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FREE ...SPIRITS Issue 13.1
Quality | Durability | Lifetime Guarantee Exclusive Hammock Furniture | Ocean Friendly NagsHead.com 1974 1974 2024 2024



go rearview

Froth. Funk. Four-fin. Flubberdubbers. (Don’t ask.) There’s one more I’m forgetting right now — I’m sure it will come to me in a few. But “fifty”? Fifty was never among them — at least when it came to this here magazine. Nope, from the first issue of Milepost, the only goal was to get through a decade of quarterly deadlines — then say “F” it and try something totally new.

After all, how many volumes of fine reading material could this tiny sandbar fill? Or, more likely, how long would a DIY print publication survive in the digital age? It always seemed more noble to fall on our pens while still firing on all cylinders — then fold-up looking frail or foolish.

But somehow, this place keeps serving up stories ad infinitum. And, it turns out there’s some other “F” words and phrases that are more motivating than “fear of failure.” Things like “food” and “financial security.”

And — perhaps most of all — “family.” Not just the folks living under this roof — we are a mom-and-pop operation after all — but the vast kinship of community relationships that keep us floating along, from longtime freelancers and generous advertisers to all the folks who comprise the fabric of daily life.

It also happens that making mags is pretty damn fun. Especially photo shoots.

Over the past 50 issues, we’ve recreated everything from famous movie posters to 15th century masterpieces. We’ve chopped the heads off wedding caterers and tossed staffers into the shorebreak. Forced some of our favorite people freeze for hours, strip naked for seconds, or just make stupid faces. No matter how self-effacing or farfetched, every shooter and subject was committed to making each image “fire.” And it’s that shared willingness to celebrate

the Outer Banks’ quirky, creative side — and collective talents — that continues to fuel us.


But looking forward, I still remain fraught. After all, this whole outfit was forged for an old-school audience that’s evolved, if not fractured, since our first 48-pager. College expats carving out niches as nail bangers and servers are no longer the dominant demographic — these days, it’s more like former suits assuming second lives. Chain stores have gone from “personae non gratae” to “please, can we have one?!” In some ways it’s much easier to live here. (See: 24-hour convenience.) In

other ways much, much harder. (Covering day-to-day expenses.)

All that change leads to a bunch of fresh questions: does the influx of fresh blood make old-schoolers fossils? Do inside jokes turn us into outsiders? What does the average Outer Banker look like today? What do they stand for? Even our tagline is up for philosophical debate — can anyone be “Stuck Here on Purpose” in such a shifting environment? Or were we all just fleeting faces from the moment we stepped foot?

Each question makes clear one simple fact: there’s plenty of fodder left to fill a few more pages. So, as we fire-off our 50th rag, I guess we’re gonna have to start planning issues for the foreseeable future.

F#*k. — Matt Walker

Thank you for reading Outer Banks Milepost. We hope you enjoy it. If not — before chucking this issue into the nearest dumpster — please consider one of the following equally satisfying ways of expressing your disgust: fashion your own party dress from all 64 pages. Fire up the flamethrower and fricassee every feature! Or just toss it on that six-month stack of newspapers you’ve yet to recycle. (Trust us, you’ll feel better.) Then, send any and all feedback — positive, negative or just plain confused — to: editor@outerbanksmilepost.com. We promise to find some way to re-purpose them.

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Issue 2.3’s “Last Supper” shoot remains one of our all-time faves. Photo: Chris Bickford/Art: Ben Morris

“In hindsight, I realized I could see into the future.” — Steven Wright “I close my eyes, and the flashback starts.” — Taylor Swift

Issue 13.1

Spring 2024

Cover: Paper Doll.

Photo: Daniel Pullen

Dress/Model: Cloey Davis

Carnell Boyle, John Butler, George Cheeseman, Marcia Cline, Carolina Coto, Kim Cowen, Cloey Davis, Michael J. Davis, Fay Davis Edwards, Mary Edwards, Laine Edwards, Marc Felton, Travis Fowler, Adriana Gomez-Nichols, Amelia Kasten, Chris Kemp, Nathan Lawrenson, Dave Lekens, Tim Lusk, Elisa McVearry, Ben Miller, Dawn Moraga, Ben Morris, Holly Nettles, Stella Nettles, Rick Nilson, Barbara Noel, Holly Overton, Stuart Parks II, James Perry, Charlotte Quinn, Willow Rea, Meg Rubino, Shirley Ruff, Noah Snyder, Rob Snyder, Janet Stapelman, Alyse Stewart, Kenneth Templeton, Stephen Templeton, Shane Thomas, George Tsonev, CW, Christina Weisner, Chris Wheeler, John Wilson, Mark Wiseman, Bri Young, Mike Zafra Lensfolk

Nate Appel, Matt Artz, Nathan Beane, Chris Bickford, Russell Blackwood, Mike Booher, Don Bower, Aycock Brown, Mark Buckler, Jon Carter, Garnette Coleman, Rich Coleman, Marc Corbett, Kim Cowen, Chris Creighton, Mere Crockett, Benny Crum, Jason Denson, Amy Dixon, Susan Dotterer Dixon, Lori Douglas, Julie Dreelin, Tom Dugan/ESM, Roy Edlund, Bryan Elkus, Ben Gallop, Cory Godwin, Treveon Govan, Chris Hannant, Katie Harms, Bryan Harvey, David Alan Harvey, Ginger Harvey, Bob Hovey, Biff Jennings, Jenni Koontz, Daryl Law, Mike Leech, Anthony Leone, Jeff Lewis, Jared Lloyd, Matt Lusk, Ray Matthews, Brooke Mayo, Mickey McCarthy, Nic McLean, Roger Meekins, D. Victor Meekins, Richard L. Miller, Dick Meseroll/ESM, Ashley Milteer, David Molnar, Rachel Moser, Ryan Moser, Elizabeth Neal, Rob Nelson, Candace Owens, Anne Snape Parsons, Crystal Polston, Daniel Pullen, Cal Ramsey, Ryan Rhodes, Terry Rowell, Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan, Katie Slater, Tom Sloate, Wes Snyder, Aimee Thibodeau, David Thomas, Ed Tupper, Eve Turek, Chris Updegrave, Dan Waters, Kati Wilkins, Cyrus Welch, Jay Wickens, Cody Wright Penfolk Ashley Bahen, Madeline Bailey, Sarah Downing, Ty Evans, Laura Gomez-Nichols, Jim Gould, Steve Hanf, Sam Harriss, Dave Holton, Sarah Hyde, Catherine Kozak, Katrina Leuzinger Owens, Dan Lewis, Michelle Lewis, Terri Mackleberry, Fran Marler, Amanda McDanel, Maggie Miles, Matt Pruett, Mary Ellen Riddle, Peter Graves Roberts, Arabella Saunders, Corinne Saunders, Sandy Semans, Shannon Sutton, Kip Tabb, Kathleen Wasniewski, Hannah West, Clumpy White, Sharon Whitehurst, Natalie Wolfe, Michele Young-Stone Pointing/Clicking

Jesse Davis

Sales Force

Laurin Walker

Big Mouth In Chief

Matt Walker

Blame It All On

Suite P Inc. PO Box 7100 • KDH, NC 27948 Office: 252-441-6203 • Sales: 949-275-5115

editor@outerbanksmilepost.com • sales@outerbanksmilepost.com

Milepost is published quarterly (sorterly) by Suite P Inc. All contents are the property of Suite P Inc. and do not reflect the opinion of advertisers or distributors. Nor do their contents reflect that of the creative types (who would never, ever sell out). Comments, letters and submissions are usually welcome. Please include SASE for return delivery of all snail mail, however, Milepost and Suite P Inc. still aren’t responsible for any unsolicited materials. And don’t expect much else to move much faster than IST (Island Standard Time). Oh yeah: if you reprint a lick of this content you’re ripping us off. (Shame on you.) To discuss editorial ideas, find out about advertising or tell us we blew it – or just find out what the waves are doing – call 252-441-6203 or email: editor@outerbanksmilepost.com; sales@outerbanksmilepost.com.

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www.outerbanksmilepost.com Reader You
Brushes & Ink

“The Magazine Art Collection”

“I’m primarily a metalsmith. But I’m constantly inspired by the different elements around the beach. And I love to repurpose things. So when I saw that note on Milepost’s first page about “before you throw this away, use it as a fire starter or however you want,” I began playing with the earring idea. Now, I scour all the local magazines for images that are visually appealing or mean something to me, then I collage them around complementary colors or a theme. Then I cut out the earrings to kind of an organic paddle shape. Finally, I hand draw geometric designs and patterns over top, so that no two are the same. Because I want people to be drawn by the prettiness of what’s on my table, but not necessarily know what it is. I want them to see it and wonder, ‘What is that?’”

milepost 5 roadmap gokite mile graphic out go rear go 03 StartingPoint “F” everybody! 06 UpFront News outlets organize, fishmongers sort, and Dune Billy files. 18 GetActive One-hundred-fifty reasons to help Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station. 20 FirstPerson Do we find beach treasures? Or do they find us? 23
Still Do.
couples share lessons
a half-century of being hitched. 30
reckonings and epic fumbles from a staggering 49 issues. 55 OutThere Ruling between the lines. 56 EndNotes Time — and calendar tidbits — wait for no one.
Wha’ Happened...? Fuzzy
Read Good Books Drink Good Coffee downtown duck downtown manteo all the deets @ duckscottage.com

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Smaller news outlets have been taking hits for years. A new team effort could help them fight back.


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They say what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Tell that to folks around the Cape Fear River, who discovered their water supply was contaminated with “forever chemicals” in 2017 — and had been for decades. Or Nags Head oldtimers, who nearly saw Jockey’s Ridge get pillaged by a sneaky 70s developer. Or, most recently, Dare County’s municipalities, who learned this past winter that the state’s most recent budget contained a single line item that stripped their decisionmaking power over workforce housing. Or any of the other countless community threats that would have gone unnoticed — or unpunished — if it weren’t for local reporters doing their jobs.

The fact is, when it comes to the actions and inactions of our governments and justice system, our policymakers and industry players, it’s “the unknown unknowns” — as the infamous former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld famously coined it — that can hurt you the most.

lack news resources. Six counties already have no newspapers at all.

Fortunately, a comprehensive effort is in the works to revitalize community news in North Carolina. Since 2020, the NC Local News Workshop has been planning a collaborative news hub that will provide support, tools and resources to fortify local journalism and its connections to communities.

gokite milepost graphiccontent

“We have learned that there is a need for more localized information about statewide issues and state government and policy that helps people understand how they are impacted,” says Shannan Bowen, executive director of the News Workshop, which is based at Elon University.

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And yet, ongoing cuts at local news outlets have made it increasingly difficult for smaller communities to stay informed. According to a 2022 report in Carolina Public Press, more than 40 newspapers in the state closed from 2004 to 2018 and more than half of the state’s 100 counties are close to becoming “news deserts” that

Bowen says the nonprofit plans to tap partners throughout the state to establish a news hub to provide government information as well as critical civic information — such as election rules and public health updates — that often never reach areas far beyond Raleigh.

Dare County has had its own losses. At the turn of the 21st century, the Outer Banks had a full-time daily news bureau in Nags Head, a thrice-weekly community

newspaper published in Manteo, a local monthly newspaper covering Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, a bi- weekly newspaper based in Nags Head, several local radio stations, and robust attention from the Raleigh News & Observer

Courts and crime, town and county board meetings, and community events were

regularly covered. And local corruption was uncovered.

Today, a limited supply of reporters and news outlets on the Outer Banks are able to cover only a fraction of local news, no less state and federal news that impacts communities.

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An important goal for the workshop, Bowen adds, is to increase transparency around the topics that matter to people in different communities around the state. They also want to create a workforce development program, similar to the Documenters Network, that pays trained people to attend and document under-reported public meetings.

With an unspecified launch date for the workshop still months away, Bowen says she and her team are continuing to share ideas and engage with potential funders.

“As we develop our plans for this statewide news hub, we invite community members, news partners and others to join us in discussions about the effort,” Bowen says.

In November, she met with local journalists in Manteo, and plans to have additional meetings this year on the Outer Banks.

When the news hub is up and running, Bowen says, the plan is that more journalists will be able to produce localized stories that reflect statewide issues that can be published by news partners across the state.

“The idea of more reporting resources and more collaboration — particularly in our neck of the woods, where there aren’t dozens of reporters or the budgets — would be a very positive thing,” says Mark Jurkowitz, the owner and publisher of the Outer Banks Voice, a free online-only newspaper that is supported by advertising.

Jurkowitz, who had previously worked for The Boston Globe and the Pew Research Center, moved to the Outer Banks and

purchased the Outer Banks Sentinel, a print newspaper, in 2014. In 2019, unsustainable printing and distribution costs forced Jurkowitz to stop printing. Shortly after, he purchased the Voice, which he says is doing well.

Warnings about the demise of print journalism have been ongoing since the dawn of the internet. But decades later, digital news has yet to find a business model for local newsrooms that approaches the pre-internet era’s profitable advertiser supported model. And it remains a tough business environment for all styles of media.

In recent months, yet another Outer Banks digital paper had to close, a tabloid paper was discontinued, and a local radio station declared bankruptcy. To exacerbate the stresses, government officials and agencies increasingly ignore journalists seeking information, exposing a growing disrespect not only for the “Fourth Estate,” but for the right of the people to know what their governments are doing. Recently, the Republican-controlled General Assembly inserted a provision in the budget bill that made it optional for state legislators to provide their public records.

By strengthening connections, the NC Local News Workshop would help rebuild the public square. And it would reinforce the link between free speech, open government and the press — all of which are Constitutional rights.

“If you think about it like this: the blow to public records that we’ve seen in the past few months is really putting fuel behind the need for this solution that we’ve presented,”

Bowen says. “We can try to increase the amount of reporting on state government and state information. We can try to get more clues as to what’s happening behind closed doors.”

With the Outer Banks’ pared down news ecosystem, the local journalism community has a collegial relationship that would welcome a collaborative news network, especially if it improved access to state news, Jurkowitz says.

“There’s still a level of competition, but a lot of that went away, given the difficulties newsrooms have faced,” he says.


Newspapers should be trustworthy and accurate, and keep opinion and news content clearly separate, he says. But they also have to make enough money to support professional journalism.

“This is especially true these days, where small community newspapers fold or are bought out by corporations that downplay or even eliminate local news and provide canned news and emphasize advertisements,” Vankevich wrote in a recent editorial.

But there’s another existing threat to traditional news sources — shrinking audiences — as more young people gather information strictly from social media sites.

“A local news effort that wants to reach young people is going to have to go where they are,” says First Flight High School journalism teacher and former newspaper reporter, Steve Hanf. “And they’re going to have to do things that are engaging to that audience.”

Peter Vankevich, who, along with Connie Leinbach, owns the monthly print newspaper Ocracoke Observer, agrees that the isolated Outer Banks’ media is more mutually supportive but says news outlets would welcome additional help.

“We need some resources to keep it going in the fine tradition of community journalism,” Vankevich says.

Without his modest retirement from his 32year career with the Library of Congress, Vankevich says he would not be able to afford to run the paper.

That means short videos and photo galleries.

But while the NC Local News Workshop sounds like a heavy lift, Hanf says that the goal is worth the effort — particularly when it comes to reporting on local board meetings, which often don’t get covered.

“It sounds like it could be something really beneficial,” Hanf says. “I guess it would be a matter of the execution, because it does sound pretty ambitious. But we’re going to be a better community if we know what’s happening.” — Catherine Kozak

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Packing seafood for extra cash in Wanchese.

It took a while, but the Outer Banks finally has its year-round economy. (More or less.) Save for a handful of restaurants and stores, most businesses stay open through winter. Special events, like the Outer Banks Marathon, Wedding Weekend Expo, and Bluegrass Island Music Festival, draw an out-of-town audience in the shoulder seasons to keep the cash registers ca-chinging. More families spend their holidays here.

And while many would argue there is more to be done for the region’s working class, it used to be much harder to earn a living and to make ends meet — especially in the offseason.

One way to enhance cash flow during the lean times was to pack fish in Wanchese, the fishing village on the southern end of Roanoke Island. For young men and women trying to eke it out back in the 1970s and 80s, picking up shifts unloading and

packing seafood, assembling fish boxes, and “heading” shrimp wasn’t just a means of survival — it was almost a rite of passage.

