Beach Bites

BY CJ Williams

decoration funds preservation

Bellamy Mansion hosts Art of the Table

The Bellamy Mansion designed in 1859 by local architect James F. Post as the residence of Dr. John D. Bellamy now a stewardship property of Preservation North Carolina and a renowned museum is a work of art in and of itself. As part of its mission and to raise funds for the preservation and maintenance of the mansion The Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design Arts will host its second annual “Art of the Table” on Friday March 6 through Sunday March 8.

Local artists designers and exhibitors from more than 30 businesses including exhibitors such as Alligator Pie dragonflies The Fishermans Wife and NoFo will present creatively themed and artfully decorated “over-the-top” tablescapes in 12 rooms throughout the mansion showcasing various centerpiece designs and mantel arrangements.

A preview of gala events will be held on Thursday March 5 beginning at 6 p.m. Preview tickets are $85 and include an exclusive dinner in one of 10 participating historic Wilmington homes such as the Dudley Mansion and the Graystone Inn. Following dinner coffee and dessert will be served in the Bellamy Mansion during a preview of the tablescapes and a silent auction of excellent items supplied by numerous sponsors.

General admission begins Friday March 6 and continues through Sunday March 8. On Friday and Saturday the mansion will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. Three special design workshops Interior Design Floral Arranging and Custom Furniture from Reclaimed Lumber are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

The Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design Arts is located at 503 Market Street. Tickets for the workshops are $10. Tickets for Art of the Table are $17 for active Bellamy members and $20 for the general public. For tickets call (910) 386-6126; for more information contact Diane Usher at (910) 251-3700.

dramatic interpretation

Wilmington City Officials Caught Cross Dressing on Stage!

The Phoenix Employment Ministry a nonprofit organization that assists the homeless of Wilmington in finding gainful work will host its fourth annual Big Greek Wedding performance at Thalian Hall (310 Chestnut Street) on March 27 at 7 p.m. The ensemble is made up of women that play men and men that play women all for a good cause. In 2007 Thalian Hall was decorated to portray Las Vegas and last year Paris. This year the play will take place in the “homeland” of Greece as participants morph themselves into Vestal Virgins and Greek gladiators. Volunteers actors and city officials Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo as the brides grandmother for instance will play out a Big Greek Wedding originally written and then adapted anew each year by Beth and Walter Pancoe.

The Phoenix Employment Ministry hosts the event to raise money for its mission. Volunteers assist homeless men and women by guiding them through resume building assembling proper work attire setting up appointments for job interviews and providing transportation. The ministry states on its Web site: “We seek to serve those whose lives have been diminished on the pyre of poverty.” Founded by Don Skinner Phoenix has been helping the less fortunate since 2002. Volunteer coordinator Linda Cunningham says “The mission has not changed here; it is all about the group setting the sense of community which is very important.”

Tickets are $75 each and are available at the Thalian Hall box office (910) 343-3664. For more information visit the Phoenix Employment Ministry Web site

social gathering

chase away the winter blues by getting involved in a local club

The Scrabble Club yes the board game that sells one to two million sets each year has got locals shuffling letters and wracking their brains at Old Books on Front Street (22 N. Front Street) at 7 p.m. every Monday night of the year. For more information call (910) 763-4754.

The Cape Fear Camera Club is taking aim and shooting anything and everything in the Wrightsville Beach area. The club meets on the first and third Thursday of every month at UNCWs Cultural Arts building for an exhibition of their shots and a pre-planned program usually featuring a guest presenter. Individual membership is $20. For more information visit the Web site

memoirs of a wordsmith

89-year-old John M. Camp Jr. weaves an intriguing tale

Renowned local historian and WBM contributing writer Susan Taylor Block brings us the fascinating story of 89-year-old John M. Camp Jr. a Figure Eight Island resident for the last 20 years in her newly published work Camps memoir While Youre Up. Transcribed from 44 60-to-90-minute audio interviews with Mr. Camp the book tells the tale of a man described by Block as a “privileged survivor ” and a “determined man who always looks on the bright side of life.” Camp has seen great highs literally as an Air Force pilot and trainer for 53 years and lows that never kept him down for long. Block describes Camps vast vocabulary and fabulous storytelling ability by saying “I think its every writers dream a memoir assignment with such a wordsmith.” The book is available through

small screen

finding an audience for independent films

Looking for a place to premiere your independent film? Or maybe just sit and enjoy one? Your cinematic search stops here.

