HILTON HEAD FRED
Kevin and I have vacationed on Hilton Head Island since 2002, and for the last 5 years we have stayed at the Hilton Head RV resort with our travel trailer, it's quickly become like a second home to us.
Since the very first visit, we noticed this vintage 50's Airstream, and found out that the owner is a full time resident here. Every time we camp on the island, we bicycle around the grounds and always ride by our favorite Airstream to see if he's still there. An older gentlemen, seems quiet and to himself, at night when we pass by you can see the glow of the TV on his face, I've often felt sorry for him seeing as he's always alone. We've never had the opportunity to speak to the man, he always seemed a bit grumpy to me, solemn, never really looking up or smiling (of course by this time he may have thought we were stalkers as many times as we've passed by his lot!)
This year I decided I wasn't going to let another year pass without at least trying to get some images of him and his camper. If I came back next summer and he was gone I knew I would regret it.
I went in expecting a very unfriendly response, perhaps even my first 'no'. As I pulled up to his camper with my camera in hand, I walked up to him, smiling and started some small talk. Much to my surprise the solemn hard face looked up to me and immediately melted into the warmest smile. Conversation came easy to him, we chatted for a good 10 minutes before I remembered my camera and why I was even there. I asked for a few photos and he chuckled, didn't seem to understand why I would have the interest but told me to have at it.
His name is Fred. My assumption that he was a northerner was correct, he had spent the first part of his life in Wisconsin. He moved to South Carolina in 1976, one year after his wife's passing in 1975. He had been living in the campground in this particular spot for 24 years in his beautiful 1957 Airstream. He said there were too many memories in Wisconsin after loosing the love of his life, so he moved south to try to start over. I don't suspect he ever remarried, just him and the silver bullet.
He seemed to enjoy the conversation, but we were on our way out for dinner so I couldn't stay longer, I rode by his unit two more times to try and catch him around but he was out both times. I hope to visit with him again next year, but I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to capture these few images just in case he wouldn't be there.