Imagine; From ‘Chaos Springs Creation’ Wafting From a House Called Imagine…

Music Wafting Through the Trees, is the title of Nancy Mitchell’s latest collection of wall sculptures and oil-on-canvases on display at the Art League of Hilton Head

Music Wafted Through the Trees Gallery

Art League of Hilton Head’s Exhibiting Member, Nancy Mitchell’s, ‘Music Wafted Through the Trees’, wall sculptures and oils exhibit in the gallery at 14 Shelter Cove through Sept. 23, 2017, with a special reception on Thurs. Sept. 7th, from 5 – 7 pm, featuring live music from Mitchell’s children, Hannah Wicklund and Luke Mitchell.

Once again, Nancy Mitchell captures all that is magical, wondrous, and musical, about living, working, dreaming, creating, and growing up in this Shambala, we call Hilton Head Island.  And, she does it all from her family home, IMAGINE, in Palmetto Bay.

UnderOak

‘Under the Oak’, oil, $1200.00

Having recreated South Carolina’s lowcountry scenes of morning mists, and marsh sunsets for thirty-plus years in oil-on-canvas landscapes, and commissioned murals all over the island, Nancy began sculpturing memories, inspirations, and people, in accessible wall sculptures, that she also paints reminiscent of shadow-boxes, but adding perfect, recognizable figures from the collective Hilton Head conscience.

LoveSong

‘Love Song’, clay, $350.00

Her work borrows from the fabric of Hilton Head’s quilt; decades upon generations of families reared in the marshes, lives sustained by shrimp boats, and oyster beds, children climbing live oaks, wax myrtle growing wild, and grand magnolia blossoms providing background perfume.  Throughout this tranquil history, kids learned to play music under the stars, at the knees of fathers, mothers, and touring bands, who sang outside the marina bars, and restaurants, through the coming years of development.

TikiHut

‘Tiki Hut’, clay, $275.00

One of the many glorious advantages about living in, and visiting this neck of the southeast coast (one that is oddly, under-promoted, in national marketing efforts), is the constant sound of live, Music Wafting Through the Trees wherever one wanders in the late afternoons, and into the wee hours of the next day, all over the island.

Oil on Canvas, Nancy Mitchell

‘High Divers’, oil, $850.00

 

Whether riding the bike trails, or walking along the beach towards a boardwalk, or putting into the 18th hole of the HarbourTown golf course late in the day, outdoor live music beckons from one of the many restaurants and outdoor bars for which Hilton Head is famous.

Mitchell_Hannah

‘Hannah’, oil, $1200.00

Nancy’s husband, Matt Wicklund, a house painter, and former drummer for the local rock band, The Bonzo Brothers, helped her manage a household that included her own art studio, and accompanying… supplies, but also two kids growing up as musicians practicing rock and roll in the house, going to school, and playing gigs all around the island.

Which led to one of the many enduring gifts of having children musicians always practicing in the house and performing in venues nearby; the constant, cosmic-like inspiration for fresh art themes for Nancy’s projects, like this current show at the Art League of Hilton Head’s gallery location in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina building at 14 Shelter Cove. (see below for exhibit & gallery hours).

So, what does it really take to rear two kids in the arts realistically, and successfully?

“You can only help them by driving them to gigs, running sound and reminding them to practice. Then let them go, creatively,” Nancy says.

Family Tree Mitchell
***’Family Tree’, clay, commission example piece, not for sale.*** Ask Nancy Mitchell for more information about this excellent COMMISSIONED GIFT IDEA; a personalized Family Tree tailored to your family!

On giving out creative advice: “I remember, the only times I ever noticed if Hannah made a mistake while she was performing, was when she would look over at her dad while he was doing sound. It was really funny, because I told her to stop telegraphing that she made a mistake, and maybe he wouldn’t notice either.”  Nancy also remembers being critical of her son Luke who – later on – told her, that he remembers what she had advised, when he is on stage.

Most importantly, from the Oracle Nancy, “Sometimes being supportive is knowing when to be quiet.”

It’s not a coincidence that a hurricane sharing the moniker with Father Matthew, railed through Hilton Head almost a year ago, lightening up the spaces between the sandy southern coast, and the branches of the remaining trees, including a total ass-kicking at the Wicklund’s. Fully recovered from the devastation, the painted sign is back up above the front door, imploring guests to IMAGINE. Forget welcome. Artists and musicians OWN welcome. You’ve got to imagine, if you’re going to enter the House of Wicklund.


