The June 25 Island Packet headline "Man wearing red dress robs bank" made me pause. I saw a clip on the Internet about this event the day before and thought it was one of those fake snippets that sometimes pop up. It must have been an amazing experience. I was in Charleston the other day, in a store that shall remain nameless, and was waited on by a man wearing a blue ensemble. Of course I acted as though nothing was out of the ordinary, but I was a little shocked. The bank robbery is another story. I am sure the teller was beside his or herself. The fact that such great details about hair and lipstick were remembered tells me I should be more careful when making a deposit or withdrawal. The robber got away by pedaling off on a bicycle, which is a whole other matter.
In the latter part of the 19th and early start of the 20th centuries, Bluffton was a bustling little town. There were two oyster factories, a cotton gin, a turpentine still and eight general stores selling everything from coffins to cough drops. Bluffton was the center of everyone's universe for families from miles around. Two steamboats arrived twice weekly at a large wooden wharf at the end of Calhoun Street bringing visitors, freight and ice from Savannah.
In 1925, the Houlihan Bridge was built across the Savannah River so the trip to Savannah was made shorter and goods could be bought and delivered there. Well I guess you can imagine how that affected our little village. It was like having a Walmart or Home Depot plopped down in the middle of town -- of course everyone flocked to Savannah to trade.
After years of living life in the slow lane, Bluffton is enjoying a rebound of sorts. Thanks to Sun City Hilton Head and Palmetto Bluff, we have been rediscovered. Of course horses, buggies and steamboats are no longer vying for space in our streets or at the dock on the May River.
When there is something charming and wonderful about a place, people want to join in and enjoy it too. We have lots of nifty shops and eateries where people love to gather. There is room for all, we just might have to walk a bit to get to them.
Have you ever walked along the beach in front of Port Royal Plantation on Hilton Head Island? If so, you might have seen lots of horseshoe crabs. They look sort of like brown bicycle helmets. This is their spawning season, so you will see many of them meandering around on the beach. This year the S.C. Department of Natural Resources has tagged 1,388 of them throughout Port Royal Sound and St. Helena Island. The powers-that-be would like for you to turn over any horseshoe crabs you see upside down. They won't hurt you, and you will be saving their lives. This might be a fun early morning thing to do with children to teach compassion for our fellow creatures.
Hooray! We may finally get our dog park. If the county approves the location on Buckwalter Parkway on the 2.5 acres allotted for it, then building will begin. You might soon be able to bring your faithful friend to play and romp. Dog parks are a wonderful outlet for our animals who have lots of energy and love to socialize with other dogs. If you have ever been to a dog park, you know how much fun they have with each other. It is also dangerous and against the law to let your dog roam freely outside of parks.
The Bluffton Children's Fourth of July Parade will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. July 4. Muster your children, friends and well-behaved dogs in front of the Church of The Cross on Calhoun Street in Old Town. Decorate bikes and strollers and join us for this annual patriotic event. We will march down to Lawton Street where the parade will end. If you play an instrument, you are very welcome to toot your own horn -- the more the merrier.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.
Gardens now paved over still exist in my memory
Blufftonians on the move this summer
Nobody does the weekend like Blufftonians
Man wearing red dress, purple lipstick robs Lady's Island bank; search continues
Legislature reinstates funding for Waddell, Santa Elena artifacts
All columns by Babbie Guscio