Sunday, December 1, 2013


"God saw all that he made, and it was very good.
And there was evening and there was morning - the 6th day."
Genesis 1:31

After sunset when dusk settles The Evening Star (Venus) appears.  She is the brightest star in the sky, a perfect compliment to holiday color, excitement, sparkle, Gingerbread houses, Brunches with Santa and theatre productions such as The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker was presented before Thanksgiving by the Hilton Head Dance Theatre at the Seahawk Cultural Center.  The stage was graced with charming sets, twirling ballerinas, billowing net skirts, dazzling performances and satin toe shoes.  Fans and family members brought bouquets of flowers for the many dancers, the tiny ones in their frilly tutus and satin slippers stole the show and many hearts.

Holiday excitement isn’t the only kind of excitement being generated in our area.  There is a renaissance evolving and it is impacting our real estate industry.  The smart money has been buying property while prices were down, specifically low-priced lots in upscale communities for investment or for the construction of a “forever” home or for “spec” houses, which are selling nicely.  Buyers like new construction.

You might have seen a recent segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes, filmed on Kiawah Island Golf Resort at The Sanctuary, a 255-room oceanfront hotel reminiscent of a grand seaside mansion.  It has been called the finest oceanfront hotel built on the East Coast in the past 20 years.  On the segment several of America’s billionaires were filmed, holding a meeting there to discuss giving most of their billions to charity.  Some involved were Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates.

The owner of Sea Pines Resort, Bill Goodwin’s Riverstone Group, LLC, a subsidiary of Goodwin’s CCA Industries, bought Kiawah several years ago and has invested strongly there.  The hotel site was raised 20-feet to allow unobstructed views of the ocean.  Over 400 trees were planted using the world’s largest mechanical spade, including 160 50-foot tall Live Oak trees, creating an entrance with a centuries old ambience.  You can imagine how the millions spent have impacted surrounding properties.  Similar types of capital improvements are being made in Sea Pines Resort, the millions invested are not costing property owners a penny.

Some of the capital improvements in Sea Pines include the new golf club (formerly the Plantation Club site near the ocean) where tons of fill dirt have been brought in to create a 17-foot elevation which means very dramatic views of the golf course, lagoons and swaths of tropical palmettoes.  The handsome facility is now under roof and landscaping has begun.

The new nearby oceanfront Beach Club is being framed.  The building will have 15,000 square feet plus 11,000 square feet of outdoor area.  This is in addition to the new Harbour Town Clubhouse, a three-story facility that will have 18,000 square feet and cost an estimated $20 million.  It is to be built after the April 2014 PGA Tour event, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.  The current clubhouse will be torn down.

Hilton Head is full of construction activity.  Everywhere we go there is new construction.  In my beachside neighborhood alone there are three new homes under construction, one a “spec” house that will be priced around $1.9 million.  Nearby, another lot is being prepared for a large “spec” house that is currently on the drawing board.

While prices are still relatively low (although they are edging up), good inventory is still available and even Jumbo loan rates (Jumbo being those that exceed the $417,000 conforming loan limit) are less expensive than 30-year conventional loans, this has to be the time to take advantage of an unusual and unique time in history for “smart money” investing and beautiful Hilton Head Island is the place to include in your portfolio.

To you, gentle reader, happy holidays and a healthy 2014. . .this will be my last blog for a while.  After writing it monthly for two years I am taking a hiatus.  However, the blogs will still be available on for readers interested in the Hilton Head Island lifestyle, which was the purpose in writing it.  The impetus was a call from a reporter from Bloomberg News who asked why people bought property on Hilton Head Island.  I hope I’ve answered the question.

Contact Diann at:

Friday, November 1, 2013


Arrangements of pumpkins and dried cornstalks that rustle like palmetto fronds in a capricious breeze can be seen all over the island.  The pumpkins and falling acorns announce our fall season which brings gorgeous weather, sighs of bliss, and the smell of wood smoke.

