Red+ Blue+ Plan on having a great “rhyme” at Jennette’s Pier! Fishing, Family & Fun! Event Rentals Meeting Space Summer Camps Gift Shop
startingpoint roadmap Right now the air is 42 degrees. gokite
The sky shivers rain. A strong northerly gale shakes the trees. Just like it did yesterday. Just like it will next week. At least until the atmosphere picks a new favorite track to put on repeat.
What will it be like on March 15? April 22? May 1? Nobody knows. Could be a perfect beach day — or another Ash Wednesday. But chances are you’d still fast forward just to get a taste of something new. The irony? Grant that wish, beam a month or two ahead and stick your head out the window: it still could be 42, windy and wet. That’s the beauty of being surrounded by crazy weather. Good or bad, each new day brings endless potential.
Springtime be frontin’. Photo: Matt Lusk
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Apparently, some folks don’t like that idea. Map out the great modern diaspora of America’s movers and shakers and you’ll find a pretty steady list of reliable destinations. Predictable environments promising all sunshine, all the time. You got your Arizonas, your Floridas, your Hawaiis. And don’t ever forget sizzling Southern California — the land that time forgot — a place where the only way to tell which holiday is happening in that old family photo is Grandma’s bikini. (Red and green means Christmas; star-spangled sequins says Fourth of July).
What you won’t see topping the list of must-have, meteorological criteria is “who the flake knows?” Which is pretty much what we have to look forward to for the next couple months. Will the booties come off next week — or mid-summer? Will the fish bite — or hibernate? Will the sun even bother to get out of bed? These are all questions we’ll hacky-sack around our brains every 24 hours — at least until the work season arrives and our interior monologue returns to thoughts of financial self-preservation.
Tweener seasons are all about shaking things up.
If you don’t live here, that probably sounds horrible. But if you do, it’s actually half the fun. Because along with all that griping and moaning over whatever sucks this instant, comes a bunch of dreamy discussion about all the cool stuff we’ll do the second opportunity strikes. The same way we’ll spend all summer gabbing about how we’re gonna squander our first fall weekend off. Or book a big winter trip smack dab in the middle of an all-time autumn. Because even the good life gets boring after too many perfect days.
And that’s what these tweener-seasons are all about: they’re Nature’s Etch A Sketch. A chance to shake up your current mental situation and start over. To kick apart your sandcastle, spread it all out before you, then carefully put all your piles and sticks back in place. Just like we did last year, and the year before. Because we all need something different every once in a while. Even if it’s the same damn thing. — Matt Walker Thank you for reading Outer Banks Milepost. We hope you’ve enjoyed it. If not — before chucking this issue in the nearest dumpster — please consider one of the following equally satisfying ways of expressing your disgust: Portable torch for spooky hikes. Dunce cap for stupid dating maneuvers. (Or last-minute lipstick remover if you actually get lucky.) Or simply add it to 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: email@example.com. Or light us up on Facebook with your opinions and ideas. We promise to find some way to re-purpose them. milepost 3
“Without change, something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” — Frank Herbert “Change, ain’t nothin’ stays the same, Unchained, yeah, ya hit the ground runnin’.” — Van Halen
Grass slippers. Reader You Brushes & Ink Marcia Cline, Carolina Coto, Fay Davis Edwards, Travis Fowler, Dawn Gray, Chris Kemp, Ben Miller, Ben Morris, Daniel Pullen, Charlotte Quinn, Stephen Templeton Lensfolk Matt Artz, Chris Bickford, Michelle Connor, Amy Dixon, vvvv Lori Douglas, Julie Dreelin, Tom Dugan/ESM, Bryan Elkus, Lauren Feeney, Leigh Hannah, Bryan Harvey, Matt Lusk, Mickey McCarthy, Brooke Mayo, Dick Meseroll/ESM, Ben Miller, Rob Nelson, Crystal Polston, Daniel Pullen, Ryan Rhodes, Terry Rowell, DJ Struntz, Aimee Thibodeau, Laurin Walker, Chris Wilson Penfolk Ashley Bahen, Hannah Bunn, Auntie Em, Sarah Hyde, Fran Marler, Adam Norko, Matt Pruett, Mary Ellen Riddle, Brendan Riley, Corinne Saunders, Clumpy White, Natalie Wolfe Art Director Ben Miller/Bighouse Design Big Mouth In Chief Matt Walker Blame It All On Suite P Inc. PO Box 7100 • KDH, NC 27948 252-441-6203 firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com Outer Banks 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
roadmap gokite milepost “Lighthouse I” by Carolina Coto www.carocoto.com “People think I must get homesick for Costa Rica, but I find the beach here fascinating. I’m in love with the lighthouses, the beach houses — and I’m super in love with sand dunes and those little fences. A lot of my paintings are freestyle, just a bunch of crazy buildings and shapes. Almost a mental collage. Others, like the piers, I might sketch first. My most realistic works are actually photographs printed on watercolor paper. But to me, there’s no fun in painting something exactly as it looks, so I always add bright colors, swirls and circles… some element that makes me smile. And I always do the polka dots last, one-by-one. They’re like Zen meditation for me; like little cherries on top of the ice cream.” — Carolina Coto
Sex And The Sand Bar
Shake it up.
Maternity woes, motherly advice and a birthday bridge. Go Terps!
Are you in good hands? Not if you live by the coast. Island dating is half sitcom, half soap opera and all drama.
GraphicContent If you score high on this test, head straight to the clinic.
MetalMorphosis COA’s jewelry program is transforming local artists one piece at a time.
The Tale of the Buxton Woods Fiddler
One humdinger of a Hatteras yarn. WTF = Where’s the fish?
GoBike Eighteen gears to freedom.
42 44 46 48 51 52
FoodDrink Less Vlasic, more classic.
ArtisticLicense Sweet Carolina.
SoundCheck Don’t stop believin’…
RearView Shooting backwards.
OutThere Gettin’ squirrelly.
EndNotes Future schlock.
LABOR soundcheck OF LOVE
Nothing could be more natural. Except in North Carolina. Here, nature must visit a doctor.
For NC parents, gaining more access to midwives will require some pushing The Universe has been birthing life since the dawn of time. A process spanning billions of years and countless species.
Thanks to 1983’s Midwifery Practice Act, a “non-medical birth” — delivery by a midwife with no attending physician — is not available to parents in North Carolina. While our neighbors in Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee allow Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) to freely perform their advanced practice skills, our state remains one of only five operating under a birth policy dating back to when Reagan was still president and Members Only jackets were still cool.
“In 1983 statutes requiring supervision for CNMs were common,” says Alex Miller from the American College of Nurse Midwives. “But today, almost every other U.S. state has updated policy for CNMs to act independently.” To clarify: home births are not illegal. Midwives simply must find a
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physician to supervise them. That doesn’t mean the doctor watches over her shoulder. Some may write prescriptions. Others agree to be on call in case of emergency. Whatever the relationship, the physician assumes a level of responsibility, which can be a tough sell in our litigious society. As a result, Miller says 23% of CNMs in this state are not able to work “due to the lack of a supervising physician.” Here on the Outer Banks, the number of actively practicing midwives is down to zero. And like anyone who’s passionate about a job but unable to do it, they’re frustrated.
Board of Nursing suggests that “physicians want to contribute their knowledge and avoid emergencies.” It’s a concept CNMs bristle over.
“Midwives are educated and trained to serve as primary care providers for pregnant women and newborns,” says an area CNM who asked to remain nameless. “And in 45 other states, they are held accountable for their medical decisions. But this statute doesn’t even fully define ‘supervision,’ which adds to this perception of vicarious liability.”
It has before. A decade ago, the Outer Banks had its own natural birthing center — until 2003, when they could no longer find a physician to cover them. And the Outer Banks Hospital had a midwife on staff as recently as 2006. But we don’t just have less access to midwives. We also have fewer doctors. In 2002, the phone book listed as many as 20 OBGYNs, many of whom traveled here to practice. Today, it lists three. Whether the recession and a corresponding contraction in resources squeezed out CNMs — or whether it’s simply a lack of will on the part of the medical establishment — remains a topic of debate. And while plenty on both sides say there’s room for both types of care, nobody knows how to make it happen right now.
So why the red tape? The North Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society never responded to interview requests, however, David Kalbacker of the North Carolina
“That’s the other problem with the statute,” our anonymous CNM counters. “It perpetuates the idea that ‘autonomous practice’ means ‘renegade midwives.’ And it’s simply not true. I’ve worked in a lot of practices and midwives always consult, collaborate and refer to their physician colleagues. So the collaborative model works. And it could work here, too.”
“With all the doctors and midwives I’ve met over the past 20 years — both here in the hospital and in my previous practice — I haven’t met one who wasn’t committed to doing a good job for the people of Dare County,” says Dan Dwyer,
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M.D. of Vidant Women’s Center. “And I’m looking forward to continued improvements by the Outer Banks Hospital to provide a home-delivery-like experience in the safety of the hospital.”
Busbey and the great glass shape-n-ator. Photo: Mez/ESM
GROIN TO getactive FIRST PLACE
Until then, Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City offers midwifery care — but that’s an hour drive, one-way, for every prenatal visit. Add another half-hour to visit Virginia’s various facilities. (And good luck reaching them on time if the bambino comes early.) Then again, the CNM we spoke with says there’s a quicker way to give parents access to more natural birth options:
Scott Busbey brings big surfboard-shaping prize home to Buxton
“If Certified Nurse Midwives had autonomous practice in North Carolina, I could apply for a license and open for business. Then the only hurdle would be getting admitting privileges with a hospital.”
My son, Jasper Mack, was born on January 21, 2013. I caught him myself in the loving comfort of our Outer Banks home. For nine months, my wife and I journeyed to Elizabeth City so we could have midwifery care; however, we knew when the big day came we might not make the trip. We would have welcomed the assistance of a certified nurse midwife at the OBH or at home. Instead, the current unavailability of CNMs left us with an untrained Dad playing baby-catcher. Our family’s hope is that future North Carolina parents won’t have to accept the same risks or labor so hard to have a natural birth. — Adam Norko
For updates and resources on how to advance midwifery in North Carolina, go to www.ncmidwives.org.
Looking for Scott Busbey? Try one of three places: the First, the shop or the shaping room. “The First” is First Groin — the best wave in Hatteras if not the whole East Coast. The shop? That’s Natural Art, the Buxton institution he and wife Carol opened in 1977. And the shaping room is where Scott hand-makes his “In the Eye” surfboards. Where you won’t find him is anywhere that involves the surf industry spotlight. At least not until this January, when he went down to Surf Expo — the biggest tradeshow in the biz — and won the 6th Annual Florida Shape-Off. But Scott didn’t do it for the glory; he did it to honor Dave “Davo” Dedrick, a close friend and fellow craftsman who died in 2011. “We were on the surf team together at Cocoa Beach High School,” remembers the 60-year-old Florida expat, who interrupted a snowboard trip to accept his last-minute invite. “I was the one who taught Dave how to glass surfboards, so it’s sort of my fault he got into the industry.”
The Shape-Off concept is simple: organizers pick a legendary boardbuilder, then invite six shapers to reproduce one of his classic designs inside of two hours — in this case, a trademark Davo 9-footer, with a complex combo of “stinger” wings, a deep bottom concave and extreme rocker profile. Best copy wins bragging rights and a cool trophy to keep until a new champ is crowned. The hard part? Using a stranger’s tools in an even stranger setting — a see-thru room surrounded by Expo attendees.
they’re not there, but someone always knocks on the glass and makes a funny face.” Still, when the foam dust settled, the winner wasn’t some Sunshine State superstar. It was one of Dedrick’s homeboys from 40 years ago. A guy who bailed the limelight long ago to cut foam on the edge of the earth.
“I’m not surprised at all,” says judge and three-time International Shape-Off champ Ricky Carroll. “Scott’s an amazing craftsman who deserves way more credit. That’s “That’s what’s most difficult, everyone staring because he’s not in the middle of everything. at you,” laughs Busbey. “You try to pretend But he likes it that way.” — Dale Pelon
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upfront soundcheck THE FREEDMEN’S
TALE: PART TWO
Roanoke Island’s settlement for freed slaves ultimately fails — but is practice for the upcoming days of Reconstruction.
If passion alone was all that was necessary for Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony to succeed, there was plenty embodied in Reverend Horace James. As the superintendent of freedmen affairs, James oversaw five North Carolina contraband camps. The Congregational minister from Massachusetts — and cousin of Elizabeth James, the colony’s zealous, missionary schoolteacher — did not believe in racial equality but was staunchly anti-slavery. His strong evangelical bent comes across in a sermon quoted in Dr. Patricia Click’s book, Time Full of Trial: “Behold civilization and Christianity advancing hand in hand with the ships of our commerce, the representatives of our nationality and the missionaries of our faith.” James’ dream for Roanoke Island’s camp was one of permanence and selfsufficiency. Land was taken from white landowners and parceled out to freedmen families for homes and gardens. Unoccupied buildings — sheds, barracks and ration houses — were transformed into classrooms. Men found jobs building fortifications and docks for the army. Some became Union soldiers. Women worked for enlisted soldiers and officers. But along with education, land and jobs, came challenges. The army could reclaim any of the school buildings for military use. Also, the industries
Left: Harper’s happy portrayal of North Carolina freedmen didn’t quite play out for Roanoke Island. Courtesy: Outer Banks History Center
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The colony built on borrowed land was NOW living on borrowed time.
James dreamt would support the colony — such as fishing — never materialized.
“They are to be driven by starvation from the island,” said Elizabeth James. “Where shall they go? No foot of land do they possess, no cottage in the wilderness.”
While the stewpot of abolitionist thinking and evangelicalism had been cooking in the North for decades, many in the camp did not share the missionaries’ religious or social beliefs. Nor were they willing to adopt them. White soldiers robbed gardens. Rations were reduced, siphoned off and sold for profit. Males of all ages and conditions — including boys as young as twelve — were tricked into leaving the island to do manual labor. Some soldiers were openly abusive.