Music Wafted Through the Trees
Exhibition runs August 29 – September 23, 2017

Opening Reception, free and open to the public
Thursday, September 7, 2017, 5pm-7pm
featuring live music by Hannah Wicklund & Luke Mitchell
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday
10am – 4pm and 90 minutes prior to all
Art Center of Coastal Carolina performances.

For more information, call: 843-681-5060 or www.artleaguehhi.org

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Hilton Head Blog Angel Welcomes You Again to… “Only on the Back Page”!

Visitors gather to celebrate the 4th of July

A lovely Rockwell scene awaits the fireworks display on the 18th fairway of the HarbourTown Golf Links.

This started out here, but since you wound up on MY page, you’re getting the director’s cut version, so buckle up for a bumpy ride!

Which simply means that you are now in the presence of shear, unedited brilliance.  Within these magical, mystical scrolling points, you will be privy to the sometimes, coy copy, maybe shady, doctored images that certain local, Pamphlet of the Isle editors censured, due to my questionable investigative techniques, and/or subversive nature of the content contained herein, using unnamed sources (usually because I forgot to write down their names before they hung up on me), that will take you on a point-by-plot, connect-the-dot investigation of international intrigue starting from all the way down into Hilton Head Blog Angel’s gut instincts, and leading up into the dark, grey, nether regions of her brain-pan (or, as Johnny D refers to, her effing, ‘nut-case’).

For example:

Fireworks boat in HarbouTown

Now, one could argue that this vessel eerily resembles a Russian spy-ship lurking off our southern shores at dusk on our country’s own birthday, while the G19’s distractedly snubbed Trump at break time on the Continent… ORRRR…, it could be an out-of-focus, auto-flash shot of the famous Falcon Fireworks boat crew preparing for the Annual Sea Pines, 4th of July Blitz showcase over the 18th fairway in HarbourTown, last week.  On which of these aforementioned scenarios would you place your bets?

See? This is good stuff my friends, and only the very discerning of you will appreciate how hard I worked keeping it together for your reading pleasure, not unlike British agent, Christopher Steele, with his, y’know, alleged,’ dossier, that Buzzfeed published online a while back.  Do you all understand how hard we independent movers and shakers work to remain both marginalized, AND disenfranchised at the same time? It is not easy going rogue; just ask Sarah Pahlin, who had to learn that you can’t just blather the word, ‘rogue’ interchangeably with, ‘maverick,’ over, and over just because you learned what they both meant a week before press time.  Hunh.  Now, look where she is.

Just kidding (not really. I’ll leave that one up to reader’s discretion).

And, speaking of readers and their discretionary habits, according to my ex-editor at the local daily newspaper, there weren’t enough of them – them, being readers who liked my articles that is, I’m speaking now to, you guys clicking around my fledgling column, Only on Hilton Head, to make it worthwhile for The Island Packet to include my uniquely islander’s insights, on the weekends any longer, and sadly for me, I won’t get to continue interrupting your Sunday mornings with embarrassing, ‘remember back-in-the-day moments’.

Apparently,  my, “numbers weren’t adding up,” according to the Bionic Man, before he fired me.  Darn it.  Now, which of you, Hilton Headers, forgot to turn in your Hilton-Head-Blog-Angel-end-of-term quiz?  Hmm?  See, this is why, forgotten Sea Pines Academy alumni scribes like me, get whisked into dustbins; because islanders forget to click the blue Likey button, or comment, SHARE, or for God’s sake YOU’RE NOT STILL READING THE PRINTED NEWSPAPER DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR, ARE YOU?

Carmen DeCecco in B&W

Seriously? You were reading me while sitting on the john in your slippers, yukking it up, Sunday mornings?  That doesn’t count as ‘Liking’ me at the Packet.  that’s merely ‘anecdotal evidence’ (I know it sounds evidentiary of something else, but that’s what they told me.)

