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bobmastelerHow did a world-class jazz venue come to exist on Hilton Head Island?

It’s a fair question, until you actually get to spend five minutes with The Jazz Corner owner and founder Bob Masteller.

The love of sharing jazz as a fine art form has always been in Bob Masteller’s blood. He just got sidetracked with being a Hilton Head Island pioneer for a while.

Masteller and his wife Lois came to Hilton Head in 1973, as Bob was hired to serve as vice president under Charles Fraser in his Sea Pines Development Corporation. Masteller spent years working with Fraser to carve a resort destination out of a wildlife-fi lled forest on the water. So the visionary part of his resume was already full before he ever dreamed of launching a jazz club here.

South of the Mason- Dixon line, we aren’t known for our wines and there is a very good reason for that. We have a strong tradition of whiskeys and corn liquor in our fair South. But we do produce good quality wines from our thick-skinned native grape known as the Muscadine. When most people think of wines they think of California and thinskinned grapes similar to table varieties. No one thinks of the barely cultivated grape South Carolina is known for.

This ugly and perfectly round grape looks more like over-sized buckshot than a wine grape. Growing up here I called them “bullets” for this very reason. That old name has been around for quite some time in these parts, but today, there are wineries in our state producing top quality wines from these long ignored treasures.

Local volunteers are the superpowers behind Hilton Head Heroes, a nonprofit that gives families with critically ill children a week’s vacation from hospitals and heartbreak.

It’s no surprise caring about children is central to the lives of Gregg and Lindy Russell. For decades, Gregg has entertained families under the Liberty Oak in Harbour Town with his original songs.


Gregg and Lindy Russell are shown with the Tillotson Family earlier this year. The Tillotsons have twin girls, both with Down’s syndrome. Both are being treated for leukemia.

Photo by Rob KaufmanHilton Head Island company’s outdoor clothing made to last a lifetime

When Curtis Hart set out six years ago to make a duplicate of his beloved cotton canvas “duck” cloth field coat for himself, he had no idea that endeavor would blossom into an extensive line of outerwear that would sell in outfitter stores across the South.
Hart said a friend of his dad’s gave him the coat in 1964 and he wore it constantly until he could no longer get it clean and his wife, Mary, told him it was too disreputable to wear any more. He said the coat had been made in 1943 at the Dux Bak Co. in Ithaca, N.Y., which went out of business in 1948.

Josh Boyles loves fishing so much that he doesn’t always watch the clock when out on the water guiding customers to hot fishing holes aboard his 20-foot bay boat.
The owner of Southern Drawl Outfitters in Moss Creek Village, just across the bridge from Hilton Head Island, Boyles charges $100 an hour for a half-day trip from 8 a.m. to noon, which he said is the average rate almost nationwide for an inshore guide. That fee typically will be prorated down a little bit for longer outings, he added.

Since Andrew Carmines took over as general manager at Hilton Head Island seafood restaurant Hudson’s on the Docks, he’s been working on cutting out the middle man. He believes in purchasing his products directly from the source, giving the customer the freshest product available. 

BrewmastersAs the South embraces craft beer, these three pioneers are changing the way you chug.

Beer. The single greatest liquid known to man.

For too long, beer was just beer. It came out of a tap or in a can. It was roughly yellowish in color and somewhat grainy in flavor. Foamy and forgettable, it made you burp and made baseball almost watchable. Almost.

But then a few enterprising brewmasters came along, changed the game, and the craft beer boom changed the way we drink. Suddenly the pale tasteless bilge water we thought of as “beer” exploded into a mouth-watering variety of pale ales, stouts, bocks and Hefeweizens. From the stinging bitterness of an IPA to the mellow fullness of a rich stout, beer is now simply a catch-all term for a kaleidoscopic array of potent brews.

donkirkmanExecutive director of the Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation shares his plans

If it takes big bucks to generate big business, then Hilton Head is on the right track. Back in June, Hilton Head Town Council approved a hefty $450,000 budget for the Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corp.’s 2014-2015 fiscal year. A chunk of that went to hiring its new executive director, Don Kirkman, who started in August. We caught up with Kirkman to give us a glimpse of his plans for this coming year, and the potential he sees for economic growth on the island.

Peter Kristian came to Hilton Head Island 15 years ago for a job. Soon, the general manager of Hilton Head Plantation realized that beyond its natural beauty, the island was setting national trends in community development.


Now, he’s looking forward to showcasing that forward thinking to his fellow members of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), an international organization dedicated to building better communities.

The group will hold its annual Large Scale Managers Workshop with the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island serving as the home base for the sold-out conference from Sept. 17-20.