We’re out in the churchyard at the Church of the Cross in Bluffton on a BatesonFest. We used to only go on LawtonFests, because Sugar didn’t know any other Batesons. But since Julie in Belgium found an online family tree I posted, and she found a cousin’s wife in New Zealand who connected us to another cousin in South Africa, who connected us to her daughter and family in North Carolina and yet another cousin in Saskatchewan, he’s feeling not so lonely. It’s his Canadian cousins who have stopped for a visit and the subsequent BatesonFest.
There’s a sort of sundial in the yard, and we weren’t sure it it was still on Eastern Standard Time or Daylight Savings. Maybe you can tell.
There are some carvings around the base. We don’t know what they mean, but here they are.
We stand in the shadow of an ancient cedar tree. There aren’t many cedars to be found in this part of the country, and when you do find a cedar, it’s old.
The Maye Rivuh
Then we piled back in the van and drove around old Bluffton and Sugar showed us his boyhood haunts. We drove over the little causeway to Myrtle Island, and he told us how people would go crabbing there. We drove around Myrtle, a small residential island with beautiful homes and matching views in every direction. We drove past Sugar’s boyhood home, which was set away from the road and closer to the marsh and so overgrown that the actual hour could not be seen. We saw some of the other historic houses and properties, like the Heyward house, the John Lawton Property, and the Boy Scout hut where Sugar and his buddies met. He said his troop was unique, Bluffton-style, and it was a mixed bag of boys, with the younger ones on the roof throwing sticks, and the older ones smoking cigarettes. He had a friend from Hilton Head named Fred, and Fred’s father wanted his two boys in the scouts until he drove up one day with the boys in the car to join the scouts. He saw that rough-and-tumble group and just kept driving.
Then we did something I’ve always wanted to do.
We went through the boat landing. There is a nice portapotty there, which was not the reason we went.
Okay, it was the reason we went, but it was a perfect opportunity to walk down to where the boats put in on a point of land.
Across the way are other little islands.
We drove around a bit more as we wound our way to the British Open Pub for lunch. We thought it might be fun for the Bateson boys to eat in a British pub, since their families were born Brits. The meal was unremarkable and no photos are forthcoming.
But then, we head toward Hilton Head even though it is Saturday, which is changeover day for the tourist rentals and no one in their right mind gets on the one road in and out of Hilton Head unless it’s the offseason. Sometimes we are not in our right mind, but it’s offseason, and on we press to see the house and property where Sugar’s friend Fred grew up. It’s a museum now. With a gift shop. Which will have books!