Don’t you understand? They can’t count your smiles, and chuckles, when rationalizing firing a feel-good, columnist, whose fluff-piece gets cornered into the back pages next to ‘Pets of the Week’ (seriously, that’s where I was Sunday morning, July 9, in the Lowcountry Life section of The Island Packet, 6C, right next to a labrador named River, at Rogue Rescue & Sanctuary,) if you’re just reading a printed paper you bought at the 7/11..’sniff‘…I’m fine, thanks for asking,… just need a moment…

Anyhooo, and be. That. As. It. May.  My hope is to resume blogging again more regularly, in case you’re wondering, or maybe you don’t care… whatever.  I’m in a snit. (sigh)

Transitioning to BlogAngel ArtWorks

You may enjoy the following photos I took during last week’s stellar fireworks display at the 18th fairway in HarbourTown – none of which made it to the newspaper’s online website because, apparently, I suck.  But, the lovely Berrigan family was nice enough to invite me to join them, so a good evening was had by all.  And if you stick around, you’ll see some more of my fun artwork from that night…

4th of July Fireworks HarbourTown, 2017

Now, here’s one of those lucky shots. Eric Horan, and Tom Kemeny, will both be proud (I hope), I was able to pull this one off by total accident. And I didn’t have to use any of the dials on my Photos software settings at all, since I really don’t know how to use them, at all, really.

All I know is that, having made no plans last week for the 4th of July, 2017, I mosied down the 17th fairway from Bob and Susan’s house (that’s on the 11th tee, for those of you new to this blog), and it was another banner evening of Americana red, white, and blue, like the big Boeing fly-by on Easter Sunday a couple months ago, during the RBC Heritage Golf Classic presented by Boeing.

 

 

Fireworks above the 18th at HarbourTown

All right now, question for Eric Horan: Is this a flock of seagulls, captured flying across a blue, sunny sky? Or, did I have my digital wheel-thingy set at the portrait/night-time no-flash, slow-shutter setting when the first couple of fireworks popped off like right inside my eardrum?

And again I infuriate myself; by showing up with bells and whistles I don’t know how to use properly.  Like, I used to always show up places with a tri-pod that didn’t want to attach itself to the exceptionally priced – yet, aptly named – Rebel T3i EOS, but instead, would lollygag its neck around, and around, while I attempted to click the camera securely into place on the neck of said, Mr. Tripod, who’s neck would tip-tap about, like a fancy little two-stepper, as I kept trying to click the… REBEL..T3i.into.place while the fashion show would be moving ahead without my stylistic videography no matter what…! Noooo….

telescope and tripod on card table

Currently, Sir LollyGagagalot (back center, in black, wearing the turtle necklace) stands guard in Blog Angel’s Carolina Room, with other semi-retired Sentinels, like Colonel’s Big & Little Red, the beginner telescopes, waiting patiently to teach Mrs. Blog Angel how to read the universe.

So now, Sir Lollygagalot, does not accompany me so often, rather he remains in time-out in the Carolina room, thinking about how he has frustrated his kind, and patient, scrivener maiden.

And no, I do not mind standing still when I need to shoot video, and my upper arm starts to burn holy Moses, because that’s why we do fifteen-twenty minute planks nowadays, right?  And isn’t that what the corner of a bar is for anyway? A place for Captain Can’t-do Canon to rest and record activity without moving, while Princess Blog Angel sips a Perrier with lime?  (Just nod and keep your eyes moving along.) Any device that argues with my ego for more than sixteen hours, receives an appropriate insulting name, and is relegated to the corner of my Carolina room, until… whenever my mood changes.  Just ask the two Colonels Big & Little Red, and Zeus Buddha, the non-zense stone waterfall that corroded my double AA batteries.

So, yes, I have gotten used to those looks from IT professionals and other such trained engineers who groan when people like me walk into their shops with a couple of new words in their vocabulary, but that’s about it.

Fireworks reworked.

Yes, these were fireworks over the 18th at HarbourTown on July 4th, 2017! I worked very hard on this piece, so I’ll thank you all for NOT laughing.

I am also someone who – when mistakenly taking pictures in the night light setting, with the shutter stop at the wrong speed, jamming up, and the focus going in and out, and finally the darn thing pops a flash, with the resulting photo containing comet-like zig-zags – will allow people to think that I did it ON PURPOSE, as an effort of artistic expression, because I am known to appreciate, and dabble in, the creative arts, myself.

To wit;

HarbourTown Lighthouse 4th of July, 2017

True or False: Snazzy light rods w/ nuanced time aperture? Or, HarbourTown Lighthouse at dusk using wrong shutter feature?

Just ask my mother about the shadow boxes I make for her, or ask Johnny D, about my creative dvd’s, and singing-grams. 

