Capt. Billy Bowlegs LXV, Walter Frederick “Buddy” Carter, as he received his charter last night at the annual Krewe of Bowlegs commissioning and crowning ceremony, realized something so many others wish they could do: Capt. Billy LXV relived a little bit of his youth as an active participant in the Krewe of Bowlegs.
“I was born and raised here, and I’ve been very blessed,” Carter said. He represents the second generation of Krewe of Bowlegs family members, Frederick J. Carter and Phyllis M. Carter.
“When I started in the Krewe, my father had a ski show,” Carter continued to say. Early Bowlegs festivals featured water skiing exhibitions. His parents first became active in the Krewe of Bowlegs in 1964.
“The Krewe was founded for a weekend in June that would encourage people to vacation here,” he said. “I can remember being the ‘best costume’ boy at age 6.”
He traded in the trappings of a 6-year-old for his leadership role, bringing with him the other five Krewe Top Six, his Honor Guard, Princesses and Privateers and the Children of the Court.
First Mate & Mistress
Princesses & Privateers
Children of the Court
The Krewe of Bowlegs ceremony took place at the Mattie Kelly Fine Arts Center in Niceville, with Bill and Christina Kilpatrick serving as emcees and marking the first time that a couple has taken the podium in a Krewe commissioning.
As a life-long resident, Carter, along with his wife, Cindy L. Carter, continues the Krewe of Bowlegs traditions by going beyond the City of Fort Walton Beach invasion each June. He and his pirates visit classrooms, participate in local holiday parades, travel to other cities for parades and serve as unofficial ambassadors for Fort Walton Beach and its surrounding areas.
“We want to make sure that being representatives of our area, we do it in good taste,” Carter said, noting that he truly loves his community.
Carter graduated from Choctawhatchee High School in 1980 and earned a two-year industrial electronics degree from Bay Technical. He is employed by Reliance Test and Technologies on Eglin Air Force Base; Carter is also a certified pyrotechnic, holding a second career with Pyro Shows from LaFollette, Tenn., supporting the Gulf Coast area.
Cindy Carter, a 1983 Fort Walton Beach High School graduate, has lived in the area since 1969. She earned a bachelor of science in business management through Troy University, and she has worked in various government contractor positions as a budget and financial analyst, currently with InDyne. Cindy is also involved in the community, serving with the Junior League of Fort Walton Beach, the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women and the United Way of Okaloosa County.
The couple served as Honor Guard for Capt. Billy XLIII, Samuel Burkett and Queen Kathleen Dlabal. The Carters have two children, Jordan Lynn, 29, and Frederick Taylor, 27.
Carter selected black and gold as his colors. He incorporated into his emblem the crossed hunting rifles as a nod toward his love of hunting, the fireworks that represent his pyrotechnics, and his motto of “Spent Shells & Tall Tales.”