The Lowcountry has a way of producing and attracting interesting folks from all walks of life.
Intriguing People of the Lowcountry
WHEN IT COMES TO GIVING BACK, BRIAN JULIUS AND ZANE WILSON CAN’T SLOW DOWN.
Brian Julius and Zane Wilson are good at many things. Relaxing is not one of them.
“I’m a total workaholic. I always have been, whether it’s been business or charity,” said Wilson, 69. “Brian and I don’t have (children), and we’ve always worked ourselves silly and enjoyed it.”
ON TV AND IN THE SKY, HILTON HEAD NATIVE IS A STAR
Sonya Jovan Grant is young, but her soul is old. She has traveled the world, is a big part of her community, and has experienced more in 29 years than many do in a lifetime.
Grant was born and raised on Hilton Head Island. A direct descendant of former slaves who lived in Mitchellville in the Civil War era, she has a passion for local history and is proud of her connection to the people who shaped it.
BLUFFTON BROTHER AND SISTER ARE HEADING FOR SUCCESS
A pair of Bluffton siblings is proving it is possible to do it all — and have fun along the way.
Honor students at Bluffton High School, 17-year-old Decker and 16-year-old Maile Paulmeier are about as driven and hardworking as they come.
SEAHAWKS’ FOOTBALL COACH STEALS THE SHOW
When he first arrived on Hilton Head Island, B.J. Payne heard whispers, jokes, barbs and condescending snickers. Apparently, people didn’t know what to make of a former professional wrestler-turned-football coach. But Payne’s time in the ring was a dream come true, and it has helped him find success at Hilton Head Island High School.
THERE AND BACK AGAIN WITH MIKE BUXSER.
In his Westbury Park office in Bluffton, Lowcountry Radio Group GM Mike Buxser Mike Buxer — in frameless glasses, a Brooks Brothers sweater vest over a poplin shirt and wingtip shoes — doesn’t fit the mental image of a behind-the-scenes “radio guy.”
Radio first brought Buxser to Hilton Head Island, but his personal life brought him back.
LYDIA INGLETT TURNS A LOVE OF LITERATURE INTO A LIFETIME IN PUBLISHING.
At the age of 14, Lydia Inglett convinced her skeptical parents to buy her a printing press, an early start to what would become a lifetime of publishing books.
“I moved that 600-pound machine around for years,” she said, her soft Upstate accent underscored by an English brogue.
LISA SWEENEY BAKES HER BUBBLY PERSONALITY INTO HER NEW CAREER AS A PASTRY CHEF.
Lisa Sweeney isn’t afraid of new experiences. After all, this is a woman who has sung in a rock band, lived in the Caribbean, and rescued a veritable Noah’s Ark of animals— from baby squirrels to possums to dogs. She currently has a pet raccoon named Chutney, who splits her time between Sweeney’s house and the neighboring woods.
LOCAL AUTHOR, PUBLIC SPEAKER AND LIFE COACH DOES HARD TIME WELL
On Jodie Randisi’s Facebook page recently was a quote that said, “People start to heal the moment they feel heard.”
For the Hilton Head Island author, public speaker and life coach, this motto applies to everyone — including those who many believe are beyond hope. Randisi is a prison volunteer who spends every Wednesday leading a coloring club, a book club and a Toastmasters group for inmates at the medium security Ridgeland Correctional Institution for men.
FRANK SOULE HELPED REDEFINE HOW HILTON HEAD VIEWS RECREATION.
If you’ve spent any time at all at the Island Rec Center, you’ve probably met Frank Soule. He’s hard to avoid at the center — he has been with the organization since 1986, when Hilton Head Island was home to a full-time population of only about 17,000 people. Under his guidance, the Island Rec Center has grown in step with the island itself, going far beyond the boundaries of a simple public recreation facility to become a fundamental building block of the community.