musicmay1407If you think about it, Hilton Head Island became to be as we know it -- a family-oriented vacation destination -- because Sea Pines Resort hired a guy to strum a guitar under a huge oak tree.

That guy was Gregg Russell, a Birmingham, Ala., native who was trying to earn a graduate degree in business by singing for the summer at Disney World.

“I was the front guy for a trio and an agent asked if we wanted to go to Hilton Head for a couple weeks.” His bandmates weren’t interested, but Russell was.

Jeff-BradleySouth Carolina is a bevy of strange political stories, from our former governor’s “hike” on the Appalachian Trail to the most current tale of Andy Patrick, a Republican member of the S.C. House of Representatives from Hilton Head Island.

Patrick is involved in a very contentious divorce that has brought out his dealings with FBI, the Secret Service and possibly the CIA.

In the midst of all of this brouhaha, Patrick has announced he will not run for reelection. His seat will be up for grabs in the Nov. 10 election.

Well, not necessarily “up for grabs.”

WEXFORD RESIDENT CHARLES WELZANT, WHO HAS THREE PURPLE HEARTS, BELIEVES INJURED VETERANS DESERVE MORE SUPPORT

Purple-HeartsThe scars tell the story of Charles Welzant’s heroics more than words or his three Purple Hearts ever could.

There is the gaping hole near his tailbone, the shrapnel scar across his throat and then there are the knees — both gone at this point, the result of the one jump among the 1,000 he made during tours of Vietnam that went terribly wrong.

“Those are the most noticeable ones. I always seemed to get dinged when I was out in the bush, but you didn’t complain. It was badges of honor,” the 79-year-old said, sitting in his home office.

HILTON HEAD HOSPITAL LACTATION CONSULTANT JEAN MAGARELLI OFFERS PERSONALIZED SUPPORT FOR NEW MOTHERS.

Magarelli01LIKE MOST PARENTS, JEAN MAGARELLI COUNTS THE MOMENT HER FIRST CHILD WAS BORN AS A TURNING POINT IN HER LIFE. UNLIKE MANY, THOUGH, IT WASN’T JUST HER PRIVATE LIFE THAT CHANGED; IT WAS HER ENTIRE CAREER.

Magarelli was a school nurse at the time, but her decision to breastfeed her baby brought with it a new passion that became her life’s work: Helping other moms do the same.

“It was very slow going,” Magarelli said of her endeavor to breastfeed both of her children, who were born 13 months apart. “Nobody helped me. My latch wasn’t great, and I can remember my toes curling, it hurt so bad. But I stuck with it, and it got better; I really enjoyed it.”

standingguardCan you imagine the symbol of our island, the iconic, octagonal Hilton Head Lighthouse at Harbour Town, painted a different color than the bright, candy-cane red and white we all know and love?

“Charles Fraser would roll over in his grave if he had seen it a few years ago when it looked like a more burnished red,” said William B. Whalley, chuckling.

“Charles always knew what he wanted, and he wanted it to be a bright red, not a subdued red.”

Whalley should know. He is one of the people who helped build the towering structure overlooking the island at Calibogue Sound.

Through Whalley’s family, the lighthouse, in its own roundabout way, has royal connections.

Art has been a part of Linda Hartough’s life for as long as she can remember. The celebrated golf landscape painter declared herself an artist at age 6 and, by the time she was in high school, had decided she’d rather eke out a living as a “starving artist” than take a nine-to-five job.

lindah

“When I was about 6 years old, I realized that not everybody had that kind of artistic talent and people kept telling me that what I did was really great,” Hartough said. “That was when I realized I was an artist and that realization really shaped the rest of my life.”

Josephvic2“The title, ‘Water the Chances’ represents his philosophy on life, to cultivate every opportunity you’re given, finding the patience to see it grow and having the foresight to know when it’s time to move on.”

March 16, Lowcountry native and local favorite, Joseph Vicars will be releasing his long-awaited solo album. Surprisingly, Vicars is one of the few local musicians who actually originates from the south, and is proud of it.

When church was not in session, Vicars spent most of his time there tinkering on different instruments and practicing for hours. By the 6th grade, he joined the school band and played a number of different brass instruments such as the trumpet, the french horn, the saxophone and his favorite, the tuba. He continued with school band up until his senior year when after taking a class on Jazz Performance Theory, he fell in love with the bass guitar and began experimenting with improvisation. But, Vicars always had a passion for bass instruments in general because of, as he puts it, “the deep connection and bond between the melody and the rhythm.”

Shep-RoseFormer Hilton Head Island resident Shepard “Shep” Rose is one of six cast members on the new reality TV series, “Southern Charm,” which debuts this month on the Bravo channel.

Rose, 34, comes from good stock. He is the nephew of former S.C. Department of Public Safety director B. Boykin Rose (the town of Boykin and the state dog — the Boykin Spaniel — are both named after his mother’s family).

“Southern Charm” follows Rose and five other socialites living the good southern life in Charleston. Thomas Ravenel (former state treasurer) and Cameran Eubanks (MTV’s The Real World: San Diego) are also cast members.

LOVE ON THE (SHAM)ROCKS

Neil-LoveFor decades, Dr. Neil Love was Hilton Head Island’s only OB/GYN. He’s served as medical director for Hilton Head Hospital since 2004. It’s a lot of responsibility, but could it possibly prepare him for the immense responsibility of donning the sash as Grand Marshal at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“I’m not even really sure what a Grand Marshal does,” he said with a laugh. “I guess show up, stay sober, and do the royal wave.”

intriguing-people2014

What makes a Person Intriguing?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, it’s someone that has the capacity to fascinate us, to arouse our curiosity. The people profiled here range from a 17-year-old pilot to a 73-yearold skater dude. One of these people represented Japan in the Summer Olympics. Another distributes 3-D art through Walgreens. Take a closer look at these people, These intriguing people living around us here in the Lowcountry.