The conceptual plans for a new $20 million-plus Harbour Town Clubhouse in Sea Pines were presented to the Town of Hilton Head Design Review Board recently after being approved by the Sea Pines Architectural Review Board.

The 18,000-square-foot, three-story building with locker facilities for tournament players and regular guests will include an expanded pro shop, a new restaurant, private dining and meeting spaces that can accommodate tournament sponsors.  If final plans are approved, demolition of the existing 11,000 square-foot facility, which opened in 1969, the year the Heritage began, will begin after the 2014 Heritage in April.  The new clubhouse is scheduled to be completed for the following year’s PGA Tour event, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

The much heralded Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance has selected Porsche as this year’s honored marque.  Honorary event chairman is Hurley Haywood, a legendary race car driver who has been whipping Porches around tracks for over 40 years.

In conjunction with the event, the Savannah Speed Classic will be held on nearby Hutchinson Island with a series of races.  The dates are October 25-27; event dates on Hilton Head are November 2-3.  Two of the 20 classes to be judged at the Concours d’Elegance are classic Porches, competing in either the Pre-9ll or the Post-356.

Haywood’s racing career includes five wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, three wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and two wins at 12 Hours of Sebring, making him the top winning driver in the history of endurance classics.  Some 16,000 attendees are expected at the Hilton Head event this year.  Throughout the weekend around 100 different cars will be stationed each day on the first and 18th fairways of the Planter’s Row golf course at Port Royal Plantation.  In the British Marque division there will be a 1961 Lotus, a 1932 Aston Martin, and a Jenson 541.

The real estate industry on Hilton Head continues an upward sales spiral.  Closed sales are up 12% island-wide. In Sea Pines, villa sales are up 17%.  Lower-end product has almost sold out.  As the end of the year approaches, we are seeing more price reductions in inventory that has not sold yet.  These are sellers who want their property sold before the end of the year.  Adjusting value is just a given in a competitive market.  Currently there are many great buys all over our area, which is interesting to see because it isn’t always that way.

One special property that you should see is in a beautiful up-scale development just over the bridge from Hilton Head called Colleton River Plantation.  The house is priced at a low $12,600,000; 17,000 square feet, riverfront on 9-plus acres in a live oak and magnolia forest.  The estate is buffered on one side by a large freshwater pond and on the other side by a 100 year old forested conservancy for total privacy.   

The front gate entrance to the estate was made in Romania.  A nearby three bedroom guest house features a soaring, vaulted ceiling, a pool, spa, waterfall, and outdoor room complete with grill.  The main house has a 4-foot thick concrete foundation; most walls are 21 inches thick.  There is a 50 year roof, windows and doors were made by the Hope Company of New York, constructed of steel and brass.  All ironwork was forged on site.

The leaded glass ceiling in the Tea Room came from a New York hotel built in the late 1800’s.  There is a gold Baccarat chandelier in the Embassy Room (approximate cost was $100,000 when the house was built in 2004).  The Embassy (Music) Room has hand-carved paneling from 1830 accented in gold trim and was originally in the Hungarian Embassy in Paris.  Similar paneling sold in New York City two years ago for $2,000,000.  The dining room (large enough for a ballroom) wallpaper was hand painted in China. The hand-carved fireplace mantel took almost two years to carve.

There is stone flooring from France and marble from Italy.  The master suite has a river view and includes three fireplaces, His and Her bathrooms and dressing rooms and a fully functioning Salon Room.  The maid’s quarters features a full kitchen, large bedroom and living area for staff.  There is a mirrored exercise-spa treatment room complete with full bath and tiled massage shower. The motor court includes five garage parking places, two of which are year round climate controlled.

In 2009 the house was appraised for Wachovia Mortgage for $18.5 million; in 2012 the estimated replacement cost by an insurance company was $19.2 million and did not include land value.

Colleton River is a golfer’s paradise.  It has one 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye, another 18 hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and a 9-hole par 3 course as well as a tennis complex and elegant clubhouses.  Fishing and boating in the Colleton River is excellent.  Watching fish tail-dancing on the Colleton River is a magical experience.

