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Tyrrell County’s Country Magazine

March 2014

Photo by Ingrid Lemme

Maggie Duke

is now buying entire households or single items. Old is good but unusual and clean is too. Call for a free in-home appraisal, or stop by 210 Main St in Columbia.

(252) 706-0534 Visit us on Facebook



















Quote of the Month


“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same” ~ Flavia Weedn


The World's Healthiest Wine

Vineyards on the Scuppernong offers a wonderful selection of wines made from the World's Healthiest Grapes, grown, produced and bottled fresh here in Tyrrell County. Wine Shop Hours: Monday through Saturday open 10AM to 5PM. Sunday - open 12PM to 5PM.

Creswell Furniture

Where else in Eastern North Carolina could you find almost everything you'd need to furnish your entire home?

Getting back into the drill of publishing the Scuppernong Gazette monthly is actually easier than I thought it would be, foremost because I live here now "close up and on location. " I actually wanted to write a big piece about all the companies and people that helped me renovate my old, new house--but we are not there yet. Trust me, I know what I am talkin’ about... Creswell Furniture had my flooring solutions. Brian came up with a plan that fit my budget and my taste.

So, this has to wait at least another month. However, I really hope you enjoy this 36-page issue. I am looking forward to your comments and input, especially on the "Lake Mattamuskeet" controversy. Please email me at

Love, Ingrid Thank you!

VIOLA BY DEAN ROUGHTON According to Wikipedia, the viola is a stringed instrument which serves as “the middle voice in the violin family.” It helps to provide balance between the higher pitched violin and the deeper voiced cello. And that is how I will always remember my own Viola, the grandmother who helped smooth out any discord in the music of our family, who provided balance between the high pitched squeals and shrieks of us unruly grandchildren and the deeper, resonating, disciplinary voice of my grandfather. Viola Brickhouse, my maternal grandmother, passed away last night in Elizabeth City, NC, yet she will forever be remembered as a fixture of

Columbia, NC (and more specifically the Sound Side community) in the minds of those who knew her. She will be missed by many. I recall many Saturday morning “trips to town” from Sound Side with my grandmother and grandfather to go grocery shopping at Swain’s Clover Farm, where we

would always have to return the empty Pepsi bottles for the deposit money. I recall my grandmother boiling chicken for my grandfather every single day of life because a doctor had once told him that eating chicken was healthy. I recall my grandmother going to church every single Sunday before her

health declined and she was no longer able to attend. In general, I recall what some might refer to as an “old school,” God fearing, compassionate, dutiful wife/ mother/grandmother. But the memory I will focus on the most as we say goodbye is the image of her being the middle voice in our family, being a buffer between dissonance not only between people, but dissonance within oneself. A calming presence to help restore harmony in the face of too much noise in the world. And as this picture of my grandmother surrounded by family on one of her birthdays shows, Viola has touched so many other instruments, and her music will play on.

More about Dean Roughton at





W W W. F A C E B O O K . C O M / S A N D Y S P L A C E C O L U M B I A

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O P E N M O N D AY t o F R I D AY Breakfast & Lunch


Start Your D


S A N DY ’ S

et on Main Stre

Formerly Mc Clees Restaurant 203 Main Street Columbia, NC (252) 796-9600 AS Featured in the Scuppernong Gazette


ld Favorites Unite!

$ When Sandy Silverdahl announced moving her foodservice and takeout business into the old Mc Clees Restaurant, from the Scuppernong Mill House, everyone was excited. Well, it took Sandy and her team a couple of weeks, but she is back open and serving her hometown cookin‘ at its best! Most of Sandy’s old time favorites are still on the menu, including Hardison’s famous Carolina BBQ, but she

added a couple of new healthy dishes as well, like the vegetable wrap that I very much enjoyed. Her chicken salad is homemade, no preservatives, just delicious and oh so fresh. And oh, by the way, the view of Historic Main Street from the tables inside is fantastic!

u n e M e On th Monday to Friday Sandy’s Lunch Special of the Day

THE PLUM PONY Just opened in Columbia is a cute boutique which is located in the little historic building behind the Methodist Church, at 501 Bridge St. Once a grocery store, and then a carpet store for many years, the building now boasts a chic new clothing store that would easily fit into Long Island's exclusive Hamptons communities. The proprietor is the beautiful Nikki Norman. Nikki worked for thirteen years at the Eastern 4-H Center as the Center’s Reservationist and in Guest Services/Administrative Support, until she decided to follow her dream of one day owning her own business! Nikki is married to the love of her life, Dwayne Norman, and they have three boys--Dawson (14) Colby (8) and Gatlin (2).  She started her Plum Pony Boutique last summer as an online business to earn extra income.  “But two full time jobs and three children became very overwhelming, and after much

thought and lots of prayer, I made the decision to leave the Eastern 4-H Center and pursue my dream full time by opening up a shop in the town of Columbia,” She shares. Asking her about her new business logo, Nikki says: “Horses and fashion are two of my passions--and purple is my favorite color, so the name and the logo design are very fitting and reflective of me and my personality.“ Her business is growing very, very quickly, now shipping all over the US to New York, Florida, Texas, Utah, Tennessee, and even as far as California! Nikki schedules weekly online auctions where she posts her merchandise on The Plum Pony’s Facebook page for customers to view. Purchases are made by commenting under the photo of the item with an email and size request. A Paypal invoice is then sent to the customer and when it’s paid the item is shipped.  Invoices must be paid within 24hrs, but a Paypal account is not required. And at the Plum Pony shipping is always free! Look around inside this charming old building and you'll realize that Nikki really has put

her heart and soul into her store. She explained that Scott McLaughlin, the building’s owner, and his crew were so gracious and helpful with all of the upgrades, and that they did an amazing job! Renovations were made to provide fitting rooms, as well as improvements to the plumbing and electric services. The building will be vinyl sided soon, as well. The front of the shop displays women’s apparel, shoes, and accessories for immediate purchase, while the back houses an office, the shipping department, and storage for online sales. The décor mixes vintage and shabby chic with some modern twists,

4h center ad

The Plum Pony Boutique incorporating some very sentimental pieces of furniture and hand-made fabrics that belonged to Nikki’s Grandparents and her husband’s Grandmother. Stephanie Phelps of Southern Lace Restorations refinished quite a few pieces for the

OPEN Wed – Fri 10 -5pm and Sat 10 - 2pm.


