We received an extraordinary number of calls and emails in response to last week’s column. We were heartened by all your kind expressions of support for Mary’s dad, John Kinzer, who continues his rehabilitation under the care of the good folks at NHC. Our portion of adversity has had the salutary effect of bringing the family closer, with a greater appreciation of all the blessings we enjoy. Gratitude truly seems to be the key that unlocks family happiness.
My modest proposal to change the designation of the day following Thanksgiving from “Black Friday” to “Bluffton Friday” also stirred a bit of commentary as well. The consensus was that more often than not, holiday shopping has become a chore, rather than the preparation for a family celebration. The idea of removing the stress, and emphasizing the fun parts of the holiday, certainly picked up a ringing endorsement from our callers.
For whatever reason, the weekend following Thanksgiving was pleasantly busy in Old Town Bluffton. There were a goodly number of folks who all seemed to be having a great time as well as making purchases and enjoying our fine restaurants. The perfect weather seemed to be appropriate to the occasion. The art walk put on by the art gallery sub-group of the Merchant’s Society was well attended with more than a little local art changing hands. The “Buy Local” campaign is a pretty easy sell in our community.
In truth, there are a host of things about Bluffton that are somewhere between extraordinary and amazing. Our churches appear to compete to see who can have the most effective outreach. Bluffton Self Help is on course for record donations and distributions. When there is a need, Bluffton folks step up.
When the Bluffton/Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine needed funding, my friend Joanie Heyward stepped up with a fabulous party that did the trick. Joanie also is a new board member of the Technical College of the Lowcountry. When the various local boards and commissions have vacancies, Bluffton folks step up. When redistricting created a new seat for our region in the statehouse, my friend Weston Newton stepped up. He put together a very effective campaign and managed to defeat a very smart, qualified opponent in the primary, and ran unopposed in the general election. He will join the Beaufort/Jasper delegation for the next session.
Now, my friend Tabor Vaux has stepped up and announced for Weston’s old seat on County Council. Most of us only know Tabor as the well-mannered, attractive son of Mary and Roberts Vaux. In truth, he is a successful lawyer, freeholder and responsible married man, who just happened to have served for years as an assistant solicitor under Solicitor Duffy Stone. It’s difficult for many of us to reconcile the image of the kind young fellow who grew up in Bluffton, and the current reality that Tabor Vaux is a hardnosed former prosecutor who is in the vanguard of a new generation of Bluffton leadership. He has stepped up for one of the hardest, most crucial jobs around, a seat on Beaufort County Council.
My hat’s off to Tabor, to Joanie, to Weston and all those community-minded folks who give of themselves so we can continue to enjoy the benefits of living in this lovely part of the Lowcountry.
Finally, if you want a demonstration of what kind of community we are, turn up around eleven this Saturday for the outrageously entertaining Bluffton Christmas Parade. It speaks volumes about who we are and how we can have a ton of fun and still take care of business.