Late yesterday afternoon I decided to drive out to Tybee. A major part of my new novel, The Price of Her, takes place there and I needed reference pictures. I did the same thing at Bonaventure Cemetery when I needed to describe a scene of characters running through it at night.
I was looking for a hotel on the beach that could reasonably be converted into private dormitories. My Tybee of 2023 doesn’t have much in the way of tourism so the hotels remain vacant. I parked on Butler Avenue in front of Beach Colony Condos. It appeared to be just what I needed. As I was feeding the meter a group of well groomed men in tank tops passed by me with drinks in their hands. I did hear what they were saying but one of them busted out an, “Ooh girl!” with plenty of attitude.
I noticed that the Beachside Colony Condos had a restaurant/bar called Marlin Monroe’s with a smiling cartoon fish on the sign. I took a few pictures of the outside and went up the stairs to get a good view of the balcony. I wanted to be able to see what my main protagonist might be looking at when she went out onto the balcony of her dorm. It was a beautiful warm Sunday afternoon and I could feel exposed skin above my tank top starting to burn. Mixed in with the sounds of birds, light traffic and the ocean, I heard an insistent techno beat.
I went to investigate taking pictures of the condo from all sides. If anyone wondered what I was doing, no one stopped to question me. I came up to two girls with Marlin Monroe’s t-shirts carrying twenty pound bags of ice. They didn’t look happy about the task. I was right in front of the entrance to Marlin Monroe’s and could just see a bit of the pool and outside bar. The generic techno beat was blaring and a very tan gentleman dressed in an apple red speedo and black sneakers gyrated. A drunk middle aged lady was over by the pool attempting to mimic his dance. It definitely wasn’t what I expected to find by the condo pool.
I felt bad that the one drunk lady seemed to be the only person watching the dancer. How much of an ego blow would it be to dance nearly naked in public and have no one pay attention? A sign over by the entrance to the pool said something about a charity event. It was then that four drag queens came marching out in single file and made their way to the pool. I began to get the idea that this wasn’t a normal Sunday. I wanted to go down to the pool and join the partygoers, but something about it being Sunday at 5pm kept me from it. I also didn’t have a lovely beach condo to pass out in and would have to figure out how to get my drunk ass back to Savannah.
I took the rest of my pictures and went home, but not before snapping one of the event. It turns out I caught the tail end of the 2nd Annual Tybee Island Rainbow Fest. I didn’t even know they did this on Tybee. The particular event I’d stumbled onto was the “Tea Dance,” and it had just started at 4pm. That made me feel better about the dancers prospects of getting more admirers later on in the evening.