Saturday, November 29, 2014

John's Island Pig Roast

Today Tabitha and I drove out to John's Island to attend a pig roast hosted by author Josephine Humphrey's and her husband Tom.  During the drive along scenic River Road, which is canopied by rows of oaks draped with Spanish moss, we discussed how much we love the Charleston area.  I said that although I am not from the area originally I feel that Charleston is in my blood.  It's probably in my blood more than a lot of people who have families seven or eight generations deep in South Carolina.  So many people take their place of origin for granted and never get to know anything about it.  How can you not love and want to know everything about Charleston?  It's such a beautiful place.

I was looking forward to this BBQ because I knew a lot of the people there have roots so deep in the area and most of them share the same love I have for the Lowcountry.   It's always nice to be around people who understand that we live in a historic, magical place and are so willing to share and talk about what they know about the area and remember from their childhood.  I can't get enough of their stories about their families and growing up in this incredible city.

My friend Brandon arrived at the property on the river before we did and sent me a text saying "it's deep up in here".  I soon knew exactly what he meant.  The land is off the beaten path, down a dirt road, through some fields and around several turns.  When the directions say "follow road to end of pavement and proceed through brick pillars onto the dirt road ignoring the private property signs and go straight toward the dock" - you know you are going somewhere special.


When we arrived we parked under several massive, old and majestic oaks and could hear live music and people chatting.  We stopped at the food tables, which were filled with amazing dishes, to drop off what we brought.  Josephine said about 150 people RSVP'd and I didn't see anyone I knew right off so I sent Brandon a text to see where he was hanging out.  While I waited for him to respond we found our way to the beverages which were on the back porch of the small cottage by the river.  Tabitha grabbed a beer and I had a water.  A few minutes later I found Brandon and his mom sitting inside the screened-in porch of the cottage which was overlooking the marsh of the river.   They couldn't have picked a better spot to sit because of the amazing view.  We were later told that this cottage was the same one used in the movie based on Josephine's book "Rich in Love".  They had it dismantled and rebuilt on their property when filming was completed.  I need to watch the movie again - it's been years!

We sat on the porch for a few hours while people meandered in and out, most stopping to chat.  I saw quite a few people from the Daufuskie Island trip and made a mental note to find them on Facebook later.  I saw some old friends and met quite a few new, very interesting people as well.  It was nice to be able to introduce Tabitha as my wife to everyone, also.  That was an unexpected, really great feeling actually!  Some of the ladies from the Daufuskie trip stayed a bit for a chat and one of them had me laughing hard.  She was talking about being young and running around with her friends and going from plantation to plantation along the coast during the 1950's.  She said sometimes they were free to explore and sometimes they were welcomed by a caretaker with a shotgun.  I told her how amazing it must have been to be able to see all of those places that are no longer standing.  I can't even imagine..  Her stories were so interesting and at times quite hysterical.  I could have listened to her all day but sadly, the sun was starting to set and I noticed that the golden hour was upon us so we left the cottage to stroll the property and take some photos.  Unfortunately, all I had was my iPhone and not my Nikon!


After a short walk under the beautiful oaks we headed back to the party and a lot of the crowd had cleared out.  Brandon mentioned that he saw Nathalie Dupree earlier and I said that I wanted to meet her for the longest time.  She's a Lowcountry culinary legend!  I told Tabitha that I knew she and Josephine were friends and there was a possibility that she may be there.  Tabitha said that Nathalie spoke at her Johnson and Wales graduation.  I thought it was funny that one of the things she remembered from what Nathalie said was to never triple a recipe.  We looked over by the cottage and saw her standing among a few people.  We walked over in the general direction and thankfully Brandon's mom stopped her and broke the ice.  She was such a pleasant, charming lady!  She chatted with us for a bit and told us a few stories about the commencement speech she gave at Tabitha's graduation.  I introduced myself and said that I was so happy to meet her because she's the "Biscuit Queen"!  She is... honestly!!

It was about time to head home so we said our thank you's and goodbye's and headed out.  I was so thankful for Josephine's invitation to this annual event when I received it.  I have been struggling the past week or so with some crazy sinus infection or cold and was hoping I wouldn't have to cancel our plans to attend.  I can honestly say that I have never met a group of people that are so friendly and interesting!  This was such a nice ending to the first Thanksgiving Tabitha and I ever spent together!

My love!
 (photo courtesy of Joan Perry)

Me, Tabitha, Bitsy, Brandon, Sandra and Polly.
(photo courtesy of Brandon Coffey)