over diamond-shimmered waters.

Observe Wildlife.

Birds, squirrels, armadillo, dolphins, river otters—these are but a few of our favorite things to watch from the seat of a golf cart.

Buy Some Plants.

Donini’s is located on Dilworth and has a great selection of plants and flowers. You can also recycle your plant pots there. continued ... 12

Make Your Dog Happy.

Discover more reasons to smile!

What’s more beautiful than a wagging tail and a worshipful grin on your “best friend’s” face as you glide the evening streets in the face of a cooling breeze? Drop by the doggie park just a short ride from the waterfront.

Watch a Parade.

Take front row seats at our hometown parades, and enjoy a slice of Americana that you thought had slipped away.

Be In a Parade.

Decorate your golf cart to the theme, and join in one of St. Marys’ hometown parades, waving “queen-like” from the seat of your golf cart, where you’ll get to see just about everybody in town (and visitors as well).

Relax With a Book.

Drive your golf cart to Once Upon a Bookseller downtown. The swings in the waterfront park invite reading anytime of the day.

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Visit us at

Visit an Art Gallery.


Old Towne Gallery is just two blocks from the waterfront and filled with works of local and regional artists.

Meet People.

There’s not a better way to meet people in St. Marys than by riding around in your golf cart. Everybody has a friendly wave, and the openness of the cart gives you plenty of opportunity to make friends.

Make a Bigger Splash.

St. Marys Aquatic Center serves up tons of cool refreshing fun with giant slides, Splash Mountain, and the Lazy River. (Be sure and take the back streets.)

Visit the Library.

St. Marys Library is adjacent to the Aquatic Center and a great place to chill out and discover new worlds.

Buy a Lottery Ticket.

At Magic Market or any of the gas stations. continued ...


stay at The Federal Quarters just steps away from St. Marys’ waterfront is an immersion in yesteryear. Though renovated and modernized, the oldest home in St. Marys still holds the enchantment of the past. Recipient of the “Excellence in Rehabilitation Award,” The Federal Quarters was built in 1801 and is registered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Lots of amenities including the use of a 1929 Model A replica. Find photos of this exclusive historic inn, reservations and rates on most Vacation Rental websites, or call 912-729-7501 direct.


Go Exploring.

Lots of green canopy around St. Marys makes exploring fun in places that you can’t reach by car.

Stock Up On Wine and Adult Beverages.

Located adjacent to Winn-Dixie, Bulldog Discount Liquors offers a plethora of fine wine and spirit choices.

Take Your Kids To School.

Think of how cool your kids will appear to the other students when they ride up in a golf cart.

Go Antiquing.

Merry Mermaid, Company House, Lucy Gunn’s, Golden Pineapple, Alexandra’s Attic, Cottle & Gunn, St. Marys Antique Mall, and Salt River Antiques all offer treasures galore.

Visit Museums.

Tour the museum circuit by visiting the Submarine Museum, the Cumberland Island Museum, and the Cumberland Island Visitors Center.

Learn More About St. Marys. Visit the St. Marys Welcome Center at 406 Osborne Street to watch a video about St. Marys and pick up useful visitors information.

Outrun the Sand Gnats. Always a good thing!

Honor Your Ancestors.

Drive your golf cart to the historic Oak Grove Cemetery and peruse the tombstones of fallen soldiers, Acadians, and citizens dating back to the 1700s.


St. Marys Office 1819 Osborne Road


Brunswick Office 2323 Parkwood Drive

912-265-7193 14

Waycross Office 401 Lister Street


Go to Church.

Whatever your denomination, you’re sure to find a church home within the boundaries of your golf cart travels. There are eight churches downtown alone.

Take a Kayak Adventure.

Rent a kayak at Knucklehead’s, and explore the beautiful waterways surrounding St. Marys. continued ...

Let Your Voice Be Heard.

Attend a City Council meeting by golf cart, and participate in their “Granting Audience to Public” forum that’s offered at every meeting.

Attend a Concert.

Enjoy an evening of music and relaxation at one of St. Marys’ Starry Nights concerts performed at the Waterfront Park.

Star Gaze.

Take your golf cart to the MarshWalk, walk out to the end, and pick out your favorite constellations, lingering late into the evening blanketed by millions of stars.

Watch Rockets Take Off.

The MarshWalk is also a great location to view the Space X and other launches. Bring your camera!

Get in Shape.

Keep that promise you made at the beginning of the year by working out at Anytime Fitness adjacent to Winn-Dixie.

Get Your Hair Done.

Several salons are located downtown including Ritual, Mane Cutters, and Serendipity.

Get Your Clothes Cleaned. Kings Bay Dry Cleaners offers dry cleaning as well as laundry service.

Discover the beautiful artworks of local artists in Downtown St. Marys.

Clear Your Mind.

• Photography • Woodworks

Nothing like the breeze in your face, the scent of honeysuckle, and the quiet of an early evening ride to help you relax.

• Watercolors • Oils & Acrylics

So, you see, you don’t really need a car to live in St. Marys. Even if you have one, you can save some gas, help protect our environment, de-stress your life, and simply relax by living the “Sweet Life in the Slow Lane.”

• Pottery

• Sculptures

• Quilting

• Jewelry


And much more!

Olde Towne Gallery 124 Osborne Street St. Marys, GA 31558


Open 9 am- 3 pm • 7 Days a Week FIND US ON


“St. Marys Magazine” makes a great travel companion. We’d like to know where you’re taking us. To become one of our media darlings, simply have your photo taken in a distinguishable location, holding a copy of the magazine, and email the photo with names and location to

Camden County Film Commissioner Doug Vaught and Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Stann Creek West, Belize, (Minister of Youth, Sports and Transport) People’s United Party.

