In 1958 there was only one house resting on the south side of Scenic 30A on Dune Allen Beach - only one. Bo Rentrop and her late husband Billy Rentrop were there, and Bo remembers that single house very well.
There's no doubt that Justin Gaffrey is one of South Walton's most successful and appreciated artists. His beautiful work is usually drawn from natural SoWal features and is distinct and instantly recognizable. He's recently entered a new phase of work which is a bit deeper and more personal than his usual popular work of flowers and local landscapes.
Artist Joe Elmore is a big fella. Some would describe him as being “larger than life.” Although he excels in almost every art medium, his huge wood sculptures reflect his skills with the chainsaw. Witness the huge cypress Indian head and California redwood buffalo sculptures that grace the entrance to his gallery, Elmore’s Landing, located on Hwy 331 just north of South Walton High School. The huge piece of redwood used for his big buffalo sculpture washed out of a California state park.
Some folks in the South seem born with thick, red, spicy sauce flowing thickly through their veins. Byron Chism is one of those folks. He grew up in Texas eating and loving barbeque and ended up here in SoWal with sand between his toes. When he arrived in South Walton, little did he know that he would someday be selling his own barbeque seasoning famously known as “Bad Byron's Butt Rub”.
Walking into Sarah Carolyn at McCaskill & Company, I am greeted by a tiny woman in a crisp white shirt with blonde hair and a bright smile. We have never met, but that does not seem to matter. I am offered a beverage and receive the complete Southern treatment, sprinkled with delicate y’alls and dainty pearls. I am convinced that Reese Witherspoon would play Carolyn Brigman, the store’s owner and buyer in her biopic.
Jeff Talbert loves the outdoors and he loves photography. Being a Resource Management Park Services Specialist for the state of Florida and stationed at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park gives him unique opportunities to combine his interests. Jeff often is in a great position to photograph South Walton wildlife in the park. We've enjoyed his photography for years and are happy to share a bit.
It was wonderful to come back to Walton County for an extended period of time earlier this year. First, with Escape To Create as an Artist in Residence at Seaside, and now returning on my own to capture more moving images for this documentary story. Each working visit affirms the importance to showcase the Coastal Dune Lakes of Walton County.
When Frasier Hansen and Shawn Sherman met a few years ago, opening a craft brewery in South Walton was just a seed of a dream. A lot of planning, anxiety, sweat, and financing has passed since, and Idyll Hounds Brewing Company is about to blossom. The duo beam like proud poppas when speaking of the first batch of ale soon to be to be brewed in their brand-new facility in the South Walton Commerce Park, off Hwy 98 between Point Washington and Rosemary Beach.