ONE of the many benefits to this job is that we can share the
accomplishments of those from our community when they
make it big. It is even more fun when they are young people.
I had the privilege of spending time last month with
Ashley High basketball phenom Saniya (Niya) Rivers and her mom Dee
Dee. Art Director Shawn Best and I chose the shot of Niya practicing at
NC State as our cover and there was a great deal of laughter as Allison
Potter captured this photo of Niya and me.
Every now and then we plan a story for our readers and then it is
delayed. Such was the case with our idea of updating you several issues
ago on the return of Rivers to her home state to play basketball.
We were not thinking, “Okay she went with the Wolfpack at NC State,
let’s in the same issue have a story on the reintroduction of the red wolf
in eastern North Carolina,” but as you will read, that’s what we have.
Continuing our wildlife theme, we have an informative piece by
veteran writer Robert Rehder on the increase in the black bear popu-lation
and things you should know about black bears. Living in the
Grandfather Mountain area for 18 years, I was crazy about Mildred
the Bear and her human family, but now the only black bears I want
to see are ones in photographs.
Not so migrating birds. Come along and learn about a Motus
tower installed on Lea Island (there is also one on Masonboro) so
anyone can see in real time, via an Audubon app, which birds are
arriving to those uninhabited barrier islands on their migrations.
Along with this we have some absolutely stunning outdoor spaces
that will make you consider upgrades to whatever you have already.
Prior to the founding of this magazine, I had the privilege of
helping a couple on East Oxford Street sell and empty their beach
cottage. Dr. Frank Hall and his wife, Adelaide, had summered
there for eons. With his passing, she retreated to their Chestnut
Street house. When she passed, I had the privilege of helping empty
that house too and sell it to one of the neighbors. In the process,
I fell in love with the family. I even came home with some of the
things their sons had allocated to the discard pile, including two of Adelaide’s (now) antique umbrellas; and I treasure them. I have
a couple of his books that they didn’t want in the Frank Hall collection at UNCW. Dr. Hall was the minister of the Presbyterian
Church on Market Street and we have the story of its sale and repurposing. It is thrilling to see the creative adaptive use of a historic
property, rather than seeing it razed and apartments put up in its place.
Another month, another piece honoring a hero of our community. We’ve been in awe of architect Michael Kersting as long as
we’ve been in business. We did a great deal together over the years. At his memorial service in September, I learned Michael had
been an intern of renowned architect Ligon Flynn, and his master’s was from NC State.
His houses are splendid works of art and he will be greatly, greatly missed.
Pat’s hair is by Frank Potter, styled by Mason Chandler, make up styled by Ken Grimsley, all of Bangz Hair Salon.
Laughter is such good medicine.
Pat and Saniya Rivers on the basketball court at Ogden Park.