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Tyrrell County’s Country Magazine October 2014 Photo by Ingrid Lemme

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Quote of the Month


“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


Meet Mr. and Mrs. David Cook

Meredith and David Cook got married September 27, 2014 at the home of Myrtle and Bobby Mitchell. The officiate was Pastor Steve Mizell of “Open Door” in Edenton. We wish them all the love and luck in the world!

"Columbia, Tyrrell County is home to tens of thousands of acres of protected lands, 85% of the entire county just waiting for you to explore! The ancient maritime forests remind us of time before human encroachment. You may be

October already, unreal! Time is flying and I am flying with it. Life is short and there is only one to live. I have had a couple of interesting trips recently. On one of them I spend a week chicken and duck-sitting for a relative in Chapel Hill. The other was an overnight getaway on a friend’s Harley to Ocracoke! You find my 'Harley & Me' story in this issue! My editor, rewarded with an awe inspiring glimpse of soaring bald eagles or hear the cries of the parent ospreys protecting their huge nest perch precariously high in the overhead boughs. Wetlands provide critical habitat for more than 20 endangered, rare and threatened

Margie Brooks, thinks it’s a fun read. Another fun story I am working on for the next issue is when I managed to lock myself out of the home I was house sitting in Chapel Hill -in a short, barelythere night gown while I was feeding the chickens... See ya'll at the Main Street Gym and then of course at the Scuppernong River Festival! - Love, Ingrid species including free roaming Red Wolves.


Before the appearance of America’s first grocery store in 1946, small farmers, families, and community trading circles put food on our tables. Our life-sustenance came from direct relationship to each other, the soil, and the natural world, rather than the distant and complex, often damaging and corrupt, political delivery system we rely on today. With the collapse of small farms, and the rise of the mega-delivery-system, we have become precariously dependent on government and corporations for nearly all of our needs. People everywhere feel the disconnect. News and talk radio programs blast

political corruption, corporate abuse, desertified soils, school violence, medicated children, drought and flood. And we wring our hands. “Doomsday Preppers," a popular television program, is about people preparing for civilization’s collapse, usually by digging secret bunkers under suburban garages, and stacking space-age astronaut dinners. There is fear and suspicion; a desperation to self-protect, to build walls. We

wonder what may become of our children. Will they be able to make it without the evergrowing delivery system bringing cheap products from across the oceans? Can we survive with our current dependencies and increasingly limited knowledge? 

Alongside “Preppers,” there is another movement growing. This movement offers lasting solutions to the coming collapse many seem to expect is just around the bend. In place of the extractive, hyperregulated and tightly controlled mega-system, this movement of resilience, regeneration, and connection grows not from fear, but from hope. When we aim to reestablish local trading networks, grow our own food and medicine, create and learn together once again, our dependence on the mega-system shrinks while our communities become more connected and our local economic sovereignty grows. This is a quiet but fierce movement, it does not blare between commercials, but grows with a steady hum in places here and there, all around. Grassroots folk are lighting the fires of the old ways, ensuring that they live on as the phoenix of cheap energy shines brightly for its relatively short while.

If we refuse to allow the rich, earthy, and practical knowledge of pre-industry slip away, our children can indeed inherit a safe and abundant future. In most schools today, children absorb lessons which intend to create "competitive workers for the global economy.” Is this truly the value of our children? Are we meant to live as “human resources,” or as human beings? And what about our local economies? Aren’t our children—aren’t we all — hungry for deeper and more meaningful connection? While the industrial megasystem was supposed to have made our lives more leisurely, doesn’t it feel as though most of our lives have been stripped away, only to be sold back to us again? Are things easier now?  As a mother of three, I know my children have a deep need to be engaged in real

work that serves our family, and larger community, in important ways. They crave togetherness in work in which play and labor are one. Don’t we all? Is it possible to recreate a culture in which this is again possible? Can we cultivate a life of realskills competency and knowledge-sharing for the sake of our children, now? Or will we wait to scratch out a desperate survival if — when— a financial or energy collapse occurs?

In response to this pressing question, we have opened a space just down the road from Columbia; a space we hope will serve local and regional community in experiential learning and knowledge-keeping in ancestral skills. We will aim, through cooperative classes, discussion groups, workshops and camps, to grow real-life competency in areas such as “primitive” toolmaking, bee-keeping, natural building, mushroom cultivation, seed saving, food preservation, healthy soil building, chemical freegardening, butchering and hide tanning, resilient homestead systems design, animal husbandry, goat soap and cheese making,

\shoe-making, aqua-culture, wild foraging, herbalism and plant medicine, and much, much more!Â

fermentation and wine making, leather and wood working,

We look forward to gathering together in the open air of the community garden (come plant some seeds!), on the porch, near warm fires - learning together and building resilience and abundance through shared vision and cooperation. This six acres of land, its pond, and buildings can serve as a place for potluck gatherings and

Alisa Lucash with her children at Elements Coffee Corner


campouts, adult and family classes and summer camps for children; a space for shared projects and the gathering of ideas whose energy can be taken to other places, spaces, homes and towns. It is our goal to provide opportunity to be out in nature, under the sun, learning where and how our food grows, putting our hands and hearts toward the building of healthy soils and connecting community in gratitude. We would love to hear from you if you have ideas for classes you would like to join in, or any knowledge or skills you have to share. The sky is truly the limit.