James’ insights focused on a major area of friction. The freed people labored under the belief that they owned the land assigned to them by Horace James, or that the government would soon grant it to them after the war. It was James’ belief that the white landowners would sell the land to the freed people. His assumption was met with a firm refusal, which would later be supported by President Andrew Johnson.
Nowhere is the mistreatment more eloquently stated than in a letter of complaint co-written by Richard Etheridge and William Benson, soldiers in the 36th United States Colored Troops. “There are men on the Island that have been wounded at Dutch Gap Canal, working there, and some discharged soldiers, men that were wounded in the service of the U.S. Army, and returned home to Roanoke that Cannot get any rations and are not able to work, some soldiers are sick in Hospitals that have never been paid a cent and their familys are suffering and their children going crying without anything to eat.” The men ended the letter: “Signed in behalf of humanity.”
“The people are rapidly moving from the island,” wrote Elizabeth James in a letter. “It is a great labor, and the partings are sad.”
The freedmen eventually rose up to expose poor conditions and treatment by the military. But with no means of support and waning rations, the colony built on borrowed land, was now living on borrowed time.
Special thanks to Dr. Patricia Click, author of Time Full of Trial, The Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony 18621867, whose work offered a wealth of knowledge and primary source quotes. For more information on the Freedmen’s Colony and other Civil War events, visit the Outer Banks History Center.
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The mission eventually became one of relocating the freedmen to the mainland. Colonists who once flocked in great numbers to Roanoke Island in search of a better life began a mass exodus.
By 1867 most of the folk who lived in the colony were gone. A few however, stayed behind and successfully purchased 200 acres of land. Those people and their descendants endured to become contributing members of the coastal community. So while James’ version of a permanent colony failed, the freedom ultimately prevailed. — Mary Ellen Riddle
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Crazy? Maybe. But he’s not alone. Last fall, a Minnesota man named Dave Schneider bought the Diamond Shoals Light Tower with plans to create a research facility 13 miles off of Cape Hatteras. Neither has spent much time on the sea; yet both purchased the towers unseen. (Neal paid $85,000 while Schneider paid $20,000.) And both couldn’t be happier.
“You have five ocean views — in all four directions and down,” says Schneider, who first stepped out on the tower last November. “Where are you going to get ocean views like that for $20,000?”
Diamond Shoals Tower: sometimes the setting outshines the stone. Photo: Russell Blackwood
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In fact, Frying Pan already has hot and cold running water, a microwave, refrigerator and Internet access. The flat top is a helipad, which drains into tanks that store 15,000 gallons of rainwater. Pumps move the water, heated by electricity, for showers. Culligan donates the drinking supply. The rooms are small but comfortable with space for 12 people.
The Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower stands 30 miles off the Carolina coast. Its pilings are entrenched 300 feet into ocean floor bedrock. Built 48 years ago — before the computer age — the 85-foot, oil-rig-style structure has survived storms, hurricanes and Coast Guard crewmen too numerous to quantify. But more impressive than its history to date may be its life to come. “Early on, people asked, ‘What are you going to do with it?’” says Richard Neal, who purchased the tower in a 2010 government auction and is now making it an offshore bed-and-breakfast. “I said I didn’t know. Some said they would be happy to pay for a weekend out there, so I did a survey to see what was fair.”
“It’s kind of like renting a beach house,” he says, “but you can’t go run back to the store if you forgot something. And you’re out on something they’re not going to build anymore of.”
“The sunsets and sunrises are astonishing,” says Neil. “It’s not exactly roughing it.”
Besides volunteer workers, he’s already invited firemen out to practice emergency ocean dives and a Boy Scout troop. Come spring, students and professors from the University of Miami will be tagging great white and tiger sharks. As of mid-January, he has 30 trips sold for 2013. It’s $300 for a “float your boat,” three-day/two-night adventure vacation, $498 if you add transportation (meals and beverages not included).
You think adding a bathroom is a big project? Try converting an offshore light tower.
Buying is easy; converting them is another story, especially when you’re miles out at sea. In fact, the government estimate to repair Frying Pan was about $1.5 million. Diamond Shoals’ was $2.2 million. Neal believes those prices are inflated; he thinks he’ll get the Frying Pan running for $300,000. And he’s already doing it with the help of retired skilled workers and ex-military who are willing to trade hard work for the opportunity to stay on the tower.
Don’t Miss Out on Great New Looks, Only at Untucked! At press time, Schneider was just beginning to make Diamond Shoals a dream facility to test anything from wind turbines to sea power to coatings for saltwater environments to fishing equipment. As the President and CEO of Zap Water Technology, Inc., he’ll be the first guinea pig. (His company makes eco-friendly cleaners using salt and freshwater.) And he’s already getting some bites for other uses, such as climatology research.
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For now, though, his goal is to establish a co-op situation, where companies partner up to donate time, money, equipment or supplies in exchange for use of the tower. One day, he hopes to see Diamond Shoals become “a community center on the water,” where fishermen, divers, kayakers and others can stop by.
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“Just think of the huge deck parties we can have,” he laughs. Despite being miles apart, the two owners consider themselves neighbors. Schneider’s thankful he has a seasoned ally to turn to as he begins work. (He’s currently seeking boats to provide rides to and from the tower in exchange for fuel money, just as Neal arranged for Frying Pan.) And Neal is happy to donate his experience. As unique as their situations may be, they both share a common vision: to transform these former guardians of treacherous waters into shiny beacons for people to work on, play on and just plain enjoy.
Frying Pan Tower: getting slicker by the second. Photos: USCG; Richard Neal
“If you think about it, there are not many things you can do that are as rewarding,” Neal says. “You can join a golf course and pay just as much money — or have an expensive hobby like cars — or you could have a tower out in the ocean.” — Corinne Saunders
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To get involved with the conversion processes — or to just follow the two towers’ progress — go to www.fptower.com and www.diamondshoalslight.com. You can also get frequent updates on Facebook. milepost 11
No football running back just wakes up one day with a Heisman. The successful wake up with one thing in mind every day: making their dream a reality. Your dream is to move to the Outer Banks… well, believe me: moving here will be the easiest part.
getactive Dear Em, Each summer, I take as many Outer Banks trips as possible, and now I’m consumed by thoughts of moving there permanently. I constantly bring this up to family and friends but my wife and dog seem to be my only supporters. (Mainly the dog.) Everyone else says I’m dreaming, that I think life will be a vacation. I do wonder how hard it would be to support my family, but I don’t want to be one of those people who always talks about moving to the beach and never does anything about it. Am I being unrealistic? How can I be accepted into the sun-soaked, salty arms of the Outer Banks?
Sincerely, Boba Matt
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The first thing you’ll learn once you live here is that you have to work really hard. These are barrier islands in a seasonal area, which makes everything a little more expensive, a little less convenient. Those who “make it” — and by “make it” I mean achieve some moderate amount of success beyond mere survival (i.e. a home, a car, a family, the ability to enjoy the typical leisure activities of your average American, including a vacation
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One thing that does have my antennae buzzing a little: your family and friends seem to think you’re subconsciously seeking a world without responsibility? I urge you to consider that You don’t mention what you do for a living, honestly, because if they’re right your life will which leads me to believe you don’t have a unravel fast on the Outer Banks. However, I am career you can’t leave behind. Your writing a big believer in paying close attention to those shows you’re educated and communicate whispering voices in your head and heart. well, which is a big asset to any employer. But In the end, the people who “make it” here They are there for a reason: to help guide you understand that survival is as much about this isn’t a world of white-collar jobs. There toward a rich and beautiful existence. And gumption as it is economics. We are at the aren’t a lot of big companies that stay open naysayers often speak not out of concern for year-round and carry large payrolls, and mercy of the wind and the weather, which is a you and your family — but out of fear that they reminder that we only have so much control the few that do are mostly in the Vacation will never live their dreams. Rental market. Most employers own bars and over anything. This ignites a burning flame to take care of business so that when September restaurants and shops. Skilled tradesmen find work once they’re connected to the right comes — and the light is golden and the water Love Always, builders. So, depending on your previous is warm and the crowds are thin — we can Got a life question for Auntie Em? Concentrate very, drive south with friends, sit on the beach and very hard and maybe she’ll pick up on your brainwaves. work experience, living here may mean count our blessings. multiple jobs — including jobs you don’t like. Or just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org elsewhere) — are either incredibly bright, incredibly resourceful, incredibly creative or some combination of the three.
It might mean starting or buying a business. It will most likely mean your wife will have to work, too, if she doesn’t already. And it will definitely mean scratching through wintertime, which is much scarier and lasts longer than any sun-soaked and salty summer vacation.
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Bonner Bridge is born, weighing in at 2.4 miles long and 65 feet tall (clearance above the mean high water mark)
Approximate population of Hatteras Island at the time of completion
Population according to the 1980 census
Population as of 2010
The Bonner Bridge turns 50 this year — here are some milestones from its long and glorious lifetime
Number of cars to cross the bridge in 2006 — modern estimates put the annual average at two million
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Number of years it was expected to last at construction time
Number of years we’ve been waiting for a replacement
4: getactive Current safety rating (on scale of 1-100)
Length of span, in feet, destroyed when struck by a runaway dredge in 1990
Days it took to repair the damage, at a cost of $5.6 million
$4roadmap million: Original cost of construction
Amount spent on NC 12 since 2001, including maintenance, construction, repair and storm damage
Estimated price tag of constructing the 2.8-mile “short bridge” replacement
Estimated cost of maintaining the short bridge and NC 12 through 2069
$569-$629 million: Estimated price tag of the proposed 17.5-mile “long bridge” alternative bypassing Pea Island
Tax revenue generated by meals and occupancy on Hatteras Island in 2007
Number of miles Oregon Inlet has moved south since forming in 1846 (an average of 66 feet per year)
Estimated life expectancy in years of new bridge upon completion (in 2015)
Year existing bridge is scheduled to be demolished, with a portion left behind as a fishing pier
Stats compiled from the following sources: www.outerbanksvoice.com, www.islandfreepress.org, www.wikipedia.org, www.replacethebridgenow.com, www.census.gov, www.buildthelongbridge.org, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
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upfront soundcheck A seasonal tally of recent events and their potential impacts
WHEEL OF FORTUNE? Nags Head amended height and lighting rules to temporarily allow a 55-foot Ferris wheel this summer. Nostalgic Dowdy’s fans say, “Something fun for teens to do!” Fun-loving teens say, “What’s a Ferris wheel?” + 1
HUGE PROPS Feds officially opened waters off NC to wind energy. Proponents see a way to protect tourism dollars from offshore drilling; critics complain that turbines six miles off Kitty Hawk will compete with stunning views of power poles lining the bypass. + 3
WHITE OUT Let this be a lesson to nonvoters and straight-ticketers. After a monthlong recount, Stan White lost his senate seat by just 20 ballots. Sure, he was a good ol’ boy, but he was our good ol’ boy. With a 3317 GOP majority, expect none of Basnight’s pro-Dare deeds to go unpunished. - 3
DREDGE REPORT Tempers flared. Washington flailed. And Oregon Inlet filled up before a “Sandy Bill” freed $9 million to dredge. With no permanent solution in sight, County assembles an “emergency task force” to seek funding and destroy opposition. - 1
OPEN FOR BUSINESS In the wake of last fall’s WE’VE GOT WOOD! Excitement levels jam-packed seafood festival, the Tourist Board peaked with news that Raleigh’s “Theater trashed all talk of an enclosed conference in the Park” founder and “Christmas Carol” center to keep the Windmill Point site wide Director Ira David Wood III will direct this open to outdoor events. Locals rejoice! year’s Lost Colony. Will Scrooge fans get a (Then immediately resume bickering whether concerts or carnivals make more sense.) + 2 winter encore? + 1
NIGHT-NIGHT, CURFEW A single graffiti incident nearly wiped out all summer fun when Manteo nearly passed an 11pm curfew for anyone under18. Luckily, Mayor Daniels broke the 3/3 tie to kick off the jackboots — at least until another hoodlum decides to play tag. + 1
CSI: SKYCO UNC’s Coastal Science Institute completed construction of its permanent state-of-the art campus. Eager students look forward to a bustling facility filled with research opportunity. Lonely locals look forward to year-round college babes. + 2 TOTAL: +6
For detailed reports on each of these stories and breaking news on a daily basis — plus page after page of local discussion — visit www.outerbanksvoice.com.
BATS#!T COMMENT OF THE MONTH!
“People say it’s not patriotic if you don’t vote, because it’s your right to vote. Well, it’s your right to own a gun… go get patriotic.” —James C. “Semi-automatic rifles becoming hot commodities,” Dec. 31, 2012 milepost
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N.E.S.T. needs you, because sea turtles need help
Beach erosion. Boat props. Plastic bags. Increased development. Throw in some hungry ghost crabs and it’s easy to see how sea turtles remain an endangered species. That’s why the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles works hard to ensure every Outer Banks hatchling reaches the sea — and every injured adult gets back. We asked N.E.S.T. President Karen Fitzgerald to explain how we can make life a little easier for our hard-shelled neighbors.
MILEPOST: Baby turtles are pretty ugly. Must be hard finding volunteers. KAREN FITZGERALD: We actually have more members than ever … around 300. In summer they cover 60 miles of beach each morning looking for nests; others monitor at night to educate people and make sure the hatchlings get to the water. There’s a dedicated stranding response team. A core group at the aquarium does rehabilitation. But we can always use more; this summer we only had two monitors some nights.
How many hatchlings in the average nest? Twenty? Thirty?
Between 100 and 120. And they all bubble out in about 10 minutes and head toward the ocean. That’s why we call it a “boil.” When you’re only two inches, the Gulf Stream is a long journey, so we make a little runway, smooth out the footprints, scare off the crabs. But just one in 1000 will live to sexual maturity, so the odds are really against them.
And that’s where the training comes in. Exactly. We start in spring with ATV and nesting response training. In fall it’s rehab. But we always need help with fundraising and PR. This winter we took in 40 cold-stunned turtles in two weeks — and each turtle costs between $300 and $500 to rehabilitate. Thanks to the aquarium, in a couple of years we’ll have a newer, larger research facility where people can be even more hands on. And the more volunteers we have, the more turtles we can save.
How are they doing overall?
