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Cape Fear Pride 2008 - Topsail Island

READ MORE: Cape Fear Pride 2008 - Topsail Island
The people are friendly and life seems just a little less stressful here. And, according to one local family, Topsail Island has not changed much in the past 60 years. Four generations of Braxtons have called Topsail Island home. Howard Braxton is now mayor of Topsail Beach. His family has been part of the town since its beginning. "My wife's family Mr and Mrs. Mallard they were the first to settle on the island. Then of course Pat and I came here, and then my son and his wife they were married here, and now they have 2 children and they are coming back my grandchildren are coming back," said Mayor Braxton. Mayor Braxton's wife Pat lived in Topsail Beach when it first became a town in 1949. "My parents built here in 1949 and we were one of the first 20 houses built down here. We were the third home done," said Mrs. Braxton. She says many of the buildings that were around then are still here today – like the Jolly Roger Hotel. Mrs. Braxton said, "They have still maintained the basic part of the building which was built back in WWII and it's just a very active area as far as the hotel next to the ocean peir, which has been there which I would say forever." The mayor's son, Bob, married his wife in one of the town's old churches, and plans on spending many more memorable moments on the island. "Family time at the beach is probably the most precious time we have. We spend a lot of time on the beach on the sand on the sound, kayaking. Growing up I did all that, so I want my kids to have the opportunity as well," said Bob Braxton. Bob says he likes the relaxed beach atmosphere and family friendly environment. "You don't have to worry about where your kids are all the time, you don't have to worry about people riding up and down the road with load music," said Bob Braxton. The mayor says the island has a small beach town charm, and he has no plans to change that in the future. "We want to keep it just as it is. For instance the housing that we have -- 38 feet is tall enough. We don't need to go anymore, we don't need the high rises," said Mayor Braxton. "We've got businesses here in the community, we want to help them grow a little bit but we don't need necessarily new businesses to come in." But he does want you to visit his little piece of paradise, whether for a daytime, or life time. The island is made of three towns; North Topsail Beach, Surf City and Topsail Beach.

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