Guy McBride Dabbs, Jr. , son of Mac and Wrenna Dabbs

Guy  McBride Dabbs, Jr. (11/16/1932 – 2/06/2003)
Christmas of 1989, Guy McBride Dabbs, Jr., wrote a short autobiography which he left to his children and other family members as a remembrance of his life.  There are four things that come across very clearly throughout these pages.  1)  Young Mac adored his wife, Frances.  2)  He thrived on adventures he had with his children and wife.  3)  He loved motorcycles, and, 4) he loved airplanes.  The last two don’t necessarily come in that order.  Each of these things came early in his life and each he cherished until the day he died.    Mac was not a stay-at-home kind of guy.  He was one of the Dabbs men who were at their finest when he was on-the-road meeting new people and discovering new places. 
           Even his first memories of riding the school bus to school in Mayesville are filled with the wonder and distractions he found walking up the long dirt road back to his home every day.  “It really is something what a little boy can do on a dirt road.  I had a small pine thicket that I used to have a house in and made all kinds of plans there.  Sometimes it took me at least an hour to cover that half mile.”  From the very beginning he was attracted to dirt roads away from home.
Mac started driving his father’s ’39 Plymouth when he was 9 years old.  In the 9th grade his mother wanted him to go to school in Sumter.  He did not want to go, but agreed to go if he could have a motorcycle.  His father bought him a police Harley Davidson from the Sumter Police Department and that’s what he arrived to school on his first day in Sumter, wearing a leather helmet and jacket.  “Country boy comin’ to town.”  It’s the only time he thought his mother

might actually leave his father.  The summer after he graduated from high school he started flying lessons at the Sumter Airport and his hitch-hiking career.  He and Jimmy Potter ventured first to places in South Carolina, but in the summer of ’51 they went all the way to Key West where they got round-trip tickets to Cuba for $26.
Mac attended Clemson in 1950 and transferred to USC-Columbia the next year.  While at Clemson he met Frances (Tic) Stroman (4/30/1931 – 1/13/2002) after having been set-up on a blind date with her and then backing out before he found out she was the best looking girl on Winthrop Campus.  They were married in 1952, promising both of their parents that they’d finish school and not have any children right away.  They kept their promise.  In 1953 Mac went to ROTC Camp at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida, and then received his commission in January of 1955.  He was in the Air Force flying planes.  For the next five years Mac and Frances would have two children and move several times from one assignment to the next with the Air Force.  His enthusiasm in describing the various planes he was flying and the people that they met during these years is infectious.  Here he discovered golf. 
 In 1960 Mac resigned and returned to the Crossroads to farm with his Dad. Young Mac and his father were not a good combination as business partners.  Mac, Sr., had very specific ideas and expectations on how farming should be done and he was critical of young Mac’s abilities and ideas. Mac wanted to try tomatoes and string beans.  They failed.  His Dad told him to stick to tobacco, corn and cotton. Mac
wanted to build a golf course.  His Dad thought it was a terrible idea.  Why would anyone get involved with another career where success depended on the weather?  Mac and Frances began by living in the same home with his mother and father, but in 1962 built a three bedroom ranch on the other side of the pool.  Before long they had moved into Sumter. Young Mac retreated to the Air Guard and then the Army Guard to get away from the farm and continue to fly, but he was having bouts of depression and sought treatment at Duke.  In 1964 he went to Helicopter School in Mineral Wells, TX, and there intensified his desire to build a golf course.  The depression came and went and Mac struggled for years through intense periods of euphoria and devastating lows.  In 1969 a new medication seemed to bring Mac consistent relief from the bouts of depression he was having.
 In 1970 his golf course became a reality on I-95 at the intersection of Highway 378.  Pineland Plantations Golf Course became a family business and while Mac continued with some farming, Frances and the children ran the golf course with Mac finding the time he spent there far better than any time on the farm.  In 1982 he stopped farming completely and was again licensed for his medical to fly, having not flown since 1969.  He and Frances and the kids were up and flying again and he invested in one-half interest in a Cessna 172 that cruised at 120 mph.  Next he started building an air strip east of his father’s house. 
            Years that followed included fond memories of many motorcycle trips and plane trips with various members of the family.  Everyone had a

       Frances Storman Dabbs
          4/30/1931 – 1/13/2002

motorcycle and everyone knew how to fly a plane.  Interestingly enough,  ten of the Dabbs descendents have gotten their pilot licenses.  A fascination with planes runs deep in the family.
In 1994 tragedy struck when Frances began to show signs of Alzheimer’s at the young age of 62.  For the next eight years, Mac became a devoted caretaker of his wife and was by her side daily as her health deteriorated.   During the last several months when it was finally necessary to move her to a nursing home, Mac was often there nights to spend the night with her, saying that when he held her in his arms in the dark it was as if everything was normal again. 
After Frances’s death Mac became a volunteer for Hospice and made daily visits to individuals in the hospital.  In fact, he was in the hospital just leaving after a visit to a friend.  He was standing by the elevator when his heart stopped.  “Those Dabbses sure know how to die.”  With the exception of nine years, Mac Dabbs, Jr., lived his entire life in the Sumter area.  His funeral was the largest I have ever seen at Brick Church, with even the balcony filled.  His children quoted a saying he had placed on each of their refrigerators.   “Spend a day at home and live another day you won’t remember. Take a trip and you’ll create a memory that lasts a lifetime.”   He most certainly created a lifetime of memories.