“It was fast money,” says commercial fisherman and waterman advocate Dewey Hemilright.

After graduating from Manteo High School, the Kitty Hawk native worked in restaurants during the summer and packed fish in the winter months. He says fish houses cast a wide net to find workers.

“A trawl boat would come in that had four or five hundred boxes, and they kind of rounded up a crew of whoever,” Hemilright recalls. “From Plymouth, Columbia — all around — they’d come pack fish for the day, get ’em some cash money and then go on.”

Skip Saunders, a contractor and retired teacher also spent time packing fish in

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Wanchese after he graduated from East Carolina University in 1975 — a time when Saunders says he “was one step short of destitute and one step past lost.”

“Will Etheridge would call us any time, day or night, when the trawl boats were coming in the inlet loaded,” Saunders recalls. “I would wake everybody in the house to see who wanted to work, then call Paul Leary and some other guys at another house, and we would all drive from South Nags Head to Wanchese.”

Saunders says that the crew would usually work at night and “pack fish till dawn.”

In addition to getting paid at the end of the shift, sometimes there was a tasty bonus: leaving with dinner.

“If there were almost all grey trout running through on the culling tables and a couple sturgeon or sea bass came through, Will

would let us take home those odd fish for our own tables,” says Saunders. “That was the benefit of packing out. We did eat well that winter.”

The job wasn’t easy. Workers spent hours shoveling ice and moving packed boxes of fish — freezing water and fish slime oozing down their arms — or bending and stooping to send fish to conveyors.


“I had to shovel Spanish mackerel into the huge metal basket that boomed down inside the trawler hold,” Saunders says. “Once the basket was full of fish, the boom would lift it up out of the trawler and over

to the end of the culling conveyors. The basket of fish would then be poured onto the conveyors to be culled. It’s extremely hard work to crouch for hours on end inside the trawler — bent over with your back against the fish bins while standing on fish — and shovel them into a large metal basket.”

Businessman Pat Cahill admits he could only handle the challenging conditions for a couple of days during one especially tough winter. He still remembers someone shouting, “Gotta get them fish out of the hold, boy!” every ten minutes.

Currently, four companies operate in Wanchese and pack tons of seafood annually — Etheridge Seafood, O’Neal’s Sea Harvest, Fresh Catch, and Wanchese Fish Company. The latter was sold in 2015 and is now based in Suffolk, Virginia, but still unloads boats here.

Still, all these years later, Saunders says he’s come to appreciate his Wanchese experience.

“It sort of becomes a part of you somehow,” he says. “The memory of it can make hard times now seem not as difficult. I was hardened by it, but very happy with the simplicity of it all and really enjoyed the characters around me all the time. They were such good, hard-working people.” — Sarah Downing Sources include: Interview with Dewey Hemilright; Interview with Pat Cahill, 2007; Interview with Skip Saunders 2007; SemiAnnual Fish Dealer Report, 2023, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries; Storie, Beth, “Family, Faith, and Fish in Wanchese,” Our State Magazine

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Talk about a hot streak! Fresh off the heels of Manteo High School’s girls undefeated state soccer title, First Flight High’s boys team swept the state in Nov. to finish the year ranked 16th in the nation. Better make some more room in that trophy case, ’cause in Dec. we learned the United Soccer Coaches Association made First Flight’s Juan Ramirez the Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year, while the National Federation of State High School Associations named Ralph Cleaver the ‘22-23 North Carolina Girls Soccer Coach of the Year. Proof that the best teams kick ass by using their heads.


But there were plenty of dirty looks to go around — and a fair bit of locker room talk on social media — after First Flight

High’s principal suddenly resigned and the assistant principal got put on administrative leave last winter. But, we reckon if there’s any folks who could use some class, it’s all the parents posting innuendos.


Son of a bitcoin! What kind of scumbags scam vulnerable seniors out of their savings? Internet savvy scumbags, that’s who! In Dec., we learned of two retirees who lost a combined $39k after following up on fake “virus alerts.” So, if your laptop lights up with warnings that you’re under investigation for drugs or porn — don’t call the so-called “Federal Trade Commission” or transfer money from any accounts — shut down immediately, then phone local police.


Pent-up kids and annoyed parents both have good reason to fly north in the winter, as Historic Corolla Park opened a

brand-new playground in Dec., where the custom designed equipment celebrates waterfowl — including an oversized Canadian goose slide and jungle gym platform that resembles a duck blind — bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase, “shoots and ladders.”


What’s worse than a “year without a Santa Claus?” A summer without a July 4! Luckily, when word rang out in Dec. that Avon Pier’s pyrotechnic fund was short $7k, the community rallied to triple the previous year’s donations. Add the Viz Bureau’s traditional $15k gift, and Hatteras Island’s night sky will see plenty of blitzin’ comets this coming Independence Day.


And for skyrocketing sales figures mixed with Yuletide spirit, you can’t beat this year’s 12 Bars of Christmas, where every single tavern that staged a holiday

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makeover reported doing summertime numbers in heart of winter — then generously donated a combined $28k to needy non-profits.


When is a tornado not a tornado? When it’s “straight line winds.” That’s the word from the National Weather Service after a Jan. storm uprooted trees and tossed sheds in Stumpy Point and Wanchese but failed to leave behind the kind of “circular convergent damage path” that’s the hallmark of a twister. Of course, when that “freight train sound” comes a hollerin’ — and the modular homes start a flyin’ — few folks got time to dicker over meteorological terms. (They’re too busy duckin’ for cover.)


Most Outer Bankers complain lots and do nothing. Which makes this pair of notes especially tragic, as the community said

goodbye to two fixtures who made their marks by putting heartfelt opinions into real-life results. First, in Oct., we lost county commissioner Jim Tobin, whose passion for open waterways helped Dare get its own dredge. Then, in Jan., former longtime county chair and recent Manteo Mayor, Bobby Owens, passed at the enviable age of 91, leaving behind decades of lasting deeds, from stopping offshore drilling in the 80s to introducing the occupancy tax that still fills county coffers. You didn’t have to agree with all their policies, but you can’t deny they poured their lives into making the Outer Banks a better place. Which leaves only two ways to pay our respects: follow their example by taking real action, and honor them with an extended moment of silence.


Hear! Hear! For the first time since 2017, it’s not just the “XYs that have it” on Dare’s County’s board, as the Republican party

named Bea Basnight to replace Jim Tobin. She’s got to win in Nov. to keep her seat, but last we checked, two other ladies are running in 2024. Now all we need is more POCs — and maybe a “D” or “I” — and our political makeup might more accurately represent the Outer Banks’ DNA.


And speaking of the elections, this year’s race is fixin’ to see its most stacked field in years, as a herd of incumbents are facing challenges this fall — including a total of eight Republican primary battles between Currituck and Dare. Chompin’ at the bit to cast a ballot? Better find a polling station by Mar. 5 — or watch your candidate get left in the dust.

For detailed reports on these stories and breaking local news on a daily basis — plus plenty of local discussion — visit www. outerbanksvoice.com, www.islandfreepress.org, www.obxtoday.com, SamWalkerOBXNews.com, and www.thecoastlandtimes.com.



people of color allowed on this board? Asking for a friend.”

— Tyrrell Johnson

officially becomes Dare County Commissioner,” Dec. 4, 2023, OuterBanksVoice.com.

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Donna Ellis, 62 Candy Czar Colington


Evan Foster, 53 Boogie Knight Southern Shores

“I like all the UpFronts…the Yews and Boos…and Dune Billy! Dune Billy is always rad.”

Jamie Anderson-Silver, 57 Book Boss Wanchese

“I really don’t like Dune Billy [laughs] — maybe I don’t really get it. But I always like the editor’s letter at the beginning of the magazine. Bit of a soapbox, but it gets the message out.”

Laura Davis, 47 Caffeine Queen Kill Devil Hills

“My favorite part is its keeping up to date on local activities. I use it a ton when people ask about things to do that aren’t just hanging out on the beach.”

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like that it focuses on small businesses and local people I enjoy reading about —
can stay up to date with upcoming events.” WHADDYA RECKON?
and I
got questions — you got

What’s your favorite part about Outer Banks Milepost?

Manni Garcia, 19 Man of Learning Colington

“I read the whole thing when it comes out, because it’s a great source of news. But I really enjoy the art throughout.”

Tiffany Lindsey, 23 Gallery Goddess Kitty Hawk

“I loved the article about Suzanne and Lynne Constantine. I wasn’t expecting to see anything about that exhibit — but I opened the next issue of Milepost and it there it was!”

Amanda Shaw, 52 Lifter of Spirits

Kill Devil Hills

“I feel bad saying it, but I like the EndNotes best. It’s great, because I can plan out stuff I want to go to.”


Cameron Johnson, 28

God of Rods

Kill Devil Hills

“Milepost? What’s that? Oh…I didn’t even know those things were sitting by the counter.”

Interviews and images by Tony Leone

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Sets booties shaking — without all that grinding.

But the good-vibes can’t flow until the sound goes off.

Fire off a guess to editor@ outerbanksmilepost.com by April 15. (Be sure to include your name and phone number.) We’ll stir the correct answers in a pot and pull one lucky winner, who’ll win a free pair of VIP passes to the VUSIC OBX summer concert of their choice. (Find a full list of shows at www.vusicobx.com.)

(PS: Congrats to Taylor Midgett for bagging last issue’s brain scrambler: a cornhole set.)

Heather Geoghegan,

Stacy Weeks, lmbt #10201

Tracie Rosso, lmbt #02083

Laurie Everett, lmbt #20629

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Sunshine Family



Here’s your chance to support 150 years of lifesaving history.

Lives saved: 177,000 out of 178,000. While the exact number might vary slightly between sources, the essential truth remains: between 1871 and 1915, the US Life Saving Service surfmen rescued all but roughly 1,000 people along the Atlantic, Pacific and the Great Lakes. Time and time again, these men risked their lives in perilous seas, armed with only wooden boats, cork life jackets, oil skins, ropes, and other simple equipment like the breeches buoy and Lyle gun.

It’s a miraculous record and a noble history — one that began here when the first government-funded lifesaving stations were built on the North Carolina coast in 1874. And because 2024 marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the local stations, the Outer Banks is gearing up to honor that legacy.

“This is an important part of our history,” says Larry Grubbs, president of the board

of directors at Chicamacomico Life Saving Station Historic Site, which is spearheading a year’s worth of commemoration events. “With the development our islands are seeing, it’s more important than ever to hold on to our heritage.”

The first seven stations here were Jones Hill in Corolla, Caffeys Inlet (near present day Duck), Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Bodie Island, Chicamacomico, and Little Kinnakeet, with Chicamacomico as the first to be fully operational. These stations were successful at saving lives and salvaging ships, but with 14 miles between them and only horses and manpower available to the surfmen, they could not get to every shipwreck quickly.

After the wreck of the Huron in Nags Head, in 1877, and the wreck of the Metropolis near Corolla in 1878, which caused a collective loss of 183 lives, the U.S. government added 11 more stations

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God is the sunshine of our lives.
in losers. We’re going to save some Outer Banks culture.” Photo: Outer Banks History Center

on the Outer Banks in 1878 to fill in the gaps. When complete, there was one about every seven miles — for a total of 29 stations along the North Carolina coast.

Grubbs, a descendant of the Midgetts, who were renowned for daring rescues at Chicamacomico, says the stations were vital to creating the Outer Banks we know today.

“Our communities sprang up around the Life Saving Stations,” Grubbs says, adding that the surfmen at the stations did more than save lives at sea. “They brought the people together.”

In 1915, the US Life Saving Service merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to become the US Coast Guard. Of the original 1874 stations, Little Kinnakeet is still standing on the soundside north of Avon. The Kitty Hawk station is now the Black Pelican; Caffeys Inlet is now the Life Saving Station Restaurant at Sanderling Resort; and Jones Hill was moved up to Penny’s Hill for use as a private home.

Chicamacomico Life Saving Station has been restored as a museum and living history center. It’s the site of the nationally renowned Breeches Buoy Re-enactment, still held at the site weekly in the summer. It’s also the headquarters for celebrating this year’s 150th anniversary, which will see several events throughout 2024, culminating with a multi-day celebration at Chicamacomico over Columbus Day weekend in October.

“The Dare County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution naming October 2024 as Dare County Life Saving Month, and the Dare County Tourism Board and National Park Service have committed to helping out,” Grubbs says.

Grubbs says he would like to see events connected to all the remaining 1874 stations throughout the year, possibly even tours of Little Kinnakeet Life Saving Station, which has not been open to the public in

years. A VIP dinner at the Black Pelican is being planned as well.

But a wealth of volunteers are needed, Grubbs says, “whether it’s to head up an event or just to offer boots on the ground.”

And there’s one spot where only longtime Outer Banks locals can likely help: sharing the stories that living family members might know from days gone by.


Anyone who has family history with the US Life Saving Service or early Coast Guard — or photos and artifacts — is asked to come forward. Any details will help round out the history of the stations and their relevance to the local communities, as they envision bringing people for “porch talks” over the coming summer.

A friend of Grubbs in Waves tells a story about when his father was young and accidentally cut his finger off. The first place he went was the Life Saving Station, where the surfmen sewed his finger back on.

“The Life Saving Stations back then were like today’s fire departments,” he says. “Whatever emergencies came up, they were who you called.”

And now Chicamacomico is asking the community to return the favor. Once they have a sense of commitment from volunteers, Grubbs says they will begin planning more events.

“Offer what you have or what you can,” he says, “and we’ll see if we can use it.” — Terri Mackleberry

Got a tale to share? Extra time to volunteer to spearhead or assist with events during Summer 2024? Or just want to help the big event in October? Reach out to Chicamacomico Life Saving Station Historic Site at (252) 987-1552 or through www.chicamacomico.org.

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milepost 20 gokite



Bahen’s favorite beach treasures aren’t old shells or coins — they’re special friends and cherished memories

My love of beach hunting intensified about 20 years ago. I’d foolishly gotten my Jeep stuck on the beach in Corolla. Moments later, a nice man drove by and quickly pulled me out. He asked me where I was going. I told him I was going to try metal detecting, but really had no idea what I was doing. He said, “Well, you can follow me.” This encounter turned into several winters hunting for treasure with Ray Midgett and his friends, “The Soda Pop Pirates.”

Most of the items we dug up were trash. I believe Ray called his friends the Soda Pop Pirates because of all the sharp pull tabs we found that came off soda and beer cans from the 1960s and 70s; they sound just like gold rings through a metal detector. Hearing that sound gives you a burst of hope. It’s akin to getting a bite while fishing.

After Ray passed in 2018, I lost interest in metal detecting. But I’ve still found some interesting items while walking to surf breaks and fishing holes. I believe some are signs from the other side. In 2020, I was experiencing a crossroads in my life. I drove to my favorite stretch of sand to get some clarity. I asked the heavens for a sign. Within 15 minutes, a large piece of silver washed up right in front of my bare feet — a 300-year-old Spanish coin.

Two Januarys ago, while walking a beach in Mexico, I found a little green glass sea marble. When I returned to the boat, a friend started researching online. According to its asymmetrical markings, it was once inside of a Codd-neck bottle, which were manufactured in England 100 years ago. “Codd marbles” assist in creating a seal so carbonated drinks won’t go flat. Nearly all the soda manufactured in England was kept in Codd-neck bottles during those times; the soda’s ingredients had euphoric effects on consumers until the concoction was changed years later. Legend says Sigmund Freud coined the term “soda pop,” due to the popping sound Codd-neck bottles make when pressing on the marble, which releases pressure. So, this little green Codd marble that found me on January 19, 2023, has the same purpose as the sharp pull tabs the Soda Pop Pirates were named for.

Exactly five years before, on January 19, 2018, was the last time I was with the Soda Pop Pirates. We were gathered with Ray’s family and other loved ones celebrating his life on Earth. On that day, I realized there was a lot I didn’t know about Ray and the rest of the Soda Pop Pirates. Metal detecting isn’t a social activity, and it was the first time I had ever seen them without earphones on their heads. But I knew everything I needed to know about them from our beach hunts. It takes an extreme level of persistence, knowledge, and lunacy to find the .01 percent of items worth keeping. I learned so much about the history and geology of Dare County based on the Soda Pop Pirates’ interpretations of objects we found. I also heard great stories about Ray’s efforts to return items to their original owners.

