Roger Pinckney XI (yes, the eleventh), who I mentioned here the other day, deserves a closer look. Since, moving to the area in February I’ve been learning who the local writers and other artists are. Pat Conroy is undisputed top dog among Lowcountry writers. His long list of books and the commercial success of those books is hard to argue with, although I’m sure some do argue with it.
Then there’s Roger Pinckney. He’s an interesting character. He rightfully places himself in the action in his stories. We see Rog hunting deer up in a tree and boar from a mule’s backside. We see him enjoying hellfire and damnation sermons on Sunday. We see him struggle with the women in his life. Pinckney also struggles mightily with the powers that be in Beaufort County, SC and the changes (not all for the better) happening everywhere around him. Some call it progress. That’s what his short essay, E.O.D., the final statement in The Right Side of the River, is about. Being at the end of his own personal dock in the face of unforgiving progress.
Hilton Head, South Carolina, the island where golf is king. I am waiting on a boat, waiting on the end of the dock. E.O.D. Tags on my groceries, the parts for the ailing Toyota, the box of Kentucky sour mash, all bear the initials.
I’m headed for Daufuskie, where the dockhands will paw over a jumble of golf bags and suitcases and sort what is going to the beachfront inn from the grocieries and parts and whiskey for people who live on the back of the island like I do. I will collect mine at the end of the dock. E.O.D.
But I am too late for one boat and too early for another, so I pour a dram of Rebel Yell and think many things, as I do when sipping good whiskey.