To set up a visit, call 252-766-0123 and for more information, visit our website at

A WATERLOGGED NEW YORKER TAKES ON NORTH CAROLINA WAITING FOR THE SAILING WIND… BY JOHN LOMITOLA Normally my wife Phyllis isn’t much for the water, or for that matter getting wet. But I talked her into a two week sailing course up here in the Hamptons to prep us for our trip to Columbia NC, to look at the potential purchase of a 31’ Island Packet sailboat. Our dream, or should I say ‘my’ dream, was to retire and live aboard and sail around the world to anyplace that the whim of the wind would take us. Needless to say, we were lacking in any sort of practical experience since neither of us had ever sailed anything before, much less a 31’ goliath (as this boat appeared to us). As luck would have it, after two weeks of lessons, the only things we became experts in was capsizing, and the ‘man overboard’ drill. Overall the entire 6 days visiting the Inner Banks (IBX) was anything but straightforward, since

our sponsor Miss Ingrid kept us going in every direction at all times, never missing a sunset, boat trip, historical visit, farm experience or civic event. All the while we were astounded to see just how many people in the tricounty area of Tyrrell, Dare and Hyde, know Miss Ingrid and support her good work as a one person PR/Marketing pundit for the IBX. Our primary goal was to spend a night on the 31’ sailboat, to see if my wife could overcome her claustrophobia, and motion sickness before moving on to actually sailing the darn thing The first part went well and we went on to schedule segment 2, the sailing part. Since wind is the primary factor in making a sailboat go, we had to wait for the right moment when all the variables were in line.  The owner of the boat for sale was cooperative and worked with us to find the right day with wind and availability. Meanwhile, the

wind was non-existent so Miss Ingrid arranged several road trips for us so that we could explore the many local events, attractions and culture that make this area a pocket-sized slice of lost ‘Americana.’ A little ways west of Columbia NC is the Civil War town of Plymouth, known for the distinction of being the place of the last Confederate victory of the war, in which the Ironclad Confederate warship CSS Albemarle, fought bravely and sunk a Union warship. On the waterfront in Plymouth, there is a replica of this ship on display, its design resembling modern day ‘stealth’ technology with its sloping surfaces and extremely low profile. A quick walk along Water Street showed us a town in transition, attempting to make a comeback as a quaint tourist attraction and the consensus among us was that there is plenty of potential to succeed.

About an hour southeast of Plymouth is Swan Quarter, the county seat of Hyde County. Miss Ingrid was covering a civic event for the Swan Quarterly, one of two magazines she publishes in the area,

a ‘Fried Shrimp’ fundraiser lunch for the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department. We arrived from Plymouth in time to see a capacity crowd of very happy, hungry contributors paying $9 each for a huge portion of fried locally caught shrimp from the Swan Quarter fisheries just down the block, fried hushpuppies and coleslaw. On the corner across the street from the fire department stood a rather large home-made white sign belonging to Pat, the owner of the gas station there. All local events, special visitors, and local scuttlebutt appear on Pat’s sign, constantly changing by way of the multiple cans of white and

black paint buckets on the ground, a sort of antiquated form of modern day texting or blogging. Since there are no stop lights (no traffic either) in the entire county of Hyde, we didn’t have to be too careful crossing the street to get to Miss Emily’s Village Consignment Shop, for some shopping bargains. It soon became apparent that if you added up all the .50 - $1.00 items in the store, you could probably buy the whole lot, move it up to Long Island NY, and sell it all on eBay and make a fortune! Oh well, we settled for a tea pot, tea cup, spatula, wire whisk and candle for about $10.

Back to crossing the street (still no traffic) to visit the newly inaugurated Mattie Arts Center, located in the Historic 1854 Courthouse and run by Director Judy McLawhorn. We saw that this is no play thing, as it attracts serious artists and woodworkers, offering a six station respiratory friendly ‘down draft’ studio, featuring classes in woodburning, glass etching, walnut power carving, gourd art and waterfowl carving. The fruits of all this creativity can be purchased in the nearby gift shop and I must say that the items for sale are of the highest quality and most reasonable price point.

Then it was time to rush back across the peninsula to Legion Beach in Columbia for a ‘Anything that Floats but a Boat’ fund raising event serving North Carolina style grilled chicken, string beans, potatoes and really homemade and supremely delicious peach ice cream!! Getting to Legion Beach from Swan Quarter required a magnificent road trip across Lake Mattamuskeet, NC’s largest lake, not far from where a 12-foot, 800-pound alligator was hit by a car recently - yikes! But we were being called by a higher power, namely hunger, so we had to hurry to make it in time for the event to begin. Aside from the great home cooking and ice cream making, kids of all ages were having fun competing in an old fashioned sack hopping race, watermelon seed spitting contest and the grand finale, the anything but a boat race. Thinking about the proximity to the alligator accident, Legion Beach should have been an ideal location for these giant creatures to live, except for the fact that it is just a tad too cold for them to survive year round in this area. Thank the Lord!

Waking up the next day in Miss Ingrid’s healing home, full of light and tranquility, we still had no wind. So, it was time to make our way to the town of Roper, NC - a place with a population of only around 620 persons and home to the Spruill Farm Community Garden, a Certified Naturally Grown farm where we volunteered along with about 40 others, to help plant an acre of vegetable seeds for future harvest. This project is the brainchild of Jack Spruill, a descendant of the original Spruills who settled here early in the 20th Century. The fruits of this labor will be donated to the community food pantries

and whomever is in need. You couldn’t help but wonder how a bunch of strangers could get together and start taking orders from a handsome, rugged farmer type like Jack, but there we were, snapping to attention and following orders as quickly and efficiently as possible. Both Phyllis and I sowed tiny beet seeds, gently covering them up with a light sweep of a garden rake. The grounds around the planting field was sprinkled with organically grown apple, pear and pecan trees followed by a whole row of approximately 23 fig trees loaded to the brim with hundreds of figs on each one. We reveled when asked if we would like to harvest some figs and we were handed an egg carton to hold up to two dozen ripe, deliciously sweet Kalamata figs. We finished picking and made our way past an enormous grape arbor thought to be more than 100 years old. The tremendous vision, foresight and execution of his dreams, has hopefully made others think about emulating the legacy of Jack Spruill. Another day passed without sufficient wind to make a go of sailing the Island Packet in the Albemarle

Sound, which just happens to be the largest fresh water sound in North America. So we decided to venture a visit to the open air antebellum period plantation called Somerset, restored to near originality with many of the owner and slave structures used for working and living, still intact. What’s interesting to me besides the ‘window to the past’ historical feature, is this location, originally encompassing about 10,000 wooded and swampy acres bordering on NC’s second largest lake, Phelps. As we strolled around the well-kept grounds, we were told that slave labor was used to build long canals from Lake Phelps to the Scuppernong River, approximately 11 miles away, for the purposes of draining the swampy areas and transporting goods and people to and from the plantation. Close by to the Somerset

Plantation we visited the wellorganized Pettigrew State Park, which has camping and launching areas around Lake Phelps. As luck would have it we ran into Christy Maready, the goto girl at the park when you want to know anything about everything! Being accompanied by Christy after she so quickly gave up her lunch hour, she took us to a newly constructed raised wooden nature-walk through the swamps adjacent to the lake.