So, I leave you all with one more bit of art work, which happened to be the first inspiration, when Tom Berrigan & Co. caught me staring up at the night sky last week, through Captain Canon Rebel T3i, just before the crowd went wild on the 18th fairway watching a Russian spyship shoot off some fireworks in honor of our 4th of July in HarbourTown.

I call this one, Moon over America the Free!  And no, this was not photo-shopped in any way.  It was a gimme, my retirement present on America’s birthday.

Moon over the 17th Fairway of HarbourTown

Nearing a full moon over the 17th fairway on the way to the 18th tee. A perfect orb looking down on American families gearing up for our nation’s annual candelabra to light up the night’s sky.

And as always, thank you for reading all the way down to this point.

Hilton Head Lighthouse Barbershoppers

barbershop-chorus

Bill Andrus conducts the Hilton Head Lighthouse Chorus, December 2 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bluffton, SC (HHIBarbershoppers.org)

[The following unedited article is the PG-13 version of Sunday’s Island Packet, ‘Only on Hilton Head’, found in the Features section on page, C9, behind the half-page ad for activating your online digital Packet.]

If it weren’t for barbershop quartets, I probably wouldn’t know the second or third verses of most popular songs.  That’s because not only to barbershop singers know how to harmonize like nobody’s business, they also ANNUNCIATE clearly each word, so that we’re not all bellowing perfectly, “GLOR…OORR…oorr…oorr…or…RIA, in excelsis Deo!” and then mumbling into, “Shemp and Moe…m-hm…Curly… Why mhm…Gus trains…beer bong…” trailing on similarly for two more excruciating lines until we all belt out, “GLOR…OORR…OORR…oorr…or…RIA,” like we really mean it, darn it.  Alleluja, Angels We Have Heard on High.  Ta-da!

As one might guess, we paid close attention to the lyrics during the Holiday Serenade at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Malphrus Road, in Bluffton, Friday, December 2.  It helped that the programs they handed out included lyrics to all the carols so we could sing along (no fudging it that night with the Stooges, no siree). And might I say, what a lovely treat to hear Christmas carols sung in perfect and whimsical harmony by our own Hilton Head Island Lighthouse Chorus (www.hhibarbershoppers.org), a chapter within the Carolinas District of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

My neighbor Dennis Miller, sings bass in his own quartet within the Hilton Head chapter, and is busy making the rounds of assisted living facilities, offices, and churches this time of year.  Anyone who hasn’t booked a barbershop serenade, or attended a concert of barbershop chorus singers, is missing out on a very special, sometimes forgotten art in American vocal music history.

Barbershop singing began in the early 1800’s in American towns, before there was easy access to any kind of public entertainment.  Men would gather around barbershops – literally, it was a hangout back then – and sing harmony to amuse themselves and impress the ladies.  The art of harmonizing has tentacles reaching out to urban areas where city dwellers gathered to make music without instruments.  Remember the vocals of the Drifters, Temptations, the Four Seasons, and so on, all have their roots in the barbershop style of harmonizing.

And while they entertained themselves, America most certainly benefited from a whole industry and genre of inspiring sounds that permeate churches, holidays, and Americana. And speaking of holidays, if you miss out on a Christmas serenade, the next big one is definitely Valentine’s Day.

“Every year, we are booked all day long on Valentine’s Day.  We charge a small fee for two songs, a rose, and a card, delivered to your sweetheart’s door.  And the songs are as hokie as you could possibly want.  ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart’ is always one of them,” said Dennis.  This last is a song I can only hear in my head off-key, in Alfalfa’s trembling, cracking voice singing to Darla with bubbles flying out of his mouth, so maybe Johnny D will surprise me with a little hokie barbershop serenade this year, and I’ll finally hear how ‘Sweetheart’ is supposed to be sung.

(You definitely have to watch this, okay? Now, you will totally appreciate the harmonious, harmonizing of the Hilton Head Barbershoppers)

Barbershop choruses donate portions of their proceeds to benefit area music non-profits, like high school programs that need rebuilding. Currently, much of the Lighthouse Chorus proceeds are going towards rebuilding their own membership.  Sadly, the area chapter of harmonizers has dwindled from about forty singers ten years ago, to sixteen or so, presently, as interest in the genre has waned.  Participating in competitions is also part of the annual schedule of events for members, an added perk of traveling that they enjoy.

