The 1970s were my teenage years, so as schools were dismissing for the summer just before Memorial Day, the one song that played in my head, on an almost continual loop, was Alice Cooper’s hit “School’s Out.” The rock anthem always experiences a little popularity bump this time of year. I was not quite 11 when the song was released, but still recall that feeling of camaraderie with Alice, who seemed to be celebrating right along with us. Whatever is on your playlist, my wish is for everyone to have a safe and happy summer that’s as carefree as possible. And congratulations to all the newly graduated!

As you’re packing up whatever travels and outdoor activities you’ve got planned for the summer, don’t forget to snag a copy of this issue of Coastal Illustrated. If you’re already away, get the latest at We promise to keep you entertained and informed, with the bonus of no sad stories (and goodness knows there are more than enough of those to go around) ever. Think of us as your year-round summer vacation.

For those of you staying here or visiting (welcome!), our Coastal Illustrated feature has the skinny on a few local places where people can enjoy a frosty beverage al fresco. That’s right – we’ve done an exposé on some of the best spots to enjoy cocktails and snacks outdoors. There are few better ways to enjoy an afternoon or evening (great date night idea) than to sip a cool drink, enjoy some live music and people-watching and nosh on a delicious snack.

Also in the Illustrated is a Local Q+A featuring Greer Anderson. Greer talks about her career path, how she likes to spend her downtime, and the importance of getting involved in the community where you live. Cary Knapp has a book review about a compelling new memoir, Travel Light, Move Fast,” by Alexandra Fuller. Fuller is a memoirist of great skill, and in this latest tome she tells the story of her father, who led the family through countless harrowing situations and, at the time of the book’s writing, lie dying in a hospital bed in Budapest, Hungary. Even with the dire circumstances, Fuller weaves a tale that is filled with humor and hope.

We also have our Events calendar and, finally, Cheri Leavy has curated the brightest, sunshiny-est Shore Things in “Lemon Zest,” a collection of clothes and table linens in lemon prints, lemon-scented candles and other fun items!

In Coastal Home, we travel to India and Bangladesh with Jennifer Lunsford, director of sales for Rahab’s Rope. We explore how to add a dash of Indian décor to your home with items from Rahab’s Rope, which has stores on St. Simons Island and in Gainesville. Rahab’s Rope was founded to help women and girls who were victims of sex-trafficking. We hope you’ll find this feature inspiring.

Real estate reporter Gordon Jackson talks with Lewis Glenn, of Sea Island Properties, and Joe Wills, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, about how to determine you’ve found the right real estate agent. And in Blooming Issues, horticulture columnist Anne Ditmer is facing a mystery. Her tomato plants keep disappearing with no explanation or explicit evidence. Perhaps we’ll get the “rest of the story” in a later issue.

I hope everyone had a relaxing and meaningful Memorial Day weekend filled with family and friends and remembrances of those who died in service to our country. I can honestly say I haven’t had a better weekend in more than two years. Among all the fun, the the cherry on top was the 100th birthday party for Peggy Starr. Miss Peggy, or Mummie, as her grandchildren call her, reigned over the gathering at Sea Palms, where all eight of her children and their spouses and as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who could make it, gathered to celebrate her remarkable life. Her radiant smile only grew more brilliant as friends and family paid homage to her. Disclaimer: I’m not related to this branch of the Starrs, but a friend of the family is the next best thing. They exemplify Southern hospitality in all the best possible ways. Happy birthday, Miss Peggy.

Enjoy the issue.