It’s hard to say. Last year, we had a record 26 nests, but they only nest every few years. And they don’t always come back to the same spot. A couple years ago, we recorded the longest distance ever traveled for a leatherback. That’s cool.
It’s really cool. They’re very endangered — and very big. About the size of a VW bug [laughs]. We watched that nest every night for two weeks. But it’s fun. You meet a lot of people. And once you see hundreds of little turtles bubble out, you’re hooked. Care to help? Fill every sand hole before leaving the beach. Take home all chairs and tents. Kill oceanfront lights after dark. And anytime you see a stranded turtle, call this 24-hour hotline: 252-441-8622. Then go to www. nestonline.org for the full list of training dates and opportunities, plus nesting, stranding and rehab updates. milepost 17
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NC-20’s Willo Kelly explains why the insurance game stays rigged getactive against coastal homeowners — and what you can do to protect your
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When it comes to insurance, Outer Bankers get the short end of the stick. (Or the long end of it, depending on how you look at it.) And we get hit with it repeatedly.
Just ask Willo Kelly. As president of the coastal lobby NC-20 — and government liaison for the Outer Banks Homebuilders’ Association and the Association of Realtors — she’s poured over countless documents and policies for the past five years and two previous rate increases. In the process, Kelly has determined what you may have already suspected: insurance companies use hurricanes and suspicious models to hike up rates along the Atlantic, while keeping them low everywhere else in North Carolina — even though inland counties suffer greater losses and file more claims. For 2013, the rate bureau requested another 30% increase, triggering a hearing by the Department of Insurance. It was while reading the paperwork that Kelly found more than just confusing boilerplate. She found vindication.
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“All you had do was read the first page,” she says. “‘Filing suffers from significant deficiencies’; ‘pervasive lack of documentation’; ‘data is so questionable that a proper evaluation of this filing, including its various components and methodologies, is obstructed.’ Basically everything we’ve been saying: that the whole system is flawed.”
With the homeowners hearing set for June, we sat down with Ms. Kelly to find out just how things got so out of whack — and why coastal residents keep getting whacked worst of all.
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MILEPOST: I think everyone assumes insurance is always going up. How is this rate filing different from 2009?
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WILLO KELLY: Insurance is the business of risk — you give me ten bucks, I’ll cover you for a thousand. In the past, the risk was spread over a period of time, say 10 to 20 years. Today, insurance companies are investment companies who pay out every year. When markets are bad, they need to find ways to make more money. So they’ve been raising our rates more often, and they raise them to the maximum catastrophic risk.
Now, the insurance lobby wants you to feel sorry for them because they’re supposed to have suffered these tremendous losses the past few years. But even in 2011 with Irene and all the tornados in Missouri, total catastrophic losses in the U.S. totaled $35 billion. And the truth is they have more than $580 billion dollars sitting in a pot of money called “policy holder surplus.” So is that the money they should have on-hand to pay out in case of a loss? In theory. But I had an insurance guy tell
(PER $75K AMOUNT
N.C. HOMEOWNERS BASE RATES
HOW SCREWED ARE YOU?
The rates for 2013 look pretty painful — at least for coastal residents. Check the chart — then grab your ankles.
$1522 $1379 $1295
• COASTAL CURRITUCK, DARE & HYDE • COASTAL BRUNSWICK, CARTERET, NEW HANOVER, ONSLOW & PENDER
• INTERIOR DARE, HYDE, PAMLICO, CURRITUCK • RALEIGH & DURHAM • CHARLOTTE
me, “That’s not ‘policy holder surplus’, that’s ‘shareholder dividends.’”
$578 $438 $358 $351
which was $330-some million dollars — twothirds went out to buy reinsurance. That’s 67 cents of every hard-earned dollar that went to pay for reinsurance overseas.
Sounds almost like a Ponzi scheme: they take your money and use it to pay other people. Which is what we think of as our You said it, I didn’t. And then they came up with another great product called “reinsurance.” hurricane insurance. Why is it called the “Beach Plan”? What’s that? A separate wind and hail policy can only be written through the North Carolina Insurance They’re these huge investment companies Underwriters Association. It was created in Germany or Bermuda who say to your in 1969 to allow for the development of insurance company, “Give us money and oceanfront properties. But if you look at we’ll cover your catastrophic risk.” And where the 195,000 policyholders are, it’s the interesting thing about reinsurance becoming more of an eastern North Carolina is: insurance companies own and invest wind pool. That’s the problem: insurance in reinsurance companies. The situation is a business that — although they’re very has gotten so out of hand that if you’re a customer of Farm Bureau, they spend 40% of similar to a utility — they can pick and choose where to write polices. And they’ve their premiums on reinsurance costs. And in eastern North Carolina, 66% of what we paid decided that since the market’s bad and they don’t need our money to invest, they’re into the Beach Plan in premiums in 2011 —
not going to cover our catastrophic risk. So, they service the policyholders and earn a commission, but the money is pooled separately in case of a loss. Every company writing in the state also has to belong to the NCIUA. And for years when there were no losses, the surplus was distributed to every insurance company — whether they wrote a policy in eastern North Carolina or not. So, they don’t have to build up a fund in case of a future disaster, either?
Rates filed for 2013
said, “We are a ticking time bomb, we don’t have money in case of a new loss.” But it’s no time bomb. In 41 years of the Beach Plan — from 1970 to 2011 — we paid in $2.2 billion in premiums; cumulative losses only totaled $784 million. Are there any companies still writing wind policies? Or is everyone included in the Beach Plan?
Nationwide was one of the last companies to write wind and homeowners policies Not until 2009 when the law changed. Before together. They’re not writing any new that, it was divided up by market share. policies that include wind. They’re also dropping their current wind polices and In 2006, they paid out $41 million. So, if a company wrote 1% of the market share forcing them to go into the Beach Plan. And the problem with forcing people into the of policies in the state, it got a check for Beach Plan — or “Coastal Property Insurance $410,000 — without ever having to write a Pool,” which it was renamed in 2009 — is policy in eastern North Carolina. Over 20 people in our state think we’re getting this years, the Beach Plan paid out $130 million. Yet in 2008, they came to the legislature and great deal and we have this special insurance milepost 19
questionauthority upfront soundcheck getactive startingpoint How can you tell when your insurance company’s lying? Their lips are moving. (Just kidding.) But even an honest policy discussion can be totally confusing. Keep this glossary of terms handy for your next conversation.
Homeowner’s Insurance: Mandatory for anyone with a mortgage, this policy protects your dwelling and contents from fire and other hazards — except wind, if you live on the coast.
Beach Plan: For coastal property owners who can’t secure it from their regular supplier, the NC Insurers Underwriters Association offers “wind and hail” (aka hurricane insurance). Currently, the “wind pool” is responsible for 195,000 homeowners policies in 18 coastal counties.
Dwelling Value: The amount it would cost to rebuild your home in case of total loss right now; does not include the land value or future inflation. This dwelling value also determines your deductible and monthly premium. Coverage: The maximum payout on any policy; for homeowners, companies pay up to the total amount of loss and no more (i.e. if you’re insured for a $500k dwelling and it only costs $300k to rebuild, you only get $300k).
Deductible: Amount of loss that the policyholder pays before the insurance kicks in. For NC’s Beach Plan, it’s a 1% of the dwelling value for any losses due to a named storm. Three named storms = three deductibles.
Rate: The amount determined by the Department of Insurance per $75,000 coverage based on where you live.
Premium: The amount you pay your insurance carrier each year; this number is determined by applying the rate to your home value. Claim: The process of using your insurance to receive payment for a loss. Exposure: The total risk an insurance company or industry is carrying in case of a “total loss.” (i.e. what an insurance company would pay if everyone filed claims at once). Includes dwelling, personal property, loss of use and other structure values.
Risk: What you take every time you expose yourself to an insurance company.
just for us. But the truth is, when the investment market is good and companies want our money, other residents have the ability to shop around for better wind policy rates. When we go into the NCIUA — when we are forced into the NCIUA — we pay the maximum rate plus 5% for wind-only policies and plus 15% on full coverage homeowners policies. Because it was supposed to be a market of last resort and they wanted to encourage people to shop elsewhere first. So we’re paying more . . . To keep their costs down. But people in inland counties don’t know that. They believe their premiums are going up because of people on the coast. But their premiums go up not because of the rates — which haven’t really gone up at all in Charlotte and Raleigh — but because the insurance companies apply an inflation rate factor to your policy every year. And they’ve gotten so greedy that instead of 2% or 4% it’s going up 10% to 12%. So after five years, your $100,000 dwelling value says $150,000 even though it still only costs $100,000 to rebuild — maybe $110,000. And that’s the number they use to determine your premium and deductible. It’s also how they model their catastrophic risk. So when they say North Carolina has a $74 billion loss potential based on the risk in the wind pool, it’s totally inflated. What were the total insurance claim estimates for Hurricane Sandy? $25 billion?
So they bill you for coverage, then use that money to cover their own risk and add that cost to your bill, then try to find ways to back out? I had a friend who used to say, “If you want to make money, use the other man’s money.” That’s what this is. But insurance is a critical component of our economy. Without insurance you can’t get a mortgage. So it affects affordable housing, financing, everything. In Florida, insurance went up so much the market value of their homes dropped. How does this happen?
Politics are heavily involved here. We’re the only state that still has a rate bureau made up of insurance representatives, which sets the rates. We’re one of 11 states that have an elected insurance commissioner — who gets money for his campaign from the insurance industry predominantly. I’ve likened it to an energy commissioner getting all his money from Exxon. And the commissioner is basically the Almighty — once he makes a decision you can’t challenge him. We have basically proven almost unequivocally that the insurance commissioner has kept the rates low in other parts of the state [while raising them on the coast]. Between 1993 and 2009 on the Outer Banks, our rate per $75,000 of territory went from $578 to $1379. That’s up $800. In Charlotte they were paying $351 in 1993; in 2009 it went down to $344. Next year, they want us to And then when you try and file a claim, pay $1793 — in Charlotte it’s $377. Why? your deductible is so high it’s not worth it, Because that’s where the votes are. or you find out you’re not covered. And — as evident in New Jersey and New York — that’s when the federal government has to step in and bail these people out. After Hurricane Andrew, insurance companies paid almost 80% of losses. After Katrina it was down to 60%. We’ve shifted from homeowners paying a premium every year and knowing they’re covered to “let’s see what we can either back out of or make you pay more for.” I found it interesting that in Alaska damage from snow melt is not covered [unless you have a specific policy]. In California or Nevada, it’s earthquakes. At one point they were considering not covering wind-driven rain for hurricanes in the Beach Plan. What is a hurricane if not “wind-driven rain”?
But their total number of policies is higher, so the risk is spread, right? They’re getting more in premiums, too, but we still don’t have the losses to justify this [type of increase]. From 2001 to 2005, in the Outer Banks portion of Dare County, for every dollar we paid in for five years only 6 cents paid for losses. And in inland areas, every policy that paid a dollar, 22 cents paid for losses. It’s an easy sell to the General Assembly that our rates should go up because we live on the coast. But general statues aren’t supposed to look at the risk of hurricanes; they’re supposed to look at catastrophe. And we’ve more than proven that catastrophes hit the entire state when you look at actual loss numbers. Nationwide
g 30!!! We’re turnin said their largest one-day loss ever in the state was not from Irene — but a 2011 hailstorm in central North Carolina. There’s actually a wind overlay map that shows the entire state is susceptible to 200mph winds. There’s a whole separate part in the mountains called a “special wind zone.” Those people don’t pay any more.
and the majority of it went to paying for reinsurance. If we pooled just half that money together, we could more than cover Katrina, three times over. Why not appeal to Raleigh’s financial sense? Or do some sort of PR push? Don’t people realize that without service workers we won’t have the infrastructure to support the tourism industry?
And we don’t have the population density to produce enough votes to make We’ve argued that point. But you’ll have a difference? more people come out and say that you’re Even if we networked and came together in a fool for living here. That’s so sad. But that’s the 20 coastal counties, we’d only have 8% the sentiment I’m hearing from people. of the voters. From what I hear, next year 16 And they’ve been — I don’t want to say [inland] counties will have 60 percent. brainwashed — but the perception they have is that we don’t pay our fair share. They think So what can people do between now and everyone here is from Pine Island and we’re the hearing in June? getting some great deal. But the people who live here aren’t wealthy people. And we’re Will we even see June? The commissioner getting to the point where we’re going to could settle with the rate bureau before we even get there. That’s what they did with the force people out of their homes, and the only dwelling rates in November. The Department one who benefits is the insurance industry. of Insurance determined that the current So what can the average person do? dwelling policy rates should go down 11% The first thing people should do is call their to 30% and denied the rate filing. The Rate insurance agent and say, “I want to reevaluate Bureau appealed, so instead of going to my dwelling value.” When you first get your court, the commissioner settled. policy, they plug numbers into a software Did they split the difference? Did he give program — square footage, number of them half of what they wanted? windows, type of foundation, upgrades — and say this is your cost to rebuild right now. No. He basically gave them everything If we were to do an “auto correct” across all they wanted. In Dare, Currituck and Hyde homeowners’ policies, there would be a huge Counties on the barrier island we currently shift down in companies’ overall exposure pay $477 per $50,000. They wanted $619; and a huge decrease in premiums and he gave them $597. So instead of 28%, he gave them 25%. This situation shows just how deductibles. So, if you can save $500 a year in premiums or $2000 on your deductible, that’s flawed the system is. the way to go at it first. But with the politics But it seems hard to believe that no one in behind all this — with the money being spent the assembly understands that insurance by the insurance lobby — we are fighting an companies are screwing people. enormous uphill battle to effect change. And if you want to take the discussion beyond the Well, as long as it’s the people on the coast, scope of insurance, it’s, “Where is the state’s it’s fine. The bottom line is we need to find a commitment to coastal North Carolina?” better way to manage our catastrophic risk, Because from a consumer perspective, we’re because when we suffer damage, it affects the whole state. The whole state can be at risk backed into a corner and we’ve got nowhere to go. And no way out. — Matt Walker for hurricane damage; why not a statewide hurricane deductible? Or why not take that money we’re spending on reinsurance and allocate it to a catastrophe pool and keep the money in the state? Should we look at multi-state compact? Because, since 2006, $8 to $20 billion in premiums was collected each year by these various state wind pools,
1983!!! s it e k li y t r a P
The preceding interview was edited for space, flow and clarity. For a complete transcription of the full three-hour discussion — including more on reinsurance, inflated exposure values and how wind pools work in other states — go to www.outerbanksmilepost.com.
