Serving Greater Bluffton Since 1987
Harry Cram…Never a dull moment.
By Jeannie Bunton
hen he was seven days old he went on his first quail hunt; when he was seven years old he took his first oceanic voyage on board the Lusitania. At age nine he started playing polo. With proficient knowledge of horses and guns by the time he was 16 years old, he won the role of the Indian who robbed the stagecoach in Annie Oakley’s Western Show. He boxed, played soccer, learned to fly a plane, and became an accomplished horseman and a virtuoso with a pistol.
From such modest beginnings was born the legend of Harry Cram. His escapades have always been a part of Bluffton’s history. His epic is stirring; his image is imposing and gallant.
Your title is Commander Henry Sergeant Cram, Esquire. What do you want to be called; who do most people refer to you as?
That old bastard, plain old Harry the bastard, with all the respect to my mother. That’s a title I acquired; she had nothing to do with that. I was christened Harry Sergeant Cram. Commander Cram is left over from my Coast Guard days. Esquire is a term for a landed gentleman; I like that. Harry is my nickname.
What do you think about your legendary status?
I haven’t really thought much about it. I’d be perfectly happy as long as you think well of me and Lucy doesn’t throw me out of the house.
Do you have any favorite foods?
Venison. Everything Lucy cooks, she’s a great cook. That’s the reason I married her. To which she replied, “I doubt that.”
Tell me about your education.
I ain’t got none. When I saw the war coming, I joined the Coast Guard. A friend encouraged me to apply for a commission. I told him I didn’t have an education, so my friend responded, “I’ll get some for you, I’ll make it up.” And I got my commission as a Commander of a WWII ship which guarded the Panama Canal, I only fired two shots in anger, one was at an Admiral and the other was at the Corps of Engineers.
Of all the places you’ve traveled, which is your favorite?
Bluffton. I’ve traveled around the world, once in a yacht and twice on the QE II and Bluffton is my favorite place. I crossed the Atlantic 14 times when I was 6 years old. Going to Scotland is what I like second best. My father had a place in Scotland where he used to shoot grouse. Del Ray Beach, Florida was our winter home. We visit the Everglades Club and take in some polo and dancing, ballroom dancing. Lucy is a beautiful dancer, but she hates to leave the island.
Tell me about these wild game trophies about the place.
I shot that bobcat on main street Bluffton when I was nine. What he was doing there I don’t know. This is the first sailfish I caught. I couldn’t afford to get him mounted, so I had his tail mounted. This is my Canadian mink, Moose from Canada, wild boar and bobcat from Foot Point. (There was a photo of an elephant downed by Harry’s great friend, Dennis Finch Hatten on safari. Robert Redford portrayed him in the movie, Out of Africa.)
What is your favorite story about yourself?
I’ve heard some wild ones and some funny ones, but they’re not necessarily true. I’ve been given credit for doing more than I actually did. I did ride into the DeSoto Hilton on horseback. Sarah Stillwell and I were bet a bottle of champagne we wouldn’t do it. We rode into the ballroom and won that bottle of champagne.
Did you really make a man drink a case of Pepto Bismol at gunpoint on the way to Savannah?
That must have been Adolph Blake, and the only thing he drank was corn whisky.
Who is Harry Cram, how do you want to be remembered?
As a good shot. I love to shoot quail.
What do you think of when you think of Harry Cram?
How much should we believe about the legend of Harry Cram?
None of it. It has become too embellished. I guess I was pretty wild in my youth.
I’ve heard you made money the old fashioned way, you inherited it.
That depends on how you define work. I raised Angus cattle on Foot Point and ran Foot Point for years. I didn’t make much money on the cattle. What I inherited came from my ancestor Peter Cooper, who did something famous. Pop was a lawyer and he spent money on shooting. Good Lord, how horrible, to wear business suits 9-5 every day. I’d rather have my boots and saddle.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I’m perfectly happy with Miss Lucy. I think she’s a perfect woman in every way. I’m damned lucky to have her. She’s the love of my life, without any disrespect to my wives who have died. We’re happily married. “Of course there have been some times,” said Miss Lucy. (The Crams were married in 1950.) “We are very good friends.” (I couldn’t help notice that he could start a sentence and she would finish it.) I wouldn’t change a thing about her. She was a beautiful creature and still is. I was just lucky, I guess.
The rain and ice started again as I prepared to leave, but I wasn’t cold, I was warmed by Harry Cram’s restless passion for life and his interminable love for Miss Lucy.
Ask the Doctor
Dr. Heather Hutchings of Coastal Carolina Family Medicine
esearch shows that chronic sleep loss can set the stage for osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart problems and memory loss - causing these problems we often associate with aging to show up earlier in life and to be more severe. As April 3rd marks the end of National Sleep Awareness Week, we asked local Dr. Heather Hutchings of Coastal Carolina Family Medicine to comment further on the importance of sleep health:
Both my brother and my father have sleep apnea. Should I be concerned?
Obstructive sleep apnea, characterized by loud snoring, short breathing interruptions and frequent awakenings during the night, is associated with an increased risk for heart disease and excessive daytime sleepiness. Though women tend to have higher body mass index scores and smaller throat volume, they are less likely than men to develop sleep apnea due to differences in the characteristics of tissues that control the upper airways.
I am currently experiencing menopause and often feel restless at night. Is there anything I can do to improve my sleep?
Sleep problems are common in women after menopause. A study of the effects of exercise and stretching on a group of overweight, postmenopausal women found that those who exercised for at least 30 minutes a day in the morning reported improved sleep and less trouble falling asleep than women who exercised less. Interestingly, morning exercise was more beneficial to women’s sleep than exercise in the evening according to this particular study.
What should I do if I think I have a sleep disorder?
Observe your sleep schedule and habits – perhaps even keeping a sleep diary (sample diaries can be obtained online at www.sleepfoundation.org). When is it difficult to sleep? How often do you have problems sleeping? Also be aware of any sleepiness you feel in the daytime or when you expect to be awake, and how this affects your ability to function and enjoy life. If you are not getting enough sleep or you are having difficulty sleeping, talk with your doctor and get help. Most sleep problems and sleep disorders can be diagnosed and then treated effectively.