March 10, 2023


GOOD sport

On any nice day, the outdoor pickleball courts in Southport, St. James and Oak Island are filled with players, and for GOOD reasons.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S., and that is especially true in Brunswick County, where a growing retirement population finds it much simpler to play and easier on the body than tennis.

It does require athleticism, but with a court that’s half the size of tennis courts, a game with friends can provide a workout and social outlet as well. It requires a flat paddle and a plastic whiffle ball, sort of like combining the elements of tennis, ping pong and badminton into one game.

Locally, some tennis courts were converted to pickleball with the growth in popularity, and for new facilities the courts are a must. The St. James Pickleball Association began this year with more than 500 members. More information can be found at

Pickleball can also have a GOOD social impact on players by providing seniors with both health and wellness benefits. It encourages them to get outdoors, be active, meet new people and make more friends.

While it is popular with the senior population, the age spectrum for pickleball is starting to shift. According to Brandon Mackie, cofounder of, more than 36 million people play the sport in the U.S., rivaling golf and basketball.

Mackie says the fastest growing segment in the sport today is 18- to 24-year-olds and the average age has dropped to below 40 for the first time. With new courts opening in most communities today, there is a GOOD chance the sport will just continue to grow for ages 5 to 95.

Check out our story at

Do you have a “happy story” about good people doing good things in the community that you'd like to share with your fellow readers? Submit your uplifting idea or anecdote to

New News

Here’s what we’re working on for next week.

Not Exactly News

The State Port Pilot’s long-running column, Not Exactly News, was a weekly assemblage of various local-interest items. They’re GOOD reminders of what life was like in our corner of the world and we’re excited to re-present them here. Enjoy!

Logo - Not Exactly News

From The State Port Pilot – issues dated March 1950

Two pelicans who have been playing about in the river at Southport during the past few days are the first we have ever seen around here. However, it is not too uncommon to see these birds with the big beak capacity flopping their lazy way along the beach.

Residents in the immediate vicinity of the George Rappleyea home on Moore Street have been a trifle uneasy since he had a storage tank of several thousand gallons capacity erected in his garage. Knowing his penchant for things scientific they fear he is planning H-bomb experiments.

M.W. Lindner, Long Island resident who does a little truck growing down here each winter, came in just in time for Monday’s cold snap. Makes him want to go way back up north where it’s warm!

Chas. M. Trott is greatly upset over the disappearance of a huge iron frying pan from the ruins of his Long Beach office. The big skillet is the property of the American Legion, he says, and has served nobly for many a good fish-fry. He is mighty anxious to have whoever ‘borrowed’ the utensil return it.

Sign of the weather: John Erikson hauling two boxes of coal around in the back seat of his Cadillac sedan Monday afternoon.

The Kings Electrical Sales Company building recently completed at Shallotte is a credit to the business of that community.

Robert Willis was the only person in Southport who enjoyed F.M. reception good enough to keep up with the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament last week and as a result was besieged with callers.

R.D. White, Jr. assures us that there is no violation of lottery laws involved in which valuable prizes are being given to holders of a lucky program calendar. Sounds like something for nothing?

A caution light in between the stop and go sign at the corner of Howe and Moore streets would give the average unwary motorist a little better chance of remaining law abiding.

When Chief Adrian Sellers, USN, was talking to W.B. Keziah the other day it didn’t take them long to recall a fishing trip they made several years ago with Parrish Willis and the painful discovery by the Rovin’ Reporter that bluefish could – and would – bite a man’s finger.

Seems to us that the chimes of Southport Baptist church sounded unusually cheery and bright through the cold gray rain of Sunday morning.

Did you miss us?

Subscribe today!

Good to Know

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss
  • March 10: National Mario Day. This day came about when it was noticed that, when writing out the day Mar.10, it just happens to spell out the name, “Mario.” From that point forward, the day just seemed to take off!

  • March 11: National Genealogy Day. The best way to celebrate this day is to look into your own roots. It’s an entertaining way to spend a few hours of your time. Who know what you’ll find?

  • March 12: National Plant a Flower Day. Flowers attract and sustain pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds, enticing them with sweet nectar and having their precious pollen distributed in return. Flowers play a crucial role in sustaining ecosystems, producing food.

  • March 13: National Fill Your Stapler Day. Staplers have been around since the 1700s surprisingly enough. The stapler’s design hasn’t been changed since the 1930s because of the impact it makes in office life.

  • March 14: National Pi Day. Celebrate by eating a great deal of Pie! Remember, pies are typically circles; Pi describes circles; and through that connection we find that everything in the universe can be described with a pi(e).

  • March 15: National Buzzards Day. This day celebrates the long return of these birds to their nesting grounds during the beginning of spring each year. In 1957, Walter Nawalaniec, a patrolman for Cleveland Metroparks, had tracked the birds’ appearance on this very same date in March for the past six years including leap year.

  • March 16: National Panda Day. The panda has been around for almost 20 million years and is the oldest living species of bear. National Panda Day aims to promote efforts to preserve their habitat from threats such as urbanization and climate change and to support their protection all around the world.

