Fort Mill resident Robert Ryals has devoted his life to living history. He is a ‘story-teller of facts’ and tour guide for Walkin’ Talkin’ Tours, which he co-owns with his wife. Of his career path he says, “If you’re pursuing your passion, you never have to work a day in your life.” He further explains, “The reason why I developed this business wasn’t to make a lot of money. It was to pursue the story and get people interested in the story.”
The idea for the business came about in 2013 while Ryals and his wife were on a trip to Boston and taking a Boston by Foot tour, but that is not when his interest in living history first began. Ryals says he first got involved in living history and historical reenacting in the year 2000, when he volunteered at two different historic sites in Florida. In 2009, after Ryals and his wife moved to the Carolinas, he describes himself as becoming “hooked” after talking with a group of war reenactors who were encamped on site at Andrew Jackson State Park.
He has traveled all over the south to participate in war reenactments and explains, “those of us who do this love telling the story.”