Stories from Carolina Delta

Voices of the Santee Delta: Oral history interview with Pat Ferris
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Title:Voices of the Santee Delta: Oral history interview with Pat Ferris
Interviewer:Raynor, Robert, 1951- Interviewee:Ferris, Pat Date:2015-11-06


Description:Pat Ferris was born in Greenwood Lake, NY, and lived in Virginia and New York until age nine when he moved to South Carolina. His grandmother had a modern house on South Island with electricity supplied by a generator. The family also had the old plantation house on Cat Island. His grandfather was William G. Ramsey, who worked for the DuPont Company. He became a senior engineer at DuPont, and his stock holdings became very valuable for the family. He came to South Carolina because of the Dupont’s interest in turpentine, and became aware of the excellent hunting opportunities. Living on Cat Island and South Island in his youth, Ferris felt it was “heaven”. He had a little dinghy he rowed around on Winyah Bay, and hunted ducks with a shotgun given to him at age 10 by his grandmother. She also gave him the job of killing snakes and alligators: the latter damaged the dikes. He received a nickel for each kill. Ferris learned to sail on a summer vacation to Nantucket Island. He and his brother would go along with a harbor pilot who guided ships into Georgetown. They signed on as cabin boys on a round trip from Brooklyn, NY, to Georgetown, SC, on the lumber schooner Annie C. Ross. Ferris also described a voyage with his brother and a friend in their teenage years in a catboat from Greenport, Long Island to South Carolina. Ferris went to boarding school, and would spend summers on South Island. Ferris attended the University of North Carolina (UNC) when WWII broke out, and he entered the Coast Guard. He patrolled first St. Helena Sound, and then off Charleston in private yachts. He helped a one-armed man pull a seine net on the edge of Winyah Bay. He knew Tom Yawkey, owner of the Boston Red Sox, and owner of the majority of Cat, South, and North Islands. He went on hunts with him on those properties and elsewhere. Cat Island Plantation continued to actively cultivate rice until 1941. With the damming of the Santee River by Santee Cooper, the influx of saltwater did considerable damage to the dikes, and the family received a $6000 settlement. Ferris described years of hunting on Cat island: deer, ducks, and turkeys. He described how Tom Yawkey set up the Yawkey Wildlife Center. Ferris returned to recounting his Coast Guard service, describing his transfer to the South Pacific after going through training at the Loran School. He was at Guam when the war ended, and returned to the US on the aircraft carrier Belleau Wood. He finished by telling a story when he and his brother were “bad boys’ during their childhood on Cat Island.
Collection:Voices of the Santee Delta Oral History Project
Contributing Institution:South Carolina Historical Society
Media Type:Oral Histories
Geographic Subject:Santee River Delta (S.C.), Santee River Region (S.C.)–History, Santee River Region (S.C.)–Social life and customs
S.C. County:Charleston County (S.C.), Georgetown
County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:audio/mpeg
Digitization Specifications:Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
Copyright Status Statement:Copyright © South Carolina Historical Society.
Access Statement:All rights reserved.
Access Information:For more information contact the South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC.
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Musings on Artistic Fantasy

“Sunday morning coming down…”. We remember or have heard the line from that country song. I seem to hear it in the deep soulful voice of Johnnie Cash. I had my share of those dark empty awakenings. Enough to be thrilled and blessed with joy this Sunday to awaken to a world of freedom from self. In this world I have boundaries to express my greatest fantasies in writing and art.

Now to be sure, art is in the eye of the beholder and is intrinsically relative, but mine is definitely primitive, unpredictable. Art to me is fun and fantasy. A fellow blogger asked me recently what my favorite art “subject” is. Wow! I could not answer her. I suppose the closest I can come is “Fantasy”. Here I reluctantly and with fear and trembling, post a few of my pieces. “Sunday morning coming out…”. Feedback from any and all will be graciously accepted!    

 Cheers and Happy Sunday!  




Share Your World

woman and tornado

How old would I be if I didn’t know and could be any age I wanted to be?

I would be 55. A woman is coming into her own in her mid 50’s. She knows who she is and who she is never wants to be. She does however know who she can be. She no longer feels the need to impress anyone or please others, only God and herself. Her thinking and world view has been expanded from a vast variety of life experiences including career, raising children, running a household, learning to compromise in a partnership over the long haul and the juggling all this to keep her two or three enduring true friendships. She is a master CEO of nurture, mediation, counselling, management, spiritual formation in herself and her children and leadership. She has, at 55 a long life ahead, I call it “The second Inning” to go places beyond. Her first 55 years have been training. The second “Inning” will be the “Let’s go for it!” The world is her oyster.

If you HAD to change your name, what would it be?

When I was a little girl I never thought much about my name. I liked that there was a baby girl born to my great-grandmother whose name was Edith Myra, but she died as an infant. I was not comforted until I was taken to see her tiny grave. Later, in Jr. High and High School, I wanted a plain name like Jane or Susan. I have come to love my name, It is different-like I am. Myra. I have always loved the name Julia. It rings and shines like a brilliant stone. I admire Elizabeth I of England. I would change my name to Julia Elizabeth.

Where do I hide my junk when people come over?

This is a loaded question for me, as I have several types of junk: scattered pages of scribble, unfinished sketches, jars of pens, paint brushes, sketch pads and paintings; baskets of folded laundry; mail and “stuff” that accumulates on our dining room table and my husband’s shoes and hats! The laundry baskets go into my bedroom along with my husband’s shoes and hats. I scurry around and put all the art supplies away into my desk where it belongs. The mail and other “stuff” goes to my husband’s desk where it also belongs. Wow! It’s not that hard after all!

Bonus: What are you grateful for from last week and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My gratefulness is unbounded! Seriously, I cannot put my finger on one exact thing: for the unexplainable greatness of God and His abounding love for me; the vision He gives me for today and for the future; for His provision; for His compassion and forgiveness that I am so undeserving of; and for this opportunity to share it.

As for next week, I look with great expectation for an opportunity begin the “Second Inning”. I have a meeting today that will speak to that directly.