An Oyster Roast Under the Towering Oaks at Red Bluff Plantation, Hardeeville, South Carolina

Created by Sebrell Smith

As we drove through the iron gates, we entered sweet-smelling pinelands.  Woodpeckers were noisily calling and hammering on trees while bluebirds flew overhead.  The meeting of land and river as well as saltwater and fresh water creates a particularly vibrant niche for wildlife. High in the dreamy towering pines a cool wind murmured.  All life seemed contented here.

Now we were on more than six thousand acres of forest land owned by American Timberlands, located between the Wright River and the New River just minutes north of historic downtown Savannah, Georgia. In the distance were views of the white clapboard main house just ahead, and across the river Daufuskie Island and Palmetto Bluff.

This is quail country. But on this particular evening we were here for a Lowcountry oyster roast and dinner. As is often the case in the Deep South, the weather was mild, but comfortable enough to build a roaring fire for roasting oysters beneath a canopy of pine and live oaks. At the communal table, often a piece of plywood ½-inch thick on sawhorses, everyone can find a common ground.  With each shovelful, each cluster, there’s a sense of living in the present that seems to bring everyone together. We’re all in this, and would you pass the hot sauce, please?