Single blonde girls in Georgetown SC

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My father and I had passed the last houses and were approaching the point where the dunes end at the southern inlet. I remember this particular time, five years ago now, because I had been thinking of someone I loved who had recently left me—left me in a way that was courteous and banal but no less painful for being so ordinary. I was so distressed that I had to confess my anguish to my father. I did so in the choked, throttled manner that is the only way I have ever been able to admit grief to anyone. I told him that it was hard for me to be back here without her.

I had written that I felt like I was resurrecting old ghosts. I remember that we came across a piece of wooden wreckage and wondered about its origins. My father said it seemed like we were due for one of those great hurricanes that periodically wipe the beach clean.

If a deadly storm was coming, local legend has it that we would be warned.

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The story goes that a ghost clad in gray stalks the beach in advance of every major hurricane, warning passersby. The history of this part of South Carolina is often told in reference to the great storms that reshaped the coastline and the lives of its inhabitants. Any local historian worth their salt can rattle off the dates of the major hurricanes:, As the most immediate forces remaking local history, these storms are second only to the great wars of each of the past three centuries: World Wars I and II, the Civil War, and the American Revolution.

Thinking this way, everything dissolves. If only that knowledge could keep me from grieving ordinary losses, from feeling ordinary pain. We were thinking of the realms of feeling and inner life that history cannot touch. We saw no Gray Man on the beach; we received no warning. We would be stuck with our ghosts until there came a storm strong enough to sweep our very bodies from the earth. It has long been claimed that the South Carolina coast is haunted. His lover, inconsolable, paced up and down the beach in anguish. She finally encountered her departed on a distant part of the shore, shrouded in mist.

Before his gray figure disappeared into the fog, he said only that she must flee the island.

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Unnerved, the woman ran back to tell her family of the encounter. Believing her to be hysterical, they soon left the island to take her to a doctor. While they were gone, a hurricane ravaged the coast, destroying every single home but theirs.

The Gray Man is far from the only thwarted lover who haunts Georgetown County. Bythe county was growing about half of all rice produced nationwide. But at sixteen, Alice fell in love with a logger.

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The two kept their courtship a secret, knowing it would never be approved. Before Alice was shipped off to a finishing school in Charleston, her lover gave her a wedding ring. Alice kept the ring on a chain around her neck, so it touched her heart beneath her clothing, out of sight.

She needed this symbol of their ultimate reunion to carry her through their time apart. This proved to be wishful thinking: In Charleston, Alice became ill with a high fever and delirium that kept her bedridden. School officials sent for her brother, a doctor, who arrived by carriage to return her to their plantation home. Alice by this point was so ill that she could no longer speak. Opening her palm and discovering the ring, he knew the truth instantly. Furious, he ripped the chain from her neck and threw it into the river.

Alice suddenly gasped for her final breaths, dying before they made it home. She was buried by her family in the nearby All Saints Cemetery. The legend holds that Alice can be seen under cover of darkness, stalking the area in search of her lost ring. When I was a kid, we would sometimes search for Alice at dusk. I remember my uncle rounding up me, my brother, and my cousins from the beach and piling us into the car for a trip to All Saints. We emerged from the car into perfect stillness and total darkness, with only a flashlight to illuminate the Spanish moss—adorned live oaks standing guard between irregular rows of centuries-old tombstones.

One of my braver cousins would oblige, initiating a solemn countdown. On the thirteenth turn, my uncle might cut the flashlight, and the exhilarated screams of children would puncture the summer night.

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We knew that Alice would come looking for something we could not offer. D espite the ruthless ambition that the planter elite used to discipline even their own daughters, the defeat of slavery was the defeat of their power. By the twentieth century, their lands fell into the hands of northern industrialists like Archer Huntington, who would convert them first into personal retreats and later into nature and cultural preserves and sites of mass tourism.

Thus, history has forgotten the names of most of the aristocrats who haunt the land along the Waccamaw. There is one exception: Theodosia Burr Alston lived on a Georgetown plantation for more than a decade before she boarded a schooner called The Patriot on the morning of December 31, His daughter, meanwhile, had suffered continuous illness and isolation, both physical and mental, after marrying a prominent heir to a rice fortune and moving to his plantation. Byshe felt that only a reunion with her father could save her.

She was not yet thirty years old when she departed from the Georgetown harbor with her maid, a physician, and a half dozen crew members. The boat and those it carried were never heard from again. Over the course of more than half a century, various pirates made deathbed confessions claiming that it was they who knew Theodosia in her final living moments. The only physical evidence of what might have happened to Theodosia was uncovered in Nags Head, North Carolina, in A vacationing doctor was called on to care for an aging widow in a cobweb-covered beachside shack.

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Her husband had been a scavenger who gathered shipwrecked items that washed onto shore. In lieu of payment, the widow offered the doctor one of those items: a portrait of a beautiful young woman that hung on her wall. Three hundred miles south, on the Georgetown harbor, Theodosia is also believed to periodically retrace her last steps on earth, replaying those final, decisive moments that separated her from her beloved father forever. That day on the beach, while I was thinking of someone I lost, my father was thinking of his late mother, my Grandma Jean.

She cast a long shadow over these family reunions. At seventeen she declared that she loved the South Carolina coast more than any other place in the world. She did, and we still do. More than a decade after her death, and shortly before that walk on the beach, my father and his brother told me a story I had never heard before. She fell in love with a young man there. Within nine months, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the young man was enlisted to become a pilot. Shortly after that, he was killed in a training accident.

My grandmother never spoke of any of this. Her sons pieced the story together from a box of mementos they found in the back of her closet after her death. The box also contained the uniform itself. There are additional photographs of the young man alone, blond and beaming, that he likely sent to Jean after he enlisted, including a photograph of him beside a Corsair fighter Single blonde girls in Georgetown SC. We know that Jean lost this man because, after the war, she married a different man, my grandfather. We know that losing this man meant something to her because she was extremely selective and deliberate when it came to holding on to keepsakes from the past.

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Everything else appeared in carefully curated scrapbooks depicting the course of her life as we knew it, and there were no other collections of photographs or any other items memorializing anyone outside of her family. It was unlike Grandma Jean to cling to past loves. When my father and his brother broke up with girlfriends, she always insisted that they destroy every memento they had from the romance in question, lest it poison their future relationships.

For both my father and uncle, the discovery cast their childhoods in a new light. For my uncle it explained a certain distance Jean maintained in all matters of love and affection, which he interpreted as a bitterness or reation that she had lost the only person she felt she could ever truly love. When he told his parents he wanted to become a pilot, my grandfather, who grew up poor and believed strongly in thrift, told him that when he had his own money he could learn how to fly. Single blonde girls in Georgetown SC Jean encouraged him, and within a week she began driving him to the airport to begin lessons.

She probably also paid for the lessons herself. Soon, she was doing so every week, and waiting patiently for each lesson to finish. My father sees this now as a tribute to the pilot she lost. W e the living are both subjects of history and its inheritors. From those fragments we can intuit both the structure of history and its failure to deliver those before us to peaceful waters, ports of call where they might have found safety, serenity, and resolution.

The ghosts of Georgetown seem to be of these imaginative acts, the most extreme of which is perhaps the legend of Alice. There is no doubt that a young woman named Alice Flagg lived from to Many of the other details of her story, however, do not stand up to close scrutiny.

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