I’ve kept some of the manmade items that crossed my path. I get so much strength from them — wondering who made them, who owned them, what their lives were like, and the circumstances in which they found me. At the time, it never occurred to me this small spherical piece of glass was a sign from the other side — I was just stoked to find it. Now I believe this Codd marble is a reminder that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek. But the greatest rewards aren’t the found objects; they’re the relationships fabricated with other seekers whose lives intersect with mine. Especially with the folks who always seem to have my back when I get stuck in unfortunate situations — folks like Ray, who stopped to assist a stranger stuck in the sand. I’m so grateful my Jeep got stuck on that cold winter day, and I thank God for Ray and so many others who have helped me during my journey here on Earth. I can’t wait to see what crosses my path next. — Ashley Bahen

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Even if you’ve been here before, you haven’t. No matter how many times you’ve climbed our lighthouse, lived our history, or marveled at the wildlife, you’ll feel like it’s the first. CorollaNC.com

milepost 22 It never gets old.

i still do.

What’s it take to stay married for 50 years? Three life-long couples reflect on love and lasting relationships.


Actually, it glows. Growing warmer — and stronger — with each passing year. And yet, long-term relationships feel like a fading trend. People get hitched later and later — or not at all. The ones who do, often last less than a decade. But lest you think marriage is more “fool’s proposition” than “timeless tradition,” we found three couples who’ve stayed together for fifty years each — and would happily share a half-century more. What’s their secret? Just find yourself a matching jewel. Polish your favorite facets — don’t dwell on the flaws. And commit to making more dazzling moments every day.



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true romance

Plenty of flowers. The occasional cop car. Linda and Fletcher Willey’s relationship is one crazy ride.


When she met Fletcher Willey on a blind date, she told the handsome sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill she was a sophomore, too. What she didn’t say was that she was a sophomore…at Chapel Hill High School.

“I didn’t think it mattered at the time,” Linda recalls. “We liked each other. And he asked me out again, and I thought, ‘Oh no, how am I going to get out of this now?’”

A few months later, she was forced to ’fess up. And it all went down in the back seat of a cop car. Linda was driving them home from a date and rear-ended a motorcycle. As they sat in the police vehicle, the officer asked for Linda’s license.

“And he looked at Fletcher and said, ‘Boy, do you know how old she is?’” laughs Linda.

At that point, it was too late. Fletcher was already smitten.

That wasn’t their last brush with the law. Linda has a long history of civil rights activism, and, in 2013, she began participating in “Moral Mondays” in Raleigh. (“Moral Mondays” are organized protests that have been held in downtown Raleigh for the past ten years by the Reverend William Barber and a coalition led by the NAACP and other progressive groups to protest civil rights violations in the NC legislature.)

“So I said to Fletcher, ‘I’m gonna go to Raleigh, and I’m probably gonna get arrested,’” Linda recalls. “And Fletcher just said, ‘Okay, call me if you need anything.’ And I said, ‘Okay!’”

“He tolerates me,” Linda continues. “He’s a wonderful Carolina graduate farmboy, and I’m a kind of out there woman.”

She ended up getting arrested twice. And though she inspired many other women from the Outer Banks to follow suit, no one was prouder of her than her husband. He happily tells the tale of Linda riding the bus to jail, leading her fellow inmates in chants of “You’re gonna need a bigger bus! ’Cause, baby, there are more of us!’

“That was my favorite one,” gushes Fletcher.

Linda’s time with Reverend Barber led her to more important work, including helping out with a documentary on the civil rights movement. She was invited to New York for an event, and, all of a sudden, she found herself seated in the front row next to not only the film maker, but none other than Gloria Steinem. And on the other side of her was Fletcher, of course.

“Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone, and Fletcher is the steady hand,” Linda says. “He’s the leveler of me. And that is so important for someone like me, who’s likely to go get arrested and do all kinds of crazy stuff. He keeps me in check. And I kind of get his wild side occasionally.”

Not only have the Willeys built a life and family together, they also built a successful insurance business, The Willey Agency, where they specialized in big risk, particularly with restaurants. They were the only couple to both win an Independent Insurance Agent of the Year award.

to relearn how to speak. And then five years ago, Linda was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and he did the same for her.

“It was easy to take care of Linda,” says Fletcher.

They bought a condo in Chapel Hill to stay in while Linda was in chemotherapy, and they decided to keep it so other cancer patients from the Outer Banks wouldn’t have to pay for hotels.

Fletcher recalls that, when Linda had major surgery, there was a visitors area where family could welcome her when she came out of the operating room. The family that greeted her was full of the activists she worked with in the civil rights movement.

“I always remember when they finally brought her out,” recalls Fletcher. “She sat up, and the nurse said, ‘Mrs. Willey, is there anything I can do for you now?’ And she said, ‘Yes, I think I would like a martini. And please, please give me some makeup.’”

“He keeps me in check. And I kind of get his wild side occasionally.”

“The question is how did we survive 57 years together?” says Linda. “We kept it fun. We take care of each other.”

And she means that. She took care of Fletcher when he had heart surgery and a stroke. He had

These days, they enjoy traveling, going out for lots of dinners, and restoring Fletcher’s 1836 family farmhouse. She’s never stopped getting dressed up and looking her best. And he’s never stopped bringing her lots of flowers.

“Now, we just get to take care of each other and eat dinner and watch TV and look back and go, ‘Oh, my God, we made it, didn’t we?’” says Linda. “Yeah, we did this together. He had his turn, I had my turn, and we survived. And I hope we get to survive for many years to enjoy the fruits of our labor — can I keep him another 50 years?”

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hold fast


Ask Hurricane Irene. In 2011, the legendary storm was whipping up the coast — and sucking water from behind their Colington house. Rick was aboard their 36-foot sailboat, Sweet Shu, shirt off, horizontal rain pelting his body like needles, struggling to loosen the lines. Sharon was dockside, pulling just as hard to give him some slack. Both of them struggling to keep the boat from hitting pilings as the canal quickly receded to a mere six inches.

“And so, in the middle of a hurricane, here comes my neighbor, George,” says Rick today. “Together we managed to release enough slack so he could change the lines. And then Sharron and I jumped in the truck and headed for higher ground.”

Things have almost hit the pilings a couple times over the Hildebrants’ 57 years together. But even in the choppiest of waters, Rick and Sharron have always found a way forward — whether it’s saving a precious vessel from catastrophe or carving a life from the roughest of timbers.

“We didn’t have much time,” says Sharron of their early years. “And we didn’t have any money.”

The Long Island natives met when they were just 14. When they got married, Rick was still attending college in Pennsylvania and Sharron was living with her parents back home. The couple couldn’t afford much of a honeymoon — and Rick couldn’t afford to miss any classes. So, instead of flying off to the Caribbean, they stayed put on Long Island, spending three nights at a Ramada Inn.

Their big night out was going to a Chinese restaurant. Rick ordered chow mein.

“And I told him, ‘Rick this is our honeymoon! We have to order something a little more fancy!’”

The first few years were equally as sparse. They

lived in a tiny half-built apartment with just a mattress on the floor and a crib for their baby. Rick attended college by day and worked the night shift as a prison guard.

Every marriage encounters rough seas. Rick and Sharron Hildebrant say the key to survival is sticking close.

Rick ultimately got his degree in chemical engineering. He went on to work in the petroleum industry, managing oil field projects from Mozambique to Pakistan to Indonesia. For many years, he brought the whole family, including their three sons, to Singapore.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

Rick was still gone half the time for work. The other half was consumed by different hobbies. Sharron was active in theater. Rick enjoyed tennis. Sharron felt as though they were living two separate lives. At one point, she decided she wanted to move back to the States to go to college. So she did. They even dated other people.

“That was a very lonely time,” says Rick.

But when the topic of divorce came up, Sharron found herself crying in her therapist’s office.

“I could not stop loving him. It was like, I was a part of him, and he was a part of me. He’s my best friend, and when I tried to divorce him, it just didn’t take.”

And so they held fast.

shells for the NC Coastal Federation’s Restaurant to Reef program.

Most recently, in what might be the truest test of a marriage, they ripped out and refitted the floors of their home.

Now, in the third act of their lives, Sharron says she and Rick can look at each other and know exactly what the other is thinking.

“If I don’t remember a story, it’s because he’s got the other half of it,” Sharron smiles.

Along the way, Sharron even got her Caribbean honeymoon.

“We had never been in the tropics before,” says Sharron. “We both got very burned.”

“We learned the importance of aloe,” Rick deadpans.

“If I don’t remember a story, it’s because he’s got the other half of it.”

Ten years ago, Rick retired, and they moved to the Outer Banks full-time. Today, they’re inseparable. In addition to sailing Sweet Shu, they’re both on the board of the Colington Yacht Club. In summer, they take neighbors on canal tours aboard their pontoon boat, Sweet and Salty. (Beers included.) On land, they pour hours into volunteering, including collecting weekly hauls of oysters

They tell this story with lots of laughter. And they insist a good sense of humor is key to staying together — even if Sharron says Rick’s the more natural comedian.

“I find being funny hard,” she says. “I basically do clumsy things that make him laugh at me.”

But there is one joke they share. It’s a little inside. With a punchline that perhaps only long-term couples would get. They say that “fifty years of marriage goes by like five minutes…underwater.”

Clinging to each other at times, clawing for air at others. Grateful just to have someone to hold close.

“I really can’t see it any other way,” says Rick of how they lasted so long. “There was a huge hole — and she was the one that filled it.”

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hot to trot

From afternoon drives to late-night dancing, Thomas and Margie Golden just keep movin’ — and groovin’.


She knew all the girls had their eyes on him, but she also knew the way to his heart. So, when she met Thomas Golden at a basketball game, she made her move.

“I bought him a strawberry soda and a cheeseburger,” says Margie. “And I haven’t been able to get rid of him since.”

Margie and Thomas got married and had kids right after graduation. And while Margie jokes that, at the time, they didn’t have “two brown pennies to scrape together,” she says Thomas worked tirelessly to provide for their family, most notably as a Boston firefighter for 35 years.

“He always had two or three jobs,” Margie says. “We had young babies, and I rode back and forth on the buses. So, we’ve been through a lot…we’ve been through a lot.”

When a broken ankle forced Thomas to retire from the fire department at just 55 years old, he and Margie decided to return home to Eastern North Carolina. They moved to Manteo with their two youngest children. There, they were able to slow down and enjoy more time together.

And that means together.

Most afternoons, they play dominoes. (“Ain’t nothin else to do around here,” laughs Thomas.) In the summertime, they go fishing. And whenever possible, they dance — a call back to the earliest days of their relationship. A time when “going steady” meant meeting friends at high school sock hops, grooving to music from groups like The Supremes and the Temptations.

“And my husband and I, we were some of

the best dancers,” Margie says. “We could turn out. We were rockin’ and rollin’.”

Even now, at age 75, Margie says they still get invited to all the functions and parties around town because they always bring the fun.

“’Cause they know we’ll just dance and have a good time. We can really throw down. We don’t sit. We dance all night.”

Truth is, the couple can barely stay still. Some days, they just go for a drive to pass time. Margie says all she has to do is tell Thomas where she’s headed, and he hops in the driver’s seat.

“I’m Miss Daisy — I just get in and ride,” she snickers. “You know how men are: they think that nobody can drive but them, so I just hop on in.”

Many times, that means ending up at the local thrift stores where Margie loves to shop. Thomas? He sits in the car and waits patiently until she’s done.

“He’s a good old guy. I wouldn’t trade him for nothing in the world,” says Margie.

While Thomas and Margie say they do everything they can for each other, they don’t keep score. That’s one big philosophy that has carried them through fifty-plus years of being together: they don’t do “tit for tat.”

“Equal…but unequal,” Thomas jokes.

“See what I have to put up with?” laughs Margie. “How did I put up with this for 55 years?”

Thomas? He says the real secret is never arguing — which means “always letting Margie win.” And while it sounds like a stereotypical “man joke,” the Goldens’ kids say it’s true.

“That’s one thing I can say is that, since I was born, I’ve never seen them have an argument,” says their son Bunky, insisting that he’s never even heard his dad raise his voice before.

“He’s just laid back,” adds Margie.

“I always say that’s why I’m still single,” adds their daughter, Adrian. “Because my mom got the last one of him. They’re really the definition of golden love, like genuine love and happiness. Even all my friends, they always say, ‘I want that type of love like your parents got.’”

“One hand washes the other — what I do for him, he does for me.”

From raising six children together to working multiple jobs to make ends meet, to the tragic loss of their eldest daughter in April of last year, who passed away at age 56, Thomas and Margie have danced, cried, laughed, and hopped in that car to ride through it all together. And how do they keep the romance alive after all these years?

“One hand washes the other — what I do for him, he does for me,” says Margie. “We are true equals.”

“He’s got it goin’ on, that’s all I’m going to say,” laughs Margie. “I would marry him ten times if I could.”

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A semi-fuzzy flashback on roughly four-dozen mags, spilling everything from raging moments to major mishaps.

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Tell that to anyone trying to connect the dots after a big night out. Was that blurry memory a major event — or a minor blip? Did that bawdy joke make you the life of the party — or fall flat on its face? Did anyone even care? Same goes with doing a magazine retrospective — except maybe with more smudges, shirt stains and the occasional paper cut. But as we got ready to stumble across the 50-rag mark, we realized there was no other choice than to sift through the past dozen or so years and recall where we fully killed it — and where we totally flopped. With that in mind, what follows is a semi-fine-tuned gleaning of noteworthy reflections from Issues 0.1 to 12.4. We may not have found something rave-worthy in every edition — but chances are you won’t remember anyway.


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— are residents new and old doing about it?” We still ponder those questions every ish. The only thing that seems to change are the answers.

the junk is meaningless; it’s the people that matter. And we’re not going anywhere.” Those were powerful sentiments for a one-page column that leans toward wacko prose. But if you want to hear something crazy, consider this: We ain’t been whacked by a worse storm since. (Knock on plywood.)

Sizzlin’.) Today, nearly all the workers have long since switched careers — and more than a few places have changed hands. But as longtime restaurateur Mike Kelly noted, “Restaurants are cultur al reference points. What you call Tortuga’s, someone else calls Quagmires…You see different names and owners over the years, and they become like a life story in your mind.” Still, the sweetest piece comes at the end, as SoundCheck pictured would-be opera tenor Tshombe Selby with a bus-sized smile as he proclaimed his dream to sing at The Met. Last year, he did it. Which makes for one hell of a dessert.


Manteo First Friday

The First Friday of each month from 6pm to 8pm- Live music, new art exhibition openings + more.

27th Annual Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show

Sunday, May 5

The show will open in the Courtroom Gallery on May 5 and remain on display through June 1.


Annual Artrageous Kids Art Festival

Saturday, May 11

A day of free, family-friendly fun at Dowdy Park in Nags Head.


Annual Rock The Cap e

J une 6-7

An art show + concert at Kitty Hawk Kites' Waves Village Watersports Resort in Rodanthe plus a Hatteras Island Gallery Tour.

Our Gallery, located in downtown Manteo, hosts exhibits, events, workshops, and more all year long! DareArts.org

Issue 1.2: The Perfect Summer Day

Was it just a bad case of heat stroke? Or some spray-on, sunscreen-induced hallucinations? Whatever the reason, 2012’s take on summer was obviously pure fiction. How can any place be a “fantasy island” when water quality woes and ciggies swirl at the shoreline? Still, the feature’s make-believe 24 hours of firing waves, zero traffic, and pop-up parties still reads dreamier than ever. (Particularly, the prosy vignettes from locals’ perspectives.) And GraphicContent’s cooler full of beach supplies remains surprisingly functional — albeit somewhat far-fetched. (Just one PBR? Really?!). But the sanest idea came in SoundCheck: a week before deadline, we had stumbled into the Bad Bean to see a band of twenty-somethings scorch the room. Within days, we’d swapped a page, shot a photo, and smashed in Zack Mexico. Twelve years later, they’re still “exploding with volume and energy, anchored by vacuum tight changes.” And we’re still keeping tabs on them, from local bars to coastal tours.

