In his 83 years of living, Miller Pope has grown up feisty and adventurous in the South, earned a living and hobnobbed with the upper echelon in the North, and published a book to tell all about it.
The longtime Ocean Isle Beach artist, entrepreneur and writer has commemorated his multi-faceted life in his latest book, “Confessions of a MadMan: From Madison Avenue to Island Sands,” available at local bookstores and online.
Though most of his books are heavy-laden with his art, especially about pirates, this one is a little different.
Pope said he wrote it for his grandchildren.
“I just wanted a book left for my posterity,” he said, dining recently at a Shallote restaurant.
His latest publication still features the wonderful art of Pope, who worked as an illustrator on Madison Avenue in the 1950s and ‘60s. He deems it a Camelot time, and he got to be a part of it.
Pope enlisted in the Marines at the age of 17, shortly after finishing the required 11 grades of school in Greenville, S.C.
“Soon after my birthday, I enlisted in the Corps,” he writes. “The Japanese had just surrendered, but the peace treaty had not been signed, which made me an official veteran of WWII and entitled me to all the benefits of a real veteran.”
He wound up working on the staff and honing his artistic abilities with the Marine Corps’ “Leatherneck” magazine in Washington, D.C., where he once got a glimpse of President Truman out for a morning stroll.
After his stint in the Marines, Pope attended Furman University for a while to make his Grandmother Pope happy. He pledged Phi Kappa Phi fraternity, “but I never became a brother because a C average was required and my grades were abysmal,” he writes.
He did, however, make straight A’s in history, one subject that interested him.
In the next chapter of his life and book, Pope is a freelance illustrator who’s migrated to Manhattan, where he eventually met his wife, Helen, and embarked on many more adventures. They set up house and raised their two children in Westport, Conn., where Pope continued to freelance and commute into New York City.
He recalls the era when advertising was in its heyday—with clever and creative campaigns, martini lunches, train commutes and parties.
Years later, the Popes discovered Ocean Isle Beach, where they started The Winds resort and Pope became involved as a partner in the launch of Sea Trail in Sunset Beach. He also writes about the loss of his wife, Helen, to Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago.
All of these details and more can be found in his latest book.
“A book is a wonderful thing,” Pope says. “It can talk to ages.” He’s hoping his does that, especially to his children and grandchildren.
These days, Pope still draws and writes books for fun. “I don’t play golf; I don’t like watching sports,” he says. But he still loves history, writing and illustrating—especially pirates. He says he’ll also continue working on books, even if they don’t make the best-sellers lists. He’s having too much fun to quit.
By Laura Lewis, staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy Confessions Of A Mad Man and all of Miller Pope’s books and artwork at: http://Islands-Art.com
Don’t miss the 2012 Ocean Isle Beach Fourth of July Parade. A few days before this last year’s Fourth of July my daughter said to me, ”Dad you’ve got to go see the Fourth of July Parade at Ocean Isle Beach, last year it was like something straight out of a Normal Rockwell painting in motion.”
I had never taken the trouble to see the island’s Fourth of July Parades in the past. After all what kind of parade could a little town like Ocean Isle Beach put on?
I decided to go see what it was all about. I went — and boy I was blown away!
The little golf cart floats passed in what seemed like an endless procession for the best part of an hour and they exhibited a high degree of creativity and imagination.
One had to wonder where all the golf carts came from.
It seemed as if the whole population of the island was in the parade and yet the crowd watching was six or eight feet deep along the entire route.
Patriotism is alive and well at Ocean Isle Beach. It truly was straight out of a Normal Rockwell painting!
This year Ocean Isle Beach will celebrate Independence Day with its ninth annual Fourth of July Parade, sponsored by the Ocean Isle Property Owners Association. The parade will actually be held on Wednesday July 4th, 2012.
The parade now draws locals and visitors with as more than 700 people participating in the parade last year with even more people lining the streets and watching.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on the Fourth. Participants are to meet in the Museum of Coastal Carolina parking lot at 9:30 a.m.
There is no official registration and no fee to march in the parade.
Entries will be judged in four categories—golf carts, floats, walkers and bicycles. Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers, but patriotic favors and flags will be distributed to all participants. Judging will take place five minutes prior to the parade.
This Friday, June 22nd, come enjoy a free concert with Continental Divide at the Ocean Isle Beach Concert Series
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE HAS BEEN PLAYING IN THE SOUTHEAST FOR OVER 30 YEARS. Their reputation is one of quality, professionalism and above all, entertaining.
