Simone Griffeth grew up in Bluffton. Every boy for miles around had a crush on her, and why not? She is a beautiful blonde. In fact, the older she gets, the prettier I think she becomes. After finishing school, Simone moved to Hollywood where she met success as a model and acted in many movies. I asked her to be the grand marshal of the Christmas parade one year, and she flew back home, much to my gratitude. She rode perched atop the back seat of Charles Dean's beautiful white Cadillac convertible looking very regal. We have been friends ever since.
Simone just wrapped up work on her newest movie, "Untouched," which was filmed in Savannah and on Tybee Island. I was invited to a screening premiere party at the Lucas Theatre in Savannah and was so excited. My niece, Maria Ghys, and my daughter Tat hopped in the car and headed for the "big city" on July 29. The Lucas Theatre is absolutely gorgeous and has been beautifully restored; it was a perfect place for the red carpet treatment.
There were throngs of people gathered around Simone, taking pictures and enjoying the whole affair. Simone looked absolutely gorgeous in a black form-fitting frock with her very proud husband, Wayne MacDonald, by her side. The weather was so nice and the crowd was very welcoming. Some of Simone and Wayne's friends and neighbors were on hand too, including Annelore Harrell with daughter Tamela Maxim; Candace Lovely, who has just returned from Boston, where she and friends were on an artists' holiday; Simone's brother Bob and his cute wife, Heidi; and Nancy and Bill Epps -- Nancy is one of Simone's childhood friends. Chip Lane, who wrote the screenplay, produced the movie and also starred opposite Simone, was seen mingling with co-stars Jenn Gotzon and Sandra Williams.
The movie is a murder-mystery of sorts, and I am pledged to secrecy about who did what to whom. After the movie, some of us headed to The Pink House restaurant across the street to share a toast to Simone and her movie entourage. The evening was a great success and was great fun. All I can say is the butler did not do it.
I am so happy for Josh Cooke and his darling family. The Corner Perk celebrated its opening by having two ribbon cuttings, and why not? It has taken Josh an eon to build and open his dream. The building is fabulous and looks as though it has been there forever at the corner of May River Road and Calhoun Street. So stop by anytime during the day to have breakfast, lunch or whatever you wish. You will be happy you did.
By the time you read this, Miss Mary Graves' house will be in its new home across the street from me. Several of us planned "Miss Mary" moving parties as she traveled down Calhoun Street on Monday morning. I will tell you all about it next week.
Guess who invented sunglasses? It wasn't who you think. Sunglasses were devised in the 12th century in China. Judges used dark quartz lenses so people could not see their reactions in court. Sam Foster, who worked with plastics, invented the first mass-produced sunglasses in Atlantic City, N.J. If they only knew how many millions of us use them every day, I feel sure their emotions would not be hidden.
There will be a celebratory auction of Elvis memorabilia at Graceland, his sprawling house in Memphis, Tenn., on Aug. 14. It is the 60th anniversary of the song "Love Me Tender," and several of the items that relate to the song will be up for sale. There is also a grand opening of a beautiful new hotel on the grounds. I wonder if our dear Cashman family -- who live in Bluffton part of the year and Memphis the other -- will bid on anything. Maybe the maroon and silver Cadillac V8 automatic for "Daddy Gene" to tool around Bluffton in?
On Thursdays, you can take a guided tour of historic Fort Mitchell, a well-preserved Civil War coastal artillery battery on Hilton Head Island. It was built for Northern soldiers who occupied Hilton Head from 1861 to 1866. The tour will last about an hour. Can you imagine the poor soldiers in woolen uniforms battling the heat, chiggers and mosquitoes? I am always surprised they hung around so long. Reservations are required, so call the Coastal Discovery Museum at 843-689-6767 to register. Adults are $12 and children 12 and younger are $7. No children under 6 years old; they would be terribly bored.
At Wimbledon this year, tennis match spectators consumed 62,000 pounds of freshly picked strawberries and 1,800 gallons of cream. The strawberries and cream have been sold at the matches since 1877. There is something so nice and homey about this. A bowl of this wonderful treat sells for $4.25 -- a bargain when you think about how much you pay for tasteless goodies at the movies.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.