The historic Tybee Post Theater hosted a Sunday matinee and book signing with three New York Times authors Mary Kay Andrews, Patti Callahan Henry and Kristin Harmel on July 18.
Sunny, no traffic and an air-conditioned event awaits me as I enter the old 1930s Army Theater to find a New York native and volunteer Ellen rosenberg and member of the board of directors, secretary and volunteer Sallie McClelland welcome guests in the lobby. Tybee residents have said they’re expecting nearly 150 avid readers, so I rush over to chat with more theater volunteers.
The first is Jan Will, a self-proclaimed “offbeat funky artist”. As Jan scrolls through her phone showing me pictures of her quirky needle sculpture figures, I learn about her volunteer work with the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Tybee Clean Beach while posing with the post’s Executive Director. . Evan goetz and house manager Dee Harrell.
Further into the meticulously restored theater is the Johnson High School math teacher Beth reed. “Volunteering here fills my love of historic buildings, Repurpose Savannah fills my love of recycling and collecting broken keepsakes and girls hair clips. What could be rubbish and turn it into art is another reason I love Tybee, ”shares the kayaker.
Beside him is the former computer programmer of International Paper. John Jakubiec. Professing my love for all things intellectual property, I talk with John about his three hour beach walks and bike rides when I am handed a bag full of a plastic champagne glass, a rose in the water. Catie’s Confections white chocolate and Savannah cheese straws courtesy of Seaside Sisters.
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Speaking of SS, I go downstairs to pose Susan kelleher with post and double major intern from Georgia Southern University Samantha Farrington. Seeing how busy the store owner is selling books, I continue to chat with Samantha about her marketing and PR goals and her love of goombay drums before taking the stage to see the famous writers.
I missed Mary Kay Andrews‘face! The NYT bestseller recently completed the restoration of another Tybee Island cottage, published a Christmas book, and hints that there might be an ugly Santa at the launch party. Hating to leave the quirky antique collector, I head to the next autograph table.
Listen Patti Callahan Henry talking with another breast cancer survivor Maureen Tankersley about their mutual love for Tybee, I hear, “There’s something about the minute you cross that bridge on the island and your heart rate changes.” Hoping Maureen fulfills her dream of being a full-time, not part-time Tybee resident, I ask Patti another question before her next fan arrives.
Tell me about a hobby, unusual talent, or something you love to collect. With a big smile, she shows her shoes and says, “Those Jimmy Choos. They were my first award for making the New York Times bestseller list. FYI, I bought them at the Jimmy Choo store! “
The queue getting longer, I rush to have a minute with it Kristen Harmel. The Boston, Massachusetts native tells me about her love for the South, our hospitality, and our natural beauty when her next fan walks up to ask for her book to be signed.
Disappointed that I couldn’t spend more time with Kristen, I went to chat with Post’s operations manager. Steve johnson and put it down with Patricia muns and Debbie mitchell. Laughing when I explain that photos are great ice-breaking techniques to meet the person standing next to you, I go down the line to meet Steve and Linda Martin.
Not expecting Linda to tell me that Steve collects Buddhas and Linda loves dinosaurs, I look up and see Alice jepson arriving. Introducing myself to her sister-in-law Bonnie andrews, I learn that Alice’s brother fell in love with Bonnie at first sight, that Bonnie is an excellent mahjong player and that Alice’s husband, Bob, went to a car show in Kentucky.
Delighted to have Bonnie with her after her brother passed away, Alice tells me how much it means to attend events like this with her before introducing the ladies to Evan. After a quick photo of the three, a quick quiz with Evan reveals that the Gaffney, SC native has a strong love for ghosts, UFOs, astrology, and southern liquor consumption. He also has a Masters of Fine Arts in performance and a love for kayaking and directing theatrical productions.
With an invitation to August 19 Unplugged at the Post, a relaxed and intimate acoustic experience with local talent, I’m leaving happy to know that the historic 206-seat theater is taking a new lease of life after its renovation in 2015 and closing. during COVID. The only thing that would have improved today would have been to see Jim and Dottie Klutz!
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