African American writers directors and producers from all over the nation will present their independent films at the eighth annual Cine Noir Festival of Black Film at Cameron Art Museum (3201 S. 17th Street) on Thursday March 12 through Sunday March 15. Festival director Rhonda Bellamy says she expects 25-30 new independent films to be screened at the event. A jury will vote and select a winner among the submission categories: features shorts documentary and animated films. The winner in each category will receive $500. For more information visit or contact Rhonda Bellamy at (910) 612-7832.

With 13 hours of new videos uploaded every minute YouTube is a perfect and popular place to premiere your independent film over the Internet. But what about the big screen? Well with the help of YouTube open mic night at the Juggling Gypsy (1612 Castle Street) a feature-sized presentation is yours. Sit back and relax as your movie speeds over a wireless Internet connection and onto the Gypsys big screen. The films start flying at 9 p.m. every Monday. For more information call (910) 763-2223.

Most production done and no place to submit? Movies with Chase at the Brown Coat Pub and Theatre (111 Grace Street) offers indy filmmakers an opportunity to screen their films for a full house of homegrown fans. Manager Chase Harrison screens local submissions on the Brown Coats 52-inch projector screen on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. For submission information call (910) 233-9914.

art movement

Yoga and Tai Chi at the Cameron Art Museum

Question: What do Tai Chi Yoga and the Mona Lisa have in common? Answer: You can find them all at Cameron Art Museum (Well not the actual Mona Lisa but a thread spool work of the famed da Vinci painting.)

Cited for improving balance health and well-being beginners Yoga and Tai Chi are quickly catching fire as the new trends in fashionable exercise. Tai Chi is one of Chinas 300 ancient martial arts and Cameron Museum development officer Heather Wilson says that practicing Yoga and Tai Chi in an art museum is perfect. “We really feel that art enhances the quality of your life and we wanted to complement that ” she says. Theyre offering both classes all year every other Wednesday and Thursday of each month.

When youre finished stretching breathing and re-energizing take a stroll through the current exhibitions including: “Bearden to Ruscha: Contemporary Art from the North Carolina Museum of Art ” featuring Devorah Sperbers beautiful hanging thread spool piece: After the Mona Lisa 2.

Yoga and Tai Chi sessions start at noon in the Cameron Art Museum reception hall (3201 South 17th Street). You dont have to sign up drop-ins are encouraged and the fee is $3 for members and $5 for nonmembers. For more information call (910) 395-5999 or visit

natural glow

Bioluminescent animals light up the night

While walking on Wrightsville Beach one special night this year a lucky few might find themselves wondering if a shooting star has crash-landed into the Atlantic. But the brilliant reds blues and greens reflecting through the saltwater like comets in the cosmos are actually blooms of millions of sea sparkles. Formally called noctiluca scintillans sea sparkles are small marine algae floating just beneath the surface where excessive wave action causes a chemical reaction in their bodies that lights up the night in a spectacular display of bioluminescence.

Bioluminescence refers to an animals ability to light itself up and glow in the dark. There are many animals with these sorts of talents who remembers catching fireflies in a glass jar? but few of these illuminated animals can actually brighten an entire shoreline! Native to our Eastern beaches the sea sparkles light shows can sometimes become so bright during dark nights that a colorful haze will rise above the horizon. Lawrence B. Cahoon professor of marine sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington says that bioluminescence functions as a defense mechanism. “The sudden light can momentarily stun zooplankton trying to eat the noctiluca scintillans.”

“This type of thing shows us just how diverse our natural world is ” says Wrightsville Beachs Captain Joe Abbate “that you can go out and see the entire ocean lit up. You just never know when you will see it and then suddenly there it is.”

