My Thoughts

Welcome full-fledged summer on the Carolina coast

BY Pat Bradford

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As I write, it’s Flag Day and the celebration of our nation’s Independence Day is right around the corner. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to wrap myself in an American flag for a photo.

I must admit to spending some time this year thinking about what our Founding Fathers thought about in 1775, 249 years ago. While they certainly had to be determined because they’d staked everything on freedom, I wonder how did they feel, what were they thinking? Were they frustrated, worried, or hopeful?

They certainly sacrificed much for us in the creation of these United States of America.

I believe they were hopeful.

In this issue we share the history of the flag created to go on the first ships George Washington commissioned.

Don’t miss the retirement of Capt. Terry Bragg from his command of the Battleship North Carolina. He and Phoebe, his wife, will split their retirement between Wilmington and their farm. 

We like to have a little more meat in our pages in the summer so you can spend an afternoon in a comfortable place reading. This issue does not disappoint. It is chock full of good stories, including that of diving off Wrightsville to spearfish for the night’s specials at a downtown Wilmington restaurant in a former pharmacy on Castle Street. We also look at invasive lionfish and farming oysters in local waters, plus recipes.

There are two special history stories, including Doc McIlvoy, a war hero so amazing they created an action figure to go along with a book about him. Doc and his family spent summers on Atlanta Street after his medical residency at Babies Hospital.

The second is an unofficial history of Carolina Beach that encompasses the fascinating Freeman clan, who in the beginning owned it all. In later years the family would create the legendary resort community of Seabreeze, which just received a highway historic marker.

The home feature is the destruction of the historic Shandy Hall, an estate house first built in 1880, and its reconstruction using the original plans.

Don’t miss the art of Michael Van Hout.  Come along and enjoy the journey.

Happy birthday America, land that we love!

—Pat Bradford, Senior Editor/Publisher

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