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From “The Dating Game” to “Bachelorette” — “Three’s Company” to “Entourage” — the highs and lows of single life have kept viewers enthralled for nearly 50 years. But you don’t need a TV to enjoy some offbeat romance. Just tune into the next table on any given Friday night. Or your neighbor’s driveway come Saturday morning. Or a friend’s cell phone when it rings up two texts simultaneously. That’s the beauty and the bane of our boudoir-sized community. Even the most happily married couple gets sucked into the daily soap opera of who’s hooking up? Who’s breaking up? Who can’t make up their mind? Or — perhaps most pressing of all — how can you find a decent mate? “It feels like there’s a lot more singles right now,” says “Samantha,” a mid-30s mom who divorced two years ago. “But it’s still not any easier to find someone. And that’s a big part of the current conversation.” With that in mind, we talked to eight different unattached individuals, from barflies to church chatters, subdued young studs to prowling MILFs. Some split up in the past six months; some have dodged the altar for 20-plus years. And while they may admit that looking for love is equal parts sitcom and tragedy, none say it’s hopeless. It’s just all part of the Outer Banks reality show where things rarely go as planned and — like it or not — we all play a role.
Photos by Chris Bickford & Julie Dreelin Words By Matt Walker
WELCOME TO SMALLVILLE
“Once you’re ‘out there,’ you start to realize how small your world really is. The other day I waited on a guy who was on a date — and we’d gone out two weeks before.”
So how small is this place really? At last count, there were 12,423 unmarried people living in Dare County. That includes every divorceé, widower and plain-old swinging single between the ages of 15 (gross) and 105 (even grosser). That’s a pretty tiny talent pool. Kind of like attending a small college — one where nobody ever graduates and everyone belongs to the same fraternity. “You can’t date your ex’s friend. That’s a given,” says “Ari,” a native 23-year-old who’s never been married. “And once you date one girl, three of her friends won’t have anything to do with you. Not because you did anything wrong, but because they don’t want to cross their friend.”
In the Outer Banks version of “Entourage,” everybody’s got your back — and gets in your business.
And that’s the real issue: we’re not just super small, we’re super close. One failed encounter can have serious ripple effects, removing entire cliques from your list of suitors. The longer you live here — the more people you meet without making a match — the more your dating pool evaporates. “When you first become single it’s crazy because everyone hits you up instantly,” says “Miranda,” who split with her boyfriend in the past six months. “I had like six dates in two weeks, but none of them turned into anything. So after two weeks it was done.”
WINTER RE-RUNS “I’ve observed this annual behavior where, around late fall, everyone
settles in with someone for winter. Then in spring they break up to get ready for summer.”
Can you blame them? After surviving the dating Sahara of an Outer Banks offseason, summer isn’t just a tempting oasis; it’s a water park of slippery fun and twisted behavior where thousands of half-naked playmates pour in every week. Too bad it’s a mirage. Because while they’re getting buck wild, we’re stuck working behind the counter. And if you do crash into someone special between shifts, you’re both probably too busy partying to build anything serious. “Summer’s great for hooking up,” notes “Vincent,” who’s had two real girlfriends in the past ten years. “But that’s about it. Meeting a girl three times and making out in her hot tub is no way to start a relationship.” Before you know it, the park’s closed. All those cute lifeguards have gone back to school. Your ice-hot Russian bride’s bailed for the Motherland. And anybody who can’t harvest a fresh relationship from fall’s final days runs straight for the most immediate source of winter comfort. “Everyone has their cuddler,” says “Charlotte,” a self-professed marriage-phobe at age 50. “Someone to watch TV with on Sundays or take to a holiday party. But they know it’s only going to last three months before the next season. And that just keeps them all single.” milepost
OBX OR TMZ? “It’s hard just to focus
on who you’re having dinner with because chances are you’ve slept with the server — or the bartender’s her brother. No matter where you go, you’re gonna hear about it.”
Remember the parlor game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?” That’s life on the set once you date locally. Except everybody’s Kevin Bacon — and there’s no separation. “Probably the most awkward thing is hearing about your own hook-ups over and over again,” says “Eric,” one of several single guys in his late-20s social group. That’s the big difference between the Outer Banks and Hollywood: at least the stars respect each other’s privacy. Here, each local celebrity is also a card-carrying member of the paparazzi. And whether it’s late-night nookie or morning coffee, every nugget of information becomes part of the 24-hour local news cycle for critics and fans to pick apart. That keeps singles movie star sneaky and scared to commit — and even more confused about their current status. “It’s like, ‘What are we doing here?’” laughs Samantha. “Are we friends? Friends with benefits? BFFs? You don’t even know if you’re in a relationship — until you see it on Facebook. Because that’s when it’s officially public.”
IN SEARCH OF...
“It’s just such a small scene, and such a revolving door of people, there’s no real way around it unless you import.” “Import.” It sounds so exotic. But the truth is, looking for love off the beach is often the easiest path to domestic bliss. Not only will you increase your odds of meeting someone, the distance allows couples to determine their own situation before the rest of the world has a chance to chime in — and forces people to get to know each other before hopping into bed. “I spend a lot of time on the phone and online,” says “Johnny,” who’s given up local bars for social websites. “It’s a great way to figure things out before rushing into anything. And even if we don’t hit it off, maybe she has a friend.” But meeting someone is only half the battle. Then you have to convince them to move. That’s the tricky part. Because for every import, there’s an export. And it’s harder to transplant to our shifty environment than most anywhere else. “Sure, I’ll go out in VB,” Eric admits. “But I’m still not looking for anything serious. Because what’s more likely to happen: that a girl’s gonna find a job down here? Or that I’ll find myself having to move up there?” milepost 25
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AND NOW A WORD FROM DR. PHIL “When I give
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advice to my clients, I tell them to stop looking for love. Instead, do the things you love to do. And in the process, you’ll meet people with similar interests.” Dr. Kathleen Brehony isn’t single. But she is a clinical psychologist who’s helped with relationship issues for more than two decades. Her main suggestion? “Make conscious decisions.” That includes staying patient and avoiding rebounds. Getting intimate with a person’s brain before exploring their body. And identifying and breaking bad patterns. “If you’re always with a guy who’s goodlooking but not so responsible,” she says. “Or it’s always someone controlling or with an alcohol problem or a roving eye, then that’s not bad luck; that’s something you’re doing. And you need to address it.” In other words: focus more on knowing yourself — and less on finding that perfect match. The good news? If you already know you like living here, then you’re already in a good place to meet the right person, both physically and emotionally.
CAST OF FRIENDS
“People always tell me, ‘Get the hell out, you’ll never meet anyone on the Outer Banks.’ But I love this place. And I want to meet someone who loves this place, too.” One. Of the eight singles we spoke with, that’s how many were willing to leave town for a shot at love — and he was also actively locking down a girl and a job. The rest would rather face a lifetime of romantic pratfalls at home than move to places where the odds of finding a partner may statistically improve, but don’t guarantee you’ll be anymore fulfilled.
“The city is plenty of fun if you just want to be shameless,” says Vincent, who spent more than a decade in New York. “But there are a lot of lonely people packed together; millions of them who just wander around and keep to themselves. Here, there may be fewer people, but everyone’s aware of each other. There’s a real group consciousness.” Truth is, if you haven’t bailed by now, you’re already in a committed relationship with a big, sexy hunk — it’s just a big, sexy hunk of sand. And while the strongest marriage can end in a second, this love affair is rock solid. For worse — and for better. “Yeah, this place is small and everyone’s recycled,” admits “Carrie,” who just separated at 40-something. “And, yeah, everyone gossips too much. But it’s not like everything sucks. I mean, I’ve got good friends who are all great people. So I may be single, but I’m definitely not alone.” milepost 27
Am I In A Relationship? Between the blur of blind dates, easy summer hookups and long, , , hard winters, it s hard to tell if you re with someone for real - or just real quick. This handy quiz may not help you find a mate, but it might help you define your Facebook status. 1. How well do you know your love interest’s bedroom? a) I helped choose the decor. b) Extremely well... through night vision goggles from a legally mandated distance of 500 feet. c) I remember the ceiling fan blocks the mirror. d) You mean he/she has a bedroom?
2. Whenever you bring someone home from a bar, they usually... a) Kick the babysitter a few extra bucks for being so late. b) Kick out the car window and run to safety. c) Kick open the door and drag you upstairs. d) Kick the previous night’s partner out of bed.
3. When you look at your married friends, you sigh and think... a) “It’s about time.” b) “Maybe someday.” c) “Did I really sleep with them all?” d) “Did I really sleep with them all last night?” 4. “I love you” is to your vocabulary as... a) Spice is to life b) Snow is to summertime c) Grease is to wheels d) Kryptonite is to Superman 5. In this day and age, practicing safe sex demands… a) A constant diet of Cialis and romance novels to protect your chances of getting lucky. b) Constantly clearing the history on your roommate’s computer. c) Constantly erasing texts/phone calls to cover your tracks. d) Constantly checking your bed frame for structural damage. 6. The best kiss I ever had was... a) Back on the day we first met. b) Back in elementary school. c) Backed up in a stairwell below the Exit sign. d) Back to front then front to back.
7. Conversations with someone of the opposite sex most likely include the following phrase: a) “I like Josh for a boy’s name, Sailor for a girl.” b) “What an interesting name — is ‘Beatitjerk’ Scandinavian?” c) “Sheila, right? Wait! I mean Anna! Anna!” d) “Have you met my friend Mr. Sanchez?”
10. If my romantic situation were outdoor recreation, it would be... a) Surfing: one person, one ride. b) Bird watching: the second I see something of interest, it flies away. c) Hunting: bag ‘em and tag ‘em. d) Offshore fishing: I don’t leave the dock without six willing partners and a cooler of beer. HOW YOU SCORED: a) = 1 point b) = 2 points c) = 3 points d) = 4 points 11 points: Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Plover! You may be the Outer Banks’ last remaining “breeding pair.” 22 points: Don’t feel so bad. Plenty of 19th century lighthouse keepers were just as lonely. 33 points: Slow down — having a relationship does not mean having relations with the whole ship.
44 points: Five easy words: “KDH Bathhouse. Midnight. Be there.”
When playing the local dating lottery, it’s best to lower your expectations. Pick eight qualities that your future partner must possess — one from each pair — and see what you give up in the process.
good looking OR great personality
car OR drivers license
ambition OR compassion
place to live OR money for rent
self-confidence everything you’re looking for OR self-control OR ready to commit
sober OR fun-loving
Hot and heavy – or hitched for life? Use this mix of seismograph, love detector and dictionary to get a firm read on your current situation.
9. If my love life were a menu item, you would find it under... a) The usual b) Self-serve c) Warning: contents extremely hot d) Specials change daily
GER N A R T S S TOTAL UAINTANCE ACQ AC SUAL NTER A B Y L FRIEND LIRTER F T N E U FREQ YING SPARKS FL BOOTY CALL NEFITS FRIENDS WITH BE HOT-AND-HEAVY
8. Which song best describes your sex life? a) “Roll Over Beethoven” b) “One Hand In My Pocket” c) “Sneaking Sally (Through the Alley)” d) “Gangnam Style”
IN A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP JUST MARRIED HAPPY LOVING COU PLE FINISHING EAC H OTHER’S SEN TENCES OL’ BALL AND CHAIN ROUGH P ATCH ON THE ROCKS TRIAL SE SEE YO PARATION UR AS TOTAL S IN COU RT STRAN GER
METAL MORPHOSIS COA’s Jewelry program is turning would-be artists into established pros, one piece at a time
Words by Hannah Bunn • Photos by Crystal Polston
J e w el ry f rom top l e f t: Ca m m i e H a l l , L a inE Lio nhe a rt, Wa rre n C rowde r, Pe m Brya nt a nd Er in J ohn son • Photography: K at hryn Osgood milepost
It starts with a spark. Flint scrapes the steel rasp inside a handheld striker, setting the wheels of the workshop into motion: kilns, torches, soldering irons, drill presses, anvils, even crock-pots. Everywhere, students inside the College of the Albemarle’s studio pull red-hot forged metal from the cinders, firing powdered glass into glossy enamel and meticulously crafting pieces of metal jewelry. “When you first approach the torch you think, ‘It’s not going to work; I’m going be the one person who can’t make solder flow,’” muses up-and-coming designer Laine Laughlin, who creates work under the name LainE Lionheart. “And then it does and you feel like, ‘Okay, this is what I was born to do.’ It’s like magic.” The magic of transformation. In 2005, COA’s Professional Arts program began as little more than a nugget of raw potential, sharing space with the Department of Transportation back in Skyco. Today, the academic gem shines brightly from inside the picturesque new Professional Arts Building on the shores of Shallowbag Bay’s Roanoke Island campus. Walking the halls feels less like a trip to campus and more like a museum tour. Occupations like Boatbuilding, Welding and Ceramics stand on display inside large classrooms, the tools of their trade neatly staged and waiting behind the glass. Step upstairs and you’ll find the jewelry studio’s collection of desks and pegboards — plus a bunch of packed workspaces. All signs of a program that’s knocked off the fire scale and sprung from the flames a brand-new phoenix. “We kind of cover everything,” says Kathryn Osgood, assistant professor in the Professional Crafts Jewelry program. “Metal fabrication, soldering, casting, enameling, different ways to put color on metal, working with alternative materials. So we really encourage students to find their own voice and their own style.” This day, it’s the advanced production class. A tight-knit yet diverse group sits around a table lit by the sun. Behind them are workstations equipped with hand tools, lighting and goggles. Before them lie nearly finished collections of work from the past semester awaiting critique, plus a collection of books and catalogs of world-class artists. Osgood, their sensei, sits at its head. She is quiet and mild mannered, the type who would never put herself on a pedestal — though her students can’t help themselves. And rightfully so. “They chose Kathryn out of all the enamel artists in the world for this catalog,” says Denise Turner, student, busy mom and owner of her own jewelry business, Ultraviolet Gems. “She is a big deal, but you will never hear it from her.” Osgood came to COA in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Southern Maine, a Master’s in Fine Art from East Carolina University and a whole lot of street cred. Besides being featured in that particular catalog, Rio Grande — one student calls it “the bible of all jewelers” — her work is also in The Art of Enameling, The Art of Jewelry: Wood and other publications. The group takes turns passing around various pages with her work. Someone puffs out their chest and makes a rooster’s crow in a show of pride for their instructor. “Her imagination is so vivid,” remarks Lionheart, who also serves as President of COA’s Professional Crafts Club. “And then you meet her and she’s like a placid lake. It’s all hidden in her mind. But her work is super intricate and wonderful; it brings to mind Tim Burton.” With Osgood’s guidance, and a vast array of tools and techniques at their fingertips, the 20-plus students at the table are now able to forge their own pieces. Each student’s collection carries a theme, employing the use or suggestion of flowers, feathers, animal prints, arrows, leaves, fire, the ocean… you name it. “I’m doing a Voodoo/Santeria kind of thing,” says Warren Crowder, who you might sooner expect to see at a metal concert than a metal class. Crowder began working with wax carvings after some experience in woodworking, but he finds the two translate nicely. He holds up intricate skulls and figures slated to be molded and cast for his final collection. milepost 31
“I’ve got some toes and little talons, as well,” he says. “LainE actually brought me a turkey foot, because real friends bring you dead animal parts.” Lionheart’s smoldering collection, entitled “In the ‘lina Fire,” features antlers and feathers incorporated with earthy metals like copper, brass and steel. She considers the repurposing of the fallen creatures as a way to honor their sacrifice through art. And she has no problem finding materials.
