The premise that Hilton Head Island may have something to learn from Charleston may initially seem outlandish.

Although Charleston and Hilton Head have fascinating histories dating back to the mid-1600s, Charleston has been a major seaport and trading center for hundreds of years. With the exception of its brief occupation by 50,000 Union troops, sympathizers and freed slaves during the Civil War, Hilton Head was an agrarian island used primarily for hunting, fishing and limited farming until the 1950s.

In 1956, when the Richardson family opened the Red & White, the first grocery store on Hilton Head Island, a good day’s take was about $5.

A loaf of bread was 12 cents; coffee was 37 cents a pounds, a T-bone steak was 59 cents a pound and a giant box of Tide was 67 cents, according to “The Hidden History of Hilton Head” by Alice E. Sink.


There are some things Maria Velez de Berliner can’t tell you about her life — classified information she’s been privy to as part of her role with the U.S. Department of Defense and Homeland Security, and through her teaching on strategic and tactical intelligence with the U.S. Air Force’s Special Operations division.

Recently, we have all been reading about redevelopment plans for Hilton Head Island and that has spawned many topics of conversation on the cocktail circuit.

The debate rages over traffic coming on and off the island, traffic on the south end of Hilton Head between Sea Pines Circle and Coligny Park, not to mention the development of the University of South Carolina Beaufort campus on Office Park Road. Now add the most recent suggestion that the town construct an arts campus costing as much as $65 million. This is a mix that even boggles the mind of the most creative among us.


When she was just a young woman attending boarding school outside of Paris, Beverly O’Connor’s headmaster imparted to her father what turned out to be a pretty on-the-nose prediction.

Daufuskie Island, population 436, is perhaps best known as the backdrop for Pat Conroy’s 1972 book “The Water is Wide.” The book recounts Conroy’s experiences teaching on the island in the 1960s. Isolated yet beautiful, Daufuskie has had a tough time since the recession eight years ago.

How many of you have ever seen a digital ad while poking around the Internet?

Silly question, right?

If you haven’t, well, you need to stop carving your house out of ice blocks with a sharpened walrus tusk and go purchase some technology.

Over the past month I have become quite the road warrior, traveling between time zones and experiencing cultures and cuisines I would have never expected. One of my destinations was Havana, Cuba, where I had the opportunity to visit the University of Havana and meet with local economist, urban planners and educators. As I climbed on the plane to fly from Tampa to Havana, I had great expectations for what my journey had in store, but I couldn’t even imagine what I found. You see, Havana was frozen in time on Dec. 31, 1959, when Fidel Castro seized power in the Cuban Revolution.