If you or your friends are interested in this property, please contact me.

Contact Diann at:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Photo courtesy of David Love
Living on Hilton Head is like living in a forest preserve.  Early on the first day of autumn, two young deer were feasting on the lawn on golden fruit that had fallen from a stalk growing high among the fronds of a giant palm tree.  Nearby, the mother doe stood placidly in front of scrub palmettos. 

This is the time of year for fine weather, the air pure and clear, when shafts of sunlight angle across green lawns, trees and shrubs, illuminating Spanish moss that swings from spreading oak limbs.

Fall is festival time in our area, festivals created to celebrate history, food, heritage, wine, art and more.  One much looked forward to event is the annual Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival in Old Town Bluffton, just across the river from Hilton Head.  The event is held October 13-20, and features fine art and seafood.  It showcases locally harvested seafood cuisine, history, art and Southern Hospitality.  There is a boat parade, concerts, performances, kayak tours, even a two-day street-fest.  Enjoy this after the Salty Dog Oyster Roast on October 5 in Sea Pines Resort at South Beach.

On Monday, October 7 the Hilton Head Institute presents the Calibogue Series: Cultivating Community.  One of the featured speakers, environmental expert Todd Ballantine will discuss innovative solutions for building a more resilient, livable community.  Todd, a highly regarded environmental consultant, lived on Hilton Head for many years.  He now divides his time between the island and Boulder, Colorado where his Ballantine Environmental Resources, Inc. is based.  He recently expanded his popular Tideland Treasure book, a guide to the beaches and marshes of the eastern coast of the United States.

Last fall in this blog I mentioned NFL champ Chris Canty’s new Hilton Head waterfront estate where his 13,000 square foot limestone-faced home was under construction.  Now it is almost finished, all six bedrooms, six bathrooms with a lighting, heating, security and home theater system that can be controlled by the owner from anywhere on the planet via his iPhone.  It is an elegant looking home.

Nearby, is an 18,000 square foot waterfront home once appraised at $17 million.  This area was  the site of artesian wells where Spanish explorers put in to fill their water kegs.  Not far away is a secluded gated community of only 11 homes.  One, priced just below $3 million appears to be at least a $5 million dollar house.  It is on a beautiful 2.5 acre waterfront lot with dramatic marsh-water views.  The architectural flavor is Tuscan and is complimented by many architectural details (almost 6,000 sq ft) with custom-everything, including a 22-carat gold dining room ceiling.  It is a beautifully decorated residence with five bedrooms, four bathrooms and three half-baths, a gourmet, high-end kitchen open to a great room with fireplace, large rear terrace with pool outside of the living room and great room, and under-parking for multiple cars.  It would probably sell for around $12 million in California.

During the recent annual Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament, a local resident playing in the tournament hit a shot 175 straight yards at the flag on the 13th hole of Wexford Plantation’s Arnold Palmer Signature Course that dropped into the hole and won him a two-year lease on a 2014 BMW 535!  The big surprise came when David Cook, the winner who aced the hole, returned the prize.  He wanted to “give back to the community.”  He will continue to drive his 2005 Chevrolet Express work van.  His wife will continue to drive her 2006 Chevy Trailblazer with 110,000 miles.  The odds of an amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole are roughly 12,500 to 1, according to U.S. Hole In One Insurance.  Since its inception in 1979 the tournament has donated nearly $4 million to charity.

We are still seeing a nice recovery trend in residential sales in many areas throughout the island with prices following the trend.  The same trend is seen in villa sales with even more of a dramatic increase in prices.  These trends are definitely assisted by still-low interest rates, such as the following that one lender was offering (thank you Mr. Bernanke) last week: Conforming 30 year fixed: 4.229%, Conforming 5 year ARM: 2.819%.  Jumbo 30 year fixed (Jumbo being anything over $417,000) 4.0%, Jumbo 5 year ARM 2.9%.  Yes, you read the Jumbo at 4.0% correctly.

