Society Notes – October, 2021

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­ 66 visitors, the highest it’s been since Covid 19 started.
  • Welcome to new members: Alannah Keeler of Carolina Beach, Martha Capel Breslin of Carolina Beach, and C. and Dolly Knowles of Apex, NC

 Our Friend, Danny Thompson

By:  Leslie Bright

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Danny Thompson on September 22nd from a heart problem.  Danny was a good friend and member of our Society.  He would literally go out of his way to give you the shirt right off his back.  He showed up 20 years ago at Carolina Beach and I met him through mutual friends.  He was different and obviously interested in making friends and getting to know everyone.

He drifted around awhile and landed a job with the Town of Carolina Beach.  Turns out, he could drive and operate anything with wheels.  Eventually, he joined the Society to help out as he did with just about every other function in town.  If the Society had a need, he filled it.  He welded bed frames to make our audio visual stand.  He constructed a mobile table that our Society still uses for every meeting to serve refreshments.  He married our past president, Judy Rhudy, and continued to be on call for any occasion.  He had a habit of showing up, out of the blue, from time to time.  I will still look for him.

Memories of Carolina Beach – From Rick McLean

The following is and are excerpt from a letter former Carolina Beach Town Manager, Rick McLean, sent to to Bobby Nivens (Britt’s Donuts) after a visit to the Beach.

Rick McLean in Retirement

“The Bame Family has long and deep connections to Barber Junction North Carolina, not too far from Mooresville. My Dad, Webb McLean, knew the Bame family when he was young, visited Carolina Beach, and stayed at the Hotel Bame before he married my mother, Violet Cook McLean. After they were married Mom and Dad visited the Hotel Bame often before I was born.

When I called Mom to tell her we were moving to the Beach and I was going to be Town Manager she told me “you don’t know this, but Carolina Beach is where you came from.” Dad was experiencing some health issues and he was recuperating at Carolina Beach when I was conceived.

Our family vacationed at Carolina Beach every summer and every Labor Day weekend during my childhood. We always stayed with Dad’s friend, George Bame, at the Hotel Bame.

I remember Britt’s Donut shop, and enjoyed the donuts from the original beach location across the Boardwalk.

As my brothers and I grew older and family circumstances changed, we stopped visiting Carolina Beach. Needless to say I was intrigued when I applied and pleased when I accepted the job as Town Manager.

Eager to learn about our new home we visited the Boardwalk and Britt’s Donut shop with no idea we were about to taste the best donuts in the world and meet fine folks who would remain forever friends.

 Shortly after we arrived I mentioned to Bobby that our daughter, Gretchen, was going to work part-time at the Pizza Parlor next door. Bobby was kind enough to tell me that it would be better if she went to work for him. I later learned how wise his advice was.

 About a year later I was seeking an Executive Assistant and Lynn Nivens Prusa applied. Obviously I knew what a wonderful family she came from and I was pleased to learn how qualified she was. Thus began a wonderful working relationship and Lynn’s long successful career with the Town of Carolina Beach. I made some pretty dumb decisions during my 25 years as Town Manager, but hiring Lynn Prusa ranks as one of the best decisions I have ever made. Thank You Lynn!

All chapters end sooner or later, and Judith and I were presented with the opportunity to return to Mooresville, where both of our families have lived since the 1700’s. We made the difficult decision to leave many wonderful Carolina Beach friends and return to Mooresville.

We left a big part of our lives and a big part of our hearts in Carolina Beach and we still value very highly the wonderful memories and friends from Carolina Beach.”

[Editor’s Note: I worked as Assistant to Rick for approximately two years before Lynn was hired. I have lived in Carolina Beach since 1968, and I felt Rick was the best Town Manager, and the best boss I ever had. We all sure hated to see him and his family leave us but certainly understood their decision to return to Mooresville. – Darlene Bright]

A Sad Farewell to an Island Icon

After 33 years of service, A&G BBQ, one of our long time business members, has friend their last chicken and cooked their last pig! Robert and Angela Stalnaker decided to hand up their aprons and retire.