Issue 1.3: ¡Viva Tourista!

Hating on visitors was never our vibe. Oh, sure, we’ll turn a Cat-5 sunburn into a sizzling Fall cover — or bait beachcombers with fake whelks for a funny piece on ‘’tourist-fishing” — but we fully recognize that nearly every flexing local started out as a flailing outsider. We also understand that every repeat visitor thinks of us as a second home. So, Fall 2012 spent an afternoon strolling the beach, meeting and greeting the great un-tanned masses, capturing classic photos — and incredible stories — from college kids who couldn’t remember the first time they made sandcastles to old salts who’ll never forget skinny dipping here in the days after WWII. But the issue’s coolest finds were two talented artists: veteran political cartoonist, Stephen “Temp” Templeton, who’s topical illustrations added a welcome taste of DC satire (and would ultimately take home several NC Press Awards); and a young up-and-comer named Chris Kemp, who crawled out of his shell to illustrate GraphicContent’s “Visitor Species of the Outer Banks,” a tongue-in-cheek tribute to stereotypes like “ and labels for much bigger clients from his Folly Beach studio, he’s never lost sight of his original muse: “I feel like [the Outer Banks] helped me figure out who I am…I love drawing all the weirdos.” Today, his Dune Billy cartoon visits every issue.

Issue 1.4: Random Acts

Of Weirdness

Remember when the rise in outdoor weddings and backyard bar bands led to a rash of volume ordinances? Well, if a little loud music ruffled some old cranks’ feathers, what would they think of a full-sized Easter bunny parading about? Or grown men plastercasting cute girls butts come summer? That’s really the question Winter 2012 pondered, as we profiled some of the beach’s oversized personalities such as vintage car stockpiler “Rad” Tillet — as well as its undersized figures. (Did you know Manteo’s Cathie Jung still holds the world record for “smallest waist”?) And let’s not forget the bravest personality of all: Glenn Eure, the Army combat vet-turned-creative mastermind who made a mark with every massive sculpture (see Kitty Hawk’s Monument to a Century of Flight) and minor exaggeration. (His nude self-portraits certainly stretched, uh, imaginations). Sadly, we lost Glenn in 2018. But his four decades of devil-maycare antics remain carved in our collective psyche as the definition of “local character”: “Talk about weirdos…I just hope there’s some folks coming along who enjoy themselves as much as we do,” he told us. We’re certainly doing our best, Glenn.

Issue 2.1: Re-Boot

Every mag we do is a labor of love. But Spring 2013 was a veritable orgy of community input as the “Sex in the Sandbar” feature asked anonymous singles to share intimate tales of seeking long-term romance while amateur models froze their stilettos off for a mid-January night shoot — all to collectively kvetch about the area’s shallowyet-stormy dating pool. But then, every longterm relationship requires real work — especially when the native elements are working against you. For proof, read about how shoaling sands and political pressures converged to create the Oregon Inlet Task Force. Or note the first of many missed dates for demolishing Bonner Bridge. (This time it was 2016.) But for true, toxic co-dependency look no further than QuestionAuthority, as OBAR’s Willo Kelly described a flawed insurance system where coastal rate hikes happen constantly — but coverage can disappear any second — predicting today’s crisis, where every corner of the country faces catastrophic risk, and homeowners are “backed into a corner with nowhere to go.”

Issue 2.2: Summertime Rules!

The front page may have paid tribute to Fast Times’ slacker/stoner Jeff Spicoli, but Summer 2013 was far from worry free. Start with the cover, which took days to assemble the right mix of locally sourced items, on-camera talent — and the combined photographic skills of vet staffers Julie Dreelin and Chris Bickford — to recreate movie poster magic. Next, the Qualityof-Life Index — today’s “YewBoo” — was a veritable stress fest, sounding alarms over everything from blue crab die-offs to pedestrian fatalities to a sudden spike in heroin busts. (Future opioid epidemic, anyone?) Meanwhile, Catherine Kozak revisited a pair of gruesome 90s murders that marked an ugly new era for local crime. (Denise Johnson’s killer still remains free despite fresh leads — and a popular podcast.) Even GraphicContent’s sign filled with fake beach rules hinted at real concerns, like spacing out and packing gear (both of which are now serious town laws!). But it’s the UpFront piece on Gov. Pat McCrory’s push to open NC to petroleum exploration that would weigh on us for another eight years, as both the Obama and Trump administrations went on to propose federal lease sales, setting up a long battle to save our coastal economy — nearly $2 billion in tourism revenues for Dare County in 2023! And yet, the issue still bubbles up like bad bongwater every election cycle.

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Issue 2.3: Open

(All You Can Read)

The Lord must have been with us for Fall 2013. Otherwise, we’d never have convinced a baker’s dozen of sinfully slammed restaurateurs to break bread for an hour in mid-July, just so we could recreate DaVinci’s Last Supper. (All for a feature that peppered them with forced questions, like, “What was the last meal that felt like a religious experience?”) Today, the feature remains one of our favorite photoshoot masterpieces, though it also earned us our first real taste of serious hate mail. (See you in Hell!) But the real “holy shitstorm” was brewing in Raleigh, where a litany of proposed laws took aim at the poor and underrepresented mention water quality and voters rights — leading to a string of Moral Monday protests and hundreds of arrests. When the legislature began barring the press, our own Sandy Semans refused to move — and ended up behind bars. And while she brought cupcakes to sweet talk the cops, our intrepid, investigative journalist never sugarcoated what was at stake: “This is not about right or left — it’s about right and wrong.”

Issue 2.4: Super Nerds

“Mmmm…Brains…” Think every Outer Banker’s a walking zombie or beach bum dropout? You won’t after reading Winter 2013, where we celebrated all our super smart peeps, from amateur theater geeks to underwater robotics dorks to trivia nerds, many of which are now super popular. Dare regularly packs houses — illustrator/TOD president Stuart Parks II! — while Trivia Nights rage all over town. But, to us, the Outer Banks History Center will always be the coolest. From day one, we’ve included some kind of flashback article — if not a whole feature — that pulls from the History Center’s deep vault of photos and collective wisdom. And how did we repay such generosity? By printing a massive error in their profile. (Let word ring out! Not only did Sir Walter Raleigh not come over with the Lost Colony, he never set foot in the Carolinas!) Of course, we’d never have known it if state archivist Sarah Downing hadn’t politely corrected us. Needless to say, we issued a massive “mea culpa” the very next ish — then made Ms. Downing our staff history writer. Which remains one of our smartest moves to date.

Issue 3.1: Nature/Nurture

Cuddling foxes. Surfing dogs. Schooling fish. Precocious piglets. Spring 2014’s mix of wildlife photos and pet profiles might sound like a fluff job. But there was some real teeth to this sleeping tiger, as it raised issues that remain untamed today, from how to handle feral cats to what to do with Nags Head’s Soundside event site. We also included nods to burgeoning trends — meet the area’s first farm-raised oysters company — and longtime legends. (Rock on, EZ Malone!) But it was QuestionAuthority that roared the loudest, as Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) researcher Christine Avenarius forced a cross section of locals to clarify their views on a spectrum of hot button issues, from beach nourishment to bridges, population density to sea level rise. Ultimately, Avenarius produced a skewering take on the hypocrisy of human nature: “A lot of people said, ‘I want [the Outer Banks] to stay the way it is, but let me make money first.’ That was the punchline I got out of this study.”

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Photo: Chris Bickford & Julie Dreelin



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Issue 3.2: Time 2 Shine

“Even after decades of tourism, we’ll beat the taffy out of any beach town.” Sorry if Summer 2014 kicked a little sand in our neighbors’ faces by boasting about the Outer Banks’ sexier attributes. Things like rippling beach accesses and a slimmeddown skyline. (We also revealed a sneak peek at future pride points by toasting the start of Kill Devil Rum, saluting Sea Green Gallery’s repurposed philosophy, and applauding Festival Park’s first successful concert series.) Still, staying fit requires regular check-ups, so we asked Stephen P. Leatherman — aka “Dr. Beach” — what it took to make his annual list of Top 10 beaches. Happy to say, he gushed over our previously mentioned pride points, which explains why Buxton and Ocracoke both made the cut in years to come. (The latter even won the top spot in 2022.) But Dr. Beach also gave us a stern warning to not let ourselves go: “If you have a problem with drownings, you’ll go down real fast.” And: “If there’s too many people, it won’t be a top beach either.”

Issue 3.3: Strange Bedfellows

Can’t we all just get along? With political division at an all-time high or so we thought — Fall 2014 lauded local fixtures who didn’t fit either extreme, from a far-right proponent of solar panels to “a couple old hippies” who shot ducks for a living, to a “capital ‘L’ liberal” who loved her red state neighbors. Then we decided to humanize our reps on the Hill by heading to DC, where then-Congressman Walter B. Jones (R) and Senator Kay Hagan (D) gladly opened their offices and their hearts, sharing wisdom that still crosses the aisle today, from Jones’ battle cry to affect real change — “Get 50 of your friends to call at 2pm!” — to Hagan’s plea for less caustic debate. (“We need more [politicians] to realize we represent the same people.”) Even our First Person celebrated diversity, as David Miller reflected on what makes OBX Pridefest successful — “ultimately, we want this to be an event that everybody wants to come to” — and became the face of one of our most thoughtful portraits. (Thanks for the face paint, Fay Davis Edwards.) But, despite our best efforts, we still managed to sew future division by introducing a new, more polarizing public figure — Dune Billy! Our residential beach-bum-in-chief remains the column most readers say they either love to hate or hate to love.

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Issue 3.4: Photo Retro

Before there was Instagram, there was Aycock Brown. Tourism Director put the Outer Banks on the map — and branded our national identity — by flooding newspapers with pictures of stormy seas, bronzing babes, big-ass fish, and wild-ass times. Winter 2014 revisited his lasting influence by pairing old-school images with reflections by those who knew the man — and those who now must manage the massive industry he helped create. Flipping through now, those vintage cars all look way older. The sea-critters, a touch bigger. The swimsuits, way less skimpy. But the vibe still feels familiar, from sinking ships to partying pirates to packed ferries. And the descriptions of Brown himself read like verbal selfies of the quintessential, quirky local: “a funny, vivacious man with a cheeky attitude. Fiercely committed to his adopted home.” A man who was “capable of knocking you off guard with the depth of his kindness…[and] overwhelming force of his zany personality.”

Issue 4.1: DIY

Inspired by bootstrap effort and creative courage? Spring 2015 profiled Wall Street players who grew their own pecan business. Another dude built wooden surfboards from Ace Hardware yardsticks. One local novelist even put lightning strikes on Oprah Winfrey’s reading list. (The first of three published works by staffer, Michele Young-Stone!) But the department that stands out most is QuestionAuthority, where we interviewed a man who worked tirelessly to turn our rag-tag bunch of beach boxes into Northeastern NC’s coastal crown jewel — state Sen. Marc B. Basnight. For two days, we drove streets and talked story, recording insights from the legendary politician’s 26 years in Raleigh, while literally passing by his achievements, like Whalehead’s Corolla Wildlife Center, Jennette’s Pier, and the Coastal Studies Institute. (Not to mention all the miles of pavement and bridges that stretched in-between.) When Basnight retired in 2011, he was the longest serving Senate leader in state history. Shortly after, the legislature began attacking his legacy. Yet, Basnight never sounded bitter. (“Did I vote for that group? No. But I do believe when power shifts, there’s a different priority system. And I honor that.”) Nor was he prideful: “Any number of people could’ve created change when I was elected. Whether it was me or someone else, change was gonna come.” Sadly, the senator passed in 2020. But each time we cross Oregon Inlet, the “Marc Basnight Bridge” reminds us of his drive.

Issue 4.2: Swim At Your Own Risk.

Summer 2015’s take on a “swimsuit issue” was a bit of tease. photos of various tradesfolk in trunks and tankinis — all of them quite safe — on avoiding vacation hazards, from drunken drivers to diving mishaps to SPF warnings. (Each with killer art by Travis Fowler.) Only we got bit in the end, as a streak of 11 shark attacks off NC sparked a rash of negative feedback from randos who thought our cover blurb was chumming for readers. And speaking of “chum,” let’s talk about Dave Hallac! When the NPS’s freshly-hired Outer Banks Group Superintendent waded into Hatteras’ ongoing beach driving debacle with smiling visions of “[making] things better for ORVs and pedestrians” and “trying to build trust within the community” — him to bits. Eight years later, a mix of smaller buffers and increased corridors keeps Cape Point more open than ever — just like the lines of communication — and Hallac runs every bloody park in Eastern NC.

Issue 4.3: Stranger Than Fiction

Few things are as fun to untangle as the Outer Banks grapevine. in mind, Fall 2015 adopted a Weekly World News makeover, as we mixed lowgrade Photoshop and far-fetched stories to reveal some harsh truths. We made light of mythological creatures (Goatman, Catarabbits, Beefalo) and kiboshed bullshit stats like, “We got more DWI’s than anywhere in NC!” (Not!) We even revealed that everyone’s favorite Ash Wednesday photo was really a summertime “double-exposure.” But you can’t keep a good tall tale down — especially when it’s true — as we learned just last September, after the NPS closed the beach around Buxton’s groins due to foul, fuel smells. The culprit? Beach erosion had exposed some old tanks from that not-so-secret former military site. At press time, the Army Corps was taking core samples to find a solution. (Or so we heard.)

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Issue 4.4: Odd Jobs

Are rosy economic forcasts a fireable offense? If so, then Winter 2015 would’ve gotten us canned, as we happily predicted the new craze in short-term lodging — Airbnb — would help struggling locals stay in their homes, but failed to see how it would help displace year-round renters down the road. Keep reading and you’ll find more signs of a community at a crossroads, as KDH busted out beach permits to crack down on joy riders, fecal counts flourished around ocean outfalls, and other indications that visitation expenditures would hit $1 billion for the very first time. Meanwhile, our cover story was a reminder of how all those zeros were supporting a wild variety of niche gigs, from chimney sweeping to beer tap cleaning, piercing navels to feeding seahorses. But for original biz ideas you can’t beat the FirstPerson with Edward Greene, who opened his holiday-themed store in the heart of Manteo way back in the summer of 1967. Greene sadly passed in 2021, but his Christmas Shop carries on. And so does his healthy vision of a diverse economic ecosystem: “Every person has their own chosen task. Each morning we take our places. Then we unlock the doors, and the curtain goes up on another performance.”

Issue 5.1: Not Just Married

Here comes the wedding party! With beach ceremonies raging bigger than ever, Spring 2016 asked photogs and caterers to trash dresses and pull tablecloths — while spilling dirt on everything from doomed trends (bye-bye “big hair”) to forever traditions (keep it simple, people!). Looking back, it was an editorial match made in heaven, as Dare County would end up issuing nearly 1200 marriage licenses a number that ain’t been touched since. (Only 833 in 2022.) Meanwhile, “YewBoo” covered the latest in break-ups: Marine Fisheries announced plans to dump Bonner Bridge demolition rubble onto NC’s artificial reefs; and after just four years — and big promises of a long-lasting future— Gunboat luxury catamarans split town, leaving Wanchese boatworkers high and dry.

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Issue: 5.2 Future Shock

Should’ve called this one “Future Schlock!” Summer 2016’s 20 predictions of trends to come were chock full of wrong calls. (At least so far.) We won’t see printed postcards replacing social media anytime soon. Self-driving cars are still years down the road. And Hatteras has less “night sky” than ever. On the other hand, offshore wind power is looming large. Carova ain’t paved — but it’s way more popular. (An October ’23 Outer Banks Voice story estimated nearly 200 new houses had been issued occupancy permits since 2018.) And while an Outer Banker still ain’t won the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational — Hawaii’s Big Wave Risk Assessment Group held a safety class on Hatteras last April. But it was the piece on throwing Frisbees that we should’ve seen coming. At the time, KDH’s plans to turn an untouched piece of the Baum Tract into a pro disc golf course was still a shot in the dark. Today, it’s one of our brightest amenities, largely for the reasons Daryl Davies describes: “It’s free, outdoors and great for all ages — the perfect addition to the Outer Banks lifestyle.”