Brenton Ferguson (Tourism Belize) and Aaron Ferguson (Sergeant of Police, Belize).

Susie Lee with granddaughter Harper and daughter Kim in Couer’dalene, Idaho.

James & Grace L Iduyan-Vogel in Ormoc City, Leyte, Phillipines.

Lisa and Doug Crenshaw in Navarre, Florida.

Fred and Deborah Maynard (center) aboard the ship “The Lynx.”

Wayne Lee on St. Marys River. 16

Doug Vaught, Dr. Marlene Moulton “The Listening Doctor,” Dr. Robert Mandraccia and Rochelle Graham- Campbell (Author and CEO/ Founder of Alikay Naturals, a beauty & lifestyle brand in Ft. Myers, Florida. The Pier 2 South Gang in Englewood, Florida.


he dark waters surrounding Georgia’s largest barrier island are frosted by a nearly full moon. A soft splash breaks the soothing silences as a majestic loggerhead sea turtle emerges, lumbering slowly through the sand. It’s been 35 years since this ancient mariner has touched the shorts of Cumberland Island. She has returned to her birthplace to give life to her own offspring. Sea turtle nesting season spans the warmer months usually beginning late April and peaking in June. This year, the annual cycle of these massive turtles returning to beaches in the Southeast to lay their eggs began May 3, 2022, with a nest on Sea Island and four on Cumberland Island. All were found by members of the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative, a Department of Natural Resources-coordinated network of about 200 volunteers, researchers and agency employees that patrols beaches daily during nesting season. A senior wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources expects around 3,000 to 4,000 nests this year. The Georgia record since comprehensive nesting surveys began on the state’s barrier island beaches in 1989 is 3,950 nests, set in 2019. The count in 2020 dipped to 2,786 continued ...


nests and last year to 2,493 (plus another seven nests mostly from species other than loggerheads). The female loggerhead may lay four to seven nests per season, approximately 12 to 14 days apart with average lays of 100 to 125 eggs in each nest. Unfortunately, as few as one in a thousand hatched loggerheads actually reach adulthood. Loss of habitat through land development, shrimp nets, crab and lobster pots, water pollution with foreign objects like plastic bags, and even fishermen’s long lines and cables have contribute to making loggerhead turtles a threatened species. However, sea turtle nests are expected on the upswing. The loggerhead population had been increasing at approximately 4 percent annually since the early 1990s. A new population model developed by UGA and the U.S. Geological Survey using nesting and genetics data indicates the population will plateau at current levels for about the next 20 years, its progress hindered by low recruitment during the early 2000s. If current protections remain in place at least through that period, the model suggests loggerhead numbers would then start to increase again, possibly reaching levels not seen since the late 1950s. Driven by mysterious forces, sea turtles make their amazing journey, some traveling as much as 1400 miles, continued ...


to the exact spot where they were born to mate and lay their own eggs. Like other marine turtles, loggerheads– named for their large heads–crawl ashore on barrier island beaches, dig a hole at the base of the dunes and lay their eggs, usually at night. There is no better place than Coastal Georgia to witness and study the habits of these fascinating creatures. In addition to the barrier islands, Georgia’s Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island just to the north of St. Marys is a rich resource for information with an impressive rehabilitation program. There is something quite magical about sea turtles. They existed before the time of the dinosaurs. They survived the breaking up and drifting of continents, the creation of new oceans, ice ages, catastrophic volcanoes, and even the asteroid impact that contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs. They may weigh up to 1,000 pounds. They may live 80 years or longer. They know things which we will never know and have seen things which we will never see. They are the bridge that links ocean to land, and they have a mystique like no other creatures on Earth.




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St. Marys

By Dave





f you keep digging you will end up in China.” So many kids across the states heard this growing up as a child. But, in fact, if you drill a hole straight through the Earth from St. Marys, you will definitely NOT end up in China. In geography, the antipode of any spot on Earth is the point on the Earth’s surface diametrically opposite to it. A pair of points antipodal to each other are situated such that a straight line connecting the two would pass through Earth’s center. With this now understood, the antipode of St. Marys, Georgia, is Kalbarri, Western Australia, Australia. Kalbarri is located around 350 miles north of Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Prior to moving to St. Marys, I lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The antipodal of Fayetteville is Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia. I have visited the Margaret River numerous times and feel a connection to the “Down Under” country and its people. Australia is both a continent and an island— the largest island on our planet, close to the continued ...

same size as the states with only eight percent of the States’ population. Australia is like a beautiful manicured golf course. No rubbish. At night the sky is like someone threw a handful of flour into the air. Nothing but a vast expanse of stars. And the moon looks like a giant bunny rabbit. (The toilets do flush the opposite direction.) The lengthy trip to Australia will teach one patience. From Jacksonville to Dallas is a short three hours. But from Dallas to Sydney is nineteen hours. Then from Sydney to Perth, five more hours. Just the last leg alone would be like crossing the United States but on the other side of the world.

Both Kalbarri and St. Marys experience stunning sunsets. St. Marys and Kalbarri have much in common besides their antipodal positions. They are both coastal towns that draw tourists. St. Marys is known for its shrimp and Kalbarri for its crayfish. They both sit at the mouth of a river that provides recreation and commerce for the region. One of the challenges both face are storms. St. Marys, hurricanes and Kalbarri, cyclones. Both storm systems are similar except hurricanes spin clockwise and cyclones spin counterclockwise. On April 12, 2021, Cyclone Seroja slammed into Kalbarri. About 70 per cent of Kalbarri’s buildings were damaged. The fishing village and holiday destination was devastated. On September 11, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit St. Marys and destroyed both marinas. In both towns, citizens came together, neighbor helping neighbor, rebuilding. Both towns can boast a population of good people. This is what makes a community. continued ...

