Today as I write this hurricane Matthew is headed toward the United States. Please include the people of Haiti in your prayers as that country was devastated by this hurricane. Also pray that our country including my sister in Wilmington will miss a direct hit from this powerful storm.
I think today is an appropriate day to share a post about our visit to Beaufort, South Carolina as we headed for Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in September. Beaufort is only a few miles from Hilton Head Island and I really became more familiar with it when I read Pat Conroy’s cookbook. He wrote about how you must visit the Shrimp Shack that was near his home in Beaufort. We decided to visit Beaufort and have lunch at the Shrimp Shack. Sadly another reason I wanted to visit Beaufort was to visit the gravesite of Pat Conroy as he passed away in the Spring.
We arrived at the Shrimp Shack and Mr. D looked at me suspiciously and asked what I was going to have. I have never really liked Shrimp and have eaten it occasionally. I told him I was having a Shrimp burger because Pat Conroy said I would have never lived if I did not eat Mattie’s Shrimp burger. It was such a historic event, Mr. D thought it was necessary to take my picture.
Was it good? Yes it was. It was almost as if they had taken tiny popcorn shrimp and made a patty out of them and rolled the patty in a crisp corn meal/flour combination. Of course, it was fried. There was a sauce on the burger that seemed to be made of mayonaise and other spices but was very mild in flavor. Did I like it? Yes, it was very good and Mr. D agreed that it was very tasty. As I could see the shrimp boats from the front porch of the Shrimp Shack, I am positive that was fresh shrimp. I have learned that what I really disliked in the past was seafood that was not fresh. I don’t have the same passion for the Shrimp Shack that Pat Conroy wrote about in his cookbook but I would visit again and recommend that you visit the Shrimp Shack if you are in the area.
Our next venture was to find the grave site of Pat Conroy. I had googled the location before I left home and we had an address. We knew that he was buried in a Gullah cemetery in Beaufort. Gullah people were black people settling in the low country when they came over from Africa and I assumed it would be a little difficult to find. With our GPS we knew we were on the right road but only saw one cemetery and it did not have a name or any identification on it. We pulled into the cemetery and saw that it was maintained by the Brick Baptist Church and I had read that the church maintained the cemetery where Pat Conroy was laid to rest. I saw a newer looking monument and it was his tombstone and grave site.
It was such a beautiful peaceful place. The only thing you could hear was the birds chirping and the swish of the trees in the breeze. What a beautiful resting place and it truly told me that Pat Conroy loved the low country and wanted to have his final rest in a quiet out of the way location.
Even though I was familiar with him and knew he wrote many novels including The Prince Of Tides, I had never read one of Pat Conroy’s novels. As news was received in the Spring of his passing, Mr. D read one of his novels, South of Broad, and told me I would like it. I did read that novel and it was so different and written so eloquently. I could relate to the characters because it was set in a place, Charleston, that I am familiar with and during the time I grew up. I do look forward to reading one of his novels again in the future.
When we arrived at the cemetery there was a couple getting into their car and they were from out of state. I recognized them and realized they had eaten lunch at the Shrimp Shack while we were there. I guess I wasn’t the only one fulfilling one of the things they had on their bucket list that day.
I understand why Pat Conroy loved this beautiful place and I pray Matthew will be kind to our coast. Thanks for stopping by.