Beach Bites

BY Staff

Hanging ten way back when…
A piece of Wrightsville’s surfing history discovered

While examining an old Wrightsville Beach postcard in the winter of 2009 Joseph “Skipper” Funderburg renowned local surfing historian and author of Surfing on the Cape Fear Coast found something utterly unexpected.

Among the turn of the century beach crowd featured on the front of the postcard Funderburg spotted a surfboard!

Why the ensuing excitement? Surfing it was universally believed did not come to the East Coast until 1912 when Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku introduced the sport. Funderburg’s discovery — postmarked 1909 — tells a different story.

The postcard sent to a Miss Ann Duncan and dated September 1 1909 shows a typical beach scene a crowd of people enjoying the sun sand and apparently surf. Spotted among the beachgoers is a young boy holding a wooden bodyboard. This means that surfing was taking place in isolated pockets on the East Coast before the introduction by Kahanamoku a discovery that has recalibrated the world of surfing history.

Thanks to Funderburg Wrightsville Beach has secured some cool crucial bragging rights: WB was one of the first communities on the East Coast to take up surfing … and we haven’t stopped since. — Lucy Huber


Give me a C-F-L-C!
What does that spell?

The word is literacy. The definition is the ability to use language to read write listen and speak.

According to the Cape Fear Literacy Council (CFLC) a local nonprofit organization committed to providing free confidential and individualized literacy services to improve the lives of functionally illiterate adults 38 percent of adults in the Cape Fear area are at basic or below-basic skill levels in literacy a handicap that may prevent them from helping their children with homework for instance or finding and maintaining a job.

To help CFLC meet their mission the organization will be hosting one of their important yearly fundraisers: the 22nd annual Spelling Bee for Literacy on September 17.

If you think this is your ordinary everyday bee think again. The Spelling Bee for Literacy features contestants competing in teams of three each team sponsored by a company business or organization. The teams are given a word and collaborate on the spelling.

“It helps take some of the pressure off ” says event coordinator Linda Lytvinenko adding with a smile “If they get the word wrong they can take the blame or blame their teammates.”

Not only are teams judged on their ability to be stellar spellers but prizes are also awarded for the team with the best name costume and cheering section. In the final round the Killer Bee Round teams are given a list of 10 mind-bogglingly difficult words (words so hard we couldn’t spell them here!). The team that correctly spells the most words is declared the champion.

“The reigning champion is the New Hanover County Library team ” says Lytvinenko.

To challenge the champions and help raise much-needed funds for a good cause call CFLC at (910) 251-0911 or visit — Lucy Huber

Lace up get in gear and dive in

Whether you run bike swim or all the above this month has just the race for you — so get out and get going!

YMCA Triathlon
The Wilmington YMCA Triathlon is the largest triathlon event from Florida to Washington D.C. boasting more than 1 300 participants last year. This year’s event will take place on Saturday September 19 at 7 a.m. The YMCA event includes a 1.5K swim across the Intracoastal waterway a 5K run around the John Nesbitt Loop at Wrightsville Beach (and a side street) and a 20K bike ride around Wrightsville Beach and onto the mainland. Although sign-ups for the race are already full (and have been since July!) a large cheering section is always appreciated. For more information call (910) 251-YMCA.

5K Run for Preservation
The Historic Wilmington Foundation invites you to take a jog through Historic Downtown Wilmington in their 8th annual 5K Run and Mile Walk For Preservation. The challenging and fun 5K race is open to all ability levels. For those who may be velocity-challenged but enthusiastic about preservation a mile walk is also offered. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday September 10 free t-shirts will be given to the first 500 runners to sign up and a pizza and water-bottle party is offered after the race for all participants. To sign up visit

Pier-2-Pier Race
Strap on your goggles! The Cape Fear Aquatic Club and the Wilmington Family YMCA are hosting their 5th annual Pier-2-Pier swim race on Saturday September 12 at 9 a.m. The race spans 1.71 miles from Johnnie Mercer’s Pier to Crystal Pier (participants swim with the current). The race is open to aquatic enthusiasts aged 11 and up. For more information call (910) 251-YMCA. — Lucy Huber

Pages of Wrightsville Beach’s history

Tide and Time — A History of Wrightsville Beach North Carolina a gorgeous new book recounting the fascinating history of WB commissioned by the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History and written by Ginny Kuhn debuted last month at the very fabulous Lumina Daze. Told with tinted photographs illustrations maps postcards and black and white prints Tide and Time begins with the island’s birth and then moves forward with the help of stories told by natives and vacationers fishermen and surfers newcomers and old-timers.

The book is available at the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History (303 West Salisbury Street 910-256-2569) for $39.95. — Richard Leder


Historical Society’s Secret Garden Tour

Fear not local gardeners …

The Port City is still in bloom and the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society (LCFHS) is inviting you to take a last look at some of the area’s most vibrant backyard oases on their Secret Garden Tour.

This perennially popular event will be held Friday and Saturday September 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beginning at the Latimer House Museum (126 S. Third Street 910-762-0492) home of the LCFHS the tour self-guides guests through 15 gardens most located in Historic Downtown Wilmington with some located in the historic Westbrook-Ardmore district.

Each garden is unique including water features native plants and decorative art and a few have never before been seen by the public.

“We have huge mansions to little cottages large gardens to back-pocket gardens ” says executive director Candace McGreevy. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The tour only features gardens but at one stop along the way The Verandas Bed and Breakfast tour guests are invited to gaze down at the beautiful gardens from the B&B’s upper porches.

All tour guests are invited to the Latimer House for refreshments and will receive half-price tour tickets of the museum. Tickets are available at the Latimer House the Transplanted Garden Curb Appeal (in Southport) Lou’s Flower Patch (on Carolina Beach Road) Barnes and Noble (Mayfaire) and A Proper Garden for $15 before September 5 $18 after. For additional information call (910) 762-0492 or visit
— Lucy Huber

8th annual Art Walk

You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? The Art Walk that is.

On Saturday September 12 the Wilmington Downtown Business Alliance will pre-sent its 8th annual Art Walk. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to browse unique original creations by local artists and craftsmen set up street-fair style along several blocks of Front Street in Historic Downtown Wilmington.

“All types of art ceramics to jewelry to painting to 3D art … it’s all going to be there ” says event chairperson Chris Andrews. The event has featured antiques in the past and this year’s event will offer old treasures galore for antique buffs but the focus will be primarily on original artwork.

For more information visit . Lucy Huber