The Clayton’s of Clayton Pond…Light Up Your Life for the Holidays By: Bev Filer


Christmas lights all around make the spirit bright! At Brunswick Plantation we have an annual light display that brings the community together in good cheer!

Christmas lights shine all around as their colorful, dazzling reflections dance to the joyous sounds of holiday music!  Christmas tree lights frame Clayton Pond… their mirror images are illuminated in the flowing water! A majestic, flickering blue Christmas tree and lighted manger scene greet you as you drive along Smithfield Drive. Santa swings and sways on the porch as you pass the home of Sue and Rick Clayton! Drive on and marvel at the many, moving holiday inflatables that also swing into action to entertain you and get you into the  “Spirit” of the Season!

“These are a Few of our Favorite Things” on Smithfield Drive at Brunswick Plantation…Thanks to the generous spirit of the Claytons! I discovered this “World of Splendor” when I responded to a flyer inviting the folks of Brunswick Plantation to bring an appetizer and join the fun for “The 4th Annual Community Holiday Lighting”!  So, with my plate of chocolate covered strawberries and camera in hand, I did join the large group of Merry Makers at Smithfield. Everyone was so friendly! Though I came by myself, I was immediately welcomed! Neighbors were chatting away and greeting each other with obvious delight of seeing each other in the glow of the sparkling lights! It was delightful evening and I was charmed when I met Rick and Sue Clayton, who created the original light display as a way of “bringing the community together”…Mission Accomplished! 

I was so fascinated about this original idea of combining holiday and community spirit that I asked to interview Sue and Rick at another time to learn more.  They graciously granted my wish!  It turns out that this special event, as do all great ideas, started in Smithfield the first year… expanded to include The Lakes the 2nd year…now has blossomed into a Community Event for all of Brunswick Plantation!  People meet, greet, and share the joy of the season!

Also, as is the nature of all good ideas, it has grown to involve other creative and talented neighbors who have contributed to improving and extending the  luster of Light Show! Neighbors and friends who are part of making the sparkle even more brilliant are: Jerry Moss, Steve Cramp, Jon Olin, and John H’haghan. These fellas work with Rick and Sue for six weeks putting up the lights! Their expertise, such as Steve’s as an electrician and John’s computer skills have made the dancing lights synchronized to music a delightful new addition!

Everyone contributes their own specialty and takes pleasure in working together for the enjoyment of others in the Brunswick Plantation community! It also creates a bond of what I shall call “The Merry Band of Buddies” on Smithfield Drive! A good time is had by all!

I also discovered in talking with the Claytons that they are originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina where they knew each other since they were in the 11th grade! Now there is one young love that truly blossomed into something beautiful! Still having fun…Together! I think the element of surprise is alive and well for them, as Rick’s latest tall blue Christmas tree addition to the light show was a surprise to Sue… Since he told her, when the tall package arrived, that it was a flagpole! What a glittering surprise!

The Claytons’ family business for years was Ricky’s Tasty Freeze and Ricky’s Drive-Inn which specialized in homemade chili with a kick and hand cut onion rings as well as hamburgers and hot dogs. Though they sold their business, their son, David, now has two restaurants in Spartanburg. So, if you happen to be in that city, you might want to stop by Ricky’s West on Black Stock Road or Little Rick’s on Asheville…Especially if you have a taste for Chili with a Kick or hand cut onion rings!

I asked what drew Sue and Rick to Brunswick Plantation as their home. They said that they had vacationed in Myrtle Beach and saw a magazine ad for Brunswick Plantation.  They were drawn to this gated community and the friendliness of the people at BP! Of Course, they really liked that there are three beautiful 9 hole golf courses. They had lived on Lake Bowen in Spartanburg and loved living by the water. So, living on the pond, now known as Clayton’s Pond, thanks to their friends and neighbors, really appealed to them!  They said that comfortable feeling of living at Brunswick still makes them happy. Sue also works with students after school at North Myrtle Beach Intermediate School through the “Good News Club” at her church. She is also in a book club at BP. It seems that there is something for everyone at Brunswick Plantation and, I’m sure that everyone is glad the Claytons decided to make this their home!

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air!” : W.T. Ellis

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

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One Response to The Clayton’s of Clayton Pond…Light Up Your Life for the Holidays By: Bev Filer

  1. Bev says:

    What a wonderful Holiday event! Thanks so much to the Claytons and the Brunswick Plantation community for your generous spirit at Christmas and Always!

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