•  By John Nelson

    We have two dogs at home, both rescues. Can I brag on them for a moment?

  •  By John Nelson

  • Area events celebrating the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence are already taking hold, starting with the launch of the nearly-as-old North Carolina Fourth of July Festival this weekend in Southport.

    Events in the historic seaport town begin with the N.C. Freedom Run/Walk and opening ceremony Saturday morning, June 28, at Waterfront Park and continue into the following week, until the Fourth of July Festival fireworks finale at 9 p.m. Friday, July 4, on the Southport waterfront.

  • The Brunswick Concert Band is presenting its Summer Concert Series with five performances in the coming week as the band presents “A New York City Central Park Goldman Band Concert.”

  • If you go

    What: The Carolina Breakers

    When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 22

    Where: Pavilion at the end of Jordan Boulevard, Holden Beach

    Admission: free


    The Carolina Breakers are a high-energy, award-winning variety band consisting of four lead vocalists and a horn section covering the musical gamut — beach, boogie, Motown, funk, R&B, disco, classic rock and country.

  • Two authors named Mary are coming to town in the next few days to sign copies of their latest books.

    Mary Alice Monroe will be at Silver Coast Winery at 5 p.m. Friday, June 20, to sign copies of her latest novel, “The Summer Wind,” by way of Pelican Bookstore in Sunset Beach.

    The novel is the second in Monroe’s Lowcountry Summer Trilogy.

    Tickets, $7.50 at the door, include the cost of a beverage of one’s choice.

  • VARNAMTOWN — It was a tribute to beat all tributes.

    Monday night, June 9, folks in Varnamtown turned out to honor one of their own — longtime resident Barbara “Bobbie” Varnam — for her efforts to start a community college in Brunswick County 36 years ago.

    Varnam, 78, was instrumental in her mission to see a local college in her neck of the woods, Varnamtown native Marlene Varnam noted at the June 9 gathering in the meeting room at Varnamtown Town Hall.

  • It’s almost summer — do you know what your kids will be doing?

    An array of activities is out there to keep them busy and involved.

    Following is a closer look at what’s available.

    Brunswick County Summer Camp 2014

    Starting June 16, Brunswick County Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with Communities in Schools, is conducting weeklong summer camp for children in kindergarten through fifth grade at four local elementary schools.



    By John Nelson

    When I was a kid, our family would make an annual summer trip to visit relatives in Hanover, Va. This was before interstate highways, and well before air-conditioning in the car, so we’d always leave early in the morning, well before dawn. Rousted from bed, and trundled dreamily into the back seat, the beginning of the trip was a bit mysterious, and somehow a grand adventure, but boy, were we glad to get out of that car finally late in the afternoon.

  • Back by popular demand, The Ginger Thompson Band will perform at the Sunset Beach Concerts from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, in The Village Park on Queen Anne Street. 

    The Ginger Thompson Band, based in Raleigh, plays a mixture of Motown, soul and shag. The band typically covers hits by Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Martha and the Vandellas, Wilson Pickett and Junior Walker & the All Stars.  

  •  By John Nelson

    Now that it’s warmed up, I’ve been thinking of doing some more aquatic botany. A kayak or canoe is good for studying plants growing in lakes and creeks, but sometimes you just can’t beat putting on some old tennis shoes and wading into an oozy-bottomed pond where the water maybe way up to your waist. This is no time to be overly concerned with snakes, but a sharp attention paid to any visiting serpents would be a good idea.

  • The Flip Flop Ball means just what it says.

    This year’s third annual fundraiser for the Novant Health Foundation Brunswick Medical Center, set for 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at Brick Landing Plantation, will incorporate dancing to beach music, and flip-flops are welcome.

    Music will be provided this year by the Sea-Cruz band and Sea Pans, a steel drum ensemble.

    Highlights include cocktails and island cuisine in addition to dancing. This year’s event co-chairs are Cindy Cheatham and Jonathan Tait.

  •  By John Nelson

  • He’s a self-made businessman and artist who in recent years has been donning yet another hat as an author.

    Just a few years ago, widely known Fayetteville entrepreneur and metal sculptor David McCune caught a writing bug and started putting pen to paper.

    One of his inspirations was his mom, Betty McCune, who died in January 2010 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. McCune’s first book, “Death, Divorce, Alzheimer’s,” conveys how the disease affects the family as much as it does the patient.

  • SUNSET BEACH — The Old Sunset Beach Bridge has received a Preservation Award of Community Leadership from the Historic Wilmington Foundation.

    Announcement of the award, the first ever for a bridge, came last week at the New Hanover County Courthouse as the Old Bridge Preservation Society was gearing up for the opening of the new Museum at the Old Bridge this past weekend, May 24 and 25.

  • BBQ and Bluegrass will permeate Brunswick Community College’s South Brunswick Islands Center on Friday, May 30.

    The event, scheduled from 6 p.m. “until,” will feature the Flatland Ramblers and Friends to benefit the Academy of Coastal Carolina.

    Other highlights include a BBQ dinner, dancing, a silent auction, an art show and face-painting.

    Tickets are $25 and $10 for ages 6 through 12. Children 5 and younger will be admitted free.

    SBIC is at 9400 Ocean Hwy. W. near Calabash.

  •  By John Nelson

    This past weekend, we flew up to Long island to visit relatives who live in the Hamptons. It was definitely still spring up there — daffodils everywhere, as well as lots of Bradford pear and serviceberry in full bloom. Quite a change when we got back to central South Carolina, where we’ve basically entered into early summer. It’s not really hot yet, but it’s warming up fast!

  • Upcoming Memorial Day services will pay tribute to veterans and soldiers both past and present.

    Sunset Beach

    A third annual Memorial Day service is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 26, in the new Sunset Beach Town Park on Sunset Boulevard.

    Sunset Beach Town Council and the Sunset Beach Police Department invite the public to join them as they honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while defending our freedom.

  • SUNSET BEACH — Three years after being shut down, retired and moved to a new resting site, the old Sunset Beach bridge is ready for a new opening.

    After years of fundraising and getting ready, the Old Bridge Preservation Society is gearing up for the opening of the Museum at the Old Bridge.

    The museum, inside the upper level of the bridge’s old tender house, officially opens to the public with planned festivities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 24, and Sunday, May 25, at the old bridge’s mainland resting site at 109 Shoreline Drive West.

  •  By John Nelson