Thank you Christy! ~ JL

Christy informed us that it would be dedicated at an opening day inauguration at the park in the near future. Our personal guide pointed out all the different species of blossoming flora that we could see, and of course wild life fauna from fish and amphibians, to large mammals such as deer. The new addition is intended to educate both young and old in the natural surroundings of the lake and give people an appreciation of the art of preservation and conservation. Soon we were induced to take out a few kayaks into the lake to get a close-up view of the tremendously beautiful cypress trees and see if we could spot some bald eagles and ospreys. A full day was quickly coming to an end and we headed back to Columbia, our base of operations.

Dinner plans included purchasing some freshly caught speckled trout at Full Circle Crab Company in Columbia, and grilling it outside at home along with some farm fresh produce. I couldn’t help but buy the fish from them after seeing Full Circle’s motto “The Circle of Life - May it Ever Be Full.” We found the produce at a highway farm stand called Scuppernong Produce, where we purchased great-looking, big, round tomatoes plump with juice; freshly harvested curly leafed lettuce; a large seedless watermelon; some locally grown juicy yellow peaches; and a surprisingly delicious package of mixed Scuppernong grapes. On the menu that night was Miss Ingrid’s special salad of both veggies and fruit, sliced tomato and mozzarella caprese with basil pesto,

grilled whole speckled trout with lemon and olive oil and grilled marinated hanger steak, sliced and served medium rare. For dessert we managed to save a few pieces of homemade German Chocolate Cake left over from the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department’s shrimp fry the previous day. Finally, all we have to do was pray for wind for the next day, because it’s our last before we return to NY.

Our windy day finally arrived courtesy of 10 mph NW wind gusts over the Albemarle Sound, not steady but gusting… we’ll take it at this point, otherwise we have go back to Long Island without ever sailing! Our sailing host Chet, offered to pick us up at the dock in Columbia and sail on over to his waterfront home across the Scuppernong River to pick up his wife. Now this is a decent sized very sturdy widebeamed sailboat with a relatively shallow draft of 4 ft. Sounds like I know what I’m talking about, but not really, this is information I gleaned from researching the boat prior to our tryout.   Chet let me back the boat out of the marina and with his coaching we headed across the river to his home. The water is pretty shallow in this part of the river, so the going was slow and cautious, until we stopped about

100 yards from his dock with only four feet of water under us (almost grounding). Chet instructed me to launch the rubber skiff and row on over to pick up his wife who was standing on the dock, so I did what he said. All went according to plan but it was a lot of work to row over, load a passenger with a cooler, and row back to the boat and then climb a ladder to get back in. Whew! Now we were finally off to do some sailing. First the sails had to be prepared for raising, which included a lot of untangling of lines and taking the covers off. After that, we had to position the boat “in irons,” which means into the wind so we could raise the sails without being swept away. Ok, the sails were up, so now what? Well, there was an

eerie silence as Chet shut the engine off and we all waited for the excitement to begin. But there was nothing. The wind had died down in the time it took us to get to the Albemarle Sound, and now we just sat there in the hot searing sun and vegetated. More like fried! Yes, Chet had what is called a ‘bimini’ covering the cockpit, but with no wind things were heating up awfully fast. My wife Phyllis and Miss Ingrid went up to sit on the bow and Phyllis played around on the bowsprit pretending to be Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic, hanging forward over the bow with her arms apart singing “My Heart Will Go On.” A little foreboding for me, so I promptly issued a captain’s order to cease and desist!! Alright, after two and a half hours of ‘luffing’, where there was practically no airflow over the sails, we called it a day and motored back to port. Well, you just don’t park a boat and get off like you do with a car, so all sails had to be stowed, shore lines had to be readied, the little dingy had to be secured and the sailboat had to be maneuvered carefully into the dock without hitting anything. Oh, did I say that boats don’t stop very well? You have to shoot it into reverse to slow it down since there are no brakes so to speak, but as luck would have it, I managed to get it

into dock without any catastrophes! We spent about an hour securing all lines to the dock, and battening down all windows and doors. By the time we finished, we were ready for some serious cocktails, so we headed down the street to The Old Salt Oyster Bar for a couple of Margaritas to work off the stresses of sailing. Our dinner of fresh locally caught fish, broiled to perfection was outstanding and we could see why there were so many people in the same place having a great time. Once we had accomplished what we set out to do - that is sail the boat - I asked my wife, “What do you think of our dream?” There was a pause, and I didn’t see the light that I expected to see in her eyes. Instead, she simply said, ‘Whew’! Later that night as we were preparing to check-in to our Southwest Airlines flight, I asked her again, “What do you think?” I looked at her face, to see if I could tell what the answer would be, and she said: “It’s a lot of work, and will cost us a lot of money for upkeep, dockage, repair and maintenance and the responsibility is tremendous.” …”It’s a lot of work!” she repeated.


Beginning October 14 and on display through October 31, The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo will host my art show entitled “Adventures in Touch, Smell and Sound.� This most unusual show is the fifth show that I have done that is especially for vision-impaired people, but I find that sighted people enjoy the show as well and they may choose to experience it with or without blindfolds.

My passion for creating art work that tells a story comes in handy for shows where you are allowed to touch, smell, and hear what is presented. Not only do I try to make the show interesting in texture, shape and size, but I also try to weave in some unexpected features. The goal is to make art funny and entertaining and pleasant to look at, just in case you can see! All objects are created by using discarded every day stuff, thrift shop finds, found objects, paint, glue, paper, and more.

My first such show was in the early 1990s at the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station in Avon, NC. In 1998 it became a traveling show as I took it to Germany and the USA. Last year after I had taken a break, the local Lions Club asked me to do another show. In memory of my daughter who was an artist in Germany and had passed away in April 2013, I assembled another show that was also held at The Elizabethan Gardens.

