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USMC Captain Tim Duggins and Drill Instructor Junior Loveless assembled the 6-foot and 4-foot wood panels, complete with strapping and screws, needed for the “It’s a Nutty Christmas!” outdoor exhibit in Beaufort. Submitted photo.

It’s a Nutty Christmas – A few good men

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From staff reports

When the boards on which local artists would be painting Nutcrackers for the “It’s a Nutty Christmas!” outdoor exhibit in Beaufort had to be constructed, creator/producer Danie Connolly didn’t have to search to find someone to do it. Her mother was a Marine, so she knew exactly where the best of the best were.

Stationed on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris island are Captain Tim Duggins and Drill Instructor Junior Loveless, who are blessed with carpentry skills. Connolly met the men previously when she needed work done around her home in Beaufort.

She asked the two Marines for help, and soon they were assembling the 6-foot and 4-foot wood panels, complete with strapping and screws.

The project was an easy one for these career Marines, knowing the end results would provide funds for Beaufort Art Association’s (BAA) art supplies and education for children.

Duggins is the proud father of three young daughters and has another girl on the way. Loveless has two boys and a daughter of his own. This was a mission that needed to be accomplished.

Santa and his elves would have been envious of the two-man construction crew as they magically completed the task. In no time at all, they had accumulated enough art panels that, when painted, would put smiles on Beaufort citizens.

Once the panels were in the hands of the area’s talented artists, the first panel to return to the BAA was Tiffany Jones’ rendition of a bulldog dressed up as a Marine. Finders Keepers owner Dick Andrzejczyk then selected it as his choice to display in front of his store.

Andrzejczyk was a 20-year career Marine (also a gemologist, coin dealer and air traffic controller). And, by coincidence, he has one of the finest collection of nutcrackers for sale in his store.

As you residents stroll downtown and discover the more-than-50 nutcrackers on display there, hopefully they notice the proud Marine standing at attention at Finders Keepers at 920 Bay Street.

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