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‘Dalton and Grace’ Pleasantly Anecdotal



Daniel Island Couple Share Whimsical Short Stories of Life in Charleston

Jeff Walker, Book Review

Aside from those who reside and or work on Daniel Island, very few are familiar with the Daniel Island News. The weekly publication which presents more like a magazine and is dedicated to all things Daniel Island has been informing the local community just shy of 20 years.

For the better part of 17 years husband and wife team Bill and Ann Stevens have been contributing observational articles under the byline ‘Dalton’s Drollery’ by Dalton Williams. The couple both in the 70’s and now fully retired moved to Daniel Island in the early 2000’s for a more relaxed lifestyle. Bill a former executive and Ann a teacher collaborate on the comical stories surrounding the daily lives of Dalton and Grace Williams.

After penning hundreds of compelling tales and with some gentle urging the Stevens compiled 75 of their favorite articles into book form. With the help of Mount Pleasant based Bublish Inc. ‘Dalton and Grace: Whimsical Short Stories of Life in Charleston’ was published in 2021 offering regular readers a chance to revisit Dalton’s Drollery, and perhaps introduce the four main characters to a whole new audience.

With Bill as the principal author and Ann his self-prescribed editor, the Daniel Island writing duo who have been recognized by the SC Press Association reflect on everyday activities through the eyes of Dalton and Grace. In 1000 words or less the fictional couple contemplate ordinary and mundane trips to Publix, craft shows, and Krispy Kreme, among other obscure findings that peak Dalton’s fascination.

While most of the short stories are amusing anecdotes a few tug on the heart strings, especially those dealing with the loss of aging parents or a future letter to a grandchild. However, a majority of Dalton’s observations have to do with things that make us all go ‘Hmm’.

Why was Pluto fired from the planet world (I know it’s been re-instated)? Why do our loved ones save (hoard) Amazon boxes after removing the contents? What do lava lamps, Cheese Doodles, and Retired Old Men Eating Out (ROMEO) have in common? Is a man cave truly a man’s castle if the queen of the house is cleaning house? Can a college educated businessman learn how to do laundry? These are just a few of the queries Dalton submits for topics of conversation.

More than a handful of Dalton’s whimsies are oddly enchanting. Dalton suggests he and Grace would be ideal candidates to fill the royal void left after Harry and Meghan stepped down. Equaling amusing is the pre-wedding advice for Prince Charles prior to his nuptials with Camilla. English socials are so stuffy, how about a bachelor party in Myrtle Beach and a wedding cake crafted from Krispy Kreme donuts!

Not long after regular readers grew fond of the banter between Dalton and Grace, Bill introduced somewhat lovable old Aunt Toogie. While Grace cleverly obtains the upper hand in the marriage by using subtlety and grace, Aunt Toogie is the ideal antagonist for Dalton.

For those old enough to remember, imagine Aunt Toogie as Edith Bunker’s cousin Maude, exchanging well timed barbs with the ornery Archie. The dialogue between Dalton and Toogie mirrors the same. Aunt Toogie’s gentleman caller Brevard (an old school stuffed shirt) completes ‘Dalton’s Drollery’ quadruple cast of intriguing characters.

The players in ‘Dalton and Grace’ are well defined. Dalton is a set in his ways kindhearted often times curmudgeon who’d rather be spinning yarns from the golf course than his barcalounger. Grace is more the go with the flow, loving pragmatic spouse, whereas Aunt Toogie is Dalton’s consummate foil, never afraid to speak her mind and put Dalton in his place. Brevard as his name might indicate embraces Charleston’s yesteryear, comfortable in khakis and bowties with the perfectly shaken martini. A typical haughty blueblood.

Readers will get more than a chuckle out of Dalton trying to trick time, explain instant replay to the ladies, or match wits with Brevard. For more than 17 years ‘Dalton’s Drollery’ has beguiled readers of the Daniel Island News. Armed with a vivid imagination, Dalton’s observation run the gamut. His chronicles are a perfect blend of Seinfeld episodes meet The Lockhorns from the funny pages. Delicious repartee.

Is Dalton modeled after Bill Stevens? According to the author it’s a state secret. My guess is they see things through the same eyes. ‘Dalton and Grace: Whimsical Stories of Life in Charleston’ is available through several online retailers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Prepare to be pleasantly entertained. For more on the Dalton and Grace and Bill and Ann Stevens visit their website at


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