It was a great experience! Vision impaired guests by the bus loads who had come to the Outer Banks for an annual 3-day fishing tournament arrived with their companions and guide dogs to go through the art show, take a garden tour, and produce a craft. The fishing tournament is organized by the local Lions Clubs and has developed into the largest event for blind people in the world!

This year, I started to put together another show including wall reliefs and sculptures that can be touched, smelled and heard with the theme of “Adventures in Touch, Smell and Sound.” To make it fun, a 20-foot long (fabric) snake named “Gordon” will be the largest piece in the show. Gordon has swallowed a rabbit - you can feel it! He also has a rattle in his tail. Another new piece is an “Alien Plant” that is made from metal,

plastic and fabric. It has glass eyes. A “Lizard Woman,” a “Mini Fountains of Spring” with pleasant smells, a drift wood sculpture named “Saved,” and many other new pieces will be featured. Glasses filled with different materials, used as rattles, challenge you to guess what’s in them. A small night stand with shells incorporated in the exterior has sand in a drawer with hidden metal “treasures.” Visitors can take a magnet and go on a little treasure hunt to find them. Two large fish similar to the Lions symbol are made into

wall reliefs that can be touched. The scales of the fish are created from the craft objects that the vision impaired visitors produced last year. With the help of Lions Club volunteers this will be great looking collages! New also is wall art produced by participants of the Cahoon Center in Columbia, Tyrrell County, NC and the Mattamuskeet Opportunities Center in Hyde County, NC. These Centers serve mentally and physically challenged people. For twelve years I have done voluntary art work with these participants. When asked if they

would want to do an art project for the show, everyone agreed and went to work enthusiastically. Hopefully they can take a field trip to see the show after the fishing tournament is over. Due to my age, I can no longer do welding or heavy lifting. Too bad - in my mind I see a huge round metal object with smooth surface. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to produce it! There is a lot still to be done. I hope you’ll come and experience the show and I’ll “See you in the Gardens” in October.

TYRRELL COUNTY 4-H MEETS THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE BY: MIRIAM FAUTH There are not many opportunities for our local children to experience theater, but our little 4-H ‘Explorers’ group here in Columbia went to see the most wonderful production of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on Friday September 12th. During August and September, three Tyrrell County youth, Bradley Brickhouse, Grace Swain and Layah Fauth attended rehearsals, preparing for this epic show under the directorship of Dr. Emmerich at the College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City. The extremely talented Mariah Schierer was the choreographer. Brad, Grace and Layah were part of a 60-person cast that was a mixture of college drama students and community members of all ages. Mariah worked closely with the dancing scenes, while Dr. Emmerich coached the actors for

the few weeks of rehearsals. Gradually, the scenes came together. Dr. Emmerich commented: “We were not far into the rehearsal period when I realized we had something very special on our hands.” Judging by the reaction of the audiences, I can comment how true that statement was. As usual, 10:00 am matinees were shown on Thursday and Friday mornings specifically for school groups. The children were mesmerized, being drawn into the land of Narnia. They clapped and cheered along with the scenes, following the story. Of course, Aslan the Lion won their hearts and their loudest cheers. And, it was the very same with the audiences in the next four shows. The talented actors, the fantastic sets, the stunning costumes, the beautiful dance scenes, the stirring music all captivated the audience’s attention throughout the almost 2- hour show. After seeing the first show on Thursday morning, I was so excited to know that the children who signed up to go with our 4-H group from Tyrrell County for the Friday night showing were in for an amazing experience.

At 5.30 pm Friday, we were ready to leave. A 4-H van full of children and two adults came to help my husband, Michael, and Amanda Flemming, whose two sons were with us. On arrival, we all took the second row back from the stage! Of course, they all enjoyed the show. It was wonderful to see their faces as they experienced theater. It is a unique energy that cannot be experienced by just watching a movie. We were on the road going home a while later than I had anticipated, but this was due to the time we all spent meeting the characters from Narnia that greeted the audiences in the foyer on the way out. As you will see, our photos will show how special this time was. Dr. Emmerich also commented that “All of the cast gave 100%, they all worked together in the capacity you must to pull off a show of this magnitude.” Dr. Emmerich, his wife Mrs. Gloria Emmerich, Maria Schierer and her husband Nathan, are the core people who are bringing the world of theater to us. They are truly impacting people’s lives.

Peter Pan will be the next show, beginning October 23rd. I am sure all eleven of our 4-H young people would agree: “let’s save the date!”

SCUPPERNONG SPROUTS 4-H " T Scuppernong Sprouts 4H Club meeting will be Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 from 3:30-5:00 at the Tyrrell County Cooperative Extension Office. The Scuppernong Sprouts meet monthly on the first Thursday of every month! This club is for kids between the ages of 5 and 8. These kids will discover all about 4H! The club leader for this club is Mrs. Selma Boucher. If your interested in participating in a Tyrrell County 4H club please contact 4-H Agent, Bridget Spruill @ 796-1581 or"

A LONG DAY IN THE FIELD WITH PROMISES TO COME THE SPRUILL FARM GARDEN IS A COMMUNITY ENDEAVOR… BY: JANET SMITH It was like we were back in time. Preparing long row after row for a vegetable garden.  Sowing seeds and planting seedlings. Back-breaking work but you wouldn’t consider stopping until it was all spread, planted, and watered.  There was a passion for it, a determination in it, and a hope from it. Spruill Farm is such a friendly and inviting place to be. Anyone who has taken the opportunity to visit and be on the farm does not come back the same.  When Jack Spruill, landowner, talks to you about his family farm, and tells you about his vision for the farm, you instantly feel a part of it as if it were your farm too.

