Friday, July 15, 2011
MURRELLS INLET SC — Elected officials and family members of famed mystery writer Mickey Spillane are expected to be on hand today for the dedication of a stretch of road named in his honor.
Spillane’s wife, Jane Spillane, said there will be one sign at each entrance to Murrells Inlet, an area where her husband lived and wrote for a good part of his life.
The large signs were put up Monday, but were kept wrapped until today’s ceremony.
Jane Spillane said she cried when she saw the signs naming the Mickey Spillane Waterfront 17 Highway.
She also received smaller versions of the signs to keep as souvenirs, she said.
“He received the Grand Master Award in writing, but this would mean more to him because it is from the South Carolina residents and the locals,” she said. “His heart was in Murrells Inlet.”
The crowd at today’s dedication is expected to be filled with people who read Mickey Spillane’s books or knew him in person, his wife said. Senators Yancey McGill and Ray Cleary have pledged to be at today’s ceremony.
Sunday will be the fifth anniversary of Mickey Spillane’s death from pancreatic cancer.
Georgetown County Council passed a resolution six weeks before he died to name the highway in his honor, so Mickey Spillane knew about the future plans, she said.
The county recently passed another resolution and the signs were approved within the last several months by the S.C. General Assembly.
“Mickey knew about the plans before he passed away, and was so happy,” his wife said.
“I cried today when I saw them because I knew how much that would mean to him. Everywhere he went, he was a celebrity. Here, he was just plain Mickey. Everybody just loved him. He had such a normal life.”
Other local bridges and highways in Georgetown County are named in honor of attorneys, council members and prominent local people, including the Sylvan L. Rosen bridge in Georgetown.
Spillane, who penned dozens of books which led to the Mike Hammer television series, lived at the north end of Murrells Inlet.
The road named in his honor will run right past his former home, where his wife still lives.
“He loved this place where he chose to live for over 50 years,” she said.
The contributions Spillane made to Georgetown County were noted in the most recent county resolution.
“Mickey Spillane was an accomplished writer authoring dozens of novels, and his work is acclaimed to be amongst the all-time best-selling books published in America. Mickey Spillane loved the beautiful Lowcountry, and chose Murrells Inlet, South Carolina as his home for many decades.
“The residents of Murrells Inlet and Georgetown County take pride in Mickey Spillane’s personal accomplishments and many of his highly successful mystery novels began when they were authored here. As a gifted writer, and successful lifelong businessman, Mickey Spillane’s personal successes have brought distinction to Murrells Inlet, and the South Carolina coast. Georgetown County Council, by Resolution dated June 27, 2006, requested that the General Assembly consider naming U.S. Highway 17 Business, through Murrells Inlet, the Mickey Spillane Waterfront 17 Highway.”