The Hilton Head chapter encourages anyone interested in participating or listening to them rehearse or simply learning more about how to become a chorus singer (you only need to love to sing, the program says), to attend any of their weekly rehearsals on Tuesday night at 7 pm at the Cypress Clubhouse in Hilton Head Plantation, 20 Ladyslipper Lane, 29926.  You can call for more information, (843) 290-9517 or email, contactus@hhibarbershoppers.org.

Gratitude Blog From Hilton Head Blog Angel

Jewelry display at festival

Hilton Head Blog Angel Jewelry Booth at the Italian Heritage Festival at Honey Horn

This past weekend couldn’t have been better, even if we had scripted the event.  Which actually, we did.  Or rather, Paul Caimano, Committee Chairman of the Sixth Annual Italian Heritage Festival at Honey Horn, and his friends at the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head (IACHH) did. (Script the event, that is).

Three people at Italian Heritage Festival 2015

2015 Festival Goers Fan their Beers.

And that’s probably the reason everything at the Italian Heritage Festival at Honey Horn came off without a hitch or a glitch.  That, and the God-wink bestowed upon us, when San Gennaro instructed the heavens to shine sunny and warm all day long on Hilton Head, while his blood liquefied over in Naples, Italy, in front of the astonished, and awed, Catholic congregants.

And now that the Pope is visiting the United States this week, I thought it appropriate to share this great video I snagged off YouTube, of the March 21, 2015 blood miracle that occurred; a phenomenon that was visited by Pope Francis in Naples, just this past spring.  This is the same blood miracle that we celebrate in the United States every year, only it is the September 19th, scheduled, liquefaction that is fêted.  You see, we are fortunate that San Gennaro’s blood liquefaction is a frequent event – AND annual – so that nobody ever misses a moment to party down Vatican style.

Now according to the video, the March melting was just a partial miracle, as you will note, and Pope Francis – the good sport that he is – did not take it personally, but rather joked, that San Gennaro was probably none to happy with the state of the world, as it is.  Ergo, the blood only melts a little, and looks like pudding.  I guess we’ve got some work to do here on earth, to get his blood liquefying, and roiling the way it’s supposed to.  Way to go, World.

George Paletta at Festival 2015

IACHH Vice-President, The George, Happy that the Sun Shined Brightly on Saturday.

I’m just glad that San Gennaro saw fit to bestow a happy, sunny day on us, this past Saturday on Hilton Head, because lots of fun and entertainment was consumed by the Italian-American plebeians, of the New World.  And Yours Truly, reaped some of the spoils, thankfully, due to arduous planting of marketing seeds prior to this auspicious annual Hilton Head event.

San Gennaro Statue

San Gennaro Statue at Las Vegas Feast, sports paper bills for a tie (big surprise).

That is why I am thanking Islanders and visitors from near and far, who trod courageously through the fairgrounds Saturday, fending off pesky fan-wavers, and smoldering scents of pizza and grilled sweet Italian sausage wafting through the air, to brave the crush of local business vendors selling everything from hand-made ceramics, to raffle tickets, wine, and jewelry.

All, to the rousing musical entertainment of Larry Tanelli and his wife, Claudette, whose showstoppers included, “Fly Me to the Moon,” “That’s Amore!” and of course, the ever-popular (and my personal favorite), “Has Anyone Seen Il Presidente, Johnny D?  The Port-o-johns Are Running Low On Toilet Paper!”  That one, as always, drew a standing O.  Interestingly, the ubiquitous Johnny D, was suddenly scarce during that little ditty.

I also want to thank the IACHH Board, Club members, Festival volunteers, and especially the USCB students who assisted the set-up of my booth, and the ROTC who directed traffic and parking.  It would have been a rather amusing, end-of-day activity driving out of Honey Horn without the supervision of these patient, courteous guides, for many festival-goers (and ragged vendors, like me).  As it was, I felt cared for, and looked after by my young attendants.  Great job everyone.

Pink Beaded Necklace

Multiple Shades of Pink Beaded Strands Accent Any Beachy Outfit.

For those of you who couldn’t attend this gala event, and are devastated that you missed the grand opening of Hilton Head Blog Angel Jewelry, fret not.  I have here, the hyperlink needed to go directly to the website (Jewelry Gifts For Less), and choose a lovely, colorful, necklace to wear to almost any festivity that lies ahead in your future. And for those of you who read all the way down to this point, you will know that there is a contest with a free jewelry gift as reward, to the first patient reader/generous customer that sends me a link to any news media reporting on whether or not the blood liquefaction miracle occurred fully this past Saturday in Naples.

