Grounded in Success
A Radiant Nature
KeCia Jordan and Leveta Smith grew up in two very different worlds. KeCia shared Jersey City, N.J. with nearly a quarter million souls, while Leveta was raised with 12 siblings in the tiny town of Louisburg, N.C., population 3,300.
Yet, today they are equals, both wearing the insignia of the Marine Corps’ top enlisted rank—sergeant major. KeCia is Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, assisting the commanding officer with enlisted operations supporting all units on base. Leveta is the sergeant major for Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, responsible for the well being of about 600 Marines, filling support roles ranging from administrative support to military police.
From Her Cabin in Montana
Ellen Malphrus knows how to disconnect. Our telephone interview required an email, voicemail, text and several days of spotty phone calls before we could arrange a window of time when Ellen could come back down the mountain to the small town, where there is cell phone reception and Internet connection. This summer she is living in her one room cabin in Big Sky Country. The cabin has no electricity or running water. There is a generator for the well; a horse trough for the water she uses to bathe and wash her hair. At night, candles and stars provide the light against the dark.
Mother-Daughter Wisdom and Fortitude
Meet two vibrant and engaging women who are masterful at connecting with people and dancing with life. They are both adventurers at heart and have had incredible opportunities to make friends from all over the world and travel to exotic destinations.
A Bucket List Adventure
Kelli Bright is very well named. She shines through the clouds like a beam of brilliant sunshine!
Have you ever met someone who made you feel confused, grateful, ecstatic and hopeful all at the same time? Well, I did, and it was a first-time experience for me in the 10 years I have been writing for Pink. I had the wonderful and blessed privilege of making the acquaintance of Kelli. Now 21, she was injured in a single-car accident at the age of 16, which left her paralyzed from the chest down. Yes, this amazing woman is wheelchair bound. However, she makes that term seem silly because she is “bound” by nothing!
Homegrown and Local
For most people in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area the Lowcountry is a place to be discovered and returned to…sometimes permanently. It is not generally a place of origins or deep roots. To meet a “native” is rare; like unearthing an exotic being whose life has been the inhalation and exhalation of the sounds, smells and rhythms of this layered land of sea, river, marsh and tide. Robin All grew up on the May River in Bluffton, SC. She left after high school searching for things the Lowcountry isn’t. But she came home. This is where she will raise her family.
“So, here is a question for you. What is the opposite of retirement? The answer? Pamela Freedman!”
I started my interview with Pamela Freedman by asking how and when she and her husband, Roger, came to Hilton Head Island. Boy, did I get an answer. As with many of us, they had been here off and on before making the final move to retire, but in this case, retirement has a whole new meaning.
Pamela Martin Ovens has an idea. Then again, if Pamela is conscious and upright, chances are, there are ideas floating around her head that likely will get out. The topic is misconceptions that tourists have about Hilton Head Island and the surrounding area.
The River is Everywhere
Carolyn Bremer ushers me inside the house on Myrtle Island that she and her late husband built for their family of seven over 30 years ago. We walk through the entry hall and formal living room, to the den whose large picture window frames the May River flowing swiftly past the front yard. Beyond the wooden boat dock is a sandbar and in the distance the edge of Bluffton. This lived-in family room is thick with memories and family artifacts—the repository of a full and well-lived life.
Head held high, she beamed at her great Uncle, James Sammy Gray. The former Commodore proudly presented his grand niece with the honored jacket. “It was a bitter-sweet, poignant moment, and one I’ll always remember,” declared Brandy Gray, the fourth female in 59 years to become Commodore for the historic 2014 Beaufort Water Festival, running July18-27. “My Uncle was the eldest living Commodore at the time, and sadly, he passed away that November.”
First Woman to Command Parris Island
Growing up in Baltimore as the daughter of a steel worker and the youngest of five girls, Lori Reynolds admits she had no idea where life was taking her—definitely not towards the Marine Corps.