The great butterfly migration has begun; Hilton Head is covered with the winged creatures: yellow Sulphers, Monarchs with their black-tipped and veined orange-spotted wings; Viceroys, silver winged Gulf fritllary, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail with gold and black tiger streaks anchored by dazzling blue pearl-size dots bordering the tail.  Some of these gentle, fragile creatures are en route to a small province in Mexico.  What a sight to behold!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


The Williams brothers on the beach at Hilton Head
Photo courtesy Kristel Kretchmer
The last drink was poured at the venerable Beach Club bar in Sea Pines Resort on August 25th.  Dusk had settled over the barrier island; the parking lot was empty.  Golden sea oats moved in a gentle breeze.  Stars came out while small rollers moved in from the ocean, barely making a sound.

It was the end of another era in Sea Pines for a structure that had been built over 20 years ago, the setting for thousands of happy family and vacationers’ gatherings.  In another couple of weeks demolition would begin, making way for a new, handsome two-story beach club with approximately 15,000 square feet of interior space.  There will be nearly 11,000 square feet of outdoor area.  New amenities include an oceanfront beach bar, a casual beachside restaurant, fast food express concessions, a retail shop, a rooftop bar and terrace, a special event space and sales offices for Sea Pines Real Estate agents.  The plans combine Lowcountry, coastal and traditional elements in an inviting and casual setting.

The Sea Pines Real Estate Beach Club office, having enjoyed space in the old structure for 19 years, moved to the Sea Pines Welcome Center where they will remain until construction on the new club is finished, hopefully by Memorial Day in 2014.

There were other endings this summer: one that touched a number of islanders was the loss of long-time Sea Pines resident Aileen McGinty, wife of the island’s first leading architect, Pete McGinty who was responsible for the island “look” of early homes here.  He also designed the distinctive oceanfront Hilton Head Inn (now torn down), Cordillo Parkway, and the beachside “t” streets in Sea Pines.

The McGintys moved to Hilton Head in 1954, before the roads were paved and before there was a regular ferry from the mainland to the island.  They were living in Columbia, S.C. when they first came to Hilton Head in 1953 and subsequently bought an oceanfront lot near the current Coligny Plaza area for a whopping $1,100.00 and commenced building a vacation house.  It was under construction when Aileen was offered a teaching job in a one-room school house at Honey Horn Plantation, then owned by the Fred Hacks.  She and Pete happily made the move.  It was there that she taught five children, all in different grades, including two of the Hack’s three children, Frederick and Avary.  Later she taught at the first Sea Pines Academy.  She was a loved and respected teacher.

A friend once commented, “She was just a ball of fire.  Education wise, she was a teacher in all phases.  She looked for the absolute best in every child.  She would bring that out of a child, when you would think there was nothing in there.”

She has been quoted as saying that she liked the atmosphere of a classroom. “So many of the students said things in original ways that sort of crisped up the atmosphere.  I enjoyed the students so much I never seemed to think of it as work.  It was so lively and enjoyable.”

While Aileen educated children, including the three that she and Pete had: Leigh, Rupert and Margaret, Pete focused his architectural designs on saving as much of nature as possible, letting houses blend in more than standing out. 

The McGintys embraced all of the good things that the island offered, easily done with their well-honed social skills.  A favorite social activity was a play-reading group where members hosted meetings, the host couple choosing a play, then the attendees rehearsing it on the first Friday night of each month.  They would then present it to each other on the following Sunday.  The couple made many contributions to our community.  We’ll miss Aileen McGinty.

There have been more positive trends in the real estate market: declining inventory, increasing sales, and a very exciting trend noticed by agents in the local community, high end product is selling again.  With Sea Pines Resort engaged in so many capital improvements (two new clubs with a third to come), and improvements at Tower Beach at South Beach (an area for Sea Pines residents and their guests).  Buyers’ confidence in the overall market’s health is obvious.