Issue 5.3: Inanimate Objects

Precious goods lead to lifelong passions. Such is the tale of Fall 2016, which spotlighted everything from jazz master Joe Mapp’s prize guitar to the Nelly Myrtle Museum’s treasured beach finds to rare “roothead” duck decoys. (Thanks for the tip — and the portrait — Brooke Mayo!) But it was our legislators’ obsession with “family jewels” that grabs our attention today, as UpFront broke down all the backlash from HB2 — aka the “bathroom bill.” When Charlotte let individuals use facilities that aligned with their gender identity, the general assembly hit back with a law that prevented municipalities from passing any antidiscrimination ordinances that were stricter than the state’s. The resulting LGBTQ+ backlash led to Hollywood boycotts, forcing Netflix’s blockbuster “Outer Banks” to film in South Carolina. Would we have seen a bigger bump in popularity? Would we have even wanted it? Hard to say. One thing’s certain: we should have been more focused on the legislative tactic, as it foretold a spate of power grabs, like 2023’s last-minute budget addition that keeps towns from limiting workforce housing. And, as the ACLU stated then, “What HB2 does is rip the ability of municipalities and their constituents to make the decisions they think are best for them.”

Issue 5.4: Broken Records

Who’s bad? Don’t ask Winter 2016. In an attempt to poke fun at “Best of the Beach,” our “Worst of the Beach Awards” honored folks who totally sucked at being sucky. (Future four-time state high school golf champ Katherine Schuster was “The Worst Kid to Challenge to a Game of Putt Putt.” The Manteo Barber was “Worst Place for a Dull Shave.” Radio Hatteras was “The Worst Place for Pop Hits.”) Yeah: looking back, maybe building a whole mag around double negatives wasn’t the greatest idea. But the worst part of this issue was an event nobody saw coming: a supposedly lightweight hurricane named Matthew changed course overnight and left behind millions of dollars in damages and more than a foot of rain — in just six hours — flooding the Beach Road without a lick of overwash. Afterward, everyone from Beach Road bizzes to meteorological experts were forced to reconsider their definition of a “bad storm” and a “good forecast.”

Photo: Chris Bickford
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Issue 6.1: Dream Big.

“This place is like flypaper. Folks stop for a second and get stuck for life.” With that in mind, Spring 2017 decided to celebrate the locals who broke free and soared high, from world famous photographer David Molnar to DC politico Don Owens. But no Outer Banker ever truly leaves home. Just ask Ann-Cabell Baum. The oldest of Carolista Baum’s three kids may now live in Raleigh, but she never forgot the day her mom stopped a bulldozer atop our biggest sand dune. So, when she heard there were plans for a museum at Jockey’s Ridge in 2022, she rallied forces — and ruffled some feathers — to hit the kill switch. (Today, Baum vicechairs the Friends of Jockey’s Ridge.) But there’s one department that ended up leaving a sour taste in our mouths: GoPickleball. At the time, this upstart sport seemed like a great way to keep seniors active. Post-COVID, it’s become so popular that Rec Park has trouble making room for youth athletics and Mommy & Me. And despite asking — and getting — $500k for courts last year, apparently players refused the county’s offer to build them on Roanoke Island because it was “too far to drive.” So much for being good sports.

Issue 6.2: Summer A-Z

How do you define high season hijinks? Summer 2017 did it alphabetically, producing a fun little primer that still rings true, from familiar sights (“B” is for “Bikini Season”) to tipping correctly (“K” is for “Karma”) to the somewhat lucky pick of “S” is for “Sweet Summer Sounds.” (Who thought SensiTrails’ skunky reggae would waft all the way to California?) But, in hindsight, it’s clear that “C” is really for “Cory Godwin’s Cool-ass Covershot”, while “G” is for “gullible” — at least when it came to ArtisticLicense. At the time, Photoshop master Alex Lex sounded almost contrite over his fake posts of massive animals and extreme weather that sometimes went “too viral.” Rather than correct his ways, Lex only cranked up his efforts — and the confusion — mixing AI and other peeps’ pictures to fool the masses for even more mayhem. Last March, a supposedly beached white shark got shared 17,000 times. And October’s overcooked shots of Idalia overwash got 23 million views and 180,000-plus shares — enough to make even Fox Weather cry foul.

Issue 6.3: Super Natural

Talk about “sticking our heads in the sand.” Fall 2017 featured everything from beach access drum circles to driftwood sculptures. But the most substantial memory comes courtesy of a dynamic discussion with three coastal researchers — Coastal Studies Institute’s Dr. Reide Corbett, Duck Pier’s Dr. Kate Brodie, and former Surfline lead forecaster-turned-big-time-National-Weather-Service-muckety-muck, Mark Willis on how the digital age and bad actors were eroding people’s faith in science. And while our focus was on issues like climate change, the feature now reads like a forecast for the COVID era, where rampant uncertainty, peak skepticism and social media created a perfect storm of misinformation, one where nobody knew what the hell was happening but “everyone was an expert because they could Google it.”

Issue 6.4: Sports

Doesn’t anybody remember Huey Lewis? Apparently not. (Winter 2017’s cover tribute to the 80s pop star’s biggest album fell on mostly deaf ears.) But the inside was full of smash hits, as Senior Olympics, bowling teams and fitness centers have only grown stronger. And the QuestionAuthority was another clear winner, as Pea Island Preservation Society’s Darrell C. Collins is still helping keep Black history front-and-center, from classroom presentations to community celebrations. (Let’s hear it for Juneteenth!) But there’s also a pretty crushing defeat: Raleigh ended up repealing the county’s long-time plastic bag ban — an effort that was led by our own legislators, no less. (Boo, Bill Cook and Beverly Boswell!) Still, our favorite piece remains the cover story on “Juan’s League.” At the time, this grassroots soccer outfit boasted 11 teams — and battled every weekend — with kick-ass athletes from Central America to Eastern Europe to West KDH. Soon after printing, though, a shortage of field space scattered players. But the county recently poured big bucks into night lights and fresh green in hope of providing more playtime for all. There’s even talk of funding a study next year to see what we should be offering — in the words of Bobby Outten — “in terms of soccer, lacrosse, basketball, whatever the activities are for all ages.” Which is music to any sports fan’s ears.

Issue 7.1: Out Of This World

Ground control to major surprise. Spring 2018 set off to explore local building styles, from flat tops to beach boxes to Frisco’s “UFO” house — hoping to plant a flag on cedar shakes and “bracketed gables” for all eternity — only to discover that every favorite element was a product of alien invaders. (Or, as local architect and Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon put it: “There is no native architecture. Everything here came from somewhere else.”) But who cared about old homes when we got new bridges! “YewBoo” celebrated the completion of Pea Island’s Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge named for the legendary yet long-overlooked leader of the nation’s first African American lifesaving crew. (About damn time.) And QuestionAuthority checked in on Bonner Bridge’s replacement to see where — and how — things stood roughly half-way through. (Remember those big “T” sections that cantilevered for months? And how they started in the middle, and worked their way out? And what about that time they cut power to Hatteras for a week in July?) Hard to believe we’re already five years into its expected 100-year lifespan. Sadly, 2018 was also the year that the NPS began demolishing Frisco Pier. And the UFO house that opened our feature? That went up in flames in Fall 2022.

Issue 7.2: Naked Truths

Like big’uns? You’d love Summer 2018, as we filled 88 pages – our biggest rag yet — with tantalizing material, from raw flavors (do you poke?) to sexy mirages (a photo flashback on Shelly Island) to a sneak peek at an endless summer of ear porn. (Can we please get The Roots back to Real Watersports?) But the meat of this mag aroused interest in the mounting challenges facing our local economy, as a cross section of workers and biz owners shared a touch of skin — and a bunch of shared vulnerabilities. Acupuncturist Cheryl Blankenship discussed finding help and lacking healthcare. (“You’re lucky to find a primary care doctor.”) Sanctuary Vineyards’ John Wright fretted over waning rural traditions. (“When you [lose] farming you [lose] a way of life.”) Meanwhile, a young videographer, musician and staff photog named Crystal Polston worried that the lack of affordable housing would drum her out of town. Six years later, we’re more exposed than ever to all these issues. Which makes Chamber of Commerce head Karen Brown’s predictions even more eye-popping: “Housing…a dwindling work force…insurance…they might not be your problem now, but they’re going to be.”

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Issue: 7.3: Staycay!

Looking to fall back in love with Outer Banks life? to rekindle that romance via a series of one-of-a-kind speed dates. Kip Tabb joyrode a water-fueled jetpack. Laura Gomez-Nichols stopped bussing tables — and boarded a plane for an Ocracoke daytrip. Terri Mackleberry biked the Beach Road from Kitty Hawk to South Nags Head, “pingponging between happy reflections and growing pains.” (The new Jack Brown’s felt a lot like old Mexi’s, but questions swirled about the future of Wink’s.) But there were signs of good things to come, as FoodDrink strolled a growing farmers market scene, and a group of “flowboarders” began shredding H2OBX waterpark’s standing wave. (By 2022, the OBX Flowgang was dominating world championship events in Texas.) By the end, you feel a lot like Mackleberry as she cracked a beer at Fishhead’s: “Life here ain’t all good — but it’s better than most.”

Issue 7.4: Parallel Universe

For Winter 2018’s travel theme, we really let our minds wander. We started by dialing in the Outer Banks’ coordinates — roughly 36°N by 75.5°W — then worked our way east along the 36th parallel, cherrypicking shiny similarities to home the way a beachcomber sorts out favorite, shiny pieces from a shell bed. And we sure found some gems! We discovered pirates and kiteboarders across the Mediterranean. Visited waterfowl flyways over a Tibetan plateau. Toured lighthouses and fish markets on the coast of Japan. Then we talked to Latitudinal Psychologist Dr. Evert Van De Vliert, who not only told us that “north-south differences in culture dwarf southeast-west differences,” but that the Outer Banks’ “cultural pattern” sounds like other islands, “where easygoing cultures prevail” and “people shun both working for money and for achievement.” So, while we may have been traveling, we definitely weren’t tripping.

Issue 8.1:

Ignorance Is Bliss

We never claimed to know everything. Spring 2019 set out to find some equally clueless — make that curious — Outer Bankers whose search for knowledge opened wonderful new worlds. Scultping professor Christina Weisner steered a humansized film cube down the Neuse River. (Today, she helms College of the Albemarle’s Humanities and Fine Arts department.) Matty Hitchcock converted his garage into a rock-climbing gym — he’s since summited Yosemite’s El Capitan. Jamie Daniels’ oversized interest in Sasquatch sightings inspired “the world’s smallest Bigfoot museum” inside Manteo’s Garden Deli. But, for real ignorance, you can’t beat UpFront’s take on housing woes. At the time, we thought Dare’s decision to allow “cluster homes” would be a welcome addition — instead, last year, a Wanchese rebellion forced commissioners to demo the idea after just one development. Meanwhile, loosening restrictions on “ADUs” and “granny flats” has yet to upgrade the year-round rental situation. And while the average prices sounded ridiculously high at the time — $1200 bucks to rent a beach box; $250,000 to buy one — now they sound stupidly low. Proof that we had no idea how good we had it.

Photo: Julie Dreelin

Issue 8.2: Crash Course

Brace yourselves! Summer 2019 readied locals for another huge crush of humans by offering expert advice on how to enjoy the outdoors. Marine Officer Chris Lee suggested less popular boat ramps — and more precise timing. Nags Head Ocean Rescue’s Chad Motz reminded folks to spread out — and stay cool. And the Visitor’s Bureau’s Lee Nettles promoted positive attitudes but also recognized that every beach community has a maximum occupancy: “It only takes so many disgruntled folks to cause headaches.” (You can almost hear the gears turning on the recently enacted Long Range Tourism Plan.) But the real forehead smacker is why we broached the subject of “coastal retreat” in a mag so full of signs that nobody’s budging — from the influx of state dollars to build COA’s new Dare Campus, to another round of beach nourishment for Nags Head. Still, there were signs that attitudes about permanence were shifting, as the NC Coastal Federation was just test-driving its first “living shoreline” to fight soundside erosion with marshy grasses instead of hardened structures. (Duck hopes to complete a quartermile project before Summer ’24.) Meanwhile, the Park Service announced they were sacrificing the parking lot at the frequently overwashed Frisco Pier in order to upgrade access at the more resilient Bath House. But if that’s not “retreat,” what is it? “I’d call it ‘adapting,’” said Superintendent David Hallac at the time. “It’s making smart moves so we can continue to live here.”

Issue 8.3: Un-Civilized

“An Outer Banks fairytale.” That’s how homegrown filmmaker Tyler Nilson’s FirstPerson described The Peanut Butter Falcon — everyone’s favorite, feel-good story of two misfits making their way through marshy coast and sketchy figures with the help of some salty friends and a wee bit of rum. Looking back on Fall 2019, it feels more fantastic than ever, as the rest of the mag revealed a whole bunch of buzz kills. In Southern Shores, snooty types worked to crack down on neighborhood parties via crowd limits and ABC permits. In Duck, oceanfront homeowners literally called the cops to keep beloved local businessman Bob Hovey from reaching the ocean. Thus began a years-long legal battle over beach access that Hovey would ultimately lose — but still has folks scratching their heads. (How can a private beach still get publicly funded sand? And how can a county scream “Free Open Beaches” in Buxton but stay silent in Duck?) It all makes us want to relive Katie Slater and Sam Harriss’ cover story, where a band of scrappy campers chased no frills escapism along Cape Lookout! But then we’d let the villains win. And, as Nilson noted of his own journey from LA homeless dude to Hollywood magic-maker: “You can be a power for good or bad…And the stories we tell become the world we live in.”

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Issue 8.4: Do. Some. Thing.

Winter 2019 was all about positive action. From SHARE’s commitment to fostering Currituck farm animals to Project Glam Girls’ free prom dresses to Ruthie’s Kitchen’s feeding the needy, our feature highlighted folks with a passion — and persistence — for doing good. It didn’t stop there. UpFront detailed how the Outer Banks Community Foundation and local charities coordinated Dorian recovery efforts in record time. (Setting up a framework that would quickly prove super handy during a pandemic.) Fran Marler’s FoodDrink on vegan cuisine probably saved more than a few critters from becoming hot meals. Even Dune Billy promoted good habits, like reading more, picking up hobbies, and spending more time with friends and family. (We’d sure get plenty of those come 2020.) But the oddest donation came courtesy of QuestionAuthority. When some mystery pranksters stole Orville’s bust from the Wright Brothers’ Memorial — for the third time in history — criminal to see how he fared, and how he’d suggest avoiding the Feds. “Everyone was super pissed at me; it would probably be better if they turned themselves in.” The statue showed up within a few days, but, four years later, nobody’s ever been charged. So maybe some goofball deeds do go unpunished.

Issue 9.1: We Have Issues.

We love visual metaphors. So, for Spring 2020’s “We Have Issues” special edition, we figured piling all 35 mags on some anonymous victim was a solid way to depict the collective weight of our long-term problems — overtourism, housing, health woes, and income inequality. Basically, the same things we’d been harping on for the previous nine years. (And the past 17 pages.) We also love flashbacks can you tell? — so, we timed the mag’s release with a retrospective exhibit at Dare Arts, painstakingly covering walls and pedestals with favorite photos, commissioned pieces, quirky swag, and killer props, with an opening night party we were sure would be “the biggest event of the season!” Turns out it was the only event of the season. Within days, the one catastrophe we couldn’t predict — COVID — shut down our show, most businesses, Dare County’s 150th birthday celebrations, the St. Patty’s Parade, and the rest of America. At one point, it even shut down our bridges to all non-residents, making for some epic tales of wouldbe alien invaders popping from trunks during border checks. It also kicked off a hell of a lawsuit by pissed-off property owners who finally lost last year. (Thanks, Supreme Court!) But amidst all that panic came a rare period of peace, as suddenly the streets felt emptier, the beaches cleaner, and — for 45 blissful days in our bubble — none of those other so-called “issues” seemed to matter.

