Balancing Man and Nature at Cumberland Island

CAMDEN COUNTY ZONING MEETING

6 PM, TONIGHT, DEC. 6

 107 GROSS AVE. KINGSLAND, GA

SUBJECT: REQUEST OF VARIANCE TO NOT REQUIRE A PAVED ROAD FOR INHOLDERS' 10 LOT PROPOSED SUBDIVISION ON CUMBERLAND ISLAND 

 

Historic American Buildings Survey Philip E. Gardner, Photographer April 1958 COPY OF ARCHITECT'S WATER COLOR OF SOUTHWEST ELEVATION c. 1880 Dungeness, Cumberland Island, Saint Mary's, Camden County, GA  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

We each bring our own baggage to every book.  

This biblio-mantra is packed and ready to go this week for our discussion of Charles Seabrook's Cumberland Island, Strong Women, Wild Horses. The non-fiction narrative ferries readers to a small island just north of Jacksonville. Although a tiny piece of our nation's eastern seashore, Cumberland Island's history as explained by Seabrook stands as a metaphor for the larger environmental conundrum of finding a harmonious balance with man and nature. Spoiler alert: rarely does this alchemy ever succeed. 

In Strong Women, We shall hobnob with the Carnegies and glance over the Tumucuan. We shall stroll Live Oak-lined natural trails and shoot, sometimes kill, intruders. Lindbergh, Lee, Hamilton and Burr, Kennedys, Kingsley and Coca-Cola all cross roads on this 18-square mile swath, barrier island, playground of the rich, resting place of the indigenous dead. 

The book details the mourning of mansions and equine mauling of native Spartina alterniflora. Alcoholism, cronyism, slavery, electric cars  and environmentalism fuel the island's history. Riding loggerheads, planting invasive Tung, dreaming in titanium and Sea Island lux leisure fill the pages as Seabrook unpacks and exhibits the dilemmas of preservation, conservation, inheritance and rights of some selected humans and horsey habitation. 

Perhaps you've visited this National Park. Maybe you've overnighted at the Greyfield Inn or own jewelry fashioned from raccoon vertebrae. Do you enjoy Dr. Pepper or drive a Prius, detest tree huggers, love Hilton Head, sleep on cotton sheets or have heard of Standard Oil? If so, than you, too, are connected to the conundrum of Cumberland.  

Grab your biblio-backpack, Vuitton valise, rough-rider rucksack, book bag or just bring your brain, whatever your baggage, I look forward to discussing Cumberland Island, Strong Women, Wild Horses in the weeks ahead. 

Stacey