Sullivan's Island


Sharing a name with the woman whose face launched a thousand ships, I decided it was high time we visited Troy on one of our picking extravaganzas.  Of course, I’m talking Troy, North Carolina and although I am a Helen I definitely wasn’t named after Helen of Troy. 

I was named after my aunt/godmother although I’m not sure I ever heard anyone call her by her given name.  Her Uncle Frank called her his “little buddy” because she would sit and listen to ballgames on the radio with him and thus, family and friends forever after called her Buddy. 

With two older brothers and four older sisters as well as cousins, I’m sure there was never a dull moment in the big house on the Island.  She was the inspiration for the school bus driver, Ms. Fanny, in Dorothea Benton Frank’s first bestseller, Sullivan’s Island. Yes, she really did have the bus riders saying their Hail Marys many a morning on the way to school.  So they can thank her for their Get Out Of Purgatory Early cards when they arrive. 

Because I just could not continue the exercise in futility that watering what is left of our lawn has become, we headed down the road bypassing Locust and Albemarle seeking the treasures of Troy.  Our GPS pleaded for our attention as we passed each of our usual stops assuming that the heat had further scrambled our already addled brains.  Lula Lancer knew better and continued strumming her ukulele and wiggling her hips as she enjoyed the pretty ride between Albemarle and Troy.

Front Porch Pickin’ Vintage Emporium was our first stop (it seems we do have a thing for front porches, doesn’t it) where we found Carol Sasser and Cathy Troublefield restocking their booth, A Look Back.  I did manage to get a picture of the booth before they began their Halloween transformation.  I understand it may be a bit frightful when they get finished. 

This duo specializes in “retro junk” and have had booths in other antique/vintage malls as well.  As Carol put it, there isn’t much storage space left at home and her kids have begged her not to leave her collections to them, so it’s time to part with some of her treasures and send them home with folks who really love them. 

The store just opened in April and while the front section is fairly full, they still have room for more vendors in what they call the “Back Porch.”  However, don’t let the name fool you, this back porch is  indoors, and even on a hot August day, it made for cool and comfortable picking.  Vendors stock a wide variety of goods from antique, vintage, retro and new treasures as well as one-of-a-kind creations by local crafters, artists and artisans. 

To keep stomach growling at a minimum, snacks and drinks can be purchased to stave off hunger pangs while you hunt for your must-have treasures.  The Great One had his eyes on a crate filled with Karen’s Fried Apple Pies.  Had it been later in the day, I’m sure he would have gotten one for the ride home. 

Following them on Facebook will keep you in the loop.  They post information about sales and future events such as their first ever Porch Fest on September 12 from 9-6. 

After leaving the Front Porch, we backtracked to Troy Antique Mall located downtown.  Walking in the front door, we were expecting a quaint little Main Street store front.  We were truly amazed by how large it really is.  Once inside, we found high-end antiques as well as more affordable vintage and retro items, jewelry, toys, books, china, etc.   While we didn’t find anything begging to go home with us on this visit, we’ll definitely swing by again the next time we’re in Troy.  Maybe something will grab us and not let go.




Have I ever mentioned how much of a morning person I’m not?  These days as I fumble around the kitchen in search of my morning mug of coffee, this little blue face greets me with his perpetual smile.  Now, how can I possibly not return his smile?  When I first saw him at Katydid Antiques, I didn't really know what he was, all I knew was that he was definitely coming home with me.  

As it turns out, my cheerful little friend, I think I’ll call him Eggy, is actually a blue cobalt glazed ceramic egg separator signed “Potts Town LP ‘95.”  LP is Linda Potts of Seagrove, North Carolina.  She and her husband, Jeff, are well known North Carolina potters.  The cobalt blue glaze is their signature color.  Check out the Mint Museum website for more information on their pottery.  While I do not know Linda Potts, I’m certainly glad she crafted little Eggy and that he eventually found his way to me.  I wonder where he has been all these years.  I hope she doesn't mind that her highly functional piece of kitchen pottery has become more of a therapeutic piece in my kitchen.

My shrubbery is hoping that Eggy’s presence will ease the therapy sessions I foist upon them.  You see, my usual and customary form of therapy involves heading outside clutching my trusty somewhat rusty hedge clippers and trimming away my hostilities and frustrations.  I can see the shrubs cringe upon my approach, as more times than not, when I walk away, there are only nubs left.  Luckily, they have always grown back lush and full.  They have been known to get back at me though by recruiting ninja-like poison ivy to lurk among their branches and attack without mercy covering me from head to toe and everywhere in between.  Fortunately, we have no photos of their revenge. 

Dorothea Benton Frank provides another, more pleasant form of therapy.  If you haven’t read any of her books, you are missing out on a great supply of mind and body balancing laughter.  She grew up on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina and her characters are so real they will become your friends and family.  She addresses topics that are relevant, leading her readers to delve deeper into some subjects and possibly changing their opinions.  While doing all of this, she delivers not only smiles, giggles, and chuckles, but so much deep-belly laughter that you will draw the attention of curious onlookers if you choose to read in public.  (Seriously, this happened to me while reading Sullivan’s Island.  Needless to say, they lined up to borrow the book when I finished.)  While her books won’t solve your problems, you may look at things from a different perspective once you are in a happier frame of mind.

Finally, there is always a cup of tea.  Yet again, it’s not going to solve your problems, but like Sheldon Cooper says on the Big Bang Theory, when a friend is upset, you offer him a hot beverage.  And no, you cannot sing Soft Kitty, that’s only for when you’re sick.