Last month Fox News showcased Hilton Head Island on its 10 Beautiful Beach Town Fall Vacations list in the USA citing miles of pristine beaches, unique Gullah culture, the Coastal Discovery Museum at beautiful Honey Horn Plantation and more.

The National Association of Realtors’ voice has been heard in Washington, D.C. regarding tax code reform.  The Senate has decided to start from a “blank slate” on reforming the code.  Pressure is being put on Congress to retain vital real estate tax incentives, a long tradition that encourages home ownership and commercial investment.

To contact Diann:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Day at the Beach - on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Photo courtesy Kristel Kretchmer
Living on Hilton Head this summer has been like living in the tropics with almost daily rains interspersed at night by the sounds of croaking frogs and other wild creatures.  Actually, the frequent rainfall just made the island look more beautiful, so green and lush. Crepe myrtles and other flowering shrubs appear to have larger and denser flower clusters – so colorful and pretty.

There have been more vacationers on the island this season than we have seen in a long time.  Beach activity is constant and joyous despite intermittent cloudbursts.

Families trekking to the beach with their loads of folding beach chairs, beach towels, baby carryalls, carriages, umbrellas, picnic baskets, wagons, coolers – look like Hannibal’s burdened elephants, crossing the Alps.  The smell of coconut oil permeates the air.

A group of Hilton Head’s resident visionaries has formed to plan a variety of stimulating programs modeled on successful programs around the country such as the Aspen Institute in Colorado, the Chautauqua Institute in New York, and the Matrix Midland Festival in Michigan.

The new Hilton Head Island Institute has planned a four-day ideas festival, ImagiNATION 2013, where attendees will hear thought provoking talks, exchange innovative ideas, imagine a more vibrant and sustainable future for our community.  It is scheduled for October 23-26.

In the Institute’s first year there is an exciting lineup of speakers that include William Paul Young, best-selling author of “The Shack” which has sold over 10 million copies; Randi Zuckenberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media and Facebook pioneer.  Randi’s brother Mark revolutionized how we communicate throughout the world via Facebook. Randi participated in that endeavor.  Also included will be Tony Wagner of the Harvard Technology & Entrepreneurship Center.

Hilton Head seems to be mentioned in national publications almost every week!  Now Parents magazine with 2.2 million readers and 817,000 visitors each month to its website have chosen Hilton Head Island as the number 1 beach town in the nation.  More importantly, the Town maintained high marks by bond rating agencies who cited, among other things, the “strong financial policies’ the town employs.  Parents magazine credited our beaches, view of the stars, children-focused museums and recent, significant redevelopment on the island.

One thing that won’t change on our island is the 42 square miles of subtropical Lowcountry beauty, 12 miles of pristine beaches, forests of greenery, and the friendly nature of our residents.  All of this impacts on real estate sales where we are seeing strong gains in sales the first half of this year.  Closed home sales island-wide number 397 (up 9% in Sea Pines with closed home sales of 101 through June) although the average price of $775,099 (Sea Pines) reflects a lack of sales of expensive oceanfront and beach properties.

Island-wide villa sales through June 2013 have been 410 with an average price of $270,461. Total villa sales in Sea Pines in June 2013 were 74 with an average price of $401,934.  Inventory continues to decline while interest rates are inching up.

To contact Diann:

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Romance of Summer - on Hilton Head Island, SC

Wildflowers on Hilton Head Island
photo by Mary Pracht
“Shrimp boats is a-coming. . .there’s dancing tonight!”

Part of summer’s romance in our area is the sight of shrimp boats trawling off of local beaches.  We see these big boats with their tall, cathedral-like spires rigged to pull cumbersome nets that are followed by swirls of crying seagulls and schools of porpoise.

When the trawling has been completed and the nets pulled up (haul-back) the catch is unloaded to release the bycatch onto the boat’s deck floor where sea creatures such as stingrays, flounder, shark, and horseshoe crabs are separated from the prized shrimp and shoveled through the scupper hold, back into the ocean.  (A few months ago on a gift page in an upscale magazine I saw a bronzed horseshoe crab offered for sale at a shop in New York.  It had been made into a wall light fixture and the price was just under $4,000.00.)

