The Amazing Story of How One Idea Can Create a New Life Story

Dear Reader:

Another mid-winter retreat that stands out for me from the rest was the legend of the Pawleys Island Shell. I remember the year was 2017 and I did some research before we left looking for local historical places we had not gone to or stories we had not heard.

Suddenly the Legend of the Pawleys Island Shell came up and I started reading. Every year we go to the famous Hammocks Shops to hang out and usually pick up some sales items to bring home.

I had always seen Whitmire’s Fine Jewelry Shop but had never associated it with a legend about a Pawleys Island Shell before…I was intrigued.

I discovered that the story begins with John Whitmire leaving the Piedmont/Mountain regions of the state to move to the coast many years ago. He immediately began acquainting himself with his new surroundings by taking long walks on the beach and collecting a variety of shells. He was looking for something indigenous to the area, so as to make a beautiful piece of jewelry, something to connect with the magical island…an exquisite memento (he could design) for tourists.

cd2ed4b26b310597ac9f7f8b76c06304When he kept finding some particular shells that he could not identify…he began asking “home-grown” inhabitants of the Pawley’s Island area what they were. Most people shrugged and said, “Oh that is our Pawley’s Island shell.” He knew he had found what he was looking for.

He experimented until he had created the beautiful pieces one sees immediately upon entering Whitmire’s Fine Jewelry shop. Then he advertised his new addition to his jewelry collection and the rest is history.

I don’t know if the owner, John Whitmire, will be in this year or not…I usually miss him as he likes to ski with friends around this time of year but in 2018 he was in and we finally got to talk and had a wonderful time conversing.

I told him his middle name should be Rumpelstiltskin since he had learned how to turn Pawleys Island sea shells into gorgeous one-of- a- kind memories for tourists visiting the island.

So until tomorrow…No two retreats (among all ten) have been the same…it is what keeps the gatherings exciting…seeing and doing new things while enjoying the comforts of old friendships.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to The Amazing Story of How One Idea Can Create a New Life Story

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    If you get a chance go into the shop where they make the hammocks…hopefully the man I told you about will be there…a very nice black man who weaves a story as he weaves the hammock …


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