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Topography is a difference between the two antipodes 180 degrees apart. St. Marys is pretty much sea level. Kalbarri, like much of the coast of Australia, is far from this. Rising cliffs come down to the hills and ascend to the ocean. Seasons are opposite too. Winter there is summer here. Then summer there is winter here. Kalbarri enjoys a more arid atmosphere as St. Marys suffers through the high humidity of summer.



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Like St. Marys, Kalbarri is anchored by an important river. There are small differences as well. Shopping carts, for example. In the states the rear wheels are rigid and the front wheels swivel. On Australia all the wheels swivel. Takes some getting used to as one maneuvers down the aisles. (When typing “on Australia,” typing correction programs want one to change it to “in Australia.” Australia is an island and one is on an island not in an island.) In the states, years ago Wal-Mart became the store to go to. Kmart went by the wayside. Kmart set up shop on Australia. And now Kmart is their store to go to. Let’s get down to everyone’s favorite experience, food. Australia is big on breakfast. Still, there are more likenesses than differences between the two antipodal towns. My friend, Cynthia Fletcher who is from Kalbarri, tells me of their area’s annual cleanup. It’s called “Flotsam and Jetsam.” St. Marys, too, hosts an annual cleanup with hundreds of volunteers participating in a one-day event. Down Under, however, extends their cleanup to three days. continued ...

“We clear the islands of everything that has washed up. Then we sort it into piles and invite artists to collect the debris and create artworks from it,” Cynthia told me. “These artworks are judged and exhibited. As an artist myself, this is the perfect place for me to live.”

Kalbarri catch of the day. Cynthia said she is now running workshops for locals and tourists with projects like up-cycling fishing floats to pieces of art. Sounds like a great idea for St. Marys, and no doubt, many other ideas may arise if we make the connection to our antipode town. We don’t have to drill a hole through the center of the Earth to reach Kalbarri. Let’s propose a “Sister City” relationship whereby we exchange ideas to better both our communities. I will cut this article short now as I need to make an appointment with the mayor to run my idea past him. BTW, did I mention Kalbarri is great for watching the migration of Humpback Whales? Maybe we will invite their mayor to come and learn about our area being the breeding ground for Right Whales. We can invite their dignitaries to visit Cumberland Island and explore the history, nature, romance, and adventure of our beautiful town. So much in common. So much to explore. Maybe 11,458 miles apart but it’s a straight line right through the center of our amazing Earth. Check out your globe!

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ong before any human being looked upon its coursing waters and dreamed of what it would become, the St. Marys River was carving its route and making promises to be an important source of food, of navigation, or recreation. For at least 13,000 years prior to the 16th century and the appearance of European explorers, soldiers, missionaries, and colonists, the Timucuan Indians occupied the St. Marys River basin. They called the river Thlathlothlaguphka or Phlaphlagraphgaw which means “rotten fish.” But the white men couldn’t pronounce it. Jean Ribault—upon finding it on May 1, 1562, called it the Seine. Its present name originated from that of the early mission. With its marsh, tidal, stream, and estuary ecosystems, the river basin provided the Timucuans with an ample continued ...


source of food—fish, shellfish, deer, diamondback terrapins, water and wading birds, and even sea mammals made for a protein-rich diet. By 1763, the Timucuans were no more, due to warfare, disease and relocation. Yet the river continues to give up its offerings to fishermen, boaters, swimmers, campers—providing food, recreation, and relaxation. The St. Marys is really three rivers because of the three distinct physical changes it goes through on its path from the Okefenokee to the Atlantic Ocean. The river’s headwaters, from the Okefenokee Swamp and the Pinhook Swamp, are narrow and winding. Here, the scenery is dominated by cypress and tupelo trees and snow-white sandbars. In the middle portion, from Trader’s Hill to the U.S. 17 Bridge, the river becomes wider and is characterized by bottomland swamps and sandy bluffs. Approaching the ocean (just 40 air miles from its headwaters), the lower portion of the river from the U.S. 17 Bridge to Cumberland Sound is tidally influenced, with reverse flows occurring twice daily. Here, freshwater and saltwater merge into the brackishness that hosts numerous ecosystems. For kayakers and canoeists, the 130-mile twisting continued ...


journey serves up stunning landscapes and sunsets, and a sense of tranquility that is almost unmatched. But to truly understand the mystical appeal of the storied St. Marys River, one must stay overnight either on a sandbar or in a rustic riverside cabin at the edge of the great Okefenokee Swamp. As dusk approaches magic hour and the river fowl settle in their nests, the river begins its whispers. She calls to the hearts of those who come to the river for the calming. The seduction of serenity is too great a magnet to resist. Embraced by nature, only those fortunate enough to bed by the river can understand the allure. One sleeps the sleep of the untroubled for they have tossed their troubles into the tannined water and released their cares into the rising mist that shrouds the river in mystery.

Answering the Call– How To Overnight On The River

Your journey begins on a two-mile dirt road just beyond the main entrance to the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. Towering pine trees line your way, and it would not be unusual to spot a family of deer or some wild turkeys or a soaring bald eagle in search of prey. Deep into the river basin you drift and already your heartbeat has slowed for you have sensed a change of pace and the continued ...


