Saturday, October 9th was a terrific day to be in Southport. The Southport Fire Department unveiled their big, new headquarters with a dedication ceremony and a free lunch for everyone. There were inflatable play areas for the kids to have fun while others received a tour of the beautiful facility. Despite the fact that the building is costing the city taxpayers a significant amount of cash, it will be functional for many years to come. The upgrades go beyond the size as it is equipped to give our firefighters a home for expanded training, plenty of space for meetings and seminars, and comfortable surroundings to recharge between calls. It seems that every detail has been well thought out and executed. One of my favorite parts of the complex is the showroom for the vintage Model T firetruck. Overall the new headquarters is much more public-friendly than the old one on Nash Street. This should encourage more interaction between the citizens and the fire department. This was a fun event with good food, good music, and good vibes. Congrats to Chief Cumbee and his squad for making the public a big part of their grand opening.
The other event was a Wooden Boat Show organized by a local group of enthusiasts, including my favorite mariner and local history buff, Bert Felton. His historical NC work boat, the Solomon T, was one of the vessels showcased. For a new event with few resources the turnout and interest was outstanding. I learned a lot about the art and craft of boat building, and discovered all of the local craftsmen who have constructed gorgeous and functional wooden boats. Fiberglass and other synthetic materials just can't match the beauty of wood. The NC Maritime Museum at Southport had a display that gave an excellent historical perspective to many of the boats on display. I even snagged one of the very cool posters created by Robert Potter. I dearly hope that the Wooden Boat Show becomes an annual event.
Yes, it was a great day to be a Southporter, and there are many more in our future.