Tribute To Fat Harold

This Was Shown during the CBMA Awards in 2015

harold and jim

In 1933 the United States was in the midst of the greatest economic disaster in our history and along with the Great Depression
Adolf Hitler was just named Chancellor of Germany our 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and just taken office through the New Deal and fireside chats
baseball was America’s pastime you can hear Lou Gehrig beat Everett Scott’s record on the radio for most consecutive games we had the first all-star baseball
game during the World’s Fair in Chicago and the first drive-in theater opening and the world was buzzing over the sighting of the Loch Ness monster in
Scotland ironically 1933 was the year we ended prohibition in the United States it was the end of a lot of gang wars speakeasies and dangers homemade liquors
but it was the year we got our man

On June 13th 1933 Harold Milton Besant was born in Little River South Carolina
son of Bill and Frances Ellis Bessette she died shortly after giving birth
which was not uncommon in the early 20th century especially rural South Carolina
sadly his father took his sister Betty let the area and started a new family
elsewhere leaving little Harold to be handed around from family to family
during his childhood as you can imagine little River and surrounding areas were
barely surviving with small fishing fleets and poor farming conditions
nonetheless through it all harold managed to make his way through a Little
River Elementary wildly jr. and wampie high school there he met his lifelong
friend and brother yes he finally had a family buddy Owens a classmate simply went to
his father Babbitt who owned the local drugstore and asked as his friend Harold
could come live with him that one’s family welcomed them in they
were brothers thick and thin they even attempted further their education
together and headed into another world upstate South Carolina’s Clemson
Agricultural College which we now know as Clemson University
after one year of school club basketball and college football the young mr.
bessel flunked military science frustrated he and buddy both quit their
formal military institution to prove a point or to save face they signed up to
become Marines and the dawn of the Korean War under the buddy system after
three months of hell in Parris Island a place where mr. Harold would later say I
prayed for three months I’m not lying I wouldn’t take a million dollars for what
I’ve gotten from parents Island but I wouldn’t take a million dollars to go
back after boot camp he and buddy were stationed at Camp Lejeune just outside
of Jacksonville North Carolina where the two boys would frequent Roberts pavilion
on the OD ocean front back and forth from North Myrtle Beach to Jacksonville
to check out the new shack dance and jukebox noise blaring this new race or
black music with cold beer ladies on the weekends
soon it was time to ship from there they
travelled the world
the two boys have been Agel de system to
where they were paid on alternate weeks
of each other so they would always have
spending money to throw around
in Switzerland Greece Italy and
especially friends there the kids were
on an American army cake and diving into
the u.s. culture they would get American
beer Sigma’s video pretty ladies at Earl
Bostick on the jukebox but back home
there was a storm brewing
at 9:45 a.m. on October 15th 1954
Hurricane Hazel arrived as a category 4
storm packing 140 mile an hour winds and
heating right at the South Carolina
North Carolina in Lyon
wrecking nearly every coastal building
from Georgetown to Wilmington and
thousands of people met homeless and
almost a hundred killed
after rebuilding the new pavilion just
wasn’t the same with the local teens and
young adults however mr. black ship in
North Myrtle Beach to cover the
downstairs with old rooming house across
the street which was equipped with three
old bathtubs for beer and a carton of
hoses for plumbing
this was the pad when their tour in
southern Europe was done the boys Harold
and Buddy returned to their station in
North Carolina and again started
traveling weekends to Ocean Drive to the
all-new pad but when their military
service was done in 1956 buddy returned
to Horry County and Harold ventured to
Florida taking on various jobs marrying
his first wife Mary and adopted two
children David and Laura when the
marriage didn’t work out Harold and his
two young children headed home to Little
River in 1958 at this time Harold
operated small beach clubs like the one
in Crescent Beach called tooten and
Talon and then the r-va
or better known as the regular Veterans
Association it was a 1961 that buddy and
Pappy started the Spanish galleon and
asked Harold to join in this is where
what we know today all began
Harold essent buddy Owens captain poon
any Hardy and Harold Worley they were
the Musketeers they were the ones
throwing the party this was the start of
a brand new lifestyle that we would all
eventually call her own yep from 1961 to
1980 this was the place to be North
Myrtle Beach will never be the same with
the Galleon fat Jack’s that had been so
much more this is a party that just
couldn’t be stopped even with the riot
of 68- wasn’t even race-related it was said
that it was over a girl from Laurinburg
North Carolina go figure
Harold would marry again unsuccessfully
but would be given a daughter
biologically Mary Ellen in 1980 Harold
took over the pad and open heralds
across the street and later the first
fat girls in the ocean in the place of
fat Jack’s till its demise then in 1993
they tore down the pad looking for a new
place landed the fat man at 212 Main
Street it will become the mecca a beach
and shagged till this day housing and
hosting more events than all the other
clubs in history combined this Taj Mahal
of beechwood found the DJ Hall of Fame
the keepers of the tales and after his
ties with his grandchild dying from
cancer this organization will become one
of the if not the largest contributors
of chemo in the 1980s and 90s
franchising would begin from heralds of
the ocean affectionately known as Hodos
to the 19th hole and Harold’s and Little
River but you haven’t really been to the
beach until you saw the fat man on the
first stool of the main bar at fat
Harold’s beads club this became the
focal point the center of the beach
music shag universe only the best
dancers hit the floor the best DJs in
the booth the cream of the crop bands on
stage it’s what made Main Street North
Myrtle Beach famous like bourbon bill
and Broadway from the early days of the
original beach bums the KMA the
lifeguards to today’s SOS errs there has
been a constant light
that has led us all the way he was a leader they came from humble beginnings where no one would claim him – having more friends than Facebook would even allow fat Harold Milton Besant letters on May 22nd 2015 after fighting serious medical issues for nearly a decade he left behind a family
larger than life itself there must be a sense of duty that we were to all endure after being in the presence of such
greatness to have known this man is self empowering enough to want to keep his dream alive
that message given not of just good times but goodness we all know right
from wrong but we always do right we are now in charge we must continue to be the
keepers of the dance the Society of strangers the Knights of many activities
the carers and the givers while the rest of the world has gone through phases and
changes we as our own community have held strong and steadfast and
growing legions of dancers listeners followers hear me now we have a home. The Fatman built it I’ll meet you at the house to reminisce over a cold beer and a fried bologna sandwich.

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