Issue 9.2: Still Free

“…Keep in mind we have no idea what the hell is going to happen.” Can you recall just how uncertain everything was in Summer 2020? We didn’t know if the pandemic was gonna kill a close friend, our tourism economy — or just this here mag. Instead, it led to a tectonic boom in visitation, and only cost us a single issue, as we delayed printing to early June. Even so, our “End Notes” came with an asterisk noting that everything could change, as the virus took its toll on favorite events, from The Lost Colony (cancelled for the first time since WWII) to plenty of late night music. (Luckily, Harrison & Wentz’s Night of Musical Tropicalia captured their vaudeville antics on video form, which kept our ArtisticLicense from being a waste of space.) And our “Save Yourself Feature” helped visitors make the most of more isolated strands by highlighting Dare’s “Love the Beach, Respect the Ocean” campaign. (Last year, the campaign’s combo of text and email alerts received the 2023 Preparedness Award from the International Association of Emergency Managers.) But the surest bet was our “Still Free” feature on all the timeless local activities that stayed within easy reach. (Build a sandcastle! Fly a kite! Drink a beer on the beach! Start a bonfire!) All the things that kept this place a “sick” place to live, no matter what “phase” we were in.

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Issue 9.3: Good Old Daze

Summer was so hectic we lost track of time. So, we created our own season. And “F’Winter” 2020 seemed a perfect time to wax nostalgic, as legendary East Coast surf photographer Dick “Mez” Meseroll shared images and memories from his 50 consecutive years of chasing waves and making friends on the Outer Banks. The result was a love letter to long-standing traditions (shark-fishing), competitive hey-days (remember when the ESA Easterns were still at the Lighthouse?) and local legends lost too soon. (Love you forever, Mickey McCarthy!) Even our QuestionAuthority reeled in the years, as the Croatoan Archaeological Society’s Scott Dawson staked Hatteras Island’s claim on America’s biggest mystery in a brand-new book. (Last year, he opened Buxton’s “Lost Colony Museum” so anyone can see the evidence first-hand.) But it wasn’t all ancient history. Corinne Saunders covered Dare Minority Coalition’s George Floyd rally, reminding us that police violence can impact even the sleepiest towns. (A fact we sadly learned last winter with the tragic shooting of Sylvester Demetrius Selby.).

Issue 10.1: N2 Vessels

Sure, it wasn’t Moby Dick. But Spring 2021’s take on nautical life sure made a splash — at least at the following year’s NC Press Awards, where it took two first prizes: Biff Jennings’ abstract images of maritime moments sailed away with Best Photo Essay, while Terri Mackleberry’s “Wanchese Calling,” a profile series on all the tradespeople who keep the Outer Banks building industry afloat, rang up Best Feature Writing. (It also included a top-secret peek inside the village’s largest build ever — the Hippocampus 2 — a 110-foot catamaran that would end up taking two more years to complete.) Meanwhile, staff photog Chris Hannant relayed a high seas adventure of sailing home from Bermuda — and nearly sinking off Hatteras. But the issue’s saddest story was about the loss of a cultural vessel of 37 years, as we said “bon voyage” to the Radio Shack, which for decades was Outer Bankers’ only source for life-saving essentials from the newest electronics to the latest records.

Issue 10.2: WTF?

Two “long COVID” symptoms you didn’t hear much about?

14 straight months of slogging away, overworked locals were cursing a blue streak. Summer 2021 decided to lighten the mood with a tongue-in-cheek feature on incredulous topics like, “What the F*#k is Bowfishing?” or “Who the F*#k Dives with Sharks?” and “And why the F*#k can’t you eat Ghost Crabs?” (We also ran a long overdue portfolio by longtime Hatteras shooter and 2020’s Hugh Morton Photographer of the year, Daniel “F*#kin’” Pullen!) But looking back, we should’ve been asking totally different questions. Things like, “Who the f*#k eats that much tuna salad?” In FoodDrink, we learned that Billy’s Seafood’s was cranking out 4,930 pounds per season at the time — but post COVID, it’s more like 8,000! Or “When the f*#k did we become psychics?” (Our piece on the threat of climate change being a national like last year’s rash of wildfires and heat waves.) Or, most importantly,“When the ‘f*#k’ will Colington Road be done?!” According to “YewBoo,” it should’ve been finished by Summer ’23. But at press time they were still f*#kin around with the finishing touches.

Issue 10.3: Grow Your Own.

Tasty microgreens. Historic Hayman potatoes. Grassroots dune restoration. All were part of Fall 2021’s botanical bonanza. (We also frolicked through a 70th anniversary photo retrospective on the Elizabethan Gardens — and introduced readers to a community cultivator named Rev. Dr. Michelle Lewis, founder of the Peace Garden Project and organizer of last year’s first-ever Green Film Festival!) But really, Fall 2021 was just an excuse for us to rant about weed. With Virginia approving recreational cannabis — and CBD farms budding up right here at home — we asked NORML to explain why NC keeps “just saying no” when so many states are reaping the benefits of legalization. Two years later, we’re still fuming, as last year the Senate passed the “North Carolina Compassionate Care Act” — which only covered medicinal use for “debilitating illnesses” — only to watch the House’s Republican caucus drop it like a bad roach. Meanwhile, they went ahead and approved sports gambling for the masses. As of March 11, every 21-year-old can bet the farm lose their house. Just don’t let any cancer patients catch a buzz.

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Issue 10.4: Gone Global

How do tiny communities make a world of difference? time. Winter 2021 highlighted local talents whose good works traveled the globe. Surfline’s Kurt Korte went to Japan to give the Olympics’ first surfing event a goldmedal forecast. (For the ’24 Summer Games, he’s off to Tahiti!) Staff photog Mark Buckler led wildlife workshops from Iceland to Africa. Artisan Concrete poured skate parks in Jamaica — and million-dollar pools on Asheville mountainsides. CSI’s Nadine Heck’s local fisheries research resolved conflicts in Bangladesh. (Meanwhile, FoodDrink profiled a melting pot of restaurants fighting local hunger via international flavors.) But there was one question that had us stymied: just how many new residents had landed here year-round? At the time, it was too soon to say, but three years later we have a more solid answer: in 2019, there were 28,892 registered voters; as of last October, it’s 32,970 — 3000+ more people. Of course, that doesn’t account for any residents who passed or moved away — or anyone who turned 18. But in this case, we think it’s safe to round up.

Issue 11.1: Fit For Life

“Make exercise fun.” In a community full of silver-haired surf bums and octogenarian anglers, this so called “secret” to healthy living seemed totally obvious. But for one Harvard professor — and a country of lard-asses — apparently it’s a fitness epiphany. That’s why Spring 2022 worked so hard to flip attitudes from “feel the burn” to “flex your passion,” via an in-depth investigation into the physical benefits of the beach’s most popular “alternative sports” — we’d call them “Outer Banks lifestyle choices” — plus profiles and photos of four “Pictures of Health,” covering elite Coast Guard swimmers, champion youth wrestlers, spiritually balanced yoga gurus, and cross-country cyclists. And guess what? Studies show all these pursuits keep pace with — and even outperform — the average Peloton subscriber. But the biggest lift lay buried deep in UpFront, where we first learned Dare County was set to receive $35 million for “essential housing,” setting up a two-year tug-of-war between commissioners and communities over where to put some seriously massive, multi-family builds, from 45 units (Manteo) to 54 units (Nags Head) to 400 units (Kill Devil Hills). Two years later, nobody’s budged — except to come together for a new “housing task force.” But as they say, “No pain, no gain.”

Issue 11.2: Kaleidescope

Summer 2022 aimed to shake things up with fresh perspectives. time shooters paired abstract images and tack-sharp reflections to create bold new takes on Outer Banks life. A SoCal transplant named Andy Howell tagged the local art scene with a brash new style — and casually launched an Outer Banks brand. (Today, Ghostship Supply Co. is riding the high seas of skate, surf and fishing.) And a married couple with a love for music shared their vision of turning Roanoke Festival Park into a dream venue for local fans — and a must-play stage for national acts — that’s rocking harder than ever. (Who’s ready for VUSIC OBX’s Summer Concert Series to kick off this May?!) But every bold change in direction risks leaving some classic element behind. Just look at our feature on making old-school cottage courts last in a modern age. (Kitty Hawk’s Sea Kove surrendered to progress last season — but we’ll always have Ryan Moser’s press-award winning portraits to remember her by.) Or ponder the work and words of Ray Matthews, who shared a photo of inlet-pocked Portsmouth Island after Dorian. “It’s a tenuous sandbar that can be breached at anytime,” warned the beloved photog who we tragically lost that very July. “I simply urge everyone to appreciate what we have here, and let’s all take care of it.”

Photo: Chris Bickford

Issue 11.3: Stoked

To be honest, we worried that Fall 2022’s super hoot over Outer Banks surf might have claimed too hard. Not for its combo of gnarly photos and passionate memories from inside the culture. Or the profiles depicting how a life in the water can help conquer life’s peaks while dodging its cleanup sets. (All those were totally legit.) It’s the Starting Point that felt overcooked, as we conjured up a fantasy day where all-time conditions, local legends and international talents converged to rival the world’s greatest surf meccas. A day when “any of 100 spots could spit out more epic rides than anyone can remember,” and photogs and filmers would “come back with volumes of jawdropping product dripping with stoke.” Well, dudes, you shoulda been here last fall, as the best tropical season in decades sent swell after swell. “The boys” scored everything from shorebreak tepees to offshore ledges — while average shmoes surfed solo from Corolla to Frisco. Competitors racked up big scores at the Outer Banks Pro and the ESA Easterns — then captured “banger clips” down south. Through it all, the internet lit up with local coverage by home team shooters like Mike Leech, Cal Ramsey, Jeffrey O’Neill, and Cody Hammer. (Surfline went so far as to call Hurricane Franklin one of 2023’s “Six swells to remember.”) And for a few magic weeks, we really were “the very picture of a surfing paradise.”

Issue 11.4: Forces Of Nature

Talk about a sucker punch! The whole goal of Winter 2022’s “No Name Necessary” feature was to remind long-timers — and inform newcomers that, while hurricanes get the most hype, sneaky nor’easters do more regular damage. Turns out the only thing looking to re-arrange the Beach Road was a bunch of recent arrivals along Nags Head’s Cottage Row — including former Senator Richard Burr — who blew into a Nags Head meeting in hopes of cracking down on a neighboring pizza joint’s carryout business because they didn’t — get this — “want to be looking at people chewing their food on a regular basis.” (Never mind that the restaurant was there first; or that the property had been zoned commercial for 60 years.) That issue blew over pretty quick. But when similar voices raged against a potential workforce housing project near Jockey’s Ridge, it stirred up a tsunami of public opposition that sent commissioners running for shelter behind a 150-day building moratorium between the roads from Danube to Hollowell. By March ’23, Nags Head had created a whole new zoning district — “Historic Character Commercial” which wiped multi-family housing right off the map. Meanwhile, staff artist Dawn Moraga’s band, Cor de Lux, took us on a whirlwind coastal tour that only keeps intensifying. (Recent gigs included Norfolk’s Yes festival and an opening gig with Archers of Loaf.) Not bad for a “bunch of untrained musicians who unleashed whatever came out naturally.”

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Issue 12.1: All You Can Eat?

What were we eating in Spring 2023? Our guess is psychedelic salamanders stuffed with hallucinogenic toadstools. How else do you explain the “Dream Cuisine” feature’s concept for a “fantasy buffet?” Here’s how it worked: first we asked staffers to offer up their favorite items from local eateries from apps to salads, entrees to desserts. Next, we picked the right balance of flavors and styles, then served them up over a series of spreads, from Bad Bean’s chowder to Blue Moon’s mussels to Brew Pub’s carrot cake. Finally, we asked chefs and owners to share how they keep lining up year after year. The whole idea now sounds like a recipe for disaster— but at least one person bit: the Food Network’s Aarti Sequeira! (After she read our piece on Greentail’s Hawaiian-style poke, she busted down their door — then bragged about them on Instagram.) But we’re still eating our words from an entry in “YewBoo.” When word rang out ’round press time that the iconic Pioneer Theater was closing, we slipped in a eulogy. Within weeks, though, two local families bought the century-old landmark. Today, the re-vitalized theater serves a yummy combo of movies, live concerts, and the occasional talent show. (And, of course, the best old-school popcorn for miles.)

Issue 12.2: One Lazy Summer

Was it something we said? Following Summer 2023’s StartingPoint a wake-up call titled “How Lazy Can One Beach Town Get?” — we saw a rising tide of community action. Southern Shores locals filled town meetings to stifle a luxury development. Meanwhile, 100+ folks applied to sit on the OBX Long-Range Tourism Management Plan’s Special Task force. (In December, they picked 22 members.) Even Dare County’s Geographical Information’s Systems team worked double-time to release two interactive maps. (A “Bird’s-Eye Viewer” map goes deep into geographical, economic and social demographics; “Unscripted: A Pop Culture Journey” visits locations that have appeared in movies, music, books, and TV.) But the real workhorse in this issue was the six-page tribute to Delbert Melton — metaphorically speaking, of course. Everyone knows that this loveable, larger than life figure, who passed in March ’23, built his legend on four decades of crazy antics, classic stories and a “‘surf first, labor later’ lifestyle” that left everyone shaking their heads. (Often for different reasons.) But while Delbert may have said “I don’t live here to work,” what he meant was “I work here to live.” These days, it’s a philosophy we could all work harder to follow.

Issue 12.3: Wild Life.

Talk about the “picture of humility.” Our original idea for Fall 2023 was to do a portfolio/profile on photog Ed Tupper. But he said, “Why just me? There’s tons of shooters doing good work right now.” Suddenly, we’d adopted a more pulled-back perspective that revealed a whole vanguard of rising talent who shared a love of old-school methods and fresh perspectives, from late night parties to empty lineups, Pea Island nature walks to working watermen. In the process, they weren’t just documenting local life, they were embracing the lifestyle. But it wasn’t all smile fodder. UpFront discussed how improving wastewater tech could lead to a shitstorm of density. Meanwhile, Hannah Bunn West’s snapshot of childcare woes was a wake-up call for every business owner. Both stand as reminders to focus harder on preserving things we love — before this place develops into something we don’t even recognize.

Issue 12.4: The Heat Is On.

It’s a melting popsicle…that looks like an ice cap! Get it? Get it?! Okay — so maybe our last cover wasn’t the timeliest concept for a winter issue. But everyone knows that climate change is less about a single day’s temp and all about longterm trends. And by that measure, the topic remains hotter than ever. Just check this headline from January: “Earth Shattered Global Heat Record In 2023.” Or, recall the NC Rate Bureau’s recently proposed rate hike that would’ve raised coastal insurance rates by a whopping 45.1 percent. (Hate to say we told you so.) Luckily, fired-up residents and local officials scorched the Department of Insurance, who declined the increase and called for a hearing. (Be ready to rage on October 7.) Meanwhile, that whole Kitty Hawk wind farm project should at least help cut carbon emissions one day. And if our last trip to the Food Lion is any indication, for all the yuppification/gentrification of our favorite haunts, hoodies and beanies are still “haute couture.” In fact, the more we reflect, the more we reckon the Outer Banks really is a lot like a popsicle: super cool, somewhat messy, with an endless variety of fun, no-frills flavors. And even when it sucks, it’s still pretty sweet.

Photo: Ed Tupper


gohunt rearview


Typos happen. Words matter.

Treat images with respect.

Shoot loose — edit tight.

Don’t print too dark.

Don’t print too light.

Double-check the byline.

Foster creativity. Crush deadlines.

Hire pros. Force justify when necessary.

Never be scared to cross the spine.

Accepted styles are always a season behind.

Laugh at your own jokes.

Everything gets at least two sets of eyes.

Nothing is sacred.

Nobody gets written off the masthead.

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The In Duck! Sweet Spot
Art by C. Kemp
Waterfront Shops ~ Duck BULK IS BACK!