(252) 766-0250

FACEBOOK theplumponyboutique


The Plum Pony opened for business on February 13, 2014. The shop has been very busy and online sales have been booming as well. “I am very blessed and excited to have the opportunity to provide a local facility where ladies can shop affordably without having to drive an hour out of town. I enjoy every single minute

displays and decorations. There are also some fixtures from the old Ben Franklin store on Historic Main St. ( now the Old Salt Oyster Bar) that she is thrilled to have and use--bringing even more of the town history and charm into her little shop!

of what I do, and the saying really is true: "When you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life! I am humbled to tears by the support and positive energy that my customers and the town have shown and I can’t thank everyone enough for helping and encouraging me to make this dream a reality! I look

forward to this new adventure, and I hope to live up to and exceed my customer’s expectations,“ Nikki smiles. Store hours are Wednesday through Friday 10-5pm, Saturday from 10-2pm, and closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  This allows her to prepare for and conduct her online sales, which are usually on Monday nights at 7:30pm. Tuesday’s are spent packing orders from that sale for shipping so they can get to the customers as quickly as possible. 

Tyrrell Churches

Assembly of Praise 1640 Travis Rd Albemarle Church of Christ Columbia, NC 27925 2531 Albemarle Church Rd (252) 796-3575 Columbia, NC 27925 Columbia Baptist (252) 796-4000 Parsonage 207 Road St Alligator Chapel Baptist Columbia, NC 2792 Church (252) 796-0290 1223 Goat Neck Rd Columbia, NC 27925 Columbia Christian (252) 796-0273 Church 602 Bridge St page church Columbia, NC 2792 (252) 796-5900 Faith Baptist Church 416 Road Street Ext Columbia, NC 27925 (252) 796-1621

Gum Neck Church of Christ 825 S Gum Neck Rd Columbia, NC 2792 (252) 796-3914

Sandy Acres Free Baptist Church 65 Smith Ln Columbia, NC 27925 (252) 796-7601

Mt. Moriah Church 113 Cove Rd Columbia, NC 27925 (252) 796-3500

St. John Baptist Church Old Highway 64 Columbia, NC 2792 (252) 796-0940

Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Rr 1 Box 321 Columbia, NC 2792 (252) 796-1088

Sound Side Freewill Baptist Church 244 Riverneck Rd Columbia, NC 2792 (252) 796-5573

Piney Grove Disciple Church Rr 1 Columbia, NC 2792 (252) 796-1715 Salem Baptist Church 401 Scotsville St Columbia, NC 27925 (252) 796-1090

Tyrrell United Methodist Po Box 168 Columbia, NC 2792 (252) 796-1664

Wesley Memorial United Methodist 502 Main St Columbia, NC 27925 Sandy Acres Free Baptist Church (252) 796-1664 65 Smith Ln Zion Grove Disciples Church Columbia, NC 27925 410 Road Street Ext (252) 796-7601 Columbia, NC 27925 St. John Baptist Church (252) 796-1696

THE OBJECT AT HAND BY BARBARA SNELL KREBS It’s an intriguing looking bottle--clear glass, with embossed spider webs covering the entire surface. On both front and back, a spider sits patiently in the middle, waiting for its next meal.  I don’t know much about it, except that it probably once contained bourbon or whiskey, and I could Buy It Now! on ebay for $49.95.  Or maybe I could even pay as little as $8.00 for a very similar-looking bottle. But its monetary value is hardly the point.  It’s the memories it conjures up and the feelings it evokes that give it meaning. We all have them--objects that at first glance are little more than curiosities.  Some are tacky.  Some are odd.  Some are beautiful.  Some are beautiful only in the eye of the beholder.  But whatever they are, whatever they look like, for each of us, they mean far more than any dollar sign could ever convey.

I obtained my spider bottle after my grandmother (Alethia Jones Snell) passed away. After the funeral, we all gathered at my grandparents’ house, and each of the grandchildren were given mementos that she had selected especially for us--items that she knew that would have meaning for each of her grandchildren.

So why did I end up

with the spider-web whiskey bottle? That was easy.  It was well-known in my family that I was terrified of spiders.  I don’t mean I disliked them, but that I truly would have a physical reaction when any of those

eight-legged, creepy, horrifying creatures showed up. My grandmother had a wicked sense of humor, and her leaving me that bottle was both funny and challenging.  It dared me to handle it without feeling freaked out.  It said, “Your grandmother knows you--even your darkest fears.” Over the years I’ve worked at putting this particular fear to rest, but it hasn’t been easy.  My husband has joked that I’m the Spider Goddess because he swears that if there’s a spider in the room it will come crawling toward me instead of retreating to a dark corner where it can stay safely hidden. His theory is that the afterlife will be more meaningful for the spider if it can just once touch the goddess. And yes, spiders do seem to find me attractive--like the time when I was a teenager and woke up from a dream that made no sense.  I was annoyed because there were wet threads on my arm.  As I began to wake up a little, I grabbed at the wet threads and threw them aside, quite irritated.  But as I awoke a little more, I began to

wonder how in the world wet threads could be on my arm in the middle of the night. So I turned on the light, and that’s when I saw it, lying on the floor where I had flung it, its eight legs still waving weakly, still alive despite my rough handling of it--a wolf spider, a common enough sight in eastern North Carolina.  And it had been crawling over my arm while I slept. It was about 4 am at that point, and I knew my father would get up around five.  I knew better than to disturb his rest for a mere spider, so for the next hour the spider and I shared the same room–it barely clinging to life, and me with every inch of my skin crawling.  When I finally heard my father stirring, I ran downstairs and begged him to please come KILL IT!  Still groggy from sleep, he wandered into my room. I pointed to the offending creature, and he nodded his head, walked over, and with his BARE FOOT, he finished it off.  I could, of

course, tell you about more of my adventures with charming little spiders, but I think you get the point.