outside world fades away as the edges of the day soften. At the end of the road awaits an enclave of river cabins and the neighborhood beagle, Sugar Lee, whose ambassadorship for the river is known far and wide. Few overnighters will escape without falling in love with this rascally pooch with the soulful eyes. She’s a bit of a tramp, though, and will sleep with pretty much anyone if you let her. Her human, Wayne Lee, stands guard over the neighborhood, acting as river patriarch. He is there to educate you, guide you, and entertain you. The best way to describe Wayne Lee is if you put Crocodile Dundee, Daniel Boone, and Jeremiah Johnson in a mason jar and shook them up and poured them out— you’d have Wayne Lee. To the left of Wayne Lee’s cabin, you’ll find Shuckers Cabin—easy to recognize by the colorful mural that wraps its frame. Sitting just a few feet from the river lip, Shuckers serves up a beautiful view of the river and comes with all the provisions you’ll need for your stay. Kayaks and canoes are provided for daytime adventures. At night, a campfire on the river’s edge is the perfect backdrop for storytelling and roasted marshmallows. Just two doors down, other cabins comprise the river oasis that will inspire memories for years to come. Duck Blind Cabin offers two bedrooms and three porches. continued ...







wonderland of compelling locations, Coastal Georgia serves up verdant marshlands, wilderness islands, the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, three rivers, the Great Okefenokee Swamp, quaint waterfront villages, and majestic maritime forests—captivating vistas at every turn. Add in the mystique of historic cemeteries, a world-class Navy Submarine base, the charm of antebellum mansions, the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, plus film-friendly city leadership, and you’ll discover the makings of a great film. We call it “Cinemagical”!

Its side river porch is a retreat of the highest order with rocking chairs and a stunning vista of the river bend. The cabins are rustic, but comfortable, bringing authenticity to the river sanctuary that most people can only imagine. Native Americans believed that for every day you spent by the water, your life was extended by a day. If this is true, who wouldn’t want to find a haven that makes spending time by the water an other-worldly experience that beckons again and again? See how easy it is to shake off the worries of this frenzied realm we’ve all gotten ourselves into. Answer the call of the river and find the joys of the natural world. And who knows, you just might find yourself too. For information about river cabin stays, visit or call 904-206-2361.


Visit to hear what other producers have to say about filming in Coastal Georgia.

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While enjoying our beautiful downtown keep an eye out for these bronze owls designed by local artist Walter Palmer. Inspired by the history of Downtown St. Marys, the Owls are a result of a public art program collaboration between St. Marys Mainstreet and Rustapalooza.


St. Marys is a place where history walks around each corner and city block. I watch from above, near the dearly departed, right where you finish just as you started.

Seven seats and many doors. The people's place and so much more. It's the heart and it's a hall. Tomorrow is shaped by us all.

Whoooooo will find the Owls of Osborne? Just follow the clues...


Shrimp boats and pirates, A Navy's great fleet - I've seen them pass at the end of the street.

Starry Nights and sun-filled days, I wait by the river where the music plays.




A pillar of society, A belle of the ball, I perch above main street watching you all.

Families and friends share meals 'neath my wings in this beautiful place where the fountain sings.



Maggie Mae

Humans: Michael & Gloria Hurley When I go on walks, I can’t for the life of me understand why everybody doesn’t want me to lick them and why I don’t get a treat from everyone! I just love people! And I love to eat my dinner, your dinner, anyone’s dinner! 32

f you don’t own a dog (or cat), at least one, there may not necessarily be anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life. Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened—this I strongly believe to be true. There’s a reason that dogs have long been called a man’s best friend. And there’s a reason that ancient Egyptians revered cats and protected them by law. Dogs provide us with a sense of wellbeing and unconditional acceptance of who we are. No other human gives us that. Cats—well, cats are simply the superior species. Just ask them. Here in the Low Country, we love our animals with wild abandon. Their loyalty, intelligence, devotion, and affection are incredibly rewarding. The rate of pet ownership is five times higher in continued ...


Human: Jane Jeffcoat I love to go for walks at the St. Marys waterfront, and I’m always ready to go. Mom says I’m very sweet and loving and I am her best friend!


Human: Paula Saare I am smart, curious and I know words like treat, cookie and do you want to go bye bye? I am so grateful to be adopted from the Humane Society. My forever mom thinks she’s the lucky one but I know we are both lucky. That’s love!


Humans: Susan & Todd Iverson My humans sometimes call me Munch Mouth because I will put about anything in my mouth. I like fetching the ball, going for morning walks, riding on the golf cart, playing with cat Olive, begging for treats, giving puppy kisses, and being a Velcro dog.

the U. S. than in any other industrialized nation, and even higher in the South. Everyone knows that if you want to live longer, love deeper, and laugh louder, you should get a pet. (Preferably a rescue one.) From taking a long walk together on a beautiful South Georgia morning, being greeted by a happily wagging tail at the end of a long day, to relaxing at home in each other’s company, owning a dog (or cat) can raise spirits and engender a sense of wellbeing like almost nothing else. The proven benefits of having a pet include: • Lower blood pressure. A SUNY study discovered that merely owning a pet reduced blood pressure in a group of stock brokers with hypertension. • Lower cholesterol. A study in Australia found that pet owners had lower cholesterol levels as well as lower blood pressure, which reduced the risk of developing heart disease. • Higher survival rates after illness. Pet owners are more likely than non-pet owners to live following major medical procedures or health problems. Having a loving pet to take care of can inspire people to fight to go on living. But pet ownership can go beyond lowering stress and blood pressure. Studies show that owning a pet continued ...