Feb. 4

To Catch A Thief (1955, Paramount)

Feb. 18 Stardust (2007, Paramount)

My Favorite Year (1982, MGM/Warner)

N.C. Symphony String Quartet & Wind Quintet

March 4

Cape Hatteras Secondary School | Free Event

Forget rummaging through the past. Let’s bury ourselves in current events and future festivities! Start with Elizabethan Gardens’ Little Diggers Workshop, where tykes immerse themselves in hands-on nature play every Fri., from Mar. 1-May 3. (10-11am.) And at-home learners, ages 6 to 12, are invited for Homeschool Mornings on the first Tues. of every month, where topics include Plants vs. Animals (Mar. 5), Flower Power (Apr. 2), and Soil Science (May 7). Discover pricing and details at www.elizabethangardens.org • Surround yourself in acrylic sunrises and serene sailboats, Mar. 1-30, when Dare Arts’ Vault Gallery features watery scenes by Kate Leal. Even better, show up for the opening night reception and, from 6-8pm, you can wallow in the company of local creators. Then skip outside and soak in community spirit, as First Friday’s mix of later shopping and live music fills Downtown Manteo with good-timing neighbors. More at www.darearts.org. • Come Mar. 2, Swells’a Brewing’s Monthly Art Show unveils walls of coastally inspired oils and watercolors by Jackie Koenig. (Opening party’s from 6-9pm.) More into breaking waves? Try one of Willy’s Family Surf Club’s TV Dinners, where stoking surf films and tasty grinds converge every third Thurs. in the offseason — aka Mar. 21 & Apr. 25 — from 7-9pm. Paddle over to www.swellsabrewing.com — or dive into their social media feeds — for details. • Drunken movie stars stumble across RC Theatre’s big screen — and ECU movie prof. Dr. Christopher Plaestrant upchucks behind-the-scenes tidbits — when the Bryan Cultural Series presents Peter O’Toole’s classic comedy My Favorite Year on Mar. 3. ($10; 4pm.) And for more sophisticated shenanigans head to Cape Hatteras Secondary School on Mar. 4, as the North Carolina Symphony String Quartet and Wind Quintet perform a free concert at 6pm. Tune into www.bryanculturalseries.org for more. • “Throwin’ ’bows” more of your jam? Head to Aviation Park the first Tues. of every month for Kill Devil Derby Brigade’s Open Recruitment Nights. From 6-8pm, “Bilbo Smackins, ” “Gutter Girl, ” and other bad-asses teach ladies 18+ plus the basics of roller derby. Please bring: roller skates, knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads, helmet, mouth guard, water bottle, and ideas for your own clever nickname. Limited loaner gear available. Still got questions? Hit ’em up on Facebook or Instagram or email: TheKillDevilDerbyBrigade@gmail.com. • And the hits keep coming for Theatre of Dare with the arrival of The Drowsy Chaperone! This Tony Award winner mixes blushing brides with shady gangsters to create a “musical within a comedy” that keeps audiences in stitches. Runs at their Kitty Hawk playhouse Mar. 8, 9, 14, 15, & 16 at 7:30pm; and Mar. 10 & 17 at 2pm. Find full deets and tix at www. theatreofdareobx.com. • Ready to really perk up? On Mar. 9, head to Jennette’s Pier for the Dare County Special Olympics Polar Plunge, where individuals and groups freeze their nips off for a super cool cause. $50 a pop. Register at www.specialolympicsnc.com. •

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gokite milepost graphiccontent outthere gohunt rearview gosurf end
More information at bryanculturalseries.org Our endowment managed by the
point roadmap
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Film Series w/ Dr. Christopher
(1972, Columbia) Mar. 3
All films are being shown at RC Cinema 1 in Kill Devil Hills Tickets : $10 Pea Island Preservation Society Juneteenth Celebration
Manteo, NC
Free Event 10th Annual Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series With Special Guest August
Sponsored by the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series June 19
Annual Art Exhibition September–October Free Event Four Seasons Chamber Music Series Date TBD/
2024 Free Event Christmas Concert Date TBD Free event
Concerts in Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Buxton, and Manteo Free Events
See what Mr. Kelly’s hiding under his kilt at Mar. 17’s St. Patty’s Parade. Photo: Daryl Law

“Frozen fresh” takes on a whole new meaning at Dowdy Park’s Winter Food Market, Mar. 9 & Apr. 13, as folks brave the elements for the coolest selection of local produce, home baked items, and handcrafted goods. 9am-12pm. See the Dowdy Park Facebook Page for details. • Wanna know what local charities do with all their donated cabbage? Buy a ticket to Mar. 12’s Outer Banks Community Foundation Annual Meeting at Jennette’s Pier, where organizers break down the year’s intake and outflow, while attendees uptake a catered lunch. Find updates and tix at www.obcf.org • Or turn asparagus into action by joining Peace Garden Project’s Volunteer Days, where a little sweat equity fights food disparity and social injustice. (Follow their Facebook page for dates and deets.) And middle and high school students can learn how to spearhead future community efforts by signing up for this year’s Youth Leadership Institute; applications and more details at www.peacegardenproject.net. • On Mar. 14, the final OBX Green Drinks of the offseason invites individuals to share a couple cold ones at Waverider’s — and discuss hot environmental issues — from 6:30-8pm. See who’s speaking — and stay updated on the upcoming fall’s sched. — by following their Facebook page. • Emerald gowns? Teal tuxes? Who knows what would-be prom goers will pick Mar. 14-16, when Project Glam Girls fills Manteo Faith Baptist Church with free festive formal wear in vibrant colors for all genders and sizes. Follow them on Facebook for updates. • Small paintings make a big difference when Mar. 16’s Ocracoke Preservation Society Art Auction puts “mini canvasses” up for sale — then maxes out bidding to support local culture. 7-9pm. Learn more at www.visitocracokenc.com. • Local female photogs are gonna keep giving the Town of Duck the bird — and the dolphin, the bear, and the occasional wild horse — through Apr. 24, as the OBX Women in the Wild Group Exhibit hangs images by Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan, Jacqueline Orsulak, Joyce Edwards, and Eve Turek. Head to Town Hall any Mon.-Fri., 9am-4:30pm. (Excluding holidays.) More at www.townofduck.com. • Can’t wait to kick off St. Patty’s Day Weekend’s festivities? On Mar. 16, race over to Nags Head’s Satterfield Park for the Running of the Leprechauns 5K/10K. Awards for the three fastest times, male and female. And each finisher gets a medal, a shirt and a post-race party to boot! Starts at 8am. Dash over to www.obxse.com for details. • Get tipsy — but don’t tripsy — when Mar. 16’s St Patrick’s Day Weekend 1-Mile Beer Run circles back to the Outer Banks Brewing Station, and up to 100 lushy, leprechaun lookalikes mix 1/4-mile dashes with 10oz. beers. Prizes for fastest runners — and flashiest costumes. Show up and register from 1-1:45pm. At 2pm, it’s time to start chugging. More at www.obxrunning.com. • Talk about lucky! This year’s 33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade lands right on Sun., Mar. 17. That can only mean an even crazier collection of super tight marching bands, super loose spectators, and probably a super slick politician or two. (Hey, it’s an election year.) Post up on the Beach Road, between Bladen and Driftwood, with a cooler and chair, then ogle the outrageousness ’til your eyeballs float. • And when the parade rests — the festivities really step up! We order you to march directly to Brew Pub’s St. Patty’s Day Party — or just stumble to any option from Tortuga’s Lie to Swellsa’ Brewing to Mama Kwan’s to Jack Brown’s…. (Basically any pub is gonna be even more “wide open” than normal). Monitor social media for updates. • Live music supports Waterlife Crisis Pregnancy Center, Mar. 17, when Grace Lutheran Church hosts Grateful Friends: Strings and Things in the Spring. Show starts at 4pm. Find their Facebook feed for more. • On Mar. 23, join Outer Banks Conservationists, Inc. in welcoming a pair of twin opening days. Start up at Currituck Light’s Opening Day, where folks can climb for free from 9am-5pm. Then race south to Manteo, where Island Farm’s Sheep Shearing & Opening Day brings in champion shearer, Kevin Ford, to give the resident flock some classic 1850s looks — plus kids enjoy vintage activities, like butter making, blacksmithing, hearth cooking, wagon rides, and more. 9am-3pm. $10; free for ages 3 and under. Get full details, hours and season passes covering both attractions at www.obcinc.org.

• We don’t know if all those people in tracksuits are ultra-fit — or ultra-crazy — but we’ll be ultra-impressed when the Blackbeard’s Revenge 100 Ultramarathon sends them trudging the Beach Road from Corolla to Hatteras on Mar. 23.

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Wanna join the insanity?! You better act ultra-fast: signs-ups for the 100-mile and 100k divisions both end Mar. 15. Sprint over to their Facebook page for updates. • Rather help engaged citizens swab local streets? Be at Aviation Park on Mar. 23 for Kill Devil Hills’ Trash Attack, where a little elbow grease gives the community a pre-season spit-shine. Find all the dirty details at www.kdhnc.com. • Or just kick back and enjoy a little “Louisiana Hayride,” Mar. 23, as the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts presents Last Date: The Floyd Cramer Story with Grandson Jason Coleman. This piano concert of 50s/60s country and pop classics revisits the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s recording career via live playing, short films, vintage photos — and a family perspective. 7:30pm at First Flight High. Find tix and details at www. outerbanksforum.org. • The planet’s “blue zones” make for a black-tie affair at Mar. 23’s Painting the Outer Banks Blue Gala, where $300 tix — and the right attire — get you inside Duck Woods Country Club for a fancy combo of high times and healthy cuisine, culled from countries where life expectancies are longest. (Proceeds benefit Outer Banks Health’s local wellness efforts.) Too rich for your blood? A very limited number of $100 Late Night Tickets will grant access to food, bevvies and dancing from 9:30pm to midnight. More at www. outerbankshealth.org. • You call that a pow-wow? Wait ’til you see how the Outer Banks’ OG residents partied, provisioned, and promoted medical care, as the Frisco Native American Native American Museum re-opens Mar. 26 — and stays open every Tues.Sun. for the rest of the season. 10:30am-5pm. Details and workshops at www. nativeamericanmuseum.org. • On Mar. 27 at 4:30pm, help welcome Jockey’s Ridge’s Visitors Center into the 21st century as the Community Room Ribbon Cutting reveals a variety of high-tech features. Keep tabs at www.ncparks.gov. • What has dozens of tails — and lays hundreds of eggs? Kitty Hawk Kite’s Fly Into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza!

On Mar. 29-30, head to Jockey’s Ridge, where massive 30-to-100-foot kites will trail across the sky for two full days. And on Mar. 30, hop across the street for a series of small-scale Easter Egg Hunts happening every 15 minutes, starting at 10:30am. Get details, fees — and register early! — at www.kittyhawk.com. • Or bounce down to Elizabethan Garden’s Eastertide, Mar. 30, where families gather eggs at designated stations around the grounds, while contests, games, and vendors cover the Great Lawn.10am-2pm. Free with paid admission. More at www.elizabethangardens.org. • The Soundside Event Site’s a veritable treasure hunt of handmade items and home baked goods on Mar. 30, when Springtime Soundside Market posts up from 12-4pm. (Rain date: Apr. 6). Peep their social for details. • Manteo’s Pioneer Theater’s been scrambling since Jan. to find the best local live acts, from rock bands to solo singers. See who cooks, who cracks — and who lays an egg — at the Outer Banks Got Talent Grand Finale on Mar. 30. 7pm. Follow their Facebook page for updates. • Public displays of reflective freshness and — occasional foolishness — continue Apr.1 at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery’s 29th Annual Artist Self-Portrait Exhibition, where visual creators depict themselves in a wide range of media, while literary types bust out autobiographical prose and poetry. Wanna join the fun? Submit art by March 22 and 23; words by Mar. 15. For more deets, call 252-441-6584. • Mother nature paints the heavens — and we mere mortals reap the rewards — when Friends of Jockey’s Ridge hosts an NC Statewide Star Party at a TBD locale on Apr. 5; and on Apr. 8, check out the Solar Eclipse at Jockey’s Ridge State Park — one of the tallest vantage points in town. Glasses available; first come, first served. See www. friendsofjockeysridge.org for more. • On Apr. 5, Downtown Manteo paints the town red, when First Friday fills streets with later shopping, live music and more than a few to-go toddies. Plus, Dare Arts hosts the 6-8pm opening reception for their Chicamacomico

May 13-18, 2024

Join us for the 2nd annual Outer Banks Soft-Shell Week! It’s a restaurant crawl of culinary crustacean creations. Learn about our local shedders and what crabbing means to the community. Marvel at the magic of deepfried goodness. Visit each restaurant and vote for your favorite dish.

Keep Checking SoftShellWeek.com for Participating Restuarant Updates!

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Shakes Exhibit, where local artists decorate a piece of vintage wooden siding to support 150 Years of US Lifesaving. Sticks around through Apr. 27. See www.darearts.org for info on how to participate. • What’s “Free Hermit Crab Tomorrow”? Find out Apr. 6, when Swells’a Brewing reveals a month-long group show curated by Patrick Berran, and an abstract crowd scurries about from 6-9pm. Crawl over to www.swellsabrewing.com for more. (Or scroll social media for updates.) • Less scuttling — more fluttering! That’s the motto of Elizabethan Gardens’ Butterfly Releases. From Apr.-Sept., watch these winged wonders as they take their first flights — then release your own colorful critter. Limited to 40 guests per session. $25; includes admission. Find tix, deets and more workshops at www.elizabethangardens.org • Summer’s on the horizon! From Apr. 9-25, get your sea legs in shape when the USCG Aux Boating Skills Class offers advanced boating skills and in-depth seafaring techniques on local waters. Runs every Tues. & Thurs. at 5pm at the Southern Shores Fire Dept. More info at CGAUXOBX.org.• Captain a local nonprofit? Just part of the crew? Either way, cruise over to the Outer Banks Brewing Station, Apr. 11, where the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Mission Mixer lets area do-gooders float new ideas in a casual setting. See www.obcf.org for details. • Then set a course for culinary adventure, Apr. 12-14, as OBX Taste of The Beach, turns dozens of individual eateries into a flavor archipelago, where each destination offers something deliciously different — from wine tastings, cooking classes, special multi-course menu presentations — plus fun-filled challenges between chefs. Most events were still TBD at

press time, but we do know the Outer Banks Restaurant Association Chowder Cookoff simmers behind the Outer Banks Brewing Station on Apr. 13, from 11am-2pm. And come back on Apr. 12 for a Five Course Vegan Dinner prepared by Chef Tony Duman, with craft cocktails by Jay Ammons; a Tapas & Beer Dinner on Apr. 13; and a Bottomless Mimosa Jazz Brunch on Apr. 14. Get your tix and details for every event at www. obxtasteofthebeach.com. • Take a break to savor some sick reggae jams on Apr. 12, as VA’s Slick One slides into Jack Brown’s from 10pm-1am. Follow their social media for a full spring calendar. • A world of new flavors awaits under one roof when Apr. 13’s Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival’s 6th Annual Grand Tasting pairs ten local chef’s most creative creations with an endless variety of vino and beer options — plus a silent auction, regional art show and live music — all set against the Waterside Theatre’s gorgeous backdrop, with proceeds nourishing the nation’s longest running outdoor symphonic drama. 2pm-5pm. Prices start at $80 ($35 for designated drivers.) More deets at www. tlcwinefest.com • Silver streaks take gold medals when the Outer Banks Senior Games return, Apr. 15-26. Come cheer athletes in 87 events, from 5ks to disc golf, croquet to swimming to cycling — or take in the art show and community expo. Wanna vie for a prize? Ages 50+ can sign up before Mar. 15 at www.darenc.gov • At-home learners can score a field trip to the 1850s when Island Farm’s Homeschool Day returns Apr. 17. Hands-on history lessons include vintage crafts, skilled re-enactors, and the occasional modern-day farm animal. 9am-3pm. Students receive $2 off the $10 entry; ages three and under may

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Say “Huzzah!” to “free refills” at Apr. 13’s Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival. Photo: John McCord