highlights its many webs. At night, it recedes into the shadows, revealing little of its intricate design.  Day and night.  Night and day.  Fear and So my grandmother’s fascination. Like all good choice for me said so much relationships, it’s complicated about her, me, our relationship, and clear, a delicate balance and the life we had shared that shifts depending on a myriad of circumstances. Ms. Alethia Jones Snell So, how are the spiders and I getting along now?  Funny you should ask.   Whenever my daughter sees a spider, I hear a shriek and she comes running.  “KILL IT,” she demands.  And somehow I do, because she has inherited my curse.  The spiders come to their new goddess, and now I must be the adult and soothe her fears. 

together. She knew my fear, she acknowledged it and she challenged it, all in one simple, little bottle.  It sits now on my window sill by the kitchen sink, where I can enjoy it many times a day.  The morning sunlight

I still smile when I study the bottle and think of my grandmother. Who knew one little bottle could contain so much?  And so now, I ask you, what item do you hold dear?  What piece holds your secrets, your fears, your dreams?  What thing stirs your emotions and captures your imagination?    Yes, we all have them. What’s your object at hand?

GROUNDS FOR GARDENING BY GABRIELLA CRAIL It's that time of year again, and after the harsh winter we've just endured it's a welcomed task to begin gardening. While some of us have the advantage of plots of land to yield large amounts of delicious fresh produce, there are those of us who have to tap into our creative side to grow anything. Don't let this hinder your ambition, as it's very rewarding as well as therapeutic to grow and harvest your own food. Tyrrell County possesses the core ingredients for a thriving garden--plentiful sunshine, ample rain and a generous rich topsoil. Living downtown, you can still manage enough vegetables for your own family on a small plot of land with little effort. Consider where you get the most sun around your home and what you'd like to grow. The best remedy for this scenario would be container gardening which has many advantages--primarily the ability to move them as needed. You can grow a successful season of cherry tomatoes in a planter near the kitchen, thus encouraging

frequent attention to the plant. With the current price of food, it's a pleasant addition to a summer salad, especially harvested by your own hands. Get in touch with your creative side and you can utilize just about anything, from terra cotta pots to a repurposed tire; as long as you have good drainage, it can work! Grow some lovely accent flowers in an old colander

or upcycle a louvered closet door; hang tiny pots from hooks for a space saving Italian herb garden. Think of all the captivating aromas of fresh basil and oregano in your next pot of classic spaghetti. Most importantly you'll need a good nutrient-rich soil. The best way to ensure resourcefulness and nutrition is to compost organic materials. There are many advantages to

composting; the recycling of yard and kitchen waste provides a good source for free nutrition and a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers. Keep a small bucket with a lid near your prep station in your kitchen. A very useful and common addition for a compost is coffee grounds. If you drink coffee regularly, as many of us do, you can recycle those grounds and the filter after brewing by adding them to the compost. This provides nitrogen, a necessary component in the process of breaking down organic materials. If you aren't a coffee drinker, stop by Elements and I'll give you 5-lb bags of expelled grounds, free! I highly recommend doing some research on composting and container gardening. There are tons of websites loaded with valuable information on this matter. You can build your own compost pile or you can buy a rotating barrel specifically made for composting. Mix your compost properly with good potting soil, fill your pots with it, drop some good heirloom seeds in and enjoy the benefits all season long. Possibly one of the best results of this lifestyle is the reduction of waste in landfills. Upcycle, reduce and reuse! Photo by

SWAN TIME BY CHASE LUKER February is upon us and so begins the exodus of sportsmen who seek the inner banks of North Carolina as their winter hideaway. As soon as the summer ends and fall begins, the quaint hotels and bed & breakfasts are charged with birders, hunters, fishers, and even surfers. Now that the weather and water are too cold for the surfers, they head back to the big city. The expiration or hunting season sends all of the brave bear hunters, hardy waterfowlers, and seasoned deer hunters back to their respective burgs outside of our little slice of heaven. Farmers are beginning to warm up the tractors, and with the spring rains comes the spring planting season. This time of year, Tyrrell County entertains a few visitors, but most notably the Tundra Swan. For those of you who have never seen a wild swan, it is a sight to behold. The bird is the size of an average nine year old, and twice as raucous! Tundra Swans, generally speaking, seek out wheat fields to graze and open water to roost. Roosting on open water allow swans to doze peacefully without worrying

about predators. Sleeping flocks may contain several thousand birds! There are several “watch ganders” within the flock and they’ll take turns sleeping throughout the night. These birds are charged with alarming the others should danger arise. Oddly enough, the only real predator a swan faces on the water (aside from human hunters) is the bald eagle. It’s not unusually to spot more than a couple of bald eagles around both roosting and feeding flocks of swans. Preferring to seek out the weaker or younger swans, an eagle can meet its match with a healthy swan. Still, the cooing flocks offer a peaceful melody to a cold night. Today, hunters in North Carolina have the opportunity to harvest a swan via a permit drawing system that is administered by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Roughly 90% of the continent’s Tundra Swan population migrates to eastern North Carolina’s open fields and waters to wait out the frigid northern winters in Alaska and Canada, where they nest. The migration usually takes up to a month, when swans depart from northern breeding grounds; stopovers generally include the Missouri Couteau in central North Dakota, and then the

