12th Annual Celebration of Local Men
There’s something special about the relationship a man has with his chair. Curiously, we wanted to see some of the chairs our local Beaufort County men are attached to, and therefore, went looking for a few good men. We did a good job finding them, and not only did they have a favorite “chair,” creative as it may be, but a lot of heart as well!
Hometown: Parkersburg, WV
Career: Ordained as an American Baptist Minister 1962, Rochester NY
Married to: Janet Wilson since 1956
Family: Daughters Janen and Jody, both married with two children; son James, married
with one child.
My favorite motto or words to live by: In five words: “Do Good And Have Fun.” Hermann Hesse said: “I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.” (Siddhartha)
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about trying to live the words of Hermann Hesse and engage with others along the journey to enable each other to find that meaning and value in “whatever comes our way.”
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love? Spending eight hours hitchhiking from university to visit my girlfriend, now my wife Janet, to spend at best two hours together. Hitchhiking through mountainous West Virginia coal country was always an adventure, tedious and unpredictable. Well worth the troubles, as is all we do to give and receive love.
How has being a father inspired you? My children have been an inspiration to me as I have let myself learn from them. They constantly bring ideas, possibilities, and information that I do not have, or had not thought about. They have inspired me as I have watched their families develop and negotiate the rapidly changing world in which we live.
I admire people who: Value life and appreciate the worth of every individual. Those who stand against intolerance, bigotry, racism, and any “ism” which denigrates another person, race, culture or age.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: Being involved with others as they encounter the surprises of life. I rejoice with them when the surprise is one of the great joys of life: birth, marriages, life-changing improvement, whatever we can all celebrate. And to offer my presence when there are the difficulties to be faced.
What’s the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? Although it lasted only a very few—perhaps two—seconds, I still see it for its beauty and perhaps a metaphor for life. There is a phenomenon which occurs at sunset over the ocean called the Green Flash. My experience was near the Pacific Ocean. Just as the sun touches the ocean there is brilliant green flash caused by the weak refraction of the color hues.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die: I cannot say there is anything I HAVE to accomplish. My bucket list still has a few items on it. For example, a trip to Scotland—the land of my people long ago.
What you should know about my chair: My favorite chair is metaphorical. I have sat in it, and it has traveled with me from my earliest father experience. It is the chair, no matter the geographical location, when one or all three children and I are reading together—most often Peanuts, Winnie the Pooh, and Dr. Seuss. Additionally a different book du jour would be introduced by one member or another.
If my chair could say something about me, it would be: It would say “He has been the recipient of a life filled with unexpected blessings through family, friends, professional colleagues and those he may not have known but who have impacted his life.”
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Careers: Attorney, Member of SC House of Representatives
Married to: Rose (20 years)
Family: Reedy (17), William (15) and Eliza Rose (12)
My favorite motto or words to live by: Good government does not exist without true public service, and the former does not exist without the latter, and true public service does not exist apart from its distinguishing and necessary attributes of honor, integrity and discipline.
What are you passionate about? Ethics, transparency and protecting our natural assets. As Chairman of the Beaufort County Council for a decade, and during my tenure as a House Member, I have been committed to restoring the public’s trust in government, adhering to the highest level of ethics and transparency seeking to improve the process of lawmaking. As the first Chairman of the House Legislative Oversight Committee, I established a structure rooted in transparency, which seeks to improve the outcomes of state agencies by investigating how agency personnel interpret and implement the laws passed by the general assembly. Further, I believe that protecting our natural assets for future generations is essential. God has given us some of the most magnificent natural environs in the world right here in the Lowcountry, and we all must be vigilant to protect these gifts.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love? I convinced Sea Pines Security to open the Harbour Town Lighthouse to propose to my wife.
How has being a father inspired you? It is often said that days are long but the years are short. As my children get closer to the leaving the nest, I am ever more mindful of and inspired by the need each and every day to strive to make at least one small positive and productive impact in both my public and personal lives.
