We had, as is customary in our commemorations, begun celebrating our fifty-first wedding anniversary on Sunday of the previous week. We had eaten out a couple of times, rambled around the neighborhood where we spent our honeymoon in 1960 on St. Simons Island and sauntered along “our” beach.
We reminisced and tried to recall if the weather was hot on the island in 1960, or if Bessie Leggett’s “honeymoon suite” had air conditioning. We cannot recall the name of the restaurant in Pier Village where we ate our first meal. The big oaks in Neptune Park have grown considerably in the last fifty-one years.
Sunday August 28, 2011, B. J. and I awoke early. We were excited. In addition to celebrating our anniversary with something special, we had a full day of duties at church. I had to teach a Sunday school class. I was concluding a six-month study of the Revelation and then there was the morning worship service we needed to attend. In the afternoon, I had two worship services at Magnolia Manor on St. Simons that included the observance of the Lord’s Supper.
However, we wanted to do something exceptional on our anniversary. We had been trying to decide on a particular place to eat. “We’ll do the Sunday brunch at the Jekyll Island Club,” I told B. J.
She looked at me funny-like for a few seconds and then she spoke slowly, “Well, if you want to it’s alright with me.”
“Well, since we only do it every fifty-one years, I think we can handle it.”
The Jekyll Island Club, a luxury resort on wondrous Jekyll Island is a Romantic Victorian Beauty surrounded by unspoiled natural wonders. The club, begun over one hundred years ago by the richest people in the world at that time, is an American icon known around the world. To say that the Jekyll Island club is “exclusive” is an understatement. In our fifty-one years of making Jekyll our “second home”, we had eaten breakfast there several times and dinner once, but never the supreme Sunday Brunch. Today was the day. I spurred Little Blue along the causeway toward Jekyll Island, the playground of the rich and famous.
We paid the five-dollar toll to get on the Island and then reined Little Blue sharp to the left and through the historic district. Soon, the Jekyll Island Club, glistening brightly in the noonday sun, appeared before us.
The club has valet service but right then the valet service was busy with other guests so I pulled Little Blue around the circle to our usual hitching rail and tied her up.
We followed the sidewalk through the garden and around the immaculate grounds to the entrance to the fabulous Jekyll Island Club. Inside, we stepped hurriedly through the intimidating carpeted corridor to the reception area where a formally dressed congenial hostess greeted us. With warm charm and hospitable smile she asked, “Table for two?”
“Yes, and make it a nice one; it is our anniversary.”
She got even more jubilant. “Oh, how wonderful. I’ll get you a fine table with a good view.”
We were escorted to an inviting table next to a window with a great view of the adorable landscape. We could see the imposing moss-draped oaks, the plush grass, the waterway, and the marsh a little farther out.
The columned Grand Dining Room of the Jekyll Island Club is a commanding study in fine dining atmosphere and décor. The artfully designed carpet adds to the charisma. One is whisked back in time to the era when the tycoons that controlled a vast portion of the world’s wealth dined here.
We were stylishly seated. Our lovely waiter took our order for drinks and invited us to help ourselves to the grand buffet that featured a wide variety of foods, including those prepared in gourmet fashion, a savory assortment of delectable breads, desserts and breakfast omelets made to order along with sausage and bacon. However, the feature food attraction was an enchanting island of abundant and tantalizingly arranged seafood adorned by a tall vase of lovely red roses—my favorite. We could see that in this environment of enjoyable dining, we would probably overindulge especially since an attractive young lady was playing easy-listening melodies on the Grand Piano. We would later get her to play Tennessee Waltz so B. J. and I could dance a little on our anniversary celebration in the Grand Dining Room of the Jekyll Island Club.