When one thinks of the word “fandom” they often just think of sci-fi and fantasy oriented shows. Fandoms means lovers of Buffy, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead. You know, all those shows that have conventions based around them. But anyone can geek out over anything and my recent trip to Wilmington, NC proved just that.
“Wilmington, North Carolina you say?” Isn’t that the Hollywood of the South? Isn’t that where Ironman 3 was just filmed? Doesn’t Revolution film there? Isn’t Under the Dome filming there right now? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Was I there for any of that? No. Now, why was I there, you ask?
I’ve previously professed my not so secret shame, my love for the now defunct WB/CW show One Tree Hill which filmed in Wilmington. Delightfully cheesy, sometimes fantastically rivaling any daytime soap, OTH was most often touching and true. As viewers watched two of the most selfish characters, Brooke Davis and Dan Scott, evolve into the most intriguing, genuine characters seen in any genre short of really good sci-fi/fantasy, the show was about the respectful themes of redemption and family. The characters rise up from what is expected or forced on them, overcoming the one-dimensional paths they started the show on. In between the realistic, the more crazy plot lines and two time jumps, the teens grew up and lived extraordinary lives beyond their stereotypical beginnings and did so with a great soundtrack. OTH creator Mark Schwahn has said he wanted to use the show to help showcase new bands and I love that. I also love that Schwahn skipped past the college years, which are painful and usually mean the end of a teen oriented show, and jumped five years into the future with season five, allowing the actors to play their real ages and followed that with another four year jump. And simply, I’m a huge sucker for a good musical montage and OTH perfected them.
One Tree Hill made frequent use of the neighborhoods and beautiful locales of the city. Before said trip I did my research and found addresses, another reason to love the internet and other OTH fans who have gone so far as to complete a Google map of all the locations. Now, I do not recommend one go to great lengths, travel, and expense to see the locales and sights of their favorite fandoms, but if the chance falls in your lap without too much inconvenience, go for it. I felt a little goofy but I never trespassed onto someone’s private property- I took pictures from inside the car only slowing down for a moment. But afterward I probably got a little carried away. I did some research and was seriously thinking of moving to the city and buying the house for sale across from the Lucas Scott house (the house that was Haley James’ is also for sale but out of my price range). But I came off that cloud and am happy to just have my pictures and planning to hit some more locations and enjoy more of Wilmington next time. It is one of my favorite cities in America.
Most awesome, I would like to report I was not alone in my fandom that day. Twice I ran into another fan from New Jersey taking pictures too. It was a comfort to exchange glances and a smile, like a wordless secret passing between us.
And if you’re in Wilmington, NC I have to recommend these incredible local businesses. Gravity Records if you love finding music gems on vinyl (I picked up Nada Surf’s Lucky), Nerdvana comics, and the most awesome diner that has a separate large vegetarian/vegan menu and comic book friendly decor- Nick’s Diner.
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