In Myrtle Beach, the first really big idea was the Ocean Forest Hotel. When I was a kid, six or eight years old, every time Daddy took us to the Dunes Club for Sunday lunch—past the Ocean Forest, the grand hotel— it completely altered my perception of Myrtle Beach.
Suddenly my hometown was no longer a carnival rife with honk and flash, cotton candy and candy apples. The Ocean Forest transformed my little solar system into a galaxy of incomprehensible scale. It represented the beyond. It stood majestically above all else. Its presence implied wealth—more than wealth—sophistication, esthetic judgment, good taste, the art of gentle living, without the honk and flash. He who had built it was richer than my father, than even Granddaddy, or Mr. Edward Burroughs, President of Myrtle Beach Farms.
The Ocean Forest Hotel somehow seemed to jeer at Myrtle Beach, to hold itself aloof, above, and beyond. I secretly felt pleasure watching the old joint go downhill. Something in me thrilled when Sonny Stevens blew it up, and stack-a-shack condominiums took it’s place.