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“I’m getting really good at talking to people about what I need,” she laughs. “I just tell all of my friends that hunt, ‘I need animal parts.’ People are pretty excited to donate found objects. They become a little part of your work. And it works out for me because I don’t have to do any of the yucky stuff.” The end results are far from yucky. Crowder’s detailed pieces are fanciful and a bit sinister, bringing to mind the whimsy of the bayou or La Dia De Los Muertos. Lionheart’s collection is brazen and warm, which you might expect coming from the spirited redhead. Her pieces look like something that would grace the strong features of a modern-day Pocahontas. Meanwhile, at another workstation Pembroke Bryant spreads out a few pendants and cuffs, animal prints on bright metals, and shapes that call to mind all that slinks or stampedes through the tall grasses of the savannah. “For my production, the challenge was not using sea glass,” he says, moving aside a selection of the wave-tumbled treasures. “So I’m doing kind of a safari theme.” A noted local sea glass guru, the owner of Sea, Sand & Hand can source rare, sandblasted specimens of red and blue from all over the world. For Bryant, the classes offered by COA have helped to improve and expand his techniques as he follows his passion. “I was mentoring at-risk kids and just kind of tinkering with my jewelry,” Bryant explains. “Then I got laid off a few years back and couldn’t find work. I decided, ‘If I’m ever going to do it, now’s the time.’ It was the best thing that ever happened.” His classmates can appreciate Pem’s seize-the-day attitude. They may be retired teachers, nurses, clinical lab scientists and hospitality workers, but they’re also artists seeking a chance to break conventional career paths. Some hope to start up a business, while others plan to transfer to ECU or elsewhere to further their studies. But whether working or aspiring, being able to share a workspace pushes everyone to pursue their dreams. “Having a professor like Kathryn is amazing in itself,” says Turner. “But this program is just the best experience because you’re able to bounce ideas off 20 different people who are all doing what they love.”
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Last winter at COA’s Christmas Show and Sale, the Professional Crafts Club featured its members’ original pieces for sale. They raised more than $400 through a raffle and silent auction for Children at Play, the Outer Banks Children’s Museum, which flooded during Hurricane Sandy. They were also February’s featured artists for the Dare County Arts Council. Between shows and club events — like their trip to the American Craft Show in Baltimore — students re-up for classes in the spring and fall, building their skill set, developing their style, and getting a world-class education without leaving home. “You grow up hearing that artists are poor and it’s hard to make a career,’” says Lionheart. “But you don’t have to stop or relocate your work just because you’re on the Outer Banks. This gives us an opportunity to produce real work that’s ready to sell. It’s like having training wheels to get out into the world of artistry.” Back in the studio, the group wraps up their table meeting. The students pack away their pieces while Osgood offers encouragement for the next idea. All of them leave the class with a renewed sense of purpose and a vision of more promising futures. “I’d like to see more programs develop,” says Osgood. “This is a budding building, but I could see it full of people… full of artists.” Why not? The spark’s already there.
Burning passion meets hands-on training. Lionheart demonstrates the tricks of the trade.
THE TALE OF THE BUXTON WOODS FIDDLER
Told by Danny Couch • Interpreted by C. White Art by Ben Miller • Photography by Daniel Pullen
y Just in time for storytelling season comes a well-worn piece of Hatteras history
This story begins with a stone. From this stone, springs a tree — and a tale. A dark fable rooted with deep history and winding branches. Twisting your sense of reality. Surrounding your imagination to tunnel back to a forgotten time and a path thick with limbs of oak and juniper. An overgrown road from long ago, in a place we now know as “Buxton Woods…”
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Now, when I was a boy of 15, all the kids had dirt bikes. And the cops all knew we had dirt bikes. So we did our best to stay out of sight. One February day, me and Don Meekins and the boys were riding down on the south beach — not far from where the Lighthouse is now. We’d spent all afternoon chasing seagulls, racing in the flats and causing general mischief. So much so, I hardly noticed the sun was starting to sink. I couldn’t take the street without getting a ticket — or at least the third degree from Dad — leaving me one option: Flowers Ridge Road. This was still the mid-‘70s, well before Judge Flanner came and built the first house. Before they tore up the old unmarked cemeteries near Clarence Jennette’s campground, unearthing belt and shoe buckles, bones and skulls. But even so, we kids were scared of that particular piece of woods. Not just because it was an ancient Native American footpath. But because we’d always heard it was haunted. Still, I’d missed supper once already. And the thought of my father howling scared me more than any ghost. So, without so much as a “see ya, fellas,” I hit the throttle and tore off. “If I can just make it through before it’s completely dark,” I thought, “I’ll be all right.” Sixty seconds later, I swerved left at the gravel road and punched into the forest at maximum speed. There was still enough daylight left to cast shadows through the branches that loomed overhead, striping the gravel and dirt with eerie splotches. But not so much to see which splotches were mud puddles. The first one I hit soaked my jeans and stopped the bike cold. I jumped off, hopping mad and cursing. Crouching down to check the coil, I looked up and spied an outcropping of cedar spiking just off the path; centuries-old planks marking some of the island’s earliest graves. A few yards beyond were stone markers of Civil War soldiers and other ancestors of high standing. That’s when I heard the sound of music — and remembered the story the old timers used to tell: the story of Hezekiah Farrow... milepost 35
If you think winters are long here now, try living in 1858. Back then, no more than 800 people occupied the towns between Chicamacomico and Trent — or what we call Rodanthe and Frisco. The few who did were all God-fearing and proper folk. Instead of keg-parties, they had candy pulls. But if there was any fun to be had, a fiddle player was on hand. And in Hatteras, Hezekiah Farrow — or “Carr” as he was called — was the fiddle player of choice. Charming, popular and terribly talented, for 42 years — wherever young people laughed and courted — chances are Carr Farrow was playing.
In late 1857, a young woman named Miss Angeline held a party to welcome her beau home from sea. His schooner, the St. John, was bringing coffee to Baltimore when the captain took ill in St. Kitts, which waylaid him for weeks. The young couple had only met once, but the more she waited, the more she’d come to worry they’d never meet again. She swore that if he returned and asked for her hand, she’d say yes. He did. She agreed. And, of course, since Carr had played the first two key occasions, he was sure to play the third. By the morning of February 19, 1858, the bride’s home was all abustle. The family had spent all week preparing for the ceremony, assembling a wide assortment of salted meats, preserves and homegrown vittles. They’d even gone so far as to make fresh yaupon tea. Her mother and sister had handpicked the leaves; her father and brothers had filled a huge hole with fire and ballast stones, then cooked the product over a piece of super-hot tin. By the time they finished chopping and dicing, all that remained was a fine powdery dust. Brewed with fresh rainwater, it yielded a bitter, black elixir buzzing with caffeine. It wasn’t sinful like whiskey, but those with a taste for it always smiled with closed lips to keep their stained teeth secret. Meanwhile, Carr was tending to his fiddle. Being his sole source of income, the instrument was both a necessary tool and prized possession, and he treated it as such. First he polished the wood. Next he put on fresh “catgut,” strings he’d personally twisted from the bowels of an old steer. Finally, he tuned it perfectly, cased it gently and made his way over to the ceremony; roughly the same area as Indian Ridge Road. Halfway there, he met his cousin. As it happens, Carr’s cousin also played fiddle — mostly in Trent — but he had hopes of building a name in Hatteras, which was closer to his home and more prosperous. “Where you be headed, ‘ol shun?” he asked Carr. “I’m off to play fiddle at Miss Angeline’s wedding.” “Well,” his cousin replied, “Perhaps you might be willing to let me take a turn. I’d sure love to play that fiddle.” “No,” said Carr. “I think I’ll play tonight — and any night hereafter. But if you start walking now, you just may make Trent before the summer dance season.” Carr stayed just long enough to enjoy his cousin’s stung expression, then sped off at twice his usual pace.
Danny Couch and Carr Farrow — two local fixtures with fascinating stories. milepost
Huffing and puffing, he reached Ms. Grace’s house just in time. The bride was red-faced and glowing. The groom, just back from four months at sea, even more so. All told, no more than 20 people stood in attendance, but they still packed the tiny house. Some even peered in from the rickety porch, despite the blustering cold. No sooner did the couple say, “I do,” did Carr pick up his fiddle. And no sooner did he strike the first note, did someone shout, “Play the ‘ol Virginia Reel!”
Six pairs immediately lined up on opposite sides, with the bride and groom taking the role of head couple. Everyone took a turn — stepping to the middle, retreating and joining again — locking arms and spinning with dizzying glee. Whenever the newlyweds came close together, the women giggled and the men arched their eyebrows. And whenever they galloped down the center beneath the arms of the other couples, the entire house cheered. With each new song the cheers grew louder. And with each round of cheers Carr played faster. Sawing and bowing with blinding speed. So much that he hardly noticed the faintness in his head. The shortness of his breath. Or the tingle in his arm. Neither did anyone else. In fact, nobody even realized the music had stopped until they heard the fiddle hit the floor — followed soon after by the crash of Carr’s falling body — and the screams and gasps of all in attendance. The men rushed to his aid, but there was naught left to do but close the man’s eyes and seal his curled, black-tooth grin. So they lined up once more — this time to bear the fiddler’s dead body back over to his father’s on Flower Ridge. A few days later, Squire Farrow held a service outside his home, where Carr laid in his finest clothes, holding his fiddle and facing east for the first sign of the Angel Gabriel and the day of reckoning. They were about to lower the pine box when Carr’s cousin stepped forward. “Uncle,” he said, “I know Carr loved that fiddle, but it seems a shame to bury such a fine instrument when another family member could carry his memory.”
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The father was moved. And the cousin pulled the fiddle from under Carr’s arm and tucked it beneath his own.
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From the first plucked note, the cousin’s playing sounded sweeter than ever. And with Carr gone, his popularity grew with every performance. Within a few weeks, he’d stopped traveling to Trent entirely. Soon after, he was asked to play his first wedding. Of course, he accepted. But this time when he went for his fiddle he found the case empty. Stolen — he presumed — by some traveling waterman who was now flaunting his prize somewhere across the Pamlico Sound.
“Gone forever,” he sighed, as he slammed the case shut. “Lost to a course life of ports and rum.” That night didn’t go well. The cousin’s fiddle came off more sour than ever, sending everyone home early. On his way out, a fresh March gale began blowing southeast off the sea. He quickened his pace toward the shelter of Flowers Ridge, muttering and cursing his misfortune. The limbs overhead creaked and scraped, growing louder with each step, until he came to the home of his Uncle and the stone marker of his dead cousin. Only then did he realize, it wasn’t the trees he was hearing. It was the sound of the fiddle. Not just any fiddle, but Carr’s, sawing out a sorrowful march in the exact style and tone of its original owner. The cousin dropped the case and began running and didn’t stop ‘til he got to Trent. Which is exactly what I did, too; like a gunshot at a track meet, pushing my bike as fast as if it were running full speed. Many have heard the same song on windy nights over the past 155 years. Con Farrow told me she heard it herself back in the ‘30s. People will still try to say, “it’s just the breeze in the trees.” But I know what branches and twigs scratching together sounds like; and I know the sound of an organized tune. I could whistle that tune as well as the day I heard it; and that day was February 19, 1974. That’s the neat thing about stories. As they pass from year to year — from mouth-to-ear — each teller adds his own twist and turn. But there’s always a factual story hidden somewhere behind it. And if you go looking, you’ll find that kernel of truth. In this case, it’s a hunk of marble off of Flowers Ridge road — a headstone with the name of Hezekiah E. Farrow, the Fiddler of Buxton Woods.
A Hatteras native, Danny Couch fell in love with local lore while listening at the knee of various neighbors, old-timers and ne’er do wells. On May 3-5, the first-ever Hatteras Storytelling Festival will commemorate this tradition by hosting a range of nationally recognized names and local favorites. Learn more at www.hatterasyarns.org
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No matter how well you know fishing, you’ll never know everything “Get up. You’re going fishing.”
That’s how my husband dragged me out of bed last Veterans Day. We’d just endured a week of harsh weather at the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Surf Fishing Tournament and I had all intentions of spending my holiday sleeping in. But on the Outer Banks, when your fishing buddy says, “Best conditions ever,” you forget about sleep and hop in the Jeep.
