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Working to get this issue of Coastal Illustrated + Coastal Home to press has been an absolute joy. We all have our favorite things to write about two of mine are history and architecture, both of which are featured prominently throughout these pages.

First, some background. Both of my maternal grandparents were math teachers and in my grandfather's early years of teaching in Charleston, W.Va., Eugenia Price was one of his students. My grandmother was a fan of Ms. Price’s books and was still living in 1989 when John and I began dating. She was fascinated that he lived on St. Simons Island. It was during conversations about my trips that Grandma reiterated to me that Eugenia Price had been a student of my grandfather.

One summer day in 1994, I was visiting Beachview Books and so was Ms. Price. She was talking with Nancy Thomason, who introduced us. I mentioned that I was also from Charleston, and that we had an interesting connection, which I then explained. Ms. Price was incredibly gracious. She remembered my grandfather well, and said some very kind things about him. We then talked a bit about our mutual hometown. Although she and I had only brief encounters, I always felt a certain kinship with her.

In our Coastal Illustrated feature we retrace Eugenia Price's steps through her novels and visit the places she made world famous through her writing, including Fort Frederica, Cannon’s Point and other significant historical spots. Thanks to the Golden Isles Visitor’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for their Eugenia Price Itinerary, upon which the feature is based, and for the wonderful photos from their archives.

We visit The Dodge in the Coastal Home feature. This is the former home of Eugenia Price and her friend and companion, the late Joyce K. Blackburn, a well-known author in her own right. The home, completed in 1967 and currently owned by Cindy and Russell Jacobs, was designed to the two women’s exacting specifications. The Jacobs have renovated and updated the home, but have kept true to its original character. 

Our Local Q+A features yet another native West Virginian, Mindy Overly, owner of Meo’s Suite in the St. Simons Pier Village. We dish with Mindy about her store, which caters to a variety of styles and tastes, her family and what she likes to do in her spare time.

Rainbow Rocks is the topic of Cheri's Shore Things. Brightly colored clothing, accessories, beverages and food fill a page of pure joy and happiness.

Literary columnist Cary Knapp examines Kristin Hannah’s new novel, “The Four Winds,” which is reminiscent of John Steinbeck’s 1939 classic, “The Grapes of Wrath.” Unlike Steinbeck’s work, which tells the story of the attempt to organize migrant workers in California during the Depression, Hannah’s book tells the story from a female perspective.

Before you curl up with that book on one of our delightful muggy afternoons, you may want to peruse the latest dispatch from food and beverage columnist Jim Henderson. Because it's summer in the South, Jim has provided a plethora of “peachy-keen” refreshments just for you. And you might as well fix a tomato sandwich while you're at it. Anne Ditmer, our horticulture columnist, gives advice on getting them to grow in our sandy soil, which is no simple feat. However, if you follow Anne’s instructions to the letter, you’ll soon have a bountiful tomato harvest.

In our Realtor Q+A we meet Chandra Moran, a Realtor with Duckworth Properties and a teacher at Brunswick High School. Chandra tells us about her family and what she likes to do for fun. Finally, in our Affiliate Q+A, we meet real estate attorney Jimmy Bishop, who practices with his father, James A. Bishop Jr. at the Bishop Law Firm. Jimmy has two adult children, and in his free time enjoys being outdoors as much as possible. He also tells us why he enjoys the real estate aspect of law as much as he does.

This issue was so much fun to put together, and I would be remiss if I didn’t extend a personal thank you to Cindy Jacobs, who opened her fantastic home to us and tirelessly answered all of my questions about The Dodge and its former occupants. I encourage all of you to wander around St. Simons Island and see it through the eyes of Eugenia Price. Enjoy the issue.