  • FOMO? Did you miss a previous edition of the GOOD NEWSLETTER?
    We’ve got you covered! Check out the archive

Community Focus

Reader Photo Showcase

More beautiful shots arrived this week from GOOD readers including an awesome sunset photo taken by Barbara Dearry. Thanks for sharing your work, Barbara! Did anything catch your eye this week, dear reader? Do you have any old photos your fellow GOOD readers just must see? We bet you do. Click the “submit today” button below. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got!

Submitted by Barbara Dearry.

Oak Island sunset January 30, 2023. By Barbara Dearry.

Submit your photo today!

Do you have some GOOD photos? We’re encouraging all our readers to send in their interesting photos – new, old, whatever you have. We look forward to seeing them – and thank you for sharing your creativity with us.

Showcase deadline is noon, Wednesday.

All submitted photos will be posted in The State Port Pilot photo & video gallery.

Recipe of the week

nameOne-Pot Pasta with Sausage & Peas

One-Pot Pasta with Sausage & Peas

I love pasta any time of year, in any way it's served! Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagna, Fettucine Alfredo, Carbonara, Mac & Cheese, Pasta Salad... yum! With early spring upon us (actually almost more summer-like!), it's time to start thinking about moving out of heavy, winter, comfort food mode. Here is a one-pot easy recipe so you can still enjoy your pasta, but in a lighter, springier dish that will still satisfy your "comfort" craving.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces ground mild Italian pork sausage
medium red onion, halved through the root end and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound long or short pasta (I used rigatoni)
3 to 5 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable stock (or water), divided
1 (10- to 12-ounce) bag frozen peas
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or red wine vinegar)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the sausage, break it up, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and garlic, then season with a big pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Continue cooking until the sausage is browned and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes total.
2. Stir in the pasta, 4 cups of stock, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often for about 4 minutes. Once boiling, stir in the peas. Continue cooking the pasta, stirring often, until al dente. If the pot seems to be dry, add additional stock or water 1/4 cup at a time, letting the pasta absorb it before adding more.
3. Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice. Serve immediately, with more Parmesan, black pepper, and red pepper flakes if desired.

Click here for a printable recipe card.

Recipe of the Week
Each week we present a new recipe and we’d love to feature yours!
Submission deadline is noon, Wednesday.

Submit your recipe today!

This week's Pet of the Week is Reagen!

John Pickard’s wonderful sunrise shot of Reagen on the Cape Fear looking at Old Baldy, would’ve worked just as well in our photo showcase. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it – we have the best readers! Thanks for sharing this photo with us, John!

We want to see all your GOOD pet photos, so send them in today!

Reagen, submitted by John Pickard

The Pet of the Week Showcase
We want your pet photos! Each week we feature a new pet submitted by you, our GOOD readers. The deadline is noon, Wednesday.

Submit your photo today!

See the complete collection in our Pet of the Week Showcase Gallery!

Play Time

Before you go, why not take a few more minutes, refill your coffee and take on our "Spot the Differences" challenge?

Between the warmer temperatures and the forthcoming edition of our COAST Magazine, we’ve been preoccupied with spring and all it brings to our area. Events like the Southport Plein Air Festival are always crowd pleasers and we decided to use a photo from last year’s event for this week’s challenge. This year’s festival is once again brought to us by Up Your Arts and the City of Southport and takes place May 18-20, 2023. You can read more about it here and view galleries of last year’s event at our web site: 2022 Plein Air Festival Photo Gallery 1 and 2022 Plein Air Festival Photo Gallery 2.

We’ve made SEVEN alterations to the original photo. Test your observational skills and see if you can spot the differences between the two images. Click to get a closer look and check your guesses with the key at the end of the newsletter. GOOD luck!

Spot the Differences

Good Times

It’s Friday! Presented by Up Your Arts, here’s the weekend line-up, full of music and activities for everyone.

Up Your Arts Creative and Performing Arts Logo

Friday, March 10

  • The Cliff Wheeler Band @ Ocean Crest Pier

  • Rick Cannon Band @ American Fish Company

  • R&R Music @ 49th Street Grill (OKI)

  • The Hatch Brothers @ The Joyce (Leland)

  • Live music (TBD) @ Mavericks Pointe (Sunset Beach)

  • The Doorsmen @ Oak Island Moose Lodge

  • Double Cherry Pie @ The Pub of Southport

Saturday, March 11

  • Safe Haven 10th Anniversary Celebration in Downtown Southport

  • Parlay @ The Grape and Ale (OKI)

  • Double Cherry Pie @ 49th Street Grill (OKI)

  • Tom Graney @ The Joyce (Leland)

  • Dirty Blond Band @ American Fish Company

  • Dubtown Duo @ The Pub of Southport

  • The Doorsmen @ Second Wind

Sunday, March 12

  • Nick Black @ Koko Cabana (OKI)

  • Open Beach Jam with Dennis Walton @ The Lazy Turtle (OKI)

  • The Lorna Ford Project @ American Fish Company

On a GOOD Note

“A smile is happiness you'll find right under your nose.”

– Tom Wilson

Spot the Differences Answer Key

Spot the Difference answer key

1. changed hat 2. added extra clip 3. Bruce!
4. added rope. 5. changed light fixture color 6. added stone foundation
7. Here’s Johnny!

Have a really GOOD weekend!