I admire people who: Believe that serving others in any capacity is an honor and privilege.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: Helping people and working to leave things better than we found them. I appreciate the opportunity to work to solve my clients’ legal issues, and to be able to give a voice in Columbia to the 38,000 people I represent in the Statehouse.
What’s the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? The birth of my children—the miracle of childbirth.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die: Watching the sunrise at the Grand Canyon.
What you should know about my chair: It is not my “chair.” It’s the people’s chair. I am fortunate to be a part of the process to make progress for a better SC, but I am only a temporary custodian of the chair.
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: Hopefully it would say: “Well done.”
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Career: Restaurateur (ELA’S on the Water, The Pearl Kitchen & Bar, Roadhouse)
Married to: Abbey
Family: My wife, Abbey, daughter Raegan (5), and son Maddox (21/2)
My favorite motto or words to live by: Quality over quantity.
What are you passionate about? Building something that will last when I am gone.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love? Got married and had kids. My wife told me to write that, ha!
How has your father influenced you? My father is the hardest worker I have ever met, and I hope someday my children will say the same thing about me.
I admire people who: Have a positive attitude and bring encouragement to others instead of negativity.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: I get the opportunity, every day, to make people happy.
What’s the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? My wife and children.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die: A positive and influential legacy.
What you should know about my chair: It was on sale, and the mechanism that makes it lean back broke a week after I purchased it.
If my chair could say something about me, it would be: “Please get off me!”
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Career: Broadcast Meteorologist
Family: Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, parents, siblings—the whole flock.
My favorite motto or words to live by: Something that my mom always said as I was growing up: “Live every day as if it’s your last.”
What are you passionate about? I truly love my job and have an affinity for talking about the weather. I’m lucky to call it my career.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love? Does that feeling you get during your first bite of fresh guacamole count as true love? In all honesty, I don’t have a tale to tell.
How has your father influenced you? I am lucky enough to have a father who was also passionate about his career. Just as passionate as he is about his family. It’s a blessing. Growing up with supportive parents who led by example has paved a life for me that I hope to pave for my own children one day.
I admire people who: Live humbly.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: The inherent uncertainty that each day brings, and having the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people.
What’s the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? A west Texas sunrise and a booming Gulf Coast thunderstorm are somewhere high on the list.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die? I wish I had some grandiose, specific bucket list. But I don’t. I know it sounds simple, but being absolutely content with all aspects of my life at the same time sounds great. That would be awesome.
What you should know about my chair: Its life probably began at some factory in the early 2000s. It was sold in some catalogue. Ordered by a business manager and placed somewhere in the news studio. It may have a story to tell, but it hasn‘t elaborated to me.
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: “Dude. Chill out.”
Hometown: Ridgeland, SC
Resides in: Hilton Head Island
Career: Caterer & Restaurateur
Married to: Becky
Family: Wife Becky, son Roy IV, and daughter Christa (Doug Socie)
My favorite motto or words to live by: Be yourself, enjoy life, and saltwater heals everything.
What are you passionate about: My personal bubble: family, close friends, and my island life.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love? That may be hard to narrow down and may require a special edition issue.
How has being a father inspired you? Fatherhood is the supreme obligation and inspires you in so many ways. I’ve always had an eclectic group of friends and associates in “high places and low places.” Growing up on Hilton Head Island helps give you a feeling of how life truly is. I’ve passed that on to my children and feel it helps them to deal with life in the real world. After all, life is what’s happening around you while you’re planning the future.
I admire people who: Mind their own business.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: Meeting new and different people and getting to know them while planning weddings and special events. Almost all are in great spirits planning the big day. It’s refreshing not to deal with the same annoying clientele day after day.
What’s the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? The Green Flash at sunset in Anguilla.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die: I have a list of things I’d like to do. But something I HAVE to accomplish, not really.
What you should know about my chair: This is a replacement chair for the old one that the salt air eroded, but it’s serving the purpose quite well. The chair is my place to relax, watch the tide roll in, and if I‘m lucky enough, to be able to watch it roll away. Sorry, Otis Redding.
