I had a very interesting lunch last week. I met Wendy Yeager and Eric Esquivel at The Dispensary on a gorgeous sunny day. There were lots of people enjoying the balmy weather as were we three all sitting in the sun. We all agreed that being able to sit and enjoy the beautiful day while dining on such tasty food was impossible until recently in Bluffton. The only way one could eat outside in the old days would have been to buy a chicken finger at Nickelpumpers and sit under a tree. Glad, indeed we opined , to have come so far in such a short time in the scheme of things.
Wendy and Eric both attended local schools with my children and are wonderful examples of community spirit that is thriving in their generation.
Wendy is a branch manager at NBSC in Bluffton and Eric is Publisher-President of La Isla Magazine, which his family founded. We talked about all sorts of things, including the presidential election, and it turns out no one has decided who to vote for. One thing for certain is that we are not part of the group who throws up its hands and decides to sit out the election. Being able to vote is a privilege not to be abused.
Wendy, Eric and I talked a lot about Bluffton and how it has grown. I mentioned that Bluffton was a bustling village until the 1920s. There was a vaudeville house and general stores that provided all manner of goods from coffins to cough drops.
A large wooden dock at the end of Calhoun Street was the center of much activity for years as a docking , off-loading spot for ships bringing visitors and cargo from Savannah and surrounding towns. On weekends the village was abuzz with much excitement and activity. A bridge to Savannah was built in the 1920s and as you might well imagine, many people who came to Bluffton to shop could now go to Savannah with no trouble.
Bluffton became a sleepy little village after a while.
A place that has such charm and beauty does not get overlooked for long. We are undergoing a new revitalization in many ways. Roads that once were sleepy little lanes are now filled with cars and trucks bringing new life to our area. Some like it, some don't. But now there are many more options for our young people in the job market and I for one am very happy about that. All three of our children live in Bluffton, which in the old days would have been impossible to sustain them. They all went away to other places and then found the opportunity to come back and live in the town they love and grew up in.
Eric went away to college and had no idea he would return to the area after school. Wendy also left for college and she, too, had no idea she would live here. You might say fate stepped in and now both of them are rising stars in my mind for the future of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island. I feel sure whatever path they forge will be a bright one for us all.
By the way the lunch was delicious we had cobb salads and french onion soup ... yum.
Have roses, will travel
Did you get roses for Valentine's Day ? They did not grow in the back yard of someone's house. Indeed they may have been flown to you from Kenya. Kenya has the sort of climate roses love and is the fourth largest supplier of roses in the world and that is saying something.
The Netherlands, Ecuador and Columbia are the other large suppliers of roses and other flowers. Plants and flower exports amount to over $20.6 billion yearly in these countries and are tied to the global economy they are to some a luxury item.
I love flowers and have not had much luck growing roses in our climate. For some reason I have three bushes that reward me every year with blossoms, and I feel as though they are my friends. One is at my store and has endured all kinds of weather but blooms twice each year.
Once I had to chase someone away who was about to pluck a bud from the plant. I felt a bit like Mr. Macgregor chasing Peter Rabbit away from his cabbage patch.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street or at firstname.lastname@example.org.