"My very best round of golf was played in Freeport, Grand Bahama in brand new red shorts. We had a tropical downpour on the 17th hole. My white socks and shoes were pink by the 18th hole!"
"I won $100 from my husband when he said there was NO WAY I was going to hit my shot over a large body of water!"
"I made a hole-in-one and everyone was bowing down below and clapping. I was so busy talking up on top of the tee box, I never even realized it!"
The Timeless Expressions of a Wordsmith
It’s not every day a girl receives a pearl necklace, especially on her first encounter with a new friend. But it’s also not everyday one meets the charming Alan Chaput, a local book author with a real appreciation for the written word. “I consider myself, first and foremost, a storyteller,” he smiles. Indeed! Our time together confirmed this, as speaking with him gave me a flavor of his writing style; he’s deliberate with his words and moved our conversation comfortably from one subject to the next. Originally from Cleveland Ohio, Alan moved to the Lowcountry in 2001, lured in by the beautiful beaches and warm surroundings.
Goals: Hit or Miss
Miss: "I had a goal to see a turtle lay her eggs. One afternoon I was walking the beach with a friend. She and I walked so far it got dark. When we turned around to walk back, we noticed a big rock that wasn’t there before. On a 16-foot retractable leash, my small dog ran over to the rock as we got closer. It wasn’t a rock; it was a huge turtle coming to lay her eggs. The two came nose-to-nose and checked each other out. My dog was gentle and curious, and I didn’t realize it was a turtle until she turned around and went back toward the surf. So close, yet so far.”
Miss: "My goal was to lose weight! I was supposed to start on the program January 2018 – not happening! It’s a 'miss.'”
Going for Bold
Walking into meet 18-year-old Decker Paulmeier, I had no clue how I would feel interviewing someone closer to my age, but I soon realized, millennial to millennial, I was impressed. Decker sharpened my thoughts, made me think and left me refreshed, knowing I had probably just met the smartest teenager in my life.
Decker, a soon to be Bluffton High School graduate this spring, and I began relating on the subject of high school, and he lit up. “I love high school; I am very involved. I’ve been taking AP courses since freshman year, trying to do my best.” Decker is very involved indeed. He is a part of sports, student government and school clubs. He is the captain of the varsity lacrosse team, as well as a football player. He is involved in youth government, the president of the National Honor Society, on student council, Bluffton’s DECA chapter president, a member of Boys State, won first place at the Sea Island Science fair his freshman and sophomore year, and lastly, participates in quiz bowls for Bluffton High School.
"Seeing as I didn’t drink much, and a great friend needed a date for his awards ceremony, and I wanted to wear my LBD, I said, yes. Short version: Two beers, a joint and a ride in a snow storm, was stressful as heck! Had a nice dinner at the ceremony and remember doing a shot. Next thing I know I’m sitting in the pitch black dark. I felt my way around and realized I was in a bathroom stall, found the exit, only to discover the dinner place empty and set for the next day. So, after being asleep on the toilet for three hours, I was locked in from the outside with no jacket or purse. Somehow, a gentleman from our hotel found me. He picked me up and took me back to my date, who thought I had been taken. So embarrassing. It was a long ride home.”
Laughter and Love - A Genuine Performance
The celebration of joy and love are common threads throughout the Christian Bible. Psalm 126 reads: “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.” 1Corinthians 16 reads: “Let all that you do be done in love.”
Dr. James Wooten, or Jim, as some of his congregation will address him, moves through life with a healthy dose of both—a deep love for the Lord, his family and congregation, and a jovial heart to match. “Humor is divine,” he smiled. “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
He is a proud South Carolinian—born and raised! In 2008, he began serving as lead pastor at The Baptist Church of Beaufort, a 21st century church with an 18th century foundation. Rich in history, the building itself was first a Civil War hospital. Soldiers’ signatures and graffiti are still visible on belfry beams and sanctuary walls. The heart-pine wood flooring, glass windows and pristine pews are beautiful and original.
Being Included and Excluded
Being included can be one of the best feelings in the world, while being excluded evokes negative feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness. We asked our Partini attendees to tell us about a time when they felt included or excluded.
“Excluded: In 5th grade, a boy fell off the monkey bars, so I ran over and cuddled him, asking if he was okay. Kids started laughing and taunting, “Oooh, you have a boyfriend.” NOT! Friends still tease me about this all these decades later.”
South Carolina Principal Wins Highest National Education Award
University of South Carolina College of Education alumnus and Chapin High School principal, Akil Ross, has been named the 2018 National Principal of the Year. Chapin High School is located right outside of Columbia, SC in Chapin.
The honor, given by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, recognizes an outstanding middle level and high school principal who has made exemplary contributions to the profession and to students’ learning.