Human: Cynthia Bonnet I adopted my human three years ago. She found me at the Fernandina Beach animal shelter. When she knelt down, I jumped in her lap and straight up onto her shoulder. She couldn’t leave me after that, and her shoulder is still my favorite place to snuggle. I love pillows too! 33

Lily & Bucky

Human: Tammy Bradley I’m a 12-yearold rescue dachshund living a life of luxury in St Marys. I love to sleep, eat, and bark at absolutely nothing. My human mom knows who’s in charge here. My brother Bucky is a 12-year-old rescue hound dog. His hobbies are digging, digging, and eating toilet paper off the roll. He spends his days being bossed around by me!


also has a very positive influence on mental health. • Owning a pet reduces loneliness. Not only do people living alone report less loneliness when there’s a companion waiting for them at home, but they also report that pets serve as an excellent catalyst for making friends. • Owning a pet reduces depression. • Owning a pet can help your children develop. Children with pets at home consistently rate higher on evaluations of empathy and cognitive abilities and tend to have higher self-esteem. • Owning a pet makes a family happier. Families with pets report their pets serve as a bonding agent for their family, bringing them together with a common purpose of love. • Owning a pet means you smile and/or laughter a hundred times a day. Think of the endorphins! Love is what it’s all about. And the best pet love comes from rescuing. If you rescue an animal, it’s pretty much guaranteed that they will rescue you right back. As you read these stories of our community’s fur babies, please take a moment to consider how enriched your life could be if you take that first step. PLEASE visit our Humane Society and see which amazing animal chooses you for their forever home. continued ...


Humans: Jim, Nancy & Collin Galvin My pal Collin liked it when I would run around and play tag with him. (I’m older now.) When I was little, I would chew up all the magazines on the lawn while my humans were away. My favorite thing is golf cart riding and sometimes, I star in a play at Theatre by the Trax.


Humans: Gaila & Jerry Brandon They tell me I am a beloved rescue dog. I’ve been a constant companion to my humans for over a decade. You might recognize me as the former lobby dog of the Riverview Hotel. I love golf cart rides and long walks.


Human: Stevie Conway I got my name from the movie “The Little Rascals” and Mom says I definitely fit the character! She says I’m a total goofball but the best protector ever especially for my human sister who Mom calls “Junior.” Oh, that black thing over my shoulder? Valdosta the cat. Too long a story for here.


Humans: Jerre & Valerie Brumbelow My name is Sylus but they call me “Sy” for short. I am a Black Mouth Cur breed and I am a very big boy but really friendly. I consider myself the “Big Dog on the Waterfront.” My favorite thing to do is meet and greet all the dogs and kids that visit the park. I love hanging out at Knuckleheads and especially love the dog treats I get when people stop by Knuckleheads!


Humans: Leigh Cort & Jay Greene My mom says I have the soul of a five-year-old girl who loves her Dad and Momma unconditionally. They found me when I was two after I was cast aside because I couldn’t have pups. I lived for two years in a crate in a shed alone, but now I’m no longer afraid of my shadow or a noise from the swaying magnolia trees. I have a plush bed in every room of the house. Yep, I’m spoiled!


Human: Bill Baggett I’m a French bulldog that likes to bark at the ducks on the water, run around like crazy in the backyard, and I especially love car rides, hanging out the window. I do sleep a lot and my human says I snore. But so does he! continued ... 35

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Humans: Jerry & Kristen Lockamy My human mom rescued me, and I rescued her right back. I love sitting in her lap and staring out at the ocean. When my dad comes home, I get really excited. He takes me for walks on the beach. I have a good life.

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Human: Debra Parsons I’m from Tennessee and you might call me a Tennessee Walker cause I love to take walks. Sometimes I take them by myself. I’m adventurous and curious.

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Human: David McCune. I bet I’m the only dog on these pages that has had a book written about him! I’m 14 years old, but I still wake up every day with the enthusiasm of a puppy. Maybe too enthusiastic, my human dad says. At one time I had close to 200,000 followers on Facebook. That makes me a “virtual” dog.

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By Collin


ome people think I am just a normal kid living in a Southern town, but I am more than that. I am a working actor. I work with the wonderful Barbara Ryan. She helps me do well in auditions. When I wake up in St. Marys, I look at the beautiful water and other sites. When I am asleep in the summer, I hear the distinct sound of crickets chirping. My favorite place in St. Marys is the Riverview hotel. It has scrumptious food. When you are in St. Marys, you can ride the Cumberland Island ferry on the sparkling water. When you ride the train, you can see breathtaking views of the marshlands. Now you know, you need to pack your bags and come down to the beautiful St. Marys. And when you come down here, and maybe move here, you will understand why I love being a kid in St. Marys.



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By Skip



ave you ever had a day when everything seems to go wrong? You know, the battery in your truck is dead when you need to leave for an appointment right away. When you get home, the AC has quit working and it’s 95 degrees outside. That afternoon, it pours rain and you notice a new leak in the roof. I think most of us have had a day or two like that. As I was in the middle of one of those kind of days a few weeks back, I kept walking over to my vegetable garden as each cascading event unfolded. Later in the afternoon, standing there watching my tomatoes grow as the sun shined and the puffy clouds drifted by, I realized how therapeutic a small garden can be. Staring at the tomatoes and cucumber vines, it occurred to me how insignificant my fleeting problems were in the grand scheme of things. The sun would come up again. It would rain again, and my little garden continued ...


would soon be awash in fresh vegetables. Whether it’s vegetables, flowers, or herbs, I highly recommend considering a small garden. It has an amazing calming effect in a world that seems to be getting crazier by the day. I started growing tomatoes about 15 years ago because there is nothing better than a freshly sliced tomato sandwich on light toast with Duke’s Mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Over the years, it has evolved into planting a full spring garden and lately, a winter garden as well. In early Spring, I plant several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, eggplant, okra, and several kinds of peppers. The squash come in early, and I fry them and some of the green tomatoes every few nights for dinner. I make cold cucumber soup out of the cucumbers which is great on a hot summer day and pickle what’s left over. Midway through summer, if I have a good year, I blanch and peel tomatoes every other day and put them up in freezer bags for various dishes in the coming fall and winter including, of course, Brunswick Stew. The eggplants come in slow, but homemade Eggplant Parmigiana with home-grown tomato sauce is hard to beat. Did I mention fried okra? Even better than eggplant. As the dog days of August set in, the summer garden really starts to fade, and it’s time to till the ground and add fertilizer again. continued ...