If my chair could say something about me, it would be: “You ignore me way too much!”
Hometown: Washington, GA
Married to: Mary Helen Stokes
Family: Kimberly and Brian Odom, Angela and John Banks, and four grandchildren.
My favorite motto or words to live by: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
What are you passionate about? Encouraging young African American men to stay in school and have positive work ethics for them to succeed in life.
What is the craziest thing you’ve done for love? I once drove 100 miles per hour to go see my wife.
How has your father influenced you? My father was not formally educated, but he had many strengths. He was able to operate and repair any kind of heavy equipment, and he could play many musical instruments. He was also a mentor and role model in the church, as well as the community.
I admire people who: Who have overcome, in spite of racism. I remember how it felt when I got my first job after coming home from the hospital and being a veteran. After having my education and the job with the government, I was told the only thing a black man can do is clean the office and restroom. It was hard, but I made it work for over 33 years.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: Learning the basics of today’s technology.
What’s the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? My wife, my daughters, and my mother.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die: To see my grandchildren graduate from high school and college.
What you should know about my chair: My home was destroyed in 2016. While shopping for replacement furniture, my chair was purchased from an estate sale in Dahlonega, GA.
If my chair could say something about me what would it be? “Ed spends quality time with me every day. We watch television together every day. He is dependable. He provides. He is faithful and just. He is trustworthy. He is loving.”
Hometown: Normandy France
Career: Chef de cuisine / Pastry Chef Owner of Social Bakery
Family: 2 children , Elena & Julien
My favorite motto or words to live by: What goes around comes around! And currently: “Good morning Hilton Head Island! In case you were wondering… you are all at the right place!
What are you passionate about? Woodworking and motorcycles.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love? I stay sane on that subject.
How has your father influenced you? My father is a very strong man. He was a baker, and I was around this all of my childhood. I really had no choice but to learn from him everything he knew about this trade, although at the time I didn’t appreciate it as I do now. I would have rather played with my friends, but I had to help. It’s a good thing I did. I never thought I would one day have my own bakery. Now I understand my father was trying to make me a better person by teaching me to be a baker. I am inspired by his talent and I hope he is with mine. It’s because of him that I can do what I do, and it’s the best feeling to be able to pass along that knowledge and experience.
I admire people who: Achieve their goals and dreams. Those who hold strong their determination to build something from the ground up.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: Most of all to be creative and adventurous. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I know being different is always admired.
What’s the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? The love that a mother, or a parent has for their child.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die: To be a millionaire.
What you should know about my chair: It’s like something I continue to put together. One leg at a time, carved little by little. My life has changed, especially since moving to Hilton Head. I have a new vision and my chair has a new seat. I am working especially hard in this new chapter of my life so in the near future I can take the time to really enjoy this beautiful island with my wife.
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: “Behind every successful man, is a great woman. You are brave and adventurous. A true talker, not a preacher, self sufficient and attractively humorous.”
Hometown: Hilton Head Island, SC
Career: Bookkeeper at the Island Rec Center
My favorite motto or words to live by: If you are ever falling down, physically or spiritually, always find yourself getting up.
What are you passionate about: People and sharing love.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love? I once drove to Rock Hill, picked my girlfriend up at college, and drove back to HHI for the weekend. On Sunday, I drove her to Charleston to catch a bus back to school with her college friends, but they all missed the bus, so I had to drive them to Columbia to catch another bus and then drive home to HHI.
How has your father influenced you? My greatest influence was actually my grandfather. He inspired me because, although he was not able to read or write anything but his first and last name, he had a successful farming business on the island.
I admire people who: Care for people.
My favorite thing about my career/job is: Interacting with all kinds of different people.
What is the most beautiful/stunning thing you’ve ever seen? The mountains of West Virginia.
Something I HAVE to accomplish before I die: I already accomplished it;I took a mission trip out of the country.
What you should know about my chair: I’ve been in my chair for 22 years. It only accepts me and rejects all others.
If my chair could say something about me, it would be: “Send me Mr. Homies' butt!!!”