• The third week of September 1978 marked the beginning of an era with the formation of The Fantastic Shakers, known as the South’s finest show band.

    Since that time nearly 35 years ago, The Fantastic Shakers have performed more than 6,000 engagements, including more than 400 wedding receptions, 700 conventions and countless clubs.

    Their performance venues stretch from New York to Florida and throughout the Southeast.

  • It’s the end-all, be-all cure in a little white jar, and it heals everything from babies’ chafed bottoms to sores on a dog’s back.
    It is ENDIT, and two pharmacists in Shallotte developed the formula.
    Many Shallotte natives may remember William Douglas Roycroft — or Doug, as many called him — as the pharmacist and owner of Shallotte Rexall Drugs and Ocean Isle Pharmacy. Others may remember him for his service to Brunswick Hospital, the Brunswick County Board of Health or the ABC Board.

  • Brunswick County’s free concert and movie series is rounding the bend into its last few weeks for the season.

    The next featured concerts of the season are as follows.

    Ocean Isle Beach (6:30 p.m. Fridays at Museum of Coastal Carolina) — Steve Owens & Summertime, Aug. 16; Sea Cruz, Aug. 23; Band of Oz, Aug. 30

    Shallotte, in Rourk Garden — Coastline Band, 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29

  • “Infernal Machines” were introduced into warfare by Confederate forces during the Civil War.

    A program on this innovation, which we now call torpedoes, will be presented at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.

    The free program, “Mine Games: Torpedo Warfare in the Cape Fear,” is the final of 2nd Saturdays summer programs organized by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources at historic sites and museums statewide.

  • Anyone who has ever experienced the unconditional love and devotion of a pet also knows the devastating heartbreak of that final goodbye.

  • Learn how different ships named North Carolina had an important role from the Civil War to World War II aboard the Battleship North Carolina this weekend.

    “Battleship 101” consists of interactive family fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.

    Battleship 101 visitors engage with ship volunteers stationed throughout the ship as they create dialogue on specific subjects relative to daily shipboard life including gunnery, radar, sickbay, galley and engineering areas.

  • Soloist Linda Ladrick will perform at a free concert from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Old Bridge, 109 Shoreline Drive W. in Sunset Beach.

    Ladrick, accompanied by Kathryn Parker, will perform songs from the Great American Songbook, consisting of songs from 20th Century America.

    Ladrick is a native New Yorker with an extensive musical resume. Parker is the director of music ministries at Seaside and recently received her certificate in music ministry.

  • Author Daniel Morton will be at Pelican Bookstore in Sunset Beach from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, to sign copies of his latest book, “Eyes of the Ocean.”

    The book focuses on Jim Fender, who has it all: a house on the beach, a beautiful wife, a loving daughter and a business deal that promises to make him extremely wealthy. He’s on top of the world — but that’s all about to change.

  • In the mid-1960s, a fledgling musical group of school chums calling themselves The Avengers was born in the Pitt County town of Grifton.

    The group was described as a “guitar and keyboard group playing the sock hops at area schools, private parties and an occasional club whenever the owner would risk having them.”

    The group implemented a horn section in the late 1960s, significantly altering its music and regional renown as Band of Oz.

    In late 1976, Band of Oz hit the road, traveling extensively in the Southeast playing the club circuit.

  • LITTLE RIVER, S.C. — Marlen Mapes wore patriotic colors when she visited the Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center last week.

    She also had in hand $1,776 to give to the nonprofit center, whose staff of dedicated volunteers provide assistance to veterans in the region when they often can’t get help anywhere else.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre will hold auditions for “The 39 Steps” on Aug. 6.

    If you mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel and add a dash of Monty Python, you have “The 39 Steps,” a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre.

    This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, more than 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance.

  • Singer/songwriter Jim Quick is the front man for Jim Quick & Coastline, a band rooted in the Cape Fear region and along the Grand Strand.

    Coastline, though not a true beach band, performs more R&B and shag songs.

    Quick, inspired by his childhood years growing up “between the swamplands and sand hills of southeastern North Carolina,” has been touring the Southeast for more than 15 years, playing nearly 300 shows a year. He has released more than 11 albums, including his latest, “Down South.”

  • Local vocalist Mandee Williams will once again entertain Sunset Beach at the Old Bridge Preservation Society’s next Summer at the Old Bridge concert Thursday night, July 25.

    “Welcome to the Movies, the Sequel,” will be presented as part of the society’s Family Fun Nights series, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Old Bridge at 109 Shoreline Drive W. in Sunset Beach.

    Williams’ encore performance will be accompanied by pianist Lynn Wood and drummer Brooks Morgan.

  • If asked, anyone who lives or visits Brunswick County knows and would say emphatically that the best cooks and bakers in the world live here. Now they are being recognized.

    Each month the editorial staff of Our State magazine highlights a regional cookbook, and this month’s feature is the Old Bridge Preservation Society’s Old Bridge Cookbook.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre’s summer presentation is Disney's “Beauty and the Beast.”

    Performances began July 26 and run through Aug. 4 at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    The musical is based on the popular animated 1991 film of the same title, Thom Clemmons, Publicity Director for Brunswick Little Theatre, said.

    Alan Mencken and Howard Ashman wrote the score for the film.

  • Too Much Sylvia has the desire and ability to please and play something everyone will enjoy.

    The Carolinas-based band’s fun, contagious personalities touch all. Whether at a low-key dinner setting or an energetic ‘80s-style party, the band easily adapts.

    Band members’ talents will be showcased at this week’s Summer Concert Series at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 26, at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Four decades ago, the first board of commissioners of the newly incorporated town of Calabash sat down and commenced with the Seafood Capital’s first town meeting.

    The date was July 28, 1973.

    Forty years later, the town of Calabash has grown, changed and is still going strong. It’s transformed from a small fishing village with a handful of seafood restaurants to a less-small town with a year-round population of 1,831 residents and more than 30 restaurants serving people from all over the world.

  • A banana tree grows in Brunswick County.

    And sometimes it even yields a few delicious bananas, says tree owner Emmett Grissett — right in his own backyard in the Cedar Grove community.

    “I started off with a little thing right there,” said Grissett, standing beside the flourishing tropical tree towering over his head where the latest baby bananas are emerging.

    It wasn’t so long ago that plant “looked like nothin’ — just stalks,” Grissett said. “I cut all the leaves off to just a stump.”

  • These days, very few people can tell their children and grandchildren stories about walking a mile, uphill, in the snow, just to get to school. Even fewer people can tell their children about having a snowball fight outside a castle, or drinking water from the Roman baths.

    But someday, when Sydney Underwood has children, she will be able to tell them about all these things and more.

  • BOLIVIA — Last week, a small crowd splashed through puddles and braved the drizzle to pick blueberries at Owens Blueberry Farm on N.C. 211 in Bolivia.

    The farm re-opened for the first time last Tuesday after more than 400 people came out for its opening day June 27. That day, cars lined both sides of the highway, and many people stood in line for hours, waiting their turn to fill white buckets with fresh, ripe blueberries.