Great Lakes before final staging in and around the Chesapeake Bay area. Historically, the first cold snap in November sends the swans south, where they take refuge in places such as Pea Island, Mattamuskeet Lake, Phelps Lake, and the Alligator River shoals. Hunters may pursue swans over water, but most opt for field hunting by sitting in irrigation ditches that surround a wheat field. Trophy swans are those that are solid white with black bills. The younger birds are generally gray-feathered but provide fine table fare. Many hunters memorialize their hunt by taxidermying the specimen, though often at the lady of the house’s chagrin, as the birds can take up a lot of air space inside the family living room! Certainly, many swans made their way into the stewpot and onto the Christmas table, but other swans were used to make bedding such as pillows and mattresses. A swan has roughly 40,000 feathers, and the down is plush and insulating. Many of these pillows can still be found in old Hyde County homes! Swan hunting in Tyrrell County has a long and storied past. During the pre-World War I era, legalized hunting of swans was widespread. Market hunters

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would harvest as many as possible so that they could be shipped to northern markets in Norfolk, Philadelphia, and New York City. Tyrrell County had its fair share of market hunters, and the business was a full-time, family affair. Children would reload shells during the night, while a hunter’s wife would pick and clean some of the birds for the family’s stew pot. The hunter himself would spend the evening repairing his tools of the trade: shotguns, decoys, and sometimes, the boat itself. South of Tyrrell County, Mattamuskeet Lake carried on a similar tradition with geese. The lake, though, served as more of a sportsman’s paradise, as famous people such as Babe Ruth and Franklin Roosevelt could be found on the lake’s shores during the early 1900s. Some sport hunters, though, did appear in Tyrrell County waters or on nearby islands. The Durant Island Club was relatively famous across the east for both fishing and “ducking.” The club was most noted for hunting between 1880 and 1920, when Tom Midgette was the caretaker. While Durant

Island shares a boundary between Dare and Tyrrell Counties, it was most often accessed from Dare County shorelines, or directly by boat for those who opted to sail from the ports in Norfolk and Elizabeth City. Roads were few and far between in Tyrrell County, and few connected residents to the

outside world, hence the propensity of boats found in the area. Tyrrell County was also home to immense stands of Atlantic White Cedar, a light but durable wood used in virtually all aspects of coastal life. Homes, boats, oars, and wagons were all constructed from Atlantic White Cedar; however, the wood was also perfect for decoy construction, since it was easily carved and shaped. Thousands of people drive through the Alligator River

region each year, but few appreciate its history of hunting and decoy making. Two decoy makers, Tom Midgette and Tom Basnight, were both active market hunters and hunting club operators. Today, they are memorialized for making small rigs of some of the oldest and finest swan decoys ever discovered. Their striking form and almost overwhelming size fill many collectors with wonderment; it’s hard to imagine that such spectacularly well-made decoys came from such an isolated and primitive area. Dare and Hyde County area hunters made thousands of decoys, but no known decoy makers existed in Tyrrell County. Despite the fact that none have been discovered within Tyrrell County doesn’t suggest that none were ever made. A hardy and inventive people, it’s likely that Tyrrellineans in fact made beautiful and interesting decoys. They're probably stuffed in old barns or attics, but I’m certain they’re out there. And they're a part of our history that deserves discovery history that deserves discovery!

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For All Your Electrical & Plumbing Needs Call Jason Smith (252) 796-1357

LEARNING AN EARTHLY ART BY MISSI NEWMAN So--in an area that doesn't offer much to do, surrounded by the inspiring beauty of nature and filled with people as unique as the landscape--what can one do to satisfy their creative side? (And I live in Swan Quarter, where there is even less to do.) Growing up near Lake Mattamuskeet, I played with the clay that is native to the area. I took clay slab classes previously, but I have been interested in the pottery wheel since childhood. Never having had the opportunity to experiment or learn how to throw pots, I pursued the more tedious arts, such as painting and drawing. Now the hands-on method of art with pliable substances has become a great outlet for me. I learned about Pocosin Arts' recent pottery classes in time for the fall session. I took basic wheel working under Andrew Dutcher, a current

resident artist who is an extremely talented potter. The earthy dĂŠcor and the functional design of Andrew's work is what really compelled me to go ahead and start classes--to learn the skills I need from someone whose creative style I already admired. A session at Pocosin Arts is eight classes over eight weeks at a reasonably priced tuition. While students purchase their own clay in 25lb bags, all other supplies are provided. Along with the scheduled classes, Pocosin offers open studio time

for students, for extra practice time that provides an excellent excuse to get out of the house. Though the process of getting used to centering clay on a constantly moving wheel and then keeping it centered is, at times, daunting, my instructor was patient and helpful. With the basics taught, Andrew went on to show me tips and alternative

ways to achieve my desired results. My fellow students were also very helpful, with many of them having experience working with the wheel in the past. The small-sized class made it comfortable to know the other people and to help each other--as well as laugh about our misshaped pots. Through the process of making our initial wet pot, we were taught the stages of drying, and when the pot should be trimmed, decorated, and bisquefired. I learned so much during my first session of classes, though there was still much more for me to learn and to perfect. I am now enrolled in the current winter session of classes, focusing on glazes and methods of decorating ceramics. It is fascinating to learn just how much is involved in the overall look of a piece--the carving and painting of designs, the mixing of personalized glazes, the marbling of clay, working with slip, the various firing techniques and more. Classes are available for both adults and children, and more information can be found online at

 4-H ACHIEVEMENT NIGHT 2014 BY MIRIAM FAUTH This year's 4-H Achievement Night was held on Monday the third of February at Wesley memorial Methodist Church. Members get together once a year at this annual meeting to be recognized for their achievements in 4-H. This year there was a great turn out, as nearly 60 people from our community attended, including our new County Manager, David L. Clegg. The evening started with a welcome by Grace Swain, followed by an inspiring quotation read by Letty Swain Hernandez. Both Grace and Letty are teenage 4-H members.

