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News editor’s latest newspaper gig is on a familiar beat

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By Sarah Sue Ingram, Beacon Correspondent

By Sarah Sue Ingram
Interim News Editor

I feel a little ridiculous re-introducing myself to Beacon readers because I’ve never really left.
Since officially retiring, I’ve freelanced columns, covered Holden Beach meetings and written sports. Also, I was interim sports editor four years ago and edited news two years ago until another vacancy was filled.
This time around, I’m interim news editor, which means I’m coach of the newsroom until the publisher finds a new editor. About 30 people have already applied.
I am no stranger to Brunswick County. I’ve been eating seafood in Calabash restaurants since the 1960s. I bought property in Holden Beach in 1983—when it was much cheaper—and made the island my permanent residence 10 years ago.
One of my obsessions is live music, so I frequent the summer Friday night concerts in Ocean Isle Beach and Sunday night concerts in Holden Beach. Holden has a better stage, while Ocean Isle has a giant field and volunteers who show you where to park that make for an easier arrival.
I have friends from Raleigh who rent a different beach house every year in Sunset Beach, so I have explored many beautiful homes there during day-trip visits.
Another one of my obsessions is the Titanic. The Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet movie was spectacular, but my obsession started with the Clifton Webb-Barbara Stanwyck version. I was fortunate enough to interview Bob Ballard, leader of the expedition that found the Titanic wreckage, not long after the find in 1985.
I went to Havana, Cuba, in 1991 with a group of Southern newspaper editors and publishers. The Malecon, an ocean boulevard with waves that crash high up against the seawall and arc over the street, is a beautiful sight. Imagine driving under a waterfall.
My father was with fellow U.S. sailors once in a bar in Havana when Ernest Hemingway bought a round for the house. Daddy always loved Hemingway after that. He liked reading him, too.
The Cuban grocery stores in 1991 had eight food selections. Our American supermarkets had 8,000 choices.
I was editor of The Thomasville Times for seven years after being Sunday editor of The High Point Enterprise for five. I also wrote for The (Lexington) Dispatch and The (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press.
I spent my career vacillating between news (24 years) and sports (17 years). My magazine articles have appeared in Sports Digest, Women’s Basketball Journal, ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament programs and Casual Living (an outdoor furniture magazine).
I wrote a book, “Pack Attack! The 1983 Championship Season,” 30 years ago. I just started my second term on the board of directors of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
My mother was a high school basketball coach, and Daddy owned and operated a curved plywood plant that supplied the major furniture manufacturers. I covered the furniture market 28 times, so I know way more about furniture than is useful to me now.
One of the many things I don’t know enough about is fishing. I do have citations for two big fish I caught.
My non-angler sister asked if that’s like getting a citation for speeding. No, thankfully, it’s just the opposite.
You know you’re obsessed with fishing when you’re wearing five layers of clothing, your teeth are chattering, you missed your only bite and you keep on casting. I feel ridiculous then, too.
Sarah Sue Ingram is the Beacon’s interim news editor. Reach her at editor@brunswickbeacon.com or 754-6890.