BeachBites

by Miriah Hamrick and Amy Kilgore Mangus

Something Old, Something New:

Veiled in Tradition

By Miriah Hamrick

Photography by Lisa Shelby Photography

 

Like many little girls, eight-year-old Chandler Williams dreamed of being a fairytale bride. She knew one day her dream would come true when she saw the 10-foot-long Point d Angleterre Belgian lace veil, a family treasure passed down from bride to bride.

The first time I saw the veil was at my cousin s wedding. I remember how beautiful she was and I knew I needed to look just as beautiful, and if I wore the veil, I would be, Chandler says, remembering the day.

On June 7, Chandler will be the 45th bride in her family to wear the veil when she marries her fiance, Sam Cartozzo, at a family cottage near Nashville, Tennessee. The tradition began with Chandler s great-great-grandmother Samuella Keith, who wore the veil in her 1909 wedding. Six years ago, the veil made an appearance in Wilmington during the marriage of Chandler s cousin Elizabeth Reynolds and Livingston Sheats. Elizabeth was the 42nd bride to wear the veil on November 8, 2008.

For a 100-year-old veil, it s in surprisingly good condition, Chandler says. It really is priceless.

The family takes many precautions to assure it will be preserved for generations of brides to come. Between weddings, the veil is carefully folded in layers of material and stored in a lockbox at a Nashville bank. Only four women are authorized access. When worn a barrier of tulle netting protects the veil from snagging or ripping. An appraisal in 1982, a year before Chandler was born, valued the veil at $20,000.

The veil is one of several heirlooms Chandler will don on her wedding day. A string of seed pearls and a headpiece have been worn by a handful of other family brides. Chandler says her fiance is impressed with her family s bridal traditions. They were part of the vision for her big day long before he was.

Before I found the man, I knew I would wear that veil, Chandler says.

Brides who have worn the Keith Family Veil

1          Samuella Keith 1909

2          Milbrey Keith 1914

3          Elizabeth Keith 1916

4          Emmie Keith 1924

5          Mary Bell Glasgow 1936

6          Grace Ellen Glasgow 1939

7          Elizabeth Keith Glasgow 1939

8          Susan Barbara Leake 1939

9          Margaret Anderson Glasgow 1940

10         Sammie Keith Glasgow 1941

11         Emmie Jackson 1947

12         Milbrey Jackson 1950

13         Helen Elizabeth Keith 1951

14         Grace Ellen Watkins 1962

15         Susan Seymour Glasgow 1965

16         Margaret Glasgow Stanford 1967

17         Margaret Partlow 1967

18         Mary Inez Watkins 1967

19         Emily Risley Glasgow 1968

20         Katie Mitchell Herron 1968

21         Elizabeth Keith Phillips 1969

22         Sammie Keith Lauderdale 1973

23         Emmie Keith McDonald 1975

24         Margaret Crenshaw Lauderdale 1977

25         Milbrey Jackson Black 1978

26         Diane Wyrene Eggimann 1980

27         Frances Bell Black 1980

28         Elizabeth Keith King 1982

29         Cornelia McDonald 1982

30         Clara McDonald 1984

31         Augusta Elizabeth Black 1984

32         Barbara Glasgow Lauderdale 1985

33         Louise Davis Dozier 1988

34         Grace Ellen Glasgow Cox 1991

35         Mary Anna Stamps 1993

36         Barbara Keith Brown 1995

37         Carolyn Pirtle Palmer 1996

38         Jennifer Ryan 1996

39         Harriet Hoffman Brown 1999

40         Monica Murphy 2005

41         Margaret Stanford Palmer 2005

42         Lisa Briana Williams 2006

43         Elizabeth Keith Reynolds 2008

44         Caroline Kelle Carter 2010

45         Chandler Williams 2014

 

Sport in Art:

Spoofy Fish

By Amy Kilgore Mangus 

Photography by Allison Potter

 

To a surfer, a broken board is a crushing blow. On his birthday in the late 1980s, Craig Gurganus broke his one and only surfboard. During the drive back home from San Diego to Thousand Oaks, California, he says, My mind went crazy and I came up with the idea.

He could create whimsical, colorful fish out of his broken surfboard. Initially, Gurganus didn t sell his creations, but gave them to friends as Christmas gifts. As soon as he realized he could make a living as an artist, Fish Bouffant was born.

Gurganus, an eastern North Carolina native says he named his business after ladies with big hairdos. Some women in eastern North Carolina still have that hair. The fish are kind of puffed out and it looks like one of their hairdos. He makes his home on Pine Street in Beaufort, where he has a shop and gallery. In a former 1880s grocery store, he uses damaged surfboards to mold marvelous one-of-a-kind sea creatures.

Friends bring Gurganus their broken boards. Depending on how bad the break, Gurganus can make one to four fish out of each board.

First he removes the fiberglass outer shell, exposing the foam. He cuts an outline of the fish body freehand, shapes it and adds fins. Fins are made from fiberglass cloth, and then pigmented. Gurganus uses multiple coats of spray paint to blend colors.

It s so fun working with all the different colors, he says. Pop-out eyes are made with Ping-Pong balls. A final coat of high-quality enamel paint completes the process. He works on five pieces at a time, six days a week.

Gurganus uses fish books and online sources for reference, but strays from the original species to see how far he can stretch his idiom.

I want to take a real fish and make a spoof on it, he explains. I take nothing and all of a sudden it s an animal that has its own personality. I don t make sad fish.

To date, his largest piece is a shark measuring more than 12 feet mounted on the front of Mako Mike s, a Kill Devil Hills restaurant. It took about two weeks to make.

Gurganus elaborates, The tail is a whole surfboard and the body is a windsurfer.

Gurganus, 61, doesn t enjoy the minutiae of taking orders and handling money. His real enjoyment comes from meeting people and making the fish.

It s a nice way to recycle too, you know, he says.

 


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