I wish I could turn back time to the Folly Beach of my childhood. I was born and raised in Moncks Corner, but my family had a beach house at Folly. It was located at 507 West Arctic; at least it was West Arctic then. I understand all that has changed now. We had to sell our old house after Hugo, so I haven’t been back to visit Folly much. The few times that I have visited I’ve come to realize that the Folly I knew from the early ’50s to Hurricane Hugo is long gone. Oh, the place is still there but so much has changed that it’s hard to realize that it is the same place. The Folly I knew didn’t have million dollar homes lining the ocean front. Instead, you had simple yet comfortable beach cottages. Our cottage was so simple it didn’t even have hot water, nor did it have a telephone.
It may be difficult for some young people who are hooked on every electronic gadget imaginable to believe, but we didn’t need them. We would bring along an old black and white TV that had “rabbit ears,” but that was it as far as any contact with the outside world was concerned.
We only opened the cottage from early May to the last of September, and the summer was, as it always is, hotter than blazes. This meant a cold shower was always appreciated.
There was a long hallway down the middle of the house. At one end of the hallway was a long table with two long benches on each side and two chairs on each end. There the family would sit and have many wonderful meals, and I do mean wonderful. Somehow food always seems to taste better at the beach. If you have ever seen the Waltons on TV, you may have noticed the long table around which the family had their meals. That’s the kind of table I’m speaking of.
Not only did a lot of wonderful meals come off that old table, but a lot of good family conversations too. My sweet sister-in-law, Gay McCants, now has possession of that table and whenever I get a chance to visit her, just seeing that table brings back a lot of memories.
Folly was not the upscale modern beach that it is today. While the beachfront was lined with cottages, it still had the barrier island feel to it, and it didn’t take much to imagine Black- beard’s ship sailing up and down the horizon. In fact, I was convinced that he buried some of his treasure on Folly, and I spent many summer days as a child digging up Folly looking for it. Unfortunately, I never found it, so I still have to work for a living.
My favorite place in the old beach house was our screened-in front porch. There was a roll-a-way bed for just about everyone. Some had bedrooms to sleep in, but I loved sleeping on the porch. When the sun rose in the early morning it would shine in your eyes, waking you up to a gorgeous day. Indeed, it is a wonder to wake up to the sound of the ocean in your ears. It simply defies words.
If you went into the water early in the mornings you could get close to a school of dolphins swimming by. That, too, is an experience that challenges one’s vocabulary.
Many of you can identify with this because you have had the same experience. I’ve been as close as 10 feet to a dolphin, and that leaves you with a sense of awe for God’s creation.
After swimming all morning, we were ready for a shower and lunch. Lunch was generally a sandwich, chips and a Coke or Pepsi, and then there was a nice long nap.