Satisfying Restfulness

“Here is a country lovely and unspoiled. Here is a simple and satisfying restfulness…a place to charm the mind while nature mends nerves worn thin by living too fast and too hard. Here, in short, is peace, and play, and freedom.” ~ Howard Coffin

Howard Coffin, photo courtesy of Sea Island Company

If you’ve ever had the good fortune to visit Sea Island or St. Simons Island, Georgia, you’ve likely heard the name of the man who developed the area as Georgia’s premier coastal tourist destination. Howard Coffin, a native of Ohio and a graduate of the University of Michigan‘s engineering program, came to be known as the Father of Standardization in the automotive industry.

In World War I Coffin was named to the Council of Defense, our country’s unofficial war cabinet at the time and put in charge of the military’s aircraft production. When the war ended he parlayed his newly developed aviation experience into a new and exciting industry in the United States, civilian aviation. As Board Chairman of the National Air Transport Company (a forerunner to United Airlines), Coffin helped launch commercial aviation in the United States.

His interest in automobile racing as a means of advertising the automobiles he built drew him to Georgia and during one of the races he learned about the sale of one of Georgia’s coastal islands, Sapelo Island. He and his wife developed a mansion on the island and from this new base they began purchasing and developing other plantations in the area.

What a remarkable set of accomplishments built one upon another! Coffin’s ability to leverage previous experience and opportunity into future expansion is a quality that many successful people seem to possess. To take this approach you must hold the attitude that everything matters. Everything might not have the same importance, but everything and everyone, counts.

While I do not share the commonly held belief that “everything happens for a reason,” I do believe that the unexpected can be used to advantage in any situation. Random things do happen and the more accustomed and prepared  you are to moving from victory to victory, the more likely it is that you will make good use of everything that comes your way.

The barrier islands off the Georgia coast are a rare treat and I would highly recommend a visit to anyone who loves peace, beauty and the rich marsh and sea air. Enjoy your weekend!

9 thoughts on “Satisfying Restfulness

  1. jaymorrow

    It is inspiring to see the results of the wise use of experiences. When I read about people’s lives I always remind myself that they, like the rest of us, didn’t have a crystal ball. One opportunity seems like it easily led into another but anyone that is over the age of 20 realizes there is so much that happens in between; myriad decisions, obstacles, people, an endless array of variants.
    Anyone that has a history of life that looks well lived must have paid attention to where they chose to give their attention.
    Thanks for the history lesson, I enjoyed it.


  2. Isabelle Kearney

    History is so interesting. Thanks for weaving it into so many of your posts. I’ve really learned a lot and it’s inspired me to learn more.


  3. Colin

    I wonder how long it took him to move from one thing to the next. People think that moving upwards from a past victory is an easy thing, but it takes dedication and hard work to really make it happen. Few people have the chutzpah to keep going and look for another way to reach a goal when the first way falls through, or to see an opportunity where no one else does. Thanks for the story!


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