Living in flip flops on Fripp Island, SC

in Community by

By Karen Natoli

One early morning many years ago, Debbie Slayzk and her friend Julie, came up to me on the beach at Fripp Island, while I was looking for sea turtle tracks. Since I was involved in the program, and Debbie had an interest in the sea turtles, we engaged in conversation. Debbie and her daughter Sarah, have always loved the nature aspect that Fripp has to offer, and they hoped they would someday own a beach home, and also knew

Karen Natoli
Karen Natoli

it would have to be on Fripp Island. Everything is timing, and the time was now right for Debbie, a single mom, to move from Charlotte, NC, and come to her pursue her dream. She accepted a position in Beaufort SC, as part of the health care program of the Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Now it was it time to complete the mission, for a working family, to own a beach house.

Debbie rented a home on Fripp for a time, where Sarah spent her summers, while on college break. Then when the time was right for Debbie to consider purchasing a home, the next step was to call her old Fripp Island, turtle friend, and realtor, at Fripp Island Real Estate, Karen Natoli. I showed Debbie and Sarah many properties on Fripp over the weeks and months to follow, this is a big decision, so it is a process, and one I am very familiar with. While they wanted a house on the beach, it just wasn’t in there budget.

Fripp Island has many facets, such as the salt marsh, which produces numerous amounts of food for all of it’s inhabitants, including Egrets, Herons, Clapper Rails, song birds, Wood Storks, Osprey, Eagles and more and of course for all of us Shrimp loving folks, we know that this is, as one of my friends once said, it is “A wondrous place” and Debbie and Sarah knew that too.

Back in late winter/early spring of 2014, HGTV contacted Wayne Zerler at Fripp Island Real Estate. When we grasped the reality of what Zerler was saying, we at Fripp Island Real Estate, were psyched. When they came to film in June last year, our 4 day journey began, with getting to the task of filming the story that finds Debbie and Sarah a beach house on Fripp Island, that fits their budget. No secrets revealed here, stay tuned for more, as you see the whole story unfold!

Debbie and I will see the show for the first time, by ourselves, so that we can laugh and have fun with it. Sarah is away at school, so hopefully she will have time to watch the show in NC. We plan to have her on the phone during the show, so that we can all be together and share the experience that was probably the GREATEST experience to date, certainly of my lifetime, next to marrying my husband. On behalf of Debbie, Sarah and myself, to all the folks at HGTV, thanks for coming to Fripp, for being such a delight to work with, for keeping us fueled with food and drinks, and encouragement. I know Fripp Island Real Estate is as thrilled as is Fripp Island Resort is to have had the good fortune of HGTV coming to our special place, we call home. To everyone on Fripp Island, we thank you! To the crew we worked with, the camera people, sound folks, and organizers of our time, a BIG thank you! Lastly to our super producer, “JC”, who always made us look good, and kept us focused, I will always remember, as the next scene was ready to be recorded, his magic words, in Brooklynese,  “IN 3, 2, 1 Shoot”!