Sea shells from the seashore on display

Sea shells on display

Sometimes some people love ordinary things in extraordinary ways, and seashells are one of those things. It’s an uncommon love that typically goes unseen and thus, unrecognized. But this weekend, seashell enthusiasts from as far away as Florida will display their collections at the Cape Fear Museum for the 2010 North Carolina Shell Show.

Sea Shells

Sea Shells

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The show is being held at the Cape Fear Museum on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26 during regular museum hours. About 2,800 square feet of the museum will be filled with “Thousands of shells to ooh and ahh at,” said museum exhibit designer and avid shell collector John Timmerman.

It is a competitive event. The highly esteemed – yes, there are in fact highly esteemed awards for shell collecting – Conchologists of America Trophy will be given to the exhibitor who best promotes the hobby of shell collecting.

“It’s about the average person looking at it and saying, ‘I’ve always sort of liked shells – I want to start doing this,’ ” said Timmerman. “It’s about what best promotes interest.”

Timmerman said this is the only show of its kind left in this region of the United States. What makes this event great is that even if lifelong shellers could present a doctoral thesis about their collections, the goal is to craft an exhibit that cultivates in the casual onlooker an appreciation for the shells.

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