And that’s just what it’s become, your farm - in particular your garden. In the interim of the farm reaching its full vision, Jack brilliantly came up with an alternative idea to make it a community resource. A huge community garden was born.  On August 30, the farm hosted a Big Planting Day, which brought people from all over to be a part of this community effort.  Between Jack, Bobby Wilkins, and Robert Nixon, the farm caregivers, the place was pristine and ready for planting.  It is obvious that Bobby and Robert

are as passionate about the land as is Jack. Their people were born and raised on that land too. The volunteer crew got a special boost from professors and students from Elizabeth City State University and North Carolina Central University. Also Courtney Lawrence, the Creswell High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, brought his students, each with their own talents and gifts. Jack had prepared everything and the day went off without a hitch. The volunteers were amazing!  They all pitched right in as if it was their garden, and actually it is.  Anybody is free to tend the garden.  You can harvest it when it’s ready, and you can weed and water it while it’s getting ready. We planted an acre of vegetables!  We planted arugula, broccoli, beets, bunch beans - blue lake and Kentucky wonder cabbage, carrots, collards, cauliflower, dill, cilantro, kale, cucumbers, lettuce, mustard, onions, radishes, rape, purple top rutabaga,

snap peas, spinach, squash, shallots, turnips, and zucchini. Whew!! Then we had a cooked and catered lunch, served to us right on the Albemarle Sound.  Volunteers grilled burgers, dogs, and sausages, delivered fresh “to our door” by Spruill Brothers Pastured Meats of Bertie County.  The potato salad, baked beans, chili, cookies and decadent brownies were made by Stella’s Café in Plymouth. Talk about hospitality!  

With the satisfaction of accomplishing the planting of an entire community garden, and a good meal rewarding us, we were free to enjoy the property and all its character. The property’s shoreline on the Albemarle Sound is pictureperfect. It makes you want to string a hammock between the cypress trees in the water, and just take in all the sights and sounds of this unique spot. A main attraction of the farm is the fig bushes.  There


were people who volunteered to plant the garden just so they could pick figs. It’s crazy.  You could start a fig preserve processing and packaging plant with just the figs on Spruill Farm. In fact, Spruill Farm’s figs have been recognized as being Certified Naturally Grown.  From mid-August until late September you can pick all the figs you can handle. It was one satisfying day. Now… let the vegetable harvesting begin!


Ridin' on a Harley is one more 'thing' I can now take off my bucket list. Hey, I am not talking about a quick ride around Legion Beach on my neighbor Anthony's bike... One sunny morning last month I got a call from my friend Sam who invited me for a quick get-away to Ocracoke on his 'bike.' I had met Sam a few weeks prior at an event on the OBX, an interesting man who

fought with the good guys in Nicaragua and many other hard to pronounce countries and lives now semi-retired on Corolla Beach, surfing whenever he can. "Can you be ready in two hours?" he asked. Of course I would be ready--after all I really liked this rustic, resilient, real-guy man.  I wore tight, pink Jeans, foremost to impress Sam, but also because isn't that what a Harley girl would wear? Besides Sam must have paid for his 'bike' almost what I paid for my little cottage in Columbia. Sam took one look at me and grinned: "Ingrid, you

might want to make those pink jeans blue, and see if you find a pair as loose as possible..." However, Sam was impressed with the extra small overnight travel bag I had packed. He placed the helmet on my head, made sure that it had just the right fit and then I tried to hop on the way I had seen Olivia Newton-John do it in Grease.  We took US 64 to Nags Head and then south to catch the Hatteras ferry to Ocracoke Island. Sam is two years older than me, so I thought that I'd be doing just fine - if he enjoys riding his bike, so will I. Sitting behind the 'rider,' balancing in motion, and looking good at the

same time takes work. But after about an hour or so, my tailbone reminded me that there was a reason why I soak periodically in Epson Salt baths. However I was determined, first of all to look good and also, not to complain. But when we arrived at the Hatteras ferry I asked Sam almost casually if he by any chance would have a couple of pain killers...  To make a nice evening and a wonderful dinner (at Daijo) story short, we couldn't really enjoy the next day on the island the way Sam had planned it because bad weather

was predicted and we had to catch the early ferry to Swan Quarter. The weather people had gotten it wrong, once again, and we weren't prepared for rain and no matter how shiny the Harley, it's a bike!   When we arrived at the ferry terminal one of the agents from the building opened the door and asked where we were going. "Swan Quarter, Sir." Sam responded respectfully. The ferry agent advised us to wait in another line on the very left behind the orange cone and we followed his directions. Then after Sam had parked his bike, the ferry agent returned, frantic, and claimed that Sam hadn't

followed his directions. The man clearly got out of hand and became loud and obnoxious. How Sam stayed so calm is beyond me but he did. "The man is in control," he said "no matter if he is right or wrong, we have to get off the island."  The terminal agent went as far as searching our backpacks on the saddle and after he couldn't find anything and with all kinds of people now watching, he decided to let it be. Soon we were surrounded by people expressing their sympathy over this agent's embarrassing behavior. We all agreed that the man had either an aversion to Harleys, bikers in

to have missed the class about explosive devises and how they could most effectively be transported.

leather jackets, or simply was trying to prove that he was doing his job and worth his

salary. However, the older guys, who had served in the military, all agreed that the man seemed

We docked in Swan Quarter three hours later and made our way home through Lake Mattamuskeet, always just an inch ahead of the rain. Thank goodness we made it just in time for lunch at Sandy's Place. I shall no longer take rides on Harleys longer than an hour...Â

ADVICE TO MY SON ON HIS JOURNEY TO BECOMING A MAN (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) BY DEAN ROUGHTON Incorporating Tyrrell County values and my own life experiences, I wrote this for my son a while back. Now I give it to you to share with your loved ones if you so choose. Work hard. Anything worth wanting is worth working hard for. Whether it's a new video game, a car, a college degree, the girl of your dreams, or food on your family's table, a blue collar work ethic will serve you well - no matter the life path you choose. Almost everyone needs a little help now and then, but it should be the exception and not the rule. (Any help you ever receive should be repaid to the giver or else paid forward.) The sweat of your brow, the muscles in your back, and the power of your mind are all powerful tools that no one can take from you. The lazy do not

find success in life; it is by your own efforts that you will get ahead. Do not be afraid of failure. If you give everything your best effort, you have already succeeded. Attempt more than seems possible. Wayne Gretsky once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." If you make an attempt at something and fail, the worst thing that can happen is you learn from the experience and increase the likelihood of success on your next try. And be confident. The little voice inside your head that says "I can't" comes from the naysayers around you who are envious of your strength of spirit. Love cautiously, then deeply. Chances are in life you will have your heart broken, maybe more than once. Just like men, not all women can see the value of what's right in front of them. Protect your heart. That's a pain I would do anything in my power to spare you from, but ultimately, it's a part of life you have to handle on your own terms. If you should find the one who is deserving, then give her

your all. There is nothing on Earth more intoxicating than the reckless abandon of love. Fill your cup and drink deeply for as long as it lasts. Do not rely on others for your happiness. Human beings are fallible; they make mistakes. Often, they are too wrapped up in themselves and their own perceived problems to worry about making someone else happy. Create your own world of happiness. Find joy in the small things in life. If others come into your life and increase that happiness, that's the icing on the cake. But if you are a selfactualized person responsible for your own happiness, then when the icing is gone, you still have cake. You can always come home. Like your grandpa and grandma have done for me, my door will never be locked for you. If life ever kicks you in the ribs, I will be there to do whatever I can to ease the pain. There is no bond like blood, and your family will be the ones there when everyone else fails. Even if I am gone from this world, I will always watch over you. Believe that. Follow Dean on Facebook at


