2016-04-01 / Travel

A Wild Senior Trip

Part 11: Post-script
By Warner M. Montgomery, Ph.D.

Captain Tigner proudly wears his award from the Charleston Maritime Association.

Captain Tigner proudly wears his award from the Charleston Maritime Association.

The four young fishermen from Columbia congratulated themselves as they ate the fish they had caught and cooked at their Islamorado motel.

Captain Tigner brought the praise to a stop, “Swabbies, our time on this island has run out. I just called Mom. She’ll be here in two days to pick us up. What are we gonna do now?”

“Let’s go to Key West!”— “It’s too far.”

“Let’s go crabbing!” —“ We don’t have the equipment.”

“Let’s tour this island!”—“We don’t have a car, and we sure ain’t gonna walk!”

“Let’s check out those girls on the beach”— “They left yesterday!”

That settled it. We did nothing. When Lee’s mom arrived we packed up, loaded the boat on the trailer, and drove back to Columbia. That, my dear readers, was July 1957.


Kelly Nelson went to The Citadel, graduated from USC, became a banker, and died much too young. Kelly Nelson went to The Citadel, graduated from USC, became a banker, and died much too young. Flash forward six decades...

The four boys who celebrated high school graduation in the Florida Keys went off to college, established families and careers, and remained close and dear friends.

Lee Tigner graduated from The Citadel, served in the U.S. Army, settled in Charleston and became a shipping executive. The Charleston Maritime Association honored him with the Beacon Award for 40 years of service when he retired.

Alex Jenkins graduated from Clemson and received a degree in dentistry from the Medical College of Virginia. He was a dentist in Columbia for over 40 years. Dr. Jenkins is now retired and spends time in Pawleys Island wondering why in the world he ever went to Islamorado.


Sarah Tigner, who died last year, kept her husband Lee well-fed, happy, and arrogant. Sarah Tigner, who died last year, kept her husband Lee well-fed, happy, and arrogant. Kelly Nelson went to The Citadel, graduated from USC in business and went into banking. He died a young man.

I went to Sewanee, graduated from USC, and received an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. I joined my father and sister at The Columbia Star, and have been a teacher and writer ever since.

The four young men who fought the sea monster off the Florida Keys eventually became responsible adults, earning seven degrees, marrying eight women, fathering 11 children, adding millions to the economy of South Carolina, and gathering regularly to blame each other for letting that champion Marlin get away.

The End



Warner Montgomery married Linda Sosbee and together they help keep the Columbia Star shining. Warner Montgomery married Linda Sosbee and together they help keep the Columbia Star shining.

Alex Jenkins married Betty and became a successful dentist in Columbia. Alex Jenkins married Betty and became a successful dentist in Columbia.

Return to top