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OPINION PAGE - JULY 7, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

Column
Sherry Lewis
The Banks County News- July 7, 1999

A history lesson
on family vacation
I have always been a history buff and became quite intrigued with the "low country" when I read a book by the same title by Anne Rivers Siddons.
The author's note at the beginning of the book said that she created a fictitious island on which the book is based, but the Gullah people that she talked about in her book were for real. Rivers' book told of the plight of the Gullahs to keep their territory safe from a major land development, and that is what got my attention on a recent trip to Hilton Head Island.
It was not the fact that I thought she based the book on that development but the fact that the Gullah culture has long been a part of that island and other sea islands along both Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.
While on the island, I learned a little bit of their history. The Gullahs and another similar group, the Geechees, came to the United States from the west coast of Africa as slaves. Due to their isolation from the mainland, these slaves were able to maintain much of their culture and the language from the homeland. The sea islands were actually given to the now freed slaves following the Civil War.
There is a month-long Gullah celebration on Hilton Head each February to recognize the legacy of the people. The island also offers Gullah tours on a continuing basis and there is a Gullah flea market where the people still sell their arts and crafts.
I know most people go to the island to visit the ocean, play golf or tennis and enjoy the scenery. The island is beautifully landscaped and many of the old trees were left during the development. So when you drive down W.M. Hilton Parkway, which could also be called "outlet heaven," there is a beautiful border of trees and other greenery between the road and the shops.
I also got a lesson in "low country cuisine." For instance, when I go to a restaurant, the side items are usually a baked potato and a salad. If you visit Hilton Head, you can bet on being served new potatoes and steamed vegetables. While their cuisine includes your basic fried, broiled or blackened seafood, you can expect to see " a creamy dill sauce" tagged onto many of the entrees. A staple item on most every menu is the She Crab soup and the Low Country Boil that comes in a metal pot with corn, new potatoes, smoked sausage and a heaping pile of boiled shrimp on top. I didn't try the soup but did find out that two major ingredients are crab meat and sherry.
When I go on vacation, I am usually happy as long as I have a beach and seafood. My lesson in the history and the culture of the low country were just an added attraction.
Sherry Lewis is news editor of The Banks County News.

Editorial
The Banks County News
July 7, 1999

Reports of home invasions distressing
It's distressing to see how common home invasions are becoming in our area. Two Banks County homeowners were recently victimized by burglars who broke into their home and terrorized them. Similar incidents are being reported in neighboring counties.
It's even sadder when most people can easily remember the days when it was not necessary to even lock your doors at night or when running to town for just a few minutes.
The woman victimized by the most recent home invasion took the action that most people would when they hear someone trying to get into their home. She grabbed the phone and tried to call 911. Unfortunately, the phone lines had apparently been cut and she was unable to make the call.
There is probably not a lot that could have been done to prevent this home invasion from happening. But there are things we can all do to be more careful. If you see a car in your neighborhood that appears suspicious, call authorities. If at all possible, without endangering yourself, get the tag number. It's also important to keep a phone near your bed at night. In this recent incident, the phone lines had been cut, but that is not always the case. If you have a cellular phone, it would also be a good idea to keep this near you at night.



Letter to Editor
The Banks County News
July 7, 1999

Thankful for men coming to Argentina
Dear Editor:
I grew up in Maysville and am now a missionary with the Southern Baptist Convention in Argentina. At the end of May, a group of four men from the Maysville Baptist Church came and spent several days with us. They prayed in several of the neighborhoods where we work, encouraged local pastors and visited children's ministries in our area. They also met the mayor of the town in which we live.
I just want to thank Maysville Baptist Church for sending Brian Stowe, Eddie Herring, Donnie Jacks and Mike Jackson to help us that week. Their kindness and enthusiasm in reaching out to others built good will in the community. May God bless everyone in Jackson and Banks counties.
Thank you,
Randy and Kathy Jackson
Argentina


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