I could not find any, and I’m concerned since the last one didn’t, you know, totally liquefy.  I’d like to know if San Gennaro is getting over his Agida with this world full of wanderers from the flock.

In closing, I leave you with a full-blown, ten-minute documentary, explaining the blood miracle (for those of you obsessive, curious geeks, like me) of San Gennaro, that draws an explicit history of this Christian martyr’s journey from teenaged, medieval, Italian priest, to principle patron saint of Naples, seventeen hundred and fifteen years after his death.  Behold.

Hilton Head Art, ‘Life is a Carnival’, by Nancy Mitchell

Fire-Eating sculpture, Mr. Inferno

Fire-Eater, “Mr. Inferno,” sculpture hangs on wall.

Want to see what happens if you pursue your heart’s desire?  Check out Nancy Mitchell’s most recent handmade, hand painted sculptures at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’Walter Greer Gallery, sponsored by the Art League of Hilton Head.  Her show is inspired by the Savannah Carnival, put on annually by the Shriners.

Made from clay, wood, and painted with acrylics, each work is an exquisite, detailed creation, comprised of many meaningful levels, and signifiers.  One will observe something new on each viewing of the same piece, and feel the same childlike delight as though seeing it for the first time.

A surprising pleasure; some of the larger sculptures move with motorized parts for an enchanting display, such as the “Country Carousel,” and “Country Ferris Wheel,” (see close-ups below).

Pie-winner on ferris wheel

Blue-ribbon pie-winner rides the moving ferris wheel in “Country Ferris Wheel.”

Carousel sculpture

Detail of motorized, “Country Carousel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, each one tells its own story.

Sideshow Tent

Sideshow Sculpture, “Step Right Up.”

Guitar Girl from sideshow

Sideshow close-up of Guitar Girl.

Like the girl playing guitar in the sideshow sculpture (see close-up, left) inspired by Mitchell’s daughter, real-life musician, Hannah Wicklund, singer in the rock band, The Steppin Stones.  Or, the man selling cotton candy, in “Cotton Candyman,” (wall sculpture, below right), based on the Italian vendor who worked the cotton candy stall.

sculpture of cotton candy man

“Cotton Candyman,” wall sculpture.

"Tough Crowd," sculpture

“Tough Crowd,” offers the whimsical perspective of the festival crowd.

Unique angles, whimsical characters, and bright colors hold the gaze as all the details come into focus, as in the sculpture, “Tough Crowd” (below, left). This work provides a rarely explored glimpse of the carnival audience enjoying the show.  A true joy to behold.

Carnival man on stilts

“Things are Looking Up.”

Such it is also, for the tall man on stilts, making balloon animals for kids (right), in the cleverly titled, “Things are Looking Up”.

There are multi-textural, multi-layered works that tell several stories at once.  And you don’t have to be privy to all of them to appreciate the piece in its entirety.  “Rock and Roll Funhouse,” is one such sculpture (below).  To see what Mitchell has added to the guitar’s fingerboard and head stock, you’ll just have to check out the exhibit this month.  Believe me, nothing disappoints.

Guitar-shaped funhouse

“Rock and Roll Funhouse,” displays the artist’s incredible attention to detail.

Wicklund family

Nancy Mitchell flanked by husband, Matthew Wicklund (l) and daughter, Hannah Wicklund (r). Not pictured, son Luke Mitchell.

 

Mitchell will gift 5% of the proceeds of her sculpture sales to the Shriners Hospital fund, in honor of Mark Bradley, Jr., a childhood friend of Hannah’s, who played drums in her band when they were kids.  After being in a plane crash years ago, he sadly passed on in a Shriners Hospital burn unit, after being treated for three months.  The donation is also a nod to her uncle, who was a Shriner, and is in recognition of the Savannah Carnival, which the organization sponsored annually.

sculpture of kids eating

Playful, “Sweet and Salty” wall sculpture.

Nancy Mitchell’s, “Life is a Carnival,” show of original, hand made sculptures, presented by the Art League of Hilton Head, can be viewed in the Walter Greer Gallery at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina this month.  

An opening reception will be held, Thursday, April 9, from 5 to 7 pm.  Dates – April 7  through May 3, 2015.; Days and Times- 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday – Saturday; Location-  Mid-island, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC;  Contact-  (843)681-5060 for more info.    Cost- Featured art is for sale, event is free and open to the public.

