ingridlowGerman-born woman makes new life in New World

Ingrid Low,
Germany

Ingrid Low has been selling real estate on Hilton Head Island for 35 years.

“Selling is very natural to me, and that’s why I ended up in real estate,” says Low, who sold heavy industrial equipment in the textile industry in New York before settling in South Carolina in 1979. “I love selling and talking to people.”

Though she’s spent three decades helping people find their dream homes, Low knows intimately how it feels to lose one. The German-born Low was younger than 10 when her family had to leave everything behind and scramble toward safety during World War II.

susanochnerFond memories brought world traveler back to Hilton Head

Susan Ochsner
Brazil

“Where are you from?

It’s a question that Susan Ochsner loves answering because she gets to tell her story of how seeing the world led her back to Hilton Head Island.

“I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but I’m 100 percent Swiss,” said Ochsner, owner of Premium Properties of Hilton Head. “My parents are from Lucerne and Chur. But all of my early memories are from this island.”

Her parents retired to the island in 1971 after an extensive search for the right East Coast home. Her father, an executive with Sherwin-Williams, had many of the Ohio-based company’s execs telling him of the beauty of Hilton Head. After spending three months looking from the Florida panhandle to the Outer Banks, Ochsner got her first taste of the island.

ogradybroBrothers born in U.K. feel Hilton Head is the best place in the world

Tristan & Kieran O’Grady,
United Kingdom

If you’re looking for a poster child for the notion that America is the land of opportunity, and Hilton Head Island offers more fertile soil than most for the growth of the American Dream, you could do far worse than Tristan O’Grady.

Born in the U.K. and raised in the extremely British-sounding Buckinghamshire, O’Grady spent his formative years traveling from place to place. His father, a resort developer, kept his family constantly on the move, and before he was rown the younger O’Grady had called England, Australia and South Africa home.

WE AREN’T QUITE NEW YORK CITY, BUT IT ISN’T UNUSUAL TO HEAR YOUR HILTON HEAD ISLAND NEIGHBOR TELL HER CHILD SHE’LL BE LATE FOR SCHOOL IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH. IT COULD BE GERMAN OR FRENCH OR SPANISH.

residentslow

Like Midwesterners or East Coasters, most of those new arrivals vacationed here and then thought of a plan to ensure they would never have to leave: They moved here.

While less than 5 percent of South Carolina residents were born in another country, 15 percent, or nearly 6,000 of our 39,400 Hilton Head Island residents were foreign born, according to the 2010 Census. Within that group, 70 percent were born in Latin America, about 19 percent were born in Europe and 10 percent in either Canada or Asia.

james-ColemanFORMER DISNEY LANDSCAPE ARTIST INSPIRED BY LOWCOUNTRY BEAUTY

James Coleman has made a living out of creating some of the most famous magical places children have seen:  The underwater world of “The Little Mermaid.” The darkly intriguing backdrop of “Beauty and the Beast.” The rural woodlands of “The Fox and the Hound.”

But the former Disney landscape artist says nothing prepared him for the fantasy land that is the Lowcountry.

MEET THE MEN (AND WOMAN) RUNNING THE SHOW AT THE ISLAND’S BUSY MARINAS

For anyone unclear about what a harbormaster does, Nancy Cappelmann – who has held the position at Harbour Town Yacht Basin since 1995 – can sum it up fairly succinctly.

NANCY-CAPPELMANN“Much like managing a hotel, where the purpose is to put ‘heads in beds,’ a harbormaster’s responsibility is to put ‘yachts in slips,’” says Cappelmann, who started working at the marina back in 1981 when she scored what she thought would be a tan- inducing summer job as a dockhand. “Of course, the challenge is to inspire yachters to want to dock in your marina.”

So what goes into putting ‘yachts in slips’? And what kind of person is interested in such a gig? We spoke to seven of the island’s harbormasters for an inside look at the varied personalities and experiences of one of the island’s most important jobs.

Hilton Head Island and Bluffton form a glorious little nook along the Eastern seaboard, inspiring artists in many mediums.

Here's a look at four such working artists who live and create just around the corner from one another.

Robert Rommel’s “Osprey and Flounder,” Recently Tied for Winner in the Expert Category, of the Tri-Club photography contest in late May 2014, at Hidden Cypress in Sun City, Hilton Head

ROBERT ROMMEL
Research biologist/wildlife photographer Robert Rommel takes advantage of his surroundings to amplify the range of his own camera art, as well as to give him a unique perspective when teaching photography workshops.

joelfurmanBESTSELLING NUTRITIONAL EXPERT BRINGS HEALTH GETAWAY TO HHI

With all our cutting-edge technology and powerful drugs, and despite the sharp decline in the death rate, half of all Americans still die of preventable disease. Every year more than a million Americans suffer heart attacks, and almost as many more million suffer strokes — a life-changing, irreversible injury that may result in serious disabilities.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is a board certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He is the author of several books including The New York Times bestsellers Eat to Live; Super Immunity; The End of Dieting; and The End of Diabetes.

ROBERT SMALLSA CLOSER LOOK AT THE STEAMBOAT THAT ESCAPED CHARLESTON AND CARRIED ROBERT SMALLS TO DESTINY

The coastal steamboat named Planter and a slave named Robert Smalls made history together early on the morning of May 13, 1862, when Smalls commandeered the vessel that was then in the service of the Confederate government, and escaped to freedom with its eight other black crewmen and several family members.

The daring dash to freedom began at 3 a.m. at the southern wharf in Charleston Harbor after the white crew members had left the ship for the night to attend a ball.

Smalls, who was born into slavery in Beaufort, had been leased out since he was a youth for various tasks on the Charleston waterfront and was working as wheelman of the Planter when he made his bid for freedom. Before the Confederate takeover, the Planter would carry cotton and passengers from Charleston to Georgetown.

According to an account of the event put together by the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program, Smalls, 23 years old at the time, had a well-thought-out plan for the escape.

Ralph-Ballantine1RALPH WYCOFF BALLANTINE ENTERED THIS WORLD on Sept. 21 — the autumnal equinox, when light becomes clearer, nature advertises change with showy colors, and shadows grow long and sharp as in the vintage noir comics. The year was 1919.

He was the sole male among three sisters in central Michigan. He learned early that he would have to make his way on his own. As it turned out, this made all the difference for this big blue-eyed boy who, would one day become my father, mentor and friend, a larger- than-life persona who left his mark in the art world and his Hilton Head Island home.