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~Crooked River State Park ~Biking & Kayaking ~Train Rides & Theatre ~Historic District ~Submarine Museum ~Cumberland Museum ~Cumberland Ferry ~Community Market ~History Walk


For the winter garden, I plant in early Fall and grow all my favorites—collards, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, and broccoli. Fresh home-grown Spinach Dip and Collard Greens simmered for hours with salt pork is something worth celebrating especially when it comes from your own garden. I’m sure some of you could tell me about flower and herb gardens and the joy they bring, but I’m hooked on fresh veggies. It doesn’t take much land, and I’ve seen several real nice gardens all around St. Marys. Either way you go, I can’t say enough about the benefits of a small garden. It gives you some exercise and a small bounty of food for your table. Beyond that, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience as it teaches you that life goes on, seasons changes, and “every little thing’s gonna be all right,” like Bob Marley says. Now, what was the number of that AC repair guy? Editor’s Note: Today, horticultural therapy is accepted as a beneficial and effective therapeutic modality. It is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational, and community settings. There are professional horticultural therapists who belong to the American Horticultural Therapy Association. Visit their website to learn more about the psychological and physical benefits of gardening.

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yan Clements is 4th generation Camden County, and when she speaks of her community, you can hear the love and respect she has for the people who live here. After purchasing Woodbine Pharmacy last year, Ryan has re-discovered the heart of Camden County and says she feels privileged to serve her customers—most who have become lifelong customers and friends. “We know our customers by name,” she said. “We call them and check on them. Every day we have the opportunity to show them the advantages of a hometown pharmacy, and they pay us in kind by expressing their appreciation.” Woodbine Pharmacy customers often bring Ryan and her staff treats to show their thanks. And the pharmacy’s devotees are not limited to Woodbine. “We deliver all over Camden County,” Ryan said. In her former life as pharmacist at Publix, Ryan was limited in her outreach to customers by corporate dictates. “There is nothing better than an independent pharmacy,” she said. “And we work hard to prove that every day.” Pharmacist Joe Tuttle, who retired from CVS, helps Ryan fill the customers’ requests. Mickey Silva, who has been with the pharmacy for six years, along with the entire staff comprise a team that—as Mickey says, “just loves to put a smile on people’s faces.” Mickey has seen the remarkable turnaround created by Ryan in the past year. “She’s turned us into a welcoming hometown pharmacy, a good old-fashioned place with traditional ideals and new ideas.” “Incorporating a boutique into the pharmacy was a brilliant idea,” Mickey said. “It gives people a reason to stop in even if they’re not out of their medicine just to see what new stuff we have.” The boutique is a shopper’s dream with women’s fashions, jewelry, toys, gifts, candles, beach items, souvenirs, t-shirts, continued ...

doggie accessories, and even some local food stuffs including Honest Dan’s Honey and Poppin’ Joe’s Gourmet Kettle Korn. Ryan and her staff love their location just 3 minutes off I-95 at Exit 14. “We have great neighbors including the local IGA, and we like to think we make a great neighbor,” Ryan said. There’s no doubt that Ryan, her husband Stephen, and their three children are in Camden County for the long haul. For those who know of the Dickey Family (think famous for shrimp), Ryan’s mom was a Dickey. Camden County is in their blood and so is the pharmacy business on both sides. Stephen, a CPA by profession, came from a family that owned pharmacies as well. In addition to loving Camden County for its great work environment, Ryan and Stephen love spending time taking advantage of local outdoor offerings like boating around Cumberland Island. They met at UGA—Go Dawgs!—so a Bulldog game is always fun and they still get to the Braves games from time to time. They are living the dream and, fortunately for residents of Camden, they love paying it forward by providing a warm-hearted hometown pharmacy where—really—everyone knows your name. Call 912-576-6998 for more information.

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By Barbara


Ryan Harris


f you’ve ever watched the graceful glide of an Osprey, you have witnessed poetry in motion. And if you’ve ever seen them hunt, you’ve experienced the thrill of the catch for an Osprey seldom misses their target. (Ospreys diet exclusively on fish.) They hover and soar in search of fish near the surface then dive, feet first usually, from as high as 120 feet, crashing into the water at 30 mph, sometimes completely submerging. Their dense plumage, dislocatable shoulder joints, underwater vision, and fleshy nostrils that close allow them to plunge unaffected and then immediately fly off with their catch. The sight is an impressive example of artful angling. The Osprey’s fishing success rate is largely due to spiky scales continued ...


on their talons and an opposable toe they can rotate to allow them a two-toed grip on either side of a fish. They can carry a fish half their own weight, rotating the fish so its head faces forward for streamlined flight. Coastal Georgia’s iconic raptor builds its nest atop trees or manmade structures like utility poles, buoys, bridges or any high spot away from predators. Their nests can resemble 400-pound objets d’art installations crafted of sticks, moss, bones, toys and, quite possible, lost sandals. And because they are loyal in returning to the same nest each year, Ospreys may add so much material that nests can potentially collapse under their own weight. Ospreys mate for life. The unpaired males begin nest preparation and await a female who reportedly chooses her mate based on the quality and location of his nest. A female Osprey can weigh twice as much as her mate. People often mistake Osprey for bald eagles but a closer look reveals easily identifiable differences. Ospreys are very large, distinctively shaped hawks. Their bodies are slender with long, narrow wings and long legs. They fly with a marked kink in their wings making an M-shape when seen from below. An Osprey’s wing span can reach up to six feet. There remains a storied mystique that shrouds the Osprey and as Coastal Georgia’s most acclaimed bird, they will continue to awe anyone whose interest they capture.

