WILMINGTON, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The “One Tree Hill” metal bridge is an iconic stop in Wilmington.
Many have seen it, not in person, but through television’s magic.
If the following story were another TV show filmed in the coastal city, we’d have our first character… Jock Brandis.
“Are we ready?” asked Jock.
Our second character is Tammy Pacini.
“Ah, crazy Jock,” laughed Tammy.
The setting is Tammy’s coffee shop, where you can buy a cup of coffee and a delicious empanada.
“It’s really a place where everyone knows your name,” joked Jock.
It’s not the bar from Cheers, but Folks Café.
“This is a picture of me,” said Jock, holding up a black-and-white photo in the shop. “Oh, I don’t have to do that because you’re going to do a close-up.”
The close-up of the photo is Jock standing near one of his inventions. It’s a concrete peanut sheller that’s helped countless farmers in underdeveloped countries. It also captures the title Massachusetts Institute of Technology gave him once.
“They gave me what might have been the biggest compliment of my life. They called me the Henry Ford of the stone age,” laughed Jock.
Now, the next part of the story is when you learn there’s more to Jock than meets the eye.
“I’ve proven to myself, is true,” advised Jock. “Which is I don’t know the road to happiness, but I know the road to misery is trying to make everyone else happy.”
Jock is a lifelong inventor who’s spent decades creating easy-to-use tools for farmers in underdeveloped countries.
At one point, he ran Full Belly, a nonprofit in Wilmington. His inventions took him all over the world.
“Sometimes he sent a picture, and he’d have a lion behind him,” Tammy laughed. “I go, ‘Is that for real?'”
Jock is an author, but also an actor and a milkshake enthusiast.
“Her daughter makes better milkshakes than she does; now the secret is out,” teased Jock.
There is no way to add up the many lives he’s changed.
“I cannot tell you numbers, but I can tell you a lot of them,” said Tammy.
Jock has won numerous awards for his humanitarian work.
But he’s not bringing those up.
“If I want to be a great guy, it’s for something I can do tomorrow, not something I did 10 years ago,” said Jock.
There’s no magic of television here, but rather the magic of real life.