BY: ERIC GODWIN I bet some of you are thinking what are soft skills? According to Dawn McKay, a career planning expert, soft skills are “personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make someone a good employee and compatible to work with.” Soft skills are also known as employability skills. These are the skills that get you hired for a job. The purpose of a job interview is to look more

at an individual’s soft skills to see if they would fit into their work environment. Some examples of soft skills are communications skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, active listening skills, active learning skills, time management, teamwork, professionalism, reading comprehension, adaptability and flexibility. Soft skills also help polish up your hard skills. Hard skills are the technical skills that you know how to do such as farming, welding, carpentry, heating and air conditioning, or crabbing. The soft skills mentioned above are what get you the career of your choice. For example, someone could be

the best welder in the area, but if he is not professional or cannot manage his time correctly then he is not necessarily the right person for the job. Another reason why soft skills are important is because they are transferable from career to career. So if you are a welder and decide to work for another company as a welder, those soft skills that you have developed can move with you. Hard skills are not transferable. If you are a welder and want to be a carpenter you have to learn a completely new trade. Living in rural North Carolina means that jobs are very few and requires that you have a lot of hard skills. Developing your soft skills are

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PSYCHOPATH 2014 PREPARES TO SCARE UP SHORTER LINES With an official opening only days away the creative team at The Lost Colony is busy preparing for what promises to be the Halloween event of the year on the Outer Banks. Last year crowds of thousands were brave enough to take on the walking trail. With a sizable grant from the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Outer Banks Community Foundation in hand, organizers promise a larger, scarier, longer path for 2014.

They are also offering a new twist on tickets this year with the GHOSTPASS. GHOSTPASS tickets will allow patrons to skip the line altogether….no matter how long it is… and get in the GHOSTPASS line. GHOSTPASS tickets will be $10 more than general ticketing. “Last year the only suggestions for improvement we got on a consistent basis was that people

wanted to buy a quick ticket option. It took some figuring out how to make it all work, but we’re proud of what we’ve done and happy to be able to offer it to those who either cannot or simply don’t want to wait in line.” Said Bill Coleman, Lost Colony CEO.

In addition to the new GHOSTPASS Coleman says that tens of thousands of dollars have gone into improving the old scares and creating new ones. “We have several Hollywood

quality masks this year which come from the leaders in the Halloween industry. These things are as awesome as anything you see on the big screen. We also made a couple of major investments in puppets…but these aren’t Sesame Street. People are going to freak out when they see these things.” The creative team behind the magic of The Lost Colony is also building new sets, costumes and light shows.

General tickets will be $15 while GHOSTPASS tickets will be $25. Tickets may be purchased online or at the Ticket Office the evening of your tour. For more information call The Lost Colony at 252-473-2127 or visit PsychoPath is designed for adults and brave teens. Enter at your own risk, but don’t come alone! PsychoPath is sponsored by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, The Outer Banks Community Foundation, Pizza Hut, Shoshin Technologies and Max Radio of the Carolinas.


ONE BEAR, TWO BEARS, BABY BEARS, MAMA BEARS MY BEARLY CONTAINED PLEASURE OF SEEING BEARS IN THE WILD… BY: ROBERT LETHCO, JR. This year I have seen more bears than I have the whole time I’ve been in North Carolina. They are abundant in Tyrrell County but I’ve seen them in other eastern NC counties as well. It seems that every time I cross the Scuppernong River I am sure to see some of North Carolina’s nature on display! The first ones I saw were a couple of cubs. One was on one side of a peanut field and the other was way on the other side, far from the safety of the woods that bordered the field. As I was driving, little black spot caught my eye. I quickly stopped, backed up and there it was - a little cub at the edge of the woods. There was a lot of distance between us. I just watched and took a few photographs with my cell phone. I watched as this little cub silently explored the field next to the woods and just acting curious. After about fifteen minutes I

noticed a movement on the far side of the field, well away from the woods. It was a second bear cub. It was doing the same thing, exploring. In another few minutes, I heard a sound from the woods, like a ‘woof.’ The little cub on the far side of the field, took off running as if it were late for dinner. I was amazed at the speed this cub was running. When it got close to the woods, about 25 feet, it stopped and stood up. It was as if it was taking a last look at the field, before going to see Mama Bear. The third bear I got to see this year was another cub standing up on the side of the road. I was taking a friend out to see some beautiful nature in Tyrrell County. We were looking at some plants along the side of the road. When we got back into my truck, I told her: “Be very quiet and don’t make any sudden moves.” She asked why and I replied: “We have a bear staring at us.” It was standing up and just watching what the humans were doing. It was less than a hundred feet from us. We were safe in the truck. My heart was racing to get as many pictures as possible. The next bear I got to see was in the neighboring county of Gates. It was a rather large bear. It was standing up by the side of the road. I quickly stopped and

turned around just in time to see it on all fours going into the woods. The most recent sighting, may be the same set of twins I observed earlier this year. It was in Tyrrell County at the same field as the first two cubs. This time the cubs were a lot bigger. They were accompanied by an adult bear, possibly Mama Bear. I watched them play, go in and out of the field and run around like youngsters do. After taking a lot of pictures, I started talking to them, like they were a person. The cubs immediately stopped and looked my way. I was very far from them. I could easily be in my truck and gone way before they could get close. I always exercise safety first when watching nature! They were curious at the sound they were perhaps hearing for the first time. Mama Bear ignored the sounds. She did not even acknowledge my presence. I knew she was fully aware of my being there. As long as I stayed where I was and the cubs did not venture my way, there was perfect harmony between us. I enjoyed watching the bears play and just watching how similar they are to us. Their curiosity, the playing, and fighting with each other. It was great to experience the wilderness of Tyrrell County, home to the Scuppernong River.


