Betty Harrod Stokes had a very fun remarkable life. Betty was born in Savannahin the 1920s, when times were much slower and more genteel. Her uncle was John Newman Harris who founded the famed Johnny Harris Nightclub-Restaurant on Victory Drive.
The Johnny Harris night-spot was a magical place. The ceiling was built to resemble the night sky — dark blue with twinkling lights that looked like stars. It was the place to go to dance and mingle with most of Savannah for years until recently. It will be torn down soon in the name of progress. Betty grew up in a very magical time.
Carolyn Fabricant, Betty’s sister, lives in Bluffton on Pine Island in the only house that was for rent when we moved to town. We lived in that house for six months until the only house for sale in Bluffton came on the market — which we bought. This was in 1972. I have known the ebullient Carolyn for many years and have enjoyed her friendship very much.
Betty and Carolyn and their family often came over to Bluffton to visit as children growing up. When World War II erupted, Betty became a registered nurse and served in the U.S. Army Cadet Nurse Corps until the war’s end. She continued a nursing career for 50 years in Dallas, where she had moved with her husband. As if nursing and raising her family wasn’t enough, this dynamo became a real estate agent and kept busy entertaining, reading and gardening.
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Betty died recently surrounded by her loving family at the age of 89 years young. I can just imagine the fun that everyone I knew — and she knew, too — from Bluffton’s “old” days is having and the stories they are sharing among the “real” stars in the heavenly sky above.
Have you seen these houses?
If you have not walked or driven by Mary Graves’ house on Calhoun Street or the Garvin House at the Bluffton Oyster Factory, you are in for a real treat.
Mary Graves and the Garvin family would be so proud of all of the hard work that has been put into saving these treasures. They look marvelous, and I know you will agree in thanking everyone for the love and effort it took.
If the shoe fits
I bet you never wondered about the “Weejuns” you wore —those “penny loafers” that were the cat’s pajamas to many of us growing up. A man in Norway came up with the concept. In 1930, the Norwegian produced a very comfortable shoe one could just slip on.
Americans discovered this shoe and companies began tinkering with the design. One company — Bass — named their version “Weejuns,” a play on the word “Norwegian” and the rest is history.
In the 1930s , when pay phones only cost a penny to use, people put a penny in the slot on the top of the shoe in case of an emergency — as in a call for help.
An Alljoy request
I think we need walking paths on Alljoy Road and many other busy streets around Bluffton.
A group of us spent quite a bit of time about 10 years ago trying to get homeowners in the Alljoy Road area to agree to that. There is a great need for these paths so we can walk and bike in safety. Alljoy Road is a nightmare to bikers and those who like to walk without putting their lives in peril.
Somebody do something please.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street or at email@example.com.