Richard Neal, from Charlotte NC, like many of the baby boomer generation grew up reading comic books.
Back in those days, the back pages of most comics featured advertisements for US Government surplus mail order items.
The ads featured items such as World War II Jeeps and airplanes that came packed in grease in crates that could be purchased for pennies on the dollar.
The only catch was you had to uncrate and clean up the parts and then assemble your Jeep or airplane.
So when Mr. Neal saw that the Government was going auction off an obsolete light tower off of the North Carolina Coast he thought it might be fun to place a bid.
He was surprised to find out that his offer was the only offer submitted and that he was now the proud owner of the old steel tower 32 miles southeast of Wilmington. His new possession was technically not even in the United States of America!
After purchasing the tower he set about fixing up the old neglected living quarters and the old rusting structure.
For a time he offered it as a very rustic bed and breakfast where the guests could volunteer in the work in exchange for free room and board and some excellent off-shore fishing opportunities.
These days he is the only human living at the tower as he “shelters in place” in his perch above the blue Atlantic.
With the help of a Wilmington TV station, he has set up high-speed internet access so he can stay in touch with friends and family and keep sane.
One of his best projects is the live webcam that stays on 24 hours a day rotates to give a panoramic view to all of us landlubbers.
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