Traffic? What Traffic?

Traffic Jam in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Reminding Us It Could Always Be Worse.

Okay, I am here to address an obvious issue that no one wants to talk about, but it’s important that we acknowledge it for the good of all our guests and residents so that we, known collectively as, LoversOfHiltonHeadIsland, can continue moving forward in a positive, happy, progress-oriented, development & tourism-friendly, direction with an ear towards the welfare and betterment of this precious coastal community.

No, I am not running for office.

Just thinking out loud about how to handle this wonderful problem of abundance, that is impeding everyone’s steps to realizing their joyous, family, fun, relaxing, vacation week, for which they have all worked so hard all year, and for which buoys up the entire state of South Carolina’s economy as well as the small businesses lining the highways up and down the eastern seaboard.

It is to our visitors’ advantage to take a vacation by enjoying the beaches, entertainment, watersports, tennis courts, golf courses, restaurants, boutiques, and marina sunrises/sunsets, and ocean breezes on the rooftops and sailboats under the palmetto fronds and stars, allelujah.

It is to the residents’ and business owners’ advantage that visitors can enjoy the aformentioned amenities so that they can stay afloat during the off-season (of which beautiful temperate months like October and April go by, without crowds, when you can run all day long on the beach with your dog off-leash, schedule tennis court & tee-times the same day you want to play, and walk into a restaurant without a reservation and not worry about getting soused at the bar beforehand because your group is the the last on a two-and-a-half-hour wait-list for a six-top at the Blue Marlin, and, oh by the way, “the kids want to sit outside to watch the boats docking”…), on this incredible, unsinkable, environmentally-sound, cruise liner, known as Hilton Head Island, if you will pardon the ongoing, nautical metaphor.

It need not be said that we all need each other and care for each other and want one another to have a great day plowing through whichever category of LoversOfHiltonHeadIsland, in which we may fall. So, in the spirit of lets-just-laugh-and-relax-at-the-island’s-growing-pains, remember that, before you get angry, and throw eye-daggers, and certain specific hand signals, or growl, snarl, and honk, the person who is slowing down, may just want to say, “Welcome to Hilton Head,” or, “How may I help you?” Or, they may be a local in need of roadside assistance, for example, as depicted here:

Hilton Head Wrack and Roll!

Seaweed, known as wrack.

Seaweed, known as wrack.

We are ever grateful that this island is home to so much carefully preserved and honored wildlife that we, the domesticated, evolved and reasoning creatures that we are, tend to step back on occasion screeching thusly…. “AAAGH!!! DID YOU SEE THE SIZE OF THAT SNAKE?”, forgetting for a moment that we have intruded upon their (their, being Nature that was here waayyyyyyyyy yonder before us), territory in recent years, which, if you measure in geologic time amounts to about the size of a quarter against the globe of 4.6 billion years, which is how long the earth has been in existence.  Apparently, they say we (we, as in humanoids) have been here only a short burp compared to the earth’s raging gastrointestinal offspring of dinasaurs, ice ages, and meteor she-bangs, and I believe them, (“Who?” You might ask is saying we are only a blip on the earth’s radar screen, if eons were measured as blips on radar screens, and I will answer, “people who have made it their business to research and dig in the dirt to prove and make us feel like we are an ego-driven, selfish race of species that will self-sabotage before any asteroid comes close to the widening hole in our ozone layer.”)

Neanderman seeking birdie

Neanderman seeking birdie

I mean really, we’ve got alligators (prehistoric), enormous, birds of prey that spread their wings and you think a seven-forty-seven is taking off from the lagoon at the 16th tee of the Sea Pines Club Course, some days. Turtles get bigger and bigger, and forget sea turtles… have you ever seen a loggerhead up close?  You’d think you maybe took a step back to the Pleistocene age sometimes when walking around our pristine and scenic sand dunes.

Which brings me to my point, believe it or not (I know you’re thinking, ‘is she ever going to get to the point, or what?’), which is that seaweed – also a prehistoric life form, but has not evolved much from then to now – a natural and necessary feature of our delicate ecosystem, sometimes crowds the beach after a super moon tidal party that does not involve us, except as spectators.  Having applied all my literary skills to describing this beautiful ocean algae that sustains invertebrates such as crabs and insects, as well as providing nesting for shorebirds, I shudder to call something so essential, accenting the beaches like eyebrows, gracing our shorelines, and harmless, as “wrack”, but there you have it.  That’s what it’s called. Wrack.