Next, Mr. Winslow, the Extension Office Manager, said a few words about last year's 4-H activities. He specifically mentioned "Camp Gone Wild ! "--a 4-H camp held this past summer for 5 to 12 year olds. The two-day fun summer camp was held at Legion Beach, and

She introduced Grace Swain, explaining that Grace would entertain the audience with a few Cecil and Leonard Comedy skits, skits that helped her earn a gold award at District and State last year. The next entertainment was by "The Glee Club." This is a new 4-H club where members

camp activities included fishing, archery,a Pocosin Art project and a water slide. The water slide-- a big bouncy inflatable with steps up one side and a high slide on the other--was a big hit!

enjoy singing as a group, and offers a chance for them to progress with their singing skills. This was the Glee Club's first performance, and they sang "Some Nights." It was an opportunity for them to share their obvious love of singing with a little harmonizing they had

Bridget Spruill, Tyrrell County's 4-H agent, spoke next.

practiced. Both performances were very well received by the audience. Here in Tyrrell County our 4-H talent shows are a great opportunity, as the winners are given the opportunity to go on to the next level and perform at District activity Day. If chosen at this event, the next step would be to perform in Raleigh at the 4-H State Congress meeting. Three years ago one very talented Tyrrell County 4-H member was chosen to sing at 4H Congress!

spend time researching a subject and making it into a presentation to the judges on the day of the event. Five- to eight-year-olds do not compete, but they do gain a great experience in public speaking and confidence skills. Participants spend time preparing a series of posters and props pertaining to their subject and are required to memorize a script they have written on their subject.

Next on the Achievement Night agenda was award time, as many 4-H events though out the year offer awards. The are: Project Books. Every year 4-Hers can submit Project Books about subjects of their choice. Each is awarded a green participation ribbon, while those that place are awarded blue, red and white ribbons. All blue ribbon winners can compete at state level. This year there were many Project Book awards and some very proud young people! Presentations. District Activity Day, held annually in our 4-H region, is a time for 4-H members to prepare a presentation on a subject of their choice. Tyrrell County usually has 10 or more members participate in this event. They

Volunteering and community 4-H awards. Points are tallied yearly for each 4-H member's participation in 4H events, community events and volunteering. Winning 4-H members are then awarded plaques on 4-H Achievement Night for their accomplishments. Achievement night is a time for our young people to be recognized for all of these efforts. All gold, silver and bronze winners at District are awarded a trophy and all winners at state level in Raleigh are recognized. Next on the agenda other 4-H events were recognized. Margo Lilley explained about 4H Electric Congress, a two-day

camp held in North Carolina learning about electricity. Gabby Smith shared about a 4-H Citizenship program held in Raleigh. Other Tyrrell County 4H events and camps were also mentioned. including Biotechnology Camp, Young Chef, Culinary Academy, Camp Gone Wild, Adventure Days ( held locally and also in OBX), and Teen Night Out. Volunteers and leaders shared about their monthly clubs, which are as follows: Sewing, Scuppernong Sprouts, County Council, Columbia Seniors, Explorers, NERSA Club, Eager Eagles, Home school club and Mad Scientist.Young 4-H members came forward to share about their clubs. Wyatt Swain spoke about science experiments in Science Club, like the "egg drop test" and "smoothie tasting." Bridget Spruill thanked all the volunteers and gave them all a small gift. Then the meeting then came to a close, with some very happy 4-H young people with their awards and ribbons and prizes and plaques.

"LET'S DANCE!" WITH BLACKWATER & OLD SALT Who would have thought? My friend Barbara Fleming had invited my for dinner to the Old Salt Oyster Bar where her husband Jimmy and her son Ty were "jamming" as part of the wonderful Blackwater band. Blackwater was represented that evening by four musicians: Ty Fleming on rhythm, Tracy "Cowboy" Godwin on the lead guitar, Jimmy Fleming on cajon drum and Brandon Brickhouse on bass. It was a cold Friday night in February and the Old Salt was

packed; the smell of good food and a cozy, happy buzz filled the air. Of course people come here for the food and drinks, but also for the entertainment. Blackwater played southern and classic rock that night, but also entertained with a few old favorites like "He stopped loving her today." Vicki Jones, another friend of Barbara's who grew up in Columbia, and was visiting for the weekend from Kinston, joined us. I couldn't help it, these guys rock and I love to dance, and that's pretty much when I gave up sitting still on my barstool where we girls were hanging out. But I wasn't the only one dancing that night. Tables at Old

Salt were filling up fast, and as the kitchen began backing up, the waitresses started line dancing behind the long, broad bar. Great  show! When our food arrived, though we all were hungry, we agreed it had been worth waiting for.

What a fun evening!

PAINTING WITH BARB Barb is a natural, and that's what came to mind the first time I watched Barbara Fleming close up and live, painting a mural on the sidewall of the old Ben Franklin store, now the Old Salt Oyster Bar. She is the artist behind "Sip, Dip, and Dab, Painting with Barb," a painting class that grants us wanna be painters an introduction into the world or art, where we get to take our own painting home. Barb’s medium for this class is: Taklon brush, acrylic paint, blending gel, and a 16x20 canvas.

I visited a class that Ms. Barb gave at Flemz Market, her family business, with several people attending. It was the Monday night class before Valentine's Day, and Tiffany, Mallory, Barbara S., Rachel, Samantha, Holly, Carol and Codi were excited to create a piece of whimsical selfexpression. Ms. Barb gives classes all over the Inner and Outer Banks, including Plymouth, Creswell, and Edenton. If you are interested in attending one of her classes, give her a call at (252)394-5441, or visit her on Facebook at Sip-Dip-and-Dab-

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church Hosted a Fish Dinner Catered by Captain Bob’s Sunday February 23rd! Fish plates were $8.00 and included stewed potatoes, cole slaw, hush puppies and tea; and desserts were available for purchase. Captain Bob’s Catering food truck was located across the street from Columbia’s High School. Pictured are church members with customer Charlene Reynolds.

