Florence Dowdy divider Birthplace | Kentucky divider Lives to be a | Wife, Nana, Gardener
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Q So your husband, Bill, is from Virginia. Where did you two meet?

A We met in Kentucky. I had just graduated from college. It was the first day of my first job, and it happened to be Valentine’s Day. I was introduced to Bill. We were both working at a state mental institution and a patient locked us in a warehouse.

Q Together?

A Together. And there were no cell phones back then. The patient thought he was doing us a favor by closing an open door. A month later we were engaged.

That was thirty-six years ago. From Kentucky we moved around with his career to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Chicago. We were in Chicago for twenty years. We never chose where we wanted to live until Kiawah!

Q Tell me about your first trip to Kiawah.

A We came to Kiawah in 1990, right after Hurricane Hugo, and we thought it was beautiful! Everyone kept saying, “Oh, you should have seen it before!” Our children were young, and we’d go to the beach and then we’d ride our bikes. We used to ride to the east end of the Island and collect sand dollars. We took them back wrapped in paper towels and packed in cereal boxes. I moved them back here the very same way.

We returned for a week every year, and in 1996 we decided to purchase a lot.

Q How many children do you have?

A We have two sons. They’re both married and have growing families. Carl and his wife, Dayna, live in Colorado with our granddaughter, and John and Sarah live in St. Louis with our grandson. They love it here as much as we do.

Q Tell me about life here.

A We are busy! I fill my days with golf, bridge, bicycling, gardening, and turtle patrol.

Q Seriously?

A Seriously. Isn’t that amazing? And I love every bit of it.

I want my golf game to be better. I started playing because I love to be outside. I enjoy the game and the people I play with…it’s just the quality of my game that needs a little work. And, of course, if the weather is shabby and you can’t play golf, you go in and play bridge!

Q Tell me about the Kiawah community.

A When we moved we didn’t know anyone here. As it turns out, the people are the icing on the cake. The people who I golf with, the garden club, turtle patrol, bridge players—everyone! The people are just fabulous. We came for the beauty, and we’ve stayed for the community.

Q Tell me about the turtles.

A I’m not an early bird, but the most beautiful time on the beach is sunrise. During nesting we ride in the truck from one end of the beach to the other and look for turtle tracks. During hatching we monitor zones of the beach and evaluate the nests. We have a record number this year, about four hundred nests!

Q What is a uniquely Kiawah experience?

A It’s always nature. One day we were golfing and the caddy commented that he had never seen any dolphins. We got to the putting green and heard this commotion, and there were dolphins stranding right there. So not only did he get to the see the dolphins, but he got to see them while they were stranding!

Q What is stranding?

A Dolphins capture their prey by flipping fish up onto the beach. It’s unique to the southeast coast.

Q Wow. What else have you seen?

A Each day it’s something new. Last week we were driving down Flyway Drive and saw a fawn nursing. I had never seen that before. The deer also love my garden…

The bobcats come and go. There was a bobcat following a deer through the garden…don’t know what came of that. We are very entertained by all the wildlife.

Q How often do you get into Charleston?

A We probably go every two weeks, mainly to have dinner. Sunday evening we drove in early, and it was such a beautiful night that we took a long walk after dinner. I love walking down Church Street. We both love Charleston. I think we’d go in more…but I’m so darn happy here!

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