I often have random thoughts about things and people I learned about during my schooling.
For some peculiar reason, the name of Vasco da Gama has been lodged in my cranium for years. I suppose it is his unusual name, which by the way, has a lovely sound to it. Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer during the age of discovery. He was the first known person to sail with a fleet of ships directly from Europe to India, which helped open a sea trade route with the Far East. The discovery of this water route helped make Portugal a world power for more than 300 years.
Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus are two of the most famous European explorers whose travels helped change the world for better (or maybe for the worse). There is a crater on the Moon named for da Gama.
When our children were little, Will, Tat and Margaret Heyward -- with Jamie supervising -- built a little contraption in our marsh, which I thought nothing about. They took great pains hauling driftwood and marsh reeds to the spot, and they put it all together with a rope.
One morning I noticed two rocking chairs missing from the porch and went in the yard to see where they were. The children were sitting in the rocking chairs on their raft, trying to float away. I was horrified to think they were thinking of setting sail but I said nothing as the raft was slowly sinking into the rising tide. The water only gets about two feet at high tide, so I waded out to rescue my chairs and help pull the raft back. It was then I knew the name Guscio probably would never be in a school child's book.
The invention of outboard motors is a good thing around here as is fiberglass.
* I have a fun tip to share: You can take a free ferry ride from the dock in front the Westin Hotel on the Savannah River across to River Street. The little boats depart every 20 or 30 minutes from 7 a.m. until midnight. The trip is lots of fun. You can stroll around Savannah's riverfront, where there are plenty of places for a drink or a bite to eat. Rocks on the River, a bar in the new Bohemian Hotel is a wonderful spot to watch ships coming and going. This is an exciting way to see what Savannah -- which, by the way, is Georgia's oldest city -- has to offer.
* I would love for Bluffton to have a town crier. In Europe, town criers had musical instruments -- in addition to the latest news. We could pick the kind of music we would like to hear each day. Think of the possibilities -- Mozart, jazz, Mike Gabriel, Lowcountry Boil Band. It would be fabulous.
I might even forget about hearing the news and just listen to the music. Who needs the news, anyway? Although, I do like Charlie Rose -- but then, I really like Jimmy Fallon the best. Is that real news? Who cares ... just give me good music and some funkalicious news. It would make my day, how about you?
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.