WRITE A BOOK AND BIND IT BY MIRIAM FAUTH This is exactly what a few Tyrrell County children have been doing these past weeks, with thanks to Tyrrell County Public Library. The people behind this idea are Linda Markham and Vickie Woolard. They both see the benefits of offering this opportunity to our youth, and are very kindly volunteering their time for this project. This is actually not the first time this program has been offered. There have been two other very successful workshops in past years. At the end of both, the children felt very accomplished walking away with their very own book that they wrote, illustrated and bound . And it really is an accomplishment! At the introduction meeting this year, Linda Markham explained to the children that making a book would be a commitment, and hard work. She explained, first they would need to come up with an idea for a story, and then write it .This is where Vickie Woolard's expertise would step in, as with

her wealth of grammar knowledge, Vickie offered to be at the library every Tuesday to help the kids with their writing. After their stories are complete, Vickie would then help them divide the story into 16 sections, being the 16 pages of their books. The next step would be in Linda Markham's area of interest--art. Linda will be helping the children to illustrate their books. They will need to work on 16 different pictures to accompany their stories. This is where patience and commitment steps in, as this is quite a long process. Another of Linda's talents is to scan all the pictures into the computer, touch them up and size them appropriately to match the size of the book. The last step will be a joint effort of a mixture of people, parents of participants, library staff and others, as it will be book binding day! This is a somewhat complicated process which needs to be done step by step. It's also a lot of fun, as there will be many choices of colored and designed paper for book covers and trimmings. The children have been meeting at the library

Tuesday afternoons for three weeks now, and are steadily working on their stories. They are also thinking up ideas for illustrations. I asked Linda and Vickie about letting the community know about this project, as it really is something special and it gives our children a chance to make a book, which is something they can be proud of forever .My children have participated in these workshops , and they have been so proud to show relatives and friends their books. The other exciting thing is that the books from previous years are available for library patrons to check out just like any other library book. How exciting for the children to see their books being taken home and read by others. By the end of April the books should be bound, so look for the next article with the children proudly showing off their finished books!


In 2011, Ray McClees came before the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society and told us about an idea he had; he named it the November Group. His idea was that this group would be composed of Tyrrell County citizens who were at least 90 years old. McClees felt that the Society, or other volunteers, could interview the Group members, and that the Society could publish the interviews in one of their publications. McClees also wished there to be a yearly reception to honor the Group members, and he urged the

Society to vote the November Group on as a project. The Society members agreed, and plans were put in motion to start doing interviews. But then Mother Nature interfered with a hurricane, and all planning for the interviews and reception kept getting pushed back and back and back. This year though, things will finally get started. The

Society is planning to hold its first November Group reception, and it is hoped that this will be the first of many. It will be held in place of our meeting on July 27, 2014, at a place yet-to-be-determined. The Society is asking people to send us the names,

birth dates and contact information of Tyrrell County natives and residents who will be 90 this year, or who are already over 90. If you know of someone who meets the criteria, then please send that information to us at P. O. Box 686, Columbia, NC, 27925. Or you can e-mail it to us at

The Society is also looking for volunteers to help with the planning of the reception. You do not need to be a member of the Society in order to help out, but it would be helpful if you came to our meetings so you could discuss plans with our reception committee members. If you wish to volunteer, please contact us either by mail or e-mail. We're all looking forward to July, and the opportunity to honor our older citizens.

SUNSETS ON THE SCUPPERNONG RIVER Great opportunity to be one of the few river front property owners in this lovely residential area of Water Street in Columbia. This beautiful renovated home locate on North Water Street offers, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, great design for quiet family time or entertaining GÂŚ ( Living Room, Dining Room, Den, Kitchen with Breakfast

Area, Wet Bar, Screened Porch and Patio, Wonderful Rear Garden, Relaxing Area to watch Sunsets over the River, Pier for Fishing or Boating, Two Additional lots located on Elm Street with one also a Canal Front Lot. The depth of the additional lot provides for a wonderful view from the screened porch and patio area of the house creating a private open outdoor feeling.

Property includes four parcels with additional opportunities. $ 298,500

TROUBLES AT MATTAMUSKEET BY CATHERINE KOZAK Lake Mattamuskeet, the state’s largest natural lake, is troubled. Its good vegetation has been depleted while its bad plants are thriving. It has questionable water quality. It might or might not be too shallow, too salty and suffering impacts from climate change. Everyone is worried, but no one can definitely say what’s going on in the lake because little long-term data exists. Although the 18-mile long, 7-mile wide lake is the centerpiece of 50,000-acre Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, money over the years for studies of water flow, salinity and nutrient levels, fish stocks and historic rain and flood trends has been inconsistent or nonexistent. The lake attracts thousands of wintering tundra swans, Canada geese, snow geese, pintails and mallards, as well as less common bald eagles and ospreys. Of the 800 or so species of wildlife that are found at the refuge, there are more than 200 bird species that nest there all or part of the year. The most recent survey in January recorded more than 200,000 ducks, geese and swans on the refuge, a record number, according to a refuge press release. But the lake is also renowned for its great fishing, especially its notably huge blue crabs. Much to the chagrin of fishermen, its herring, eel and largemouth bass fisheries have diminished, and it is not known whether any one of them is recovering. The lake also has been overrun by phragmites, an invasive and opportunistic reed plaguing