You are most likely to see the oceans meteor shower on a warm summer night when the tide is high and the waves are large. When sea sparkles are at their most abundant it can seem as if the entire ocean has been set aflame.

run for ray

Trail run at Blue Clay Park

Ray Underhill was many wonderful things: professional skateboarder Web master at Eastern Skateboard Supply elementary school volunteer athlete husband father son brother friend. Ray died on August 1 2008 after a brave two-year battle against a chordoma brain tumor in which he demonstrated an undeniable inner source of strength and kindness that lifted the spirits of all who knew and loved him. Three of his friends Jim Mincher of Two Wheeler Dealer John Morgan of Eastern Skateboard Supply and Bobby Brandon of Intracoastal Realty wanted to do something special to honor Rays memory. Since they run in Blue Clay Road Park the answer became clear: hold a run to raise money for Rays family and for chordoma research.

The 1st annual Run for Ray trail run will take place at New Hanover Countys Blue Clay Mountain Bike Trail on Sunday March 22 at 9 a.m. Entry fees are $20 for the 5K and $25 for the 10K. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the Underhill family and to the Chordoma Foundation. For more information call Jim Mincher at (910) 799-6444 or John Morgan at (910) 538-7769 or visit Richard Leder

time on your side

helpful suggestions for daylight saving time

Every year it happens like clockwork Daylight Saving Time “adds” one extra hour to our day. Although we spring forward loosing an hour of sleep we extend the amount of evening light we get to enjoy. Here are some things you can do to fill that extra time. Of course you might want to start by setting your clocks ahead one hour at 2 a.m. on March 8.

Write a letter. Dont text message or email. Use a pen and paper to send a note to someone needing a pick-me-up.

Walk the loop. If the average person can briskly walk a 15-minute mile you could be done in about 36 minutes. With all that extra time (24 minutes) you could visit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History.

Catch up on Lost. Your DVR will thank you.

Phone a friend. No its not a lifeline rather a call (pun intended) to sit back relax and have a real conversation.

Cook a family dinner. Find a new recipe and head to the store for ingredients.

Sit on the couch put your feet up and read a magazine like this one.

Update your playlist. Its time to work on your spring mix. Fill it with laid-back tunes to lighten your mood.

Scour the yard for a four-leaf clover. St. Pattys Day is next week and youll need the luck of the Irish smiling down on you if you never got around to washing your “Kiss me Im Irish” t-shirt from last years festivities. Which brings us to our next suggestion

Do a load of laundry. The load at the bottom of the pile that you never have time to do.


red hot and glowing

The ancient art of glassblowing finds a cape fear home

Glassblowing is a delicate art that utilizes a blowers breath to mold red-hot molten glass into beautiful ornaments vases and various other objects. This may sound like a job best left to the experts but at RDG Designs (612 Castle Street) where free demonstrations are held daily and lessons can be scheduled by appointment even the most inexperienced uninformed and curious amateur can create a glass masterpiece.

Jane Greer owner of RDG Designs glassblowing for more than 12 years keeps glass in liquid form 24 hours a day by leaving it in a 2 100-degree furnace. During a lesson a novice glassblower takes a long metal pipe inserts it into the pool of molten glass and pulls a small amount out. Then while the artist blows softly down the tube the liquid glass fills with air and forms into a bubble as it hardens. After the glass stiffens a hand torch can be used to heat the glass and shape it further into bowls bottles or jars. If more shaping has to be done the glass is then placed into a large drum for softening which is kept at 3 500 degrees.

Future glassblowers can take a lesson for $60 an hour; molders and shapers can use the hand torch for $25 an hour. For more information call (910) 772- 2090. CJ Williams

piece of wrightsville beach

Historical reminders found at the Wrightsville Beach Museum

Lumina bowling alley circa 1930-1940

Before modern contrivances its fair to say bowling alley attendants had a hard-knock life. Acting as a sort of human ball return these men would stand behind the pins at the end of a lane and stop a players bowling ball afterward jogging back across the lanes to return the ball to him or her in hopes of a nickel tip. Though the modern ten-pin bowling configuration was in use most players preferred duckpin bowling a ten-pin variation featuring a smaller ball and pins. The Lumina bowling alley gave bowlers both options a relaxing way to end a day of fun in the sun. Emily Russell