FOLLY BEACH - Inspired by Jerry Garcia, the late guitarist and front man for the iconic hippie jam band the Grateful Dead, a Folly Beach city councilman has succeeded in having the first week of August dedicated to the ideals of the 1960s.
Eddie Ellis' resolution passed by the council Tuesday proclaims Aug. 1-7 Peace, Love and Kindness Week in the eclectic beach community that takes pride in its laid-back image.
In explaining his proposal, Ellis told his colleagues he'd been spending a lot of time listening to the music of the Dead and another '60s-era band, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Ellis said the '60s and '70s live on at Folly, where many residents still listen to the music of that era.
"Recognize the hippie folk," he said, adding, "I've been eating granola and more vegetables,"
The proclamation begins, "Whereas, the public of the City of Folly Beach is a diverse community, and whereas, despite differences, we make one big funky, Folly family." It concludes with, "Now, therefore, I Eddie Ellis by the powers vested in me as a City Council member of the City of Folly Beach, together with the mayor and City Council, hereby proclaim Aug. 1 through Aug. 7, as Peace, Love and Kindness Week and urge all citizens to be kind to one another."
It might not resonate like the preamble to the Constitution, but it suited some Folly Beach residents just fine.
Eric Swartz, a musician who moved to the island from Colorado, paused from a bike ride to discuss why the island is special to him. "Folly still does have its funkiness. Absolutely. And a lot of us want to keep it that way. There's really a lot more variety here. People move here because of that feel."
And being kind to one another suits him just fine.
"That's why we're here," he said.
Dan Festa was busy tending the cash register at Bert's Market where people lined up to buy food and beverages.
"It still has that peace, love and happiness vibe along with a sprinkle of eccentricity," he said. "I moved here three years ago, and I haven't left."
He liked Ellis' resolution. "I equate it to random acts of kindness," Festa said. "What goes around comes around."
But not everyone saw Folly that way.
Two council members - Pennell Clamp and Tom Scruggs - voted against the proclamation, which passed despite their objections in a 4-2 vote.
Clamp said that he is "absolutely not" against promoting peace, love and kindness, but declined to say why he voted no.
"I don't know that I want to make a comment," he said.
Scruggs did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.
Ellis had a highly publicized feud with Clamp, Scruggs and the rest of council last year. Several council members and former city officials drafted notarized affidavits describing problems with Ellis, and council stripped him of his post as mayor pro tempore. Ellis filed a civil suit in response, but a circuit judge denied his request for an injunction.
Ellis, a landscaper, said he will put up signs letting people know about Peace, Love and Kindness Week. He would like to have an event in the city park or at the beach celebrating the music of the Grateful Dead and Garcia, whose birthday was Aug. 1.
The week is not so much a party as a message, he said.
Councilman Eddie Ellis, inspired by Jerry Garcia’s music, persuaded his colleagues on the Folly Beach City Council to proclaim the first week of August Peace, Love and Kindness Week.×
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