Having said all that above, I and my dog Sam, know the true purpose for wrack; Beach Beagle Back Scratcher!

A Rippin’, Zippin’ Fun Ride at Broad Creek Marina.

Zipping Along at 75 ft.

 

      At The Vacation Company, we’d heard about it, read about it, and talked about it for weeks, and finally, Johnny D and I experienced it.  And for those of you who have been living under a rock for the past six months, I am speaking of the ONE, the ONLY, Hilton Head Island ZIPLINE at Broad Creek Marina.  This is a blast for the whole family (please check website for age/weight limits), and takes the pressure off parents who feel they  have to know everything. 

      Staffed with professionals, you are pre-screened for alertness and physical ability (read; awake and sober, preferably at the same time), then fitted with straps, harness, buckles, clips, helmut, gloves, and counseled to thoroughly sort things out under your clothes, so that nothing vital gets pinched during your zip (and for those of you semantically challenged, from here on out, zip refers to the ride, not the mechanism holding your pants up). 

      Then, there’s ground school.  These guys don’t miss a trick, and our guy Tom, a certified, career, risk-taking climber (among other certifiable things), carefully prepared us for all eventualities, including getting knocked in the head by an asteroid and dangling unconscious from the end of our lanyard hooked to the cable.  This of course, being a worst-case scenario as Tom also used much humor to relax us each time he told us something very serious.  Like, “Pay attention on each landing because there are no hand rails, and if you fall backwards, you’ll bang your shins like there’s no tomorrow.  The good part, is that you’ll never forget that there are no handrails again, right?  Ha, ha, ha…”  Johnny D thought Tom was very funny.

Landing Between Zips

      I will say that by the time we went for our first zip, I felt very comfortable and safe.  All the guides are very experienced and take their responsibilities seriously. Each group runs with five to eight people accompanied by two guides; one who leads off, and one who brings up the rear.   The front guy takes the zip first so you can see how fun and easy it is, while the back-end guide gently prods each zipper up to the line, reminding her or him of how fun and easy it is.  “Put your right hand on the trolley first, then the left, and cross your legs,” said Ashley to six different people, times seven ziplines.  Hey.  I know it sounds simple, but you try to remember all three things at seventy feet up in the trees while college kids on the ground point and laugh at you.

      The cool part is that you don’t have to get it perfect the first time.  You have several zips that take you higher and higher into the trees, until you are on an eighty-foot tower looking out over Broad Creek.  It is a beautiful view and very rewarding.  And actually, by the time we got to that point, it was no longer work, but had become the enjoyable ride for which we had hoped.  Each zip is a little higher and longer and faster than the one before, easing you into the whole experience.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for something new and fun to do with the family.  Currently, the zipline course takes about two and a half hours from beginning to end, and costs $85/person; which isn’t a bad deal for half a day’s ride through the trees.  Call for reservations: 843-682-6000 or book online.

Zipline Hilton Head is located at 33 Broad Creek Marina Way, Hilton Head Island, SC  29926.

 

 

Harbour Lights – A Harbour Town Happy Holidays!

Harbour Town, Hilton Head, 
Annual Tree-lighing

What a pleasure it is to enjoy Harbour Town in the off-season, especially during the Christmas season off-season.  And while the lighting of the tree was the focal point, it certainly wasn’t the only attraction this past Friday night.

Harbour Town, Sea Pines,
Lighted Displays

Truly impressive were all the light displays dotting the Harbour Town campus around the tree and in front of the Crazy Crab.

Gregg Russell Entertains, 11/25/11

Even better?  Gregg Russell entertaining under the Liberty Oak again.  A Harbour Town Holiday kick-off couldn’t get any better.
And where can you get the best luxury vacation rentals marina side?  Call a Guardian Angel for more information, 800-845-7018, or view our selection online.

Why Risk-Free?

       Why do we offer risk-free vacations at The Vacation Companyevery September – October?  Here’s why: 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faDJzjbTfd4

    

 Only sunny days ahead (with a slight breeze on the weekend).  Why does Mother Nature smile on us every fall season?  Because trees remain standing taller than the buildings (by local ordinance) and bike riding is encouraged over burning fossil fuels (miles and miles of scenic, paved bike trails).

Give us a call, 800-845-7018, or check out our specials for some great fall deals.