many wetlands in North Carolina. But the lake is also renowned for its great fishing, especially its notably huge blue crabs. Much to the chagrin of fishermen, its herring, eel and largemouth bass fisheries have diminished, and it is not known whether any one of them is recovering. The lake also has been overrun by phragmites, an invasive and opportunistic reed plaguing many wetlands in North Carolina. To address increasing concerns about the health of the lake’s ecosystem, a meeting was held by the refuge in November to present "scientific information about the water quality, fish and bird species and management of the lake and canals. In response, a meeting was held in late January by a group of stakeholders called Save Mattamuskeet Lake. “Prior to 2002, it was world-class bass fishing, “said Mark Carawan, a founder of the group and an owner of a motel on N.C. 94, which intersects the lake. “The birdwatchers are even complaining – you can ride across Lake Road and you don’t see (any) waterfowl.” N.C. 94 bisects the lake. The eastern, larger, half has better water quality and more underwater grasses than the other half. Carawan said his tackle shop went from selling $10,000 a month of minnows from March through June 2002, to a total of $300 in those months last year. The group contends that the refuge is mismanaging the flow of water in and out of the lake, resulting in high salinity, shallow water and poor conditions for submerged aquatic plants that are critical food for waterfowl. A big part of the problem, the group says, are the gates that allow too much brackish water in from Pamlico Sound and too much fresh water to escape. “I want them to replace the gates where the water will stay in the lake for a certain period of time,” Carawan said, "to be kept at a level that will sustain the bass fishery.” But Pete Campbell, the refuge manager, said that keeping the lake high would almost certainly have negative effects and could not even be considered without further study.

Numerous gates on canals between the sound and the lake open and close depending on the pressure exerted from water levels on each side. The structures are intended to keep salt water from coming into the lake and allow excess water in the lake to be directed to the sound rather than flood farmlands. Lake levels fluctuate with wind tides, which create beneficial seasonal variations in depth, according to a statement from the nonprofit Friends of Pocosin Lakes. The outflow also removes excessive phosphorus from the lake, while letting in migratory fish and crabs. “During the growing season,” the statement said, “the exposed portions of the lake green up with grasses and sedges that are critical food for waterfowl. Meanwhile, even in dry years, most of the lake is deep enough to support the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation, which is also eaten by waterfowl.” With less flushing and deeper water, algal blooms are more likely, Campbell said, because if light can’t reach the bottom of the lake – blocked by sediment or algal growth - the plants can’t grow. Based on a grandfather clause that has been upheld in

court, agricultural lands surrounding Mattamuskeet are allowed to drain into the lake, the refuge manager said. It is not entirely understood what, if any, effect the field runoff has had on water quality, fish populations or underwater plants. There is not enough data to show the quantity or quality of the runoff, Campbell said. “You’ve got herbicides, you’ve got pesticides, you’ve got fertilizers,“ he said. “Plus sediment loading.” There is a significant difference between the east and west sides of the lake, he said, probably because the west does not flush as well due to unsuitable drainage. About 70 percent of the east side is covered by underwater plants, Campbell explained. On that side, there are three canals oriented in the direction of the prevailing wind, promoting flushing. On the west, only one canal is well positioned to allow flushing. The gates in the canals are designed to keep salt water from coming into the lake, Campbell said, but there is no capacity to pump water out. In the past, some of gates had leaked or been clogged with debris.

In summer, the lake’s water level, which averages two feet in depth - naturally drops, Campbell said. The only input is rain and runoff, and the high evaporation rate is very high. “You have high water in the winter and the spring and lower water naturally in the summer,” Campbell said. “So we don’t manage the lake. The lake manages the lake.” Since 2012, the refuge, with the assistance of the U.S. Geological Survey, has been monitoring salinity on both sides of the lake. Salinity in the lake proper ranges from 0.4 to 1.5 parts per 1,000, Campbell said, compared to Pamlico Sound at 16-20 parts per 1,000. “This lake has always been not 100 percent fresh,” he said. “There has always has been a little bit of salinity in the lake. That’s why, historically, fresh and saltwater species have always been found in the lake.” Wild celery is the dominant underwater grass in the lake and an important food for waterfowl. Photo: USGS The dominant submerged plant is wild celery, which likes salinity to be zero or very low, Campbell noted.

In the 1980s, Campbell said, the hinged cypress gates were replaced by unhinged stop log gates. Those were less effective at moving water out when the lake level was high from rain or pushed up by wind. Consequently, the lake was unusually high, making boating a lot easier. They were eventually replaced by metal gates with larger openings. “They are hearkening back to that time,” he said about the sportsmen who prefer high water. Campbell said there were big negatives to the gate design used in the 1980s and that the fishing group now favors. During storms, he said, water can’t move out fast enough, increasing the risk of flooding. And they cut off access to crabs and herring. The result, he said, was the herring run crashed and the blue crab population declined. In 2010, the refuge put in side gates to promote access for saltwater species that come into the lake, but especially to improve access for herring. Ever since then the lake has been able to flush itself, he said. Crab population rebounded, but additional data is needed to determine the status of the eel and herring fisheries.

