A fun weekend in Bluffton was had by all. Barbie Kennedy spent several days in Bluffton with Joanie Heyward. Barbie has just returned from Las Vegas where she attended the largest market for ceramics in the U.S. to show her new tile collection to dealers from across the country. She came away with an award for best new product at the show and lots of orders.
At a supper party Friday night at Joanie's house we were served drinks and delicious chicken salad bites in pastry cups, courtesy of Dana Parker, while we looked at Barbie's creations. There is a Lowcountry collection, and several others that are gorgeous. After we were all dazzled by the display, we sat down to a wonderful shrimp salad -- Joanie used Stiles Harper's recipe -- and it was divine. There was lots of wine and catch-up conversation. Kim Trask brought beautiful cookies with Barbie's initials on them. Kim has formed a new company called Cookie Crumbles, and that girl can bake anything your heart desires and decorate it beautifully. Angela Wyman and her adorable sister Druella Schultz made the evening even more fun.
Saturday evening found a large group of Bluffton friends at The Dispensary to hear and watch the band BYOG perform. J.P. Treadaway, hometown boy and son of Susan and John Treadaway is part of the fabulous trio that make up the band. They were great, and everyone hopes they are coming back soon to play. Joan Pound Weaver, Kim Trask, Barbie, Haley Sulka, Dana, Susan Treadaway, Tish Martin, Martha Ladermann and lots of others were so happy to be together for the evening.
Cocktails on the May River on Saturday night honored Megan Baker and Sean Congleton who are to be married soon. It was a beautiful evening after a torrent of rain that stopped as if by magic at about 7 p.m. The lovely soiree took place at the beautiful home of Leslie and Carol Hanna. Other hosts included Bill and Rachael Best, Gene and Kay Bostick, Dickie and Andrea Elliott, Miles and Becky Elliott, Leo and Diane Hall, Winston and Anne Lawton, and Matt and Nancy Yocco.
Last week an article appeared in The New York Times about the threatened Gullah culture in coastal South Carolina. The Gullah people are struggling to maintain their many traditions in spite of the onslaught of development. One particular tradition is the art of sweetgrass basket-making. The baskets are sought after by many collectors and museums. Sweetgrass baskets are an art that dates back to the 18th century and are one of the oldest crafts of African origin in America. If you would like to read more, search for "Echoes of Africa Along the Carolina Coast" on www.nytimes.com.
Bluffton has made the news in many publications. Larry and Tina Toomer have garnered lots of praise for their hard work and family traditions and rightly so. Family Circle magazine had a beautiful color spread about the Toomers in the July issue. The color photograph of a Lowcountry boil they prepared looked so real I could have eaten the page. The Wall Street Journal wrote about The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, which continues to wow all who visit that gorgeous place. If you have never driven out to see Palmetto Bluff, it is certainly a wonderful place to bike or stroll around.
I have a great challenge for you. Britain is offering $17 million to someone who can solve humanity's largest scientific challenge. The prize is called the Longitude Prize named in honor of John Harrison, who in 1714 found a way to pinpoint a ship's location at sea. He invented the marine chronometer that revolutionized navigation. The public will be able to vote on six of the challenges the prize should tackle. The six are reversing paralysis, overcoming antibiotic resistance, improving lives of people with dementia, finding food and clean water for us all and finding whether or not air travel does no harm to the environment. The topic will be chosen June 25. The contest will open for entries in September. This seems much more interesting and certainly more profitable than the science fair all children and parents have to endure each year. Go to www.longitudeprize.org.
Would you like to be a vendor at the 2014 Boiled Peanut Festival? The Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce seeks vendors and sponsors for the festival, which is from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 23. This year the festival will be held at the Calhoun Street Promenade. Call 843-757-1010 for information and start boiling the peanuts.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.