My fascination with the seashore began early, because the coast meant “vacation” to the family when I was a boy. My father was a machinist in a textile mill, and “vacation week” always was the week of July 4th, then the entire mill would close. Since my father had a brother in Mobile, we’d often barge in for a few days of low-country living. The years we stayed home, all family members would be pressed into much-needed work on our big old house. You can understand why I came to prize salt air.