Friday, February 23, 2018


I am wintering on Hilton Head, a large island in the South Carolina Low Country. With me are my wife Connie, who often doubles as driver, nurse, and typist together with Ray, my faithful multi-talented guide dog.  We come here to escape Connecticut’s bitter temperatures, snow, and black ice that could result in a major fracture. Hilton Head and the Low Country is a unique place with mild winter temperatures, beaches, and an environment that attracts golfers and others from the mid-west and New England. Living here is more modest than Florida until April when the prices rise significantly and snowbirds return home. Liberated slaves who found security and who lived by fishing and farming originally settled it after the Civil War.  They became known as the Gullah because they originally came from Angola.  Among themselves they speak a dialect called Geechee, English spiced with African words, and live in settlements with their own churches. They are friendly and interact freely with visitors, but try to continue crafts such as basket weaving they developed over the years.  There are a number of artists among them.

We enjoy the many restaurants featuring fresh seafood and hush puppies, concerts, and walking the beaches where Ray can run free.

The Low Country was home and haven to Pat Conroy, who became one of the foremost writers our Southern literature.  Born in Atlanta, he was a “military brat” with many siblings and an abusive father, who was a Marine Colonel.  Conroy attended the Citadel, South Carolina’s military college. Many of Conroy’s books were influenced by his growing up in a harsh environment.  Among his outstanding novels are The Great Santini and The Citadel. Other popular ones are Beach Music and The Prince of Tides.. The latter was made into a movie starring Barbra Streisand Nick Nolte. Conroy died in 2016 and his life continues to be celebrated on the Island. 

In a few more weeks, we will start packing for our return to Connecticut.

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