Growing up on the (then) wild oceanfront of North Florida, opposite the untamed Guana River Preserve, my siblings and I amused ourselves playing for hours on end in the high sand dunes, and on the wide, flat beach strand and ocean sloughs, body surfing, climbing the bent live oak trees, and trying to reach magnolia flowers high up in the tall trees of the preserve. It was a simpler time.
My father also kept a pool table in the large garage, and he taught me to play at night. This was a favorite pastime for my closest brother and me. I took it up again during college, then have not really played since. I am so appreciative of Bobby and Cindy Lewis, our Home of Distinction homeowners, for allowing me to be photographed at their pool table. I am wearing a touch of October pink to honor all breast cancer victims and survivors, including my sister Diana.
The increasing chaos of our times is nudging me back to refocus on simpler things: family, friends, faith, helping others, good meals and conversation. We as a magazine team are going to strive in the months to come to focus on these in our content.
We want each issue to be a breath of fresh air, more than ever before, and an island of peace for our readers. We hope these pages are a place to find joy and point all of us back to the Golden Rule: loving one another.
The stories we tell in this issue, including the lost Carolina panther, the Wilmington Symphony celebrating a major milestone, and the best places to ride a mountain bike, among others, do just that. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did in creating them just for you.
In Life, Liberty and Love.
—Pat Bradford, Senior Editor/Publisher