Driving over the dune we saw dozens of smiling anglers lined up in the swash zone, landing jumbo-sized specks. I threw on my chest waders, wedged between two laughing friends and immediately hooked up on a tasty, keeper-sized puppydrum — then released it instead of running to the cooler. I was convinced the bite would stop any second. But it never did. Not once.
That day, hundreds of locals and a few diehard vacationers fished until dark and still left ‘em biting. The next morning? Nobody caught a thing. By 7am we were packing our cars, shaking our heads and asking the same old question: How can the fishing be so good one day, and done the next?
Center and 40 years running the sport-fishing boat “Fighting Lady,” he’s come to the following conclusion: “Water temperature controls everything.” It’s a theory most anglers agree with and one that’s gaining increasing support in the scientific community. Today, with the focus on climate change, researchers are paying more attention to fish behavior. This January, a NOAA study showed warm-water trends are moving gray snapper farther north across the East Coast. “Temperature is a major factor in shaping the distribution of marine species,” writes Jon Hare, lead author and scientist at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. “Some species will be positively affected… while others will be negatively affected. There will be winners and losers.” Which means fishermen will win and lose accordingly.
Stokes isn’t just an avid surf fisherman; he’s a local legend. And with 60 years spent working at Oregon Inlet Fishing
Wind can push warm water onshore in a couple of days. A hurricane can rearrange the whole map in an instant.
Of course, fishing is not all about long-term global patterns. When you live this close to the Gulf Stream, a strong wind can push warm water onshore in just a couple of days. A change in bottom contours can shift a good hole a few hundred yards. And a hurricane can rearrange the entire map in an instant. Ask Duval what the biggest weather factor of the past six months has been, and she’ll tell you a combo of Sandy and three successive nor’easters. Ask Sam Stokes, and he’ll say the same. “Sandy may have pushed a lot of the fish further south,” he suggests. “The storm created a lot of beautiful sloughs on our beaches, but the fish were not there.” And that’s the other thing both the science and fishing communities are sure to agree on: there is always some kind of fish some place, you just have to figure out what kind and where. And even when we do figure it out, there is always that lingering feeling we might be missing something. “There are definitely more studies looking at big picture questions of why fish are biting from year to year,” says Duval. “And the thing I think we all share — climate science people, fish science people, commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen — is that as much as you think you know everything going into it, you can still be surprised. There are no slam dunks.” And no reason to stop guessing. So what’s in store for spring? A warm January has diehard trout guys hoping for a repeat of last year’s solid run. And with fairly consistent offshore numbers, Captain Stokes is cautiously predicting good catches of tuna and dolphin — while adding a few catches of his own.
You can see that concept playing out locally. Two years ago, a freezing winter produced an insane striped bass season — but killed so many speckled trout the state shut down the harvest. This year, the water’s warm, the trout are back — and “Mother Nature always has a way of making fish populations the rockfish are nowhere to be found within three miles of disappear and come back again,” he says. “So you have to be the beach. prepared for anything.” — Ashley Bahen
“I am a big believer in cycles, but it’s hard to tell,” offers Sam Stokes, slyly. “Fishing’s just a guessing game really.”
“The more fishermen I talk to, the more of them say anecdotally that there are species moving further north,” says Michele Duval, special assistant to the Director of Division of Marine Fisheries. “Summer flounder’s another example. But I’ve also heard that boat captains are catching more red snapper, which most folks think of as more of a southern Atlantic fish. So it works both ways.”
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LET’S ROLL! endnotes
Local cycling enthusiasts don’t need a specialized bike route — but they just may get one Spring Break parties. One-night stands. The inevitable drunken “Let’s hit the beach and watch the sunrise!” All of these remain Outer Banks rites of passage for locals and visitors alike. But while you’re dealing with the misery of a pre-dawn rejection — or hopping in a cab to avoid the walk of shame — guys like Doug Potter, Charles Hardy and Robert Netsch are already moving at full speed. Burning off a whole day’s worth of calories before your head hits the pillow.
like a marauding band of ninjas as they move silently and swiftly on their fine-tuned stealth machines. With bikes that cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, the frames alone are worth more than some cars — and they’re driven with the skill, speed and commitment of Formula One racers.
“We decided to do it early in the morning because of work,” says Hardy. “But it’s become more than just a daily workout. After a ride, your heart rate’s going, your metabolism’s working; I’m 59 years old and I’ve never been in better shape.”
They call themselves the 5:30 Crew. For the past seven years, this loose assortment of cycling enthusiasts has met each weekday before dawn to pedal 18 to 30 miles. Even in February, with the temperatures close to freezing, you’ll find educators and contractors, lawyers and entrepreneurs standing in the Southern Shores Food Lion parking lot, illuminated like a movie set in the silent darkness. Decked out in helmets and masks, gloves and shoes, the Crew looks
“Stick with me,” says Potter, a Nags Head Elementary School Teacher. “Stay on my wheel. Tuck in your knees. Get low…” And go. In the summer when weekly visitors join the fun, the peloton — or pack of riders — can swell its numbers from under five to over 20, reaching velocities of 36mph because of prevalent tailwinds and drafting. Of course, the average speed for the 5:30 Crew is around 22 mph, but that’s still fast on a bike. As in Beach Road fast. Which is where you’ll usually find them, or some other secondary thoroughfare. The whole point is to keep up the pace without stopping — another good reason to keep such early hours. Before dawn, there’s no one to share the pavement with but the occasional fisherman hauling a boat, or garbage trucks flashing caution lights with
The 5:30 crew gathers momentum. Photo: Schwinn Mongoose
They look like a marauding band of ninjas ON finetuned stealth machines. military importance. There are also fewer red lights, and nothing to push them off the street — or onto the so-called “bike lanes” — what the county calls “multi-use paths.”
“We go way too fast for those paths,” Hardy explains. “We’ve got enough problems not crashing into each other on the straight roads. We can handle the gradual curves, but the sharp turns are too much. And God forbid we ever encounter a jogger.” That hasn’t stopped the specialized routes from becoming popular. Since 1994, the northern Outer Banks has designated or constructed more than 60 miles of multi-use pavement between Corolla and Manteo. This spring, Kill Devil Hills will add another quarter-mile along Bay Drive. The Visitors Bureau funds many of the projects as a permanent means to keep weekly tourists happy. And the craze is spreading.
Here’s a Weight Loss Secret You Can Share... “Places with robust tax bases, like Nags Head and Corolla, all have money set aside in their budgets for their multi-use paths,” says Steve Lambert, Planning Director for Albemarle Rural Planning Organization (ARPO). “Elizabeth City recently got $250,000 from the feds to build a bike path.” Each new path makes room for more walkers, runners and sightseers, but it doesn’t help the rabid road cyclists or green commuters. And it certainly doesn’t attract the mountainbiking enthusiast. That’s why Lambert wants to take things a step further. Part of his job is to identify long and short-term transportation projects, then prioritize those projects based on traffic patterns, accidents and available funding. Working in conjunction with tourism boards from Gates, Currituck, Washington, Tyrell, Hyde and Dare Counties, and consulting with Alta Planning out of Durham, he has begun preparation of a Regional Bicycle Plan. His ultimate goal: to make the ten counties of eastern North Carolina a “Bicycle Destination for the World.” “We really lucked out with our natural resources,” says Lambert, referring to the alluring features of eastern North Carolina. “It’s a predominantly flat region with few hills, at sea level, with nice views and weather. Bikers love it.” And tourist economies love bikers. According to a recent study, an estimated 680,000 people already cycle while visiting the Outer Banks, with an impact of $60 million — and that’s just the beach cruiser market. Research shows that, on average, real cycling nuts are more highly educated, earn more and spend more. In fact, every dollar invested in making a location bikefriendly returns $9 in spending. No wonder countries from Canada to Australia are quick to welcome twowheeled visitors. But bikes are still vehicles; and vehicles are still traffic — traffic on an already congested road system. Between 2001 and 2011 there were 49 reported bicycle crashes on Highway 158 alone. Since 2010, four cyclists have been seriously injured on Dare County roads; two of them died. And when push comes to shove, even the most well heeled yuppie won’t stop a Suburban.
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“Safety is an important factor when dealing with bikes,” says Kerry Morrow, Project Engineer for the Dare County Comprehensive Transportation Plan. Morrow’s currently working with town planners and the local Chamber of Commerce to make long-term recommendations to NCDOT regarding Dare County’s future — all the way to 2040. In 2011, they released a pedestrian and road safety evaluation for Highway 158. Among the ideas are continuous multi-use paths on both sides of the bypass. However, that’s only the preferred option among a variety of alternatives. And as she notes: “There are no guarantees until funding occurs.” Which is why Lambert’s first step is to gather public input and support. He’s held events at the Waterfront Market in Elizabeth City, the Scuppernong River Festival and most recently, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival. He hopes to hold a second round of public workshops this April, finalize the plan in June, then pass out brochures to the tourism boards by September 2013. Even if Lambert finds the money and momentum, implementation remains an uphill battle. Besides environmental concerns, simply connecting Corolla to Buxton with a bike lane requires procurement of federal, state, county and local land, including permission from both the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. But it’s one he feels is necessary to keep safety concerns and a growing tourism economy in proper balance. Who knows? Maybe one day regional bike paths could crisscross the whole county, giving cyclists the freedom to freewheel at will. Maybe then the 5:30 Crew will finally get a chance to sleep in a little. Perhaps they’ll even become the 6:30 Crew. Then again, maybe not. “I feel like 5:30 is the only thing that belongs to me,” responds Hardy. “I walk into the office feeling fully charged.” Which is more than you can say for the walk of shame. — Brendan Riley To voice your opinion on the plan, paths and ideas — and to get news on the latest public workshops — go to albemarlebikeplan.com. You can also learn more at ncdot.gov.
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FLAVOR endnotes POWER Sweet, sour or soaked in Kool-Aid, today’s pickled foods pack a punch In the Deep South, it’s “pig’s feet.” In Asia, it’s called “snakehead fish.” Iceland? It’s the low-hanging fruit from between a ram’s legs. Something about pickling has always brought out the daredevil in human nature. But for modern foodies, the passion for briny solutions is less about shock value — and more about flavor power.
“We poach shrimp in a pickling liquid of spices like bay laurel, coriander and allspice to complement the richness of shrimp and grits,” says Blue Point executive chef Sam McGann. “Or pearl onions can be pickled with juniper berries to bring out the gin in a cocktail.”
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In its simplest form, to “pickle” an item simply means to soak it in a mixture of water, salt and vinegar. The acid from the solution keeps the food safe from bacteria and contamination, allowing for a longer shelf life. Back when preservatives and refrigeration weren’t an option, sailors would pickle items to keep scurvy at bay while farmers made sure not a single veggie went to waste. Today, chefs pickle to access certain foods during non-growing seasons and keep menus creative year-round.
“Part of it is this huge DIY movement of rediscovering what our grandparents did and taking those steps further and further,” suggests Kristin Donnelly, Senior Editor of Food and Wine. “The other part is people have come to expect more and more flavor. And pickles add a ton of flavor — sweet, sour, spices and aromatic components. It’s sort of like sausage, where even though you only add one ingredient, you end up adding a whole lot of ingredients.” Do a quick web search and you’ll find pickling among the top trends for 2013, along with a slew of slick recipe ideas. Soak blueberries in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and red onion, then make a sandwich with brie, pistachios and chervil. Or punch up roast pork shoulder with Guineos en Escabeche — green banana pickled in a garlicky brine. Some people even pickle their pickles. “Koolicles” — dills soaked in KoolAid for seven full days — have become a kiddie-favorite from the Mississippi Delta to the Raleigh State Fair.
sweet — once soaked in a ceviche-like mix of vinegar and citrus. “Vinegar plays a big role in balancing flavor in traditionally rich Southern dishes,” says McGann, “which is why pickling is a big part of our food history in this region.” And he means big. For the past 87 years, eastern North Carolina’s Mt. Olive — the world’s largest privately held pickle company — has turned cold cukes into pure gold just a few hours west of us. This April marks their namesake town’s 27th annual Pickle Festival. But for a real celebration of salt-based solutions, look no further than Nags Head’s own The Brine and Bottle.
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Since 2010, every one of their daily menus has featured something pickled. Might be mustard seeds. Or “fiddleheads” (the curled ends of baby ferns). Or even a relish of green cabbage, onion and red bell peppers called “chow-chow.” Or just something plucked from a nearby shelf stocked with okra, peppers, beets and cauliflower. Items you’d expect to find in your Aunty Betty’s pantry as much as a fancy bistro.
Still, good chefs know the best combos are all about balance. And pickling’s a weapon that cuts both ways: able to make the most So why is this centuries-old method, loved by common foods a little more unique — or mellow out wild ideas with some familiar tones. farm towns and fogies, suddenly trending so hot? Bad Bean chef Rob Robinson will use pickled watermelon rind to make his salsa sing to new heights. At the Kill Devil Grill, Bill Tucker likes to serve homemade fried chicken with a zesty pickled cucumber salad. And coastal chefs learned decades ago that pre-cooked greentails will last two weeks — and taste twice as
The right mix can turn any Mason jar into a Molotov cocktail of culinary potential.
“Ease of access,” says Brine and Bottle coowner and executive chef Andrew Donovan. “Blogs, Internet and food shows have allowed the world to become hip to pickling.” And that’s made pickling hipper than ever. But it doesn’t have to be. Sure, the right mix can turn any Mason jar into a Molotov cocktail of culinary potential. But it can also produce the perfect slice of sour for a salty BLT. Either way, the best food ideas will be the ones that last. “For me, the inspiration came from my grandmother,” says Donovan. “Growing up, pickling was always something she did out of necessity. I’m just preserving the tradition.” — Fran Marler milepost 43
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They look like oversized Post-its. Slips of paper no bigger than a postcard. Littered across a glass desktop and painted in a spectrum of vibrant hues, from hot violets to azure cool. At first glance, they could be a dismembered notepad or any number of random office supplies. But each one is really its own compressed canvas, with backdrops so fertile anything might bloom.
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“I have no idea what they’ll be yet,” says Carolina Coto, shuffling them back and forth across the smooth surface. “I might do a pointy building like a church; I might do a field of flowers or one big tree. But that’s the fun part: as soon as I grab my China marker, I start filling in spaces and figuring it out.”
