Later this week, U.S. 17 Business through Murrells Inlet will officially get a new name: the Mickey Spillane Waterfront 17 Highway.
Mickey Spillane, the author of the popular Mike Hammer mystery series, lived in Murrells Inlet for many years. A few weeks before his death in July 2006, the Georgetown County Council voted to rename the highway, but the resolution never made its way through the state legislature.
Earlier this year, the council passed a resolution again and with support from S.C. Sens. Ray Cleary, R-Murrells Inlet, and Yancey McGill, D-Kingstree, the resolution passed.
The Sun News talked with Jane Spillane, Mickey Spillane's widow, about what the renaming would have meant to her late husband.
Question | How did this idea to rename the road get started?
Answer | Nobody asked for this. About six weeks before he (Mickey Spillane) died they passed it in the County Council in Georgetown. Mickey was just so happy. He was so excited about it. And then nothing happened and I was under the impression it was up at the state house. I brought it up again and then everybody jumped on it.
Q. | What did Murrells Inlet mean to your husband?
A. | He loved this area so much. He decided to live here after he flew over it when he was a pilot in World War II. He looked down and said "that is where I want to live." He would talk about the Grand Strand when he was on TV and then he complained about the traffic once everyone started coming. He said "I shouldn't have told people about it," ... he was the celebrity for the area and he promoted it.
Q. | Why was it important to you to see this happen?
A. | It meant so much to him. He had a lot of honors in writing ... but really, the truth, this would mean more to him because it was from the people of South Carolina.
Q. | Where will the naming signs be?
A. | They're going to have one at the beginning of Murrells Inlet at the north end near the chamber of commerce and another down at the end of the inlet.