Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Remember Myrtle Beach Dr. J. Marcus Smith

As we residents know, Myrtle Beach is an amazing place to live--beautiful beaches abound, entertainment venues flourish, the climate is typically moderate, and the people are genuinely nice to be around. It is no wonder that there is a large influx of new residents from the Northeast and other regions of the United States.

My original roots were planted in North Carolina, although we moved to Southern California when I was a youngster; however, there are two things I remember hearing about Myrtle Beach: 1-People from NC simply called it “the beach.” If they said they were going to “the beach,” everyone knew they were going to Myrtle Beach, as though there were no other beach in existence; 2- I recall that the high school seniors in NC have a time-honored tradition of heading to Myrtle Beach for a brief vacation immediately upon graduation. No one really wanted to know the details of these group trips, but it was simply considered to be one of those venerable rights of passage.

There are so many transplants in the Grand Strand area--people who want to live near the ocean, but don’t want to move all the way to Florida. Yet how many really know about the history of Myrtle Beach? I Remember Myrtle Beach When…is a book containing the personal stories of Dr. J. Marcus Smith, as compiled and edited by J. Marcus Smith, Jr. Packed full of rich historical facts and interesting details, I admire Dr. Smith for having taken the time to capture stories from the past. And I especially admire J. Marcus Smith, Jr. for making these chronicles available to the public. If these particulars are not preserved, how do future generations ever begin to know the authentic history and visualize exactly what their ancestors experienced?

What was it like to be a pioneer of the Myrtle Beach area? Back in 1900, it was a major undertaking to travel from Conway to the beach! And who knew that the Intracoastal Waterway (Massachusetts to Florida) was finally complete when the Horry County portion was finished with a ribbon cutting at a dedication ceremony being held at the Socastee Bridge in April, 1936? How about when live, human telephone operators actually connected phone calls between people? This is history, friends.

Now that I have read this book, I have a much better understanding of the origination of many of our local street names. For instance, there really was a Mr. Joe White, a beloved longtime Myrtle Beach resident.

Complete with photos and personal accounts of life in the Myrtle Beach area, one doesn’t have to be a Myrtle Beach native to appreciate this book, but I have a distinct feeling that this treasure chest of memories is a favorite of the families whose relatives are featured. Why wouldn’t it be? It is a valuable legacy.

I Remember Myrtle Beach When…for anyone who enjoys local history and an informative step back in time!

Book Description 

Myrtle Beach … a seaside resort that has given wonderful memories to millions of people who have visited – whether to enjoy golfing, shopping, the spectacular beaches, the many attractions, or just to take in the beautiful weather. It has not always been this way. At the turn of the previous century, in the early 1900s, it was difficult to get to Myrtle Beach and there just wasn’t much there, except sand. Over the last century, Myrtle Beach has grown from a sleepy seaside town to a booming resort. Dr. J. Marcus Smith was a native of the area. He grew up in nearby Conway and later moved to Myrtle Beach. He married his childhood sweetheart Frances Marian Johnson, and they raised their three sons in Myrtle Beach. While he practiced optometry for fifty years, he also wrote many stories about his two hometowns – Conway and Myrtle Beach – most being published in The Sun News. He loved this area and all of its rich history. This collection of stories has been compiled and edited by his oldest son J. Marcus Smith, Jr.

In the Words of J. Marcus Smith, Jr.

“My Dad had all intentions of publishing his collection of personal stories of Myrtle Beach before he died. He had a rough time in thinking through the articles and the book in his later years. In his many years of writing, he made the transitions from typewriter to word processor to Word Perfect to Microsoft Word. He loved his typewriter, and he never truly embraced the personal computer, but he did try.”

About the Author
Dr. J. Marcus Smith

Dr. J. Marcus Smith was a native of Horry County. He grew up in Conway, graduating from Conway High School in 1942. He then went to the University of South Carolina for a year before heading off on a train to Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee.

He married his childhood sweetheart Frances Marian Johnson in 1950, and they raised a family in Myrtle Beach. He practiced optometry for fifty years, and was also very active in the community with the activities of his three sons, as well as the Jaycees, being leader of the Methodist Youth Fellowship at the First United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach and in the Horry County Historical Society.

He wrote many articles on his two hometowns--Conway and Myrtle Beach--most being published in The Sun News. He loved this area and all of its rich history.

Please visit Amazon at or contact J. Marcus Smith, Jr. at 843-995-1878 for additional information or direct purchase. Net proceeds from the sale of I Remember Myrtle Beach When… will be utilized by J. Marcus Smith, Jr. for a Grand Strand area memorial honoring Dr. and Mrs. J. Marcus Smith.
Dr. & Mrs. J. Marcus Smith

See you soon!
Mary Anne Benedetto
Author of Eyelash, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Never Say Perfect, From Italy with Love & Limoncello and Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!


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