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Southport, NC - A Spring Welcome

Down here in Southport, it's just starting to feel a little different. Even though we've had our share of warm spells and 70 degree days this Winter, last weekend conjured up that unmistakable feeling of anticipation that has less to do with temperature and more to do with the primordial wake-up call that's being played all around us. You wouldn't know it bwysteriawrapped160y looking at my yard....all is still asleep including the bud-swelling, free wheeling wisteria that has a conceded stranglehold around my front porch. We have attempted to guide and foster this determined plant which has muscled its way around pickets and rail. It's a lot like the kids we've reared up right along side admire it, you think you've got control over it, you nip it regularly, you give it a much needed cutting back every once in awhile, until the day finally comes when you just have to throw up your hands and say...."Have at's all yours."

With Easter cjonquils430oming early this year, its about time to give the tourists the 'mon back signal, not like we have any control over the matter. It's just a part of life, something that all locals have to learn to deal with, along with mom-sis-touriststhe sand gnats that arrive at about the same time. We all understand that tourism is the heart and soul of our service industry-centered economy around here. Besides, our tourists are cool. They wear Provision Co tees instead of Hawaiian shirts!


The Southport Spring Festival is on tap for Easter Weekend under the oaks in Franklin Square Park. Lots of local crafts,food, and music give this gathering a much "cooler," laid-back feel than the . It is anchored by the Robert Ruark Chili Cook-Off honoring the author of the part-autographical "," inspired by summers and holidays spent at his grandparents house near the Southport Waterfront. springfest200If you've never read it you should...told from the boy's perspective with a keen eye for observation and a pure knack for local vernacular. Set back during the Depression and days of Prohibition, Ruark speaks right to the Southern heart of life spent outdoors; fishin', clammin', oysterin', duck huntin', all embellished with a crusty cast of characters, and warmed with Southern coastal cooking traditions and forbidden corn "licker."

I feel the need to speak out about a recent issue that has to do with our three newly elected Aldermen and one of their first and certainly most highly publicized vote. If you're a local or you've read my earlier blogs, you know that in November, three long-time incumbents were ousted by three candidates running on the platform of change, tighter restrictions on development, and heightened measures to preserve the unique small-town character that we all love about Southport. At issue was the unanimous recommendation from the Planning Board to rezone the undeveloped 106 acre parcel called Southport Crossing from multi-family/ office/ industrial to Residential single-family. Reducing maximum density from 11 to 4 units per acre seems like common sense to me, in this environmentally sensitive area with growing traffic concerns already. So with a "standing room only" crowd there to speak out in support of the Planning Board's decision, the motion was still defeated 4-2. All three of the surviving incumbents voted with the developers as everyone expected. The surprise came when Jwantana Frink, among the newly elected, stuck a fork in the motion with nary a comment. A 3-3 vote would have required a vote from the new Mayor Spencer and I'm reasonably sure the outcome would have been different. I'm disappointed in ALL of our Aldermen who completely ignored the entire Planning Board AND the citizens of Southport. Frink, after winning in November had this to say, "I kept my campaign short and sweet - to the point - (as) the people's voice." Wilmington Star 12-12-07

Politics as usual...........


There are a ton of local events on the calendar for this month. Anyone visiting Southport over Spring Break will find plenty to do. production of A. R. Gurney’s “SYLVIA,” a poignant comedy about a couple facing mid-life changes and a stray dog named Sylvia, will be performed at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Supply at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 9. Ten percent of the proceeds from these performances will be donated to , a local nonprofit organization dedicated to animal welfare. Performances will also be held at (Guerilla Theatre’s new location), located at 111 Grace Street in downtown Wilmington at 8 PM. Thursday through Sunday, March 13th-16th.

Looking ahead to Memorial Day Weekend in Southport, Brunswick Little Theatre will be bringing a FREE outdoor show to Franklin Square Park. Bring a chair....enjoy a 25 year retrospective of BLT's musical history under the stars. Friday, Saturday, Sunday at 8PM.

guysandolls150 Stage II Productions will present “Guys and Dolls,” a broadway classic for sure; a fast-paced, romantic musical comedy set during Prohibition in New York City. If you haven't seen a show in the old Amuzu Theatre in Downtown Southport yet, you'd be hard pressed to find a more authentic theatre experience. The show opens Friday, March 14. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays through March 30. Tickets are available at Ricky Evans Gallery, loLuck20o20the20Irish200cated at 222 North Howe Street. For ticket information, call 457-1109.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, will celebrate everything Irish during the third annual Irish Festival on Saturday, March 15, from 11 am to 5 pm Irish Soda Bread Baking and Irish Jig contests and do some shopping with arts and crafts vendors. Prizes will also be given for best Irish costumes. Arts and crafts vendors are also scheduled. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children age 12 and younger.

Finally for a little something different, boaters unite for the annual Blessing of the Fleet on March waterfront30020th at 2 PM at the Waterfront. The event is organized every year by the . If you have a kayak, shrimp boat, cruiser, or sailboat, come on along. It is a day to look forward to a safe and pleasant boating season and to remember those we have lost to the sea. All boaters are invited to bring their craft out to the Southport waterfront where the Fleet Chaplain, will be ready to provide you and your vessel with a blessing for a safe and pleasant boating season. If you do not have a boat, come down to the Southport Waterfront anyway and watch. It's a beautiful sight to behold. I'll save you a seat.

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