Saturday, April 24, 2010

Landfall on Toogoodoo

Docked on Toogoodoo Creek, SC
I began Jimmy Carter’s biography, “An Hour before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood,” as we left Georgia waters a few days ago, and I’ve been imagining his childhood way of life. I’ve become enamored with the names of several rivers and islands we’ve been on or near: Ogeechee, Coosaw, Sapelo, Ossabaw, and so on. Last night, I watched a PBS special on the Congaree, Santee, and Wateree. Lots of "ee" waterways!

But my all time favorite name is Toogoodoo Creek—an Indian name, but no one seems to know the meaning. It’s a long creek with plenty of water, halfway between Edisto and Charleston—and coincidentally the family home (for 4 generations) of Bill and Susan Stevens. Pete hadn’t seen his Clemson fraternity brother, Bill, for 40 years until we got together over dinner last October on our way south. That’s a cool story in itself if you want to read about it in an October 2009 posting. "I can see your anchor light" was the cover story a few months later in their SAE fraternity newsletter.

Lem's Bluff Plantation
But now we have “Toogoodoo Chapter Two,” after staying with Susan and Bill last night in their Lem’s Bluff Plantation home on Yong’s Island, SC. Pete had even had a fraternity party in this home 40 years ago! One of their sons was off working in the family’s towboat business, but younger son Robert met us in the whaler at the opening of the creek to lead us in. The cruising guide indicated plenty of water, but better safe, than sorry. We soon tied up to their brand new dock, and began the "nickel tour" of the grounds and house.

The last 18 hours recreated what I’ve been reading in Jimmy Carter’s book, especially sitting on their “poach” last night enjoying wine before the no-see-ums drove us inside for dinner.

Bill and Susan--and Captain Pete
The oldest portion of this historic home was built in 1842 and enlarged first by Steve’s parents in the 1960s and later by Susan and Bill. The painted tiles around one fireplace were painted by Bill’s grandmother many years ago, copied from a recently discovered children’s book of nursery rhymes.

We thoroughly enjoyed their “Southern hospitality” along with the unique setting and other “tenants” (2 donkeys, 2 horses, 2 dogs, and 1 cat). Following Susan around on her animal feeding duties was a hoot. She promised us a donkey’s loud braying at dawn, but they must have understood that company was around, or that it was Saturday and their breakfast would be delayed. I had also hoped for a ghost, but no go there either.

Susan and Bill couldn’t believe that Lem’s Bluff Plantation got its own paragraph in Claiborne Young’s Cruising Guide to Coastal SC and Georgia. She only knew that the home was built sometime in the 1840s but not the specific year! They got quite a kick out of learning this from a cruising guide.

Two Democrats discuss politics.

We are now heading to Charleston and a slip at  Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Patriot's Point. We'll meet up with Jim and Susan Brinkley tomorrow (after a round of golf if it's not raining), accept another night of Southern hospitality at their lovely home, and drive to Columbia on Monday to see Pete's parents for a quick visit. At this rate, we'll never get back to Williamsburg, but we're sure having a lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, we're finally in the same place and STILL missing each other. We're on C dock and will probably stay on the boat tonight, so if you're around, stop over. Or call my cell 609-457-2517. And bring one of your boat cards...I never got one!