The leaves are beginning their annual transformation from summer’s deep greens to autumn’s golds, reds, and oranges. The air is nippy (well, at least sometimes) and the days are definitely shorter. Fall is here and that means the holiday season. First up – Halloween! Next to Christmas, I spend the most time decorating for Halloween. I pull out my stock of skeletons, plastic jack-olanterns, amusing witches, and frightening-looking black cats. I festoon the house with cobwebs, and allow my silver to tarnish to give it that Addams family look. When it’s all said and done, my house is appropriately creepy, in the schlocky, tongue-in-cheek manner that we all associate with such a “scary” holiday. And I’m glad it’s just for show because I have a secret that I’m

finally ready to share. And that is: I do, I do, I do believe in ghosts. There, I’ve said it. And why do I believe in supernatural spirits? Because I grew up in a haunted house and learned from a young age that there are simply some things that you can’t scientifically explain. Now at this point, some of you are shaking your heads and muttering, “I always knew that one was a bit odd,” and have moved on to another article that makes more sense. But some of you – and you know who you are – are nodding in agreement because you’ve had some experience that lay outside of what’s considered normal. Something that left the hair on the back of your neck standing up, and got your heart beating faster. So, for those of you who understand that what we see is not all there is, I invite you to read my story. When I was about eight years old, we moved to the house that stands at the corner of Sound Side Road and Deweys Pier Road. It was built sometime around the turn of the last century, so when we moved into it, it was already not a new house.

I don’t know how long we’d lived there before I started noticing sounds I couldn’t explain, but it certainly wasn’t very long. I remember going to my dad and telling him that I heard footsteps, but nobody was there. His answer was to tell me that there was “no such thing as ghosts,” and that if I heard a strange noise, then I needed to investigate - I was bound to find a reasonable explanation for any mysterious sounds I heard. He also reminded me that old houses creak and make all sorts of weird noises, so not to worry about it. I didn’t point out the obvious, that we had lived in an old house before, and I’d never heard footsteps in that house. But there was no point in arguing with him, so I went on my way, knowing that there was little I could do about the noises. Still, his insistence that investigation was the proper way to deal with the problem stuck with me. So I definitely tried to be more diligent in looking for an explanation that didn’t rely on the paranormal. That’s why one Saturday when I was dusting in my parents’ bedroom, I did more than

rapidly exit the room when the odd sounds started. That day I didn’t hear footsteps, I heard tapping noises. I’d been singing some little song while I worked and noticed after a bit that something was tapping. Not only that, but it was keeping time to the song I was singing. Though the hairs were already beginning to stand up on my neck, I started my methodical examination of what could be causing the noise. First off –

was my younger brother playing a trick on me? I looked under the bed, in the closet, and behind the curtains – at any space big enough to hide a small child. Negative. So I stopped singing. The tapping noise stopped. Though I was scared, I was also intrigued. I started singing again, and the taps joined me. OK, I had another idea. I opened the curtains to see if the wind was blowing and perhaps

the large oak tree’s branches were tapping against the side of the house. But it was a calm day and the tree stood motionless outside. Still a bit brave, I had yet another idea. I began singing, but this time I started a whole new song, with an entirely different rhythm. And, yes, the tapping began again, keeping perfect time with the new song. I stopped singing. The tapping stopped. And so it went for at

least a couple of minutes. I would sing a new song and the tapping would commence and mark time with whatever beat I had come up with. Stop, start, tap, tap, tap. Finally I reached the limits of my ten-year-old courage and ran from the room to fetch my mom. Of course, no surprise, when I tried to show her, nothing happened. Still, though my experiment had failed to produce any reasonable explanation for the occurrence, I had discovered a few things. 1) Whatever was in the house could interact with us. 2) Whatever was in the house didn’t feel like it meant any harm. In fact, if anything, it had a playful nature – tapping away as I sang. 3) I was a little braver than I thought. I had done everything in my power to discover the reason for the tapping noise. Armed with these facts, I was a little better prepared for the inevitable footsteps in the back hallway, in my closet and in the attic. Whatever was walking around, I decided, was just checking out the house and keeping an eye on the current inhabitants.

Many years later when I was an adult, I asked my Dad about the house. Was he sure he had never heard anything? His answer surprised me. Yes, he finally admitted. He and my mother had also heard things. In fact, a mystery was solved. When we first moved into the house, we all had our bedrooms upstairs, with my parents’ being the one in which I had interacted with the tapping noise. After a couple of years, they moved their bedroom to what had been the downstairs guest bedroom. This was explained at the time as “you kids are old enough that you don’t need us up here with you.” Now, he confessed that they got tired of hearing things in that room. By switching to the downstairs bedroom, they got a better nights’ sleep – one that wasn’t interrupted by unexplained noises in the night. Oh, and I wondered, did the “ghost” vanish when we left? Did Dad know? Well, a few years after we sold the

house, the gentleman who had bought it, Elbert Jones, saw Dad around town one day. After a few pleasantries, Elbert asked my dad, somewhat sheepishly, if our family had ever heard things we couldn’t explain. Dad assured him that we, too, had had our share of mysterious sounds. Elbert nodded his head with obvious relief, having finally validated what he already knew. He lived in a haunted house. So, enjoy your Halloween, and for those of you who have your own ghost story, rest assured you’re not alone. Sometimes things don’t just go bump in the night; they go tap, tap, tap in the day.


and Town of Columbia Alderman, James Cahoon. The tour began when Secretary Decker met the group in Kilkenny, where she boarded the van to share dialogue enroute to tour locations. Chris Hopkins, East Coast Group Manager with Black Gold Farms was the first to speak regarding the size, scope and operation of that business. The first stop on the tour was Cherry Farms Seed Company where Secretary Decker met owners and operators of the company and Brian Ashford gave a presentation on the seed plant’s operation.

led the group on a brief tour of the facility. Secretary Decker was able to see the crab picking and packaging operation. After departing the crab processing facility, the group toured Downtown Columbia which featured brief stops at Old Salt Oyster Bar and The Winery, showcasing revitalization efforts. A visit was also made to Pocosin Arts where the group saw students from the Coastal Studies Institute making jewelry.

