by Melissa LaScaleia
Introduce me to your family.
It’s myself and my girlfriend, Morgan Smith. We aren’t married but have the same last name. We’ve been together for a year now. I used to be a groomer, but we’re holding off on getting any pets right now.
Where are all the places you came from? Where do you live now?
I was born in Fort Hood, Texas. My dad was in the military, and by kindergarten, we moved to Bad Kreunznach, Germany. My grandparents on my mother’s side lived in Frankfurt, Germany, so we were close to family.
I learned German, then Spanish; English is my third language. We moved back to the U.S.— to Columbia, SC, where my dad was from originally, when I was 9 years-old. I traveled back and forth and visited my family in Europe often before Covid-19.
I moved to Myrtle Beach nine years ago. Today, Morgan and I live in The Lively in the Market Common.
Why did you move to Myrtle Beach?
I started to come to Myrtle Beach during high school because it was part of the culture of my school and peer group. My best friend, who was like a brother to me, died after high school. And I moved to Myrtle Beach to regroup and have a fresh start.
I got into the service industry right away. I eventually opened the Marshview Marina and ran the Murrell’s Inlet Sports Bar & Grill. I had a great time bartending at Drunken Jacks.
I’ve had a big hand in helping to open many of the sports bars and restaurants in Myrtle Beach over the years.
What is your favorite place in Myrtle Beach?
Homestyle, a Jamaican restaurant in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach. And I like to get my off-the-coast fix with Express Water Sports in Murrells Inlet.
What do you like the most about living here?
I love the culture here. It reminds me of being overseas a little bit, with respect to the nature we’re surrounded by— the beach and the marshland— but it’s even more rural here. How we take it easy here is something to be appreciated.
How has your lifestyle changed since moving here?
At the end of the day, I wasn’t as proficient as I am now at bartending and networking. I understand how to work hard now.
What new activities have you taken up since moving here?
What is one thing that your neighbors don’t know about you?
How much of a nerd I am. I know a lot about Marvel comics, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. All things fantasy I get really into. And how musically inclined I am.
What are your favorite things to do here?
I like to go to Murrells Inlet and hang out at the Marsh Walk. I love Huntington Beach State Park. I love eating out at all kinds of venues— especially local restaurants.
Is there anything that you miss or would like to see in Myrtle Beach?
I miss the big, old cities of Europe.