Monday, December 6, 2010

Blufftonians help each other get by

Bluffton Today

While I’m continuing to craft our legislative agenda for the upcoming session, today’s is going to be a little different than my usual column. Every once in a while, we need to look around our community and recognize some of the things that make Bluffton special and especially endearing, as well as some of the good people who have recently joined us and are making a positive contribution. I also want to recognize a recently departed friend.

If you haven’t met Josh and Gabby at Cork’s Wine Bar in the Promenade, you should make an effort to stop by. The atmosphere is nice and the food and drink are exceptional. Josh and Gabby have also become involved members of the business community, hosting the most recent meeting of the Bluffton Old Town Merchant’s Society.

They have been instrumental in helping the May River Theater get past a small recession-related rough spot by hosting fundraisers and events for that iconic cultural institution. As you know, Bluffton folks like to have a good time while they take care of each other. Josh and Gabby and Cork’s have done more than their share to help that along.

For the Christmas season, the good folks at Cork’s are also organizing a coat drive for our neighbors who are not well equipped for the Bluffton winter. This recent cold snap should be a reminder that if you have a coat or two that you haven’t worn in a while, drop them by Cork’s. You might even want to consider purchasing and contributing a new coat. Someone would certainly appreciate it.

Mary and I are dedicated practitioners of the “Shop Local” ethos. In preparation for our holiday decoration, Mary went to the Garden Gate to purchase our tree and wreath from proprietor Margie Fox. Not only is the Garden Gate a beautiful shop, Margie is a local treasure. Aside from being a generous source of garden knowledge, she is also an enthusiastic promoter of Bluffton. Margie is also a dependable mainstay of the Bluffton Old Town Merchant’s Society and a shiny flowerpot full of positive energy. Go by her place on the east side of the Promenade; she will make your day.

I also had the honor and privilege of dedicating the bridge over Heyward Cove to my good friend, the late Councilman Tommy Heyward. I want to thank Joanie Heyward and the entire Heyward clan for not only sharing Tommy with us, but the dedication as well. We thank Father Owens for his good words, along with the many Blufftonians that came to remember our one-of-a-kind Tommy. It is appropriate that we dedicate a bridge to Tommy Heyward, as he was truly a bridge between the old Bluffton and the new Bluffton.

The community spirit of the bridge dedication carried over to the tree lightings at Town Hall, the Promenade and Buckwalter Place. These fine events were followed the next day by the latest, and arguably the best iteration of the Bluffton Christmas Parade. If there is one event that seems to capture the essence of our little town, it is the Christmas parade. From the old days of Mayor George Heyward (in Buzzard costume) riding atop the town garbage truck, to the ladies’ drill teams, to the precision of military bands — the parade seems to capture it all. This place will change you. Must be something in the water.

Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton, represents District 118 in the South Carolina House of Representatives. He can be reached through his Web site at www.herbkersman. com or by telephone at 757-7900.