Smile—you too might be on YouTube

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

I wasn’t about to forget O’Neal “Knot” Varnam’s annual birthday backflip dive into the Lockwood Folly River this year (see story page 18A of today’s Beacon).

I couldn’t forget, because there it was on YouTube: “Dad’s 65th Birthday Flip in Varnamtown.”

This was a video dating back to 2002 and posted by Varnam’s daughter—“The 65th Birthday Leap,” it was titled.

People say you can find just about anything on YouTube these days. Well, it’s just about true.

Just like he did this past Monday, six years ago the Varnamtown native climbed a wooden ladder to the top of a boat-dock piling and performed a backward dive into the water to celebrate his Sept. 8 birthday.

“Just 35 more of ’em to do,” he is heard saying on the footage, to the tune of the Dixie Chicks’ “Let Him Fly” playing in the background.

This year, Varnam pared down that number to 29, since he’d just turned 71 and plans to continue his annual backflip until he’s 100. In his video, he makes quite a splash—a hearty thumbs-up.

Besides Varnam, on YouTube you too can find assorted video about the former sheriff, local homes for sale complete with interior shots—a spacious, never-lived-in house in Carolina Shores, along with “beautiful Sunset Beach”—or just the beaches in general.

I even found video featuring a country music song, “Carolina Shores,” that I listened to for a full few seconds before it began to grate on my ears and I quickly changed the YouTube channel.

I’m fairly certain that song was not recorded in Carolina Shores, N.C.

The Sunset Beach bridge? Yep, it’s there in a virtual reality experience where viewers get to cross the old pontoon span along with the car traveling across it.

Or how ’bout a documentary about The Fort Fisher Hermit, aka Robert E. Harrill? It’s there, too.

“It was one North Carolina man who demonstrated the meaning of life simplified,” the narrator says as the bearded face of the hermit flashes into view. “A life that could teach the world about what he called common sense.”

Yeah, we could all use more of that.

Also featured is a mostly audio rather than visual school presentation about recycling in Brunswick County and another titled, “Leslie Bell, Director of the Brunswick Co. Planning Dept.”

There also are a number of videos about “roofing and home repair in Brunswick County.”

They’re definitely not Oscar-winners, but they might be the perfect YouTube videos to tune into this hurricane season—as long as the power holds out.