One from the heart: Jane Tidwell

Through the Lens of a Cherokee Woman

Unique, special, talented, gifted, driven-all of these words can be used to describe Jane Tidwell. Talk about your one-of-a-kind characters who live around here, and I will tell you that Jane Tidwell totally fits the bill! When I met her for the first time, her unusual and classic features struck me. When I asked about her origins, she told me that she was full-blooded Cherokee Indian-a true Native American. As I talked to her further, I realized that perhaps this is what gave her a natural eye for the beauties of nature that are her photographic subjects. But there is much more to Jane. Read on to meet one of the Lowcountry's most fascinating residents.

Pink: You have been a local for many years. How do you like to spend your time around here?
Jane: Well, first off, my husband and I are the owners of Fuddrucker's Restaurant and I work there seven days a week. He and I often work together and other times trade shifts. I like the night shift, and my staff has been with me for as much as 14 years. We are quite a team. I obviously enjoy it, and if you look around on the walls you will see what else I enjoy. (As I looked around I saw the walls are covered with absolutely fabulous photographs of local scenes.)

Pink: Your nature photograph is unbelievable. How long
have you been doing this and what sort of training do you have?
Jane: No formal training, but over the last couple of years, I have found that I have a true passion for photography. I started travelling all over the Lowcountry taking pictures of breathtaking scenes and historic landmarks. I found it refreshing and very spiritually moving. My favorite photographs are, of course, from my favorite place-Daufuskie Island. As you see, I am able to have a mini-gallery here at Fuddrucker's. I have them on display here so both locals and tourists can enjoy the simplicity and beauty of the area all around them.

Pink: Tell us more about Fuddrucker's Restaurant.
Jane: This place is quite a commitment for us. It is important to us to have quality, and we love to see our regulars and meet people who keep coming back year after year. Everything we serve is fresh, never frozen, and we bake everything here, even the buns, of course. You could not put the world's greatest burger on the world's second greatest bun, now could you? Seriously though, you can see that we are totally committed to cleanliness, quality, and customer service.

Do you have much of a chance to take pictures with your work schedule?
Jane:  I make time. I take pictures every single day. People ask me how I unwind after such a demanding work schedule and I tell them that taking beautiful pictures is the most unwinding thing in the world. My special spot, as I said, is Daufuskie. I could go there everyday and never see the same thing in the same way. Seasons change, light changes, tides come and go, beaches, driftwood-it is never-ending and always a challenge to capture nature's beauty. My husband and I take our boat over there every opportunity we get. Our dream would be to buy some land and live over there permanently.

Pink: What are some of the other things that are important to you?
Jane: I have a deep and committed love for my family. My daughter and husband are my world, as well as my sister, who also lives here. She has twin girls that I often take care of and they are my joy. I am the closest thing to a grandma they have, and that is nothing but a pleasure for me. I also have a little puppy who is so sweet. I love to spend time with him.

Pink: I understand that you are also very community minded. As you know, to be in "One From The Heart" you must not only be interesting, but serve others in some way as well. What are some of the things you are passionate about?
Jane: I love to share my art. In the last year, I have given art to the Woman's Clinic, Lowcountry Legal Volunteers, Daufuskie Island Schools, the Animal Shelter, the Cancer Society, and the Boys and Girls Club. They're usually found in silent auctions, and sell very well from what I've been told. I like to think that whatever I do for one, someone else will do for another.

Pink: What a varied, different, and wonderful life you lead. Could you close with some words to live by that are meaningful to you?
Jane: "Never say no you can't, because whatever it is-you can!"