Campbell said the refuge has put together a group of scientists to conduct more study of fisheries and water quality issues. John Stanton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supervisory wildlife biologist, said that before the 1950s, the lake had a large population of carp that was the target of a commercial gill net fishery for about eight years. After the carp were removed, he said, biologists noticed that the submerged vegetation on the east side had been re-established. Less than five years later, the musk grass doubled to about 14,000 acres. Wild celery was introduced in the late 1950s, Stanton said. Today it is well established, along with muskgrass, redhead grass and pond grass. On the east side, 76 percent of the submerged plants are healthy. On the west side there is only 13 percent coverage. “It’s markedly different,” Stanton said. “I was out there in 1994. It’s changed a lot. It was obvious to me that something has been going on in the last 20 years but noticeably so in the last decade.” Starting in 1989, he said, the refuge began taking plant surveys every two to three years,

but there was a big gap between 2004 and 2013 because of cuts in staffing. Stanton said that it’s not clear what has caused the decrease in underwater plants on the west side but it could be related to runoff from farm fields and bird impoundments. All along, the management of the refuge, he said, has been hobbled by budget shortfalls. For instance, much is not known about drainage patterns and volume, but installation of testing equipment in the drainage canals would be very costly. “We didn’t have those kinds of funds,” Stanton said. “We tried to do the bare minimum, to do what we had to do. You kind of work with what you’ve got.” Stanton said the refuge has got some “rough, crude” information on water quality but needs quantitative information. The health of the submerged plants in the lake, he said, serves as a sort of canary-in-the-coalmine as to the lake’s overall health. “The bottom line is they’re adding nutrients,” he said. “We don’t really know what nutrients.”

Farmer Blythe Davis, a native of Hyde County who has been farming for 37 years, said that the water-quality problems in the lake are largely caused by people who pump their drainage directly into the lake – which he does not do. Davis said that the issue with the water level in the lake comes up every few years, but proponents seem to be pushing harder now. But if the water level in the lake is raised, he said it could change the marsh and cause jurisdictional issues with the Army Corps of Engineers. As it is now, the lake is barely above sea level. In the past, Davis said, the high water probably led to algal blooms and depletion of herring and eel. “They might not get a real good trade-off, he said. “I think that they should leave the gates just like they are.” Michelle Moorman, a hydraulic technician with U.S. Geological Survey, said that the lake has elevated levels of chlorophyll and nitrogen from nutrients. “The question is why,” she said. “A lot of nutrients are in the sediment. So you still might have these issues. You can’t just

cut off the source and expect the problem to go away overnight.” Nutrient levels change throughout the year, she said, and are influenced by numerous factors, including the season, the water temperature and the layer of water it is measured from. Sources can include animal waste, fertilizers, septic system leaks and organic matter such as

for the county, one of the poorest in the state. The lake is “perfectly situated,” he said, within miles of Fairfield, Engelhard and Swan Quarter, the county seat. During the recent duck hunting season, Rich said, as many as 2,000 hunters came to the Mattamuskeet area, filling every motel room and every restaurant seat available. “We’ve got to create a situation where the duck hunters are happy, where there’s fish for the fishermen, birds for the birdwatchers,” he said. “And that can be done.”

leaves and insects. Hyde County Manager Bill Rich said that the county passed a resolution in September in support of the refuge’s effort to study restoration of the lake. But he said he believes that the recreational users are an important part of the cure. Rich, a Hyde native who has enjoyed crabbing and boating on Mattamuskeet, said that the lake is the county’s most popular mainland tourist attraction and is an important revenue producer

As published by Coastal Review Online About the Author: Catherine Kozak has been a reporter and writer on the Outer Banks since 1995. She worked for 15 years for "The Virginian Pilot." Born and raised in the suburbs outside New York City, Catherine earned her journalism degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz. During her career, she has written about dozens of environmental issues, including oil and gas exploration, wildlife habitat protection, sea level rise, wind energy production, shoreline erosion and beach nourishment. She lives in Nags Head.

DON’T CLICK IT! There are new types of viruses that are now a plague on the internet. The virus is activated by either clicking an infected link or by directly downloading the malware. Thousands of websites are impostors posing as legitimate software distributors, and their programs infect your system upon installation. The virus is sort of a piggy-back onto real software; in other words, it installs the actual software but also leaves malware deeply embedded in your system. An extreme but common way in which users are becoming infected is the “Update Your Flash Player” type attack. Instead of spyware, this piggy-back software completely hijacks your computer. It displays a message stating something like "You have been caught by the FBI for

abuse..." and other nonsense. You cannot close the window and it covers your entire screen. It states the only way you can get your computer back is to pay them $350 via green dot cards. They require green dot cards because there is no money trail. Green dot cards are reloadable debit cards available at Wal-Mart and most grocery stores.

Instead of paying the

Leave the Virus on the other username. 5) At this point log onto your newly created account. Now there will be no message. 6) Now you install an antivirus software. I prefer Malwarebytes for this type of virus. 7) Once your antivirus program scans, and removes the virus, reboot your computer. Now your system should now be back to normal, right where it was before you clicked “UPDATE YOUR FLASH PLAYER NOW.”

ransom, why not remove the garbage yourself ? The easiest thing you can do is:

1) Boot into Safe mode.

2) Create a new administrator account. 3) Then log into the old username in normal mode and let the virus take over. 4) Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and switch users. Do not log off.

People need to be educated about this subject. If you happen to come across a suspicious page asking to update your flash player, simply press Alt+F4 to close the window. I hope this will help someone fix their infected computer and alert users to this awful virus.

Adam Nielsen, Bachelor of Applied Science in Network Security and Forensics. Associate of Occupational Science in

Inner Banks Hotline invites you to our 3rd Annual

Join us for our 3rd Annual Spring Fling silent auction reception, dinner, and dance. All proceeds go to victims of domestic violence/sexual victimization and purchase of a shelter in Tyrrell County. Have fun while supporting a great cause!

507 US  64  E.     PO  Box  558     Columbia,  NC   27925     252-­796-­5526   (office/thrift  store)   1-­877-­429-­5526   (24hr  Crisis  Line)  

When: Saturday,  April  5,  2014   Where:    &ROXPELD&URVVLQJ¶V5HVWDXUDQW   Time:   Auction  6:00pm       Dinner  7:00pm       Dancing  to  follow   Cost:   $40  per  person  or  $70  per  couple  

February 2014 Tyrrell County’s Country Magazine

Photo by Ingrid Lemme

Sg march 2014 med  

Scuppernong Gazette March 2014

Sg march 2014 med  

Scuppernong Gazette March 2014