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t. Marys newcomer David McCune wanted to get involved with the community. As a renowned international artist, he was accustomed to recognition. He had acted and modeled for 15 years but that was for film—onstage live (as he knew) was much different. He was invited to attend a rehearsal for St. Marys Little Theatre’s March 2022 production of “Evening with the Stars.” There, at Theatre by the Trax, he discovered a whole new community, an inviting family of good-hearted people who embraced him and made him their own. There, the stage began to be set for what ended up being McCunes’s local stage debut. McCune said, “Theatre transcends so many areas of life—social, financial, physical—and brings people together as friends—friends that might not be discovered in other areas of their life.” Barbara Ryan Harris, St. Marys Little Theatre founder, writer, and often director, was instantly taken with McCune’s willingness to step outside continued ...


his comfort zone and soon, as she predicted, he joined the theatre family and went “down the rabbit hole.” “We call it the ‘rabbit hole’ because it’s fun, it’s a little bit crazy, it’s addictive, and once you fall in, you can’t and don’t want to crawl back out,” Harris said. McCune was cast in SMLT’s May production of “Southern Fried Funeral” as Beecham, a simple family man married to what some might call a “tyrant”— Sammy Jo. Sammy Jo is just one member of the southern dysfunctional family Frye. It was a laugh a minute with many of the people in the audience recognizing their own kinfolk in the behaviors onstage. Now that McCune’s “down the rabbit hole,” he’s making lots of new friends. During a backstage interview, he asked Tammy Bradley (who played Dolly Parton in “An Evening with the Stars”) what her technique was in her role development. “I immersed myself in all things Dolly,” she said. “I listened to her podcasts, watched her movies, and listened to her music. The character evolved even more after the show began and I learned what the audience best responded to.” The rewards of theatre go far beyond new friendships and learning. Escaping into the role of another person’s life is actually great therapy. Many actors get the most continued ...

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enjoyment out of playing characters that are far removed from their own personalities. “A mild-mannered person seems to come alive when they are cast in a villain’s role,” said Harris. “And consequently, someone who is accustomed to the limelight and mostly an extrovert gets a great deal of satisfaction out of playing someone meek and timid.” “Through theatre we can experience the world of another person and that goes for actors as well as members of the audience,” Harris explained. “Whether we are playing comedy, drama, or tragedy, or a combinations of all three, our mission is to kindle feelings in people. To inspire, nurture, amaze, and educate—this is the quest of every actor on stage and every support person behind the scenes,” she continued. “The point of live theatre is for the audience to walk away feeling enriched.” St. Marys Little Theatre’s upcoming season includes the October debut of “Call of the Swamp,” an original musical set in the Okefenokee Swamp in the late 50s. “Call of the Swamp” is a dramedy that centers around a founding family of the swamp and the ‘feds’ efforts to remove them from their homestead. “It sounds serious, but it features dancing alligators, a moonshiner, and a swamp witch, so you know there’s continued ...

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going to be a lot of fun involved ,” Harris said. As usual, SMLT will host their holiday production during mid-December, launching the season with its annual “Christmas Spectacular.” If you are inclined to adventure “down the rabbit hole,” visit SMLT’s website and tell of your interest at “Contact.” But be forewarned—you just might find yourself addicted to LEARNING, LOVING, AND SHARING, and also find yourself with a lot more friends and a much larger family than you had before you got involved.

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he setting is ethereal. A stretch of white sandy beach dotted with the bones of bleached oak trees. Here nature has planted these surreal sculptures that are a photographer’s dream. This is Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. Some of the trees are fully exposed and some appear to emerge from the depths of the sand. Come at low tide to capture the beauty of Driftwood Beach in full. Pose in the arms of craggy branches. Explore the tidal pools where you will find plenty of hermit crabs, sea anemones, clams, and sand dollars. Gaze out to the horizon continued ...


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hen Lang’s Seafood Restaurant closed its doors this year, people in the community were very sad. After all, Lang’s had been written up in such respected magazines as “Southern Living,” but it was the locals to whom the Lang family gave their heart to and cooked for. Fortunately for Camden County folks, Chris Awad bought the business and is continuing the Lang legacy of putting locals first. He even went so far as to include the word in the new name of the restaurant. Locals Dockside has much to boast about but being the modest man that continued ...

he is, Chris is going to let this writer do the bragging for him—a really easy job. Let’s start with all the 5-Star testimonials that Locals Dockside has acquired in its short time since opening. (You can see them on their website). The testimonials cover it all, from the quality of the food, the deliciousness of the food, to the great service and stunning vistas. Locals Dockside’s enviable location affords locals and visitors the most beautiful views on the waterfront— boats in the harbor, the marshes, and the St. Marys River. Sunsets area reason for celebration every evening at Locals Docksides. The quality of their food is something guests always comment on. But it’s no surprise when you consider Locals Dockside features top quality Certified Angus Beef. One customer recently said, “It’s the best steak I’ve ever had—ever!” Locals Dockside serves the freshest seafood, sometimes right off the boats that dock out back. Calvin Lang’s shrimp boat is one of Chris’s most important purveyors. With creative specials every night, locals have a reason to come back again and again. Specials like their Surf and Turf—a generous portion of melt-in-your-mouth steak and succulent lobster. The extensive menu includes Bacon-Wrapped Scallops, Seared Ahi Tuna, Stuffed Oysters, Mussels and Clams, creative pasta dishes, and much more. There are selections for Vegans as well. Even the desserts are local and homemade. “I try to source as much as I can from local businesses,” Chris said. “This community has been good to me and my family and I want to pay it forward.” Chris says that it’s a community that has shown him appreciation again and again. “The support I’ve received from the community makes us feel that we really are part of the family here,” he said. This is the third business Chris has opened and is operating in Downtown St. Marys. He also owns Southern River Walk and the Magic Market, and divides his time continued ...

