ONDBEAT: King Neptune livens the landscape in Varnamtown

The god of freshwater and sea has finally found his rightful resting place in Varnamtown, at least for now.


That’s what happened a few weeks ago in the previously sleepy Brunswick County fishing village when a larger-than-life-size King Neptune statue debuted on Gail Hewitt’s formerly ordinary lawn.

Now that Gail’s daughter Wendy and Wendy’s fiancé, Franco Micciche, are planning to move to Brunswick County from their former home in the Florida Keys, King Neptune was among possessions traveling with them.

Their behemoth buddy, weighing in at more than half a ton, previously graced the entrance of Wendy’s Keys Castaways Antiques shop in Key Largo.

Gail said they got King Neptune, whom she describes as “15 feet tall,” from a man who was leaving the Keys, including his “very elegant home” where the mighty statue once reigned. He had no idea what to do with it but said if Wendy wanted it to come and get it. She did and she did.

As Wendy and Franco gradually migrate 800 miles north to their new home in North Carolina, Wendy said her mom graciously offered her Varnamtown yard to “store” King Neptune.

Struggling to unload the heavy statue “wrapped in swaddling clothes” from Franco’s pickup truck last month, they got some assistance from concerned neighbors Van and Nick Fulford and their crew with Fulford Concrete as they happened by.

Wendy said they unloaded a large professional excavator machine “and set about saving us from certain death,” jerry-rigging the statue back down to earth and solid ground on Gail’s lawn.

Arriving home from work that afternoon, Gail found King Neptune exposing his backside in “all his glory.”

He’s earned his berth as the talk of Varnamtown, Wendy said, especially at Gail’s beloved Dixon Chapel United Methodist Church.

Neighbors ask when Gail is going to clothe him. The mailman complains King Neptune hasn’t filled out his change-of-address form. Franco mischievously wonders what they’ll do with him come Halloween.

Bolivia woman seeks votes for Eggland’s Best Recipe

Janis Morgan of Bolivia is North Carolina’s semifinalist for the Southeast region in the Eggland’s Best Recipe Contest for her Hash Brown and Chive Crusted Goat Cheese Quiche.

To help boost our Brunswick County contender and what sounds like a winning recipe for the $10,000 prize, go to americasbestrecipe.com/contest by the contest deadline, which is next Tuesday, July 31.

You can also view a picture of Morgan’s quiche, along with competing egg-based dishes from nine other southeastern states, and get a copy of the recipe.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.