If I were invited to Buckingham Palace for dinner, I suppose that it would be something I would enjoy, although I have never been that keen on Yorkshire pudding which likely would be on the menu.
I am fairly certain that there would not be any fried shrimp served by the queen and royal servants, which is a reminder that I never come here without scheduling an evening at the Frederica House where I always order fried shrimp. There are other menu choices, but the fried shrimp at the Frederica House is my favorite. The queen can have her Yorkshire pudding.
While I would appreciate the history of the experience and a brush with the artifacts and trappings of British history at Buckingham Palace, I wouldn't feel at home like I do in the rustic atmosphere of the Frederica House.
At the Frederica House, you might bump into Jimmy Orr, a one-time Georgia halfback and later all-pro receiver with the Baltimore Colts, or Jim Minter, former editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, or Bill Griffin, president of Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. The ambiance of the Frederica House is like that of the island -- it warms the heart and stimulates the spirit.
St. Simons seems to be getting crowded, even with bankruptcies proliferating. The overbuilding of condominiums has transformed the once sleepy little island into a kingdom of mid-rise structures with a tenement-style density. Still, it is a place that beckons those who enjoy laid-back living -- even if it is for a long weekend.
Take a walk on the beach. Have you ever met a beach you didn't like? Palm trees waving, sea gulls squawking and bikini's bulging, weather permitting.
St. Simons has history -- the Battle of Bloody Marsh's historical markers still worthy of review. The English in our early history were worried about the Spanish moving up from Florida and encroaching on colonial territory. When Oglethorpe brought all those debtors over to settle Savannah, it wasn't long before the crown realized that a man who won't pay his bills won't work. For sure, he won't fight. So the crown sent a few Scottish highlanders over to settle nearby Darien as a buffer between English Georgia and Spanish Florida.
When the battle took place, the Spanish outnumbered the English, but the underdogs won the battle. Historians may express it differently, but even the most cursory review reveals that after Bloody Marsh, it was confirmed that none of us would grow up speaking Spanish.
Down Frederica Road near the airport, there is something additional to remind you of the English. A roundabout keeps traffic flowing efficiently. I can't think of anything more practical than a roundabout.
You never tire of St. Simons and its stately moss-draped oaks. St. Simons brings you back again and again. St. Simons is never dull, never without allure. St. Simons doesn't have official colors, but if it did, it would be a red and black. University of Georgia aficionados are in abundance. Like Jimmy and Charlie Bankston, who lettered in swimming with the Bulldogs.
They revere their campus days and relish the opportunity to make the trek up Highway 15 to Athens in the fall for Bulldog home games. They have had the same seats in Sanford Stadium's north stands for 45 years. They can't wait to go to Athens.
I can't wait to go to St. Simons.
Loran Smith is affiliated with the University of Georgia and can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.