Letter to the editor
LOCAL Life asked Edward Taylor to share his thoughts on what it means to be local. Taylor is a senior portfolio manager for Verity Investment Partners, an investment service in Beaufort that is expanding to Bluffton. LOCAL Life welcomes letters to the editor and comments to our website. Write to [email protected].
By Edward Taylor
From a young boy growing up in the mud, rivers, and tomato fields on St. Helena Island, I always knew this was my home for life. Just like the live oaks, the Lowcountry becomes deeply rooted in you, and the thought of living anywhere else is unimaginable.
My great-great-grandfather began farming tomatoes on St. Helena Island in 1903, and ever since I can remember, I worked the summers in our family’s tomato fields. My Uncle Gator would drop us off in the field at daylight; it was hot, dirty, exhausting, and amazing! It was the kind of upbringing I wish more people had an opportunity to experience and one I know my two boys will get the benefit of.
When we weren’t in the fields, we spent our time on the salt water. I could drive a boat before I could drive a tractor, and I could drive a tractor before I learned to drive a truck at the ripe age of 13. We explored every nook and cranny of the rivers and beaches and knew every bend and sandbar in every creek. Of course, that didn’t keep us from getting into trouble a time or two.
Outside earning my undergrad and graduate degrees at Clemson University, the Lowcountry has always been my home. My wife, Caroline, and I bought a house in Old Town Bluffton in 2011, and for her, being from Dallas by way of Chicago, it was quite a transition. It’s one that she’s quickly grown to love, and of course everyone reading this knows why. She makes amazing shrimp dinners, and if it’s not caught off the boat or fresh at Toomers, we don’t cook it.
Although I no longer work on our family farm, I’m fortunate to say my career path with Verity Investment Partners has allowed me to stay in the Lowcountry. I am a senior portfolio manager for our firm, which I’m proud to say received the Financial Times distinction of being in the Top 300 Registered Investment Advisory firms in the United States. The firm was founded in Beaufort, but since we have rapidly expanded our client base into Bluffton, I am excited to be opening an office on May River Road.
Some of my favorite things about the Lowcountry are the smells. Driving back from a trip, the windows rolled down, that wonderful smell of the marsh and salt air brings back all the memories and lets me know I’m close to home. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else, and I’m grateful every day.