In earlier shrimping years, a good catch would be upwards of 10,000 pounds and bring close to $30,000.  Now a good catch is around 25 pounds per boat per day. In November and December of 2011, South Carolina commercial shrimpers caught 514,826 pounds of shrimp.  The same two months in 2012 brought in only 353,522 pounds.  There seems to be no magic answer to the lack of shrimp.

Other contributors to the enchantment and romance of summer are enticing arrays of fresh grown vegetables and fruits brought to local farmers’ markets from nearby fields and orchards.  Buyers crowd around stalls perusing red, yellow, green and purple peppers; fresh unshucked corn trailing silky tassels, luscious red tomatoes – and green for those who appreciate slices of green fried tomatoes!  Newly dug potatoes, green beans, green peanuts (for boiled peanuts), okra, zucchini, yellow squash, sweet Vidalia onions, peas, butter beans, fresh peaches (think peach pound cake, peach pie); blackberries, blue berries, (more pies or tarts) and don’t forget the watermelon!  Fresh herbs and mushrooms are another attraction. 

Coastal areas are getting a lot of attention from the national media: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg have all recently written about Hilton Head.

Nearby historic Beaufort, S.C. was chosen by Coastal Living Magazine as first place winner of the magazine’s “America’s Happiest Seaside Town,” one of 10 best places to live by the sea (June 2013 issue).  Cited is Lowcountry friendliness and urban refinement in the beautiful South Carolina town known for its historic antebellum architecture and rich African-American Heritage.  Located on the Intracoastal waterway in the heart of the Sea Islands, it is a natural stopping place for the boats, sailboats and yachts that travel those waters.

While writing a newspaper column (for 16 years with a deadline every week) I once wrote about Jackie Kennedy Onassis visiting Beaufort with her friend, Maurice Tempelsman while cruising in the area.  They came from Savannah, Georgia where they visited antiques dealer Jim Williams’ “Mercer House,” made famous in John Berendt’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”  A couple of months ahead of Jackie’s signature in Williams’ guestbook was the signature of her sister, Lee Radziwill.

The article in Bloomberg (June 14, 2013), “U.S. Vacation Home Rebound Lifts Hilton Head to Hawaii” mentions values this year in the Hilton Head area jumping 11.1 percent from the first five months of last year with sales rising 9.3% (according to the South Carolina Association of Realtors).

They mention one couple buying an oceanfront condo on Hilton Head for under $500,000 sight unseen.  We’ve seen that happen before, especially when the buyer is familiar with the complex and can easily see myriad photographs of the property via the Internet.  That kind of offer is normally contingent on the purchaser actually seeing the property within five to seven days of acceptance by seller.

On my beach street alone, two lots are slated to have large “spec” houses constructed in the next few months.  It has been a few years since we have seen much spec building because banks were not willing to assist with funding spec construction.  Both lots had older homes that have been torn down. 

In the Sunday New York Times on June 9, 2013 there were stunning photographs of homes “On the Market in Hilton Head, S.C.” with photographs by Stephen Morton for the New York Times.  Shown were homes in gated communities with amenities that included swimming pools, wine rooms, elevators, movie theaters, yachting and golf.

According to the South Carolina Association of Realtors, April 2013 pending sales (properties under contract but not yet closed) hit the highest level in three years!  May was a solid sales month for our real estate market.  Total sales were up six percent compared with sales in May 2012.

Contact Diann at:

Monday, June 3, 2013


Just before a full Carolina moon illuminated the old sea islands strung along our coastal area, a young girl from St. Helena Island near the small, historic town of Beaufort, S.C., took center stage in Los Angeles, California to win the title of “American Idol.”  The tall, 23-year old African American with a powerful voice, natural beauty and a quiet dignity, captured the hearts of thousands who followed her journey to the title.