A Running Legacy
Disciplined. Fit. Focused. These are the words that come to mind when one converses with Kate Brobson. At only 28, Kate has established herself as a fit athlete and a dedicated lawyer. One may say that “lawyer DNA” runs through her veins, as both Kate’s father and grandfather practice law. Currently, she works as a criminal defense lawyer in Beaufort.
A beach girl from New York, young woman with a heart for the elderly and a beauty who is nothing but humble? Meet Renee Smith. Contradictions make a lovely package. And, she has a bucket list that will surely touch your heart.
It’s only fitting that Terri Reiff manages a fitness center called Powerhouse Gym Family Facility, because among the best words to describe her, “powerhouse” is perfect. Her energy level is off the charts, her dedication to health and fitness is enviable and her devotion to her job is of the highest standard.
From Helplessness to Hopeful
It has been said that strength is the product of struggle, and often it’s our deepest pain that empowers us to grow and find our highest self. When tragedy enters our lives, each of us must find our own ways to cope.
Journey Back to Joy
Five years ago, Elisabeth Nantz sat by the living room window, sipping coffee, staring out at her son Regan’s memorial garden. Cuddling his beloved beagle, Petey, she made a decision: through the rubble of immobilizing grief, she would blaze a path back to joy.
“The big thing is, you can move on from a terrible tragedy, and you have to really be scanning for what will help you do that. You have to find what you love and go out there and give it to yourself,” Elisabeth said.
One Miracle at a Time
Flipping her arm gracefully over her head, she assumed a perfect New York, New York stance! Beneath pixie bangs, her twinkling eyes were filled with mischief. Caroline Campbell is on a mission!
Finding Good in Something Grim
Karen Matthews and Joanna Yarborough make a striking pair of women, even when Joanna is not wearing her elaborate pink wig. Their bigger than life faces can be seen together on both sides of the pink truck that makes pick-ups for the Cancer Awareness Foundation/Off Island Thrift Store throughout Hilton Head, Bluffton and Hardeeville.
Cindy Woods, Ross Vezin and Peggy Medaglia
Cushioned by soft green grass, gazing up at the dimming sky, I watched and waited. There it was! "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. Wish I may, wish I might! Have this wish I wish tonight!"
Through stars, birthday candles, dandelions, Santa, and wishbones, we express our earnest desires, wishing they come true. Since its inception in1980, Make A Wish America has touched the lives of thousands of ill children by miraculously fulfilling their wishes.
A Princess Warrior
We all have a story. Oddly enough, only a handful of people in this world know all the details that make up the colorful reality of our lives. I often wonder, as I brush shoulders with the woman next to me at the deli counter, what is happening in the hearts of strangers that I bump into all day long. I'll think to myself, "Is this woman, who also has a liking for peppered turkey, a woman of great wisdom?
What's in a Name?
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." This is the question asked by Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (II,ii,1-2.) But for Kathy Deringer, legally changing her family name-Deringer was a random name she found in a phone book-was her declaration that she was no longer the child of brutally abusive parents.
A Mother's Gift
At around midnight on a mid-April evening, a young mother/business woman coddled her three-week-old son close to her. Sometimes he nursed, but mostly he lay uncomfortably in her arms. By daybreak, Jane Jude knew something was not right with her second child. Moms and experts know very well about "mother's instinct." It is a well-documented phenomenon where a mom can either sense, or know, when something is amiss with her child, even when no one else can.
A Divinely Directed Career
Imagine your marriage gone sour. Condescending remarks make you begin to feel like a worthless human being. Add to that physical abuse-often begging medical treatment-but you don't dare go because the police will get involved, and your husband has threatened you with your life if you "tell." You are trying to hold it all together for the sake of your children and looking good to your community. You have tried to leave before, but the stalking and harassment threats are so scary.
The Beautiful Blondes of Beaufort
Full of Surprises
Labels 101: Get What You Pay For
Mothers & Daughters In Business
The Best Kind of Friend