By Judith Lawrenson
Photography by Bill Lawrenson
“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.
Raised in Connecticut, Pamela’s career in marketing and public relations was both fascinating and star studded. She worked with the likes of Princess Grace, Garrison Keillor and various Broadway stars. She founded her own company and had an A-list of clients, which included Time Warner, Viacom, ABC, ESPN, Hearst, Discovery and PBS.
When I asked her for a standout client she immediately mentioned Michael Palin, who is a favorite of mine. He used to be in the Monty Python Flying Circus years ago, but when Pamela worked with him he was doing his popular travel shows for PBS. She was able to accompany him on many of his journeys and said, “He truly taught me how to enjoy the art of travel.” I think he has done that for thousands of PBS viewers, as well.
Recently Pamela and Roger “retired” to Hilton Head Island. She says they wanted to be in closer touch with and expand their business at Up The Creek Pub and Grill and ZipLine Hilton Head Aerial Adventures. In other words, she now balances golf, speed walking, yoga, and Bridge with her duties as the primary marketing agent for the businesses.
As you would expect from someone so dynamic, her bucket list goes on and on—none of this little one item wish list for her. She really gets the concept of a goal-oriented bucket list and she has already started on it.
Pamela said, first of all, she wants more children. No, not personally, but what she means is that she wants more children in her life. She created a project called Miles of Smiles Day at a children’s medical center in Connecticut; since moving, she misses those smiles. As a new member of the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head Island, she can’t wait to mentor, help with reading and share her passion for golf with the students.
Her next bucket List item regards beauty. She said, “I inherited a terrace of beautiful flower boxes when I bought a Central Park South co-op in New York, so I matched what grew with a flower encyclopedia. I went so far as attaching a hose to my shower and threading it through the window to water. Here, I have surrounded our pool with colorful pots but I have not quite tackled the Lowcountry zone yet. I will though. I will always have the glory of gardens.” What a lovely and thoughtful bucket list wish.
Pamela also has a wide variety of secondary list items, which had my head spinning. She would like to again charter a boat and see exotic places, be on Dancing With The Stars and live to be 101, like her beloved father.
Many items have already been accomplished. She has skied out West, seen much of the world, danced the Salsa in Cuba, and is currently on her way to Wimbledon for a tennis extravaganza they purchased at the Boys and Girls Club charity auction in March.
There is a final item on the list that I would love to share. Pamela’s dear mother is 96 and she is currently under the care of hospice. Recently, Pamela found among her mother’s papers a diary she had written on a trip to Europe many years ago. As she read through it, she decided to return this time of joy as a gift to her mother. She took her out into a garden and began to read aloud to her from the book of her mother’s memories her very own words. Pamela knew from her smile and the few words she spoke that she was delighted. What is the bucket list item? It is to see her mother away in peace.
Having a list of your own is one thing, and I agree that this is one heck of a list, but just for good measure, Miss Pamela fulfilled a bucket list item for someone else. A couple of months ago I wrote about a woman named Honey Burt and going on a zipline was on her bucket list. Pamela called her and offered her a free experience at ZipLine Hilton Head Island, which she owns with her husband Roger. I guess Yogi Berra was right: “What goes around comes around!”
With a Bucket List like this, Pamela Freedman will have to live to 101…and I mean really live!