19 years ago as I was awaiting the completion of my new home in Bluffton, South Carolina, I
thought it would be a good idea to take a few trips to the Low Country in order to check up on
my new home being constructed, and get a head start on what to expect as a resident. I had
two little boys to consider, and I wanted to make sure uprooting them was as painless as
My first flight landed in Savannah, Georgia around 5PM. With no useable GPS yet in existence,
I took out my handy “Trip Tik” and got into my economy rental car for the 50 minute or so drive.
It was winter so by the time I got to the island, it was already dark and I was panicking. Was
there a power outage? Where were all the street lights, where were the billboards? How was I
ever going to find anything?
These are the questions I asked the service station employee, as I had pulled off of William
Hilton Parkway (the “Main Drag”) to somehow get my bearings. He just grinned and said
”Ma’m, you won’t find any street lights or neon signs here. Just take it slow, you’ll be ok”. To
which I gave him the deer-in-the-headlights look, blinking blankly. He patiently told me how
many blocks I need to go before making my right turn into the hotel parking area.
I thanked him, and as I was leaving he called after me, “Mr. Fraser always wanted to make sure
you could see the stars at night”. Mr. Fraser being Charles Fraser, the developer of this first
eco-planned destination resort back in the 1950’s. He wanted the perfect combination of luxury
and nature, and according most who visit, he succeeded. It did not take long for me to get my
bearings, and for all of us who call Hilton Head “Home”, we reap the benefits of his vision
today, still driving down William Hilton Parkway by starlight.