When we moved to Bluffton in 1972, it was quite a small town. There were only about 500 people living in the original square-mile village. Don had taken a job with Sea Pines, and we preferred living here rather than on the island.
The only house for rent was on Pine Island. The road to the island was not paved then, and when it rained hard, it was rather a chore to drive on. Our children were babies so there was really no problem with school schedules or getting to many places on time.
The children loved living there because we were surrounded by water, and they always found lots to do. At low tide, it was fiddler crab heaven for lots of birds. It was really fun to watch them chasing around.
We had asked Martha Crapse to keep an eye out for anything that might be for sale. One day we got a call from her telling us there was a house for sale at Buckingham Landing. The little cottage was on the water with an acre. It was owned by Nathaniel Peeples, who wanted to move back to Bluffton. Well, we loved it because there were fruit trees, camellia bushes and, best of all, the view was amazing.
We could see the bridge to Hilton Head Island, which at that time was a swing bridge, operated by a person 24 hours a day. Our view was also of birds galore, boats and never-ending water every way we looked.
Don had to drive to Sea Pines and back each day. The bridge would quite often get stuck or there might be a boat that the bridge had to open for. One day a boat hit the bridge. That was a nightmare the first day. There were several of our friends in Bluffton who had been on their way to the island and ended up at our house for several hours. We could watch the traffic back up so we knew something was afoot.
Quick-thinking folks jumped in boats and spent many hours ferrying people back and forth. The Corps of engineers built temporary floats so vehicular traffic resumed slowly. Talk about traffic jams. We were right in the middle of a giant one each day.
Buckingham Landing was where the state's nine-car ferry started taking cars and people between Buckingham and Hilton Head in 1953. The ferry ran seven days a week from sunup to sundown. Mr. Mose Hudson ran the ferry. Mr. Mose and his wife, Miss Alma, lived in a cute little cottage a block from the landing. They had a lovely cow they kept in a fenced pasture behind their house. It was a charming sight.
Ferry service stopped in 1956 when they built the drawbridge, then Mr. Mose became the drawbridge operator.
We were very much removed from the world on our little spit of land. The world beckoned, though, when school appeared on our horizon. The children were off to conquer reading, writing and arithmetic, and I was rudely awakened to reality.
Ah ... those really were the days.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
Put everything in a blender container and blend well. Pour into greased 10-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool. This has no crust but is delish nonetheless and a quick dessert treat.