It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining and there’s a lovely breeze. You have nowhere to be and nothing to do. It’s your day off, your home is clean and all chores have been completed.

You decide to go to the beach. You pack sunscreen, lunch and a towel. You get there and find a spot. You plop down in your beach chair and stare off into the great blue horizon.

The people have spoken. The winner of Monthly's 2015 Cutest Kid Contest is Journee Elisabeth Orage. This year's contest took place on our Facebook page.

In the woods of Leamington, when the island was once an untamable frontier, once sat a lighthouse. This lighthouse, so the story goes, was watched by a man named Adam Fripp.


History doesn’t record who he was or how he came to be stationed at this beacon on the edge of the world, but the stories tell that he lived in a small cottage by the towering lighthouse with his daughter.

History doesn’t record her name as Caroline, but the stories do. Rather, they record her name as Caroline but recall her in more hushed tones by the name she now goes by: The Blue Lady.

Drew-LaughlinhhiOne way to illustrate the state of the Hilton Head Island is to envision a driving or bicycle tour.

Let’s start our tour from the southern part of our island in the waters in and around Harbor Town.

The iconic Harbor Town Marina and nearby Braddock Cove area have finally been dredged so boating access and docking improves, and RBC Heritage aerial photography coverage is enhanced. (A short time ago, RBC and Boeing stepped-up to sponsor the Heritage, and Town Council immediately made a five-year funding commitment to fill the remaining need and ensure the continued presence of an event that generates $84 million per year to the local and state economy.)

Lisa-Sulka-blufftonAs with our personal lives, it is important to take time to stop, reflect and focus on who we are, what we do and where we want to go. As a town, that was our task in the beginning of 2014 as Bluffton developed a brand for itself.  

Beyond the marketing benefits of a new brand, the process also reminded each of us why we do what we do and gave us a philosophy which guides Bluffton forward in each project and policy.

That process crystalized the mission of Bluffton to further evolve our town into a progressive, innovative municipality, while never losing sight of our town’s historic, artistic and coastal culture. As in our personal lives, when we are clear about our intentions, it’s amazing how other people’s focus also becomes clearer.

For more than three years, architect Tom Crews has led a committee through a methodical study of Hilton Head’s existing land management ordinance, which regulates development and growth on the island.

He then guided the LMO through a total rewrite of the document to meet today’s needs.


“It hasn’t been an overnight study,” Crews stressed during an interview in his New Orleans Road office. “This is the first true rewrite since the town’s original land management ordinance was adopted in 1987. It’s been revised, but this is the first time that we’re going to completely eliminate the old and adopt the new. Always in the past it was revisions to sections.”

Charles-Simmons-JrHis home had no running water and no electricity, and there were no paved roads, no stoplights, no marinas and no bridges anywhere on Hilton Head Island. But there was food on the table, friends to play with, school to attend and work to do every day.

This was life on Hilton Head Island in the 1930s, not just for Charles Simmons Jr., now 85 years old, and his family, but for all of the other native black islanders as well.

It was a good Gullah life, a life apart from the big wide world around them, except for the occasional trips to Savannah by boat for groceries, clothes, and socializing with family and friends.

For many, Hilton Head Island and Bluffton have provided an alternative from the fast pace of metropolitan areas, offering friendly, familiar faces and a strong sense of community. The way of life and pace here is relaxed, casual and easy.


The draw of Hilton Head has lured many visitors to trade their one week of the year for a lifelong vacation. The abundance of activities and diversions are endless.

Living in paradise certainly doesn’t eliminate commutes, deadlines and Monday mornings, however it offers happiness and fulfillment outside of routine; it keeps the focus centered on what is important in life.

Some things in life are just plain special, and farmers markets are special in many ways.

It’s not just the fresh, locally-grown produce in abundance in the soil of our rural neighborhoods, but also specialties like jams and pickles, sweet honey, the distinct fragrance of herbs, cultivated flowers, organic eggs and more.


Farmers markets on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton possess a unique spirit that transcends the physical presence of food stands, rows upon rows of fruits and vegetables, and the strumming of local musicians.