A CD or video can not reproduce the energy they deliver at a live performance. From the silky smooth voice of Gene Pharr, to the tightness of the rhythm section, to the flowing lines of the horn section, they put on a performance everyone will remember. In fact, more than half their bookings are from referrals or people that have been to an event they have performed. Check ‘em out. You won’t be disappointed.
Motown, Soul, Oldies, Beach, Variety
Jazz, Swing, Big Band, Classical
Refreshments are on sale to help fund the events, so be sure to bring a little of cash.
All concerts are FREE!
6:30PM – 8:00PM On the stage in the parking lot at Museum of Coastal Carolinas on Ocean Isle Beach
The Gold Star of Excellence Award was developed for the first time in 1998 to honor Lodging members who received no complaints for cleanliness all year through the joint Ethics Committee of the MBAHA and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Joint Ethics Committee of the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce receives and monitors complaints.
Wilmington NC ‘s TV (abc affiliate) WWAY asked their viewers “What is the best beach in the Cape Fear Region?” and the response was overwhelmingly “Ocean Isle Beach”! Read more
She found that the dune in front had eroded somewhat leaving it in a precarious position and tilted.
The bench had fallen backward and had become uprooted.
So she began looking for volunteers to help relocate the Kindred Spirit mailbox to a more stable location.
“Jack” (as her friends call her) is not one to sit around waiting for someone else to take action so on a Thursday morning in early September, DeGroot, and a group of friends headed out to Bird Island armed with shovels.
They relocated the mailbox just a few feet from its old location (with the blessing of the Kindred Spirit’s anonymous guardian).
Pictured are volunteer Mailbox Restoration Team members Laura Lewis, Sandy and Kathy Lonsinger, Sharon Maple, Frank Nesmith, Sandy Raymond, Carol and Pete Scott, and Patrick Szymansk.
The notebooks of the Kindred Spirit are once again ready for new handwritten messages from beachcombers, thinkers and day dreamers of all kinds.
By the way, if you’re not familiar with DeGroot’s books, check out this website: http://islands-art.com
So What Is The Kindred Spirit Mailbox?
Know one knows who placed the mailbox on Bird Island (an uninhabited island at the west end of Sunset Beach, NC). The person who put it there wrote “Twenty seven years ago I walked the tide line of Bird Island. In the distance – right on the low tide line – I saw the silhouette of a rural mailbox. However, I never could reach it – for it was a mirage. The very next weekend, I “planted” the original Kindred Spirit mailbox”.
The mailbox is filled with notebooks, pens and pencils along with the stories and tales of all the travelers who’ve journeyed to this place. Each entry begins with the phrase “Dear Kindred Spirit.”
An empty wooden park bench sits just in front of the Kindred Spirit mailbox, offering its oceanfront seat to visitors who’ve journeyed to this spot so they’re able to read the stories and share their own.
Then, once the notebooks and journals are complete, they’re mailed to their mysterious owner – the Kindred Spirit – who lovingly reads, collects and saves each spiralbound book of stories.
So Where Is The Kindred Spirit Mailbox?
If you’d like to visit the Kindred Spirit mailbox yourself, come over the Sunset Beach bridge, take a right at the oceanfront. From the last public Sunset Beach access make a right and head southwest. It’s about an hour walk there and back. Like most things in life, it’s about the journey, especially in a world where every thing else seems instantaneous. After a mile and a quarter, you’ll see a second flag pole, and you’ll find the mailbox there at the foot of it.
So if you’re feeling like you just need to escape from the daily grind, go and get away. Watch a sunset, hold hands with someone you love and maybe even write a letter to someone you’ve never met.
A new “Virtual” Kindred Spirit Mailbox is now up at: http://thekindredspirit.net/the-mailbox-is-here - Now you can access The Kindred Spirit from anywhere in the world!
Check out Islands-Art.com for some unique books by nationally renowned local authors and artists.
The works of the writers include romance Novels, Mysteries, History and fun. All have ties to this very special place along NC’s Coast. Read more
How about enjoying a fabulous massage in the privacy of your suite or in our Palmetto Room! You can choose from a Swedish or Deep Tissue massage.
Call 1.800.334.3581 at least 5 days prior to your arrival and speak to one of our associates to schedule your treatment.
Ocean Isle Beach has a new LIVE Beach WebCam! Click on the image below to view:
We want your help in naming our “turtle” with a “Name Our Turtle” contest. We’ve put a form up for you to submit your suggested name. The Winner will have the honor of having named the Sea Turtle and will receive a free Winds T-Shirt!
We will continue to accept entries for one more week, through August 12th, and then have the Winds’ Staff pick the winner (employees are not eligible to win.