One of my favorite things about working in the National Parks is the variety of people I get to meet. When I work at the Visitors Center here at Fort Frederica, I tell people “Welcome!” and ask if they have been here before. If they answer no, I tell them how glad we are they have stopped by and ask them “Where are you from?” Here on St. Simons Island I get lots of responses, but many of the people are just like us. Avoiding the snowy north in the winter.
One day in the Visitors Center I made a list of the answers I got when I asked “where are you from?” Cleveland, Kansas City, Tampa, Atlanta, Massachusetts, the Finger Lakes, Minneapolis, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Switzerland, and Boston. This is just the people I had time to talk with a bit. Of course, if people say they are from Ohio, then we have to get more specific. Last week I met a couple who live in Dublin, Ohio and were down visiting their son who lives here in Brunswick, Georgia. They told me that I had to eat at a great new restaurant in Dublin next time I was in Ohio. The name of the restaurant: Sweet Carrot!
This season at Fort Frederica I had a fun encounter with an author. His name is Larry Ivers and we sell his book “British Drums on the Southern Frontier.” The book is Tom’s favorite reference book on the colonial military. When I asked the “where are you from” question, Larry told me he was from Iowa. This is before I knew who he was. He bought a copy of “British Drums” and, when I rang it up, I told him it was my husband’s favorite reference book. Then Larry introduced himself as the author of the book. He said we sold it cheaper than he could get it online and he needed a copy for a friend. Larry is from Iowa, but he spends the winters on St. Simons Island. Next year he will definitely be a featured speaker here.
Our only guests this year at Fort Frederica (besides my parents) was the Ross family. They stopped by on their way to Florida during Spring Break. I already knew the answer to the “where are you from” question with them. Susan Ross just got elected Judge of the Summit County Common Pleas Court! She will be sworn in on May 14 and we will get to see it. So it was nice Susan, Alex, and Kevin stopped by, even if we didn’t have much time to see them.
I love to ask people “where are you from” and hear the variety of responses. I even, occasionally, get someone who was raised on St. Simons Island and still lives here. Natives are few and far between! But you will find someone from the Midwest on every corner. At least until the snow melts.