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Nobody knows the Outer Banks better.
images from past travels in brilliant acrylic.
“The windmills,” she says. “Those are 100% Outer Banks.”
They are also her newest muses. Coto first came to Kill Devil Hills in 2011 to spend a couple weeks with a charming pool guy who caught her interest. That romantic diversion turned into a summer vacation. Followed by a fall proposal. And a winter wedding. Suddenly, the artist with a penchant for urban settings was surrounded by all sorts of strange subject matter. Instead of tall, brick buildings she saw spindly-legged beach-boxes and sand fences. Instead of closed walls and cramped alleys she found drifting dunes and open skies. For the first time, the same woman who fearlessly charged through the Middle East and Europe for months felt lost.
She’ll need to figure it out fast. In two days, the 34-year-old Costa Rica native will fly home for her first show in nearly two years. Prints don’t sell well in San Jose’s art scene — not even “small works” — so before she leaves, she must complete another dozen originals scaled down to fit in a single portfolio. Between filling suitcases, she unpacks mental images from past travels and pours them out onto brilliant acrylic. Minarets from Istanbul. Domes from Rome. This line of tightly clustered waterfront houses might be Venice… or Amsterdam. Might even be a mixture of both. But there’s one favorite element that can only come from a single place.
“I was really scared of painting the ocean,” she admits. “My first effort was a painting of Jennette’s Pier. But when it sold at the opening of my first show, that told me I could paint the Outer Banks without changing who I am as an artist.”
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If anything, her art changes the Outer Banks — at least its most traditional depictions. There are no amber sands or cottony clouds. Certainly no driftwood frames. And while many local artists take an impressionistic approach, Carolina’s impressions push the limits of surreal. In her Wonka-like world, the normal color spectrum runs from neon to nuclear. Orange skies are perfectly natural. The piers glow even in daytime. Circles and spirals tickle the horizon like floating balloons. And the whole universe gets showered in tiny metallic pinpoints.
“I call them my safety blankets,” she explains. “They’re little abstract elements I repeat that make me feel good when I’m doing it. Like the spirals: you start out small and it grows and expands, like infinity or evolution. I don’t know if I see them in a spiritual way or an
emotional way, they just feel like something... positive.”
I did well in Costa Rica, but all the galleries were either super conceptual or super commercial. Here, it’s sort of in-between. And so is my art. So I think I ended up moving to the perfect place.”
Chatting away, bright and cheerful, it’s hard to picture the sunny beauty as a brooding teenager who used to charcoal senoritas with their mouths sewn shut. Or a college freshman who wowed professors with a powerful study of the Holocaust, producing work after work full of pain and suffering in morbid monotones. But it was that very obsession that sparked Carolina’s first visit to Israel. Three months later she was off to Jordan. The next year, she covered Europe from Sweden to Spain; then Turkey and Greece. With each new adventure she found new freedoms and shed some more darkness. By the time she received her degree from the University of Costa Rica even San Jose looked different — or it did once she was finished painting over it.
And with each new work, she adds just a little more perfect. Even her depictions of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse rain color, misted in orange and purple. Cross-hatching and swirls fill in-between spaces. A trademark “starflower” might act as a spire, while spiral lollipops hover along the horizon. Yet, for all the psychedelic flair, the painting still feels right, emoting freedom, happiness — and ultimately — familiarity. It’s just that combination of crazy expression and recognizable territory that captures people’s imaginations.
“The idea behind ‘Imagining Cities’ was creating my own idyllic landscape,” says Carolina of the study that gave Like the luggage? You should see Coto’s life to her current full bag of tricks. Photo: Chris Bickford abstract style. “I started taking pictures of the city, printing them on When she wasn’t selling out shows, she ran a small gallery, watercolor paper then painted on top of them. Sometimes, catering to San Jose’s more cosmopolitan art scene and I’d change the color of a person’s umbrella. Or, if there was attending international events like Art Basel. Now she finds a trashcan overflowing, I’d just cover it up. So the image was herself in a tiny beach town completely devoid of selfbased on something real, but I was just making it perfect. absorbed snobs. A world where everyone’s an artist — and How I wanted it.” no one’s a critic. And she couldn’t be happier. Before long, the photographs disappeared, making room for even more imagination — and an even stronger following.
“My first thought was, ‘Wow, everyone is so cool and so welcoming,’” she laughs. “I guess I expected more rivalry. And
“It’s like driving in your car,” she continues. “You don’t have a photographic memory of everything you see, you just remember elements. And if something sticks in your head, if you really like it, your head probably makes it prettier than it was.” Now, as she packs for her return, she needs to decide how to fill all those blank five-by-eights. Will it be memories of the past two years? Her upbringing in a bustling Central American city? A random travel experience from the streets of Paris? An obvious snapshot of downtown San Jose? Or something totally alien: like a big old sand dune topped with a turbine? “I think it will be a mix of everything,” she says. “Mostly, people just like the color. They say it makes them happy. And I guess it makes me happy, too.” — Harold N. Modd milepost 45
soundcheck getactiveAWAY BOMBS Karaoke is a powerful weapon. Use these tips to help bring down the house.
Godzilla. Kamikaze pilots. Sake bombs. Crystal meth. Of all the Japanese’s most powerful inventions, none are so potentially catastrophic as karaoke. Yet, every year, thousands of innocents wade into local bars, destroy the ears of their audience and murder their own self-respect. No longer can we sit silently by. Before you start singing “doo, doo, doo,” remember the following “don’t, don’t, don’ts”: Don’t take it too seriously. There are two types of karaoke singers: The super intense “I spent four years at Julliard just to end up in a cubicle so now I get my kicks by crushing the dreams of others” type. And then there are the rest of us. It’s okay. Real fans know karaoke isn’t about rectifying unfulfilled personal fantasies; it’s about keeping a bar full
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Illustration by Chris Kemp. milepost
of drunks mildly entertained. You’re never gonna imitate Elvis’ pulsing vibrato — but you can always exaggerate his thrusting pelvis. (Or at least try a judo chop.) And what’s Van Halen without a few high-kicks? Whatever artist you choose to channel, remember: the best selections aren’t a performance; they’re a punch line. Don’t go it alone. For all its standalone structure — one man, one mike — the thrill of karaoke isn’t singing solo. It’s basking in the applause and camaraderie of your fellow idiots. So if you can’t bring a party, at least bring a pal. You’ll want someone to share in the glory and shame after each song (and someone else to share the photos and video clips the following day). And if nobody’s in the bar, don’t bother. The word karaoke means “empty orchestra” not “empty room.” Don’t swing the mike. It’s the first thing everyone wants to do — and the last thing they remember before security takes them outside to play “Pinball Wizard” between two parked cars. Best leave the Roger Daltrey impression at home. The upside? Pete Townshend air guitar windmills aren’t only totally acceptable, they’re fully respectable. Don’t be obvious. “I’m Sexy And I Know It” is only funny when you’re butt-ugly. “Folsom Prison Blues” hits hardest when sung out on bail. And if you’re doing anything by the Black Eyed Peas, you’d better be actively sporting two black eyes. When Simon Cowell barks about karaoke it’s not because an artist can’t sing — it’s because he or she’s being unoriginal. Instead of picking a selection you think is popular, make an oddball choice that speaks to you. Then amplify that connection to everyone else. Don’t read. Not even Michael Stipe remembers all the words to “It’s End Of The World As We Know It.” Yet, once a night, some dork takes the stage thinking, “I’ll just follow the words on the screen!” And once a night, they’re lost and rambling before the opening line loses its glow. So if you and your date are gonna do “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” make sure you both remember every inflected syllable through all three tempo changes. And when in doubt, there’s always “La Bamba,” which only gets better the more it gets mangled.
Don’t forget a set list. After several hours building up courage and a healthy buzz, you open the book and scratch out the number for “Pink Houses” only to watch some guy in a John Cougar t-shirt start growling on stage. That’s why the smart artist has at least three non-standard standards to choose from. One modern. One classic. And one country. Every one of which should hurt so good. Don’t try to slow things down. “Rock the Casbah” was a Clash riot. The Blues Brothers cartwheels killed. You’re ready to ham it up with heartfelt ballad, but before you let “Unchained Melody” out of the cage, ask yourself: will this still be hilarious five minutes later? Remember: there’s a big difference between bringing an audience to tears and boring them to tears.
the thrill of karaoke isn’t singing solo. It’s the applause and camaraderie of your fellow idiots.
Don’t be a stage hog. You’re officially on fire. Random dudes are slapping high-fives as you exit the stage. The bartender is laughing so hard he can’t pour a cocktail. The woman with the Tammy Faye hairdo keeps passing you cocktail napkins with her phone number. Now’s the time to stop and give someone else a chance at the spotlight — and your own shtick a chance to reset. The more “My Ways” and “Memories” the crowd has to suffer through, the more they’ll worship your “Papa Don’t Preach” an hour later.
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Don’t cross the regulars. In Japan, the Yakuza are mobsters so fierce, they cut off a finger to show their undying commitment. Karaoke lifers are just as scary and only slightly tougher to spot. It might be as subtle as a three-piece suit. Or as flamboyant as a Steven Tyler mikescarf. Mostly, it’s just the tendency to sing the same song every single week. Somewhere there’s a man who’s performed the “Rainbow Connection” for so many consecutive weeks, he now looks like a mix between Kermit the Frog and Gollum. (Bug eyes, green t-shirt and all.) If he wants to go first, let him. You don’t want that guy mad at you. Don’t forget the poor bastard running the show. “Dead Presidents.” “Dolla Bill, Y’all. ” “Make it Rain. ” Before the night ends, pick a song that makes you feel generous, then make sure the DJ hears it loud and clear. Because earplugs ain’t cheap. — Leo Gibson
YOU WANT IT? YOU GOT IT.
Ready to bust a move? Use this list to find the closest karaoke player. Jolly Roger, KDH Seven nights a week, 8pm
Froggy Dog, Avon Select Tuesday-Fridays in-season
Peppercorn’s, KDH Family friendly night, Saturdays, 8:30pm
Sandbar Bar and Grille, Buxton Thursdays in summer, 9pm
Kelly’s, Nags Head Tuesdays, 8pm
Sunset Grille, Duck Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays in summer, 9pm
Mulligan’s, Nags Head Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm Poor Richard’s, Manteo Wednesdays, 8-11pm
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• MP 7 • 158 bypass • 1630 N. Croatan Hwy • Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Sundog’s, Corolla Friday and Saturday nights in spring; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays nights in summer, 9pm.
* Contact venues to confirm seasonal times and days. milepost 47
We lined up the biggest night of the whole winter — and shot it six different ways
It’s the moment where everything changes. In one split-second bad days die. Good times spring to life. And anything’s possible (at least for another 12 months). This New Year’s Eve, we asked our photographers to capture whatever they witnessed at the stroke of midnight. Pumped-up party people. Pooped-out kids. Po-po on the prowl. They came back with the following cross-section of quintessential Outer Banks moments for you to celebrate. (In clockwise fashion, of course.)