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enter for free. More at www.obcinc.org • Historical accuracy outweighs aerodynamics at Apr. 19-21’s Flying Pirate Half Marathon, where runners don scarves, puffy shirts, and other buccaneering attire — as they race to beat the pantaloons off competitors. (Also features a 5k and fun run.) Register at www.obxse.com • Slice off a couple days to celebrate coastal heritage when Apr. 19-20’s Ocracoke Island Waterfowl Festival gathers decoy carvers and collectors for painting sessions and carving contests. (PS: race back Apr. 27-28, when the Scallywag 5K/10K & 1/2 Marathon winds through historic roads and past the nation’s second oldest lighthouse.) Step over to www.visitocracokenc.com for deets. • Slow down the pace — and pick up some litter — when Apr. 20’s NCBBA Operation Beach Respect & Adopt A Highway Event posts up at Hatteras and Ocracoke Island access ramps from 8am-12pm. More at www.ncbba.org • Psst! Wanna score some good green for “4-20”? Secotan’s Cool Season Winter Market’s got kilos of kale, ounces of organic mushrooms — not to mention some seriously baked goods. Just show up any first and third Sat. through Apr. 20. 9am-12pm. And, come May, they’re firing it up every Sat. into Sept. 8am-12pm. Get a list of vendors at www.secotanmarket.com. • Or just remember history’s most famous 12-second high without dropping a penny, when Wright Brothers Memorial waives admission on Apr. 20 to help launch National Parks Week. Find deets — and more free days for 2024 — at www.nps.gov • And the sand on Jockey’s Ridge gets super crunchy on Apr. 20, as Earth Fair OBX brings together the NC Coastal Federation, NC Aquarium, Jennette’s Pier, and other passionate planet protectors for a full day of mother lovin’ activities. 1-4pm. Follow Facebook for updates. • And “Hey!’ is for horse experts, Apr. 20, as Grandy’s Betsy Dowdy Equine Center — aka the Corolla Wild Horse Fund Farm — hosts a Spring Open House where curious folks feed the staff questions as they meet rescued Banker ponies and enjoy a free documentary. 10am-2pm. More at www.corollawildhorses.com. • Meanwhile, “woof” is for humans on Apr. 21, as Outer Banks SPCA’s Bark in the Park invites canines and their parents to Jockey’s Ridge for a day of doggy treats, people food, bitchin’ local beer, and howling good times — before the Great American Bark Off begs people to perform their best pooch impression in a battle for prizes. 1-4pm. Find specifics at www.obxspca.org. • What do you mean you’re “not their type”? Don’t “B” so negative! But seriously, all varieties of blood are appreciated at Jennette’s Pier’s American Red Cross Blood Drive, Apr. 22. Just be healthy and show up between 10am-3pm. Follow Facebook for more positive news. (And fewer bad puns.) • Better get your motor runnin’ for Outer Banks Bike Week, Apr. 22-28, as live bands, poker runs, bikini contests, and more will fill local roads with leather-backed Harleys — and taverns go hog wild with hellacious good times. See their Facebook page for the latest rumblings. • Think that sounds like a riot? Wait ’til you see Four Old Broads!, Theatre of Dare’s last show of the season, which follows a quartet of crazy matrons through a retirement home mystery full of unwanted meds, evil nurses and hilarious senior moments. Apr. 26 & 27, May 2, 3 & 4 at 7:30pm; Apr. 28 & May 5 at 2pm. Tix and deets await at www.theatreofdareobx.com. • Top surfers from Virginia to South Carolina steal the show at Jennette’s Pier — and most of the good waves around town — when the ESA’s Mid-Atlantic Regionals return Apr. 26-28, (More at www.surfesa.org.) And circle back May 11-12, as a USA Surfing Prime Event sees would-be pros from around the country battle to make it to summer’s US Championships. More at www.usasurfing.org. • Trash-haters take to the streets, Apr. 27, when Town of Manteo’s Spring Litter Pick-Up beautifies downtown from 10am-12pm. Follow their Facebook page for updates. • And lovers of 60s Motown boogie in the aisles on Apr. 27, when the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts presents Soul of America: A Tribute to the Legendary Ladies of Soul. 7:30pm at First Flight High. Learn more at www. outerbanksforum.org. • Good with a “green screen”? Put the “e-c-o” in “director”? Why not try to make the cut for this coming fall’s 2nd Annual Outer Banks Environmental Film Festival? “Earlybird” deadline is May 1. (With two more cut-offs on June 1 & July 1). Learn more at www.peacegardenproject.net and submit entries via www.filmfreeway.com. • The Manteo good times keep rollin’ at May 3’s First Friday, where friendly neighbors stroll

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about for some evening fun — and Dare Arts fires up a brand new ceramic exhibit by Lauren Evans, Genevieve Stewart, Melanie Westheiden, and Skyla Lamberto-Egan. (Opening reception from 6-8pm.) And come back Sun., May 5, to see dozens of local artists turn up the heat in hopes of winning ribbons at the 27th Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show. Both will keep sizzling ’til June 1. Details at www.darearts.org. • Listen up, slick! Duck Town Hall’s next Rotating Art Show features Oil Paintings by David Beal On May 4, slide in to meet the artist — maybe even commission a piece, from 3-5pm. Or just slip in solo to see to stunning still lifes and portraits any Mon.-Fri. through July 24, 9am-4:30pm. (Holidays excluded.) More at www.townofduck.com. • Sexy curves, polished metal and purring engines make for a weekend of rolling artwork when May 3-4’s OBX Rod & Custom Festival roars into the Soundside Event Site — with pop-up “cruise-ins” at TBD bizzes about town. Find details and register rides at www.OBXRC.com. • Come May 4, park your butt at Swells’a Brewing from 6-9pm, as a bumper-to-bumper crowd welcomes a whole month of art by Marc Felton & John MacDonald — and Raleigh’s The BQs make folks bounce off the walls. (Or more likely, around the backyard.) 6-9pm. Follow updates on Facebook and Instagram • Tequila! Tacos! And trescientos amigos! (Mas or menos a few hombres.) Sounds like a recipe for one spicy Cinco De Mayo at Outer Banks Brewing Station! Follow their social media feeds for the latest news, then be ready to fiesta the evening of May 5. • And starting May 7, Jack Brown’s Service Industry Night gives restaurant workers a reason to howl at the moon, as the Yacht Dogs play every Tues. from now through Labor Day. 10pm-1am. Sniff out more deets on their social feeds. • On May 10, Ocracoke’s British Cemetery Ceremony & Reception honors all the brave sailors who died off our coast during WWII, when the US Coast Guard, US Navy, British Royal Navy, and Canadian Royal Navy — as well as Ocracoke High School — join forces to commemorate the 1942 sinking of the HMT Bedfordshire. 11am-2pm. Learn more at www.visitocracokenc.com. • Entire families “run like a mother” — and raise funds for local charities — when North Banks Rotary’s Nags Head Woods 5K kicks off Mom’s Day weekend, May 11. Main race starts at 8am. Get deets on the Fun Run and other events at www.northbanksrotary.com. • Then dash to the first Manteo Downtown Market of the season, where 50+ vendors create a veritable obstacle course of vibrant flowers, homemade pottery, handmade crafts, fresh produce, and more. Runs every Sat. from May 11 to Sept. 14; 9am-1pm. (Except June 1.) Follow the town’s Facebook page for updates. • Creative streaks nourish young minds — and support future artists — when May 11’s Artrageous Kids Art Festival fills Dowdy Park with imaginative activities, live music and artisan goods. Proceeds benefit Dare Arts’ cultural programming and the Artrageous Youth Scholarship Fund for local seniors seeking a creative degree. 10am-3pm. Find more colorful details at www.darearts.org. • Want proof that helping local families never goes out of style? Be at May 11’s “Couture by the Shore ’24: Sparkle + Shine,” where 10 boutiques strut their freshest fashions

— think Birthday Suits, Foxy Flamingo, The French Door, Sojourn, and Untucked — while spectators enjoy lunch, shopping and a silent auction. And every dollar raised supports the Outer Banks Relief Foundation — a total of $900,000 to date! 11am-2:30pm. Find tix at www.obrf.org or call 252-261-2004. • Local crustaceans peel down to virtually nothing — and local chefs leave zero to the imagination — when

APRIL 12 - 14

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The outer banks restaurant association’s
FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. FOOD. DRINK. FUN. obxtasteofthebeach.com Sponsored in part by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
Ceramic artists like Soundside Pottery fire up Dare Arts, May 3-June 1. Photo: Ryan Moser


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Outer Banks Soft-Shell Crab Week returns May 13-18. Savor area restaurants’ sexiest “softie” tapas — or grab a few bare-naked “bugs” from local seafood markets and make your own mouth-watering, molted affair. Learn more at www.outerbanks.org. • And hearty anglers chase big-ass fish — and even bigger bragging rights — at May 14-18’s Hatteras Village Offshore Open, where proceeds feed Hatteras Village Civic Association’s scholarships for college-bound village residents, as well as charitable causes within the community. Learn more at www.hvoo.org. • Come May 14, bluegrass’ biggest legend, Peter Rowan — aka “Panama Red” — breezes back into Hi Vibe Holistic Listening Room. But with just 100 seats, this may be the hottest ticket in town, so buy now if you don’t wanna get burned! 6:30-9:30pm. Blaze over to Hi Vibe’s Facebook page for details. • The high times continue, May 16-19, when the 52nd Annual Kitty Hawk Flight School Hang Gliding Spectacular draws pilots from all over the country for the world’s longest-running hang gliding competition. This year, expect four days of action at Jockey’s Ridge and Jarvisburg’s Cotton Gin — plus a glider display, video and photo exhibit, and more! Find a full itinerary at www.kittyhawk.com • On May 18, Outer Banks Health’s 3rd Annual Stroke Awareness Walk does laps around Dowdy Park to raise awareness of brain trauma prevention and treatment. (Register at 9am; walk at 9:30am; call 252-449-4529 for info.) And come back May 21, as the season’s first Dowdy Park Morning Yoga starts flexing at 7:30am — and stretches on every Tues. morning though mid-Oct. Follow Facebook for updates. • Then plant yourself at KDH’s Baum Center, as May 18 welcomes the Dare Extension Master Gardener’s 20th Annual Coastal Gardening Festival. This perennial favorite focuses on “plants that thrive and survive on the Outer Banks,” plus garden art, handcrafted goods and refreshments from 50+ vendors, plus children’s activities, educational displays and expert tips. 9:30am-2pm. Free admission; rain or shine. Proceeds support community projects. For more info, call 252-4759245 or email questions to greenlineobx@gmail.com. • Then beat feet to Whalehead on May 22, ’cause Corolla’s Lighthouse 5K/1-Mile Race Series is fixin’ to start its 13th season at 8am — and keeps on running every Wed. morning, all summer long. Learn more and sign up at www.obxrunning.com. • Or gallop over to Grandy’s Betsy Dowdy Equine Center any Wed. morning starting May 22, as the Corolla Wild Horse Fund’s Mustang Mornings lets folks meet the herd, question the staff, and enjoy a free documentary on Banker ponies. 10am–2pm. (Suggested donation of $10 per vehicle at the gate.) And every day’s a good day to cruise by Corolla Village’s free-to-the-public Wild Horse Museum, where 24 informative panels cover everything from the horses’ historic arrival on local shores to the challenges they face today. Visit www.corollawildhorses.org for more. • “Downward dogs” are off the chain every Thurs. am, May 23-Sept. 14, as Outer Banks Health’s Namaste at the Beach kicks off a summer of free weekly yoga classes led by Amy Klauser Bring your water bottle, mat or towel to the north side of Jennette’s Pier at 7:30am. (No

class July 4.) Call 252-449-4529 for deets. • On May. 25, a blazing party of roasted pig, hot auction bidding and cookin’ bands helps fight future infernos at the Ocracoke VFD Fireman’s Ball. More at www.visitocracokenc.com. • And crispy seafood promotes 4WD access, when the NC Beach Buggy Annual Meeting & Fish Fry blitzes the RodantheWaves-Salvo Community Center, May 25. 1-3pm. Find a full calendar at www.ncbba.org.

• Then go “Shake Yer Booty” at Festival Park, May 25, as KC & The Sunshine Band kicks off the Vusic OBX Summer Concert Series with help from the Chairmen of the Board Tix and deets at www.vusicobx.com. • First the good news: National Park Service’s Summer Educational Programming starts Memorial Day weekend! (Head to www.nps. gov for a list of options.) Now the bad news: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will not be open this season — and likely won’t be until 2026 — due to a multi-year renovation project. But the Bodie Island Lighthouse has been open for climbing since at least early May. So stop your whining! (At least ’til you get to the top.) • And don’t forget the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price for this holiday. On Mon., May 27, join the Town of Nags Head Memorial Day Ceremony as they honor our nation’s fallen heroes at Dowdy Park. (11am start; follow their Facebook page for updates.) Then march north to Town of Duck’s Memorial Day Kick-off Concert, where military bands and patriotic spirit rock the crowd starting at 6:30pm. See www.townofduck.com for a complete sched. • You want some real American pride? How about a drama that commemorates our country’s oldest mystery? One that features First Nation actors — and marks the first Yank child born in the New World? Get the full story when the 2024 Season of The Lost Colony opens May 31 — and plays out every Mon.-Sat. through Aug. 24. Find times, tickets — plus details on Backstage Tours and Native American Cultural Pre-Shows — at www.thelostcolony.org. • Stick around Roanoke Island, ’cause the Outer Banks’ second-oldest tradition — Dare Days — returns to Manteo, June 1-2. Full times and deets are still TBD, but you can bet there will be tons of craft and food vendors, music, live entertainment, lawn games, and kids activities — all to celebrate the Outer Banks’ diverse culture and local community. Learn more www.manteonc.gov. • Then watch the visual and performing arts scene hoot-and-holler Down South, as the 12th Annual Rock The Cape returns, June 6-7. The family-friendly fun starts Thurs. with an afternoon of art and live music at Kitty Hawk Kites’ Waves Village Watersports Resort. Then on Fri., local galleries throw open their doors for a day of self-touring called Arts on the Island. Get the full sched. at www.darearts.org. • Keep driving south — jump on the ferry — and you’ll be at June 7-9’s Ocrafolk Festival, where musicians, storytellers, artisans, and local characters deliver one incredible weekend of performances and fun. For details go to www. ocracokealive.org. • And finally, fermented sugar cocktails help float the Beach Food Pantry, when the Outer Banks Rum Festival returns to The Pavilion at Pirate’s Cove Marina on June 15. For tix, visit www.BeachFoodPantry.org or call 252-261-2756.

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Day-to-day life takes on ultra-rich detail when David
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oil paintings decorate Duck Town Hall, May
milepost 63 WITH DAILY DRINK SPECIALS Tiki Bar SPECIALS DAILY Lunch & Dinner Let Mama put a smile onface.your Hwy. 158 in KDH • 252.441.7889 • MamaKwans.com Lunch 11:30 AM & Dinner 4 PM • Call for Closing Times WORLD FAMOUS Fish Tacos
milepost 64 Earth Day, EvEry Day. In April 2008, the Outer Banks Brewing Station dedicated their new wind turbine with an Earth Day celebration. Ten years later, America’s first wind-powered brewery continues to handcraft beers using green energy — while fueling a range of environmental campaigns and education efforts to keep our community and planet cleaner and healthier Come in to learn more about our new campaign to reduce plastic litter. From thE FinEst Dining to thE tastiEst pub FarE. providing culinary diversity and quality service since 2001. brEw platE spEcials. Five tasty lunches For under ten bucks established 2001. Mon: Meatloaf • Tues: tacos • Wed: Wraps • Thurs: priMe rib • Fri: pasta ROCKING YOUR WORLD… One pint at a time. Serving fine beer, good food and fun timeS Since 2001. post Kill Devil Hills, NortH caroliNa makE your bEach Day a littlE coolEr . pint-siZed cans With Full-siZed Flavor available noW. established 2001. 72 tastEbuD roaDtrip. Est. 2001 OUR MENU IS THE PERFECT MIX OF FRESH FLAVORS AND FUN TIMES. PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND MUSSELS ! BREWER’S BUFFALO WINGS ! CRAB BISQUE ! NC PORK BBQ ! LEMONGRASS WhEAt ALE ! ShRIMP ‘N’ GRItS ! KEY LIME PIE ! BEST. BACKYARD. EVER. tHe LocaL favorite for food, breWS and fun Since 2001 CORNHOLE PIT! OUTDOOR DINING! OUTDOOR BAR! PIRATE SHIP! MULTIPLE CHILL ZONES! LIVE MUSIC! NEW STAGE! our backyarD’s a trip Far-out Food and Mindbending beers — all served up With World-class service. SERVING FINE FOOD AND FESTIVE CHEER SINCE 2001. SUPPORTING 50 ISSUES OF SWEET LOCAL JOURNALISM — AND 23 YEARS OF TASTY GOOD TIMES. obbrewing.com CATCH YOU ON THE FLIP SIDE! OPEN 7 DAYS A ComingWEEK! Soon…
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