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Summer is in full swing, and its sounds are in the air throughout the Golden Isles, emanating from devices everywhere. Roll down your windows – you’ll hear rap, rock ‘n’ roll, country, oldies, Motown and blues, just for starters. To that end, Cheri Leavy had conversations with some of our friends, and nabbed their summer playlists to share with our readers. One of the coolest things about this story is that by scanning the QR Code within our pages, you’ll be able to listen and download our collection of summer music, which is curated by name, and has an abundance of variety.

Here’s my playlist, for example. Every song makes me want to smile, dance, or both.

Dancin’ in the Moonlight – King Harvest

Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

Soulshine – Allman Brothers Band

Baby I Need Your Loving – The Four Tops

California Gurls – Katy Perry

Lovely Day – Bill Withers

Vacation – The Go-Gos

Dancing in the Streets – Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

Now that you have your playlists, turn to the Coastal Home feature and check out some of the cool pools Worthy Pools designed and Ben Galland photographed. This pictorial showcases a few of the limitless possibilities in pool design. Even if you’re not a swimmer, a beautiful pool provides a great focal point and has a way of being refreshing whether you’re in the water or not.

Literary columnist Cary Knapp brings our attention to the latest novel by Steven Rowley. In “The Guncle,” the plot revolves around the protagonist’s recently orphaned niece and nephew. This book, she says, tells the charming story of a “famous sitcom star who becomes the reluctant, eccentric guardian …”

Horticulture columnist Anne Ditmer gives us a playlist of sorts as well, although hers has a botanical theme. Anne has assembled a greatest hits list of summer flowers, billing them as her favorite “fabulous flowering annuals and perennials.” Her selections are guaranteed to provide riotous color on lawns and in container gardens.

Donte Habersham, owner of Mr. Shuck’s Seafood, in Brunswick, is the focus of our Local Q+A. Donte was a child when he realized his career path. He talks about his wife, their blended family of eight children and the best advice he ever received. In the Realtor Q+A, the spotlight is on Sarah Broyles, of Georgia Coast Realty. Sarah is married to Harry Broyles, a chiropractor, and the couple has a daughter and a Labrador retriever. Sarah talks about her real estate career, her favorite weekend activities and gives her “elevator pitch” to prospective residents.

In Shore Things, Cheri Leavy is keeping with this issue about all fun things with “Vacay Vibes.” Take a glance at her selections and plan on doing some recon this weekend with our local retailers.

Finally, in our Captured pages we visit several events. On page 14, there is a wrap-up of Independence Day activities as the Fourth of July weekend was spent at Sea Palms and on Sea Island. On page 13, we drop in on a very special benefit for Michael Hulett …

… which leads me to this. I was concerned, after the isolation during the pandemic, that somehow our collective empathy would be broken. I shouldn’t have worried. I have recently seen our community rise and unite around those who are hurting with a fierceness that’s palpable. First, we lost Jef Hildebrand, co-owner of Hildy’s Pizza, and in the running for No. 1 Led Zeppelin fan. Jef was also a son, brother, the love of Alison’s life, an entrepreneur and a good friend. To lose Jef so suddenly was tragic, but his celebration of life – filled with the people with whom he had formed friendships – was a testament to the effect he had on them.

Our friend Michael Hulett is currently facing a challenge after being recently diagnosed with cancer and undergoing surgery. His singing and saxophone playing, along with his friendly demeanor and bright smile, bring joy wherever he goes. At a recent benefit at Mary Ross Park, hundreds of friends and fans gathered. Musicians and bands lined up to honor Michael and help him clear this hurdle. Surrounded by a good medical team, and countless friends and family members, Michael is in the game to win it.

As always, it’s been a joy putting this latest issue of Coastal Illustrated together. Be safe out there, and enjoy the issue.