Bottom left: Bright-screened and bushy-tailed. Smart phones make it impossible to sleep through the big moment. Photo: Aimée Thibodeau
“Wake me up at midnight, Fido!” Girl’s best friend barks it. Photo: Terry Rowell
Colingtonians don’t just ring out a year — they Stop laughing. While you were putting miles on your liver, burn that mutha’ down. Hood fire in full swing. Tortuga’s annual runners put 5K on their kneecaps… and Photo: LWW then put miles on their livers. Photo: Julie Dreelin Remember: it’s the one you don’t see that gets you. Blue light not-so-special. Photo: C. White
Here’s a trio of resolutions worth keeping: Tune out the TV. Turn on your sweetie. And run up a tab. Photo: Chris Bickford
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I LAID ON MY BACK IN THE LEAVES AND WATCHED A SQUIRREL JUMP FROM BRANCH TO BRANCH AND TREE TO TREE ABOVE ME. WITH EVERY LEAP, THE PINE NEEDLES WOULD SHAKE OFF WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE AFTERNOON’S RAIN. I LAID ON MY BACK IN THE LEAVES AND LISTENED TO EACH DROPLET FALL, HITTING BRANCH AFTER BRANCH AND NEEDLE AFTER NEEDLE UNTIL FINALLY FINDING MY SHIRT, MY HAIR, MY FACE, THE WETNESS SURROUNDING ME. THE SOUND OF THE WATER AND THE WIND IN THE TREES AND THE SMELL OF THE AIR AND THE WAY THE HUMID BREEZE FELT ON MY SKIN WERE ALL PERFECT. THIS WAS THE HAPPIEST DAY I HAVE HAD IN A VERY LONG TIME. – HOLLY GO LIGHTLY
endnotes In like Lyonnaise, out like lamb chops. You may not find those exact flavors at Taste of the Beach, Mar. 14-17, but with cooking classes, brewery tours, wine dinners and tapas crawls — plus Mar. 15’s first-ever OBX BBQ Showdown — forecasts call for a deluge of diverse food experiences. It all culminates with two sessions of Sun.’s Grand Tasting competition between 20+ local chefs. Find tix and details at www.obxtasteofthebeach.com. • Take a break between bites to race friends and raise dough for charity during Kelly’s Running of the Mar. 17's St. Leprechauns 8K on Sat. Patty's Parade Mar. 16. Then polish off promises the weekend at Nags handfuls o' Head’s 24th Annual St. fun. Photo: Matt Artz Patrick’s Day Parade on Sun. Mar. 17. More at www.kellysrestaurant.com. • Got a taste for spicy autos? The 6th Annual Shamrock Car Show and Poker Run returns Mar. 14-17, promising 200 dream machines from classic convertibles to monster trucks. Tune up at www.firstflightcruisers.com. • On Mar. 15, pig out with Bad Bean’s “Pork and Stone,” a fivecourse TOB event pairing San Diego’s best craft beer with the finest swine. Reservations required. More at www.badbeanobx.com. • Leave your reservations at home for the Black Pelican’s annual St. Patty’s Day party, Sat. Mar. 16, 2-5pm. Drink specials. No cover. And live music by the Paradocs. • You might need medical attention (or a good psychiatrist) if you’re running the Graveyard 100. This “Ultra-marathon” from Corolla to Hatteras comes in two sizes: 100 miles and 100K. Both sound painful. Both take place Mar. 9-10. And both donate money to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. More at www.graveyard100.com. • Join the Teacup Quilters for their 16th Annual Priceless Pieces Quilt Show at Roanoke Island Festival Park thru Mar. 23. Highlights include: Vendor Day (Mar. 9; 10am-4pm); a Quilting Flea Market (Mar. 12; 9am-noon); and the Quilt Trunk show (Mar. 12; 1:30pm). Stick around for the Dare County High School Student Art Show (Mar. 28-Apr. 25), as Cape Hatteras School, Manteo High School and First Flight High School display ceramics, digital art, paintings, photos and more. Find details at www.roanokeisland.com. • Stop playing it so straight. On Mar. 10, join OBX Pride, Inc. for a benefit cabaret at Kelly’s to raise cash for this fall’s Pridefest. Money raised also helps support the Gay-Straight Alliance in local high schools and promotes HIV awareness in Dare Co. For details and volunteer opportunities go to www.obxpridefest.com. • On Mar. 13, the Southern Circuit Film Series returns to Festival Park’s indoor theatre with Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock, the tale of a ‘50s civil rights activist who helped desegregate Arkansas schools. On Apr. 10, Follow the Leader profiles three politically active students with dreams of being president. Both shows feature Q&As with producers/directors. Tix are $10 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for kids under 12. Visit www.darearts.org for details. • Is fishing your art form? Hook up with the Outer Banks Anglers Club; last Monday of every month, 7pm at the Sea Ranch Hotel. More at www.outerbanksanglersclub.com. • On Mar. 23, Jennette’s Pier gussies up for Fins and Fashion — An Alluring Ladies’ Event, 10am-4pm. Enjoy a champagne brunch, then head over to Tanger Outlets for shopping and a scavenger hunt. Reserve spots at www.jennettespier.net. • Bunny suits more your style? On Mar. 29-30, join Kitty Hawk Kites for the annual Fly into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza. Kite festival runs at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, 10am-4am. At 11am, hop across the street for an Easter egg hunt at the store, plus photos with the Easter Bunny from 12-1pm. More at www. kittyhawk.com. • Or fly up to Corolla on Mar. 29 for Currituck Heritage Park’s Easter Eggstravaganza from 1-3pm, featuring an egg hunt, balloon art and a jellybean counting contest. (And get all your kid-friendly fun at www.outerbankschild.com.) • Actually, the
Outer Banks Relief Foundation Saturday, May 11 11am-3pm at Kelly’s Restaurant Tickets $40
Includes Lunch, Beverages, Silent Auction & Fashion Show
Tickets available at the participating boutiques:
Amity Birthday Suits Charlottes The French Door Grays
Jewelry by Gail Lady Victorian Life’s a Beach Sun Shack Whalebone
Sponsored By: Towne Bank, Seaside Realty, Seaside Physical Therapy, and Waldt Construction
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Whalehead Club has a basketful of spring events. On Mar. 16, Mr. Knight’s Wild Night celebrates NC food heritage and local wines as Red Sky Cafe chef Wes Stepp interprets traditional recipes for shrimp, rockfish, duck and boar. Dress is “Eddie Bauer inspired,” so puff out your vest. (More at www.obxtasteofthebeach.com.) And stick around for two Sun. concerts by ECSU Music Department chair and celebrated pianist Dr. Roosevelt Newson on Mar. 17. Deets at www. whaleheadclub.org. • As long as we’re talking music, we might as well fill out the playbill. On Sat., Mar. 30 at 7:30pm, the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts will host guitarist and Berklee prof Livingston Taylor (aka James Taylor’s brother). And Sun., May 5, at 2:30pm, it’s the trumpeting return of the Virginia Symphony. Both shows are at First Flight High. $25 for adults; $12 for students. Visit www.outerbanksforum. org for tix. • Dang, twang! On Apr. 5, local bluegrass outfit Jug Tucker will hold a CD release party at Kelly’s. • Baby got Bach? They will on Apr. 21 when Trio La Mer performs a suite of classical favorites at Southern Shores’ All Saints Episcopal Church at 4pm. • Bluegrass/ newgrass nuts will find MD’s Frost Mountain Revival at Art’s Place in Apr. And hepcats can join Joe Mapp every single Mon. for Jazz Night. • On May 19, Corolla’s Mustang Spring Jam kicks up a family atmosphere and spirited live acts like Mercy Creek, Zack Mexico, Dan and Mick’s Flying Circus and the Corolla All Stars. Proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. For details — or updates on the spring opening of a new Wild Horse Museum Store at Duck’s Scarborough Faire — go to www.corollawildhorses.com. • On May 26, the Outer Banks Music Festival brings “beach music” heavies Band of Oz and The Tams, plus local favorite The Crowd. Picnics and small coolers are encouraged. Larger coolers accepted with a $10 fee. High Cotton BBQ, beer, wine and refreshments available for purchase. Tix are $20 each; ten for $150. Get yours at www.whaleheadclub.org. • And Koru Village’s Beach Klub in Avon will host the inaugural Outer Banks Battle of the Bands at a spring date TBD. Gather your army of musicians and declare war at www.darearts. org. • TGFFIBIA: Thank God First Friday Is Back In April. Kick off the first weekend of every month, Manteo-style, with delicious dining, live music, late shopping and special events like Apr. 5’s signing with author Wayne Gray at Duck’s Cottage Downtown Books, 5-8pm. • First Friday is also opening night for the Dare County Art Council’s monthly exhibits. Look for mixed media by Mary Ann Remer at the International Women’s Day Exhibition: A Celebration of Women, Mar. 1-30. Next up, it’s paintings by Lisa Godrey, Apr. 5-30. And pro basketry players Judith Saunders and Jackie Church team up May 3-31. For details on these shows — plus painting classes with Munroe Bell and studio sessions with Fay Davis Edwards — go to www.darearts.org. • And if that’s not enough creative stimulation, be at Mom’s Sweet Shop every First Thursday to find out which underground talent will decorate the walls for the next 30 days. (Hint: on May 2, it’s Travis Fowler.) Questions? Call 441-MOMS. • Then take the kids to Deja New in Kitty Hawk for Friday Fun, a weekly afternoon art class for ages 5 to 10. Call 261-1205 for details. • And Apr. 19-21, Gravedigger HQ will switch gears to host Vintage Bodega By the Sea, a 3-day bazaar of funky finds by 70+ vendors. Call 305-4811 for info. • Speaking of old-school funk, on Apr. 1, the one and only Mr. T will offer a seminar on mohawk sculpture at COA. (We pity da fool who believes that one.) • For some real-life flights of fancy, be at the Whalehead Club on Apr. 2 for a Fun Fly sponsored by Flying Smiles Travis Fowler prowls into Mom’s Sweet Shop on May 2. Kites. And on Apr. 6 the Corolla
Come out and danCe to some of the best beaCh musiC bands on the east Coast!
Soundfront at the Whalehead Club Saturday, May 26 • 11am to 6pm
band of oz the tams the Crowd and more ... Bring a picnic & small cooler (rules apply) or enjoy HigH Cotton BBQ beer, wine and refreshments on site!
tickets $20 each or 10 for $150
Available online at www.whaleheadclub.org (click shop button) Sponsorships still available!
Call 252-453-9040 ext. 223 milepost 53
endnotes Biathlon combines a 1-mile kayak or SUP paddle with a 3-mile beach run. Register by Apr. 4. gathers DJs, cakes, caterers, photographers… everything to make your big day a no-brainer. More at www.whaleheadclub.org. • Avast! The Flying Pirate Half-Marathon Weekend Details and $20 tix at www.obxbrides.com. • Listen up: on May 3-5, the First Annual invades Apr. 13-14 with a double barrel of distance options — 5K and 13 miles — and an Hatteras Storytelling Festival offers live music, local food and gripping tales by Connie arsenal of costume ideas to ruffle your collar. More on fees, parties and prizes at www. Regan-Blake, Clyde Edgerton, Bland Simpson, Tom Carlson, Ben Cherry and Danny obxmarathon.org. • On Apr. 19, KDH’s Historic Landmarks Commission is hosting a selfCouch. Get an earful at www.hatterasyarns.org. • In Manteo, the annual Mollie Fearing guided tour from 1-5pm. Grab a map from town hall and travel back in time to 24 locations. Memorial Art Show returns to Festival Park, May 3-30. Meet the artists on May 5. And Call 449-5318 for more info. • The Pirate Putt Putt for Polio Plus sails into Professor come back on May 10 as the Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County presents Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf on Apr. 20, 10am-5pm, as two-person teams pay $5 each to KidsFest, 9:30am-12:30pm. Painting, story time, ice cream, art, plus a United States Coast help the Rotary Club end polio. • Go green at Jennette’s Pier when Earth Fair OBX II runs Guard boat. More at www.roanokeisland.com. • On May 4, the Outer Banks Alzheimer’s Apr. 20, 1-4pm, promising all sorts of educational opportunities — and not a single 420 Walk at Spring Arbor will also feature massage therapists, expert advice and a Starfish reference. Details at www.jennettespier.net. Wall of Commemoration. Register at 9am. • And no Earth Day would be complete Walk at 10am. For more info call 449without a trip to the Outer Banks 4455. • “Your mama’s so fast...” “How Brewing Station’s backyard for fast is she?” Find out on May 11 amplified music, cold craft beers when the 30th Annual Yuengling Nags Head Woods 5K celebrates and good vibes — all powered Mother’s Day. More at www. by their very own wind turbine. nagsheadwoods5krun.org. • And Get deets and a spring concert May 18-19 join OBX Relay For schedule at www.obbrewing. Life as hundreds of local folks and com. • Say buddy, can you businesses post up at First Flight spare some history? The Outer High School to push cancer Banks didn’t just survive the research one lap at a time. Last Great Depression — it thrived. year, 429 participants and 47 By the time the New Deal was teams totaled $140,402. Add done, we had new dunes, new your name to the list — and roads, even a new Wright dollars to the cause — at www. Bros. Monument. Learn all relayforlife.org. • Dress for about it at the Outer Banks community success when History Center’s new Couture By the Shore comes to exhibition: Dare County in the Kelly’s on May 11. Eleven Outer 1930s: Decade of Banks boutiques show the latest Determination. Runs through spring fashions, hair and makeup Oct. 15. Visit www. to raise a pretty penny for the Outer obhistorycenter.ncdcr.gov for Banks Relief Foundation. Tix are details. • Theatre of Dare’s $40 and sell fast; get yours at www. plan of attack this Apr. 24-27 is outerbanksrelieffoundation.com. • to do three one-act plays for four “Dust bowl meet sand dune.” Outer Banks History Center's "Dare County in the Dazzling colors fill the sky when Kitty straight nights: Life After Elvis, 1930s: Decade of Determination" exhibit opens March 1. Hawk Kites hosts the 41st Annual When God Comes For Breakfast You Hang-Gliding Spectacular, May 17-20. Pros Don’t Burn the Toast and Will from all over the world descend upon Jockey’s Ridge to thrill, spill and instill a love of Someone Please Tell Me What’s Going On Here? Shows are at COA. (7:30pm, Thurs.soaring. More at www.hangglidingspectacular.com. • You’re already strapped in, might as Sat.;2pm, Sun.) Buy $10 tix early at Gray’s in Kitty Hawk. More at www.theatreofdare.org. • well head to Sanctuary Vineyards for May 18’s The Burg, a crash-course in independent music, Wanna better your shredder? Join the Atlantic Surfing Federation before the season heats wine and hayrides. Food for sale by local chefs. Advance tix are$25 at any Cotton Gin; $30 back up on Apr. 21. More at www.atlanticsurfing.org. • Operation Beach Respect is the NC day of. More info at www.sanctuaryvineyards.com. • May 31 marks opening night for The Lost Beach Buggy Association’s all-open-access pass to fight coastal litter on Apr. 23. Other key Colony. In honor of 76 years of Dare County support — and all the starving actors who’ve dates include: the 4Plus 24hr Surf Fishing Tournament (Apr. 27-28); the Ocracoke participated — this summer features three “local nights” to help area food pantries: June 7, 14 Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament (May 1-3); and the NCBBA Annual Meeting & Pig and 21. Just bring two non-perishable items, your ID and show up early. More at www. Pick (May 25). Bounce over to www.ncbbaonline.com for details. • More of a road hog? thelostcolony.org. • The 8th Annual Triple-S Invitational kicks off Jun. 1 at Real Saddle up for the 11th Annual Outer Banks Bike Week, Apr. 20-28, a blur of polished bikes, poker runs and confederate bikinis. Get your motor runnin’ at www.outerbankshd.com. • Watersports in Waves, drawing 30 of the world’s best kiteboarders for daily competitions and nightly live concerts. Wanna start early? Come out on May 16 for the grand opening party Better pace yourself for the Wine Down 5K at Sanctuary Vineyards on Apr. 27, which races to the sound and back for some vino and cheese. More at www.runcations.com. • Or just dash of the Waterman’s Stage. More at www.realwatersports.com. • And finally, Jun. 1 marks the 38th Annual Dare Day Festival on the Manteo Waterfront. Come out for live bands, art, up to the 5th Annual Duck & Wine Festival on Apr. 27 at Duck Waterfront Shops as a food and special guests such as Dr. Henry Vanderbilt Johnson, who will be at Duck’s Cottage selection of top restaurants like Blue Point and Coastal Cantina compete to raise funds for Downtown Books to sign copies of his Manteo/Englehard memoir, Kronicles of a Kolored local charities. Full schedule at www.duckandwine.com. • Getting married can be a major Kid. Ask nicely, maybe he’ll even join you for a jump in the bouncy house. headache. Be at the Sanderling Inn on Apr. 27 as the Outer Banks Wedding Show
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Open Year Round • Serving Lunch & Dinn
9. It's ALL Good! Milepost 9.5 • on Highway 158 in KDH 252.441.7889 • MamaKwans.com
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