The group then boarded On Friday, September 12, the van and visited Everett NC Secretary of Commerce Marine at Cypress Cove Marina Sharon Decker visited several where participants learned about locations in Tyrrell County to get the value and importance of a vision of commerce and the marine sales and repairs for both needs of the county. She was The next stop was commercial fishing and pleasure accompanied by Ashley Jones, Captain Neill’s Seafood boating. The Everett’s had Director of Legislative Affairs Company where Tara Foreman prepared for the visitors a nice and Secretary welcome Decker’s son, package similar Matt. The tour to the package was hosted by they give to the Greater boaters who Tyrrell County come to Chamber of Columbia to Commerce. visit. Local government The final dignitaries who stop of the tour participated in was at Vinethe tour yards on the Mary Lou Everett talked to the group about the importance of the marine industry and included Scuppernong explained the sales and maintenance services of Everett Marine at Cypress Cove Marina. County where the group Commissioner, was hosted by Leroy Spivey, owner, Jack

Bishop. Samples of delicious grape varieties were enjoyed by the participants. They then were able to take a tour of the wine processing facility. A great deal of personal interaction took place during the three hour tour which was very informative for the visiting and local participants alike. I heard several local people comment on how much they had learned about Tyrrell County during the tour.

We had a very limited amount of time with Secretary Decker and it was our goal to include as many aspects of our county as possible during her visit. We wish we could have included more stops We sincerely appreciate the time and preparations made by the tour sites owners and staff in accommodating this effort. I would also like to thank the Greater Tyrrell County Chamber of Commerce for hosting the event and especially my fellow

Photo: Tour group on the loading dock at Captain Neill's Seafood Company.

Board of Directors who helped with the organizing and implementation of the tour: Kim Wheeler, President-Elect, Brenda Mixon, Secretary and Karen Clough, Treasurer. I truly believe Secretary Decker left with a better understanding of our county. I think she was very impressed with how much we have accomplished with limited resources and she definitely gained knowledge of economic development needs we have here.


Lots of exciting things are happening at Pocosin Arts in the Month of October! First, as many people around the town of Columbia may have already noticed, Pocosin Arts is getting a facelift…or rather a floor lift. Our bottom floor is currently undergoing renovation under the fabulous management of general contractor A.R. Chesson and his dedicated and talented crew of subcontractors.  During the month of October much of the interior will start to take shape.  We can’t wait to show off ! Next, on Saturday, October 4th Pocosin Arts is bringing back a tradition to celebrate its 20 year anniversary. For years Pocosin Arts has held its annual benefit auction on the corner lot at the intersection of Water and Main Street in downtown Columbia. Know once as the Steamed Blue to Red Hot Lively Annual Hard Crab Dinner and Art Auction,

it is now the Pocosin Arts Benefit Auction and Low Country Boil, but despite the name change the fun and exciting atmosphere remains the same. Pocosin Arts will put to auction over 100 different works in clay, drawing, glass, iron, jewelry, textiles, and wood generously donated by students, and instructors who have visited Pocosin Arts in the last 20 years. This fun filled evening begins with a beer and wine reception, live music, and silent auction at 5:30 pm, followed by a North Carolina Style Low country boil from 6:30-7:30 pm. At 7:30 pm the live auction begins and at 8:30 pm coffee and dessert will be served. Reservations for this fun filled evening cost $55 dollars and can be purchased by visiting benefit-auction/. Also, on October 8th and 9th, Session II of the Pocosin Arts After School Art program begins.  Classes in General Art are available to students in grades 2-5th and 6-9th on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively. These are classes where kids will paint, draw, sculpt,

collage, and print as they have fun expressing themselves. They will learn the basics of art such as line, shape, color, texture, and more! Tuition for each 6 week session is only $65 dollars and Scholarships are available. The very next weekend, on Saturday October 11th, the town of Columbia will hold Riverfest. Pocosin Arts is delighted to join in the festivities by providing hands on Art Activities for the kids.  Immediately following the parade, our Artists-in-Residence will have booths set up in the Pocosin Arts parking lot for kids to get a little messy creating their very own bottle cap necklace, Columbia pennant flag or clay masterpiece.  At the front of our Riverside studio building Resident Artist and Muralist Catherine Hart will be inviting the participation of the whole town in the creation of a wheat paste mural filled with the plants and animals of Tyrrell County. 

Saturday, October 25, Pocosin Arts will host a Basket Making workshop 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. This is part of our ongoing one day workshop series, “Basketcase: Beginning Basket Weaving” with Debbye Utz is the perfect way to get into the world of homemade baskets.  During this one day workshop, you will learn the basics of weaving an 8”round wooden-base basket and a 6” square napkin basket. This class is geared toward beginners; however, everyone is invited to join us. Items to bring from home: an old bath towel, 12 clothes pins (spring type), a long, thin screw driver or awl, and a sense of humor!  Everything else will be provided with the class. Debbye has been weaving baskets since the mid-1980’s. Her first attempt was a very complicated “egg basket” and she swore she would never weave another basket after that

experience. Her sister convinced her to try again, this time weaving a simple “napkin basket,” and she was hooked! Hundreds of baskets later, she loves to share her craft with others, especially those who think they have no crafting talent. “I weave baskets & fill them with little things to present as gift baskets for birthdays, housewarming gifts and get well wishes. It’s the perfect personal touch.” Tuition for this one day

workshop is $98 and--for a limited time only--sign up a friend for a $25 off of your next class at Pocosin Arts. Visit to register. There are a lot of exciting things happening at Pocosin Arts in the month of October.  Be sure to keep up to date with all we’re up to by liking us on Facebook or contacting us via our website. 

Tyrrell County’s Country Magazine October 2014 Photo by Ingrid Lemme

SG 10 2014 med  

Scuppernong Gazette October issue 2014

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