All that 86-year-old Dottie Lindsay has left of her Folly Beach home is a wooden whale cut-out that hangs outside the patio of her West Ashley home.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo leveled the beach house that she and her late husband, Reis Lindsay, owned for almost 15 years. She never had any photographs of the entire house until now.

“It was tragic ... there was nothing but poles left,” Lindsay said.

Goose Creek artist Ana Maria Blevins surprised Lindsay earlier this month with a painting of the house that she, too, had a special connection with. Her husband, Lyle Blevins, was a neighbor of the Lindsays for eight years as a child in Columbia. In 1982, when Lyle and Ana Maria married after graduating from Virginia Tech, they stayed at the Lindsays’ beach house for their honeymoon. The Lindsays moved to Charleston in 1966, and the Blevins moved to Goose Creek last year.

“It was beautiful. I thought it was elegant. We had no money. That was a year when a graduate with a master’s in engineering couldn’t get a job. It was the recession of 1982,” Blevins said.

Lindsay said she and her husband purchased the beach house on a whim in 1975. She said she and her sister decided on a Bicentennial theme, which Blevins said she remembered fondly. Everything in the house was red, white and blue.

“We accidentally bought that beach house. A couple had just put it on the market, and we bought it that day,” Lindsay said.

Thinking about the beach house brought up many memories for Lindsay. Her son, John, was a teenager at the time and Lindsay remembers entertaining him and all of his friends. They also had luaus, parties and her son’s wedding reception there. Her husband was in the Navy and was an avid fisherman and crabber.

“The beach house was special because everybody used it. ... I never swam, but would walk out on the beach and watch the birds fly by. It was really peaceful,” Lindsay said.

She stocked the refrigerator for everyone who stayed in the home.

She said after her husband died in 2009, she went through boxes of old photos and in December was able to give Blevins a few for her painting with pieces of the beach house in it, but she did not have any with the entire house.

Blevins said her mother recently passed away, so rekindling her friendship with Lindsay and showing her gratitude meant a lot to her.

“Your friends that are older — you treasure them more. I want her to know how much she means to me,” Blevins said.

Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or