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between all three. He’s the kind of guy who really is moving even when he’s sitting still. And his plans for St. Marys are growing every day. “I really want to build something for the local kids,” he said. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with! Though we were all sad to say goodbye to the much-loved Lang’s Restaurant, we see how bright the future of dining is for St. Marys with the addition of Locals Dockside. You can re-visit yesterday by taking a walk down memory lane viewing the gallery of Lang’s shrimpboats in the restaurant’s main area. And you can say hello to tomorrow discovering the enhancements Chris Awad has made to this exceptional eatery. There is now a full-service bar which locals and visitors have welcomed heartily. Outdoor dining is more prevalent and will become even more appealing with Chris’s plans to enclose the back deck. After all, you can almost touch Florida from there. Thank you Chris Awad. For believing in our community by gifting us with a topnotch restaurant that offers something for everybody. Locals Dockside is located adjacent to the Waterfront Park at 307 St. Marys Street, West in St. Marys. For more information, visit, or call 912-510-8577.


By Skip


f you’ve never had a Low Country Boil, you’re missing out on one of life’s great pleasures. What is a Low Country Boil, you ask. Well, let’s start with some geography and history first. Broadly speaking, the Low Country is the region of the Southeastern United States coast bound by the North Carolina/South Carolina line down to the Georgia/Florida line including St. Marys, of course. It encompasses 34 coastal islands in South Carolina and more along the Georgia coast. Its defining features are vast salt marshes punctuated by dozens of


black water rivers that dump into the Atlantic Ocean. Black water rivers are tea-colored and appear black due to the tannins that leach into the water from decaying oak leaves and pine needles that abound inland. The area has some of the grandest live oak trees anywhere including the renowned Angel Oak in South Carolina with branches that span a 160-foot diameter and shade covering 17,000 square feet. The entire region is rich in history being settled and fought over by Europeans in the early days of North America’s formation into continued ...


what it is today. It includes the historic cities of Charleston and Savannah with countless antebellum homes. During the 1700s and 1800s, many West Africans were brought as slaves to this region to work the rice fields. Over time, these slaves became known as the Gullah people or Geechees. Scholars believe they developed their own language and cuisine in the isolation of the Low Country’s many islands. Using skills they brought with them and local ingredients from the ocean, the marshes, and the new land they found themselves in, Low Country cooking was born and evolved. As was typical of many cultures of days gone by, “one-pot” meals often ruled the day—which brings us to the Low Country Boil, probably the best known Gullah dish. It’s a fabulous concoction of shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage boiled together with spices in one large pot. Most people, these days, will use a store-bought crab boil like Old Bay or Zatarain’s, and some will add and olives, but those weren’t on the original 4045 Spencer Street, Suite B42 • Las Vegas, NV 89119mushrooms recipe. It’s typically served by dumping the whole pot 702-551-2075 | FAX 702-724-1681 over a newspaper-covered picnic table and everyone digs in. Seagle’s Restaurant’s version of Low Country Boil with crawfish. Another popular Low Country one-pot dish is Chicken Bog, also known as Chicken Perloo. Chicken continued ...




Bog takes a whole chicken with celery, onion, garlic, butter, smoked sausage, and rice. The cook “bogs” the chicken down in the rice, slowly cooking for a couple of hours. While Brunswick Stew may not be a Gullah dish, it is certainly common in the Low Country and has a lot of similarities to Gullah Okra Stew. Okra was brought to America from West Africa and is a staple for many Gullah recipes. Like Brunswick Stew, Okra Stew is a one-pot tomato based stew but with garlic, shrimp, okra, and various spices, served over rice. No overview of Low Country cooking would be complete without noting Shrimp and Grits. Everyone probably has a favorite recipe or restaurant for this classic Low Country dish. Finally, with an abundance of Blue Crab in the area, it should be no surprise there would be plenty of Low Country recipes with crab. Many people are very fond of the She Crab Soup that you can make with Blue Crab. While Low Country cuisine is often grouped with southern food or soul food, it is, in fact, its own specific genre unique to the Coastal Carolinas and Georgia region. It’s pretty easy these days to look up Low Country food and do some research to find your own favorite recipe, so Bon Appetit and enjoy!

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New Novel set at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base

Author John J. Lahm


any of our local readers will remember when the construction of the submarine base began in the 70s. It was an exciting time for residents, especially those with businesses that could prosper with the influx of Navy personnel. It was a dissenting time for some who didn’t want to see any changes in the complexion of St. Marys. John J. Lahm lived through the stories that surrounded the construction. Recently, his imagination took him beyond the real stories to a darker place in “Bad to the Bone.” Under the background of the base construction, sudden brutal shark attacks began occurring. The attacks were so brutal that the victim’s bodies, if located, continued ...


were stripped of all flesh and blood products down to the pulverizing of the victims’ bones to get to the marrow. Meanwhile, many black, tannin-stained teeth are found washing up on nearby beaches. It seems the Navy decides to remove a limestone mound found during a dredging operation and inadvertently releases a school of young predators from their birthplace in the submarine springs into Kings Bay where they escape into the coastal waters and start to raise havoc with local fishermen and beachgoers. Later, the Navy uses one of the most famous spy ships in the world, the “Glomar Explorer,” to lift the 100-ton mound and the mystery underneath. Everything is labeled secret by the Navy, so news of the new species is hushed as the Navy tries to avoid a public relations nightmare. Could this have actually happened? “Bad to the Bone” is classified as Science Fiction, but Lahm’s intelligent writing and thoroughly researched science does give one pause. If learning new things thrills you, you might really like this book. You could discover what “submarine springs” are and get a glimpse into the process of establishing the identification of a newly discovered species. Check it out in “Bad to the Bone.” You can get the book on Amazon or locally at Once Upon a Bookseller.

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