Her name is Candice Glover, the first born of Carole and John Glover of St. Helena Island.  Her middle name should be “Perseverance”.  It was her third try at the title, this girl who never gave up her dream, who honed her powerhouse voice in the Oaks True Holiness Church, who grew up in a modest home on a dirt road bordered by a forest where wild blackberries grew and the smell of fresh pine and jasmine permeated the air.  It was here she was nurtured and influenced by the rhythms of life that pulsed in the marshes and streams, where her courage grew with the ebb and flow of the tides, who ended up on a stage with Aretha Franklin and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson.

Before the big win in Los Angeles, she flew home for a gala “Homecoming” in Beaufort, once called the “Newport of the South”, where there was a parade in her honor. Venerable antebellum homes with huge oak trees trailing weeping moss graced a true old south background for the cameras that came from Los Angeles to follow the newly minted star.  She gave a concert there for hundreds of fans.  One nearby mansion had been the setting for “The Big Chill”, now a cult film, one of many motion pictures filmed in the area where directors and producers love Beaufort’s soft light.  It is currently for sale for over $4 million.  Why not?  People come from all over the world to this area (especially to Hilton Head Island) to pay millions of dollars for a small piece of what Candice grew up with.  Pluff mud is probably in her DNA.  It is in mine; I am also a native of the Carolina Lowcountry.

She worked on Fripp Island, renting golf carts and scooters, traveling to work through the tiny hamlet of Frogmore, not far from Penn Center, where Dr. Martin Luther King held strategy sessions early on.  Part of the Gullah Geeche Cultural Heritage Corridor, this area was accepted as a National Heritage Area by the U.S. Department of the Interior.  It is the only one of 49 National Heritage Areas that specifically deals with African American history.

The road that is traveled here, leading to Dataw Island and Fripp Island, was once so deserted that exuberant teenagers would park their cars on the shoulders where wildflowers grew, turn up their radios and dance in the empty lanes.  They then continued on to the beach at Hunting Island State Park, climbed up tall sand dunes (now washed away) and slid down from the top toward the ocean.  The beach was bordered by a Palmetto forest which was the setting for war scenes in the film “Forest Gump”.  The shrimp boat scenes were shot in St. Helena Sound.  In certain areas of these old sea islands one can still find small wooden cottages with shutters painted blue, to keep “haints” away.  A Dr. Buzzard lived here and worked his voodoo magic.  If you believe, as many do, that Candice Glover has magic in her voice, she comes by it naturally. Then suddenly, she was singing the National Anthem at The Capital in Washington, D.C. for the Memorial Day Celebration! Proud, we feel so proud of her.

Toward the end of May, before summer set in, the annual Hilton Head U Savannah Equestrian Exposition, presented by Equus Ventures, LLC and chaired by a name etched in racing halls of fame, the great jockey Eddie Maple, who rode the famous racehorse Secretariat to victory (among many others) was held at Rose Hill Plantation.  White tents lined the sides of the playing field flanked by urns of flowers and hanging baskets filled with colorful blossoms.

Dr. Sandy Termotto (the Founder and President of Equus Ventures) was on the announcer’s stand describing the various equestrian events and later, a polo match.  Iva Welton, a petite dynamo who was responsible for placing the Gothic-Revival style Rose Hill mansion on the National Register of Historic Places and the Marketing Director for the event, watched from the VIP tent where a buffet of delectable edibles was arranged, the linen-covered table decorated with flowers.

Nearby was the Maples tent (Eddie and his wife, Karen, run the Rose Hill Equestrian Center).  Eddie greeted fans who were seeking his autograph or just wanting to shake his hand, always calm, friendly and well-mannered.  At the Termotto tent, Sandy’s wife, Linda (she with the beautiful eyes) charmed friends and guests and made sure they enjoyed a gourmet repast.  Interesting guests here were Dr. John Clements and his wife, Lyne.  He is a member of the Scottish American Military Society and was wearing a kilt!  There is always something unusual to see at these fun and exciting events that contribute so much to local charities.

To contact Diann: