My 7th grade daughter, Amelia, went to Charleston, SC, on a overnight field trip with her classmates. They were going on a eco tour on the Isle of Palms and then to Patriots Point. There is a dinner cruise around Charleston Harbor tonight. Tomorrow they are going to the Market area in downtown Charleston where they will shop and take a carriage ride. Then they will lunch at Waterfront Park and go to the SC Aquarium. Tomorrow night they will return home.
I told my husband a few nights ago that this could be a life changing trip for Amelia. He said “Why? She has been to Charleston (Patriots Point) before.”
I told him the story of the vacation I took with my mom to the Isle of Palms in July, 1986. I was 9 years old. I remember going to the beach and getting a bad sunburn the first day. The next day we went to Patriots Point and took a boat tour out to Fort Sumter.
After the boat tour, mom and I went to Fort Moultrie. I remember the dark corridors being rather spooky. Mom told me a story of going to Fort Moultrie with her father and my older sister. Her father was talking loudly on purpose in the corridors and the echo of his voice scared my sister.
That vacation to Isle of Palms in 1986 was important for 2 reasons. First, it was the catalyst for my extreme interest for Civil War history that eventually branched out to my interest in South Carolina History from 1770- 1865. Secondly, that trip to the Isle Palms in July, 1986 was important because my mother died 2 months later in September.
I had been on summer vacation to the Isle of Palms with parents many times but 1986 was different. My mom introduced me to something that would alter the course of my life. I will add that my grandfather, mom’s father, loved Civil War History and used to tell me stories about Wade Hampton and Stonewall Jackson when I was younger, so I had a background before the visit to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie.
It was that summer vacation and my interest in Civil War History that led me to the College of Charleston in 1995 where I majored in US History. I branched out from the Civil War to the Revolutionary War and Historic Preservation, then to genealogy. I have found my niche in genealogy and writing because genealogy encompasses all areas and time periods of history.
So, don’t tell me a vacation or trip can’t change someone’s life forever!