Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Hilton Head Plantation Women's Association.
My wife asked what I was speaking about.
"I'm speaking to women," I said. "I'm going to talk about women."
To which she asked, "What do you know about women?"
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I know that after my great-grandmother served Sunday lunch to the parson, he sweetly asked, "Shall I keep my fork?"
And Granny said, "You can keep your fork if you want to, but that's all you're going to get."
I have been hearing that story since the day I was born.
So it comes as no surprise that neither our community nor the nation is having any trouble coming up with examples of "Women of Character, Courage and Commitment" during National Women's History Month.
The "Beaufort District Collection Connections" blog -- part of our county library -- is highlighting the likes of the Charleston abolitionists, the Grimke sisters, and Maude O'Dell Doremus, "Beaufort's best known actress to date."
But at this time of year, my mind turns to one of the feistiest women to pass our way, the late Katie Callahan.
She was a long, tall Texan who married a sensible, long-suffering business executive. They retired from Big Steel to Big Golf on Hilton Head Island in 1975, but Katie never shook her addiction to newspaper work. For the next two decades, Katie became a household name by clacking out hundreds of columns and feature stories for The Island Packet on her Underwood manual typewriter.
When she published her last collection of columns at age 80, it included this lead from one titled "Men, Men, Ah Men!":
"I noticed a headline in the paper the other day that said, 'Man Longs For Good Old Days When Wife Stayed at Home.'
"I immediately sat down at my Neolithic typing machine and wrote a headline in 48-point, boldface type that said, 'Wife Longs For Good Old Days When Husband Left Home and Spent Day at Office.' "
Katie found reams of humor in all facets of life.
But in her good old days on an island that was literally being bulldozed from rural to resort, Katie made sure everyone knew what the conservationists were thinking and doing, and why. She made sure that we all knew Beany Newhall and Nini Chapin.
And one day, Katie and Jane Plante literally traipsed out in front of a bulldozer leveling trees along Palmetto Bay Road. Katie carried a sign that said: "Bulldoze Us Not Our Trees" and seven other women gathered to protest.
With Dorothea Griffin, Katie led a "Save Our Trees" march of "little old ladies" down Pope Avenue.
Katie worked with the island's first Town Council on a tree-protection ordinance. It took so long, she once chided them for "shilly-shallying." She served on the town's Natural Resources Task Force and its first Corridor Review Committee to help keep ugliness at bay.
And at this time of year, she breathlessly reported the arrival of the "bridge osprey" in their tower by the bridge to Hilton Head.
That may seem like a small thing, but it was really an act of character, courage and commitment.
Follow columnist David Lauderdale at twitter.com/ThatsLauderdale.