Loving Life On the Lakes, Part 2

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Treesalongwater More Stories From the Lakes

The urge to move to the water hits people from all walks of life, just like the ones at Smith Mountain Lake. Most of them seem to applaud their choice as time progresses. Here are some more stories from Aida Rogers, Managing Editor of Sandlapper,The Magazine of South Carolina.

Mike O’Shea likes fishing off his dock – Lake Greenwood has striper, bass, catfish, crappie and perch – and the friendliness of their neighbors at Grand Harbor. “Last night we went to a clambake, and when that was over, we had about 30 people over at our house,” he says, explaining that they’d only invited about six.

“That sense of community makes it all such fun. You can be at home relaxing and someone will stop by and say hello.”

A petroleum sales broker, Mr. O’Shea says their Greenwood County location offers many conveniences… airports, professional sports, shopping, dining, and colleges and universities aren’t far. But the quiet, wooded surroundings at Grand Harbor have made it easy for him and his wife to relax. The lake isn’t crowded, and neither is the golf course. When friends and family visit, the 23-mile lake provides an ample playground.

The “Moon Hoots” are particularly fun. Residents take their pontoons out on evenings when the moon is full, tie them together and play music and dance. “It’s not real loud, but we party hardy,” Mr. O’Shea says.

Sometimes that sense of fun moves from the water to the shore. At Harbour Watch on Lake Murray, Sue and Bob Johnson laugh year-round about the annual Christmas parade. Residents decorate golf carts and cruise through the neighborhood, and a crazily-costumed Harbour Watch Christmas Queen is crowned.

“We relax and have a blast,” his wife adds breezily. A social at the clubhouse always follows the parade.

“Living this far out, you make your own fun,” theorizes Mrs. Johnson, noting that they don’t go to Columbia, 45 minutes away, as much as they thought they would. Why should they? There’s plenty happening here, in (our own county). Residents can pursue their interests in bridge, walking, gourmet cooking, poker, and tennis, for instance. But the Johnsons don’t need much help keeping busy. They took diaries and documents in Mrs. Johnson’s family and wrote a book about her great-grandfather, South Carolina’s Attorney General during Reconstruction. The book, This Violent Land, chronicles the life of William Stone, and will be published by Bright Mountain Books in Fairview, North Carolina.

Even the lakes have their stories. Lake Murray covers old farmsteads where people lived along the Saluda River before it was dammed for electricity. No doubt, the Johnsons, O’Sheas are glad they were created.

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