Thursday, July 15, 2010

Living the Dream

When I wrote this post talking about the Coast Guard selling surplus lighthouses to the public, little did I know that there was one for sale right off the North Carolina coast, just south of my favorite NC beach town, Southport:

Richard Neal speaks with unbridled enthusiasm when he talks about restoring the Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower.

The Charlotte man was the successful bidder in a sealed bid sale May 13 for the well-known nautical landmark about 25 miles southeast of Southport.

In fact, a federal General Services Administration spokesman said Neal was the only bidder for the modified 80-foot steel oil drilling platform, which was used by the Coast Guard as an aid to navigation from 1966 until about eight years ago. GPS and buoys rendered the tower obsolete, and the Coast Guard turned the nautical landmark over to the GSA to be sold.

Neal bought the tower for $85,000, which is a bargain, in my opinion. He'll have to spend up to $1.3 million for repairs before it is ready for regular human use. He envisions it as a high-end base for fishermen or divers, or maybe a bed-and-breakfast.

Here's a pic:

He had a dream, and now it might become reality. Good for him.

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