Going the Distance
It has been a life-long journey for Doug Weaver to become the very best he can be at the game of golf and to inspire others to do the same. Doug is a nationally acclaimed golf professional, who currently serves as the Director of Golf Instruction for the three golf courses in Palmetto Dunes Resort. His love affair with golf began when he moved to Hilton Head Island as a 17-year-old prep athlete to attend Sea Pines Academy. After college, he founded the Hilton Head Island Intercollegiate Golf Tournament at Palmetto Dunes. This tournament grew to become the Golf World Intercollegiate, one of the largest collegiate tournaments in the country. Doug got his first break in 1987. He took his first title at the Zell Wood Country Club Open, went on to win 15 mini tour events and gained his PGA Tour card in 1988. He toured for seven years and then came back to the island to share his talents locally.
"Growing up, my mom, sister and I arm wrestled for each Thanksgiving dinner turkey wing. Mom was so concerned, she started buying an extra wing to cook with the turkey in the oven so all three of us would be happy. She often left the turkey out all night to defrost. Early one Thanksgiving morning we discovered the third turkey wing had been ravished, with most of it gone. Seems our family cat, Bootsie, hankered for turkey wings, as well. So we were back to fighting over two wings and locked up the cat. The following year or so, my mother-in-law insisted on cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I hate cooking and gladly gave up the kitchen to her. When we got ready to eat, both wings were gone! She had used the meat in her gravy, throwing away the rest. I thought about dumpster diving and divorce!"
“I was at a big convention, where everyone was bouncing from hospitality room to hospitality room and had more than their fair share to drink. I went to the restroom and realized the bottom of my skirt was tucked into my underwear. I had been showing my backside since my last bathroom visit, probably two hours earlier. No one told me. I was mortified.”
An Inextinguishable Heart for Service
Bumblebee… How Can it Be? Your flight, a sweet surprise.
Such tiny wings, You work and sing. A tiger in disguise.
Recognizing what traits make us unique is the first step toward self-fulfillment. The second step, and more challenging reality, is the strength it takes to act in pursuit of those talents. Sadly, some never get beyond the ‘recognizing’ part, and that is a tragedy of spirit. However, Christopher Garniewicz’s spirit is quite intact, serving up life with passion and purpose. He has unpacked some pretty cool gifts of his own, right here in the Lowcountry. Originally from Worcester, MA, Chris and his wife of 20 years, Larissa (Lara) and daughter Hayden, have been permanent islanders since 1997. He serves proudly as a paid firefighter for the Bluffton Township Fire District, saying he feels fortunate to be part of this awesome team. Chris was introduced to firefighting by a friend’s father in the early ‘90s and was instantly “hooked.” He embraces this field with arms wide open and clearly has a heart for service. “I love doing things for others, and need nothing in return,” he said.
A True Original
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” The late Hilton Head artist William Leon Stacks spoke those words to a young Clyde Williams, and he’s never forgotten them. Clyde always loved art in school and had answered a newspaper ad to learn picture framing. He eventually worked at Mr. Stack’s studio as a master framer, picture placement designer, and eventually took over all full restoration projects from him.
Meeting me at the Common Grounds coffee shop in downtown Beaufort, he brought two thick scrapbooks to illustrate his work. He was soft-spoken and modest, with a white beard, and wore a neat blue Greg Norman shirt, confessing that golf is another great love of his. “I keep my clubs in the car,” he confessed, always ready to play.
What You Wear in Your Heart, You Show in Your Face
Hamp Burnett is a go-getter. At 92 years old, he is one of the most engaging, bright and kind men I’ve ever met. And what a life he has led! I could have listened to his stories for hours. From pre-WWII to being a gunner in a dive-bomber to becoming a dentist to wanting to retire and become a maître d’, Hamp is a natural born storyteller, a joy to be around, and he has lived a life filled with family and happiness.
Though Hamp joined the military and received an appointment to Annapolis, he was sent back to his hometown of Lynchburg, VA, because he hadn’t finished high school. After earning his high school diploma, he was one of 1,500 chosen to take a test to go to college instead of into active duty. When he got his assignment, the instructor yelled out, “Burnett. Geneva.” Hamp called his mother and told her of the great news of going to Geneva, Switzerland, only to find out he was headed to Geneva College in Geneva, NY.
Courage - Creativity - Charisma
Hear Me Bark
How does it feel to have a job to go to every day?
It’s the best! I love having a purpose each day.
You bond with your trainer for life.
What’s your favorite thing about Krysta?
She gives really good hugs and belly rubs,
plus she’s really good at fetch. I love it when
she tells me I’m handsome. I even strike a
pose to show off my good looks.
"You Can’t Stop Now"
Bernard Snyder and I met one morning at one of his local writing spots, a boardwalk leading to a pavilion overlooking the marsh, a world away from tourists and traffic, a scene so serene the stories and poems flow freely without distraction. He speaks, and the inflection of his voice carries me through the highs of love and the lows of loss. His intonation suspends me just over the edge of adventure and then places me surefooted in the face of hope and determination. He is a storyteller and a poet.