Society Notes – June, 2012

Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • This month we recorded 56 members and guests at our May meeting and award presentation including the families of our 4th graders. We had 73 visitors to the History Center throughout the month. The gift shop took in $189.94
  • Thanks to our History Center Volunteers; Lois Taylor, for helping get the newsletter into the mail, and to Cheri McNeill for her always thorough proofing of the newsletter. Thanks also to Demetria Sapienza, Sylvia Snook and Ron Griffin for covering the History Center desk so Rebecca could be off a number of days.
  • Treasurer’s Report: The Cruise bookkeeping is done and we made close to $3,500 to keep the organization going for another year.
  • New Members: Welcome to new members Nicole and Billy Ray Morris of Kure Beach and Dirck and Judy Myers also of Kure Beach.
  • At our next meeting please take a moment to thank all of our members who pitched in and gave of their time and energy to help out with the cruise! Darlene Bright, Demetria Sapienza, Elaine Henson, Cheri McNeill, Sylvia Snook, and Lois Taylor and Pat Bolander.


NC-UAB  Open House

NC-UAB Open House

Oral History – Brenda Coffey – Part 6: ‘Hurricanes’

Compiled and edited by Ann Hertzler

Brenda Coffey

Brenda Coffey

Brenda finished high school and went to work at a finance company that required a business course through Harvard Business School . Then she worked for the town of Kure Beach and the State Department of Archives and History with archeologist, Al Honeycut. He was in charge of Ft. Fisher museum and writing a master’s degree thesis. That was quite a bit of fun. She worked for the Health Department from 1963 to 1969, first in the clinics and then with Medicare.

When she started with the health department, nurses were not paid for making home health house calls, but when Medicare was started, nurses had to be paid for home visits. The nurses were not happy about making a charge to patients. Brenda didn’t work for about 11 years and then went back to work in a permanent part-time position for the Health Department about 1980.

Then in 1986, when their daughter went off to college, she decided to work full-time with New Hanover County Emergency Management till she retired in 2000. Emergency Management was tasked with coordinating local, state and federal resources during hurricanes and other natural or technological disasters. This was definitely an interesting job—never boring!

The first hurricane she remembers is August, 1944. There were no warnings issued for hurricanes in 1944. A neighbor came to the house and told her mother and grandmother (her father and grandfather were working) that a hurricane was coming and the last bus was leaving the beach in an hour. Her mother and grandmother threw some essentials in a bag, got Brenda, and caught that bus into Wilmington . As soon as the hurricane passed they went back to the beach. The oceanfront house they were renting had very little damage, but others were not so fortunate. read more

From the President – June, 2012

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder

What a fantastic cruise – from Carolina Beach, traveling down the Cape Fear River to Bald Head Island!

The weather turned out to be perfect, sunny and warm, and from what I’ve heard EVERYONE had a great time. We sold 280 tickets, and actually welcomed 268 people aboard. If it hadn’t been for that pesky Alberto we probably would have sold out.

A HUGE thanks to our historian/narrators. It’s always special when we get to hear Chris Fonvielle, and Jack Fryar, Richard Lawrence, and Leslie Bright added all kinds of historical highlights. Extra thanks go to Leslie Bright for organizing the “history” part of the cruise, which is what makes it so unique.

Thanks, also, go out to all our donors and sponsors.:

  • First, the Winner Party Boats crew from Tammy and Skeetze Winner to the well organized and professional crew aboard the boat that day.
  • Our refreshment donors were Big Daddy’s, Charlie’s Boardwalk Subs, Courtyard by Marriott, Frank’s Pizza, Gulf Stream Restaurant, Fish Bites, Olde Salty’s, Ruby Tuesday, Rucker John’s, and Subway, Carolina Beach.
  • Our door prizes were provided by A&G Barbeque, Auto Tech, Beach Blooms, Bon Appétit, Bowman’s At the Beach, Britt’s Doughnuts, Chick-fil-A Monkey Junction, Coastal Car Wash, Island Bookshop, Pop’s Diner, Rucker John’s, Mailbox Express, Island Tackle and Hardware, and Island Gazette.

read more

Monthly Meeting Report – May, 2012

Lois Wheatley

Lois Wheatley

At our May meeting, author Lois Wheatley of the new book Images of America: Carolina Beach talked about many of the vintage pictures in her new book published by Arcadia Press in May.

A number of the people who shared family pictures attended and added commentary, including Charles (Tommy) Greene, Judy and Byron Moore, Doris Bame and Jay and Juanita Winner. Particularly interesting were the pictures that Arcadia rejected as not “good” enough, many of which looked better than some of the ones they accepted.

NOTE: We have signed copies of Lois’s book available in the History Center Gift Shop.

In May we also presented awards to the two young people winning our annual local history essay contest. Nicole Creech and Harley Preik accompanied by their parents, grandparents, and siblings read their essays on the Federal Point Lighthouse aloud.

Each received a gift card and their choice of a book from our gift shop. Harley chose Lighthouse Ghosts and Nicole chose A Tribute to North Carolina’s Lighthouses.