Thursday, June 30 2022

The pesky COVID-19 didn’t stop hundreds of locals and visitors from bathing in 60-degree water on January 1 during the annual Tybee Island Polar Bear Dive to benefit the Tybee Post Theater.

As I parked in the first row at Tybee Pier, I walk past a rusty motor vehicle and instantly know that Hubert Keller is about. If you immediately thought of the Keller flea market, this was the guy who created it 34 years ago and sold it three years ago. He’s more than anxious to tell me about his next auction, the “ratrod” he’s driving, and his plans to move that “big old cow off Highway 17 to the black and white mailbox of 20. feet on Quacco Road ”.

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First, the February 22 auction of everything from hot rods, cane crushers and huge Fairbanks and Morris engines that powered cotton gins to steam engines and an old John Deere tractor without style. “My woman Dear and I’ll sell all the antiques we’ve collected over our three decades, ”shares the longtime farmer.

The car enthusiast in me may appreciate that a Ford ’49 pickup is welded to the front of a ’70 Model Camaro frame, the steering wheel is made of steel from the twin towers, and water gushes out from the Genie pot welded to the car / truck. Shaking my head when I see fire coming out of the exhaust, I leave this mean and cool character with the promise to check out his six other matching eccentric ratrods at their auction.

At the entrance to the pier, I hear a distinctive voice that says, “I love you! »Following his voice, I find Renee LaSalle giving to Tybee Post Theater CEO Evan goetz a hug, buying a dark blue Polar Bear Plunge t-shirt, then handing me one!

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Walking down the steps to the beach, hit warp speed to grab the best buddies Sandi Tribbett and Sheila barry before braving the Atlantic Ocean. Wearing matching red polar bear pajamas, past winners of the polar bear diving contest tell me it’s their 12th year of participating in this Tybee Island tradition.

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Then, resident of Tybee Island Brent Patten tells me he will be my next general contractor. With him is his close friend Matt campbell, a railroad conductor who isn’t fazed when I tell him I’m a little obsessed with trains and want to ride with him to make a video crossing the Ogeechee River.

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After posing Brent with Matt, Matt’s wife Chrissy and Ennis Hager, I move to meet the Calvary day school Layla wolfe, St. Andrews School Cahan sage with the Blessed Sacrament Madison Wagner. Standing behind them is Layla’s mom Tiffany, a real estate agent with McIntosh Realty Team and one of those naturally beautiful blondes who look like a model on the side.

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With her is a financial consultant Melody Culver, Web developer Lara robertson and ceramic potter with sea salt Kelly jones. The residents of Tybee Island are bonded by children of the same age and their “love of an island with a small town feel and amazing people looking for each other”.

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I maybe had a mini pose with the four friends before telling them to check the paper to see what a fabulous photo was printed before I went to ask. Sallie McClelland if I can get her group of seven to pose. Taking pictures of her with Greg and Dunice Welch, Gina Byrd, Patti Wilson, Janice Sauers and To Wilson, I hear that booming voice screaming my name!

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Lord help, how can such a great voice come out of Gay Dodieis small body ?! Dodie’s friend for 50 years, Nancy Wallace, and longtime friend of 30 years Linda hilts and I laugh when we realize this wild child has kind of changed her swimsuit with her clothes as we talk to her.

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Now I’ve seen everyone dressed in everything from Santa Claus costumes to lobster costumes take the annual big jump, so I head back to the pier to catch up with Evan. The Tybee Post Theater Executive Director told me, “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, with all proceeds going directly to our operating and programming budget.

Rabbit Ware

Loving the fact that wacky people jump into the ocean will help guard the gates of the Fort. The 1930s Screven Cinema is open, I grab my Polar Bear Plunge blue shirt and promise to see Evan next year!

To learn more about Tybee Post Theater, go online at

Invite Bunny Ware to your gathering, gala, or other social event. Contact her at 912-844-1122 or by email at [email protected] See more Bunny columns at


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