Snow!

Caswell Beach…..

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(Photo Credit: E. Gifford Stack)

Leland…..

(Photo Credit: Phil Meade)

Southport…..

(Photo Credit:Vicki Burton)

Oak Island Pier…..

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(Photo Credit: Tommy Thomes)

Snow is an anomaly in Brunswick County, NC. I have lived here since 1992 and this is only the third time it has snowed during that time. A couple of differences this time are that it is the first time the snow has stayed overnight and it is not really snow. The ‘snow’ is definitely ice. You hardly make an impression when you walk on it.

None of the neighbors has gone to work – a smart move on their part – and I suspect most of the businesses are closed. The street is a solid sheet of ice and deserted as well. But many people are making the best of it and having fun. The neighbor girl and her parents are ‘sledding’ down the driveway and into the street on boogie boards. She is also sitting on her board and holding her dog’s leash (a yellow lab) while the dog runs and pulls her zig zaggedly along! What fun!

I can imagine this sort of thing is going on all over but I can only imagine. I am one of those who is hunkering down inside and trying to keep warm. Don’t misunderstand me. I have a history of sledding, building snowmen and igloos, and especially ice skating. I would walk a mile or more in the dark after school with my skates slung over my shoulder to the local pond and skate until my toes froze. Then go into the clubhouse and sit in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate thawing them out. Then back outside for more skating and eventually walking home. Since my move south I prefer staying inside with a nice hot cup of tea.

Mike’s Garage Band

On the Mike’s Garage Band Facebook page you will find the quote, “Its just about having fun.” And so it was for the band members who found each other in 2010 and began reliving their youth in Mike’s “garage.” The band members hail from Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, Washington DC and New York. They came together when they all retired to Southport, NC. Some of the members had played in bands in their youth, others had played instruments but had never played in a band, but they all had interest in and enthusiasm for music and entertaining. In the short time they have been together the band has become so popular that they play for capacity crowds at every event.

But it is not really just about having fun. You see, the band donates all proceeds to charity – every penny. And by the end of 2013, they had raised more than $100,000 for local, regional and national charities. These funds have helped the literacy council, Hurricane Sandy survivors, food pantries, Susan Komen Foundation, Hope Harbor Home, the American Red Cross, Kiwanis, Brunswick Community College scholarships and the American Legion among others.

Mike’s Garage Band will be performing at two upcoming events.  Proceeds from the first event will go to the Brunswick County Victims Assistance Fund of the Brunswick Sheriff’s Charitable Foundation, which provides assistance to victims of violent crime. It will be held on January 31 at the St. James Community Center in Southport, NC from 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM. You can bring your own beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Tickets are $10 and you can get tickets and more information by contacting Monique Stenquist at 253-5277.

On March 1, you can attend an evening of 60’s music and dancing at 101 Stone Chimney Place in Supply, NC from 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM. The price is $12 and there will be sandwiches for sale with a cash bar including beer, wine, pretzels and chips. Proceeds from this event will benefit Brunswick Family Assistance. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the agency at 754-4766 or 754-7322.

What a perfect way to help those less fortunate and to have an enjoyable and memorable evening at the same time. Why not get together a group of friends, put on your dancing shoes and head for the 60’s music of Mike’s Garage Band?

MLK

The Arctic cold has come and gone here in Brunswick County and has made us appreciate even more the mild winters we have here. Though it is raining today, a lovely soft rain, it is a comfortable 60 degrees. The warm winter days have found people on the beach again: walking their dogs, fishing, relaxing in the sun or just walking. As one person said to me as she passed: “It’s just too beautiful a day not to be outside.”

One of the events that is celebrated at this time of year every year is Martin Luther King Day. This day celebrates and shows appreciation for the life of Martin Luther King and his nonviolent struggle for racial equality. Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his nonviolent  protests and marches.  He was assassinated in 1968, a violent end of a nonviolent life. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and you can see a memorial statue of him in the National Mall in Washington, D. C. All of us who were alive during his time remember him, whether we knew him personally or not. His “I Have  Dream” speech lives on as the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement.

There are celebrations in his memory throughout Brunswick County, an example being the one held in Southport which begins the Sunday before the holiday with a parade. Following the parade a youth oriented program is held, which includes performances and presentations. On Monday morning a round-table breakfast is held. The breakfast includes a speaker and presentation of the annual Walter Welsh Award, recognizing the recipient’s work in promoting racial harmony, tolerance and understanding. Anyone interested in participating can get more information by calling (910) 457-5144.

BB King

The arctic cold that is gripping the nation has arrived in Brunswick County, NC and most of us are hunkering down trying to stay warm. Only the bravest of souls are bundling up and walking on the windswept winter beaches. We are lucky, however, to have available to us a number of indoor entertainment venues to enjoy. One such venue is the Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia. This Saturday evening we can throw on our warm clothes and brave the short drive to Bolivia to enjoy the music of the King of the Blues, BB King.

At age 88, BB King is as thrilling to watch and listen to as he has ever been as he plays his guitar, Lucille, and sings the blues as only he can. Music is his life – has been from the time he played on street corners for dimes as a child. Now with more than 50 albums and induction into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 he is still going strong. Don’t let the cold weather keep you from the opportunity to see BB in person – you will be glad you did. Get yourself on over to the Odell Williamson Auditorium on Saturday, January 11, at 8 PM and warm up with BB King and the blues.