Tybee Island Heroes and Hooligans


The Making of an Island Paradise, Vol. 1

Tybee Island lured an eclectic assortment of visitors even before Gen. James Oglethorpe passed its shore on his way to nearby river bluffs to establish what has become the tourists’ mecca of Savannah, Ga.

Native Indians, drawn to the island to gather sea salt, were succeeded by Spanish conquistadores who crossed the Atlantic in search of treasure and eternal youth only to be driven away by Englishmen seeking freedom from debt and religious persecution.

More recent arrivals, including doctors and lawyers, seamen and scallywags, musicians, writers, artists and fishermen, among other heroes and hooligans, came to escape life’s tribulations, seek solace at the continent’s edge, or simply bask on the beach after partying all night.

Many remained on what was known for years as the “Redneck Riviera” or “Mayberry by the Sea” because of its informal lifestyle, free-wheeling ways and the absence of casinos, golf courses, and high-rise hotels.

This book’s author escaped the stress of big city pollution, crime, and corruption by hunkering down on the laid-back island when he retired from a career in journalism more than a quarter century ago.

His book is a compilation of newspaper columns based on conversations with some of the island’s most colorful and influential characters, the people who helped create what many consider an island paradise.

In a typically Tybee, casual beach-reading manner, it introduces newcomers to Tybee’s colorful history while triggering fond memories for those who have been around for a lifetime.

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