After being held captive recently in another choke of stalled traffic from the F.J. Torras Causeway onto St. Simons Island, I decided that I’m more in an isthmus mood than an “island mood.” Sick at heart and sick to my stomach after viewing the gutted desecration of Brunswick’s Dart house, I decided to “just chill” and enjoy the sheer entertainment fun of three daunting rounds of bumper cars in the island traffic circle. Passing the ubiquitous “friendly” gas station which is now the only recognizable landmark to Mallery Street, I was further amused by the wide-eyed looks of bewilderment in the eyes of tourists searching for their vacation while pedaling in circles on the scorching hot, treeless bike paths, alongside newly blasted-out concrete construction sites, and stucco-sprayed upscale new homes.

My advice to those yearning for the dear dead days of idyllic St. Simons — those still craving solitude, charm and rousing bits of beach, is that you best stay home, foot-dangle in a rubber swimming pool, slap on a slop of sunscreen, and have a beer or two. Devoted visitors to this former paradise describe their state of shock and loss as “the place we hold dear as our island escape” transforms into the place they escaped from. Devoted full-time residents of St. Simons are brokenhearted.

Victoria Jarvis

St. Simons Island